Satan, The Great Counterfeiter - Lesson 5
We know that God, since the time of creation, since the time of the fall of man, has promised to deliver that creation from the power and control of Satan.
In our last lesson we have traced the evil plan of Satan to thwart this promise but on every attempt we have seen the mighty hand of God bring defeat to this evil adversary of Godís deliverer, the Christ.
Today we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, who came from a tomb of death.
A death that Satan celebrated for a short period of time in which he thought his evil deeds had once and for all put Godís deliverer down, never to be seen again.
But his celebration was short lived for he was a witness to an empty tomb.
He too heard the words told to the women by angels not allied with him,
Matthew 28:6, And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6He is not here: for he is risen.
Again his evil plan had been thwarted and again he regrouped for further action, for the war was not over.
I imagine Satan prepared for an immediate battle for he too knew of the words of Daniel concerning the 70 weeks of years relative to Godís people, the Jews.
Perhaps he had his accounting office give him the fact that the 69th week was complete and there was only one week of years remaining.
Certainly the battle was imminent and he was ready for it.
But what was he to see in the coming days, but a resurrected Christ leaving the earth and going back to the Father.
His angels were no doubt privy to the goings on in Jerusalem at that time.
Donít you suppose he had his forces on Mount Olivet to witness Christís ascension that is reported to us in:
Acts 1:9- 11, And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
But what of the scripture that says this deliverer shall be king over all the earth?
What of Zechariah 14:9, And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
I imagine Satan expected this Messiah to immediately begin His conquest over his forces, but this appeared not to be, for instead of doing battle, the Lord ascended to heaven.
No doubt the words that Jesus spoke to his disciples in Luke 24:45-49 were words that indicated activities yet to be accomplished before an earthly kingdom would be established.
Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48And ye are witnesses of these things. 49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
He watched and waited and soon found out Godís plan for now he could read new scripture, scripture like 2 Peter 3:9, which tells us:
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
He heard the voice of Jesus as he spoke to the blinded Saul on his way to Damascus and in that voice he heard that the battle was for souls, the battle was to continue with ministry to the gentiles.
Remember Saulís conversation on the road to Damascus.
Acts 26:15-18, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. 16But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; 17Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
He could see that God was going to open up a period whereby souls would be saved from the grip of Satan.
Where men and women would be called out to proclaim good news that the
deliverer had defeated the devil.
That victory was now available in this One who had overcome death and had risen again and had returned to the Father.
Satan had used men to put this deliverer on the cross expecting this to be his victory but now he could read of his defeat in:
Hebrews 10:12, But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
But this does not hinder Satin who now knows that he has a period of Godís grace in which to operate.
His goal now is to hinder this delivererís return to the earth for he knows that scripture proclaims that inevitability.
He knows from Jesusí own words that He will return when Godís people say "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord."
He heard this from Matthew 23:37-39 when Jesus lamented over his beloved city.
37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
So Satan knows that the return of Jesus Christ is tied to this acknowledgment.
There is to be a repentance and a turning to Christ before Christ will come to Israel.
So Satan acts accordingly and works his plan to prevent this repentance from coming about.
In order to carry out this evil plan he must blind eyes from the truth of Godís word as to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah.
My, how that plan has been successful through the centuries!
His goal to prevent repentance is to completely eliminate the Jew from the world and to erase any nation that forms to welcome the Jew to its land.
He intends to neutralize or destroy any nation that supports Israelís continued existence.
Our own country is under his attack for supporting Israel and we will see as time elapses that support will lessen and most likely completely disappear as the end time approaches.
We will not see this country fall by overwhelming strength but by a slow rotting which is the devilís modus operandi.
And that slow rotting will bring an awareness of Israelís continued contribution to the troubles of this world and its demise will be seen as a great benefit to the worldís health and well being.
Satanís intention is to paint Israel as the cause of all the ills of the world and to show in that picture that itís extermination will bring peace and prosperity to the middle east and the world.
For peace is so strongly desired that principle will fall at its feet.
Emotion will conquer reason.
The history of the Jew is replete with Satanís attempt to exterminate this people.
In my lifetime I have seen the most successful attempt at this in the Holocaust of World War II where 2/3 of all European Jews were destroyed.
The estimate being near 6 million of 9 million dead.
In our study of Daniel we have seen the message of the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzarís great image as one of extermination of Israel.
Extermination by the nations whose father is Ishmael, Abrahamís son of bondage, and this attempt will take place in the tribulation period.
