Revelation 13:10-18 ESV
“Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
“Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 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. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 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. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”
How do we know who’s telling the truth?
There are many passages of Scripture which warn us against being deceived, but most of those appear to be in relation to being deceived with regard to false christs and false gospels and false faith. But wolves in sheep’s clothing are not just limited to preachers, evangelists, and pastors of churches.
There are many people in positions of government, and in the news media, and in positions of influence and power in the world who are pretending to be one thing while they are another, and who are pretending to do one thing while they do another. They are liars and deceivers.
When it comes to false teachers teaching a false gospel, we can compare their words to the teachings of Scripture, and from that we can determine if what they are telling us is the truth or a lie. But how do we know if a government leader or the news media is telling us the truth?
We must pray for spiritual discernment. We must pray for the Holy Spirit to show us the lies and to tell us the truth. We must not put our absolute faith in our government leaders or the news media, or in fact checkers, but we must inquire of the Lord to help us to know when we are being lied to.
Programmed from childhood
For, many of us were programmed from childhood to worship our government via the pledge (vow) of allegiance (fidelity) to our form of government, and via the singing of patriotic songs, and via the honoring of our military as our heroes and as our saviors and protectors from evil.
From childhood we were taught that our news media tells us the truth, and so we assumed that the news was comprised of things which actually happened just as they said they did. Maybe not everyone was that naïve and trusting, but it seems the majority of us were, as many still are.
Prior to November of 2004, I was a flag waving, government and media trusting American who, with hand over heart, vowed my fidelity to a worldly government and sang songs of worship to them, even in church, via patriotic songs. And I believed we were the good guys of the world going after evil and rescuing the oppressed. But I was wrong!
In November of 2004 the Lord Jesus began to open my eyes to so many lies that I had believed throughout my lifetime because I had been programmed to believe them by the church, by the schools, and at home. I had always assumed our government and media were who they said they were, doing the things they said they were doing, but I was wrong!
But if we believe the Scriptures
If we believe the Scriptures, though, they warn us about deception and deceiving spirits, but not just from prophets and teachers, but coming from heads of government, too. For, this first beast is not a literal beast (a large animal), but it is a conglomerate of heads (rulers, authorities) in the world.
These are people in the world who wield enormous power in the world. They are the wealthy and powerful elite of the world. Some refer to them as a “shadow government,” though they are referred to by other names. But they are the ones who are making the decisions for the nations of the world.
The second beast has two heads. I think most people concur that this second beast is representing the state church. This two-headed beast is a partnership between the government and the church in an unholy union. In America, this has taken place with the 501c3 which has turned the church into a corporation of the state, and it is marketed like other businesses.
And, via this union, this first beast has declared war on the saints of God and on the gospel of our salvation, and they are diluting and attacking the gospel, and they are deceiving the gullible, and they are attacking anyone who is still teaching the message of the cross of Christ in its fulness.
So, if we believe the Scriptures, we have to know that liars and deceivers abound, and that not everything is as it appears, and anything can be faked, and these deceivers are experts at mind games and manipulation tactics, and they know how to get us believing them so they can trap us with their lies. So, we should not be trusting everything, but we should be testing everything. But we don’t test them with fact checkers, but with God.
So, this calls for wisdom, but not the wisdom of men, but of God. If we want to know if something is true or false, we pray for the Lord to open our eyes to see the lies for what they are, so we follow his lead, and we let him show us lies we have believed, and we let him show us the truth, even if it contradicts what we had believed growing up as children.
And if we are at all in tune with the Spirit of God we should be seeing in our present age many signs of what is described here taking place in our day and time. So, we need to stop putting our trust in humans, no matter who they are, and we must ask the Lord to show us the lies and the truth and not to depend on other humans to tell us the truth, for many are liars.
Open The Eyes Of My Heart
Michael W. Smith
Open the eyes of my heart Lord
I want to see You
To see You high and lifted up
Shining in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy holy holy