Series on The Great Test
John J. Blanchard (listen to audio)
January 30, 2016
Good morning, brethren. Today’s subject is incredibly important and central to the series that we have been studying called The Great Test. The great test is to come upon the whole world. I have called this Bible study Identifying the Son of Perdition. That sounds as if it has nothing to do with the great test to come upon the world, but you will see as we go through that it is very much central to the problems that the earth is having at this time.
Physically the world is in an enormous mess. We know that. Spiritually it needs to have forgiveness and salvation, but physically we are facing some serious problems. Humankind is facing some terrible problems that can ultimately destroy mankind. We have gone over them in detail in the not-so-distant past, so let’s briefly say this. God did not create mankind for the proclivity to destroy himself. He also innately put within us the desire to live.
All living things want to live. Nothing wants to die, and that certainly is part of the human makeup that we want life. There is a saying that you will see quite a bit now on T-shirts and hats and various things that “life is good!” Life is good. It should be worth living. Christ came to give us abundant life. He wants us to have more than just a basic existence. He wants us to have a life that is full of good things. The first Scripture we call to mind today is in the gospel of John chapter 10.
John 10, verse 10: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” He goes on to call Himself the Good Shepherd.
Christ came to give us abundant life, but He says there is a thief. There is a thief out there who has come to steal, to kill, and to destroy. These are two completely opposite goals for the human race. One is death and destruction, and the other is life and life abundantly.
When we look at the world and the situation we are in and when we study history, we can see that this thief has been enormously successful. Look at the death and destruction that has taken place in the history of mankind. Look at what we are on the verge of today. It is incredible the number of obstacles and the number of problems we are facing today that could literally destroy us!
A SHORT TIME OF A GREAT TEST
The series we have been studying is called the great temptation or the great test to come upon the whole world. It is mentioned, if you recall, back in Revelation chapter 3. We will go back there just to say it in this Bible study. We are going to read it in both the King James Version and the New King James Version. I will start with the New King James.
Revelation 3, verse 10: “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”
We see that just before Christ returns, He is saying, “I am coming quickly” at this point, and there is an enormous test to come upon the whole world to try men.
In the King James Version that is called “temptation.” Let me read that in the King James. Revelation chapter 3, and also once again verse 10: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”
We also see here it is an intense and short trial. It’s called an hour, so the time is relatively short compared to all of history but very, very intense.
Our time is characterized by multiple ways that the human race can literally destroy itself: nuclear, biological, ecological, technological, and economically. All these things can destroy these things or set us so far back into the dark ages if the economy were to totally collapse that life would be very short and brutish indeed, just as it used to be. We seem powerless to stop it. This is what has so many people full of anxiety and fear. Nobody seems to be able to stop any one of these problems! They all keep advancing kind of in lock step. We may gain a little bit one year, and the next year another huge threat comes along. We can’t seem to put the genie back in the bottle of any of these things. Actually nothing is further from the truth!
We can fight these things if we understand who the enemy is who has brought these to us. We can’t fight what we don’t understand. Identifying the destructive force that works in our nature is critically important in learning how to deal with these problems, reversing the course of history and, of course, having life more abundant. Let’s identify the destructive force that works in our nature.
THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR
Ephesians chapter 2, beginning in verse 1: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”
You see there is a force that has power in the world called the prince of the power of the air, and he has set the world on a course of wrath and destruction! Once we are called into the truth of God, that should no longer work in us. That power should be diminishing. From the point we are converted and baptized and receive the Holy Spirit, that power should be weakening in our lives to the point where it is eventually extinguished. It is a process.
This prince of the power of the air has been likened to what’s in the air waves that we can pick up on a radio or on the Internet or on television. You don’t see those waves, but they are there. We just have to tune into them. The human mind is very similar. Satan, the prince of the power of the air, broadcasts evil temptations to us, and our minds are able to pick it up as if we have an antenna. We constantly have to resist those thoughts that come into our minds.