The chorus of nations that are calling for Israelís destruction is gaining strength and at the end times will consist of most of the nations of the world.
Where will America be at that time?
There will only be one hope for Israel at that time and it will not be in America, but only found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
So Satan is busy today, he is extremely successful today as he tries to undermine everything that God is doing.
He has many forces, he has a third of the angels of heaven, and he has most of the people of the earth who loyally follow his direction.
Jesus could say to billions today as he said to the Pharisees, Ye are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father ye will do.
Donít we remember the mantra of the 1960ís which continues till this day.
If it feels good do it.
That is all about the lusts of the devil, that is what moves him and that is what moves the world.
His motive is to destroy the works of the Spirit and instead elevate the works of the flesh.
All that he does is to put forth that which is a counterfeit of that which God provides.
Satan cannot create, he can only copy.
Satan's primary activities today are involved with leading people to counterfeits of God's Messiah, God's Word, and God's church and they all revolve around the flesh.
Satan has his own synagogues and churches.
We learn of this in Rev. 2:9, I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
And in II Corinthians. 11:4, we learn that there will come preachers that preach another Jesus, a counterfeit Jesus,
Some of Satan's counterfeit churches even have "Jesus Christ" as part of the name of their denomination.
Satan's churches are empowered, not by God's Holy Spirit, but by a different spirit.
Sometimes a demon spirit, sometimes Satan himself.
Like Satan his churches and religions have great power and charisma and are able to attract many but they attract mainly by catering to the flesh.
Satan's churches preach "gospels," but their gospels differ from the gospel of Jesus Christ as given to us in His word.
Most often the difference is very subtle, just enough of a difference to lead a person to Satan and hell, instead of Jesus and heaven.
Many of Satan's churches loudly proclaim the name of "Jesus."
But their Jesus is "another Jesus" -- NOT the Jesus Christ of the Bible, who is the one and only begotten Son of God.
These churches produce counterfeit Christians.
Jesus told us clearly of this in the parable of the sower which tells us while men slept the enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat.
This enemy is clearly Satan who loves to use lies and deceit to accomplish his purpose.
He slips in under the cover of darkness to do his evil work.
Satan also counterfeits preachers and teachers.
Paul, the Apostle tells us of Satanís deception in this area in:
II Corinthians 11:13-15, For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
My, how easy it is for a preacher to attract a following, for many are very sincere, many extensively quote from the Bible, using the name of Jesus freely as they speak.
How easy it is to believe such a one if you do not rightly divide the word of truth.
How easy it is to fall into the clutches of Satan if you do not do what the Bereans did, that is to receive the word with all readiness of mind, and search the scriptures daily, whether those things that you hear are so.
When you shop and pay cash today the store clerk sometimes raises the $20 bill to the light and looks for a special marking that is only on real bonafide bills.
She checks the bill against the real thing.
That was a habit of the Bereans, checking Paulís preaching against the real thing.
It is only clear to those who rightly divide Godís word that Satan has his own preachers and teachers, men and women who twist God's word to their own destruction.
Satan uses these preachers and teachers to counterfeit the doctrines of God.
I Timothy 1:1-2, Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
How often we hear that the Bible is not the literal word of God.
Certainly any thinking person cannot believe that it is without error and contradiction, we hear!
How can anyone ignore the scientific advances that conflict with the Bible.
Everyone believes in evolution except those who are ignorant and backward, is the cry of these teachers.
Oppose the new sexual practices of the day and be ready to hear the word bigot aimed at you.
State after state is falling into this trap and the definition of sexual deviation is being turned on its head.
Soon there will be no such thing.
For many, what the Bible declares is simply bigotry and those who believe the Bible are simply haters to be shunned.
Satan also counterfeits the miracles of God
Matthew 7.22-23, Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
II Thessalonians 2:9, Even him, (Antichrist) whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.
We, as Bible believers are to heed this scripture for we see that our Lord gives clear warning that "miracles" done in His name do not, in and of themselves, prove that they are of God.
Satan can and does perform counterfeit miracles.
We can see his work taking place in so-called healing miracles, the uncontrollable laughter and strange behaviors in churches which are called works of the spirit.
But our God is a God of decency and order for he has told us in I Corinthians 14:33, For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Jesus healed, God heals, but when He heals it is not a sideshow to attract attention to the healer, it is not accomplished to entertain and astonish an audience or to bring fame and honor to an individual.
How do we know what to do in these strange times? Do like the Bereans, receive the word with all readiness of mind, and search the scriptures daily, whether those things that you hear are so.