The Master Counterfeiter


Dr. John Hoole – October 27, 2019



In 1968, the Rolling Stones debuted a song titled, “Sympathy for the Devil.”  While there should be no sympathy for the greatest sinner in all creation, and while I don’t endorse this song in any way, the Stones captured the essence of Satan’s tactics.  Satan’s “game” is to cast doubt and confusion on his person, his name, and his works so he can deceive and destroy.


Let’s take a look at some of the lyrics in this song by the Rolling Stones.


        “Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a man of wealth and taste.

                I’ve been around for a long, long year, stole many a man’s soul to waste.


        Pleased to meet you, Hope you guess my name.

                But what’s puzzling you, is the nature of my game.”


The devil goes by many names – Satan, the Prince of Darkness, Beelzebub and Lucifer to name a few.  Aside from these aliases, what do people really know this brute.  And how did the story of Satan originate?


Many ancient religions have scriptures or beliefs detailing the struggle between good and evil.  For instance, in the Zoroastrian religion, one of the world’s earliest, the supreme deity, Ormazd, created two entities:  There was the chaotic and destructive spirit Ahriman and his beneficent twin brother, Spenta Mainyu.


The Bahai religion teaches that Satan represents humanity’s lower nature.  The Church of Satan, founded by Anton LaVey, does not believe in a literal devil.  Instead, they use it as a metaphor for human’s true nature, which they embrace.


There is, however, a vast amount of Scriptural evidence that Satan actually exists and that he is a person, not just a symbol of evil or a figure of speech.  He is an angelic being of wide and powerful influence, a major character on the moral stage of God’s universe.


Satan arrives on the earth in the Old Testament without explanation as to where he comes from.  In Genesis, it assumes his existence, much as it does for the existence of God.  There are no formal proofs presented there for either one, but the Bible story unfolds depending for its vitality upon their reality.  Later revelation will provide greater information about them.


The whole plot of the book of Genesis depends upon the reality of Satan working through the serpent to cause the fall of mankind into sin (Chap. 3).  The basic facts of the creation and the fall lay the foundation for the whole battle between good and evil throughout the Bible and history and for the whole redemptive plan of God centered in the God-man who overcomes Satan.


The whole story of the tragedy and triumph of Job is based in the first two chapters upon the personal challenges and battle between God and Satan.


Satan’s existence is recognized by every writer of the New Testament, though not necessarily by every book.  In the gospels there are twenty-nine references to Satan.  In twenty-five of these, it is Christ who speaks of Satan as actually existing as a person.


Satan is a created angel.  As such, he is limited to space and time, along with a number of other qualities.  At the end of our last class, I mentioned the following without comment.


•  Unlike God, he is not self-existent.  Satan was created – meaning he is clearly inferior to God.


•  He is not sovereign.  Satan rules a domain of demons, but not beyond the bounds God has established.  Satan never rids himself of the desire to rule as God.  Actually his rebellion failed him totally.


•  He is not omnipotent.  Satan is powerful, but not all powerful.  1 John 4:4 says, “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”


•  He is not omniscient – all knowing.  Satan does not know everything.  I don’t believe he can read our thoughts.


•  He is not omnipresent.  Angels may travel fast, but they cannot be in two places at the same time.


At some point following their creation by Jesus, one of them – called Lucifer – rebelled with pride.  He desired to rise above God Himself.  And it appears that as he trafficked his desire and plan, about one-third of the angels were convinced to follow Lucifer.


Lucifer was not at all successful in his rebellion, and he and his angels fell, becoming known today as Satan and his demons.  Satan is the embodiment of evil.  He is the father of lies (John 8:44).  And the demons carry out his wishes.


When Lucifer let pride arise in him, he said, as recorded in Isaiah 14:14. I will be like the Most High,”.  he set in motion a desire he still has to this day.  He wants to usurp the authority of God.


2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NKJV) finds the apostle Paul warning the Corinthians about some people:


13    For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.

14    And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

15    Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.


Satan is still trying to be like the Most High.  At least, he is trying to convince people to follow himself.


By looking at the world around us, sometimes it appears like Satan is winning.  The title of a book written in 2003 seems to describe our own society.  Its title:  “Slouching Toward Gomorrah” (Robert Bork).  Since 2003 I believe the world, including America, has picked up the pace.  America seems to be running towards Sodom and Gomorrah.


