Revelation 12:12, “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”
The best hope we have to keep people from being deceived by Satan’s impersonation of Christ is to expose this deception before it takes place.
“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
Does the lightning described in this text touch the ground? No, it doesn’t. Lightning that doesn’t touch the earth is called intra-cloud lightning. This is quite different from cloud-to-ground lightning.
The coming of Jesus will be like intra-cloud lightning. He will not be touching the ground.
The world will believe that this false Christ walking upon this earth is Christ, the Son of God. But we know that this being is an imposter because Jesus will not touch the ground when He returns. The Bible says we will be caught up to meet Christ in the air.
1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
Ellen White, commenting on Satan’s personation of Christ as predicted in Revelation 12:12, writes:
“As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour’s advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now, the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1:13-15. The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: ‘Christ has come! Christ has come!’ The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion.” The Great Controversy, p. 624.
Last Day Counterfet
Satan has studied the prophecies and is well aware of what will be taking place. He has inspired men to promote teachings on end-time events that have points of similarity with the truth. Satan clearly understands that Daniel 11:45 teaches that the leader of Turkey will be establishing himself in Jerusalem. Satan will be using this prophecy as a cover for his appearing on this earth as Christ.
Satan is teaching, through modern Christian writers, that when the leader of Turkey actually goes to Jerusalem that this event is the setting up of the antichrist power, and this event will start a seven-year prophetic period of time. They teach that three and a half years into this time period, Christ will appear to overthrow the antichrist. However, Satan will be this false Christ who will appear.
The teaching that the antichrist will come from Europe and rule from Jerusalem has been taught in the Christian world for decades. Ezekiel 38 and 39 have been used to teach that a great army from Russia, Gog, and Magog, will sweep down upon Israel at the end of time.
However, this new prophetic teaching is saying that Gog and Magog are not Russia, but rather, these terms refer to Turkey. It is taught that Bible prophecy teaches that the antichrist will be an Islamist from Turkey who will set up his seven-year reign in Jerusalem. This, they teach, will fulfill Ezekiel 38 and 39.
World conditions today seem to favor this new view, and many evangelicals are accepting it. According to this new teaching, three and one-half years later, after Turkey’s antichrist takes over Israel, Jesus appears and destroys the antichrist and takes over the throne of David. He then begins his 1,000-year reign here on earth.
According to the correct interpretation of Daniel 11:45, here is what happens after Turkey sets up the Caliphate in Palestine. Here in the United States of America, there will be a groundswell of support for this nation to return to God. Increasing natural disasters, economic distress, civil unrest, the elimination of the state of Israel by Islamic powers – all these calamities will convince Americans that God is unhappy with their country and that they are experiencing His wrath.
People will want to do something to show God they are returning to Him, and the most natural thing to do will be to start returning to church. But too many activities – work, entertainment, shopping – keep people away from church.
The people of this nation will call for their legislators to enact a federal Sunday law for the good of families, for the good of the economy, for the healing of the environment, and as a way to turn this nation back to its roots – faith in God. There will be many who will not go along with this violation of our First Amendment rights, as well as the violation of the fourth commandment of the law of God, and they will refuse to obey these Sunday laws.
Calamities will not abate, and it will be thought that God will not be pleased with this nation until all unite in reverencing Him by keeping Sunday and not Saturday as a day of rest and worship. Those who fail to come into line will be punished by the forfeiture of the right to buy and sell – an economic boycott (Revelation 13:17). The world's nations will follow the United States’ example. As the issues relating to the keeping of the seventh day versus the first day as the Sabbath of the Lord come to the forefront, thousands, perhaps millions of people choose to violate the law of the land in order to keep holy God’s Seventh-day Sabbath of the fourth commandment.
Meanwhile, with the uniting of the Muslim nations under the Caliphate, Islam is strengthening its position amongst the nations, and the goal of instituting Sharia Law throughout the world in response to Allah’s command seems attainable. The Western world begins to mobilize its armies to keep Islam in check.
While this clash of civilizations is heating up, many in the Christian world are expecting that Jesus will appear after three and one-half years from the time that Turkey (whom they mistakenly believe to be the antichrist) took over Jerusalem.
And right on time, a brilliant supernatural being that resembles Revelation's description of Christ suddenly appears in different parts of the world. He commands all nations to honor and worship him by keeping Sunday holy.
The final waymark of Daniel 11 will now come to pass: “. . . yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.” The Caliph will be replaced. His work will come to an end. Satan takes the field in his disguise of being Christ. No one is there to help or support the king of the north because all are on board with this majestic being who has now come on the scene.
The world's nations conform, and it appears that finally, unity and peace can come to this earth. But while men are saying peace, peace, sudden destruction begins. The events of Daniel 12:1 begin. The four angels that have been holding back the winds of strife let loose. The seven last plagues begin to fall.
The nations marshal their armies for the battle of Armageddon. A time of trouble such as there never was since there was a nation begins. It looks like the end of human civilization is about to take place. This brilliant being whom the world believes to be the Christ declares that this horrendous World War 3 that is now raging will not stop, nor will these plagues stop until there is 100% compliance with his command to worship him by honoring Sunday as a holy day.
The world responds and the world governments issue a death decree to put to death everyone not in compliance. At the very time that this decree is to be executed, the seventh and final plague hits planet earth.
There is a mighty earthquake; hailstones (seventy pounds each) hit the earth. All war and all activity on planet Earth comes to a halt as God delivers His people who refused to go along with this brilliant being who claimed to be Christ.
Those who followed this false Christ realize that he was none other than Satan himself. The end of this world has come. Jesus returns to take His people, living and resurrected, to heaven for 1,000 years. The brightness of His coming destroys the wicked. Satan and his angels are left alone on this earth to contemplate their coming destruction.
At the end of the 1,000 years, Jesus and His people return to this earth with New Jerusalem, the capital of the universe. The wicked of all ages are resurrected, and the great judgment takes place. It is now that the battle of Gog and Magog takes place (Revelation 20:8). Satan, his angels, and all the wicked acknowledge that Jesus is just and righteous and that they deserve the wages of sin, which is death.
Fire comes down and consumes this earth along with the wicked. Jesus creates a new world and the righteous inherit this earth for eternity. Read the last few chapters of The Great Controversy for an expanded treatment of these final events. Also, watch all 15 episodes of Unlocking Bible Prophecies 2.0.