By: Norm Rasmussen
How sophisticated will demonic deception become before Jesus Christ returns for the “elect” -- His Church -- The Bride of Christ -- the saved from their sins born again believers in Jesus Christ -- the "five virgins who kept their lamps filled with oil" ... living at that time? That’s what this writing addresses.
What purpose does it even serve to write about such matters? It matters a great deal, because if we don’t discern the level of deception in our midst today … we might be less equipped (less sensitive to the Holy Spirit) to discern a higher level, or higher sophistication of deception in the future. The Bible strongly indicates deception will become more sophisticated -- more pronounced -- more subtle to detect -- as we move ever closer into end times.
I feel to quickly zero in on an issue that will lay the foundation for the rest of this writing.
Christians are commonly taught in many circles that Jesus defeated Satan. I’m not convinced “defeated” is the proper word to use, simply because it suggests to some that we as Christians no longer need to be concerned with the devil. God has made it very clear in scripture that Christian believers are to do everything they know how to discern Satan's strategies and deception, so they can not only stay free from his spiritual poison, but to help others stay free from it as well.
I cannot find in my Strong's Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible where Jesus “defeated” Satan at the Cross. Look it up for yourself. I can find where Jesus disarmed or spoiled Satan at the Cross however. It is found in Colossians 2:15:
"Having disarmed (KJV says “spoiled”) principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it."
Does “disarm” mean the same thing(s) as “defeat?” To some it might well mean the same thing. However, God didn’t use the word “defeat” in most commonly accepted translations of the Bible. He used the word “disarmed” or “spoiled.” I think it’s wise to use the same wording God uses, because defeat to some people hints of a complete stripping of power of Satan. That did not happen yet, and scripture refutes that notion.
1 Corinthians 15:20-28 (NKJV) reads:
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.
Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.
For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.
Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Satan wants Christian believers (and certainly non-Christian believers as well) believing the following half-truths, or part-truths (a half-truth, or part-truth to God is a lie):
1) Satan has been stripped totally of all power over Christians.
2) The only power Satan has over true Christian believers is the power they give him.
Nowhere in scripture are we told that Satan will literally be destroyed, nor will demons. They will eventually be locked away, however, to be tormented forever and ever, but that hasn’t happened yet. (See: Revelation 20:10).
How did Jesus Christ disarm demonic principalities and demonic powers? Here is what Satan attempted to do, but failed:
1) Satan tried to kill Jesus as a young infant, but he failed.
2) Satan tried to get Jesus to sin – just once – but he never accomplished his goal.
3) Satan tried to keep Jesus in the grave, but he never accomplished his goal.
4) (I hope you're READY for this!) Jesus didn't disarm Satan by His POWER, though He certainly - easily - could have (that will come in the future). Rather, He disarmed Satan by a show of His redeeming love, grace and mercy for sinners like you and I by His death on the cross, burial and resurrection from the grave ... that STILL has Satan baffled! Oh the wisdom of our Lord and Savior! God's love, grace and mercy for we human sinners is more powerful than any weapon Satan could possibly yield!
By Satan’s inability to stop these four things from happening, here is what happened afterwards:
1) It did away with the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant had evolved into a religious system of bondage, it became so demonically corrupt. It saved no one, because no one could obey it completely. Furthermore, the Old Covenant gave no provision for Gentiles to be right with God. The New Covenant did. It ransomed (rescued) all of mankind, and opened a way to eternal life for all mankind ... to those who give their lives to Jesus Christ and place their trust in Him to have their sins forgiven, and diligently work with the Holy Spirit to break strongholds of sin in their life. That was not possible before Jesus died on the cross.
2) Legally it stripped Satan of all legal authority over mankind and the spirit world, but not all of his power yet. God allowed him to keep some of that power for purposes known only to God, though it will be made clear to believers in the future.
3) It took away Satan’s effectiveness and legal right to accuse truly saved, born again believers of being hypocrites and imposters, because their sins have literally been taken away and forgotten by God, when confessed to God and asked forgiveness for through Jesus Christ.