Let’s turn back a few pages to II Corinthians chapter 4, also beginning in verse 1: “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age…”
Notice in your Bible, if you are reading along, that god is spelled here with a little “g” because we are talking about the prince of the power of the air.
Continuing in verse 4: “…whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
The gospel indeed is being preached, but there is this prince of the power of the air. There is this god of this age—this god of this world who twists God’s word in our mind, and he tempts us with the lusts of the flesh. He makes us become wrathful, as we saw in the other Scripture. It said children of wrath, and that of course leads to destruction.
THE WORLD IS DECEIVED
This god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, is a god who deceives. He blinds, and he twists the word of God. Satan is that being. Revelation 12:9 tells us how successful he truly has been. He has been more successful than sometimes we like to admit or can even imagine. We need to realize that the world is in a terrible condition. Satan is being successful.
We are turning to Revelation 12, verse 9: “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
He and his demons deceive the whole world. None of us likes to admit that we have been deceived or tricked, but you notice God did not say here, “except” anybody. Of course, the apostles had been deceived before they met Christ and before they received the Holy Spirit. There is no human being except Jesus Christ who has gone through life without being deceived. It is truly an unfortunate situation when believers can be deceived.
Here we are talking about a situation in which the whole world still gets deceived even after Christ casts Satan out of heaven! That is the thing being talked about here in Revelation 12. After that the whole world still gets deceived! That’s what we have to study and learn about if we ever want to deal with this being who is so powerful and who can literally trick us all!
I want to look at a couple of Satan’s names. Let’s turn to Revelation chapter 9. Let’s go back a couple of pages to Revelation chapter 9. I want to read verse 3: “Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.”
These aren’t locusts like you see eating in your garden or chirping at night when you hear the cicadas or the locusts. These are not. These are spirit beings. We saw them referenced in Revelation chapter 12, verse 9. They are the demons who were cast to the earth along with Satan.
We will drop down to verse 11, so we can keep on topic here. Revelation 9, verse 11: “And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.”
It goes on to say this is a woe for the earth. Of course, it is a woe for the earth.
These locusts—these demons—that deceive the whole world have as their king the prince of the power of the air. Satan has two names given to him to describe him: Abaddon which means a destroying angel and Apollyon which means destruction and destroyer.
There is another name to focus on when talking about Satan, and that is the subject of this Bible study: the son of perdition. In the New Testament, “perdition” comes from the Greek word apoleia (#684, Strong’s Concordance, 1995). It sounds similar to Apollyon. Apoleia means ruin or loss, physically, spiritually, or eternally. The physical loss that the earth is facing—the destruction of mankind—and perhaps all living things on the earth comes from Apollyon, the destroyer.
The word apoleia is a derivative of the word apollumi (#622, Strong’s Concordance, 1995), which means to destroy fully. Satan wants to destroy the human race completely! That’s why we go back to his name Apollyon which means destroyer. Therefore the son of perdition is the son of destruction.
ANGELS ARE CALLED SONS
Why is he called a son? We need to look at that for a moment to be able to understand some other prophecies that we want to talk about in a moment. Let’s see why Satan could be called a son. Let’s go to Job. We’re going all the way back to Job now in the Old Testament. We are going to Job chapter 1. This is a very interesting start to the Book of Job. We are going to read verses 6 and 7.
Job 1, verse 6: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.’”
Satan, of course, is an angel. He is a demonic angel. We see here a number of angels came before God, and they were called sons of God. Among them was this demon Satan. He was considered here a son of God. Can we find another reference? When we think of son we think of a human being, a man, a boy. Let’s go to Daniel chapter 9.
Before Satan became Satan he was Lucifer, and he was an archangel. Let’s go to Daniel chapter 9 because there is another archangel mentioned here in verse 20. It’s the archangel Gabriel Daniel 9, verse 20: “Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering.”
Gabriel, of course, is an angel. It is the same angel who brought a message to Mary that she would bear the Messiah. He was an archangel, and still is an archangel. He was in the good graces of God, because he is a faithful angel. He is a messenger in certain places, but he is also called a man, one of the sons of God.
These sons are created. They are living beings that are created by God. They are His children, like human beings, but human beings for the time being are made a little less than angels. Someday we will have the capacity to be spirit beings. That’s why we can be called sons of God if we have the Holy Spirit, but eventually we will be fully born into the God family and be like Him. That is another subject. Angels are like our older brethren, so to speak. They were here first. They were created by God, and they are called sons of God. That will help us understand some prophecies that are often confused concerning the end of the age.
What does Satan do to deceive us? He seeks to change and to break God’s laws—the rules of the universe. Let’s take a quick look back at the Book of Daniel. Turning back a page to Daniel chapter 7, verse 25: “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever.”
Who is the prince of the power of the air—the god of this world, the god with a little “g”? That is Satan. He is ultimately this persecutor of the saints. He is the one who speaks against God the Most High. He seeks to change times and laws, God’s seasons, and His laws—the rules of the universe.
THE ORIGIN OF SATAN
Go over a few pages to Ezekiel chapter 28. We are going to read a description of Lucifer and what happened to him and how he became Satan. You can read the whole chapter at some point. He is called here the king of Tyre because Satan entered the king of Tyre. Tyre was a small city-state which had a lot of evil, and Satan was definitely inspiring and moving the leaders of that city-state.
Here we read breaking into chapter 28 of Ezekiel in verse 11: “Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of Man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God…’”’”
Now we can see this was a spirit being, because even though it is tied to the king of Tyre, the king of Tyre lived thousands of years after what happened in the Garden of Eden. He was not in the Garden of Eden. But this king of Tyre, the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world, was in the Garden of Eden.
Continuing in verse 13 of Ezekiel 28: “…every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.”
This is why he can be called a son of God, a child of creation of God.
Verse 14: “You were the anointed cherub who covers…”
In other words, you were one of the archangels.
Continuing in verse 14: “I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.”
Now he walks back and forth on the earth. At one time he was right at the throne of God, a covering archangel at the throne in heaven!
Verse 15: “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.”
Notice he changed from being perfect to having sin in him.
Continuing reading in verse 16: “By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within…”
Violence is what leads to destruction.
Verse 16: “…and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you…”
Meaning, He destroyed his position and eventually his power in heaven. But he still walks to and fro on the earth and has a lot of power and influence on the earth.
Verse 16: “…and I destroyed you O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones.”
He removed him from his position as an archangel.
Verse 17: “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor…”
In other words, he had a huge ego.
Verse 17: “I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you. You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading [his influence on the earth]; therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever.”
His power will ultimately be wiped out forever. That part of this prophecy has not been fully fulfilled yet. Satan has been cast out of heaven. Then when Jesus Christ died on the cross after having lived a perfect life, He diminished the power of Satan by sitting on the throne of God and banishing Satan to this earth. That is what we spoke of in Revelation 12. He came to this earth, deceiving mankind to this very day. He accuses mankind. He is the accuser of the brethren.
This is a very powerful being that we are dealing with. He is full of iniquity, which in Hebrew means morally evil. As a matter of fact, the spelling in the Hebrew is evel with an “e.” It means to distort morally. He wants to distort and twist our minds through deception.
Let’s now go to Isaiah chapter 14 and read a little bit more about this being and what he has done to the human race. If we were to start a little further up in this chapter, we would find that he is now referred to as the king of Babylon. Babylon means confusion. He brought confusion to the earth, and he definitely was in the possession of the king of Babylon’s mind at various points, which is why he is called the king of Babylon.
Now let’s drop down to verse 12 of Isaiah chapter 14. This is where we want to start. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven…’”
We are starting to see some of the iniquity that was in this being.
