Daily Devotionals

The End Week 3: Wednesday

And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. Revelation 13:7

When we think about the return of Jesus, one important question is, what happens on earth after the rapture when Jesus takes His people to live with Him forever? The truth is, it will be a dark time when Satan will briefly set himself up as the ruler on this earth. Many people will be deceived by him and think he is a god. This kind of behavior is idolatry, treating something or someone as if they are a god when we know that there is only one true God, and it breaks God’s heart. 

Scripture tells us that Satan will rule on earth during the tribulation, which is the time period on earth after Christ has returned and taken His followers to be with Him forever. In this 7-year timeframe, Scripture teaches that Satan will rule in the form of a “beast” who will be allowed “to wage war against God’s holy people and conquer them” and will be “given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation” (verse 7). This will be a very confusing time for people living on earth, and the Bible teaches that all people belonging to the world will worship the beast (verse 8). They will be deceived into worshiping the beast who makes all kinds of false promises and claims rather than the one true God.

While we are in different circumstances than the people who will be tempted by the beast in Revelation 13, we are still under the enemy’s attack. The enemy wants to keep us from worshiping God and following Him closely, and His tactics are not new. He is still trying to tempt us to worship other things, and his temptations are deceptive. He tempts us to worship a person, our jobs, or money instead of only worshiping God. The question is, will we recognize it? Will we fight against the temptation to worship anything but God, the only One deserving of all of our worship?

Moving toward action

During this time, when Satan sets himself up as a god on earth, many will be deceived by him. Some will give in and worship him as a god. The truth is, we know that there is only one God who is worthy of all of our worship. Is there anyone or anything that you have been placing above God in your life? What have you found yourself worshiping or giving your time, attention, and affection to? It is time to acknowledge this today. Pray and acknowledge these before God. Tell Him you are sorry and ask Him to help you let go of these things and worship Him alone.

Going Deeper

Revelation 13:1-18 (NLT)

" And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2 And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. 4 And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”

5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear:

10 If anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain.

Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12 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. 13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14 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. 15 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. 16 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, 17 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. 18 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."