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End-Time Imitation

The Bible contains a number of names for Satan, such as Beelzebub ("lord of the flies"), the adversary, the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air, the father of lies, the accuser of the brethren, and a number of others. My own personal favorite has long been the Great Wannabe.

During the Tribulation, however, another one of Satan's devious attributes will be on full display, and that is his propensity to imitate whatever God does—so much so that I am tempted to add "the Great Imitator" to the list. As I have pointed out on a few occasions in the past, Satan may possess superhuman intelligence, but it strikes me that he's not all that creative. Many of the things that Satan does are in fact little more than lame attempts to imitate things that God has already done to world-shaking perfection.

Now, if you have studied the end-time scenario to any substantive degree, you may already be kicking around the idea in the back of your mind that during the Great Tribulation the role of the Antichrist is Satan's way of imitating Christ—and you would be 100 percent correct. But it occurred to me recently that Satan's imitation of things God has done—especially in the end times—is deeper and more multilayered than that. During Daniel's 70th Week, Satan is going to pull out all the stops to establish his kingdom in place of Christ's kingdom, and in the process there's gonna be a whole lotta imitatin' goin' on...more than I ever realized.

2B or not 2B: Note that the Antichrist is not really the Antichrist until he is "revealed" at his coming out party at the midpoint of the Tribulation. Only then does he truly become Satan's man the Antichrist. In the run-up to and during the first half of the Tribulation, he is just a charismatic world leader who is jockeying for position to take control of the global government that is congealing. I want to maintain this distinction, so throughout this article I will refer to him as the AC2B if I want to emphasize that I'm talking about him prior to the midpoint of the Tribulation. If I'm emphasizing the second half of the Tribulation or referring to his role in general, he's the Antichrist.

The first thing we're going to do here is back up and briefly cover a bit of Old Testament ground, and some of this is stuff I've discussed in other articles. But we need to pull a few things together to get the full prophetic spectrum of the different ways in which Satan is going to imitate God in the run-up to and during both halves of the Tribulation.

So with that said, let's take a quick trip to Mount Sinai.


While the Jewish people were enslaved down in Egypt, God chose Moses to go to Pharaoh and ask for the release of the Hebrew people. God hardened Pharaoh's heart, and proceeded to unleash a series of ten plagues on the Egyptians. After the 10th and final plague, which involved the death of the firstborn male child in every family that failed to have the blood of a lamb on their doorposts (which gave rise to the Jewish moed of Passover), Pharaoh wasn't just ready to let them go—he was ready to send them packing:

31And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both you and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as you have said. 32Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also.

33And the Egyptians were urgent on the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men. 34And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes on their shoulders.

(Exodus 12:31–34 AKJV / emphasis added)

This was the first major mission that God had for Moses: to be the tool He used to deliver His people from bondage. But as soon as Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt, God had another job waiting for him.

Not long after the people of Israel left Egypt, Moses received the Law at Mount Sinai. The next mission God had for Moses was to establish the foundation for Israel's Old Covenant relationship with Him: obedience to His Law.

Moses spent the last 40 years of his life struggling to get it through the heads of a stiff-necked people what God required of them under the Law, and arguably succeeded about as well as anyone could have. When they finished their 40 years of wandering through the desert as a judgment for their faithless refusal to enter the Promised Land the first time, the Jewish people finally entered the land God had Promised them...but without Moses:

48And the LORD spoke to Moses that selfsame day, saying, 49Get you up into this mountain Abarim, to mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel for a possession: 50And die in the mount where you go up, and be gathered to your people; [God tells Moses straight out that he will die on Mount Nebo] as Aaron your brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered to his people: 51Because you trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of MeribahKadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because you sanctified me not in the middle of the children of Israel. 52Yet you shall see the land before you; but you shall not go thither to the land which I give the children of Israel. [In other words, Moses would go to the top of the mountain to see the Promised Land, but he wouldn't enter it.]

(Deuteronomy 32:48–52 AKJV / emphasis & [comments] added)

Moses had disobeyed God at Meribah Kadesh by striking a rock twice instead of speaking to it to obtain water as God had instructed (Num. 20), and as a result God told him he would only get to see the Promised Land from a distance—but not enter it. God led Moses to the top of Mount Nebo and let him have a panoramic view of the Promised Land, and there he died with no one ever knowing what became of his body.

The point I want to highlight here, however, is simply this:

It was through Moses that God established

the fundamental basis of the Jewish people's

Old Covenant relationship with Him—the Law.

Hold that thought.

Now let's take a spin through the Northern Kingdom.

+ Elijah

Not long after the reign of King Solomon, the Jewish people split into two major groups: two tribes to the south known as the Kingdom of Judah and the remaining ten tribes to the north known as the Kingdom of Israel. Sadly, throughout both regions idol worship had become a festering problem that was steadily growing worse.

