Thursday: The Counterfeit Trinity

The concept of the triune nature of God is found all through the Bible. However, in the context of end-time deceptions and persecution, the book of Revelation reveals a “counterfeit trinity” composed of the dragon, the sea beast, and the land beast of Revelation Chapter 13.

Read Revelation 12:17; Rev. 13:1-2. What is described here?


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The dragon here has been seen as the counterfeit of the Father, in that he is the one clearly in control. He also gives power and authority and a throne to the sea-beast, the one counterfeiting Christ. Why is this second power seen as a counterfeit Christ?

Read Revelation 13:2-5. What are the characteristics of this sea beast?

Besides receiving its authority from the dragon, reminiscent of what Jesus said about receiving His authority from the Father (see Matt. 28:18), this sea beast also faced, like Jesus, a death and then a resurrection (see Rev. 13:3). Also, this beast is described as exerting his authority for “forty-two months”, or three-and-a-half years, a prophetic counterfeit of Christ’s literal three-and-a-half-year ministry, based on the day-for-year principle.

Read Revelation 13:11-17. How is the land beast described here?

This land beast promotes the interests of the sea beast, just as the Holy Spirit glorified not Himself but Jesus (John 16:13-14). Also, just as the Holy Spirit performed a powerful act in bringing down “fire” from heaven (Acts 2:3), the land beast performs something similar (see Rev. 13:13).

“At the end, the land beast performs a counterfeit of Pentecost! For what purpose? To prove to the world that the counterfeit trinity is the true God”. — Jon Paulien, What the Bible Says About the End-Time (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald® Publishing Association, 1998), p. 111.

What are other end-time deceptions that we need to be aware of, and how can we help others recognize them as deceptions, as well?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons