Who are the greatest persons in either trinity?

Questions about God, the Bible and the Christian culture 

Question: According to Revelation13:2-4, who is greater? Father God (the Sender) or Jesus (the Envoy)? Who is greater? Satan (The Sender) or the Antichrist (the Envoy)?

Answer: From a dispensationalists viewpoint (which you seem to have. I am an amillennialist), the Antichrist surely will have a lot of power. Fortunately, he won’t be able to touch you for a least two reasons. First, you belong to Jesus Christ, and second, you will have already been raptured when the Antichrist takes the world stage. But imagine the lives of those poor people who remain on the earth! They’ll be so easy to dupe — especially since the world will just recently have been emptied of the people who know what’s going on, of the people who could speak with personal knowledge of Christ and salvation, of people who enjoyed the indwelling Holy Spirit — taking him from the earth — and leaving the remaining people defenseless against the strong delusion that God Himself will send them (2 Thessalonians 2:11).

Yes, it’ll be much better to be saved and out-of-here when all this comes down. Therefore we should be greatly motivated to ensure that we are among the saved — those who will be taken up at the rapture (2 Corinthians 13:5), and to spread God’s saving message to every possible person.

Satan is very active even now, seeding the world with false christs and false doctrines — look-a-like religions and religious persons who have personal charisma and a credible vocabulary, but not the spirit of God (2 Timothy 3:5). Have you noticed that Satan often copies God’s revelation and methods to look even more like him?  Your question references one, in particular, the parallel between the Father and Jesus, and Satan and the Antichrist, but I’d like to expand the notion.

How about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit vs. Satan, the Antichrist and the false prophet? A holy and an unholy trinity? Satan has adopted the full Trinitarian motif. Fortunately, our all-powerful God has outclassed these diabolical copycats in every way, but one comes right to mind.

God is God… and being-God comes with all the implied attributes, like eternal self-existence, omnipotence, omniscience, etc. Satan, by contrast, is a created being: he is not self-existent. Now, he’s really powerful — but he’s not omnipotent. He’s really knowledgeable — but he’s not omniscient… and so it goes. Although he is the highest of created beings, he is still a created being, He must, therefore, fall short of the Self Existent One in every aspect… and that’s what he does for a living. Satan falls short.

Satan caused many other angels to fall short, and he baited Adam so that all his progeny should be conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5) — fallen short before even hitting the air. And having changed man’s default condition from purity to filthiness, he spends all his days scheming to keep mankind from coming to Christ for salvation. He uses deception as a primary tool. He sets up false gods that are entirely palatable—even beautiful—and humans are duped by the billions. Now that’s power!… but not enough to win the war. God wins, but oh the casualties!

As to who’s the most powerful in the unholy trinity, let’s start with some simple physical science: That which gives energy is greater than that which receives energy. Satan energizes both the Antichrist and the false prophet. They’d be nothing without his supernatural interloping. And since we have good biblical indications that Satan is the highest of created beings (Isaiah 14:12-17; Jude 1:9) it follows that all other beings (and all includes the beast and the false prophet) fall below him in evil nature, in power, and in the ability to deceive. Let’s contrast that hierarchy with the holy trinity.

Jesus falls below no one. He is not a created being. He has coexisted with the Father for all eternity and is co-equal in the Godhead (Colossians 2:9) — since the Godhead remains a unity even while it is a trinity. Jesus created all things (Colossians 1:13-20). Since Jesus Christ enjoys equality with God the Father, the parallels to the Antichrist break down quickly.

Where the Antichrist is a mere receiver (of evil power), Jesus is the only source (of holy power). Where the Antichrist is a creation, Jesus is the creator. While Satan is greater than the lesser creations, Jesus is no less God than the Father who sent Him. Jesus and the Father are equal in power, honor, glory, holiness, eternal existence, perfection… just everything!

I too enjoy a good analogy. Knowing where to stop one is always key.

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