German Führer Adolf Hitler had his close associate, chief propagandist Josef Goebbels. The Third Reich and the Final Solution flowed as much from the demon-directed mind of Goebbels as from the satanic evil that infected his earthly master’s brain and soul. Together they set off on their hellish mission to enslave the world within the Nazi dictatorship.
Thankfully, they failed to accomplish their devilish goals. The ashes of both reside in the dust bin of history better left forgotten in the minds of many. However, the Jews living today whose parents somehow survived the Final Solution to produce them are reminded by the oldest of the surviving Holocaust victims or their immediate offspring.
“Never again!” is the declaration the House of Israel is exhorted to keep in the forefront of their minds. The Holocaust, in which six million or more of their numbers were burned in the furnaces of some of the killing centers among Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Majdanek must never be forgotten. To forget will, it is feared, bring about a repeat of the genocide against them.
Sadly, and tragically, this exact fate lurks in the future of the children of Israel, according to Bible prophecy. This time it will be worse than in Hitler’s Holocaust. Much, much worse.
The Jewish race will again appear in the crosshairs of a would-be world conqueror. The Jew will be the very object of his main focus of hatred, just as in the case of Hitler and his partner in genocide, Josef Goebbels. That final Führer will murder so many of God’s chosen people that the Lord, Himself, will secure a remnant of them in a special hiding place prepared especially for them.
Antichrist will be assisted in his demon-possessed rage by an associate even more hate-filled and evil than the dreaded chief propagandist of the Third Reich.
Both “beasts,” as they’re called in Revelation chapter 13 of the Bible, will at first appear to be the most benevolent and accommodating of all leaders. As a matter of fact, as we’ve seen already, the great leader will cause all antagonists of the wars raging around the world to sign on to a covenant that will bring all conflict to an end.
He will be almost universally hailed as a champion for world peace.
The assistant—Antichrist’s sidekick—will promote the great man in grandiose fashion that will make Goebbels’ proclamations of Hitler dim by comparison.
Bible prophecy foretells that the man of sin’s peacemaking, using his charm stemming from his perceived glorious persona, will eventuate in his associate, the False Prophet, presenting him as the world’s object of worship. We see the prophecy in the following:
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. (Revelation 13:11–12)
The first beast, Antichrist, will, John the Revelator tells us, suffer a head wound that is deadly. But, somehow, he will revive to survive the apparent assassination. This great display of supernatural power—appearing to come back to life—no doubt will cause the world to be in awe. Thus there will be a great, swelling desire among the people to obey the second beast’s direction to make an image to Antichrist and worship him by worshiping his image.
It isn’t known for certain exactly what this descriptive means in total, but the brutal regime will see to it that Antichrist’s associate, the False Prophet, will be obeyed. The whole world of earth dwellers, as God calls them, will wonder after the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
So this combination, Antichrist and his propaganda minister, the False Prophet, will make the world forget all about all other dictators of history. Theirs will be far and away more deadly and all-encompassing than the combined regimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and all the rest of history’s beastly reigns.
Yet those previous tyrants of history provide much prerequisite proof that people are more than capable of bringing down the cruelest of treatment upon fellow men, women, and children. Adolf Hitler and Goebbels are the prototype despotic regime to consider when thinking about what earth’s last and deadliest tyrannical regime will be like.
As we’ve looked at before, prophecy observers have assigned, erroneously, a number of men in leadership positions the title of the future Antichrist. All have passed into history. Today, there are some in Europe whom the people prone to set dates and name names think will be the first beast of Revelation 13.
But there is an even stronger candidate today who many believe fits the mold of the man who will be Antichrist’s sidekick. Pope Francis is that man.
We can see, from his many statements that run contrary to what the Bible says on salvation and other issues, how those who set dates and name names could believe him to be the future Antichrist’s chief associate.
We don’t ascribe to naming anyone to either of those two roles. God’s Word says that Antichrist—and, by association, the False Prophet—won’t be known until the Rapture has taken place. Again, here is the passage that clues us to this truth:
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4)
We believe this passage foretells that Antichrist, the man of sin, won’t be known, or “revealed,” until the Rapture, or “falling away” (departure) comes first. The same must be said, then, for the one who will be his sidekick, the False Prophet, the Second Beast of Revelation 13. It is the second beast who apparently, according to this prophetic portion of Revelation, comes on the scene later than the first. We make that conclusion based on the following:
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth. (Revelation 13:11)
Certainly, he will have much power—the power of Satan, as a matter of fact. He will appear to be like a lamb, we’re told, but he will be anything but. He will come speaking like a dragon—telling lies, because Satan, known as the “dragon,” is called in “the father of lies.”
