Saturday, January 14, 2006

Satan’s Counterfeit World

As one who loves reading God’s Word in the Bible, I find it fascinating to see the ultimate conflict that plays out from Genesis to Revelation between The Lord Jesus Christ and Satan His enemy, for the soul of every human being. Historically, for those who even give this topic any thought, it is usually assumed that God’s direct adversary is Satan, but that is clearly not the case. Satan is God’s indirect enemy, but it is with Jesus where the battle is truly played out.

In the Book of Matthew, Satan knowing Jesus’ reason for being born into the world tries immediately to subvert him with three temptations (Matthew 4). Each time, Jesus rebuked him with the phrase “It is written”. Where is it written? In the Word (the scriptures). Who is the scripture? The disciple John answers this question in the Book of John Chapter 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it…The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5, 14). Jesus rebuked Satan by referencing himself: The Word.

One of the sad things to see is how Satan deceives men by duplicating the things of God, and in an earthly sense with much success…if you judge success by the degree to which men are ensnared by his counterfeit efforts.

One such area is with religious worship and fervor. I find it interesting how overtly committed many people appear to be to non-Christian religions, such as the Muslims who annually make their pilgrimage to Mecca or in their perceived humility as the submit in prostate daily during their prayers to Allah. Jesus said in Matthew 12:30 – “He who is not with me is against me…” (Matthew 12:30 NIV) These people are not 'with' Jesus, so therefore they are against him, which by definition means they are 'with' Satan. And they worship with such devotion and vigor. To be certain there are many who ascribe to non-Christian religions and who are just as lukewarm and non committal to those religions as some Christians are to theirs, but how often do you see Christians willing to pray overtly to God publicly, outside of the hidden privacy of their Church or homes? God bless the Christian who may be in the supermarket when a conversation with an acquaintance yields the need for prayer, and that Christian is willing to stop everything and pray with them – right then and there in the supermarket!

An ominous recent development that underscores this worship battle between Satan and Jesus is with the developing nuclear standoff with Iran. The new Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is on record as saying Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth. Mr. Ahmadinejad is evidently a passionate believer in a coming messiah as this excerpt below explains:

Thanks to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, a new word has entered the political vocabulary: mahdaviat…Not surprisingly, it's a technical religious term. Mahdaviat derives from mahdi, Arabic for "rightly-guided one," a major figure in Islamic eschatology. He is, explains the Encyclopedia of Islam, "the restorer of religion and justice who will rule before the end of the world."… When addressing the United Nations in September, Ahmadinejad flummoxed his audience of world political leaders by concluding his address with a prayer for the Mahdi's appearance: "O mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the Promised One, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace." - Ahmadinejad's Mission and Mysticism By Daniel Pipes

But the messiah whose appearance Mr. Ahmadinejad “prays to hasten” is not the Messiah Jesus of the Bible. It is a counterfeit version. So it naturally stands to reason that for that “messiah” to return, the people of the real Messiah (the nation of Israel) must be “removed from the face of the earth”. Iran being led by Mr. Ahmadinejad is working feverishly towards developing nuclear capability. As stated he is on record as wanting Israel “removed from the scene”. Anyone can put two and two together and see a coming clash in the near future.

Finally the book of Revelation states that the ruling system during the last days on earth will be comprised of another anti-God counterfeit system: Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon…He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666. (Revelation 13:11, 16-18 NIV). Though the Bible is not definitive on this issue, many biblical scholars suggest that the code 666 refers to Satan’s coming counterfeit trinity (Satan, The Beast and The False Prophet), which contrasts against the true Biblical trinity of God-the Father, God-the Son and God-The Holy Spirit. Whatever the case however, the Book of Revelation is clear that this counterfeit triumvirate will lead millions to death and an eternity in hell: The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 NIV).

I urge everyone not to be deceived by the master of counterfeit. Despite what the world may tell you, the truth is absolute. There are no shades of gray. Remember Jesus’ word: “He who is not with Me is against Me.” You will either worship the real God or you are automatically worshipping the counterfiet. Everyone's life displays their choice.

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A God who sends people to Hell?