Verse 13: “…I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…”
He wanted to be above the other angels. Stars are a symbol for angels. We know he took one-third of God’s angels and turned them into demons when he became Satan. He said, I will ascend to your throne, above all the other angels, including Gabriel and the other faithful angels.
Continuing in Isaiah 14, verse 13: “I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north…”
The congregation back in the Old Testament was ancient Israel. In the New Testament, it’s the Church—Christianity. He will sit on the mount of the congregation. We know what happened to ancient Israel. They did get destroyed because Satan is a destroyer. We can look at the condition that the Church is in, but we won’t dwell on that today. But it is a mess! Christianity is a mess. There is a reason Christianity is a mess. You are looking at it right here! He got involved by sitting on the congregation of God, sitting right in the midst of it!
Verse 14: “‘…I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?’”
Ever since the incident in Eden where Adam and Eve fell, he has held the earth captive. We have been his prisoners. Jesus Christ came to set us free, and that is happening. It is building slowly. It started with twelve apostles. Then 3,000 were baptized on the first Day of Pentecost, and it grew. Eventually it started to crack and fall apart as Christianity began to devour itself and turn on one another for the simple reason that among the Christians came this being, Satan, the son of perdition. His intent is to destroy Christianity, so he can destroy all of mankind. That is his intent. That is his purpose.
He is the personification of violence and destruction. Whenever we see on the news violence of any sort and destruction, we are seeing iniquity at work. We are seeing the lawless one at work in the human race! He is called here once again in Isaiah a man. Eventually when this prophecy comes to fruition, he will be revealed for who he is and will be seen by people. People will say, is this the man! Is this the being who caused all our suffering for all these thousands of years? We will be able to witness his humiliation and his utter defeat by Jesus Christ and God the Father.
This angel, this wicked being, this demon has thoroughly weakened the nations. He wants to be a god as in the real God family. He wormed his way into God’s congregation—His people. He has been among God’s people for 2,000 years! We have talked about it in the series so far a little bit about how the seven Church eras Satan is referenced and his demons referenced in a number of places there. In the 2,000 year history of God’s Church, Satan has been there. He is called at times the synagogue of Satan. He is called Baal and Beelzebub and various things. He is working right in opposition to God’s people among them!
THE SON OF PERDITION
Paul warned that there would be wolves among the flock. Satan is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. There would be wolves coming in among the flock. What is it that they are trying to do? What is it that Satan wants done among the flock? Let’s go to II Thessalonians, because this has often confused people. II Thessalonians chapter 2 is a reference to eventually our time, the time you and I live in.
II Thessalonians chapter 2, verse 1: “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.”
We see this is concerning the time. He is answering questions that people had about when Jesus Christ would come. We saw in Revelation 3, just before Christ comes there is an enormous test to come upon the whole world. It is a temptation to come upon the whole world to try men. This is another cross reference to that point in time, because Paul is saying don’t worry. There are certain things that have to happen before Jesus Christ can return.
He goes on to say in verse 3 of II Thessalonians 2: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition…”
That’s why it was important to understand that perdition means destruction, and it’s another name for Satan. He is considered a son of God. Too many people have looked at this Scripture and said who the man of sin is. I have heard various theories. He is a tall, dark Italian. He is somebody from Rome of Jewish descent. He is various personages that have come and gone. I have heard him described in my lifetime as various people who are all dead, so obviously it is not Satan because Satan is not dead. We have made a lot of mistakes not understanding that Satan can be called a man or a son of God.
The day of Jesus Christ’s return will not come until the son of man is revealed, the son of perdition. What we are talking about today in this Bible study is helping reveal him! That gives you an idea of how close we are. When he is revealed, it is one of the last prophetic things to happen before events unfold very rapidly with this great test on the world and Jesus Christ’s return! What we are talking about today is very important, and it is central to this series that we are talking about—the great test to come upon the human race.
Continuing in verse 4 of II Thessalonians 2: “…who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
Now we see how this can be a spirit being called a man or son of God who wants to sit in the temple of God, which is God’s Church. Ephesians 2 tells us the temple of God is God’s Church. Hebrews 3 also tells us that we are a temple of God. Just before Christ returns, he is sitting in the temple of God, and he has gotten to the point where he can show himself that he is God. Look! I have destroyed the Church! They are following my dictates. That’s how we know where we are in time.
I am asking you to look at this with clear vision and ask God to help you understand, because this is very important to reveal the son of perdition at the end of the age. This is an incredibly important subject. No human being can take over a spiritual organism because the body of Christ, the Church, is a spiritual organism. Only a spirit being can do this.
Verse 5: “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.”
“He” in the New King James Version is capitalized because that is referring to Jesus Christ who restrains Satan. Until that point in time, He wants to accomplish something at the end of the age with a great test to come upon the whole world, including the Church.
I could read “mystery of lawlessness” in the King James Version. Keep your finger there in verse 8, and we will go with verse 8. I will read that in the King James Version.
We will start in II Thessalonians 2, verse 3 to get the context. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
That word “sitteth” is actually translated from the Greek as hovers (#2523, Strong’s Concordance, 1995). He hovers over the Church because he is an angel being.
Continuing in verse 5 of II Thessalonians 2: “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work…”
Even back in the day of the apostles he was already working.
Verse 7: “…only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed [notice in the King James Version here it says “Wicked”], whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming…”
The wicked are the people who have fallen for Satan’s deceptions and, because accidently they don’t realize they are being wicked, are being used by Satan to destroy the Church. Eventually because of that, this could destroy the whole world if Satan had his way.
Verse 9: “…even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders…”
They are pointing to false signs and lying wonders to be the things that Satan is deceiving them with. You look at the condition of the Church, and you start to realize there is untruth in the Church because of the working of the son of perdition—Satan.
Verse 10: “…and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie…”
We can read that now in the New King James Version, starting in verse 8. I wanted to read it first in the King James Version because the New King James Version incorrectly says the “lawless one” instead of the “wicked.” I will insert “wicked.”
II Thessalonians 2, verse 8: “And then the lawless one [wicked] will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one [wicked] 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. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie…”
God allows this strong delusion—a lack of truth, but it is Satan who is working his deception as the son of perdition in those who have fallen for his tricks and are preaching untruth.
I hope that is clear to you. We are dealing with a spirit being, the son of perdition, who is leading people in error. We saw it’s the whole world in Revelation 12:9. People tend to think, I am not deceived! My group is not deceived! It is not my congregation or my church. They are all deceived! Everybody has the same idea, not realizing we are all in this boat together. We need to get this being identified, so that we can get this deception off. God can then remove the delusion. God will clear up our vision. Then we can understand spiritual things and halt the working of the son of perdition in our lives, and eventually in the Church and the whole world. This will reverse the destruction that Satan has in mind for all mankind because he is lawless. That’s what we saw here.
SATAN IS AGAINST GOD’S LAW
The mystery of iniquity is called the lawless one in verse 7. He was already working back then. He was trying to lead the Church astray back then. You can read the whole epistles, and you will see how many times the apostles were fighting with people who were in the Church and leading various congregations astray. The mystery of iniquity, the son of perdition, was at work back then! He has been working in the human race for a long time.
Iniquity is the word anomia (#458, Strong’s Concordance, 1995) which means illegality, violation of the law. He is against the law. That’s what we have to understand. Generally speaking, that is wickedness. It comes from the word anomos (#459, Strong’s Concordance, 1995) which means lawless, by definition not subject to the Jewish law. What’s the Jewish law? It is the Ten Commandments. It’s what ancient Israel received.
Satan is against God’s law. He is against God’s Ten Commandments. That is the great test that we have been talking about. We are going to be talking about it for a while yet. This great test to come upon the whole world is whether we will let the Ten Commandments reign in our life or not.
