Antichrists and False Teachers
As the defense attorney in his Appeal Trial, Satan is defending himself. In order to do so, he does not hesitate to attack the witnesses for the prosecution (the Lord's witnesses). He accuses them before the Lord to discredit them. Thus, Satan is also known as the Accuser (Rev 12:10). He is the accuser of the brethren. He does everything possible to discredit them and destroy their testimony on behalf of the prosecution.
Since Satan is a liar, a cheat, and a murderer, he is not bound by the truth. He will falsely accuse if it is in his interest to do so. Even though God knows the truth, that doesn't stop him. He may lure a witness into sin in order to discredit him or use him to detract from the charges before the court. For example, he may use the person as a rabbit to get the court sidetracked from the main issue. Or he may use the person to confuse the issue.
As an unscrupulous defender, Satan has an arsenal of tricks up his sleeve to manipulate, confuse, and distract the court. He will tamper with the evidence and the witnesses if it is in his interest. He will bribe, tempt, and harass to secure the answers he wants. He will incite other people to destroy the witness or resort to murder if necessary to stop him from testifying. Satan is so adept at chicanery that he can elude detection by the best and the brightest. He will only be recognized personally if he himself allows it or God reveals him.
When Satan's actions are revealed, they can only be recognized from Divine viewpoint through application of Bible Doctrine. Only advanced students of the Word will be able to discern Satan's actions. Immature believers are their own worst enemies. Only in Spiritual Rapport is the believer sanctified from the world to the extent that he can discern Satan's influence in the world. Those who are enslaved to the world cannot see the world. They are Satan's slaves. Only the slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ can recognize Satan activities. A person is either the bondslave of Christ or the slave of Satan.
Since Satan is a spirit, he is invisible. Spirits only become visible if they allow it, or if God exposes them. Satan tends to keep himself hidden. He is the original stealth spirit. He is like the spider that is hidden while waiting for the fly to fall into his web. Satan is so full of lies and deceit that even if he did reveal himself, it would also likely be a lie. So, the truth about Satan will only be known through Divine viewpoint from the Word of Truth.
Satan, as the Accuser can only be known through Divine viewpoint from Bible Doctrine. Although the believer is not privy to the proceedings of Satan's Appeal Trial in the Supreme Court of Heaven, there are clues on Earth. The trial is about events on Earth, as learned from the tree test in the Garden and the Fall of man from sin. Adam and the woman were the first two witnesses. At first, they were witnesses for the prosecution, but then Satan manipulated them and they sinned.
When Adam and the woman sinned, Satan claimed them as votes for him. Later, when they believed in the Savior and received Salvation, they became witnesses for the prosecution again. However, as soon as they sinned, Satan claimed them again. So, the arguments in the Appeal Trial went back and forth. Satan's argument was that if man sinned and was not sentenced to the Lake of Fire, then it would be unjust to send him (Satan) to the Lake of Fire. And he undoubtedly argued, "How could a God of Love send me to the Lake of Fire?"
So, the arguments in the Appeal Trial in Heaven are based on events on Earth. Thus, the actions of the Accuser in the trial in Heaven can be deduced from the events on Earth. As it is in Heaven, so is it on Earth. And regarding the Appeal Trial, as it is on Earth, so is it in Heaven. The events on Earth are the basis for the arguments in the Appeal Trial. So, when a person is accused on Earth, Satan, the Accuser, may have been behind it.
God may also accuse, but His accusations are justified because of His integrity. God is Just, but Satan is not. Satan's accusations are self-serving. The way to tell the difference between God's and Satan's accusations is by the revelation of the Holy Spirit through application of Bible Doctrine. If the accusation is not compatible with God's integrity, it came from Satan. Accusations may come from Satan directly or indirectly. He can use demons or other people to make the accusations. He can even pressure people into accusing themselves. In this way some are driven to suicide.
Even though Satan is on trial, Satan accuses others to put them on trial. A person who is accused by a powerful lawyer like Satan, deserves to be represented by legal counsel. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Defense Attorney for those believers who are accused by Satan (1 Jn 2:1). When Satan accuses a believer of sin, the Lord may point out that the sin was paid for on the Cross and throw the case out of court. Then Satan may argue that God is unfair in forgiving the believer's sins but not forgiving Satan and the Fallen Angels.
During an angelic all hands meeting, which Satan also attended, the Lord spoke to Satan about Job (Job 1:6). This the is first time the name, Satan, is mentioned in the Bible. Satan comes from the Hebrew verb satan, which means to oppose or treat with enmity. Thus, Satan means the enemy or adversary.
Job 1:7The Lord asked Satan where he had been. Satan gave him a general answer that came into the Hebrew as "running around on the Earth and going up and down on it." First, the language of angels is not Hebrew, and second, the answer is general anyway. The Hebrew fWc (sut) means to swim, to run up and down, to run about. Satan is a spirit who flies. "Running around" is not literal, but figurative in referring to moving around to do his work. And "going up and down" implies visiting various places or traveling around to observe. This is the Hebrew :l^h* (halak) meaning to walk up and down, to go about, to walk about. The Greek equivalent of the word is used to describe Satan walking around like a lion (1 Pet 5:8). Regardless of the human language, Satan moves faster than light.
The LORD said to Satan, "From where have you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From running (flying) around on the Earth and from going up and down on it."
Job 1:8The LORD brought up Job's name to Satan. Job had chosen to obey God and execute the Spiritual life. He was a good witness for the prosecution.
The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is none like him on the Earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil."
Job 1:9-11Satan immediately took issue with the Lord's assessment of Job. Satan pointed out the Lord had built a hedge (or shield) around him to protect him, and the Lord had greatly blessed Job. Therefore, Satan argued that Job was only following the Lord because the Lord was blessing him. Job suggested that if the Lord would send him adversity, Job would curse Him to His face.
9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing?
10 "Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
11 "But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face."
Job 1:12The Lord then gave Satan permission to do whatever he wished with Job's possessions, but he was not allowed to lay a hand on Job himself.
Then the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your hand, only upon himself you may not put forth your hand." So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
So, on the same day Satan destroyed Job's possessions, along with his children and his servants. The Sabeans attacked and killed his oxen and donkeys and the servants who were plowing (Job 1:13, 14, 15). His sheep and shepherds were killed from fire that fell from the sky (Job 1:16). The Chaldeans raided and took the camels and killed their herders (Job 1:17). And a windstorm destroyed the house where his children were gathered and killed them all (Job 1:18, 19).
Job 1:21 Job's ResponseAlthough he was distraught over the loss of his children, his servants, and his possessions, Job trusted the Lord. His faith enabled him to handle the crisis (Job 1:22). Job knew that his possessions were his inheritance from the Lord. The Lord gave them in Grace, and the Lord could take them away.
And he (Job) said,
"Naked I came out from my mother's womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The LORD gave (my inheritance), and the LORD has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the LORD.
Then at another angelic all hands meeting the Lord spoke to Satan as before.