4) Satan lost his legal hold over spiritual death. Satan evidently had legal rights (Granted to him, of course, by the Father ... because the Godhead knew from the beginning that Satan and the angels that sided with Satan were going to rebel against the Godhead, once they found out that God was going to allow His Church - the Body of Christ - to be elevated to places HIGHER than the angels in certain capacities, some Bible scholars believe ... sometime in the far away future. [Note: I personally have not received that revelation of the Body of Christ be elevated higher than the angels, if it be so. Rather - I stand on the scripture passage that indicates that individual members of the Body of Christ will either be "like" the angels, and the possibility that they may be "equal to" the angels as some Bible translations state]. Keep this in its proper perspective. The GREATEST REASON Satan tried to stop Jesus from accomplishing His mission on Earth that the Father assigned Jesus to do, which was to qualify the Church to become what the Godhead decided it WOULD become in the far away future. Satan was jealous because of God's ultimate plan for the Church, [which some Bible scholars believe meant that the Church would actually be elevated higher than Satan himself, hence he would have to submit to the Church AND God rather than the Church submitting to him] and Satan felt that if he could keep Jesus from fulfilling the Godhead's plan for the future Church - the Bride of Christ - then perhaps the Father's ultimate plan for the Church would be thwarted) in the spirit realm that may have hindered certain formerly departed earthly spirits from entering into the fullness of joy with God, and the death and resurrection of Jesus changed that.
5) There is no other way to say THIS. God's redeeming LOVE for lost sinners is more powerful than ANYTHING Satan has at his disposal in terms of power, let alone wisdom. It's beyond human comprehension, but it's TRUE.
The Lord Jesus Christ, in legally conquering Satan and all his demonic hosts, has made complete spiritual victory available for every person if they desire it, and once the resurrection of the dead has been completed, physical victory over death as well, both for the saved and the unsaved, (though for the unsaved, it will change nothing about their spending eternity in hell suffering).
Let's address this issue a little more in depth: Some Christian believers say that the only power Satan has is what we give him. Though there is some truth to that statement, it is very unwise to make it an absolute truth. One scripture ... recorded for us well after Jesus resurrected ... gives us clear biblical license to make this statement: Satan still has been allowed some power by God to influence (deceive) and inflict suffering on humanity yet for a season:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV)
This is written to Christians, remember! Let's not be blinded. If the devil couldn't devour (attempting to shipwreck one's faith to one degree or another, in other words, and/or inflict suffering -- see I Timothy 1:18-20 for proof text) a disciple of Jesus Christ, God would not have wasted His time telling us to "be sober and vigilant regarding the devil's schemes and attacks against us."
When we look at different spiritual beliefs of people around this globe that contradict the clear revelation and understanding of truth the Holy Bible gives us about God and evil; how to serve God correctly and be in proper relationship with others; understanding good and evil . . . it becomes obvious very quickly that Satan’s deception is very much alive and well on planet Earth. God told us it would be, so we shouldn’t be surprised. He could have stopped it completely by now, but for reasons known only by Him, God has chosen not to. A time will come when He will, but as this is being written (December 2005), He hasn’t.
[Actually - we DO know SOME of the reason/s God has allowed Satan the power YET that he has over people on this planet, which includes Christians. This life is Christians' proving ground. Trials and testings - hardships - are the "buffeting instruments" God is using to help shape our CHARACTER. Character-forming in Christians is number one priority to God. Every attack Satan is allowed to launch against you and I has GOD'S ULTIMATE GOOD intended for us. Satan may not be aware of it, nor does he probably even care to know about it, but that's beside the point. Satan ultimately is simply an instrument God the Father is using for a short season to conform Christ's Bride (individual born again Christians) into the "knock-out spiritual chic" the Father is making her].
God decreed that these words of Jesus were to be recorded in Holy Scriptures:
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
See, I have told you beforehand.”
Mark 13:20-23 says virtually the same thing.
Obviously the “elect” can take great comfort knowing that God is not going to allow demonic beings to deceive them as a whole, however few in actual number that may be at the time. Individually we can be deceived at different times to different degrees, but collectively, the “elect” will not become deceived. The "elect" follow the real Jesus -- the Jesus who died for them on the Cross at Calvary, not a counterfeit Jesus in all of it's slimy and subtle deception.
It is dangerous to believe that all of the book of Revelation has already been fulfilled, and/or that it is to be viewed as allegory, and never literal interpretation be applied to it. Having said that, let’s go to Revelation 13:11-14 (NKJV):
“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.”