The people left behind after the Rapture will fall for the lies of the False Prophet and Antichrist. They will have so rejected God and His governance that they will believe the great lie these two minions from Hell will tell.
God will have given these people over to a “reprobate mind” (Romans 1: 28). God, Himself, the 2 Thessalonians passage tells us, will send the world of unbelievers “strong delusion that they should believe the lie.”
We don’t know what that lie will involve, but with the gullibility we see rampant today, even among believers, it isn’t difficult to understand how the world will one day fall for the satanic deception of a man who will likely be history’s greatest orator.
We can comprehend how mesmerizing Antichrist’s oratory powers will be by considering Daniel’s prophecy:
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished. for that that is determined shall be done. (Daniel 11:36)
Whereas Hitler and Goebbels mesmerized a nation, these future despots will captivate a world with their blasphemous rhetoric. They will be supernaturally endowed with the ability to seduce most of the world’s population. Their powers will come from their father, the devil.
Let’s look deeper into the second beast, his prophesied rise to power, and his influence on Antichrist’s world of eternally lost followers.
The False Prophet comes onto the scene at some point after John sees the first beast, Antichrist, come out of the earth. It comes out of the sea of humanity, as John watches the composite animal emerge from his perspective of the vision somewhere high above the Aegean while exiled on Patmos. This animal is basically the same as the one Daniel saw in his vision (read Daniel 7). The beast John sees, like the one Daniel saw, is a merger of all the great world empires. However, it also includes the Antichrist world empire that will reign during the Tribulation period.
The next scene changes to the wicked personage called the second beast. He represents the third member of the infernal trinity. The dragon, Satan, is a master counterfeiter. He mockingly produces his version of the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). In this evil consortium, Satan counterfeits God, Antichrist counterfeits the Son, and the False Prophet counterfeits the Holy Spirit.
The second beast, the False Prophet, will imitate God the Holy Spirit by mocking and mimicking the third member of the Godhead. Whereas God the Holy Spirit gives honor and glory to God, the Father, the third person of the unholy trinity, the False Prophet, will cause all of humanity to worship Antichrist and Satan.
He is called at first simply the beast that comes out of the earth. Later in Revelation, he is three times called the False Prophet, and is closely associated with the first beast and Satan (Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10).
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. (Revelation 13:11)
Dr. Henry Morris, one of the top scholars in biblical eschatology, writes the following:
John, from his vision-perspective at Patmos sees another beast—the same type as the first—very dangerous and fierce. But this one, rather than coming from the sea, comes from the earth. instead of from the sea like the first beast. Since the first beast is a man, so is the second, but their backgrounds are different. As noted previously, “the sea” probably refers to the Mediterranean, the implication being that the first beast comes from one of the Mediterranean kingdoms. In fact, Daniel 9:27 suggests that he comes from the people of the ancient Roman empire, possibly a direct descendant of the Romans. By the same token, the second beast must come from somewhere in the great land masses outside the Mediterranean nations, but we apparently have no other clue to his origin.
There has been much speculation as to the identity of this second beast. Since his is later called the false prophet, he apparently first comes to world attention as a miracle-working religious leader, professing to convey supernaturally inspired messages to mankind. His “prophecies,” of course, are not from God but from Satan, though it may well be that he will first become known (possibly before the tribulation) as a man supposedly receiving messages from God. He professes to be a true prophet but is in reality a false prophet. Jesus warned of false Christs and false prophets (Matthew 24:24) in the great tribulation, and these two (the Antichrist and the false prophet) are the very prototypes of these two classes of deceivers.
Actually the term “antichrist” occurs only in the epistles of John (1 John 2:18; 4:3; 2 John 7) and is applied to anyone who deceives men by professing to serve God while at the same time denying the supernatural incarnation and the divine/human nature of Christ. However, the concept of “the antichrist” does occur often in both ancient and modern Christian literature, usually referring to the great antichristian world dictator of these last days. The second beast is interpreted by some writes (as Scofield, in his reference Bible) as the Antichrist, but this seems arbitrary. In any case, John calls them the beast and the false prophet here in Revelation and it does seem significant that he, as the author of the only New Testament verses in which the term “antichrist” is used, does not apply it in Revelation to either of these men. He had already, in fact, said that anyone who denied the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh is “the antichrist” (the definite article is used this way in the 2 John reference).