Job 2:3The Lord informed Satan that Job had passed the test of his relationship with God even through his inheritance was taken from him. Even though Satan incited the Lord to ruin Job without cause, Job maintained his integrity. "Without cause" means the suffering was undeserved. The Lord allowed Job's suffering to demonstrate the truth about Job and Satan. The relationship with God test was the first half of Job's testing for promotion to Spiritual Rapport.
The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is none like him on the Earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause."
However, Satan was not ready to concede. He had a new proposal to cause Job to break.
Job 2:4-5Satan answered the Lord, "Skin for skin!" Satan was saying that Job would renounce the Lord in order to save his own skin. That would have to be demonstrated through torture.
4 Satan answered the LORD and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all the man has he will give for his life (soul).
5 However, put forth now Your hand, and touch his bone and his flesh; truly, he will curse You to Your face."
Job 2:7Satan, who has the power to cause disease, struck Job with painful boils all over his body from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head. This is the last time that Satan is mentioned in the book of Job.
Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and stuck Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.
While Job was in agony sitting in ashes and scraping himself with a potsherd, Satan incited Job's wife against him.
"Hold fast" is the Hebrew qz^j* (chazaq) in the Hiph'il (causative stem), which means to cause to hold firmly to, make firm, harden. Job's wife is blaming him. She is saying that he is prolonging his suffering because he is hardening himself in his position by holding adamantly to his beliefs (i.e. values). She is accusing Job of taking this stand (against Satan). Job's wife is also presenting the Satanic viewpoint. She is suggesting that he give up, surrender, and let Satan win. She tells Job to "curse God and die!" The effect of this statement is to advise Job to renounce God or, at least, tell Him that he is quitting, and then die. She is advising him to commit suicide.
Job 2:10Job answered his wife with composure. He was well aware of where his wife was coming from in her bad advice. She was speaking like one of the "foolish women." Here the Hebrew lb*n*Ò (nabal) meaning foolish, refers to the arrogant unbeliever who has rejected Salvation; an infidel. Job is saying his wife is speaking like one of the heathen women.
But he (Job) said to her, "You are speaking as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we accept the Good from God but not also accept the adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
"Shall we accept the Good from God?" "The Good," which has a definite article in the Hebrew, refers to the blessings of Divine Good that Job and his wife have received from God. This is a rhetorical question. It makes the point: His wife is only going to stick with him in prosperity - not adversity. The adversity, here, is sufficient to shake his wife loose. Job is taking the test alone: Neither his wife, nor his friends can help him.
He adds, "but not also accept the adversity?" This is even stronger in the Septuagint, which has the Greek uJpofevrw (hupophero), meaning to bear up under mistreatment; endure. It is translated, "but not endure the adversity?" This refers to cursing, discipline, and testing from God.
"In all this Job did not sin with his lips." Job has now passed the last part of testing in his relationship with God (ref. Job 1:21-22 for the first part). He must now pass testing in his relationship with people before he is promoted to Spiritual Rapport.6 His wife will be mentioned only once more in Job 19:17.
Zechariah 3:1In the vision Satan was standing at the right hand of Joshua the High Priest to accuse him before the Lord. The Angel of the Lord is a preincarnate manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ as an angel. The accuser stood at the right hand (Psa 109:6). The two, Joshua and Satan, standing side-by-side was the sign of a witness.
Then He showed me Joshua the High Priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.
The reason for the accusation had nothing to do with the sins or shortcomings of Joshua the High Priest. Satan was opposing Joshua the High Priest to prevent him from fulfilling his priestly duties of presiding over the Priesthood of the restored Client Nation Israel.
Zechariah 3:2The Lord rejected Satan's accusation and rebuked him because the Lord was about to restore Jerusalem after the Babylonian Captivity (Holocaust). Joshua the High Priest was plucked from the fire (destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, 586 BC). The High Priest symbolized the Priest (Client) Nation of Israel.
The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?"
Zechariah 3:3Joshua's dirty clothes symbolized the sins of Client Nation Israel, which had been destroyed. Joshua was standing before the Angel of the LORD.
Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the Angel (of the LORD).
Zechariah 3:4Joshua's dirty clothes were removed, and he was given festal robes to wear. Removal of the dirty clothes symbolized removal of the guilt of Israel. Putting on festal robes symbolized restoration of the priest nation (Ex 19:6), inasmuch as the High Priest represented the entire nation on the Great Day of Atonement (Lev 16:1-10).
He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, "Remove the filthy garments from him." Again he said to him, "See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes."
Zechariah 3:5Zechariah noticed that the High Priest needed a clean headdress. He made a prayer request, and his petition was granted. This was important. The headdress of the High Priest contained a plate across the forehead that was engraved with "Holy to the Lord" (Ex 28:36). The headdress worn by the High Priest symbolized his authority to intercede for the nation of Israel so the Lord would take away the iniquity of the gifts of the sons of Israel and accept them (Ex 28:38).
Then I said, "Let them put a clean headdress on his head." So they put a clean headdress on his head and clothed him with garments, while the Angel of the LORD was standing by.
The vision of Zechariah was fulfilled. Jerusalem was rebuilt, along with the Temple, and Client Nation Israel was restored after the 70 years of Babylonian Captivity. Satan tried to prevent this from happening by accusing the High Priest. Satan opposed the nation of Israel. He supported the holocaust.
Satan incited the Pharisees and religious leaders to accuse Jesus Christ (Matt 27:12; Jn 11:47-48). He was accused of breaking the Sabbath. He was accused of blasphemy because He said He was the Son of God (Jn 10:33). And He was finally arrested and accused of blasphemy, claiming to be king, and forbidding to pay taxes (Matt 26:65; Mk 14:64; Lk 23:2). The chief priests and scribes accused him vehemently (Mk 15:3; Lk 23:10). Although Jesus was accused by people, Satan incited them. Satan was the source of the accusations.
Disciples Breaking Sabbath
(Matt 12:1–8: Mark 2:23–28; Luke 6:1–5)
The Pharisees accused the disciples of Jesus of breaking the Sabbath when they picked some grain and husked and ate it.
Matthew 12:1-2The Pharisees were saying that picking the grain and husking it amounted to doing work on the Sabbath, which was a violation of the Law. However, Jesus defended them. He pointed out three legitimate exceptions. First, David ate the consecrated bread which had been removed from the Tabernacle (Matt 12:3-4; 1 Sam. 21:1-6). Second, the Levitical Priest did work on the Sabbath to prepare the sacrifices (Matt 12:5; Num. 28:9-10, 18-19). And third, Jesus was Himself greater than the Sabbath, and He refused to condemn his disciples (Matt 12:6-8).
1 At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat.
2 But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, "Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath."
Healing on the Sabbath
(Matt 12:9–14: Mark 3:1–6; Luke 6:6–11)
Jesus went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath and saw a man with a withered hand (Mark 3:1). The Pharisees were watching to see if He would heal on the Sabbath.
Mark 3:2Although there was no Law against healing on the Sabbath, the Pharisees were looking for any excuse to bring formal charge against Jesus.
