|Revelation 13:13-14 |
13 And he does great wonders, even making fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,3
14 And deceives those who dwell on the earth by means of those miracles that he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to those who dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and still lived.
3 And he does great wonders, even making fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. The false church with its antichrists was established with the strongest of miracles, including fire to come down from heaven, as in Elijah's time. John told us that antichrists and false apostles were already appearing in his time, (Note! Past tense, already had happened and continues today), having gone out from among the true Christians. Isaac Penington, in his expose of Christendom having become Babylon, explains these miracles being performed by the antichrists, particularly in the time of Babylon's beginning to displace the true church:
Now mark this: antichrist's coming, when first perceived, was very mighty, exceedingly strong. "Whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness," etc. Weigh the thing well. Satan used all his art, and all his strength, to conceive and bring forth this mystery of iniquity, so like the mystery of godliness, that it might pass for reality in the world, and he rule as God in it. With all power, etc., no lack of power to deceive; he did not spare for signs, and lying wonders. Yes, he gave power to the beast to do wonders and miracles, even to make fire come down from heaven on the earth, in the sight of men, (which through Elijah was the sign and wonder by which the God of Israel was distinguished from Baal; power to work this very sign Satan gives to the beast, with which to confirm the godhead of the dragon and antichrist). Rev 13:13-14. These are the things men look for; seeing great power, signs, miracles, they are satisfied. The whole world stands ready to be deceived with this. Yes, and if the eye is not opened in persons, which can distinguish of power, they are deceived. Signs, wonders, and miracles had their place in the first covenant, and were to that part to which the first covenant was; not to those who believe, but to those who do not believe. Now after the full demonstration of the truth by signs and miracles, the power of Satan rises up; and by lying signs, wonders, and miracles overturns the truth. Now the unbelieving part in man expects and calls for signs and miracles, and says they will determine the controversy, and settle the state of the church again; but that part is not to prescribe God his way. Yes, he will steal as a thief upon you, whose eye is abroad, and looks for demonstrations without.
And deceives those who dwell on the earth by means of those miracles. Rev 13:14.
By the strongest of miracles, the false church was established, so that the whole world worshiped the beast. Now you might be wondering why God permitted the false religion to be established? God, knowing just as Judaism was taken over by the enemy countless times in the Old Testament, knew that most people would end up embracing almost any religion that was permissive of their sinful lives, including very evil religions that had existed outside of Judaism, (with temple prostitutes, sacrifice of children, etc.); and knowing that the cross had the aroma of death to those not drawn in love, the evil was allowed as the lesser of evils and so that it could inadvertently serve His purposes, which are:
So the false church has served a usefulness, as we have described above; but when Babylon falls, the saints and heaven will celebrate her destruction, and those archers who are specifically called by the Lord to draw the bow against Babylon, must spare no arrows, (words commanded by the Holy Spirit), for she has sinned against the Lord. Regarding those still in the captivity of Babylon, the Word of the Lord within said: "Put yourself in their shoes."
We are to love the Lord and hate evil, including Babylon, but we should not let that hate drift to bitterness.