In the book Islam: The Cloak of Antichrist author Jack Smith examines the role Islam will play during the great tribulation. This excerpt comes from chapter 1.
SATAN ALWAYS MASQUERADES BEHIND ANOTHER
Satan always works behind or through another. He never shows his real face. One of the clearest examples is found in Revelation 13. There, a beast appears from the sea. As we will see in future chapters, this beast is not a literal beast, but it is symbolic of a deity that leads a false religion that will one day have dominion over the world. Satan is the Dragon (see Rev. 12:9), who gives the Beast his power. Verse 13:2 states that the “dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.” Satan is the force behind the Beast, and he acts through the Beast as he stands behind him.
SATAN ALWAYS USES A DISGUISE
In Matthew 16, Jesus and his disciples are together as Simon Peter, the leader among the twelve, has just proclaimed Jesus to be the Son of God (see Matt. 16:16). The very next verses recount Jesus’ warning to his disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, where He will suffer, be killed, and rise from the dead on the third day. Here is Simon Peter’s immediate response to Jesus, followed by Jesus’ words to Simon:
Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He [Jesus] turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”
Amazing. Simon Peter (the Rock upon which the church is built) becomes the mouthpiece of Satan to tempt Christ outside the will of God, i.e., to avoid death on the cross—the very purpose that Christ was born to fulfill (see John 12:27). Satan is so adept at his deception and Simon is so predisposed as to what Jesus’ true mission is (see Matt. 16:23 and Luke 24:21, where the disciples understanding of Jesus’ role is stated) that Simon became Satan’s mouthpiece without even knowing it.
SATAN CRAVES TO BE WORSHIPED AS GOD
What Satan desires most is the worship that belongs only to God. In Matthew 4, Jesus has been fasting in the wilderness for forty days and nights in preparation for the beginning of His ministry. Satan joins Jesus, for the purpose of tempting Him to abandon His mission to humanity. The first two temptations are unsuccessful. The third and final temptation is Satan’s effort to give it his last, best shot. The temptation goes as follows:
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”
Satan was willing to give away all of his kingdoms (see John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) and all of their glory for one thing: worship. Why is this so important to Satan? Because when Satan is worshiped, he places himself in the place reserved for God.
Now, return with me to Revelation 13. Notice how the text reveals the importance of worship to Satan:
And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority ... they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” ... All who dwell on the earth will worship him.
—Revelation 13:2, 4, 8
Satan has given the Beast exactly what he offered Jesus (but Jesus rejected it in Matthew 4:1–10), i.e., Satan’s power, his throne, and his authority. Why is Satan offering his most precious possessions to another? To be worshiped in the place reserved for God.
Satan craves to be worshiped, even when the world does not know it is worshiping him; and even if he only receives worship while he stands behind another—in this case, the beast of a false religion, whom Scripture only refers to symbolically.
So where might we look for Satan’s masquerade in the last days? Scripture tells us in 2 Corinthians 11:14: “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”
What might be Satan’s angel of light? Religion!
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