In the ninth century BC, an evil king named Ahab had taken power in the Northern Kingdom (ruling from 874 to 853 BC), and he openly and brazenly promoted the worship of false gods, Baal in particular. But like they say:

God always has a remnant.

The prophet Elijah prophesied a drought on the entire region in response to Ahab's evil, and after three and a half years without rain (James 5:17) God used Elijah to confront Ahab at full throttle and bring the issue to a head in a classic showdown that would have a major impact on the spiritual condition of the Jewish people (not to mention make a killer movie script).

Elijah asked Ahab to gather the people of Israel, 450 prophets of Baal, and 400 prophets of the groves to Mount Carmel for one of the greatest spiritual face-offs in biblical history:

20So Ahab sent to all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together to mount Carmel. 21And Elijah came to all the people, and said, How long halt you between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. [It's decision time, folks: the LORD or Baal.] And the people answered him not a word. 22Then said Elijah to the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: 24And call you on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answers by fire, let him be God. [In other words, we'll both prepare a sacrifice, and whoever brings down fire to consume that sacrifice—the LORD or Baal, that's the God you'll worship.] And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

25And Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for you are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. 26And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped on the altar which was made. 27And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleeps, and must be awaked. [Elijah doesn't hesitate to rub it in their faces.] 28And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out on them. 29And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. [Baal: fail.]

30And Elijah said to all the people, Come near to me. And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. 31And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be your name: 32And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. 34And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. 35And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
[Soaking everything in water served to put an exclamation mark on what Elijah knew was about to happen.]

36And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 37Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that you are the LORD God, and that you have turned their heart back again. 38Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. [Sacrifice soaking wet? No problemo.] 39And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. 40And Elijah said to them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

(1 Kings 18:20–40 AKJV / emphasis &
[comments] added)

God 1 — Baal 0

The point of what Elijah did is stated in verse 37: It was to give God an opportunity to turn the hearts of the Jewish people back to Him again after they had essentially abandoned Him in favor of false gods (a lingering legacy of their days in Egypt). The rains returned in short order, and history confirms that this dramatic confrontation on Mount Carmel marked the beginning of the end for widespread idolatry among the Jewish people.

Elijah was ultimately taken alive up into heaven in a chariot of fire, in the presence of his successor Elisha:

9And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you, before I be taken away from you. And Elisha said, I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be on me. 10And he said, You have asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so to you; but if not, it shall not be so. 11And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. [Elijah is the only the second man to be taken up to heaven without dying (Enoch was the first).]

(2 Kings 2:9–11 AKJV / emphasis & [comments] added)

But as with Moses, there is one key point I want to highlight here:

It was through Elijah that God turned the hearts

of His people from their rebellious, idolatrous

ways and back to worshiping the one true God.

God used Elijah to utterly thrash the false gods the Jews had been foolishly worshiping and give them a stark reminder of who they never should have stopped worshiping in the first place. And as I mentioned, the Jews' burgeoning idolatry began to go into decline after this incident, although it could be argued that it wasn't completely extinguished until their Babylonian captivity in the sixth century BC.

So, these are two key points I want you to stick in your back pocket:

1. Moses led the Jews into their Old Covenant relationship with God.

2. Elijah turned the hearts of the Jews back to worshiping God.

With those two ideas in mind, let's fast forward to the last days and check in with two characters who will figure prominently in what transpires in the first half of the Tribulation.

= the Two Witnesses

I wrote an article about the Two Witnesses a few months ago, and in that article I went into some depth about who they are, what they will do, and how and when they will do it.

I ultimately argued for the view that the Two Witnesses would be two Jewish men that God would raise up in the last days in the spirit and power of Moses and Elijah to minister primarily to the Jewish people. But what I somehow managed to miss was a compellingly clear reason why Moses and Elijah are the biblically quintessential pair to connect to the Two Witnesses:

The major thrust of the ministry of the

Two Witnesses combines the major thrusts

of the ministries of both Moses and Elijah.

In other words, what Moses and Elijah did in the Old Testament foreshadows what the Two Witnesses will do in the end times. The Two Witnesses will begin their ministry at the beginning of the Tribulation, and for one thing they will encourage Israel in the rebuilding of the Third Temple. But they will do much more than that—something much more important.

Recall that God placed a partial hardening on the Jews after the ministry of Christ, whom they rejected and crucified:

25For I don't desire you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, so that you won't be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, [Paul is making it quite clear that this hardening will not be removed until after the Rapture]

26and so all Israel [all of spiritual Israel, that is, aka the believing Jewish remnant] will be saved. Even as it is written, "There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

27This is my covenant with them, when I will take away their sins."
[That is, God's New Covenant with them. The old one didn't take away their sins—it merely covered them temporarily.]

