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5. Dezember 2017

On false prophets

Matthew 24:24 is a puzzling statement.
ἐγερθήσονται γὰρ ψευδόχριστοι καὶ ψευδοπροφῆται, καὶ δώσουσιν σημεῖα μεγάλα καὶ τέρατα ὥστε πλανῆσαι, εἰ δυνατόν, καὶ τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς:

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
How can one appear to be Christ? For that is what pseudo means. And Christ means anointed. How can one appear to be anointed? One is anointed by other people and the appearance of that is beyond one's influence.

But it gets worse. How can one give great signs and anomalies and only appear to be a prophet?

Now, one way in which that was possible is that the signs only appear to be anomalies, but are, in truth, sophisticated applications of science. And without question that is the case with many signs mentioned in the Revelation. But it is not clear that that is the intended meaning here.

In a situation of crisis, the like of which Matthew describes in the 24th chapter, certainly many proposals to solve it will be made. And we are left to assume that Matthew considers anyone who offers a solution a Pseudochrist.

Then what about the pseudoprophets? Just as in such a situation of crisis there will be many proposed solutions, there'll certainly also be many alleged causes for the crisis, and any proponent of such a cause should then likewise be considered a pseudoprophet by Matthew (or Christ).

But what about the signs?

Are we to assume that these proponents will cause miracles in order to give credence to their hypotheses, whether these be real or trickeries?

No, in the described scenario we are left to assume that these proponents will rather explain occurring anomalies with their hypotheses, that is use those anomalies as reasons, why we should believe in whatever cause it is  that they allege for the crisis.

Using this manner of speaking it would be fair enough to call Steve Bannon a false prophet for he blames all woes of society on parents spoiling their children during the 1950s.

Actually, in this manner of speaking, the expressions pundit and false prophet have become interchangeable, which brings us to the false prophet: Are we to assume that he's a pundit?

Revelation 19:20.
καὶ ἐπιάσθη τὸ θηρίον καὶ μετ' αὐτοῦ ὁ ψευδοπροφήτης ὁ ποιήσας τὰ σημεῖα ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ, ἐν οἷς ἐπλάνησεν τοὺς λαβόντας τὸ χάραγμα τοῦ θηρίου καὶ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας τῇ εἰκόνι αὐτοῦ: ζῶντες ἐβλήθησαν οἱ δύο εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρὸς τῆς καιομένης ἐν θείῳ.

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
I think we should pay heed to the difference in language.
  1. The false prophets give signs, the false prophet makes signs (lost in translation).
  2. The false prophet does not make anomalies though.
So I think that the false prophet must be an agent or an agency which creates the headlines on which the beast will ride to power.

And with that it remains possible, as I've said before, that the false prophet and the second beast are one and the same, namely television, which links up the two instances of deception neatly, but at the same time another possibility emerges from the shadows.

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