□ ne of the clearest, last-day signs revealed in the Bible is the build-up of spiritual and demonic forces for a final all-out struggle which will settle the destiny of every living soul. God and Satan will meet in the climactic war of Armageddon, and the agelong controversy between good and evil will be resolved for all eternity.
The Bible indicates that Satan will work feverishly through all the artful devices that appeal to the human mind, seeking to deceive the whole planet into his camp. John says that he "is come down ... having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" (Revelation 12:12). In preparation for this encounter, which he has been planning for over 6000 years, the adversary will manipulate both political and religious forces. Centuries of groundwork have been laid in the development of counterfeit ideas and doctrines. The fiendish genius of Satan is aimed at developing a strategy which will keep people from being saved. The ultimate goal of the devil is to make people sin, because sin is the only thing that will keep anyone out of heaven.
The Bible defines sin as "the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4). Paul further clarifies that it is the breaking of the Ten-Commandment law which constitutes sin (Romans 7:7). It is no wonder at all, then, that the focus of the final contest will be over obedience to God's great moral law. Satan despises the government of heaven and its law. He broke the concord of angels long, long ago by charging God with requiring too much. He accused God of being unjust by demanding obedience to a law that could not be kept. Ever since that time he has tried to make his accusations come true by leading people to break that law. For non-Christians the devil had no problem whatsoever, but how could he unite all the great religious bodies in a program of disobedience?
His grandiose design for the final deception was to lead everyone to transgress against the authority of heaven, even the religious world. Obviously, some scheme would have to be devised which would make Christians comfortable in their transgression, which could be promulgated in the name of Christ, and which would operate across all the boundaries of denomination and creed. Somehow, the plan would have to destroy the traditional view of the Bible as the final authority in matters of faith, and establish some other authority which would still retain a respectable Christian image. In order to encompass all churches and faiths, the program would have to be outside of any doctrine, prophetic interpretation, or standards of living, since these would produce only division and disagreement.
To achieve success, then, in his fantastic goal of harnessing the Christian world in disobedience to God's laws, Satan had to meet four elementary requirements:
1. Make Christians feel secure in breaking the law.
2. Lead them to distrust the Word of God as the acid test of truth.
3. Establish another test besides the Word that would appear genuine and appealing.
4. Leave out all doctrine, prophetic interpretations and Christian standards that would prove divisive.
It is not hard to see that all these elements would have to be incorporated into any vast trickery to unite Christians in disobeying the Ten Commandments.
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