Five ‘SIGNS’ that reveal ‘SATANIC’ activity: "And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them." (Rev. 13:5-7)
In the above passage, Apostle John is giving us a preview of the satanic activity that will take place during the Tribulation. God wants us to maintain a realistic view of good and evil in the midst of intense persecution. Another reason that we are given an insight in this area is to make us aware and knowledgeable of such activity that happens in our world today. We should then be able to identify such individuals who participate in such activities and respond accordingly.
The beast from the sea is Satan’s chief human instrument called Antichrist, through whom he will pursue his goals during the Tribulation. This man will accept the offer that Satan gave to Jesus (v. 2; Matt. 4:8–10). He will fight God by speaking blasphemous words (Dan. 7:8, 11, 20, 25) and by persecuting the saints (v. 7; Dan. 7:25). It may seem strange that God should permit His people to be temporarily defeated, yet we should understand that this is part of His grand plan for humanity (Heb. 11:35–40).
In New Testament times, blasphemy was defined as making oneself equal to God (John 10:33) and claiming the authority to forgive sins (Luke 5:21). It is irreverent speech that calls what is human divine, what is evil good, and what is good evil. Here, the beast makes proud boasts and utters unspeakable blasphemies. He speaks with callous irreverence against God’s name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. He makes war with God’s people and overcomes many of them. Let us understand that this futuristic event reveals to us five signs that will help us to identify satanic activity around and among us:
- Blaspheme against God: Any activity that puts God down in some form or fashion denotes satanic activity. This include denying the existence of God (Psalms 14:1), and doubting the words of God as true and factual (Gen. 3:1, 4-5). We see such activity in our public/political world where public display of the Ten Commandments or, even standing up for the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman (an institution that God initiated in the Garden of Eden) is derided and condemned by the mainstream society today.
- Blaspheme the name of Jesus: Any activity that involves taking the name of God (and Jesus, in particular) in vain/in a derogatory manner (Exodus 20:7; Matt. 5:34-35) is a part of satanic activity in our current world. We see such activity in our public/political world where public prayer in Jesus’ name is prohibited by liberals everywhere.
- Blaspheme the tabernacle of God: The tabernacle of God where God is residing today is the individual Christian believers (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 6:16) and the different churches where Jesus Christ is honored through prayer, worship, and teaching of God’s Word (Eph. 2:21; Heb 10:25). Any persecution activity that humiliates or condemns individual believers who stand up for their faith in Christ can be clearly marked as satanic activity. Any activity that opposes building of churches or, destroys church buildings or, prevents believers from gathering together to worship Jesus can be categorized as satanic activity.
- Blaspheme those who dwell in heaven: We know that heaven is the throne of God (Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:49), and a place where God reigns (Psalms 2:4; 33:13) and is worshiped by angels (Rev. 5:11-12), elders (Rev. 5:8-10) and saints (Rev. 7:9). Any movement that promotes heaven being ‘here and now’ and condemns a ‘real’ place that God resides is part of satanic activity.
- Oppose the people of God: As God is actively setting up His kingdom upon this earth, there is a concerted satanic activity behind the scenes that opposes God’s children and any evangelism efforts around the world that draws people to Christ. That is why Jesus has asked us to pray for laborers to reap the ripe harvest prevalent worldwide (Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2).