Will the beast in Revelation be able to deceive Christians?

Will the beast in Revelation be able to deceive Christians?  The answer, unfortunately, is absolutely yes!  If you’ve read the book of Revelation in the Bible, surely you remember the beast.  Everyone except the true Christians will worship the beast.  The antiChrist.  We know that only the true Christians will not fall for the deceptions of the beast, because Jesus warned of it in Matthew’s Gospel.  This should concern all Christians.

Will the beast in Revelation be able to deceive Christians?Take a look at what Jesus says in the passage below, from a section titled Signs of the End of the Age in the 1984 NIV Translation.

Signs of the End of the Age – Matthew

24:1-51 pp — Mk 13:1-37; Lk 21:5-36

Mt 24:4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Mt 24:9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Mt 24:15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

Intro – Will the beast in Revelation be able to deceive Christians?

Do we believe in predestiny or free will?

This may seem like a difficult topic. One that’s down in the weeds with boring religious dogma.

Does it matter whether I believe in predestiny or free will?
For some things, yes it matters a lot. For instance, when looking at the ability of the antichrist, the beast on Revelation, to deceive Christians, it matters a great deal. I believe it’s the only way we can fully appreciate what Jesus said in Matthew 24:24.

Mt 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible.

Do you see the issue there?  It has to do with “the elect” and can they be deceived. That, of course, assumes the elect actually exist!

For predestiny, where God has predetermined everyone who will be saved, then no one will be deceived by false Christs, false prophets, Etc.  Why not? because with predestiny, all Christians are the elect. And yet, we read in the Bible that people will be deceived.  That they already have been deceived.  And if we take a look around, we know that people are being deceived even now.  Therefore, when the antichrist comes, we know that some who consider themselves to be Christians will be deceived.

For free will, there’s no such thing as the elect.  Everyone has a choice, since those who are saved are foreknown by God, but not predetermined.  Therefore, verses like this one make no sense.

Rather than go into the details here, I refer you to a couple articles I’ve written for those two scenarios. The problem of predestiny. The Problem of Free Will.

There is an alternative to this either / or choices. Most denominations choose to believe one, and only one, of those two. I believe the reality is that Scripture does support both of them. That some people were chosen and the rest of us have the free will to become true followers of Jesus – or not. That’s written up in The problem of Either/Or: Free Will vs Predestiny.

Since I can see the reasoning behind both predestiny and free will, it makes sense that both exist. In other words, some people are predestined to fulfill a role in God’s plan and are thereby saved. People like Abraham, Moses, Gideon, David, and the other Old Testament heroes. The rest of us have a choice. In this case, references like the one above make perfect sense. No twisted explanations need to be made for predestiny only or free will only.

To me, it seems again that the answer to the predestiny versus free will question is that there are some of both.  As I said, we see evidence of both throughout the Bible.  Being “forced” to choose one appears to be more of a denominational issue, rather than a decision that’s thrust on us by the Bible.

Are we part of the elect – is our salvation a “sure thing”?

I believe there’s enough evidence in the Bible to tell us that assuming our salvation is a “sure thing” is not a wise choice. One that always comes to mind is the passage below.

The Sheep and the Goats

Mt 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Mt 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Mt 25:37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

Mt 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Mt 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

Mt 25:44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

Mt 25:45 “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

Mt 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Clearly, there are people sent to the left who expected to be sent to the right. They were goats rather than sheep. Going to Hell rather than Heaven.

Guess what? It’s very likely some of those people were deceived. For whatever reason, they thought they were Christians. However, Jesus tells them, very plainly, they are not.

That ranks right up there with what Jesus said in the following passage.

A Tree and Its Fruit

Mt 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Mt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

Being told by Jesus to go away and having Him call me an evildoer isn’t something I want to hear. And yet, when we’re deceived, that’s exactly what we might hear. Unless we’re firmly convinced that predistiny is absolutely correct and that free will isn’t possible, we need to be concerned about the possibility of being deceived.

By the way, if you haven’t checked out The problem of predestiny, I highly recommend it. For instance, have you thought about what the angels told the shepherds about the birth of the Messiah?

