Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Is it possible that Satan can fool people into thinking that he is Christ? If the answer is yes, this would be the most monstrous deception the world has ever seen. Jesus was clear in warning us that in these last days Satan will do that very thing: "False christs ... will arise" (Matt. 24:24). And if anybody lets Satan deceive him, he would be someone greatly to be pitied.
Many say, "I know what Jesus looks like. I can't be fooled." But don't forget that if Satan can make himself look and act and talk like Christ in order to fool people, he can also produce a false "holy spirit." And that's where the problem starts; where the deception becomes the most clever and subtle (and diabolical).
And yes, Revelation 18 does say that in these last days "Babylon the great" will be filled with a counterfeit of God's true Holy Spirit (see vss. 2, 3). It will be everywhere you look. "And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers [Satan has them!] also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness" (2 Cor. 11:14, 15). Can you think of anything more serious?
How can we distinguish between the true and false? When the ancient Jews faced Jesus, they asked the same question, and concluded that their view of God's law settled the issue. So they crucified the Son of God partly because they thought He wasn't keeping the Sabbath correctly.
Jesus said the first evidence we have of the true Holy Spirit working is that He gives a conviction of sin (John 16:7, 8). In contrast, the counterfeit "holy spirit" makes us feel good about ourselves.
The true Holy Spirit gives us a deep, disquieting hunger and thirst (Matt. 5:6). But the counterfeit leaves us satisfied with our spiritual condition. The natural result? An absorption with the pursuit of entertainment and worldly things.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 19, 2003.
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