They were watching Him closely to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, in order that they might accuse Him.
Jesus asked the man with the withered hand to come forward (Mk 3:3).
Mark 3:5 Withered Hand RestoredJesus was full of indignation and was grieved because of the Hardness of Heart of the Pharisees. "Indignation" is the Greek ojrghv (orge), which can mean anger, indignation, or wrath. Jesus was not angry, but He did have indignation. The Hardness of Heart of the Pharisees prevented them from having any compassion for the suffering of the man with the withered hand. Jesus performed a miracle and the man's withered hand was restored.
After looking around at them with indignation, being grieved at their Hardness of Heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
Mark 3:6After Jesus healed the man's hand, the Pharisees went outside and formed a conspiracy to plot how they might destroy Jesus. Satan, the Accuser, was the one who incited the conspiracy against Jesus.
The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.
Note, the story of the adulterous woman (Jn 8:1-11) is not part of the canon of scripture as recognized by textual scholars, but it was added to various manuscripts. It is therefore, historical tradition, which may not be accurate. However, it is compatible with scripture, and it is a useful illustration of the current subject of Satan, the Accuser.
Jesus was in the Temple teaching where He taught every morning (Lk 21:37-38) when the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery to Him to test Him in order to find some grounds for accusing Him (Jn 8:1-4).
John 8:5-6Jesus had been teaching and was writing on the ground. He tried to ignore the vigilante committee, who were making a mockery of justice. The Law commanded that the man and the woman be executed, not just the woman. And there were all kinds judicial procedures that these zealots had disregarded. Jesus was not about to join them. But when they pressed Him, He answered.
5 "Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such persons; what then do You say?"
6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.
John 8:7After hearing this the men left one-by-one, beginning with the older ones (Jn 8:9). When they were all gone, Jesus asked the woman if anyone had condemned her (Jn 8:10). When she answered, "No," Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on no longer be sinning" (Jn 8:11).
But when they persisted in asking Him, He (Jesus) straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
The story illustrates how Satan incites people to accuse on his behalf. Satan incited the scribes and the Pharisees to drag in the adulterous woman to test Jesus and find some grounds for accusing Him. Actions like these become part of Satan's Appeal Trial. And they illustrate how the Accuser tries to trap people in order to accuse them formally.
Revelation 12:10There will be rejoicing in Heaven when Satan is thrown out of Heaven in the middle of the Tribulation. He is the accuser of the brethren. He constantly brings charges against them before God day and night. So, accusing is something that he does all the time.
Then I heard a loud voice in Heaven, saying, "Now has come deliverance and power and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ, because the accuser of our brethren, who constantly brings charges against them before our God day and night, has been thrown out of Heaven.
He has a running feud with believers, just as he is at war with the Elect Angels. He is the dragon, who wages war with the Archangel Michael and the Elect Angels (Rev 12:7). Although he was previously allowed in Heaven, Satan will be thrown out of Heaven down to the Earth in the middle of the Tribulation (Rev 12:8, 9). Satan's fall to the Earth will be the beginning of his doom. In three and a half years, he will be captured at the Second Advent and incarcerated for a thousand years.
When Satan accuses the brethren, the Lord Jesus Christ is their Advocate (1 Jn 2:1). As the Advocate, Jesus Christ is the defense attorney and the one who intercedes for the believers before the Father. Thus, Satan's lies and false accusations are not allowed to stand in the Supreme Court of Heaven.
Paul was very successful in evangelizing the Gentiles. On his Third Missionary Journey, he evangelized the entire Roman Province of Asia in the region of present day Turkey (Acts 19:10).2 He spent two years teaching in the Church at Ephesus. The Church had great impact in turning the city of Ephesus from idolatry and the practice of magic arts (Acts 19:18-20).
In the midst of great success, something happened to Paul one day that changed everything. Paul got the idea to go to Jerusalem to offer a vow in the Temple. Just as Paul's life had changed when the Light shown from Heaven, his life was changed again by another flash of light that came in out of the blue.
Acts 19:21 Paul's Idea to Go to JerusalemPaul was being led by the Holy Spirit to go to Macedonia and Achaia (region of Corinth) and to Rome when he had the idea to go to Jerusalem. "Paul presumed in spirit to go to Jerusalem." "Presumed" is the Greek tivqhmi (tithemi), which means in reference to mental action, to assume, hold, reckon or regard as, suppose, affirm. It means that Paul assumed or presumed this. "In spirit" does not refer to the Holy Spirit or even Paul's human spirit. It is simply a general reference to a motivation, like "the spirit of the law and not the letter of the law." "Presumed in spirit" means the sudden inspiration that Paul had.
Now after these things were finished, Paul presumed in spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome."
Paul was engaged in strategic planning about the missionary journey and the course of his life. Paul's long range planning was based on assumptions. He assumed (or presumed) that:
Satan can put thoughts in a person's mind. It is up to the person to examine the thoughts in light of Bible Doctrine to determine their validity. Paul had not yet reached Spiritual Maturity. He was about to go into suffering to qualify for promotion to Spiritual Maturity. He reached Spiritual Maturity by the time he wrote the Epistle to the Philippians. In his current paradigm Paul was obeying the Holy Spirit explicitly. This is how a person gets to Spiritual Maturity. He obeys to the point of death, and God promotes him to Spiritual Maturity. Paul thought the idea to go to Jerusalem came from the Holy Spirit, and therefore, he was going to obey it to the point of death. However, it was not from the Holy Spirit, but from Satan, and Paul's obedience to the lie would almost get him killed on more than one occasion.
After Satan put the idea in Paul's mind to go to Jerusalem, he incited a demonstration against Paul in Ephesus. The uproar was started by "Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis" (Acts 19:23-24). He accused Paul of turning people against Artemis and ruining his business. The city clerk was able to reason with the crowd before they started a riot, and he dismissed them (Acts 19:24-41). However, Paul decided that he could no longer stay in Ephesus. The men of Ephesus had accused Paul of ruining their business. The accusation came from Satan, who had also inspired Paul to go to Jerusalem. Paul's luck had changed after he had the inspiration to go to Jerusalem because Satan was trying to destroy Paul.
Paul continued to Macedonia and then to Achaia as he had planned. In Corinth, he still had the idea of going to Jerusalem in his mind. From Corinth, he should have gone to Rome, but he turned around and headed for Jerusalem. He came up with a ploy to take an offering to the poor in Jerusalem, and while he was there, he would also offer a Nazirite vow.
As Paul traveled to Jerusalem, he went near Ephesus and other cities that he had evangelized. In every city he was warned of the chains and suffering that awaited him.
Acts 20:22-23Paul, in arrogant self-justification, thought he was doing the will of God. His friends knew he was headed for trouble and Paul knew it too, but he would not listen. God had hardened his heart, and Satan was directing him. Paul's warnings from people included:
22 "And now, behold, having been chained by the agency of the Holy Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there,
23 except that the Holy Spirit has already warned me, saying in every city that chains and stress wait for me."
