The titles of Satan would indicate that he is attempting, also, in his own person, to counterfeit the Persons of the blessed Trinity. He appears as “the god of this world” in imitation of God the Father; he appears as the “prince of the world” in imitation of God the Son; and “the spirit that now energizeth in the children of disobedience” is his imitation of God the Spirit, who dwells in and energizes the true believers. Thus his desire to be like the Most High has led him to a blasphemous attempt to imitate all the separate manifestations of the three Persons of the Godhead. But, since redemption, which he proposes to hinder, is the work of the second Person, God the Son, Satan more often appears as a counterfeit of Christ, both in title and undertaking; and this is the character in which he makes his last and most desperate effort before he is banished to the pit and his final judgment is begun.
The Man of Sin.
Reference has already been made to a period of tribulation yet to come upon the earth. That period is referred to in Scripture by various figures: “The great tribulation,” “the time of Jacob’s trouble,” and “a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.” It is also described as the culmination of the great apostasy which is predicted for the end of this age and which is emphasized in the later Epistles of the New Testament. These Epistles not only recognize a complete apostasy yet to come in this age, but teach that the beginning of that apostasy was apparent even then at the time when they were written. This teaching of the apostles finds its natural culmination in the last book of the Bible wherein the exact development of the apostasy and the conditions to prevail in the tribulation are recorded at length. All other references, both in the Old and the New Testaments, perfectly agree with this extended description.
In reference to the time of the tribulation which is thus predicted, Paul states in II Thes. 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (’the day of the Lord’) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of Sin be revealed, the son of perdition,” thus showing that the tribulation precedes the day of the Lord; and in Rev. 19 that day is seen to be the termination of the tribulation, which is previously described in that book. This period of tribulation is, therefore, to come before the Kingdom Age, and to be ended by the glorious appearing of Christ, the King.
Again, the tribulation is to come after the true Church has been removed; for it should be remembered that the true believers are to be saved out of the “hour of trial which shall come upon the earth to try those that dwell therein” (Rev. 3:10), (the believer, being a citizen of the heavenlies is, therefore, not included among those who dwell in the earth). This aspect of the Lord’s return