The Shepherds and the Angels

Lk 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Lk 2:13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
Lk 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

Lk 2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Lk 2:16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Here’s the big question about that passage. The angels said they were bringing good news of great joy that will be for all the people. If there’s no free will to choose to follow Christ, and if God preselected everyone who was going to be saved, then some will be saved and some won’t. Furthermore, many things Jesus said point to many people not being saved. Therefore, if there’s also no free will to choose to follow Jesus, how could the angels possibly bring any news that was for all the people? The only way that makes sense is if everyone had at least the chance to choose to follow Jesus!

What do you think – Will the beast in Revelation be able to deceive Christians?

After all that, do you believe the beast will be able to deceive Christians? I firmly believe the antichrist, the beast, will be able to deceive those who think or claim they’re Christian, but aren’t really true followers of Christ. Those kinds of warnings exist throughout the Gospels. They’re also in the various letters in the New Testament. Finally, in the Book of Revelation, the Seven Letters to the Seven Churches give the same kinds of warnings!

For us to assume they’re not true and that everyone who calls themselves a Christian is automatically saved, I believe, is a recipe for disaster. A ticket to travel on the road with the goats, rather than staying on the narrow path to Heaven.

As of the time I’m writing this, I’m in the midst of publishing a series on The Seven Letters to Seven Churches. The first few articles are there now. The remainder are written, but undergoing final formatting and verification. Please check back or subscribe via the link towards the top (bottom for cell phones) of the page.

Does the beast in Revelation exist today?

There’s no reason to think the actual beast in Revelation exists today. There are prerequisites, events that must take place before the antichrist makes his or her appearance.

If the beast in Revelation doesn’t exist today, does it matter?

So why go through all this if the beast doesn’t exist yet? Well, because it matters. If we can be deceived today, what hope do we have when the events in Revelation start to unfold?

That’s actually one of the reasons I like Revelation so much. Yes, it’s got plenty of doom and gloom. But then it’s got even more hope and potentially good news. However, whether that hope will apply to us and whether we’ll be the beneficiaries of the good news depends very much on our ability to listen to and follow the Holy Spirit. To not be deceived. That’s what the seven letters series is all about.

Given that we’re so easily deceived today, it’s critically important that we learn to listen to the Holy Spirit. In church-speak, to be able to discern the difference between truth and lies. Not on our own, but with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s look at a few examples of things that deceive Christians, even today

As I said, these examples are important. The things that deceive Christians today are from “ordinary” people. In other words, they aren’t from the antichrist. Not from the beast in Revelation.

Why focus on religion and politics?

You may ask, why are all my examples going to focus on religion and politics. It’s quite simple, really. The End Times, as described in the Bible, will have what we call a one-world government. One government that rules the entire earth. Further, that one-world government will establish and enforce a one-world religion. Anyone who refused to worship the beast as part of that one-world religion will be put to death. We see that in the passage below.

The Beast out of the Sea

And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. 2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. 4 Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?”
Rev 13:5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. 6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
Rev 13:9 He who has an ear, let him hear.
Rev 13:10 If anyone is to go into captivity,
into captivity he will go.
If anyone is to be killed with the sword,
with the sword he will be killed.

This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.

Please note a couple things in there.

The beast is the antichrist. The dragon is Satan. And anyone who refuses to worship them will be, as it says in verse 10, captured and put to death.

Verse 9 points out that we need to listen to the Holy Spirit.

The final sentence lets us know that patient endurance and faithfulness will be needed.

This will be the most troubling time ever on the earth. Escaping it without the Holy Spirit, the mind of Christ as Paul puts it, is impossible. And as I’ve already pointed out, if we can’t get through what’s happening now with politics and religion, what hope will we have when this comes to pass. But if not us in our lifetimes, our children, or their children, Etc. How have we prepared them? Have we prepared them at all? Can we prepare them if we can’t get through deceptions today that aren’t even from the beast?

Deceiving Christians – politics, religion and masks

As we go through the trials of the COVID virus, whether or not to wear a mask has become a political issue. One party says we should wear them, while the other says we should have the right to not wear one.