Paul arrived in Jerusalem and began the seven-day purification process for offering his Nazirite vow. Near the end of the period when he was in the Temple, Satan used Jewish legalizers from Asia Minor to incite a mob against him (Acts 21:27-29). They dragged Paul out of the temple and sought to kill him (Acts 21:30, 31). Paul was arrested by Roman soldiers for his own safety (Acts 21:32-36). Paul requested permission to speak to the people. When permission was granted, Paul gave his testimony to the crowd in Hebrew. However, when he mentioned that God had sent him to the Gentiles, the crowd went into an uproar and demanded Paul's hide. That was Satan arousing the racial hatred of the Jews. The Roman soldiers had to take him away a second time for his own safety (Acts 22:23, 24).
The next day, the Roman Commander wanting to know why the people were so upset, took Paul to the Sanhedrin, which was presided over by the High Priest (Acts 23:1-9). There, Paul expressed his belief in the Resurrection, which started another uproar between those who believed in the Resurrection and those who did not. The Roman soldiers had to rescue Paul a third time (Acts 23:10). That night the Lord revealed to Paul that just as he had witnessed in Jerusalem, he must also witness in Rome (Acts 23:11).
The next day Satan incited a conspiracy of Jews to kill Paul. They vowed to neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul (Acts 23:12). They asked the Sanhedrin to request that the Romans bring Paul back for another hearing. They would lie in wait and strike Paul along the way (Acts 23:14, 15).
However, Paul's sister's son heard of the plot and came and told Paul (Acts 23:16). Paul sent the young man to the Commander, and he revealed the plot (Acts 23:17-22). So, that night Paul was sent to Caesarea, the Roman capital of Palestine, to the Prefect Felix and his Jewish accusers were instructed to bring charges against Paul before Felix (Acts 23:24, 30). Felix promised Paul a hearing when his accusers arrived. In the meantime Paul was kept in Herod's Praetorium (the Governor's Mansion) (Acts 23:35).
After five days, the High Priest came with some elders and an attorney, and Felix heard the case against Paul (Acts 24:1-2). This was Paul standing before the Evil King (Felix) and Prostitute of Babylon (the Jews in Ecumenical Babylon). Satan had incited the Jews to accuse Paul. However, after hearing the case, Felix said he would make a decision later when the Roman Commander arrived (Acts 24:22). That was a lie. Felix was pandering to the Jews for political gain, and he wanted a bribe from Paul. Satan controlled Felix also. In the meantime, Paul was kept in custody.
Later, Felix brought his beautiful Jewish wife Drusilla to hear Paul speak (Acts 24:24-25). Felix kept Paul in custody hoping that Paul would give him a bribe (Acts 24:26). However, after two years, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. "Wishing to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul imprisoned" (Acts 24:27).
Three days after Festus arrived in Caesarea, he went to Jerusalem, where the Jewish chief priests and leaders asked that Paul be brought to them (Acts 25:2, 3). They were intending to ambush and kill Paul along the way. This plot was also the work of Satan. However, Festus decided to hold a hearing in Caesarea. At the hearing Paul realized that they were trying to send him back to Jerusalem, and he appealed to Caesar (Acts 25:11).
Later, King Herod Agrippa II, the Jewish ruler of northern and northeastern Palestine, came to visit Caesarea (Acts 25:23). He brought along his sister Bernice, with whom he was probably in an incestuous relationship. After Festus had told King Agrippa about Paul, he and Bernice were invited to hear Paul speak. Paul's defense before King Agrippa and Bernice was a testimony before the Evil King and Prostitute of Babylon. After listening to Paul, Agrippa and Festus agreed that Paul was not guilty, yet he would be sent to Rome anyway (Acts 26:31, 32). This demonstrates Satan's power over the government and the courts.
As they sailed to Rome, a great storm arose on the Mediterranean and drove them for many days. During the storm, an angel appeared to Paul and told him there would be no loss of life, and he must stand before Caesar (Acts 27:23-24). They were shipwrecked on Malta, but all survived (Acts 27:44).
When they made it to shore, they started a fire because of the cold (Acts 28:1, 2). When Paul gathered some sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened itself on Paul's hand (Acts 28:3, 4). The natives knew that Paul would die, but he shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no harm (Acts 28:5). Then they thought Paul must be a god. The death of the snake symbolized Satan's defeat. Paul was fighting Satan because God had hardened his heart, and allowed Satan to have power over him.
After three months, they set sail for Rome on an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead, Dioscuri, the Twins. The Twins symbolize a witness, as in court. After arriving in Rome in 61 AD, Paul spent two years under house arrest before he was released. After surviving the suffering, Paul was promoted to Spiritual Maturity as evidenced in Philippians, which was written in 63 AD. The next year after Paul's release, Rome burned in 64 AD. That was Fire Testing, a sign of the Holocaust, which would occur in Jerusalem in 70 AD. It was Divine Judgment, but Nero, the Emperor, blamed it on Christians, and many Christians were executed.
After his release, Paul went on his Fourth Missionary
Journey, during which in 65 AD he wrote 1 Timothy from Macedonia, and he
wrote the Epistle to Titus from Macedonia on his way to Nicopolis. Nero
feared Paul's influence and had him arrested and brought back to Rome in
68 AD. Satan incited Nero to accuse Paul and arrest him. Paul
stood trial and Nero ordered him to be executed. Since he was a Roman
citizen, the form of execution was beheading, which was quick and painless.
Before his death, Paul wrote 2 Timothy from Rome. Paul was executed
in the Spring of 68 AD after he had reached Spiritual Rapport. Crowns
awaited him in Heaven. Even though Satan instigated Paul's death,
Paul died in Dying Grace when his work was finished (2 Tim 4:7-8).
Satan's original sin was arrogant-ambition. He wanted to be like the Most High (Isa 14:14). His whole purpose was to rule from the Throne of God in the place of Christ (Isa 14:13). He wanted to sit in the place of Christ as the Sovereign authority over and angels and Creation. He wanted to sit on the Throne of God as King and Sovereign executor of the Plan of God.
Satan is called in the Greek the Antichrist. The prefix, anti, in the Greek means instead of. It never means against in the Bible. Antichrist means instead of Christ. Satan is the counterfeit Christ, or Messiah. He aims to take the place of Christ. He seeks to do the job of Christ and rule in His place.
The Antichrist refers to the man of lawlessness, who will be indwelt by Satan. He will rise to power in the Tribulation as the Dictator of the Revived Roman Empire. However, there are other antichrists, who operate under Satan's power. These antichrists are people whom Satan empowers as the Evil King and Prostitute of Babylon. They include dictators, tyrants, false prophets, and false teachers. These are people who are possessed by or under the influence of the spirit of Satan. They are in the church and outside. They are believers and unbelievers.
When Jesus came out of the Temple, his disciples, who were impressed with the Temple architecture, pointed it out to Him. Although they were impressed with what they saw, they didn't know what was coming.