There is a constant unseen war that rages around us at all times.  It is a war between the forces of evil and the angels of God.  And while this war is invisible to us, in many regard, we human beings are the targets of the forces of evil.  To narrow that some, the target is specifically the followers of Christ.  One day this war will end completely.


Revelation 12:7-9 NKJV


7      And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,

8      but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

9      So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.


But until it does, Satan and his demons will do all they can to deceive and cajole us with a constant barrage of attacks, in order to cause us to fall.  This enemy is not stupid.  He is brilliant and has thousands of years of experience to throw at us.  He is a master at making you think he is something that he is not.  Remember, he is the father of lies.  He is a masterful undercover sleuth.


Whatever else Satan is, he can never be accused of being lazy.  He has been working ever since his fall, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks out of every year.  He is continuously at work attempting to keep sinners from being saved, and trying to see to it that those who are saved do not grow in grace.  This warfare engaged by Satan and his emisaries is no mere passing amusement for him.  In desperation, he is facing a terrible judgment if he cannot succeed in his purpose.  The master passion of Satan leads him not only to strive for the success of his own projects, but also to wage an unceasing warfare against Jehovah and His followers.


Whether Satan now believes that he may succeed in spite of what happened at the cross of Jesus, and the evident superior power of God, is not revealed.  But we know that Satan will actually increase his ferocity of attack as we approach the last days.  Satan hates God and every one of us who follow Christ.




I suppose the answer to that question depends on the specific circumstances.  He is a master at using tactics that meet the situation.  Satan always has adapted his methods to the times and conditions.  He will even allow a semblance of truth in his tactics if it will keep the person involved from accepting redemption of sins through Christ.


As we read earlier in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15  (NIV):


     14   Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.


We often think of Satan as the great opponent of the plans of God.  He certainly is, but sometimes the best opposition against something is a clever imitation.  Satan is far more effective in matters of imitation than in matters of outright opposition.  He might imitate in the form of a pastor who seems to be godly, and yet who denies the Book and the Blood, and the Blessed Hope.  This is far more effective – at least among Christians – than imitating a bartender, or a harlot, or Richard Dawkins (the de-facto world leading Atheist).  Counterfeit is Satan’s most natural method of resisting the purposes of God.  It is by the process of counterfeiting that the devil becomes “like the Most High.”


Satan hates God, but he also has an obsession to be like God.  Isaiah 14:12-14  (NIV) indicates this desire in the heart of Satan.


12    How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!

13    You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.

14    I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."


Wasn’t this also the theme of the final statement by the serpent in the Garden of Eden, .which finally enticed Eve to take and eat the fruit.


Genesis 3:4-5  (NIV)


4      "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman.

5      "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."


                       The next verse says that Eve took of the fruit and ate.


Ever since pride entered the heart of Lucifer, he has had an unquenchable desire to be like God.  And he has been trying to convince mankind that they can be gods too.


In the Book of Revelation, we see a number of ways in which Satan tries to deceive the people of the world by using his counterfeits.  Satan is developing a false system that imitates the program of God at as many points as possible.


One of Satan’s primary goals is to counterfeit the things of God, and then through deception, pervert the conscience of men and women, to such an extent that they embrace his lie, while all along thinking it is God’s truth.


God has not, however, left His people in the dark regarding the tactics of the enemy of our souls.  2 Corinthians 2:11 tells us that the Christian need not, and indeed should not, be ignorant of Satan’s devices (schemes-444).  The Bible has made us aware of these end-times counterfeits.




                1.     Satan

                2.     Antichrist

                3.     False Prophet

                4.     144,000 Jewish evangelists

                5.     The 2 Witnesses in Jerusalem

                6.     The Nation of Israel

                7.     The Revived Roman Empire (EC)

                8.     4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse

                9.     Martyred Christians.

                10.   Michael

                11.   3 Angels

                12.   Bride of Christ

                13.   Christ


For a moment I want to focus on three of these characters.  Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet.  What we have, embodied in these three – is a clever counterfeit of the Holy Trinity.


Satan has his false trinity


Satan mimics the heavenly Trinity with his own hellish trinity.  The New Testament pictures three satanic persons in the last days.  We can call this trio the Satanic trinity, or “unholy trinity” which is Satan’s effort to mimic the Holy Trinity.