Unfortunately, the mask issue has become somewhat of a religious issue as well. I don’t know if it exactly follows political party lines or not, but there does seem to be a correlation of some sort. Here in southern California, we have some very famous pastors of megachurches that are openly Republican and support Donald Trump’s views on many things.

Wearing masks is one of them. So is an insistence that not allowing churches to meet, even megachurches with thousands of people, is unconstitutional.

One thing to remember here is that churches are not the specific target of mask laws. Mask laws apply to every organization or business where a certain number of people get together. It’s not specifically about churches.

Furthermore, if we look to the Biblical meaning of persecution, it’s not that either. Persecution, the way it’s used in the Bible, applies to actions that specifically target Christians. Again, since mask, laws are more general in nature, they are not persecution of Christians.

So how does this mask issue get to be a mix of politics and religion?

Here’s an example.

One of the megachurch pastors here so So Cal attended the nomination ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court at the White House. It was a typical Trump affair. Very few people wearing masks. This particular pastor did not wear a mask. No social distancing. Lots of handshakes and hugging. People standing right next to each other and in small groups talking. They pretty much did everything they shouldn’t have done.

Let’s be honest here. That was a political gathering. And following the no mask no social distancing practices of too many Republicans was a political choice. Even though some claim otherwise, that pastor was attending a political event, not doing God’s work, in my opinion. How many times did we read about Jesus going to a Roman event? Never! Even Paul, when he went to Rome, it was to preach the Gospel, not to support Caesar!

Unfortunately, this pastor now has COVID. I pray for his recovery and that he not infect anyone else. Also unfortunate is the fact that, after becoming infected, he asks that we not politicize this virus. I say that because he already politicized it by going to a political event, followed the political decision not to wear a mask or to social distance, got infected with COVID because of those political decisions, and only now wants to make it not political.

I’m sorry. It’s too late for that. All those choices and decisions he made were political, not religious. Our Christian religion tells us to love others. Even people we don’t like. Not to mention our enemies. So why do we continue to put those we love in danger of catching COVID from us by our political choices? I just don’t get it!

And let’s be honest here. Wearing a mask isn’t about protecting ourselves, as much as it is about protecting others from us in the event we have COVID. And let’s keep being honest by saying that if we have the Coronavirus in us, we’re infectious days before we have symptoms. We just don’t know if we’ve got it or not. So why can’t we do the Christian thing and wear the masks to show our love?

And again, as I said, Christians are being deceived by ordinary people, not by the beast in Revelation.

If you think I’m off base here, consider the passages below.

Salt and Light

Mt 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

Mt 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Yes, people watch us. And when they know we’re Christian, they judge us, Christianity and Jesus based on what they see us do. When it’s a famous Christian, more people watch, they watch more carefully, and they judge more openly if we mess up. Making a political choice that conflicts with a Christian choice is not being a good witness.

One more example of this is VP Pence. Pence has said that he’s a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican – in that order. Why then doesn’t he show a loving example by wearing a mask? Especially when more than two dozen people around have been infected by COVID in the last week or two?

Can’t he be a caring, loving Christian who’s concerned about infecting other people? Especially since he says he’s a Christian first? And remember, even though he’s tested every day, he doesn’t know if he’s infected or not. And just in case you need proof that testing isn’t good enough to prevent the spread, just consider the fact that as of this writing, 27 people and counting were infected with COVID because of one political event at the White House!

Consider those things along with the passage below.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

13:37, 38 pp — Mt 26:33-35; Mk 14:29-31; Lk 22:33, 34

Jn 13:31 When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.
Jn 13:33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
Jn 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Jn 13:36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
Jn 13:37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
Jn 13:38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!”

What are the key verses for this discussion of wearing a mask because it’s the loving thing to do?  Because it protects others, and shows that we care about other people?  They are:  Jn 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

So take that passage about people watching us, so we should be the light on the hill. Add to it this second one about people knowing we’re Christians because we love each other. And finally, remember we’re supposed to love everyone.

