Satan’s Deceptive Miracles in the Tribulation -- By: Gregory H. Harris

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 156:623 (Jul 1999)
Article: Satan’s Deceptive Miracles in the Tribulation
Author: Gregory H. Harris


Satan’s Deceptive Miracles in the Tribulation

Gregory H. Harris

The Bible presents the Tribulation as a unique period whose duration God will limit in order for life to survive (Matt. 24:22). A feature of this unique period is unprecedented works of Satan, whose miracles will be performed in order to deceive many people.

Verses Depicting Miraculous Works during the Tribulation

Several statements in the Scriptures speak of deception in the Tribulation. This will occur by means of miraculous works performed by some who will be under Satan’s leadership.

Jesus made the first reference to miracles in the Tribulation. Having warned about false Christs and false prophets who will arise in His name and mislead many (Matt. 24:4–5, 11), Jesus then indicated the means by which the deception will occur. He prophesied that “false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible even the elect” (v. 24).

A second specific statement about miracles used by forces hostile to God in the Tribulation is in 2 Thessalonians 2:9. Paul described the future “lawless one” (v. 8) as “the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders.”

In Revelation 13:14 John wrote, “And he [the second beast] deceives those who dwell upon the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast.” This false prophet will continually deceive those who dwell on the earth in the Tribulation. John wrote this about the sixth bowl judgment: “And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the

*Gregory H. Harris is Associate Professor of Bible Exposition, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina.

mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty” (16:13–14).

The final reference to the deception of the Tribulation caused by means of the miraculous is Revelation 19:20. When the beast an...

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