We'll come back to this portion of scripture later on, but suffice for now, let's address this statement of fact God tells us in the above scripture:
Satan’s representative is going to be allowed to deceive people by either commanding lightning to strike as he wills upon earth … or perhaps “fire” spoken of here is something a bit more sophisticated than lightning. How about something akin to laser beam technology, or something even more advanced than even that? Perhaps something that appears as a UFO overhead, and perhaps seemingly firing something from it akin to particle beam weaponry? Let us not underestimate what Satan may be allowed to use to deceive people at that time.
Think about this for a moment as we turn to Exodus 7:8-12 (NKJV):
"Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron,
saying, “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Show a miracle for
yourselves,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and cast it before
Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent.’
So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the Lord commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods."
(Interesting that it doesn’t say Aaron’s snake swallowed up their snakes, but ‘Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.’ Were people thinking they were looking at snakes, yet weren’t, or were they real snakes? I’ll believe they were real snakes. Real or not, it makes little difference, because it seems to me it is much more miraculous for a rod to eat other rod’s than one snake eating all the other snakes! This of course, has nothing to do with this writing. Just a side note).
Pharaoh was little impressed with the miracle of Aaron turning a rod into a snake. Essentially his response was, “Big deal. My magicians can do that!” and he proved it to Aaron and Moses. Yet we quickly learned what obviously did "impress" Pharaoh: His magicians didn’t have the power to eat Aaron’s rod, but Aaron’s did. That would impress me too!
So here’s the point to think upon. Does Satan still have the power to turn a wooden stick into a live snake, or was he stripped of that power at the cross? If he wasn’t stripped of that power at the cross, it seems very logical and reasonable to me that he can do some rather miraculous things most of the people of this world has never seen … yet very well may see in the future … if they live long enough down here on this planet.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 (NKJV): "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
One can only assume that fear, anxiety and chaos is going to increase across this planet -- killing and torturing in unimaginable proportions; sickness, diseases - pestilences of different kinds - killing hundreds and thousands and maybe even millions of people; natural calamities, economic turbulence of unimaginable proportions that brings worldwide instability, starvation and poverty and increase of crime, which then triggers desperation in untold multitudes across this planet; atmospheric pollution causing sicknesses and health problems of untold kinds; “Holy War” launched on a global scale … terrorizing everyone who does not conform to the beliefs of those doing the terrorizing, and with it perhaps a bonafide threat of a global nuclear and/or biological holocaust -- the list can go on and on.
Essentially … a planet on a course of seeming self-destruction of every living creature and thing on this planet.
Then out of the sky or the ocean comes this illusionary or maybe even real spacecraft (or perhaps many spacecraft). It either lands say in Jerusalem, or maybe in Salt Lake City, or maybe in Washington D.C., smack dab in front of the White House, or by a "holy" temple so this "false messiah" can rule from that temple. A door of that spacecraft opens, and out walks a creature that speaks most every language fluently. This "creature" makes certain that every TV camera of every major news network is on it, and then it starts out its warning by saying words to this effect:
“If ya’ll don’t listen to what I have to say, this planet will soon self-destruct. I am an evolved, advanced life-form, and I have superior knowledge, wisdom and insight that can save planet earth and all it’s people, but you must first listen to me and then do as I instruct you. The choice is yours.”
Then to gain credibility … this (these?) creature-being/s starts doing amazing and miraculous signs and wonders. Perhaps to convince lingering skeptics, he pulls his ace card out and starts commanding lightning strikes to hit key infrastructures in our cites, causing electric blackouts that essentially bring that city to a crippling halt in just a few hours. If not lightning strikes, perhaps laser strikes or something to the effect. A desperate world seeking for any "peace" and "safety" (See: I Thess.5:3) would most likely be willing to listen to what this creature had to say by that time, I should imagine, to calm their concerns about global meltdown. Anybody screaming “Don’t listen to this creature, because it’s associated with the anti-Christ,” most likely would be locked up or killed immediately ... branded as too great a hindrance for self-preservation of the human race.
In due season, this creature then demands to be worshipped as a god. Maybe even the god. Maybe … this creature would even claim to be the long awaited “messiah” that the orthodox Jews have been waiting for centuries and centuries for, rejecting Jesus Christ as the true Messiah of course.
Is this totally science fiction I’m talking about here? Total imagination gone wild? Perhaps ... yet perhaps not.
