Revelation 13:11-14 “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.”

     At the end, deception will still be the devil’s greatest weapon. The devil always lies and so do his servants.  How will people survive the deception?  There will be signs and wonders that will ‘wow’ people and fool them into believing that the beast is worthy of worship.  Jesus Himself warns us; “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

   The end of history is complicated.  There is the devil who hates God and us; “Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” (Rev. 12:12)  There is the beast who ‘miraculously’ survives a mortal wound and serves the devil; “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. . . . and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. ” (Rev. 13:1,2,3) And there is another beast that looks like a lamb but isn’t; “. . . I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.” (Rev. 13:11)

     The world stage is set – the devil is behind all of it controlling a great political organization, the beast.  The beast serves the devil and a false church serves the beast, it’s political master and spiritual master, the devil.    Matthew Henry describes the situation in this way; “Those who understand the first beast to denote a worldly power, take the second to be also a persecuting and assumed power, which acts under the disguise of religion, and of charity to the souls of men. It is a spiritual dominion, professing to be derived from Christ, and exercised at first in a gentle manner, but soon spake like the dragon. Its speech betrayed it; for it gives forth those false doctrines and cruel decrees . . . “

     How does a faithful Christian stand against and survive a hostile deceptive world political system, served by a worldly church that looks true but isn’t.   If that isn’t tough enough to deal with, this whole rotten setup will be backed up by miracles and powerful signs!  How can anyone survive  the tyranny of the world backed up by supernatural power?  ‘Spiritual’ people will be drawn into the vortex of deception because they won’t be able to deny the power of it.  Just being ‘spiritual’ isn’t enough to save anyone.  The devil is spiritual, the beast and the worldly church will be endowed with a measure of this spiritual and satanic power.

     The Bible warns us about the trap the devil has set for the whole world including the ‘spiritual’ and tells us the key to survival;  “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,  and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,  that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)  You won’t be fooled by the evil spiritual power of lying signs and wonders if you know, love and believe the truth – God’s Word.

     What is the telling mark of the devil and his servants – they blaspheme.  The devil, the beast and the fake church that serves them will encourage idolatry and going against God’s Word.  If you love the Truth, then you will know and follow the  first and most important commandment that God gave us.  Standing on the Truth, you won’t be taken in by signs and wonders.  Jesus tells us straight up; “A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” (Matthew 16:4)

     The war has already been won.  Jesus saved us,  Jesus saves and our mission is to proclaim His Word to the world!  The Bible tells us the key to survival.  The Bible tells us how to overcome the devil and the beast; “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” (Rev. 12:11)

     Come Lord Jesus!