Matthew 24:2This was the prediction of the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Temple would be destroyed and Jerusalem would be trampled down until the Times of the Gentiles (Church Age) was fulfilled (Luk 21:24).
And answering, He said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly, I say to you, there will definitely not be left here one stone upon another that will not be torn down."
Later, when Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples asked him when these things would happen, and what would be the sign of His coming and the end of the (Jewish) age (Matt 24:3).
Matthew 24:4 AntichristsJesus said there would be many who claimed to be Christ. They will claim to be the Messiah, or God, or an all-wise or powerful one. They will claim to be the representatives of Christ, like apostles or false prophets. They will be people like the Pope. And they will claim the end is near, that it is the end of time; but they should not be followed (Luk 21:8). They will deceive even believers (Matt 24:24-26). When the Lord returns, He will come from the sky as lightning that flashes from the East to the West (Matt 24:27). His vapor trail will be clearly visible.
4 And answering, Jesus said to them, "Watch out that no one misleads you.
5 For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will lead many astray.
The Dictator of the Revived Roman Empire (European Union) in the Tribulation is also called the Antichrist (1 John 2:18). He is called the "prince who is to come" (Dan 9:26), the King who "will do as he pleases" (Dan 11:36), and the man of lawlessness (2 Thess 2:3).
Before the end of the age, Jesus said there would be wars and rumors of wars, hot and cold wars (Matt 24:6; Luk 21:9). There would be famine and earthquakes, terrible things happening, and great signs in the heavens (Matt 24:7; Luk 21:11). Jewish believers would be thrown out of the synagogues and taken to testify before kings and governors (as happened to the Apostle Paul) (Luk 21:12). These things would be like the initial birth pangs before the travail of the Tribulation (Matt 24:8-9). There will be great apostasy with a rise in false prophets to mislead many (Matt 24:10-11).
The Antichrist will make a treaty with Israel at the beginning of the Tribulation (Dan 9:27). Since Israel is a small nation, it will seek protection from the European Union (Revived Roman Empire), but its Dictator, the Antichrist, will break the treaty (called today NATO) in the middle of the Tribulation.
Matthew 24:15-16The False Prophet of Israel will set up an idol of the Antichrist in the Holy Place in the Temple. Everyone will be required to worship the idol on penalty of death. This will be the sign of the beginning of the Great Tribulation. The Antichrist (King of the West) and all the nations of the world will surround Israel to destroy it. Therefore, those who are in Judea should flee to the mountains for their own safety.
15 Therefore, when you see the Abomination of Desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place (let the reader understand),
16 then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Matthew 24:21-22The Great Tribulation will be a time of great suffering on the Earth. Knowing that the end is near, Satan, in his desperation, will try to wipe out Israel and all believers in the world. There will be lawlessness, criminality, and persecution of the people. World institutions and businesses under the power of the Prostitute of Babylon will fail. Evil Kings will engage in world war. Great meteorites will fall to the Earth. There will be earthquakes. Cities will be destroyed. Nuclear arsenals will be unleashed. Demon assault armies will be released from the dungeon of Hell to torment and attack men. The world will fall into anarchy, and the destruction of civilization will be at hand. The last half of the Tribulation will be cut short to save mankind from total destruction.
21 For then there will be Great Tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
22 Unless those days had been cut short, no flesh would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
Then, the Lord Jesus Christ will return with His angels and the Church and crush the enemies of Israel. The Lord will destroy the armies of the Antichrist and the Evil Kings with the Spirit from His mouth (Is 11:4; Rev 2:16; 19:15). True believers on the Earth will be delivered. The final battle will be fought at Armageddon, where the blood will flow for a distance of 183 miles (1600 stadia). It will take seven months to bury the dead (Ezek 39:11, 12).
Satan is in a war with the Lord Jesus Christ. He will destroy the whole world to save himself. In a war, it is kill or be killed. Ever since he rebelled, Satan has been waging war. He is fighting for his survival, and woe be to the one who crosses his path. But, in the end, he is doomed to defeat. There is no way for him to win against God. He will be destroyed along with those who believe his lies and follow him to destruction. He will not take the place of Christ.
The Antichrist as the man of lawlessness is not only an evil doer but the dictator of an evil government that requires its subjects to do evil. Because he is possessed by Satan, the man of lawlessness will follow Satan's policy of evil and impose it on his subjects. Laws will require worship of the Antichrist through idolatry (Rev 13:12). Believers in Christ will be executed (Rev 13:15). And no one will be allowed to engage in business without receiving the mark of the beast (Rev 13:17).
Matthew 24:12True love can only exist in Righteousness. When people live in lawlessness as subjects of the man of lawlessness, their love will grow cold. It will be a cold, harsh world.
Because lawlessness will increase, the love of many will grow cold.
The man of lawlessness will rule during the Tribulation (ref. Dispensations illustration). The Tribulation will begin after the Resurrection (Rapture) of the Church (1 Thess 4:13-18). It will be the last 7 years of the Jewish Age as prophesied by Daniel. It is called the 70th week. The man of lawlessness will make a treaty with Israel at the beginning of Daniel's 70th week, and he will break it in the middle of the week, i. e. after 3.5 years (Dan 9:27). This is the time Satan is cast out of Heaven down to the Earth (Rev 12:9-10). It marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation (Dan 12:1; Matt 24:21; Mark 13:19; Rev 7:14), which is the time of the devil's desperation (Rev 12:13).
The Tribulation will end at the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:3The Second Advent will not occur unless the apostasy (Tribulation, Matt 24:9, 10) comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed in history. The man of lawlessness is called the "son of destruction" because his followers will be destroyed and go to Hell. The whole world will be destroyed in the violence of the Tribulation.
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it (the Second Advent) will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
Matthew 24:22The escalating violence and destruction during the Tribulation will wipe out all flesh if its duration is not shortened by the Lord's return.
Unless those days had been cut short, no flesh would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
2 Thessalonians 2:4 Ecumenical BabylonThe man of lawlessness is the Antichrist who wants to be worshipped instead of Christ. He wants to be exalted above every god or object of worship. Taking his seat in the Temple refers to the Abomination of Desolation, which will occur in the middle of the Tribulation when the Antichrist sets up a statue (idol) of himself in the Temple in Jerusalem (Matt 24:15; Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11). Taking his seat in the temple symbolizes being seated at the right hand of the Father (Heb 1:13; 12:2).
who (the man of lawlessness) opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as God.
2 Thessalonians 2:8The Lord Jesus Christ will destroy the man of lawlessness "by the Spirit of His mouth." The Lord will use a Spirit weapon. He will speak destruct commands toward the targets, and they will be destroyed by the Spirit. This is the Spirit version of a laser. It has been erroneously translated "breath" (Is 11:4; Rev 2:16; 19:15). "Destroy" is the Greek ajnairevw (anaireo), which means to do away with, destroy, kill, slay. The Lord will use His Spirit weapon to destroy the army of the man of lawlessness. Then he will be captured and thrown alive into the Lake of Fire (Rev 19:20).
