Satan’s Greatest Deception
Apocalyptic prophecy predicts a series of coming events which are stranger than fiction. The world during the Great Tribulation will be a very different place than the world we know today. The Bible predicts a coming world order unlike anything people are anticipating.
In a parallel way, the same thing happened in Noah’s day. No one believed tomorrow could be so vastly different from today. This is why we have “the more sure word of prophecy.” (2 Peter 1:19) God wants His children to study and understand His Word so that when He steps into the affairs of mankind and alters everything we know, we will not be overwhelmed, discouraged, or deceived.
The Bible tells us that God is love and He is not willing that anyone should perish. This may seem strange, but God intends to use the devil’s physical appearing to save people that would not otherwise choose salvation!
Long ago, God thoughtfully and deliberately designed the Great Tribulation to accomplish several objectives. One of God’s objectives is to save as many people as possible during the 1,260 days allotted to the Two Witnesses. (Revelation 11:3) There are two problems with this objective: First, from God’s point of view, all of the religions of the world are blasphemous [insulting] and in darkness [ignorance]. Mankind is basically ignorant of God and His truth. Second, God has given each person on Earth the power of choice. Therefore, God intends to use His 144,000 servants to enlighten the world with His truth and judge the living to determine who will and will not be saved. Each person will hear and understand the properties of sin and how to be saved from sin. Once a person receives this knowledge, that person will be in a position to make an informed and intelligent decision about his eternal destiny.
The first two and a half years of the Great Tribulation will be agonizing as God’s first four judgments (Revelation 8:7-13) will devastate the Earth. To appease God’s wrath, the religious and political leaders of the world will create a crisis government. The book of Revelation calls this government Babylon. It will create and enforce many laws trying to change people’s behavior. Babylon will persecute everyone who refuses to obey its laws. Given the dire consequences of God’s judgments, survival will be questionable and the necessities of life will be few. For 890 days, the survivors of God’s judgments will hear the 144,000 present the gospel of Jesus.
Most people will have made their decision by the 891st day.
The Bible indicates that God will continue to keep the devil and his angels in the spirit realm [where they now live] for two-thirds of the 1,335 days (Daniel 12:12) allotted for the Great Tribulation. Lucifer and his demons will only be released for the final one-third of the days [day 891] when people are no longer willing to consider the testimony of the 144,000.
When God releases the devil and his angels, it will be a powerful “game changer.” The devil’s physical appearing along with millions of angels will produce a situation which the world has never seen.
When the devil appears
he will masquerade as Almighty God. Claiming to be God, he will travel the world for five months (Revelation 9:5), winning the confidence of billions through signs and wonders and appearing to be holy, righteous, generous, forgiving and gracious. His appearance and actions will deceive a large portion of the world. Pretending to be Almighty God, the devil will perform amazing miracles, even calling fire down out of Heaven to prove his assumed divinity. (Revelation 13:13) He will quickly grow in popularity and most of the world’s population will admire, adore, and worship him. Millions of wicked people will bow down before him in humble obedience.
Currently, many nonreligious people on Earth such as atheists and agnostics, do not believe there is a God and they will continue to deny there is a God even when Lucifer walks on the Earth! During the five months allotted to the fifth trumpet, Lucifer’s demons will have a specific task to eliminate the “infidels.” The demons will find and torture the “infidels” with indescribable pain. Thus, during the fifth trumpet, a large percentage of nonreligious people will capitulate and join those who “believe” that Lucifer is Almighty God.
There will be only one antidote for this demonic torture.
If a person surrenders to the gospel of Jesus, Jesus will not permit the devil’s demons to torture him any further. Millions of infidels will join forces with Lucifer [to escape demonic torture], but a few will wake up, surrender to Jesus Christ, and be saved!
Notice Paul’s comment about this coming event. Paul describes Lucifer as the “lawless one” because Lucifer will not be subject to any laws but his own. He will do as he pleases and given his incredible powers, no one will be able to obstruct or thwart his actions:
“The coming of the lawless one [will appear to be a divine event, but the devil’s actions] will be in accordance with the work of Satan [who he really is] displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 9:9-12, insertion and italics mine)
Paul says the wicked “refused to love the truth and so be saved.” His language indicates an element that many people overlook. The appearing of the lawless one occurs for a specific reason. Before Lucifer can appear, the world will hear the gospel and reject it. We know the world will hear the gospel and rebel against it because God does not assign guilt to a person for something that he does not know and has not heard. James 4:17
Because the wicked refused to accept the truth and be saved, God sends a “game changer,” a powerful delusion so that all wicked people will believe the lie and be condemned. From the beginning God predetermined that the living would be thoroughly tested during the Great Tribulation to see who will choose to live by faith and be saved. Because every person has the power of choice, each person will have to make a choice. The response to the testimony of Jesus spoken through the lips of the 144,000 will determine the eternal destiny of each person.
After two and one half years of dealing with hardship and survival, many wicked people will shrug off and ignore the testimony of the 144,000. When the distribution of the gospel stalls, Jesus will release the devil. The world’s population will see and feel the devil’s brilliant presence and counterfeit miracles. Masquerading as almighty God, the devil will solicit adoration and worship. Those who love wickedness will receive the devil as their savior.
When the five months allotted to the fifth trumpet ends, the devil’s deceit will be over and he will suddenly change behavior and character. Persecution and martyrdom begin. Theologians refer to this time as the Sixth Trumpet War. (Revelation 9:15) One-third of mankind is killed; the devil’s opposition which includes many saints, the remaining “infidels” and many wicked people. Lucifer will give orders to abolish the religions and governments of the world at the sixth trumpet for two simple reasons:
First, when God Himself lives among men, there is no room for religious plurality [people having different views about God’s will].
Second, because Lucifer intends to rule over mankind as Almighty God, he is opposed to religious diversity. 1 Thessalonians 2:4
Lucifer will demand that everyone worship and obey him or die.
The image to the beast mentioned in Revelation 13:14 is Lucifer’s one-world church/state. He will rule over the world as “King of kings [ruler over political matters] and Lord of lords” [ruler over spiritual matters]. There will be one lord, one faith and one baptism.
A one world government cannot exist when governments and national boundaries exist. Therefore, Lucifer will eliminate the governments of the world by dividing the world into ten sectors and appoint ten puppet kings over these ten sectors. (Daniel 2:42, 44. Ten toes=ten kings at the very end of time.)
Because the devil’s intent when he appears on Earth at the fifth trumpet will be to destroy the world in general and God’s saints in particular, he is given the titles, Abaddon and Apollyon in Revelation 9:11. These titles mean “the destroyer.”
When the appointed time arrives, the devil and his angels will descend to Earth from the sky. (Revelation 9:3) This appearing will be brilliant and highly intimidating. 200 million angels will appear with Lucifer (Revelation 9:16) and they fill the sky from horizon to horizon, like a swarm of locusts. At first, the people of Earth will run for shelter to escape their commanding presence. Then, hundreds of millions will go out and participate in “The Greatest Deception” ever to occur on Earth.
Satan’s Greatest Deception
is when he appears as God Almighty and walks on the Earth. Millions of wicked people will bow down before him in humble obedience and receive him as their savior. They have just seen him coming down out of the sky with millions of bright and glorious angels. The world has never seen anything like it. But the saints know he is not their Lord and Savior because they know the truth.
When Jesus comes for His saints
He does not touch the Earth. Jesus will resurrect the righteous dead and gather the remaining saints.
They will meet the Lord in the air
and return with Jesus to the Holy City for 1,000 years. At the end of the 1,000 years, they come with Jesus back to Earth. Every living being will get to see the final revelation of Jesus!