Let’s drop back into the Old Testament again, and look at something else that I think we need to consider before throwing this possible future scenario out about "supposed advanced life-forms coming to Earth's rescue" as total nonsense.
In Genesis 6:6 (NKJV) it reads:
Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them,
that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
And the Lord said, "My Sprit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."
There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and
that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
If we keep on reading, we then read about God flooding the earth to kill off every living thing other than what was on the boat with Noah. The question many have wondered: Exactly what or who were these “sons of God?” Were they spirit beings that could take on physical form like a human being? Were they fallen angels that were either going to get kicked out of heaven, or maybe already kicked out of the highest heaven, yet still allowed a habitation in the lower regions of our galaxy for a season?
Your guess is as good as mine ... though something deep in my spirit certainly allows ample room for the possibility of it eventuating. But here’s the question I ask? Were all of these “sons of God” … whatever or whoever they were ... stopped forever after that from ever visiting this planet ever again, or manifesting themselves in human form to actually have intercourse with women? We could speculate that they were, but is this shortsightedness on our part?
Suppose Satan still oversees many of these beings – and actually has influence over them. (You can be certain Satan won't want anyone believing that he does, except for his trusted, devout followers!). Suppose these beings have the ability to perform miracles whereby they can make it appear as though there is such a craft as a UFO? Or … if Satan still has the power to turn a rod into a snake … would it not make perfect sense that he could turn a rod into an actual UFO? What would be so difficult about that?
If Satan does in fact have the power to create a UFO out of a rod, or perhaps manufacture a UFO from scratch … or perhaps actually create a supernatural spacecraft that bypasses known laws of gravity and energy to transport it to the confines God allows it to travel yet for a season … is it totally preposterous that Satan may one day show up on this planet on some appearance of a spacecraft, announcing that he’s an advanced life-form with the necessary answers and power to stop the chaos on this planet, and/or … announce he is the long awaited “messiah” to those who refuse to believe that Jesus Christ was and is the true Messiah?
On another front, huge breakthroughs have been made in "artificial intelligence" and/or "cloning". Some sort of a "super-human" may come from a science lab, and nothing in this arena should surprise us either.
This much we know. God wants the “elect” to be able to start discerning right now, however the future on earth plays out. God makes it perfectly clear that there are ultimately only two spiritual rulers of the entire universe(s) … not three or more. That is the Godhead and Satan. Jesus Christ has full authority and all power to do as the Father wills. What limited power Satan has yet has ONLY been allowed by God -- to accomplish God's eternal purposes. Once Satan and his demons have fully served God's purposes ... they will be locked away and be punished forever for the evil they committed.
There is no doubt in my mind that the devil could engineer some sort of spacecraft, or the appearance of one, that could take mere humans for a cosmic “joy ride.” Whether it be a literal joy-ride, or a fabricated joy-ride that made that person believe it is real, (because those under hypnosis can be made to believe such a thing was real; we’ve known that for a long time). It's all a matter of what God allows Satan to do. Again and afterall ... Satan is only allowed to do what the Godhead allows him to do.
UFO testimonial sightings by more and more credible sources, abductions and extraterrestrial visitations/communication reports seem to be on the increase. Supposed UFO sightings and supposed encounters (whether real or fabricated or both) are not going to go away. A growing number are totally convinced the U.S. Government (and other foreign governments and agencies as well) are working very hard to not allow all they know about “UFO visitations and sightings” to be made public, due to potential panic and extremism of all kinds, we would "assume." Stretching it … there may be other reasons as well. (Like letting Christians "hang themselves" with extremism; giving certain leaders even a GREATER reason to try to silence the Christian voice in America and around the world, would be the first thought that comes to mind). Whether imagined or real … too many reputable people are reporting sightings of “strange things in the sky” that are causing more and more to have second and third thoughts that maybe, just maybe, there is more going on here than just lies, drug-induced experiences, and attempts to gain publicity.
However end-times play out ... one thing stands out very clearly. Occultists and those dabbling in psychic-spiritism phenomenon have little or no opposition to supposed "advanced life-forms" desiring to communicate with human beings, especially for reasons of helping us keep from "self-destruction." This should tell us something! This element of society would more than welcome help from supposed "advanced life-forms" who do not clearly state publicly that "The Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven -- the only way to have ones' sins forgiven."
