Counterfeit Second Coming
Jesus warns us about the deception of the last days.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
- Matthew 24:4 (KJV)
There will even be false christs.
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
- Matthew 24:23-27 (KJV)
Satan will pretend to be Christ.
The "crowning act" of the great controversy end-time drama will be Satan's attempt to impersonate Christ in a counterfeit second coming.
- Ellen White, The great visions of Ellen G. White, p. 60.7
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
- 2 Corinthians 11:14 (KJV)
Here is how that works in more detail:
As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The church has long professed to look to the Saviour's advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1:13-15. The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: "Christ has come! Christ has come!" The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion. Like the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon Magus, the multitudes, from the least to the greatest, give heed to these sorceries, saying: This is "the great power of God." Acts 8:10.
- Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 624/625
How can we tell the difference?
Well, Jesus comes with the clouds, and we will meet Him in the air. Jesus will NOT set foot on the Earth!!
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV)
Ellen White confirms this:
The Bible declares that when Jesus returns we will meet Him in the sky, not on the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:17)-whereas Satan will be walking in different parts of this earth. Satan will not be permitted to counterfeit the physical manner of the Second Coming.
- Ellen White, The great visions of Ellen G. White, p. 59.5
The counterfeit second coming is sometimes also called "a strong delusion" for those who do not love the truth.
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
- 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 (KJV)
The phrase "God shall send them strong delusion" actually means "God shall give them over to the strong delusion".
Do not be deceived brothers and sisters. This time is almost here.