This second beast is clearly a religious spokesman of some kind and possibly he is the leader of the world religious system as it will culminate in the last days, coming into its ultimate character as the great harlot of Revelation 17.
The modern ecumenical movement, active first among apostate Protestant churches in the first half of the twentieth century, then essentially combining (or at least fellowshipping) with the Catholic and Orthodox churches in the second half of the twentieth century, will eventually amalgamate with all other world religions, especially after the departure of all true churches to be with Christ.
This second beast, or false prophet, will most likely emerge as the patriarch (or pope, or ayatollah, or guru or, more likely, simply “prophet”) of this universal religion. He will originally counterfeit the gentle character of Christ (“two horns like a lamb”), but his “inspired” words will be those of Satan, the old dragon. First they will be sweetly deceptive words, soon they will become deadly tyrannical, dragon words.[i]
These two satanically empowered beasts within human personas will join forces at some point, probably before the Tribulation begins. The man who will become Antichrist will likely have solidified power to some extent within the world system. We can safely expect the one who will become the False Prophet to be a notable religious leader. It will be a match made in Hell.
And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. (Revelation 13:12)
Again, Dr. Henry Morris weighs in on this evil duo.
The alliance of religion and state has a long and sad record of despotism and suppression, but the ecclesio-political union of these two human beasts will culminate in the worst period of persecution in the history of the world.
By the time the political power of the first beast is reaching its zenith, the syncretistic religious union of world religions is also being concentrated under control of the second beast. Each leader assists and supports the other, the king enforcing the religious authority of the prophet and the prophet persuading the world’s superstitious masses that the king should be worshipped and obeyed as a god.
With his worldwide reputation as a miracle-working prophet already established, he will see that the remarkable pseudo-resurrection of the beast is widely publicized and idolized in every church and temple around the world as the chief argument to persuade people to acknowledge him as divine and deserving of worship. The two will soon become an unprecedented team, working in partnership to establish universal control over all people everywhere.[ii]
And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. (Revelation 13:13)
The second beast will be empowered by Satan to do great wonders and produce great signs that will hold spellbound the deluded people of earth. His reputation as a miracle worker will greatly enhance his power and authority over those under the regime of Antichrist’s Fourth Reich.
Among these miracles will be the power to call down fire from the sky. Dr. Morris believed that special understanding and control of atmospheric phenomena by satanic angels will probably be imparted to the False Prophet to enable him to accomplish this and other miracles. Undoubtedly, this wonder-worker will use his ability to produce fire from Heaven. He will likely want to reproduce the miracles involving fire performed by God’s two witnesses as given in Revelation.
These men will bring down fire and inflict other judgments of warning on rebellious earth-dwellers. The False Prophet will want to show those under his control that he has power equal to or greater than that wielded by God’s men (Revelation 11:5).
Dr. Morris offered that even though the beast had prevailed against Christ’s two witnesses and killed them, their resurrection and rapture was known around the world, and people still feared their power. It was important that people everywhere should see (perhaps on television) that the beast and False Prophet had powers similar to those of the witnesses.
The people on earth at this time who have rejected God are called, as we have seen, “earth dwellers.” They have become totally susceptible to the deluding influences of demons. The deception is full blown, and the people will wonder in awe of the things they see, thus will go ever deeper into worship of Antichrist.
And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. (Revelation 13:14)
It is documented that throughout the ages people have been easily seduced by those claiming to produce miracles. It seems that the more people discount and even outright deny or mock the miracles reported in God’s Word, the more easily they become seduced by false wonder-workers. Such will be the case during the Tribulation era. People will deny God but grasp the demonic manifestations that delude.
Neither Satan nor his cohorts, the fallen angels, can produce miracles created by their own power. They don’t have that power. Only God does. They can, however, manipulate natural matter to produce phenomena that mankind perceives to be miraculous activity.
Miracles must always be tested in relation to their purpose and fidelity to Scripture (Isaiah 8:20). Deluding miracles, the Bible warns, will become more and more manifest as Christ’s Second Advent nears.
Again, Henry Morris writes:
The Lord Jesus Christ warned: “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” (Matthew 24:24). Paul, speaking probably of this same false prophet, says his “coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). His miracles are lying miracles, in that their purpose is to cause men to “believe the lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:11) that the “man of sin,” with his image “sitting in the temple of God” is, as he is claiming, truly God (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4).[iii]
The False Prophet will, through delusion and pseudo miracles, bring about the evilest of all of Satan’s plans for humanity. From it will burst forth Antichrist’s own Final Solution, one that will make Adolf Hitler’s seem mild by comparison. It will eventuate in the harlot religious system prophesied in Revelation chapter 17.