In this trinity, Satan himself corresponds to the role of God, the Father.  The coming Antichrist is the antitype of Christ, the Son of God.  The False Prophet corresponds to God, the Holy Spirit.


There are two verses in the Bible that speak of all three members of this hellish trinity.


Revelation 20:10 NIV


10    And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast [antichrist] and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.


Revelation 16:13  (NIV)


13    Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan), out of the mouth of the beast (the Antichrist) and out of the mouth of the false prophet.


The word “dragon” is used 13 times in the book of Revelation.  8 of those are found in Chapter 12.  Each time, it is a reference to the Devil.  Twice we are told specifically that this dragon is the Devil -- see Rev. 12:9 and Rev. 20:2.


Revelation 12:9 NIV


9      The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.


Now let’s look at the other two individuals in this unholy trinity.  In Revelation 13, we find an account of two beasts.  There really is no mystery as to who these two beasts are.  The first one is the Antichrist, and the second is the False Prophet.


The first ten verses of Revelation 13 speaks about the Antichrist.  Beginning in verse 11, we have a reference to “another beast,” who is the False Prophet.


See what it says about the False Prophet, who is the anti-type of the Holy Spirit.


        Revelation 13:11-12  (NIV)


11    Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.

12    He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.


What we are taught here is that the False Prophet does things on behalf of the Antichrist.  He draws people into worshiping the Antichrist.  That is very similar to the Holy Spirit, who draws all mankind to Jesus Christ.  He lifts up Jesus rather than Himself.


John 15:26  (KJV) says,


26    But when the Comforter [= Holy Spirit] is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which comes from the Father, he shall testify of me:


One aspect of the Holy Spirit’s ministry on earth today, is to point people to Jesus Christ.  No one comes to Christ unless the Holy Spirit draws them.


John 16:13-14  (NAS) adds:


13    "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

14    "He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.


Part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit today is to direct people and their worship to Jesus Christ.  The False prophet tries to counterfeit this relationship.


So, the first counterfeit is Satan’s imitation of the Holy Trinity.




Before we finish this lesson on End Time Satanic Counterfeits, I must make a couple of vital points.


Firstly, even though Satan tries to mimic the Holy Trinity, and even though he has said, in Isaiah 14:14, “I will be like the Most High.” .Satan is not God’s “opposite”!  God created Satan, whereas God was not created but always did exist and always will  (Rev. 22:13).


If Satan is the “opposite” of anyone, that being must also have been created, just as Satan was.  Satan was a high-ranking angel, and is probably more closely the “opposite” of the archangel Michael (Jude 9).  Michael is used by God as the prince and protector of Israel (Dan. 10:21, Dan. 12:1) and is God’s primary angelic adversary against Satan (Rev. 12:7).


Secondly, as extremely evil as Satan is, .the degree of his badness never could equal the infinite degree of God’s goodness.  Therefore, he cannot be God’s “opposite.”  If Satan could, in fact, be as bad as God is good, there might be some chance that Satan could defeat Jesus when He returns to earth.  But this will not occur.  The outcome of the future encounter has already been written and sealed  (Rev. 20:2, 3, 10).


When Christ comes, He will come with all the power of God to subdue unrighteousness and curb lawlessness.  Christ will remove from His Kingdom all things that would offend.


Thirdly, no matter how hard Satan tries to imitate, he cannot mimic the righteousness of the Son of God.  Jesus Christ is the Son of righteousness who will rise with healing in His wings.  As much as Satan might want to imitate God’s righteousness, he cannot possibly do so, because he is the lawless one.  He is a rebel.


Satan’s system, while it imitates God’s program at so many points, will collapse in utter anarchy, rebelliousness and lawlessness.


Another thing that Satan cannot imitate is the regeneration of a life who gives themselves to Christ.  While Satan may control, he cannot transform, and it will only be through Christ’s 2nd advent that the earth can have righteousness, peace, blessing, prosperity and security that God has promised to those who love Him.


There is a great need today, perhaps as never before, for those who know the Lord Jesus, to read and study the Word of God because it reveals God’s purposes and the satanic imitations.


The responsibility each child of God must have is, first of all, to know the Word so that we know God’s plan as well as be able to detect Satan’s counter-programs.