And then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will destroy by the Spirit of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
2 Thessalonians 2:9The man of lawlessness will exhibit "all power, signs, and false wonders (miracles)" from the power of Satan, the most powerful creature that God ever created. The same words (miracles, signs, wonders) were also used for the miracles of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:22) and the Apostles (Heb. 2:4). They were the credentials of Christ. Satan will use them as a counterfeit to take the place of Christ as the Antichrist. By them, he will impress people with his great power and present himself as a god to be worshipped.
that is, the one whose coming is according to the activity of Satan, with all power, signs, and false wonders (miracles),
2 Thessalonians 2:10The word "unrighteousness" is the Greek ajdikiva (adikia), from (a, not) + (dikaios, righteous). The man of lawlessness will act like Satan because he is possessed by Satan. He will use every kind of deception of unrighteousness on those who are perishing because they rejected the true Gospel. The unbelievers will not perish because God doesn't love them. They will perish because they have rejected the Gospel, which is the only way to be saved. Beast. He is called the "beast coming out of the sea" (Rev. 13:1-10), the "scarlet beast" (Rev 17:3), and "the beast" (Rev 17:8, 16; 19:19-20; 20:10). He is symbolized by the "feet of the image" (Dan. 2:41-43), the Beast with "Ten Horns" (10 nation confederacy) (Dan 7:7, 8, 23, 24), the "little horn" (Dan 7:8, 24; 8:9), and Behemoth (hippopotamus) (Job 40:15).
and with every deception of unrighteousness to those who are perishing, because they did not receive the love for the truth so as to be saved.
The Beast is the Dictator of the Revived Roman Empire (King of the West). The Beast upon which the Prostitute of Babylon rides (Rev 17:3) symbolizes the Evil King. The Evil King and Prostitute of Babylon symbolize Satan's temporal and spiritual power over the world.
Revelation 13:1The Dragon symbolizes Satan (Rev 12:9; 20:2). A dragon is a large snake. The word picture of the Beast rising from the sea is all symbolic. The Beast is the Dictator of the Revived Roman Empire. Horns are symbols of power. The ten horns symbolize the confederacy of ten nations ruled by the Beast. The number, 10, stands for the Laws of Establishment. The seven heads symbolize the nations ruled by the Beast after he conquers 3 of the nations in the second half of the Tribulation (Dan 7:8, 20). The Beast is described as the Little Horn that pulls out three of the other horns. The number, 7, stands for Categorical Punishment. The blasphemous names on the heads indicate the Beast's relationship with the Prostitute of Babylon (in Ecumenical Babylon). The Beast will demand that he be worshipped as a god. The civil government and the apostate church will support the Beast. This will be like the Holy Roman Empire with no separation of church and state.
And the Dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.
Then I saw a beast coming up out from the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.
Revelation 13:2The Beast had characteristics like three animals:
And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.
The Dragon (Satan) gave the Beast his power. He gave him his throne from which to rule. And he gave him great authority over the world.
One of the Beast's heads had a fatal would but was healed (Rev 13:3). The fatal wound symbolizes the fall of the historical Roman Empire, and the healing of the wound symbolizes the rise of the Revived Roman Empire.
Revelation 13:4The people of the Earth worshipped the Dragon (Satan) because he empowered the Beast. They also worshipped the Beast because he was so impressive and had such a powerful army.
they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?
Revelation 13:5The Beast will be very eloquent. He will speak great things from his arrogance, and he will utter blasphemies. These are characteristic of Satan, who is full of arrogance and hatred of God. The Beast will be authorized by God and given by Satan authority for 42 months, corresponding to the 3.5 years of the Great Tribulation. The number, 42, stands for Baal.
There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogance and blasphemies, and there was given to him authority to act for forty-two months.
Revelation 13:6The Beast will blaspheme God and His Tabernacle. This is the Heavenly Tabernacle, or dwelling place of God in Heaven. After being thrown out of Heaven, Satan will be bitter and vent his wrath against the Heavenly dwelling place of God. He will also blaspheme those who dwell in Heaven.
And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in Heaven.
Revelation 13:7The Beast will wage war against the saints on the Earth (Dan 7:21, 25). His war will be against Israel, but he will also oppose Gentile saints because they belong to Jesus Christ and are the friends of Israel. The Beast will rule the whole world, including every tribe, people, language, and nation. Language (not tongue) includes every person, regardless of the language he speaks (Rom 14:11; Phil 2:11; Isa 45:23).
It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to conquer them, and there was given to him authority over every tribe and people and language and nation.
Revelation 13:8All the unsaved will worship the Beast. Those whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life are believers, who worship the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, Satan will make the Beast into the counterfeit Messiah, the Antichrist. The Beast, a demon from the Abyss empowered by Satan (Rev 11:7), will be Satan's alternative to the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man in Hypostatic Union.
All who dwell on the Earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the Book of Life of the Lamb, who has been slain.
Revelation 13:10This verse describes both military and criminal conquest. Those who lead others into captivity will be taken captive. And the one who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. There will be Justice. God is still Sovereign and those who do evil will be Judged. This is similar to what the Lord said before Judah was conquered by the Chaldeans (Jer 15:2).
If anyone leads others into captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. In these circumstances (Here) is the endurance and the faith of the saints.
The last half of the verse begins with "here," which is an idiom meaning in these circumstances. Under the stress testing of the Tribulation, the endurance and faith of the saints will be demonstrated. Those with capacity for life from Bible Doctrine in the soul will be able to handle the terrible suffering of the Tribulation.
Revelation 13:11 Rise of the False ProphetA second beast will rise from the Land, corresponding to Israel. He is the False Prophet from Israel. He is like a lamb, which symbolizes the (False) Messiah, another Antichrist. The two horns of the lamb symbolize power:
And I saw another beast coming up from the Land (Israel), and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as the Dragon.
There also arose false prophets, who falsely claimed to be speaking from God. Satan inspired these false prophets and motivated them in various ways (Zech 10:2). Some prophesied to make money, while others did it for fame (2 Pet 2:3). Satan sent the false prophets as counterfeits to deceive the people and contradict God's Word. Satan wanted to be like the Most High God (Isa 14:14), and he could not be that with prophets telling the truth about him.
The gift of prophecy ended with the completion of the canon of scripture. There are no more prophets. Pastor-teachers are authorized to teach the Word from the Bible. God does not speak to them audibly or through dreams to give commands or reveal new teaching (Col 2:18). The Holy Spirit never works apart from the Word of God, the scripture.
There were warnings about false prophets in the Law.
Deuteronomy 13:1-3 False ProphetsFalse prophets could perform signs or wonders under the power of Satan to corroborate their message. Then they would try to lure the people into idolatry. However, the false prophets should not be believed. The Lord allowed the false prophets to speak their lies to test believers to find out if they loved the Lord with all their heart and soul. Furthermore, under the Law, such false prophets were to be executed (Deut 13:5). In this way, the evil would be purged from the congregation of Israel.
1 If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,
2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,'
3 you shall not listen to the message of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
In the Gospel Age
Jesus warned about false prophets.