Satan wants the Ten Commandments distorted and ultimately thrown out as the rules of the universe. That’s why we saw that he distorts the truth in our minds as the prince of the power of the air and the god of this world. We saw in Daniel 7:25 that he wants to alter God’s times and seasons. That means God’s holy days and His prophetic time schedule. He wants that changed because God has set a maximum amount of time that Satan can be god of this world. It is 6,000 years from the Garden of Eden until now. That’s why there is a seven-day week, and the seventh day is representative of the Millennium that is just around the corner. Satan has people off that day and not studying the Sabbath day.
By and large most people on the earth are observing a different day of the week as a holy day, Christians or non-Christians. He has been extraordinarily successful at getting people off God’s timeframe and breaking the Ten Commandments. That is one right there: the Sabbath day which is the fourth commandment. That is one of the deceptions Satan has brought right into Christianity. He has been so successful that we ought to be ashamed because God’s word was so clear!
Notice the facts. The vast majority of Christianity does the following. They believe the law is done away. Or if they keep the law or believe the law is still in extant, they change the law. They have altered the law. They have moved the Sabbath day from the Sabbath, Saturday (Friday evening to Saturday evening), to Sunday. Other religions that revere the Old Testament have moved it to Friday, not realizing God has that day in the Ten Commandments immortally. It was written in stone by the finger of God for a reason.
When we say something is cast in stone, it is because we mean it is permanent. It is permanent! It was never at man’s discretion that day could be changed, yet it was. We have to realize Satan was behind all of these temptations. That’s why the great test on the earth is called a temptation. It is Satan working in our minds to get us to do his will. He is the one who wants the laws changed and the times changed.
God’s times are His holy days. Satan doesn’t want us keeping the correct holy days because they point to the schedule and the prophetic fulfillment of how Christ is going to release us from the bondage of Satan. When you are not keeping those days and studying those days and when they are out of your mind, Satan keeps you in ignorance!
As far as the non-Christian world is concerned, they do whatever they want, not realizing the Ten Commandments are important at all.
RESIST BY OBEYING THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
What is the solution to this problem? The solution is to resist the devil by obeying the truth of God and keeping the Ten Commandments.
Let’s go to the epistle of James, chapter 4, verse 1, where we are told: “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?”
These desires are temptations, obviously.
Verse 2: “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?”
The god of this world has the world arranged in such a way that it is at odds with God and His purposes.
Continuing in verse 4: “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, ‘The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously.’ But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”
We need to be humble enough to admit we are wrong. I misunderstood all these things myself. I can’t say that I always understood who the son of perdition was. I can’t say I always believed that the Ten Commandments had to be kept the way God wrote them. We all have been deceived, and we have to get to the point we are humble enough to admit it. Get rid of the pride.
Verse 7 goes on to tell us: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Verse 8: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
If we admit we are wrong, and we are sad about it for a little while, God says, I will lift you up! Don’t worry. It’s the starting place. It is always hard to swallow crow, but that is how we correct this whole situation. That is how we resist the devil, and that is how we get him to flee. Submit to the teachings of Christ. Let’s look at some of the words of Christ.
Turn to Matthew chapter 4. Satan, of course, tempted Christ. He tempted Him in terrible ways, but He did not fall for those temptations. At the start of this great temptation in Matthew 4, verse 1 we are told: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”’”
If we want life and we want life abundantly, we must live by the words that come out of Christ’s mouth—by the words of Jesus Christ which is the Bible. In that whole episode, Christ fought each temptation with Scripture. They were His own words, inspired to be written in the Bible.
CHRIST SAID KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS
Let’s go over a page to Matthew chapter 5, verse 17. Christ tells us: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
You have it right here that Christ said the law is not going to be changed. He did not come to change it or alter it. Certainly he did not come to abolish it, nor the words of the prophets. And part of the words of the prophets are the holy days and the prophetic fulfillment of those holy days. We can understand what God’s plan is for the human race and how He will deliver us from the clutches of that tyrant Satan.