(Romans 11:25–27 / emphasis & [comments] added)

After the Church is removed at the Rapture and we get to the launching of the Tribulation, it is time for God to remove the hardening He placed on Israel so He can bring a remnant of them to faith in the atoning work that Christ accomplished for them two thousand years ago. This is the message they have been too hardened to hear for the last two millennia, but God will remove that hardening and turn their hearts back to Him, and introduce them to the covenant that will remove their sin (the New Covenant), rather than merely cover their sin temporarily as did their previous one (the Old Covenant).

That is, after the Church is removed, God will begin to do something with His people Israel that was prefigured by what He did through Moses and Elijah. Only this time He will do it through the ministry of the Two Witnesses. As the Tribulation begins, God will use the Two Witnesses to:

1. Draw His people into a New Covenant relationship with Him.

2. Turn the hardened hearts of His people back to worship Him.

So, in a sense the Two Witnesses imitate Moses and Elijah. Also, notice some of the methods they use: They use fire and drought (much like Elijah):

5If anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies. [1 Kings 18:38] If anyone desires to harm them, he must be killed in this way. 6These have the power to shut up the sky, that it may not rain during the days of their prophecy. [1 Kings 17:1] They have power over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

(Revelation 11:5–6 / emphasis &
[comments] added)

Not only that, but even the grand finale of the Two Witnesses is foreshadowed to some degree by what happened to Moses and Elijah.

At the midpoint of the Tribulation, the ministry of the Two Witnesses will draw to a close. The now satanically possessed and controlled Antichrist will be able to kill the Two Witnesses, and their bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three days. Then they will be resurrected, and will be taken alive up into heaven in full view of a stunned world (no doubt thanks to the mainstream media). This is prefigured by what happened to both Moses and Elijah:

Moses went to the top of Mount Nebo, up and away from the people, where he could view the Promised Land before he died and was never seen again.

Elijah was taken straight to heaven in a chariot of fire as Elisha looked on.

A little advance planning, perhaps? You may have wondered what Moses and Elijah might have been talking with Jesus about at the Transfiguration:

1After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves. 2He was changed before them. His face shone like the sun, and his garments became as white as the light. 3Behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them talking with him.

(Matthew 17:1–3 / emphasis added)

People have speculated about this for two thousand years. But at this point, I'd be willing to bet my bottom New Taiwan Dollar that their conversation was in some way connected to the future ministry of the Two Witnesses:

"All right, men, listen up: As soon as you see them getting ready to confirm that treaty Daniel talked about, double-check your gear. Got it?"

"Roger that, Lord. So...you want us to use fire and drought like last time?"

"Affirmative...let 'er rip. But lay off Satan's Stooge—he's all mine!"

Now let's turn our attention to a couple of the crude ways Satan will attempt to imitate what God did through Moses and Elijah.

Imitating Moses...again

The Tribulation is officially launched by the confirmation of a seven-year treaty with Israel, and it is presumably a treaty with the surrounding Arab nations—nations that have been Israel's sworn enemies since the days of the Patriarchs and who desire to see Israel wiped off the face of the earth:

27And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: [i.e. seven years] and in the middle of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured on the desolate.

(Daniel 9:27 AKJV / emphasis &
[comments] added)

Some folks take issue with the interpretation of the word "many" in this verse, but there is agreement among a number of excellent commentators that it refers to the Jews. Daniel uses the same Hebrew word in Daniel 11:33, 39, and 12:3, where it clearly refers to the Jews. So, rather than taking a scalpel and surgically removing that one single word from verse 27 and examining it under a microscope, what say we let Scripture interpret Scripture as usual. With no context clearly suggesting otherwise, that alone is sufficient to tell us verse 27 is most likely referring to a treaty made with the Jews. Of course, there will be a number of other nations on the other side of the table, but it's reasonably clear they are making a treaty with Israel.

No? Consider: If this treaty is made with "many" nations and not Israel, read the rest of verse 27 and ask yourself one simple question:

Why does Daniel mention this seven-year treaty, and then in the very next clause and without missing a beat go on to say he's going to cause the sacrifices to cease in the middle of that treaty?

Straight up: If this treaty isn't with Israel, this takes non sequiturs to a whole new level—this is a leap that would make Evel Knievel green with envy. We know the sacrifices are made in a rebuilt Third Temple because when Daniel says "he shall make it desolate," the it refers to that temple, or at least the Holy Place contained within it.

Also, the way verse 27 is worded makes it sound very much as if allowing the sacrifices to begin in the first place was part of that treaty—you almost have to want it to mean something else. Hence one basic question is this:

Q. If this treaty is not with Israel, then how much sense does it make to have the Antichrist breaking this treaty at its midpoint and then causing sacrifices to cease and desecrating a rebuilt Third Temple. In Jerusalem. In Israel?