Matthew 7:15 False ProphetsFalse prophets are counterfeit sheep. Sheep symbolize believers. False prophets have sheep's clothing, meaning they have a phony exterior and pose as sheep, but inside they are the enemies of the sheep. They are like ravenous wolves.
Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inside are ravenous wolves.
Matthew 7:16 Fruit RecognitionThis verse explains how to recognize false prophets by Divine viewpoint. False prophets are like thorn bushes and thistles, which do not produce grapes or figs. False prophets produce dead works and evil. They do not produce Divine Good.
By their fruit you will recognize them. Surely they do not gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles, do they?
Matthew 7:17 Fruit-Bearing TreesA good tree symbolizes a believer with integrity. Just as a good tree produces good quality fruit, a believer with integrity produces Divine Good. There are two different words for good here in the Greek and Aramaic. The first word used for the good tree is the Greek ajgaqov", (agathos), meaning good of intrinsic value, and the second word is the Greek kalov", (kalos), meaning good in quality, which refers to Divine Good. The false prophet in contrast is like a bad tree that produces bad fruit (culls). "Bad" is the Greek ponhrov", (pornos), meaning bad, spoiled, worthless; evil. In reference to fruit, it means bad, but regarding the production of the false prophet it refers to sin, human good, and evil.
In this manner, every good tree produces good quality fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit.
Matthew 7:19Trees that don't produce good quality fruit are customarily cut down and burned. Cutting down the trees symbolizes the Sin Leading to Death. These trees symbolize unbelievers who will be thrown off the Earth into Hell in the Baptism of Fire at the Second Advent.
Every tree that is not producing good quality fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Matthew 7:21Not everyone who cries out, "Lord, Lord," will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven refers to the Millennial Kingdom. Believers who are alive on the Earth at the Second Advent will be allowed into the Millennial Kingdom. An unbeliever who cries out to the Lord will not be allowed in. Unbeliever false prophets cry out to the Lord, but the Lord does not hear them. Getting into the Millennial Kingdom requires doing the will of the Father. This is not a system of works. The will of the Father for unbelievers is to believe in Jesus Christ and be saved (Matt 18:14; 2 Pet 3:9).
Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven.
Matthew 7:22At the Second Advent and at the Last Judgment, the false prophets will try to use their good works to earn their Salvation. They will claim to have prophesied, cast out demons, and performed miracles in the name of the Lord (Matt 24:24; Mk 13:22). All these things are possible under the power of Satan. However, Salvation is by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, not by good works (Eph 2:8-9).
Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'
Matthew 7:23The Lord will answer the unbelievers and false prophets that He never knew them. They never belonged to Him. They were the followers of the devil. They practiced lawlessness. The Lord will send them away from His presence forever, and they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt 25:41).
And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'
In the Church
False prophets and false teachers will arise in the Church Age. Satan will send them as counterfeits to destroy the Church.
1 Peter 2:1 False Prophets and TeachersFalse prophets arose among the people in the Old Testament, especially during times of apostasy (Deut 13:1-5; Jer 6:13). In the Church Age, there will be false teachers, who will introduce heresies. False teachers teach false doctrine and doctrines of demons. The theology of false teachers is not accurate. It is not Grace oriented. Some even deny the Lord Jesus Christ, who redeemed them from the slave market of sin. They pervert the Gospel (2 Cor 11:4; Gal 1:8). Consequently, the Lord will bring swift destruction upon them.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who purchased them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
1 Peter 2:2 LicentiousnessMany of the false teachers will follow their own licentiousness. When others see their sinful conduct, they will revile the way of true doctrine. Outsiders will shun Christianity.
Many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of true doctrine will be reviled.
2 Peter 2:3 AvariceFalse teachers may be motivated by avarice, greed, and the love of money, which is the coin of the realm in the devil's world. Avarice is the Greek pleonexiva (pleonexia), meaning avarice; jealous greed, insatiable lust. Since this avarice is fueled by jealousy, it is insatiable (1 Thess 2:5; Jud 16). Being slick like the devil, false teachers use counterfeit words to exploit the naïve. They use schemes and gimmicks to get people to give to them. However, the Lord will Judge them according to their deeds.
And in their avarice, with counterfeit words they will exploit you, whose Judgment from long ago is not idle.
At the root of false teaching is sin, but sin can propagate in many ways. The sins of arrogance, jealousy, self-righteousness, bitterness, and worry can breed all manner of lies, deception, illusions, tricks, and traps. They can also breed lust, human good, and evil, which taken out of context, may not even be sins. The woman in the Garden saw that the forbidden fruit "was good for food," but that did not make it any less a sin to eat it. The property of death did not lie in the fruit, but in the violation of God's command.
Although there are many varieties of false teachers, they have one thing in common. They deviate from the truth. The source of truth is God, and what we know of Him lies in His Word. The Divinely inspired scriptures are our only source of knowledge about God, and therefore, the only source of truth. His Word is Truth. Those who deviate from the Truth of scripture are not truthful. The definitions for truth come from the scripture. Extra biblical definitions whether from men or angels are fraught with fallacy.
Satan has mastered the art of deviating from the Truth of scripture. He knows the scripture backwards and forward better than any pastor or prophet. He is the master genius of lies and deceit. He redefines, camouflages, and counterfeits to suit his purpose. He has revised, twisted, and refuted every aspect of God's Word. His policy of evil has alternatives for every bit of Truth that God has commanded mankind. He lies to every person just as he did to the woman in the Garden, and he manipulates everyone just as did the man in the Garden.
Satan's master genius has rewritten history and redefined the world in which we live. Creation, the origin of life, the Universe, history, science, medicine, law, theology, marriage, the family, business, and nationalism have all been redefined by Satan, the ruler of the world. For example, Satan renamed the planets after his demon-gods. Satan and his army of demons broadcast their evil directly into the hearts of man, and false teachers proclaim his policy of evil in every part of society. The unsaved are wide open to Satan's influence, and believers are surrounded by a maize of lies and deceit. Satan deceives the very elect (Matt 24:5, 24) to whom he appears as an angel of Light (2 Cor 11:14) along with his false teachers (2 Cor 11:15).
Satan and false teachers are only exposed by the Truth. The Word of God is the only source of Truth to expose the devil's lie. Understanding of Bible Doctrine is the only way to know the difference between the Truth and the lie. Even those who claim to be worshipping Satan are blindly deceived. They do not know Satan, even though they spout his lies. They themselves are such liars that even their testimonies are lies. The only ones who recognize the lie are those who know the Truth. Those who communicate with Satan and his demons are enslaved and mesmerized by his lies. Like the woman in the Garden, they are hopelessly deceived.
False teachers usually have good intentions, but they are a front for Satan. They are not filled with the Holy Spirit because they have unconfessed sin. Because they are not Grace-oriented, they are not the servants of God, but Satan. They are in Satan's Cosmic System under the power of Ecumenical Babylon. The spirits of Satan and his demons directly influence false teachers. Thus, they become the Prostitutes of Babylon.