As sort of a side-note before going further, I'm told that their is a steady growing interest in experiencing sexual pleasure through encounters with "departed spirits - advanced spirits - aliens - angelic beings". Those in the pornography business are finding it more and more difficult to compete with all the competition on the Internet, hence making it more difficult to remain profitable. Like any other business, one must constantly be thinking about HOW to gain an advantage over one's competition, and those in the pornography industry are no different. Don't find it at ALL surprising to hear in private conversations, more and more, that people who are seeking out "a better sexual high" are beginning to talk about have sexual contact with "spirit beings". It happened once before on this planet. Will it be allowed one more time? Satan has ALWAYS used what works best for him. Sexual satisfaction - sexual pleasure - appealing to the sex-drives of people AND pornographers making money at at? It's a "winning formula in Satan's mind" to entice people into making them his vessels of usefulness.
God tells born again followers of Jesus Christ never to fear what Satan can do to them (Yet we must be honest with ourselves. Christians are being murdered and tortured for their faith in Christ every day of the year somewhere around this planet). God tells believers to discern truth from deception, and resist evil on a personal level (See: I Peter 5:8-10). Believers in Jesus Christ have been given full authority and power to overcome Satan and his demons in their lives, though not exempt from being killed by demonic powers, should God allow, of course. We need to make that perfectly clear. Believers in Jesus Christ need not concern themselves with what power(s) Satan really has at all, as a matter of fact. All they need to know is when miraculous signs and wonders are being manifest, who is it coming from? It’s either coming through Jesus Christ, or through Satan, and that is the purpose of this writing. The Bible makes perfectly clear there is no other place God allows it to come from. That’s called wise spiritual discernment, and only the real Holy Spirit knows the difference. Those who are not connected to the real Jesus Christ that paid full penalty for their sins on the Cross of Calvary some 2,000 years ago, are not connected to the real Holy Spirit.
Satan won’t admit it, but he also knows God’s “elect” cannot be deceived as a whole. However, when he can deceive us individually, it suits his purposes quite well. It can contribute greatly to help shipwreck our faith; it can sideline us in our call/ministry; it can cause such confusion that the unsaved can have a more difficult time coming to know the true God – the only Truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth and the Holy Bible (Old and New Testament) is Truth, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. Anything else is a counterfeit - deception of Satan.
God’s will for each of us is to learn to rely on the Holy Spirit to reveal deception to us, and then expose it in a wise manner to those God gives us influence over. Being deceived is one thing, but passing along that deception to others not only grieves God greatly – it can cause the favor of God to come off a person very quickly. Losing the favor of God means loss of spiritual life – the loss of joy – the loss of peace and confidence in God in this life. It might well go even further than that, and stretch into eternity. It literally may mean a loss of eternal rewards, though our soul be saved, “as by fire.” (See: 1 Cor. 3:15)
Spiritually discerning between good and evil is not an option for followers of Jesus Christ. We need to learn how to discern evil as quickly as we can. It is God's will that we do. If what someone is saying and/or teaching does not line up clearly with all of the Bible - wisely interpreted ... beware!
In summary, God does not want born again Christian believers to fear what Satan is allowed to do ... but God also does not want us ignorant of Satan's devices. I'll say again, a little different way: God does not want believers to fear Satan and demons, but He also does not want us ignorant and deceived of his influence in the affairs of our lives and in the lives of others. He wants us wisely balanced between the two.
What God does want born again, Holy Spirit lead believers to do is discern evil – discern deception – especially within the "religious community," and expose it for the whole Church to be made aware of it so they will not give place (ensnared) to it, and to help the unsaved and deceived believers who are caught up in deception to be delivered from it.
'Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord,
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."-- Ephesians 5:6-11
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(Please paste one of the above links onto your Facebook page - website - blog - video; etc.)
To read part 2 of this series, click on the following link: Exposing Demonic Deception - Part 2
Here is another website ministry that has some excellent writings on subjects addressed in this writing: http://www.be-ready.org/ufos.html
I am providing another link to a website that provides guidelines in exposing deception that I believe many can benefit from. It is: www.apostasynow.com/wots/Contents.html
You may find this link an informative resource as well as you seek understanding of the end times: http://precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/a-e/BibleP.htm
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