Now let’s go to the gospel of John, chapter 14. In John 14, verse 15 Christ plainly says: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
It goes on to say, if you want to keep the Holy Spirit, keep My commandments. He helps us with His blood when we fall short, but we must make an effort to keep the Ten Commandments. By doing so, we are demonstrating love for Jesus Christ.
I know all Christians want to love Jesus Christ. We have been deceived. We have been tricked. God knew it would happen. He said when it is revealed at the end of the age what the son of perdition has done, fight it. Resist Satan. He will flee. Keep the Ten Commandments. The Holy Spirit can be ours. The whole human race can have it, whoever is willing to accept these rules of the universe and kick the lawless one out of their life.
I John is an interesting book. John understood what it was to fight the wicked one. The anti-Christ is anybody who preaches against the law of God. They are allowing the anti-Christ, Satan, to work in their lives. John knew what it was like to fight these errors, and here is what he had to say. Let’s go to I John chapter 2.
I John chapter 2, verse 3: “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
That’s exactly what was said in II Thessalonians chapter 2. The strong delusion is to believe the lie and to think the law is done away. We can change the law! God doesn’t care about it anymore. Jesus Christ did not care when He said, if you love Me, keep My commandments. He didn’t really mean that!
If we want to get this delusion out of our lives, we have to admit where we have made a mistake. If we want to know that we know Christ, part of that knowing is desiring to keep the Ten Commandments. Coming into concert with Christ’s will is what kicks the lawless one out of our lives because that is resisting the devil.
I John chapter 3, verse 22: “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”
If we want our prayers answered and if we want help from God, draw near to Him, He said. He will draw near to us. Keeping the commandments is drawing near to Him. It is respecting Him. It is loving Him, and He will be there to help us fight the lawless one, the son of perdition. We will get him out of our life. That is how we obtain an abundant life, a happy life. That is how violence on the earth and death and destruction will cease. We kick the lawless one out of our lives, and the more of us that do that, the weaker he becomes here at the end of the age. We find in Scripture in Revelation 7 that an innumerable multitude at the end of the age has become converted and washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. That is about to happen. That is going to start very soon! We can get in on the ground floor.
The blessing of God to us is basically the same as what He told ancient Israel. They had physical blessings of nationhood that do not pertain exactly the same way, but they will have their blessings at the end of the age. They will have their safe physical nation. All of mankind can be part of God’s kingdom, a spiritual kingdom. We will live on this earth with peace and harmony and without the lawless one affecting us anymore. It will be without the prince of the power of the air, the son of perdition, influencing us to do his bidding.
What is that blessing? Let’s go back to the Old Testament to Deuteronomy chapter 30. This is written by Moses. Moses was the one who received the Ten Commandments. He is the one who carried them down the mountain. They were carried down twice. Perhaps the first time was showing that ancient Israel would fall apart, but the second time God wins. He does it through the Church, but He knows that at the end of the age the Church will face a huge problem. Ultimately God comes to our rescue, and we win! He will help us resist the devil.
Here is what Moses says, starting in Deuteronomy 30, verse 11: “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments…”
There you have it in the Old Testament. Loving God is keeping His commandments.
Continuing in verse 16 of Deuteronomy 30: “…His statutes, and His judgements, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
THE TEST IS WHETHER WE KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS
These promises are ours. They are for the whole world. There is a test the whole world is entering now to see if we will love God by keeping His commandments. He so much wants to give us His Holy Spirit and to help us resist the devil and kick the son of perdition out of our lives. God is with us in this struggle. We are told in Romans, if God is with us, who can be against us? He will win, and we can win with Him.
Keep that in mind, and learn to resist the devil. Love God by keeping His commandments, and the son of perdition will flee from your life.