Now – if we can’t even care enough about other Christians to wear a mask in order to protect them, why should any non-Christian think we have even an ounce of care of love for them? What kind of example do we think we’re setting? How are we showing the love of Jesus when we can’t even show love for each other? The answers – they shouldn’t – a bad example – and we aren’t – in that order.

In that case, from what Jesus said in the salt and light passage, we’re no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

Ouch!! That’s hard to hear. And while you may not like it or even believe it, I firmly believe it fits what we’re doing! We, Christians, are deceived by the politics in this country right now. We think we’re doing God’s work. But we’re doing Caesar’s work. And we should know whose side Caesar is on. BTW – it’s not God’s.

Deceiving Christians – politics, religion and caring for the poor

Let’s move on to another topic. Caring for the poor. There are so many things I could talk about here. But let’s stay with COVID. It’s the hot topic right now. And unfortunately, it’s also an instance where the poor are being left behind. Behind the “average” American, meaning the supposed middle class. Way behind the rich people. And even further behind the political class.

When we look at COVID care for the political elite, especially the President, compared to the poor, the differences are astounding. Of course, if we listen only to Trump, we might think that’s not true. But it is. Sadly, it’s all too true. His words of hope are hollow echoes of despair. But we, including Christians, are all too often deceived by them. And they aren’t even words from the beast in Revelation.

For one thing, Trump tweeted:

Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge.

That’s easy for him to say. Unfortunately, it’s not true on a few counts.

First of all, most of the drugs he’s received weren’t developed while he was President. Most of the knowledge the scientists have for developing even the newer drugs was obtained before Trump became President. And far from least, every Christian whose not deceived should know that all knowledge comes from God. Therefore who’s the President is irrelevant.

As far as not being afraid and not letting COVID dominate our lives, that doesn’t make sense for most people.

It’s incredibly insulting for the family, loved ones and friends of the more than 200,000 Americans who have died from COVID. Trump’s attitude reminds me of a scene from A Christmas Carol. You may remember this. As you read it, keep in mind that Trump’s words and actions imply that these people were going to die anyway, that COVID merely made it happen faster, but COVID wasn’t the actual cause of death.

“At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,” said the [one of the gentlemen], taking up a pen, “it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”

“Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.

“Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

“And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”

“They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.”

“The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.

“Both very busy, sir.”

“Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.”

“Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?”

“Nothing!” Scrooge replied.

“You wish to be anonymous?”

“I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.”

“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Yeah – don’t let it dominate our lives. Don’t worry about it. If we’re not white, rich, and healthy, we should just die sooner rather than later and reduce the surplus population. How can I say that? Because no one – I repeat, no one – will get the kind of care that the President gets. The vast majority of us cannot afford it. It’s just not going to happen.

If we’re poor, or a minority, we’re even less likely to be able to get that kind of care. Government-aided healthcare just doesn’t cover the kinds of things private insurance does. And beyond that, the super-rich have their private physicians, but even that doesn’t touch what Trump got.

Further, if Trump gets his way the ACA, Obamacare, gets wiped out, the poor will have no insurance at all! Tell me, fellow Christians, how is that loving?

And to top it all off, I watched a BBC broadcast yesterday where they had an ER doctor from here in America on the show. She said that given the symptoms we were told publicly, like Trump’s 90+ oxygen saturation level – at its lowest – we wouldn’t be allowed into a hospital. It’s just not that bad. Oxygen levels need to be 60 or lower, otherwise the average person will be sent home to isolate!

But Trump goes to Walter Reed Hospital. Get incredibly expensive care and drugs that we could never get. Is given treatments far beyond what’s even recommended for the symptoms he supposedly has. And then he tells us not to be dominated by COVID. Tells us not to be afraid.

I’ll tell you what. There’s only one “do not be afraid” that I believe.

Do Not Worry – Matthew

6:25-33 pp — Lk 12:22-31

Mt 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Mt 6:28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Yeah – it’s when Jesus tells me not to be afraid.

Deceiving Christians – politics, religion and a lack of truth

A lack of truth. That’ll be a calling card for the beast in Revelation. But remember, we aren’t even there yet. But still, Christians are being deceived.