False teachers are under the same Satanic influence as those who worship idols. Christians who are not filled with the Holy Spirit do not pray to God. They pray to the devil. None of the major Christian denominations teach a person how to be filled with the Holy Spirit, especially the Pentecostals. Those who do not teach Rebound are false teachers, who are under the influence of the evil spirits of Satan and his demons. These are the ministers, Sunday School teachers, educators, and care givers who indoctrinate children from an early age.
1 John 4:1Here "spirit" refers to "a spirit as an independent being, in contrast to a being that can be perceived by the physical senses."3 Contrary to popular belief, man is not the master of his fate or captain of his soul. He can be influenced by spirits without his knowledge. It happened to Moses when he lashed out at the children of Israel (Nu 20:10), and it can happen to anyone, including pastors. Spirits can speak through people so naturally that the people never suspect a thing, nor does the audience. A person does not have to be demon possessed to have a spirit speak through him.
Beloved stop believing every spirit, but validate the spirits whether it is from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Spirits can control, influence, and speak directly through a person. The only choice a person has is to submit to the Holy Spirit, or open the doors to all other spirits. Those who are not filled with the Holy Spirit are wide open to the spirits in the Cosmic System. The command here is "stop believing every spirit." This is a negative of prohibition in the Greek, which means stop doing something you are doing. Don't listen to every demon spirit that speaks through a person.
"Instead, validate the spirits." "Validate" is the Greek dokimavzw (dokimazo), meaning to validate, to put to the test for acceptance. The validation test of the spirit is "whether it is from God." The listener must discern whether the spirit is from God. Spirits from God include the Holy Spirit and Elect Angels. Spirits that are not from God include Satan and his demons.
Spirits must be validated because the world is full of false prophets (or false teachers). The spirit that speaks through a false teacher is not from God. It is Satan or one of his demons. When a person listens to a false teacher, that person is listening to a spirit which is not from God.
1 John 4:2The principle for recognizing the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) is: If the spirit acknowledges "that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh" (the Incarnation), then it is from God. This amounts to professing faith in Jesus Christ. The spirit who acknowledges Jesus Christ is from God.
By this, learn to recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.
1 John 4:3 AntichristEvery spirit that does not acknowledge "Jesus," the Incarnation, is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, who will come in the Tribulation. Satan will install his demon Antichrist in the Tribulation, and the spirit of Satan can make antichrists today. The spirit of Satan is already in the world. Satan and his demons categorically reject Jesus Christ. They do not accept Him. They hate him. Therefore, demons will not tell the truth about Jesus Christ. They will lie or side step the issue. The name of Jesus Christ is abominable to them. He is their enemy, and they will not speak the truth about Him.
And every spirit that is not acknowledging this Jesus is not from God. Furthermore, this is the spirit of the Antichrist, whom you have heard that he is coming (in the Tribulation), and now (Church Age) is already in the world.
The spirit of the Antichrist that is already in the world makes people into antichrists. A person under the influence of the spirit of Satan or his demons is an antichrist. Thus, there are many antichrists in the world, even though the Antichrist of the Tribulation has not yet arrived. False teachers are antichrists. Evil Kings and Prostitutes of Babylon are antichrists.
1 John 4:4Christians, who are born from God, have power over antichrists, who are empowered by evil spirits. "He who is in you" refers to the Holy Spirit, but it does not refer to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It refers to the Filling of the Holy Spirit in the soul. The power over evil spirits does not come from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the body, but from the Filling of the Holy Spirit. Those who believe that this verse means Christians cannot be demon possessed because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit are wrong. The power against demons comes from the Filling of the Holy Spirit.
You are from God, little children, and you have overcome them because greater is He who is in you (Holy Spirit) than he who is in the world (Satan).
Antichrists and false teachers have evil spirits and teach doctrines of demons (1 Tim 4:1). The demon of the false teacher, antichrist, may attack the believer. The attack may take many forms. It may take the breath away, cause coughing or sneezing, plunge into darkness or confusion, or cause weakness or debilitating illness. Turning away from the evil spirit and turning to the Holy Spirit of God through the Filling of the Holy Spirit will protect the believer from the evil spirit.
James 4:7 Resisting the DevilThe devil and his demons must be resisted from the faith (1 Pet 5:8-9). The power to overcome the enemy comes from the completed Edification Complex of the Soul in Spiritual Self-Esteem.4
Therefore, be subordinate to God; but resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
1 John 4:5Those who are not filled with the Holy Spirit are in the Cosmic System. "World" means the Cosmic System. Those in the Cosmic System speak from the source of the Cosmic System where they are empowered by Satan and his demons. Other people in the world listen to them. The listeners have an affinity to the lies and duplicity of evil spirits. The world loves its own.
They are from the world; therefore, they speak from the world (Cosmic System), and the world listens to them.
1 John 4:6Christians are born again from God. The one who has come to know God, listens to pastors like John who are filled with the Holy Spirit. The person who is filled with the Holy Spirit listens to other Christians who are speaking the Truth from the filling of the Holy Spirit. However, unbelievers and reversionists do not listen. Thus, it is possible to distinguish between the Spirit of Truth (the Holy Spirit) and the spirit of deceit (Satan).
We are from God; he who has come to know God listens to us. He who is not from God, does not listen to us. From this, we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.
Romans 16:17 Separation from ApostatesPaul warned the Roman congregation to watch out for apostate believers, who cause dissensions and try to tempt others to believe their own apostasy. The apostates could be spotted because they did not believe the true Bible Doctrine that the Romans had been taught. The apostates included false teachers, who followed Paul around to add works to Grace. Satan and his demons were behind them. Therefore, the Roman Christians were commanded to turn away from, i. e. separate from, the apostates (Matt 7:15; Gal 1:8; Phil 3:18-19; 2 Thess 3:6, 14; 2 Ti 3:7; 2 Jn 10).
Now I urge you, brethren, to look out for those who cause dissensions and temptations contrary to the kind of teaching (doctrine) which you have learned, and turn away from them.
Romans 16:18 Apostate Slaves of Emotion (Ecumenical Babylon)Apostates are not slaves of Christ, but "their own stomach." The stomach symbolizes the emotion and Ecumenical Babylon.5 Just as food is eaten, Bible Doctrine is eaten. Apostates, however, fill their stomachs with the false doctrines of false teachers.
For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own stomach (emotion, Ecumenical Babylon); and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
False teachers use smooth and flattering speech to deceive the naïve (Psa 5:9; Prov 26:28; 29:5; Ezek 12:24; Matt 26:25; Lk 20:20-21; 1 Thess 2:5). Those who are not filled with the Holy Spirit are gullible and easily deceived by false teachers. False teachers do not communicate under the power of the Holy Spirit but the Cosmic System with human viewpoint, lies, and deception (Ps 12:2; 41:6; 62:4; 116:11; Jer 9:4-5; Rom 3:4).
Author: Larry Wood, Released - May 4, 2013 - Revised July 26, 2015