Pastor Tim Romero
Revelation 13:11–14 (ESV): "11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14 and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived."Following after signs and wonders can lead a person down a path of total deception. The enemy is powerful and allowed to manifest that power in miraculous ways. Beware of this deception.
John sees the beast of earth surface whom we know to be the false prophet that will introduce a false religion where many will bow to the anti-Christ, also known as the first beast. The false prophet of the tribulation has the appearance of a lamb with horns as if to mimic the Lamb of God but speaks like a dragon, who is Satan the great deceiver. He will call down fire from heaven and perform all kinds of miraculous works to gain the trust of man and then he will His instruct them to worship an imagine of the anti-Christ. He will be given the ability to give this image breath as if it were alive. The image, perhaps a statue or an animation of sorts will be intuitive and able to interact with the people. All who refuse to worship it will be sought out and killed. The identifier of worshippers will be a mark on the right hand or forehead which contains the number of man, 666 (vs 18). The miracles of the false prophet and the sign of the beast were meant to mock those things God had done by sealing 144,000 Jewish witnesses as well as sending the two witness who performed great miracles.
How can we be sure we are following the Lord and are not being deceived by what appear to be great works of God? We must look not only to what is being done but also what is being said. If a church has great programs and lots of people attending and they are doing "great things" that isn't enough to assume God is at work. What message is being portrayed? Is the focus man centered or Christ centered? If it is man centered than God perhaps isn't in it. Don't get caught up in momentum or hype, be swept away by truth and Holy Spirit empowered works of God lest you too be deceived.
Father we thank You for the miraculous work of salvation and for the seal of the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth. Protect us from being led astray by appearances of godliness. Give us discernment that we might walk in truth and not a form of godliness that denies Your power. Work in our hearts as only You can and use us to light the path of those stuck in darkness. May we worship You and You alone all the days of lives we pray in Jesus name, amen.