A. Only as much as you can deliberately read into it.

Steady as she goes: Now, I am keenly aware that a lot of people are gripped with excitement these days due to Satan's useful idiots at the U.N. and their grand plan for "seven years of accelerated, transformative action" that kicks off this September, but this doesn't change the inconvenient fact that Daniel's treaty is made with Israel. Of course, Daniel's treaty could come to fruition more quickly than many realize, and it may even grow out of the chaotic aftermath of the Rapture itself (which means we might not be here to see it coming anyway). It's possible that Daniel's treaty is an outgrowth of or an addition to this agreement that gets hammered out in the wake of Gog Magog. But the fact remains that in its current form without Israel, this ain't it...at least it ain't it yet. So...let me just say that it might be wise to refrain from leaping to conclusions in regard to this U.N. agreement and the Rapture. Oh, and if you think the Rapture is inextricably linked to the Feast of Trumpets, feel free to take a look at something I wrote in 2020. (Warning: Don't balk at the title—you have to read the whole article to understand what I'm actually saying.)

So the Tribulation is launched when the AC2B confirms the treaty of Daniel 9:27 with Israel, and as he does so we have the first case of Satan imitating what God did through Moses and Elijah that I want to mention.

Recall that Moses led the Jews into their Old Covenant relationship with God, which was based on obeying His Law. However...

At the outset of the Tribulation, Satan will

have the AC2B imitate Moses by leading

Israel into a very different covenant.

Remember that God will have just recently supernaturally intervened to save Israel from annihilation in the battle of Gog Magog, and as a result their Muslim enemies will be weakened and won't be in a position to say no to this treaty—a treaty that will do something that is unthinkable in the Muslim world: give Israel permission to start rebuilding their anxiously anticipated Third Temple, and start rebuilding it on what the Muslims see as their property.

I also believe that Israel will be magnanimous in victory, just as they were after their victory over the Arabs in the Six Day War in 1967, when Moshe Dyan charitably allowed Jordan to maintain control over the holiest site in Judaism: the Temple Mount. They will give the Palestinians some kind of state, and the whole shebang will be hailed as World Peace at long last.

And the AC2B will be hailed as

the world's Great Peacemaker.

The AC2B will deceive Israel and lead them into a covenant with their sworn enemies that the Jews will foolishly enter into in the vain hopes they will be able to live in peace with people groups that seek their death and destruction (not to mention their land). But arguably the juiciest worm on that hook will be the chance to finally rebuild their (pant...drool...) Third T-e-m-p-l-e!

The Bible has a graphic way of describing this covenant that the AC2B will lead Israel into, which is obviously not a covenant with God. It is nothing more than the result of Satan's paltry imitation of what God did with His people through Moses with the Old Covenant, except its goal is the destruction of Israel and the death of the Jews. To see this, all we have to do is read how the prophet Isaiah describes it in chapter 28:

14Why hear the word of the LORD, you scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

15Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement;
[this looks forward prophetically to the treaty that launches the Tribulation, when God will purge His people and bring a believing remnant through the fire and destroy the unbelieving remainder] when the overflowing whip shall pass through, it shall not come to us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

16Therefore thus said the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believes shall not make haste.

17Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

18And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand;
when the overflowing whip shall pass through, then you shall be trodden down by it. [It will lead to the death of all Jews except the believing remnant, who will be protected by God.]

(Isaiah 28:14–18 AKJV / emphasis & [comments] added)

Isaiah doesn't mince words about the true nature of this future covenant the AC2B will establish with the Jews:

Isaiah calls the treaty Israel makes

with its enemies a covenant with

death and an agreement with hell.

So Satan arranges for the AC2B to imitate Moses' establishing of the Old Covenant by establishing a very different covenant with God's people, only this is a covenant designed to lure Israel to their destruction. God uses this covenant as the means by which He places Israel in a position where He can purge them using the Antichrist as the rod of His anger (Isa. 10:5), even as He saves a believing remnant during the Great Tribulation.

But as we get to the second half of the Tribulation and the AC2B officially becomes the full-tilt Antichrist (the first beast of Rev. 13:1–10), a second beast (Rev. 13:11–18) arises to work with this global tyrant to lead an apostate global religion. And guess what? Satan is just as adept at using this second beast to imitate what God has done as he was with the AC2B.

Imitating Elijah...again

At the midpoint of the Tribulation, as the Antichrist launches his 42-month kingdom, the second beast, aka the False Prophet, rises to support him in his satanic charade, and he calls fire down from the sky to intimidate people into worshiping the Antichrist as God. If they don't, they will be killed.

This is clearly Satan's imitation of what God did through Elijah in 1 Kings 18:37–39, when Elijah prayed that God would show the people of Israel that He would turn their hearts back to Him and God sent fire down to consume the sacrifice Elijah had prepared. When the people saw that fire, they forgot all about Baal and fell on their faces and cried:

"The LORD, He is God!"