Let’s keep with COVID here. Also with the President. We honestly don’t know whether his COVID case was very mild or not. Was Trump’s COVID so bad that he needed helicopter transport to Walter Reed and all those treatments? Especially the Compassionate Care approval for the monoclonal antibody treatment? I mean, that’s supposed to be for people who have failed to recover with every other option already tried. But he got it right away. And were the steroid doses really required, because they are also for really bad cases? By the way, they also mask the symptoms of the illness, so it could be raging on but he won’t display the symptoms.

If Trump was that seriously ill, his recovery is beyond belief. Way too short. And he’s already back in the Oval Office, putting how many people at risk?

On the other hand, if he wasn’t that sick, then the whole thing is a sham. Deceiving not only Christians, but everyone in the country.

And for Trump to call this a miracle from God? Is he really thanking God? Given that he gave the Trump Administration undeserved credit for his recovery, I doubt it. What has Trump really learned from having COVID? Apparently not much that shows he’s in touch with regular people. Apparently that he’s more concerned about himself and the economy than the people of this country.

Why aren’t Christians asking Trump to give praise to God for his miraculous recovery, if that’s what it really was? That’s something I can see Paul doing if Caesar had a similar experience when Paul was in Rome. And do you remember when Jesus healed the ten lepers?

Ten Healed of Leprosy

Lk 17:11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

Lk 17:14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

Lk 17:15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

Lk 17:17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

If Trump was truly that sick with COVID and if Trump was truly Christian, why didn’t he give credit to God for his miraculous recovery?  Remember Trump’s video where he said:

… If you look at the therapeutics, which I’m taking right now, some of them, and others are coming out soon that are looking like, frankly, they’re miracles, if you want to know the truth. They’re miracles. People criticize me when I say that, but we have things happening that look like they’re miracles coming down from God, so I just want to tell you that I’m starting to feel good…

If they are miracles from God that are healing him, why does Trump give credit to his administration?  Why doesn’t Trump give credit to God and thank God for them?

Does he really believe they’re miracles from God?  Or is that a soundbite meant to deceive Christians?

Deceiving Christians – praying with Christians or preying on Christians?

This brings me to my final example of Christians being deceived when it comes to politics and religion.

I go back to that BBC broadcast again. There was a Pastor Brickhouse on yesterday. I thought I’d be able to find the clip online, so didn’t write down any more info about him. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to locate it. He did say though, he thought Trump wasn’t praying with Christians, but was actually preying on Christian faith. Note the difference – praying versus preying on.

That’s what I’ve felt since before the 2016 election. Trump pretends to be for all these Christian “values”. I see at least three problems with that. First, his life doesn’t reflect that he actually believes what he says about Christian beliefs. Second, that his approach to forcing those alleged Christian values on people doesn’t line up with what Christ actually taught. And finally, there’s the conclusion that Trump isn’t supporting Christians, but he is using us to get reelected.

Conclusion – Will the beast in Revelation be able to deceive Christians?

Before we leave, I want to give you one more perspective on this. One that goes all the way back to 2016, before Trump was elected. It’s from Pope Francis.

The excerpts below are from an article titled Pope says Trump ‘not Christian’ in a sign of global concern on reuters.com.

Pope Francis forcefully injected himself into the U.S. presidential campaign on Thursday, assailing Republican candidate Donald Trump’s views on U.S. immigration as “not Christian” in a sign of growing international concern at the billionaire businessman’s election prospects.

Trump struck back. No stranger to controversy, the longtime party front-runner in national opinion polls dismissed the leader of the world’s Roman Catholics as “disgraceful” for questioning his faith. He said he was a proud Christian.

Francis told reporters during a free-wheeling conversation on his flight home from a visit to Mexico: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

Asked if American Catholics should vote for someone with Trump’s views, Francis said: “I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.”

Likewise, I’m not telling you who to vote for either. However, I am asking you, especially if you’re Christian, to closely examine what’s going on here. The choices here may affect our eternal souls, if they’re an indication of what’s in our hearts. Of course, today we can still ask for forgiveness and can still return to God if we find we’ve made the wrong choice.