Satan and his henchmen perpetrate the blasphemous counterfeit of the Holy Trinity, as we’ve just examined. Now the wickedness is taken by these hellish minions to an even more heinous level, when they seek to create the counterfeit of the Church produced by Jesus Christ.
God sees this counterfeit system of religious evil as a woman who is a harlot. The False Prophet will be at the head of this false worship system and will point all within its assemblage to worship Antichrist and Satan, who indwells him at the time the first beast sits in the Temple of God in Jerusalem and declares himself to be God.
“Harlot”—rendered “whore” in the King James Version—denotes a woman who prostitutes herself sexually. In Bible prophecy, the term is applied symbolically to a system of religion that rejects true doctrine from God’s Word and gives itself totally to a false system of worship. Just as the true Church is known as the Bride of Christ, the harlot, as depicted in Revelation 17, can be likened to being the mistress of Antichrist. She comes from her father, the devil.
And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.
And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. (Revelation 17:1–6)
This harlot church system will, many prophecy students and teachers believe, be made up of an eclectic mix of religions in the time following the Rapture of the true Church. The religious system, called “Mystery Babylon,” will work in concert with the Antichrist regime to enslave the world in every realm of life.
Many believe the ecumenical movement among the religions of the world and the falling-away within Christian church bodies from sound, fundamental doctrines are quickly moving the world toward this prophesied harlot system. Dr. John Walvoord, one of the great Bible teachers of our day, addressed this troubling Bible prophecy for the Tribulation era.
The great prostitute described in these verses is a portrayal of Apostate Christendom in the end time. When the Rapture occurred, all true believers were caught up to be with the Lord, but left behind were many thousands of those who made some profession of faith in Christ and claimed to be Christians who were not born again. These constituted the apostate Church which will dominate the scene politically and religiously up to the midpoint of that last seven years before the Second Coming.
The apostasy, called adultery and fornication here, of course refers to spiritual unfaithfulness, not to physical adultery. The church, devoid of any redeeming influence, is now completely united with the world, and, as the passage indicates, is working hand in glove with the political powers.
John saw a woman on a scarlet-colored beast with seven heads and ten horns. the beast is obviously the political empire described in 13:1–10. The fact that she is seated on the beast indicates that she is working with the beasts to attain common ends, that is, the subjugation of the entire world to their authority, and that the political power is supporting the apostate church. The woman wears the trappings of ceremonial religion in which purple and scarlet are prominent and which is often enhanced with precious stones. From the title written on her forehead, she is linked with the mystery of Babylon the Great. In referring to this identification as a mystery, because its ultimate truth is learned only by divine revelation, the influence of Babylon for evil is supported in Scripture from as early as Genesis 11 and continues through the revelation of the destruction of the city in Revelation 18.
Babylon is the title that covers all false religions that claim to be Christian in their content. Babylonian influence clearly crept into the church, and much of its ritual is similar to the Babylonian religious rites.
When Babylon was introduced in Genesis 11, her true character was revealed as rebelling against God and attempting to build a tower in recognition of her worship of heathen deities. Because this was contrary to the Will of God, He confounded the language the people were using at that time so that they could not understand each other; hence, the term “Babel,” meaning confusion, applies to the subsequent history of Babylon (cf. Gen. 11:9).
It should be borne in mind that the term “Babylon” applies to Babylonian religion; it also applies to the city of Babylon; and it applies to the empire of Babylon.
Babylon had a long history and rose to considerable prominence in the time of Hammurabi (1726-1686 B.C.)….
In this section, however, the revelation concentrates on the influence of Babylon religiously. Because the religion of Babylon was in the form of a secret religious rite in which they worshipped certain idols, it requires divine revelation to understand completely what they held. The wife of Nimrod, who was the founder of babylon, headed up the mystery religion. which characterized Babylon. She was given the name Semiramis, and according to the adherents’ belief, she had a son conceived miraculously whose name was Tammuz. He was portrayed as a savior who fulfills the promise of deliverance given to Eve. This was, of course, a satanic description which permeates pagan religions.
…The prophecy concerning Babylon here as well as other allusions to religion in the Book of revelation demonstrate that apostasy will have its final form in the Great tribulation in the worship of the world ruler and Satan.