But when people see the False Prophet call down fire from the sky, it is precisely the opposite. Now it is for the express purpose of deceiving them into believing a lie and worshiping Satan's man the Antichrist as if he were God—as if he were the divine Messiah sent from God (as is Christ):

11I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. He makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13He performs great signs, even making fire come down out of the sky to the earth in the sight of people. [Just like Elijah.] 14He deceives my own people who dwell on the earth because of the signs he was granted to do in front of the beast, saying to those who dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the beast who had the sword wound and lived. 15It was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause as many as wouldn't worship the image of the beast to be killed. [Worship the Antichrist as God or die.]

(Revelation 13:11–15 / emphasis & [comments] added)

Now people who have refused to love the truth will fall on their faces and cry:

"The Antichrist, He is God!"

Or whatever name they will use to refer to him. At that point Satan's deception will reach its zenith and his short-lived kingdom will be off and running.

Just like dear old Dad

Of course, there are a number of other forms of imitation that occur during the Tribulation, such as the Antichrist imitating Christ and striving to be accepted in His place as the promised Messiah (I'm betting you thought of that one). We also have the mark of the beast, where people are required to take the Antichrist's mark to participate in the global economy:

16He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands or on their foreheads; 17and that no one would be able to buy or to sell unless he has that mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.

(Revelation 13:16–17 / emphasis added)

Here is what Satan is attempting to imitate:

2I saw another angel ascend from the sunrise, having the seal of the living God. He cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to harm the earth and the sea, 3saying, "Don't harm the earth, the sea, or the trees, until we have sealed the bondservants of our God [the 144,000] on their foreheads!"

(Revelation 7:2–3 / emphasis &
[comments] added)

This is Satan's imitation of the way God "marks" or seals the 144,000 Jewish evangelists in the early part of the Tribulation to take the gospel to the world in place of the Church, which is long gone. This seal offers the 144,000 divine protection that enables them to complete their mission before they are martyred (some say the mark protects them for the entire duration of the Tribulation, but I happen to disagree based on my understanding of pertinent Scripture). In other words:

In the Tribulation, God marks those who

are His—and then Satan follows suit.

Incidentally, as I have pointed out in a previous article, the fact that this mark is "the name of the beast or the number of his name" means that it makes little sense to think that anything that comes along prior to the revelation of the Antichrist is in fact his mark. In other words:

How can you have the mark of the beast until you have the beast?

So chill. Don't get into a tizzy over taking something that is secretly the mark of the beast.  Scripture makes it fairly clear it doesn't work that way.

The bottom line is that it had never occurred to me how the ministries of Moses and Elijah clearly prefigure the ministry of the Two Witnesses, and then how Satan imitates the ministry of both Moses and Elijah through the actions of both the AC2B and the False Prophet in the first and second halves of the Tribulation, resp.

In this article, we've been discussing Satan's imitation of things God has done, and his imitations are invariably shabby, inferior counterfeits that bring about harmful, destructive results. But obviously imitation isn't always like that. Like the old saying goes: "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

Now, I think I can say without fear of contradiction that Satan isn't trying to flatter God—imitating God really is the best he can do because he is nothing but a liar, a thief, and a murderer. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. To seek whom he may devour. That's it—that's his entire résumé in a nutshell.

The Bible actually has quite a bit to say about imitation, which can obviously be done in either a good or a bad sense. Here's a quick taste of the good kind:

7Remember your leaders, men who spoke to you the word of God, and considering the results of their conduct, imitate their faith.

(Hebrews 13:7 / emphasis added)

6You became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,

(1 Thessalonians 1:6 / emphasis added)

11We desire that each one of you may show the same diligence to the fullness of hope even to the end, 12that you won't be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and perseverance inherited the promises.

(Hebrews 6:11–12 / emphasis added)

1Be imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.

(1 Corinthians 11:1 / emphasis added)

1Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. 2Walk in love, even as Christ also loved us and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.

(Ephesians 5:1–2 / emphasis added)

Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. That's an amazing thing to contemplate! Paul is telling us to imitate a supremely loving, infinitely holy, and perfectly just God...and it's an understatement of the first magnitude to say that's a mighty tall order for even the best among us.

But that's exactly what the Word

is telling us to do—imitate God,

just as a child imitates his father.

The longer I sit and think about that verse, the more it just blows me away. And the more it humbles me. And the more it motivates me...and I pray it motivates you as well:

I hope it motivates us all to take a deeper and more thoughtful look at the character of God with the humble intention of emulating it to the best of our limited abilities in our earthly lives.

And I pray it motivates us all to pursue the goal of living lives that reveal that we are making progress in our efforts to be more like our Heavenly Father.