However, a time is coming, we know from Revelation, when there will be no going back.

Choosing to follow Jesus means we get killed. But our souls will be in Heaven.

Choosing to follow the beast means we live. But our souls are irrevocably dead.

The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath

Rev 16:1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.”
Rev 16:2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.
Rev 16:3 The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died.
Rev 16:4 The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 5 Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say:
“You are just in these judgments,
you who are and who were, the Holy One,
because you have so judged;
Rev 16:6 for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets,
and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.” 7 And I heard the altar respond:
“Yes, Lord God Almighty,
true and just are your judgments.”
Rev 16:8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. 9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.
Rev 16:10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony 11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.
Rev 16:12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. 13 Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.
Rev 16:15 “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”
Rev 16:16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
Rev 16:17 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. 19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. 20 Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. 21 From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.

Why include the entire passage when the most relevant verse is the second one? Partly to remind some of what’s in our Christian Scripture. What God warns us is coming. And what’s going to happen if we don’t take heed to that warning. And what’s going to happen to our families, loved ones, and friends if we don’t warn them.

Plus, it’s one final chance to ask – if Christians can’t deal with the deceptions of ordinary people now, what hope do the Christians of the future have? Maybe that’s the very near future or maybe a ways off. We just don’t know when. But we do know, or should know, it will happen.

Be wise. Be discerning. Use the Holy Spirit God gave to each of us.

FAQ’s for Will the beast in Revelation be able to deceive Christians?

Why am I writing about Christians possibly being deceived?

Jesus told us to love one another. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul wrote:
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
I worry about people who think they’re Christians, but really aren’t. They are the goats that Jesus will send to the left – Hell. I can’t just sit by and watch without trying to do something. I feel led to try to remind all of us, as Christians, myself included, what it is we promised to believe and to do when we were baptized.

Will the beast in Revelation be able to deceive Christians?

If you’ve read the book of Revelation in the Bible, then you know the answer is absolutely yes. Well, it’s yes unless you believe in predestination, with no chance of someone being allowed to freely choose to follow God. See Do we believe in predestiny or free will? for more on that. The bottom line, I believe there’s plenty of evidence in the Bible to show that we do have that choice. That we may choose to love God – or not.
One source for believing we have the choice to follow Jesus or not comes from the book of Revelation itself. Please see the series Seven Letters to Seven Churches for more on that.

Does it matter whether we believe in free will or predestiny?

It does have an impact on our faith, and therefore on how we live our lives. However, what we believe has no impact on what God actually has put into place. It’s an old Denominational question that, I believe, can give us a false sense of security or a false sense of no hope.
A false sense of security if we go to a Calvinist church that believes predestiny is the only way to be saved, and we falsely believe that we are one of the chosen.
A false sense of no hope, at a Calvinist church again, and we believe we’re not one of the chosen.
On the other hand, if we believe in free will, there could also be a false sense of being saved if God operates only on predestiny.
As I said, I believe there’s evidence that some are chosen and many will freely decide to follow Christ.
To see much more on that topic, please see The problem of predestiny, The Problem of Free Will, and The problem of Either/Or: Free Will vs Predestiny.

Does the beast in Revelation exist today?

Given the prerequisites laid out in the Bible that must take place before the Great Tribulation, I have to say no. Given the trouble we, as Christians, have today with discerning the truth, that’s very troubling. How will we be able to deal with the beast, when we can’t even deal with ordinary people who try to deceive us and our Christian faith?

Why does this article focus on religion and politics?

The focus is on religion and politics because The End Times, as described in the Bible, will have what we call a one-world government. One government that rules the entire earth. Further, that one-world government will establish and enforce a one-world religion. Anyone who refused to worship the beast as part of that one-world religion will be put to death.
Again, as much trouble Christians have with deceptions today, it’s frightening to think what that time will be like. But remember, I believe this is one place where the elect will not be deceived, but those who choose to follow Jesus, but don’t use the power of the Holy Spirit, will be deceived.


Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay


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