Not just Counterfeit – Not just Tricked
I used to think that the warnings Jesus gave about false prophets and false messiahs referred to the end times and the role that the dragon and beasts would play. But in our reading this week it became clear to me that this isn’t the case.
I know there have been false prophets and false messiahs. I know it is important to know scripture so as not to be confused and to test their prophecies and signs against what actually happens, what is true, what is the word of God.
But the beast, while deceiving people, is not masquerading as Jesus. He/It does not desire to be like God or like Jesus, he doesn’t want people to think he is those things. He wants to replace God and Jesus. He doesn’t want confusion. He blasphemes God and wants to be worshiped in His place. The people who bow down to the beast know he is the beast – they don’t think he is Jesus.
I understand where BSF is coming from with their discussion of the false trinity and false messiah and false lamb, but I don’t see that to be the desire of Satan. I don’t think he wants to be a conterfeit God, where people think they are actually worshiping God, but in fact are worshiping him instead. I think he wants to replace God.
We see this even in our times. God is ridiculed and denegrated, while evil is positioned as fun and hip and attractive. To quote an old Billy Joel song, there is still a belief that ‘I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, the sinners are much more fun.’
But that is a lie, perpetrated by the father of lies. Hell is not more fun – it is hell. An eternal life apart from God is not a party, it is agony and hatred. Evil does not ever love – it only lies and hates and decieves.
I do not think believers will be tricked by the beast to believe it is the messiah returned. I think those who read, hear and heed the word of scripture will know the beast is the beast. The biggest challenge is not head knowledge, it is an adequate faith and hope and confidence to endure 42 months of persecution and agony. But what Satan and the world can dish out, the elect can transform into honor for God:
Acts 5:40-41 – They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
Rev 3:10 – Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
In the end, Jesus Wins and Satan is left with nothing.
Dragon, Beast, Second Beast
To take on the appearance of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – this one brings the world to sin
the trinity of God is one of unity (between the elements of God and mankind), for peace, teaching, wisdom, gratitude. The trinity of evil is to deceive, conquer, contrive war and cause mankind to fall and be denied peace and love
Test by the truth, by prophecy occurring, by consistency with the scriptures and prophets, will never draw you from God, good bears good fruit, evil does not – look at the fruit of the words. Stay on guard – Revelation tells what will happen, don’t be amazed
By studying the word, wonderful signs are seen only as fulfillment of what God has promised and confirmation of the truth of God and wickedness of those who bring about the signs. The signs, instead of demonstrating their authority and power, confirm their identity.