Or maybe I should say our dear old Heavenly Dad.

From Greg Lauer @ A Little Strength—JUL '23
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  1. Thank you, Mr. Greg Lauer , for this clear insight that should lead us to Greater Joy, Praise and Thanksgiving during this special week ! When we are brought into the presence of GOD there will be true FULLNESS of JOY ! All our current trials will be as filthy rags cast away from us .

  2. I guess since creativity is a blessing and gift of God, it makes sense that Satan doesn't have much if it (if anything). It just makes me think eternity will be amazing as it'll be filled with redeemed humans with even greater abundance of creativity (without the limits of resources, time, and sin). That'll be incredible to see people displaying those gifts, and that's always just a shallow imitation of the beautiful creative works of God Himself. Can't wait for that!

    And on the other side of things, those who are banished to Hell will end up with any creative gifts removed, I suspect, making even their imaginations in eternity dull enough to be unable to lessen the eternal boredom and loneliness of forever (its so...awful... to contemplate).

    1. That's a good point, as God is the ultimate Creator, everything else just borrows from Him. I was also thinking about this point from a slightly different perspective: perhaps imitating God is really the most effective thing evil can even do at all. Because obviously what God does is perfect and carries immense power, if you're trying to become powerful and effective yourself, it probably doesn't get much better than imitating the omnipotent God.

      When you think about it though, it only shows how fully aware the fallen ones are about their dismal state, they know who God is and how powerful He is, and they also must know that you can't beat someone doing the exact thing they do, just worse. So they're just trying to cause the most damage they can in the most efficient way they can, which is to imitate God and weaponize His wisdom for evil, thereby acknowledging He's the ultimate originator of all wisdom, even their own. It makes it that much more shocking they would choose such a fate in the first place, instead of staying in the beautiful heavenly home full of love, even knowing what they knew as angels. Utter insanity.

      I don't want to get into a discussion about this and I know I'm in the minority within the Body of Christ, but I'm holding out hope that Hell might not be full of eternal conscious suffering, but perhaps God eventually allows the sinners to be consumed by the fires.

    2. I played bluegrass banjo throughout my teens and twenties, and came precariously close to a decision to pursue it professionally (luckily God had other plans).

      But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't fully expecting there to be a pre-war Gibson Mastertone five-string banjo waiting for me in my mansion in heaven when I get there. Oh baby.

  3. Greg - Is it feasible to believe then, that the plagues listed in Revelation are kind of a lip-synching between God and the two witnesses? i.e. The plague of the rivers and springs turning to blood is announced in heaven and then proclaimed by the two witnesses or do you think the witnesses will perform similar but more specific plagues?

    1. I'm inclined to think it's that last thing, where the Two Witnesses simply call down similar but more specific and perhaps more localized judgments as some of what we see being released in the seals, trumpets, and bowls. I touched on this in "The Two Witnesses" (https://www.alittlestrength.com/articles/2023/2302-witnesses.htm), but I believe the judgments called down by the Two Witnesses will at least contribute to the seal judgments in Revelation 6. For example, withholding the rain would certainly contribute to famine (third seal judgment), and famine certainly contributes to death (fourth seal judgment).

      As far as turning rivers to blood, one thing to note is that we see this in the third bowl judgment (Rev. 16:4). There is widespread agreement that the final series of bowl judgments come late in the Tribulation...at least sometime during the second half. However, I believe the Two Witnesses are killed by the Antichrist around the midpoint of the Tribulation. Thus, I don't see any likely connection between anything the Two Witnesses do and that particular bowl judgment.

      Not sure about the "lip synching" thing, but overall, what I see is the actions of the Two Witnesses, perhaps not causing directly, but at least contributing to a couple of the seal judgments in the first half of the Tribulation. That's about the only connection I see.

  4. Enjoyed this when I first read it, and your newest one Greg, "The Night Before", most excellent.

  5. Well done, Greg!!

    I would find it ironic (had it not already been the plan) that Moses would write (Psalm 90) and then be one of the two sent (either physically or in spirit) to prophesy for 1,260 days in sackcloth at the beginning of the 70th week. This is part of the reason why I have been exploring the two witnesses as the eldest generation of Israel on Earth. The last (Olive tree) generation in the 80th year of Israel. "80 years if by strength"; the only true strength we have is by God. In ourselves we are weakness. Thus the question, "Do the two witnesses personify the last generation as spoken of by Moses in (Psalm 90:10)?"