In the period of the first half of the seven years leading up to the Second Coming of Christ, Babylon combined with Romanism becomes a world religion—Christian in name, but not in content. Those who do come to Christ will be subject to her persecution, and the woman is described as “drunk with the blood of the Saints” (Rev. 17:6). The apostate church has been unsparing in its persecution of those who have a true faith in Christ. Those who come to Christ in the end time will have the double problem of avoiding martyrdom at the hands of the political rulers and at the hands of the apostate church.
…One of the outstanding, convincing arguments for worshipping the beast is the fact that he comes back from apparent death to life, as recoded in 13″3. the reference to the Abyss identifies the home of Satan and the demon world. The whole false religion found in Babylon is satanic in its origin and therefore is closely related to the demon world.
The purpose of the alliance between the woman and the beast is that both are seeking world domination. When this is finally achieved, as the end of the chapter indicates, the political power will no longer need the religious power to support it.[iv]
The angel showed John the woman decked in gold and purple and with a golden chalice in her hands while riding the scarlet-colored beast. It was much like the one John and Daniel before him saw in their visions. Apparently, she represented all world empires, including the final one—Antichrist’s regime.
The angel said the woman was “drunken on the blood of the saints.” This is a horrendous picture! This is the Antichrist’s—Satan’s—Final Solution! It will be carried out under the False Prophet’s religious system on behalf of Antichrist, who will no doubt be indwelt by Satan.
Millions upon millions will be martyred for the cause of Christ when the man of sin’s power and authority become full blown. The False Prophet will cause all to worship the first beast or be beheaded.
This Final Solution will be designed to get rid of every Jew on the planet and every person who comes to know Christ for salvation during that time of the Fourth Reich. If this generation in which we live is approaching that time, the worst in all of human history, signals of the coming False Prophet and the man of sin are even now pulsing their warnings.
Dave Hunt wrote the following in considering the nearness of that approaching time of unprecedented troubles.
Christ warns us in Matthew 24 not to be deceived by false Christs and false prophets and lying signs and wonders. Paul repeats the warning, but with an added dimension: to beware of being deceived into thinking that the apostasy won’t come. It will. It must. Surely Paul would not speak in this manner unless in the last days the popular view would be to reject the idea of apostasy within the church. The grave danger will be that of following false prophets who, with their signs and wonders, will seem to back up their false teaching that revival, not apostasy, is the order of the day. Paul therefore says, “Don’t let anyone deceive you with sweet talk about revival: the apostasy must come or the day of the Lord cannot begin.”
A False “Signs and Wonders” Movement
That fact becomes clearer when we refer to other passages of Scripture. Christ’s statement about false signs and wonders is clarified as we are given further insights into the nature of the apostasy. False signs and wonders will be an integral part of the apostasy. The departure from the truth will be spearheaded by apparent miracle workers and the delusion will be made possible by a prevailing emphasis upon experience over doctrine. Paul says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:3). And Christ declares:
“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22, 23).
These apostates of whom Christ speaks did not lose their salvation, they were never saved (“I never knew you”). Yet they outwardly appeared to be high-profile Christian leaders apparently performing signs and wonders in the name of Christ. They didn’t leave the church to become atheists or to join some non-Christian religion. They remained in the church. They even called Jesus Lord—but without really knowing Him. Tragically, they seemed to think that their ability to prophesy and to perform wonders proved that they belonged to Him. Clearly, doctrine is out and experience is in; and the signs and wonders are so impressive that doctrine no longer matters.
Surely these of whom Christ speaks in Matthew 7 must be the same “false Christs and false prophets” to whom He refers in Matthew 24. It is certainly sobering that the signs and wonders these false professors are able to perform are apparently so impressive that even the very elect might be deceived by them were they not given discernment by the Holy Spirit. We can only conclude that something more than mere trickery is involved.[v]
These wonder-workers are backed by the power of Satan, whom they unwittingly serve in the name of the Lord.
Jesus’ first warning of things to look for in determining when the end of the age would come must be very important to this generation if we are in the last of the last days of the Church Age (Age of Grace).
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.… And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:3–5, 11)
With the proliferation of prophetic signs that the end-times stage is being set for fulfillment of Bible prophecy, the False Prophet, along with the man who will be Antichrist, must lurk somewhere in the murky shadows of the immediate future.
[i] Henry M. Morris, “The False Prophet,” The Revelation Record, p. 246.
[iv] Dr. John F. Walvoord, Every Prophecy in the Bible (city: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1999) 604–607
[v] ***ANGIE CHECK THIS: 5 Dave Hunt, “Flashes of Falling Away,” in Foreshocks of Antichrist (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, year pub) page number.