This morning we are introduced to the 3rd person of the Satanic trinity, and he is identified in Scripture as the beast that comes out of the earth, but he is most commonly known in theological circles as the false prophet.
The Bible speaks of false prophets in both testaments (Deuteronomy 13: 1-3; 2 Peter 2:1; Matthew 7:15, 24:11,24), but this individual is the proverbial granddaddy of them all, the ultimate false prophet. He will look like a lamb, but when he speaks, his words will be dragon-like and demonic (Revelation 13:11). He will possess persuasive demonic powers that will cause people, already blinded by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) to worship the antichrist (Revelation 13:12). He, like his predecessor the antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:9), will perform lying signs and wonders that parallel those of Old Testament prophets (1 Kings 18:36-38; 2 Kings 1:10,12; Revelation 13:13).
Many people are unaware of the fact that devils possess the power to perform miracles (Exodus 7:11,12, 8:7; Revelation 16:14, 19:20). As is the case with any spiritual imposter, this false prophet’s words and miracles contain deceptive powers (Revelation 13:14). However, the real nature of this individual is murderous, for he will order the killing of any individual who refuses to worship the image of the antichrist (Revelation 13:15). This wicked individual is also the instrument of Satan that causes all of mankind, “to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads, and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)
While we do not believe that the Church will be on earth during the great tribulation period, there is nothing in Scripture that tells us that the Church and this Satanic trinity would not be on earth together before the deceivers are unveiled for who they really are. Oh beloved, how important it is for us be Spirit-filled and to have discernment of spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10) in the day and age in which we live! Gullibility is not a virtue, but is a sure way to be burned by an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:3,4,13, 14).
Remember, not everything that is supernatural comes from God. Test everything with the word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21) “because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1) And above all things remember this: “greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)