This devotional is one day of a 365 days devotional book entitled Living Hope for the End of Days that explores Revelation, the final book of God's Word; and is available at http://www.dtbm.org/
Understand the True Bride of Jesus
As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you understand the true bride of Jesus!
TUESDAY: Satan’s Plan Explained
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.
—1 Timothy 4:1, emphasis added
Revelation 17 records the demise of Satan’s church. He began building his church in the Garden of Eden in anticipation of the moment when he can install his false Christ at the head of it. At that time he will destroy the scaffolding that built the church. That is why there is going to be a complete break with organized religion sometime in the Tribulation. The most likely time is when the image is placed in the temple of the Jews. All the earth dwellers who were never converted (those never born again) are going to be shocked when the woman portrayed as a harlot is destroyed and the beast installs himself as Christ and demands to be worshiped. Basically, the beast is Satan’s incarnation as the false Jesus.
Satan’s ultimate goals in the world today are to forge global unity politically, religiously and financially. He doesn’t care whether Antichrist is called Christ or Satan—just that he is worshiped instead of God. He is content to be called Buddha, Confucius, Mohammad, or any name at all as long as you are not worshiping the true God.
Satan is orchestrating a worldwide political unity (the seven heads of Revelation 17 speak of totality of rule). It is not the world that thought up the concept of the United Nations; Satan is behind the scenes working in men’s minds and hearts to establish a one-world political unity: All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world [Satan is interested in a united earth]. … He causes all … to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name (Revelation 13:8, 16-17).
Satan desires worldwide financial and business unity. He is also looking for a worldwide financial organization (Revelation 13:17). Why is that so critical? Because the one who controls the purse strings is really in charge. This is very interesting: the more you study prophecy the more you realize that it won’t be long before we will know who is really committed in the church. As soon as the government moves a little bit further, perhaps through an economic downturn or a non-linearity in the global economy, there are going to be some changes. When that happens, I am sure that church giving and similar kinds of donations will no longer be tax deductible. It will then be very unprofitable to be a Christian. Right now, it is very profitable for a lot of people; it will get you votes, and you are looked upon as good. But as soon as there is a financial, social, and political step back from Christianity, there will be fallout. Whenever it becomes politically incorrect to be a Christian, like it was for so many years in
Satan desires worldwide spiritual and religious unity. This will be achieved as the beast is worshiped (Revelation 13:8, 11-12; 14:9; 16:2), the beast is beloved (Revelation 13:3), the beast is honored (Revelation 13:8), and the beast is confidently followed (Revelation 13:4).
Because Satan has to control the purse strings, there has to be a global financial system. When that happens, a political control will follow right behind, and then a worldwide religion to pull together this worship. That is what it says in Revelation 13:8a, 11-12: All who dwell on the earth will worship him, … Then I saw another beast … And he exercises all the authority of the first beast …, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
The same concept of global worship appears in Revelation 14:9-10a: … “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark …, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God ….” In Revelation 16:2 we see God’s wrath being poured out on the First Church of Antichrist when … a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.
This reminds me of a book by Peter Kreeft—Ecumenical Jihad, which I read in part. On the back cover, two well-known Christians recommend its reading. Do you know what the book is about? Briefly stated, the author, a Dutch theologian, was out surfing, got hit on the head, and had an out-of-body experience and stepped into heaven. The first to supposedly greet him and shake his hand in heaven was Confucius. The theologian asked him, “What are you doing here?” Confucius explained that he believed in one God, too, and assured him that it was the same god. Then he met Buddha and was really shocked. Buddha told him that the four laws of Buddhism are exactly what he, the theologian, believed. After thinking about it, he answered Buddha saying, “Yes, I guess I do.” Next, he met Mohammed and asked, “Mohammed, you are in heaven?” He said, “Yes, I believe in Mary, too.” And I thought: Okay, this must be a joke. Then the theologian met Moses in this out-of-body experience in heaven. Moses reportedly informed him, “Yes, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, and a lot of other people are here because we all are seeking the same thing. We are seeking to worship Jesus and his mother.”1
I shut the book right then. But as I shut it, on the back cover I noticed this recommendation by J. I. Packer: “Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox alike need to ponder Peter Kreeft’s vision of things—preferably in discussion. What if he is right?”2 (emphasis added.)
To question whether something that God says is wrong—is wrong, and it is dangerous. For example, if parents tell their child no, that child shouldn’t ask a question that directly controverts what they said because that is a rebellious response. So then, as God’s children, we shouldn’t ask if what Kreeft says is true because we already know it is not.
What Jesus promised is that this coming global church is not going to be a church of snake handlers and demon worshipers. It is going to be a church of purported Christ worshipers. Satan will form his First Church of Antichrist in place of Christ—not against Christ. Members will worship a convenient Christ—a Christ that anyone can believe in because he doesn’t offend them.
Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me …” (Matthew 12:30a). There can be no neutrality in this conflict of the ages: you are either an earth dweller who will worship the Antichrist, or a pilgrim who will be raptured before the Tribulation to worship and enjoy the Lord God Almighty forever!
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