Will the Devil Impersonate Christ?
The devil knows that Jesus’ second coming is soon and that his time is short (Revelation 12:12). Before the second coming, the devil is going to attempt to impersonate Christ Himself. And the Lord warns that he will do such a convincing job that, if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived. Jesus warned, “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22; Matthew 24:24).
The devil is not an ugly angel as often depicted in movies and literature. Before his fall, Lucifer was clothed with wisdom, glory, and beauty above all other angels. Next to Christ, he was most honored in heaven. “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). Because he was a created being, Lucifer was clearly inferior to the Father and the Son. Yet, he coveted to be like God. He said, “I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14).
Even after his fall, Satan can transform himself into an angel of light. The Bible warns, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13, 14). We must not underestimate how convincing and overpowering the devil’s final deception to impersonate Christ will be. He will even quote Scripture, as he did while tempting Christ in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-6).
But the Bible is very clear that the devil will not impersonate Christ coming in the clouds of heaven. For in the second coming, Christ’s feet will never touch the ground. It says the righteous will be caught up to meet Him in the air. “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
The devil cannot replicate a worldwide event as the second coming but he can appear around the world in various places, perform great miracles and speak holy words. This is why Jesus warns us, “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:26,27).
Christ’s warning leaves no room for a secret rapture or for mystical appearances in some places. All the inhabitants of the earth would “see” Jesus “coming in the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 24:30; 16:27; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 14:62; Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7). The believers would not need to travel to find Christ in certain places for He will come in the clouds and saved will be lifted to meet Him in the air.
In His service,