    This is the basis of my current study model which pegs the beginning of the 80 years at the birth of Israel on May 14, 1948. The 80 years are prophetic years of 360 days/year thus,

    80 prophetic years x 360 days/prophetic year = 28,800 days
    May 14, 1948 + 28,800 days = March 21, 2027
    March 21, 2027 (death of the two witnesses) + 3-1/2 days (their lying in the state) = March 25, 2027 (Resurrection EQ)

    March 25, 2027 would then be the resurrection and harpazo of the two witnesses; live streamed to the world at which time a massive earthquake (EQ) will strike Jerusalem causing a great number of Jews to believe and give glory to G-D.

    Give glory to Jesus.

    Not too unlike the scene at Mt Carmel, eh?!

    *IF* this model were true then the two witnesses would arrive 1,260 days before their ascension on March 25, 2027. That just so happens to be in a few days on October 12, 2023. Thursday, October 12 is Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah by the Essene calendar. (Think: Order of Melchizedek).

    PS, The model pegs their death on the first full day of Spring in 2027 and they would lay in state over Purim (Civil calendar). A time to party even by secular Jews! After Purim when the world is satisfied at the death of the two; many will fall to their knees confessing Christ as the two witnesses are taken Home. Like an offering on the altar of the Earth itself - taken by fire in an EQ.


    Thirty days later is the mid-point and the AoD during Pesach where upon seeing those watching and faithful will flee to the wilderness for 42 months. 1,260 days after the AoD is Shabbat Shuba, 2030 immediately followed by Yom Kippur, 2030. (Gog of Magog War I). The total day count from beginning to end is 2,550 days.

    If we're still here come the eclipse on Parashah Beresheet (10/14) we'll know the model has to begin on a different (later) date and not on May 14, 1948. I'm hoping that our wait is over and that the Day of our Blessed Hope is but hours away.

    We shall see. Nonetheless, continue to stay awake and watch.

    Keep the Faith!


    1. Consider also what is the true beginning of Israel... May 14 1948?

      or the first Israeli election of February 14, 1949 (Which coincidently was the first year of the Tetrad and not 1948).

      The election is the first true self governing establishment in my opinion, as what was before was still under UN sanction and assistance.

      I often wonder if this is the hair in the ointment for many who calculate timing.

      Just something to think of.

    2. Their Declaration of Independence, was established in 1948, but it's status in Israeli Law is as follows:

      Paragraph 13 of the Declaration provides that the State of Israel would be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex;

      However, the Knesset maintains that the declaration is neither a law nor an ordinary legal document.

      The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the guarantees were merely guiding principles, and that the declaration is not a constitutional law making a practical ruling on the upholding or nullification of various ordinances and statutes.

      This would tend to agree with a true Israeli State and government being established in the first president elected by it's people at the beginning of the following year.

    3. You're spot on JackN and if to consider a starting gate for an 80 year time frame we need to be open to different event dates. It's an interesting walk through Israeli history but one that can calculated from the end to the beginning.

      To do this we have to have a calendar model that ends at Shabbat Shuba with Yom Kippur close at hand. D70W is one week of years or,

      7 prophetic year X 360 days/prophetic year = 2,520 days

      Then we need to add the days of the two witnesses which begin 1,290 days before the AoD. Those days get added to the beginning (the first half of the 70th week) of the 2,520 days to make 2,550 days. The beginning of the 1,290 days is the arrival of the two witnesses and the end of the 1,290 days lead us to the AoD. Their witness is for 1,260 days counted from the beginning of the 1,290 days. Add 3-1/2 days to that date and that is the modelled day of their harpazo and the EQ given in (Revelation 11).

      My study explores if the day of their death be the 28,800th day or 80 years spoken of by Moses. That's found in (Psalm 90:10) and that's the question the model poses.

      So you can build this model from end to beginning and check dates in history to see if the 28,800 days begin in an interesting place. I started looking at alternative dates that end at a future Shabbat Shuba/Yom Kippur and so far found a potential connection to April 1950 when the number of new migrants into temporary camps in Israel peaked. This was when the ma'abarot (migrant transit camps) were established due to the explosive growth and influx of immigrants to Israel. (Sixty-two were established in 1950).

      The fig tree was bursting with leaves? (Maybe).

      I did a check of the dates for the first government (not provisional) and it didn't appear to fit. It may take a few more tries as you have to double and triple check data and dates and the model to make sure it's accurate. (Always subject to error - thus be vigilant and triple check!)

      Always interested in hearing other candidate dates for the beginning of the 80 year generation. I will happily post the model results for all to share.



    4. PS, There is one more check that I used with this model...it is the 1,335 days given via Daniel. I believe that the 1,335 day count should start at the AoD and end at the candle lighting for Hanukkah I.

  6. These beasts that are symbolized in Revelation, and in Daniel, are not always representing the same entity. The Antichrist is made up of three parts. Satan, the great imitator at work once again. Antichrist is the physical earthly man. Antichrist is also a government, and finally Antichrist is the spirit from out of the Abyss that rules with words out of Satan's mouth. How do we know who is who in the prophecy?

