A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power (Daniel 8:24-25).
When he first comes on the scene he’ll quickly garner the world’s attention. More than just being likeable, he’ll be seen as a man with a brilliant future ahead of him, a charismatic personality who will immediately attract and hold everyone’s interest. And when he takes center stage after the Battle of Ezekiel 38, many will believe he has the solution to all their problems. In a world reeling under the twin disasters of the mysterious disappearance of millions of Christians and the outbreak of nuclear war in the Middle East, he’ll be a voice of calmness and reassurance. If it seems to them like he has an almost supernatural ability to get control of things and lead the way to peace, it will be because he does. He will be Satan’s man, masquerading as the savior of the world.
In an early success, he’ll broker a treaty in the Middle East that will astound everyone (Daniel 9:27), causing the recently defeated Muslim nations to agree to the building of a Temple in Israel. Using Ezekiel 48 as his authority, he’ll show everyone involved that the new Temple doesn’t belong on the current Temple mount, but slightly more than 20 miles to the north in Shiloh. Sharing a space with the Dome of the Rock and the al Aksa mosque will not be required. After thousands of years of strife, it will appear that peace has finally come to that war torn part of the world.
I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest (Rev. 6:2).
Not everyone will immediately be convinced to line up behind him, and for those who aren’t, conquest will be the answer. He’ll justify the need for war by convincing them that a lasting peace depends on everyone submitting to the authority of a single government. Those who don’t come willingly will have to be persuaded.
In the process there will be an assassination attempt that will leave him blinded in one eye and crippled in one arm (Rev. 13:3, Zech 11:17). But once again he will astonish the world. They will have thought him to be dead, but suddenly there he’ll be, alive again. As a result, His power and influence will grow exponentially. And soon, although it will have required much bloodshed, the world will be forced to accept him as their leader and wear his mark as a sign of loyalty.
Because his goal is not to be just a world leader, but to be worshiped as their god, he will stand in the temple he helped build and declare that he alone is God (2 Thes. 2:3-4). Using Satan’s power to deceive he’ll bring Islam, the Eastern religions, New Age paganism, and left behind Christians-in-name-only together into one world wide religion with the sole purpose of worshiping him.
Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?” (Rev. 13:4)
In Rev. 12:9 the dragon was identified as the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, and yet just one chapter later we learn that the people of Earth will worship him. How could the one who has traditionally been known as the very personification of evil suddenly become an object of worship? The answer comes in two parts.
Part One. The Luciferian Doctrine
Lucifer is a Latin word that means” light bearer.” It comes to us by way of the Hebrew phrase, heylel ben shachar, found in the Hebrew version of Isaiah 14:12, where it refers to Satan. Heylel means shining one, and was translated into Latin as Lucifer. Ben shachar means son of the dawn.
In 2 Cor. 11:14 Paul said that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. This tells us that in appearing as Lucifer, Satan is not revealing his true nature, but merely the counterfeit facade he uses to deceive mankind.
Experts say the Luciferian doctrine is a radical re-imaging of humanity’s ageless adversary, Satan, and have called it the ultimate inversion of good and evil. There are many variations of this doctrine, but they all boil down to the claim that Lucifer is actually the champion of mankind, desperately trying to bring mankind through his final phase of evolution, the spiritual phase. This is when humans will become as gods, like the Serpent promised Adam and Eve, and will finally be able to live in peace and harmony in the utopian environment mankind has dreamed of since the fall.
But first man will have to win his freedom from the evil Adonai (Hebrew for Lord) who has been holding him back, and this is really what the End of the Age is all about. Under Lucifer’s direction and control, mankind will be convinced he’s finally ready for an all out effort to defeat Adonai, wipe out His followers, and bring lasting peace to the world. In other words, it’s not Jesus who came to be the Savior of mankind, it’s Lucifer, the angel of light.
This is not a new idea. As we saw, it was first presented in the Garden (Genesis 3:4-5). It’s also the motivating force behind Psalm 2:1-3, which we’ve looked at before.
Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.
“Let us break their chains,” they say,“and throw off their fetters.”
According to experts, the essence of the Luciferian Doctrine can be found in every religious system except Judaism and Biblical Christianity, and that’s why both have to be destroyed. Even the anti-religions of Darwinian evolution, secular humanism, transhumanism and others can be linked to the Luciferian Doctrine. This shared core belief is what will make it possible for all the religions of the world to unite behind the anti-Christ and worship Satan, while thinking they’re in the right for doing so.
Part Two. The Powerful Delusion
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan 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 Thes. 2:9-12).
When the Church leaves, the Age of Grace will end and those who have refused to believe the truth will be deceived by the miracles, signs, and wonders that Satan will display on Earth.
By the way, 2 Thes. 2:10 is one of the Bible’s strongest statements in support of our freedom to choose whether or not to allow the Lord’s death to pay for our sins. How could Paul say unbelievers will perish because they refused to love the truth and be saved unless they could have chosen to accept it?
God has always allowed, and even helped mankind to take our desires to their ultimate conclusion. This is a great blessing for those who desire to spend eternity with Him, but a curse for those who want to be rid of Him for good. Never will this be more obvious than at the time of the Rapture.
We who want more than anything to dwell in His presence forever will receive our heart’s desire when we’ll suddenly be snatched off the planet to begin our adventure in Eternity. But God will send those who have rejected His offer of pardon a powerful delusion that will make them certain that they made the right choice in doing so. This delusion will cause them to believe Satan’s deceptions with such conviction that they’ll follow him to an eternity of torment in the Lake of Fire.
Please note that I don’t believe this delusion will overcome those who won’t have made a firm decision either for or against God at the time of the rapture. According to Rev. 7:9 untold numbers of people from all over the world will come to faith during the seal judgments of Rev. 6 and be martyred for doing so. I think the rapture will have been the final sign they needed to make up their minds and give their hearts to Jesus. They won’t be part of the Church, but they will have avoided eternal punishment and will be with the Lord forever.
But throughout Daniel’s 70th Week , even after numerous judgments that are obviously from God, most of the people of Earth will continue to reject Him and follow the anti-Christ instead. These examples tell the sad story.
The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts (Rev. 9:20-21).
They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him (Rev. 16:9).
The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done (Rev. 16:10-11)
From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible (Rev. 16:21)
They’ll curse God and refuse to repent because their belief in Luciferian Doctrine will result in the greatest paradigm shift in the history of the world. Evil will be seen as good. Wrong will be seen as right. Darkness will be seen as Light. One of the most telling signs of the End of the Age is the extent to which this is already happening in the world. But what we’re seeing today is nothing compared to the way it will be when God causes His powerful delusion to descend upon the left behind people of Earth. It will elevate the Luciferian Doctrine to a fervently held religious belief, with Satan as the object of their worship.
Psychiatrists define a delusion as a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact. We can’t imagine anyone thinking they could defeat God, but this will quickly become the mindset of the world after the Church is gone. The delusion God sends will help the unbelieving world to take their desire to be rid of Him to it’s ultimate conclusion. It will allow them to believe they’re justified in uniting against Him, and that they actually have the ability to defeat Him.
It’s strange isn’t it, how the world of today thinks we’re the odd ones? But while they’re lining up behind the anti-Christ like a bunch of lemmings ready to march off the cliff of false religion to their everlasting doom, we’ll just be getting started on our eternal life with the Lord. Having been whisked away in the twinkling of an eye, and changed from mortal to immortal, we will finally be the new creation God chose to see in us from the time we first believed in His Son (2 Cor. 5:17). You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 09-14-12