In a chapter referring to the last days, the Lord says by the prophet, “Behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people.” (Isa. 60:2) In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness?” (Matt. 6: 23) Jesus declares of Himself, “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) The psalmist wrote, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Ps. 119: 105) In the teachings of Christ, in the revelations of the word of God through the prophets, the light of God is shining in the darkness of this world. Satan, the prince of darkness, has always counterworked God’s Spirit of light and truth. Sometimes he directly opposes the work of God, and leads his subjects in open rebellion. Sometimes he unites with the professed people of God, and, by insensible degrees, leads them into error, until the very light which is in them “becomes darkness.” And then are fulfilled again the words of the Scripture which says:—“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1: 5) Satan has ever endeavored to counterfeit the work of God. Every prophecy of the Bible he fulfills, if possible, in his own way. Any method to lead the world into darkness, and away from God’s true light, is employed by himself and his angels.
The Second Coming of Christ
Satan is a close student of prophecy. With a mind while in heaven second only to that of Christ, and though fallen, yet possessing a keen and brilliant intellect, sharpened through six thousand years of cunning and deception, he can quite accurately forecast the times and seasons as foretold in the Scriptures. He knows that the time is near when Jesus will come again. To meet and forestall the solemnizing effect of the message of this great event, he employs many counterfeits and He cares not what they are, only that they lead away Men from the real issue. Some are made to believe that Christ comes at death for the purpose of taking the immortal soul to glory. To others he appears at the conversion of the sinner. To some Spiritualists the coming of so-called”new truths” answers the requirements, while to others He appears in person in majestic form, from the secret cabinet of a private seance. Each variation is made to meet the peculiar “credulity” of the individual mind. Satan cares not a straw as to which error is accepted, for all are alike false and fatal. But to the student of God’s word our Saviour has Himself laid bare all these deceptions. In His great prophecy of Matthew 24, He says:
“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Vss. 4, 5.“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Vs. 11.“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth: behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning Cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Vss. 23-27.
Satan cannot counterfeit the Manner of the second coming of Christ, as described in the foregoing verses, but he will appear in many places, working miracles, and claiming that he is Christ.
A Message of Woe.
“Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Rev. 12 : 12) How does Satan know that he has but a short time? Because he studies the prophecies, and believes the prophecies, although he is able to convince the most of the world that they are untrue, that they mean something else, or, if true, they are of little moment. Why is the devil possessed of such “great wrath?” Because he knows that the end is near, and that he has but a short time ,in which to work. This fact incites him to fury, and he works for the destruction of humanity as he has never worked before in all his six thousand years of evil. What he does must be done quickly. He realizes that his race is nearly run. So with all the devices which his ages of experience in evil have given him, he redoubles his attacks to deceive the dwellers on the earth. Through Spiritualism, through the avenues of a lukewarm, fallen, and apostate church, and through the utter evil of fallen and wicked men, he pursues his victims to the limit of his ingenuity.
Fire from Heaven
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do.” (Rev. 13: 13, 14) The miracles of Christ were presented by Him as the evidence of His Messiahship. He said, “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” (John 14:11) Elijah called down fire from heaven to consume his sacrifice, and thus proved to Israel that Baal was no true god, and that Jehovah alone was God. Miracles are being, and will be shown still more abundantly, through the channels of Spiritualism, to prove its authenticity. The supreme test of fire from heaven will yet, with other miraculous demonstrations, be used to sweep the world off its feet. Let us not make the mistake of calling these miracles frauds. The text declares that Satan has power to do them. We must be ready therefore to know and understand the source of this power.
Source of Miracle-Working Power.
“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” (Rev. 16:14) This scripture presents the last, closing work of this deceptive power, and places the responsibility upon the devil, where it belongs. Just before Christ comes, the deceptive powers of evil will gather the nations of the earth together in one sweeping, closing, clash of arms. This is the call to the awful battle of Armageddon of verse 16. In chapter 14:19 it is spoken of as the “wine-press of the wrath of God.” In this fearful battle the carnage will be so great that the blood is described as flowing “even unto the horse bridles.”
What a climax to the six thousand years of the malignant workings of Satan and the fallen angels! What a maelstrom of horror and woe this presents for the contemplation of those who are willing to be led by this great deceiver! What a warning to the earnest Bible student! The deceptions are so cunning that there is only one place of safety for any soul, and that is in the “secret place of the Most High.” None else will escape the destruction which is soon to sweep the world. The “elect” will know and be safe, because they alone heed the warnings of God’s word, and have their abiding place “under the shadow of the Almighty.”