    Lets start with the beast that was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit. This beast is not the earthly Antichrist, and is not the earthly kingdom. The vehicle for this beast will be Antichrist, and will be his kingdom. But the 7th kingdom does not come out of the bottomless pit. Antichrist the person doesn't come out of the bottomless pit.

    Don't look for somebody to be shot in the head, judged by a doctor to be dead, then come alive, and then say, Oh, here's the Antichrist! This beast is out of the bottomless pit. The bottomless pit is where the demons Jesus cast out for the Gaterines didn't want to go! This is a demon in the pit. Who is he? He's the Prince of Grecia.

    He is the beast that was. He gave power to Alexander to defeat the Medo-Persian's, after the angel that came to Daniel defeated the Prince of Persia. He was, and is not. Why not? Because John is writing on the isle of Patmos, and the Prince of Rome is ruling, and the Prince of Grecia had been conquered, and is no more. Where is he? He's where he's going to come from. He's in the Abyss, locked up. Sent there to the Abyss. The Gaterines demons didn't want to be sent there. He was sent there.

    He was, as he ruled Grecia, he is not in John's time, but he shall ascend out of the bottomless pit. He will come forth again, in the last days, to empower Antichrist and to empower the final kingdom. That is why I say that the Antichrist will come out of the Seleucid portion of the Old Grecian Empire/conquered by Rome, uproot three from out of that Roman area, the others will give him their newly acquired power and Antichrist's Kingdom will be reborn.

    And he will be empowered by the demon Prince or Grecia, as Cyrus of Medo-Persia, was empowered by the Prince of Persia. He was, and is not and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition, and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life, from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was - when he ruled Greece - and is not - because Rome was ruling while John was writing this, and yet is . . . because he's going to be turned loose again.

  7. continued:
    Now, this seventh kingdom - The Hashemite Kingdom - gets its power at the time from the seven kings left after the uprooting. Hence, the Antichrist's Kingdom's actual land area will be supported by their combined strength, accounting for the rebirth of the true Hashemite Kingdom.

    He wins it by cunning and flattery, and is given a crown in honor. I wonder if that honor crown is reestablishment of their rightful position as overseers of Mecca and all the holy shrines of the Moslems. Fully restored to the throne, and now spiritually ruled and ready to take revenge on God's people.

    It requires peace to accomplish this plan in this day and age. Peace, including temple mount rights are on center stage in the area of the Medo-Persian Empire today.

    The hatred between the King of the north - the Hashemite - and the King of the south - Egypt - is still going on. The hatred includes Syria, as it was Egypt and Syria that formed the UAR and murdered the Hashemites and grabbed what little rule they had left after Briton's careless split up of the Mideast following the Ottoman war.

    Syria hates the Hashemite’s because they now own Palestine which was Syrian territory. The Palestinians are displaced by Jordan and Israel and are the center of the controversy. The Saudi's take good care of Mecca, but the Hashemite’s want it back as is proper, The Jews want security and a temple, the west want stability and control of the oil.

    So, that leaves only two territories that need to be straightened out to make this deal for peace.
    Palestine and Iraq, and Jordan is sitting in the middle of that controversy. Jordan is also sitting in the middle of the Israeli, Palestinian controversy, and right in the middle of the Syrian Palestinian/Israeli controversy.

    Syria claims Lebanon because they say the French had no right to establish a Christian territory in Syria. The French did so to establish a Christian presence in the Mideast.

    The false deliverer is the guy who can straighten out that mess to everyone's satisfaction.

    The key seems to be Jordan. If the support were to go to Jordan to reestablish the Hashemite Kingdom in Iraq, and Jordan would relinquish in some manner to Palestine, Syria would give up Lebanon for the Golan, and Israel will feel secure with that deal as long as the temple is included. Everyone is already agreeing to Jerusalem being a shared capital. All that smells like peace to me. Ah, but a false peace, as it only lasts three and a half years.

    Simply put, that the modern stage of history got here out of the prophesied past. It is not just jumping up and appearing, as some people seem to think that it will happen.

    We happen to live in a time when this is where we are in prophesied time. The peace is in final status talks. Delayed for sure, but up to final status. We can actually envision a time when this peace might be accomplished in the not too distant future. But there seems to be a restraining force, keeping it from happening. How much longer can it take? That's why we watch. We know when He comes; He's coming in Spring for the Church.

    The Rapture occurs in fulfillment of the Ascension of Jesus. Each year the anniversary of the Ascension occurs 40 days after the Feast of First fruits, and 10 days prior to Pentecost.

    I believe that scripture clearly shows that many of the dead in Christ that rise first will rise on First fruits and be seen by many for 40 days. So, watch! God knew what He was talking about when He commanded us to Watch, and put a reward up for those who do, so, heed His word, and Watch!



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