Sunday – January 17, 2015 – Read the Word on Worship
Word On Worship – Sunday – January 17, 2015 Download / Print
“Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 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. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast.”
Remember that this is still a parenthetical section describing one of the key forces, kingdoms, and personages of the Tribulation. The Bible has much to say about the plans, schemes and even the theology of our adversary. In essence, what we have in prophetic Scripture is the rise of the beast and the false prophet is nothing short of the “trinity from hell” in that both are the product of the machinations of that old serpent, the devil or Satan.
Satan in fact as his own trinity – the devil, the beast, and the false prophet (Revelation 16:13). He has his own church, “a synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 2:9). He has his own ministers, “ministers of Satan” (2 Corinthians 11:4-5). He has formulated his own system of theology “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). His theology is a counterfeit of the systematic study and understanding of God. He has established his own sacrificial system; “The Gentiles…sacrifice to demons” (1 Corinthians 10:20). He has his own communion service, “the cup of demons…and the table of demons” (1 Corinthians 10:21). His ministers proclaim his own gospel, “a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you” (Galatians 1:7-8) to mislead the world. He has his own throne (Revelation 13:2) and his own worshipers (Revelation 13:4).
So Satan has developed a thorough imitation of Christianity, viewed as a system of religion. In his role as the imitator of God, Satan inspires false christs, self-constituted messiahs (Matthew 24:4-5). He employs false teachers who are specialists in his “theology,” to bring in “destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them” (2 Peter 2:1). They are adept at mixing truth and error in such proportions as to make error palatable. They carry on their teaching surreptitiously and often anonymously. He sends out false prophets. “And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many” (Matthew 24:11). He introduces false brethren into the church, who “had sneaked in to spy out our liberty…in order to bring us into bondage” (Galatians 2:4).
As followers of Jesus Christ we cannot allow our hearts and minds to be distracted by what appears to be the real thing. This is why it is so important that each of us take to heart and put into practice the admonition of the apostle Paul when he exhorted us to “test all things; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). May we be people of discernment and wisdom in order to distinguish between what is of God and what is counterfeit.