Divine healing in the Bible – Part 17
False Prophets/Teachers (Cont)
The defeat of the ungodly (Revelation 19:17-21)
“Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone,” Rev 19:20.
False Prophet Who Worked Signs: John again describes the false prophet by one outstanding characteristic: he deceived many by performing miraculous signs (cf. 13:13-15; cf. 2Thes 2:9-10). Satan can only counterfeit the genuine things of God. God will do great and mighty things in the end-time; therefore, Satan seeks to counter and deceive by his own counterfeit miracles. In the last days those who seek to persevere in faithfulness to Christ and His commandments (cf. 14:12) must not base their evaluation of truth upon outward success or miracles. The Lord Himself solemnly warns: “For there shall arise false Christ, and false prophets and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect,” Matt. 24:24.
• False Teachers and apostles are deceitful workers who camouflage as angel of light. They are Satan mimics. “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15: Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works,” 2 Cor 11:14-15.
One Jewish writing (the Apocalypse of Moses) says that the story of Eve’s temptation includes Satan masquerading as an angel. Paul may have been thinking of this story, or he could have been referring to Satan’s typical devices. In either case, nothing could be more deceitful than Satan, the ruler of darkness (Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:13), disguising himself as an angel of light. In the same way, when the false teachers were claiming to represent Christ as servants of righteousness, they were lying shamelessly.
Satan and his servants can deceive us by appearing to be attractive, good, and moral. Many unsuspecting people follow smooth-talking, Bible-quoting leaders into cults that alienate them from their families and lead them into the practice of immorality and deceit. Don’t be fooled by external appearances. Our impressions alone are not an accurate indicator of who is or isn’t a true follower of Christ; so, it helps to ask these questions: (1) Do the teachings confirm Scripture (Acts 17:11)? (2) Does the teacher affirm and proclaim that Jesus Christ is God who came into the world as a man to save people from their sins (1John 4:1-3)? (3) Is the teacher’s life-style consistent with biblical morality (Matthew 12:33-37)? False teachers are more concerned about appearance. They “boast in appearance and not in heart,” 2 Cor 5:12.
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