Satan and his Kingdom

Prof. Johan Malan, Mossel Bay, South Africa (May 2012)

Contents

1. Satan’s Fall

2. The Kingdom of Satan

2.1 The reality of the battle against Satan

2.2 Satan’s warfare against the kingdom of God

2.3 Operational Structure of Satan’s Powers

2.4 Characteristics of the Satanist Movement

2.5 Future Developments

 

1. Satan’s Fall

The kingdom of darkness is a reality which everybody should be well aware of. Satan and his demons – which are the fallen angels who were cast out of heaven because of their complicity in his rebellion – are engaged in a fierce battle against God and His kingdom. They strive to be worshipped and for power. Satan is an imitator of God who is intent on replacing God as ruler of the universe. His aim is also to be worshipped as God. In his imitation of the Triune God, Satan’s kingdom is also ruled by a triumvirate – the devil, the Antichrist and the false prophet. The devil pretends to be God and his future world leader, the Antichrist, will be offered to the world as the Christ, while the false prophet will imitate the ministry of the Holy Spirit by doing great signs and wonders.

Lucifer was a good, wise and beautiful angel who was created by God, but he was corrupted by pride and a lust for power. He revolted against God’s authority in an effort to raise his own status to be equal with God. In Ezekiel 28 are descriptions of the earthly king of Tyre, and also of Satan who was the spiritual power who instigated and controlled him. Lucifer, therefore, was the real king of Tyre. Both of them have fallen because of their pride. The Lord says of Lucifer:

“You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, o covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendour; I cast you to the ground” (Ezek. 28:12-17).

The following four reasons make it quite clear that these verses refer to Lucifer and not the earthly king of Tyre:

·       He was in the Garden of Eden.

·       He was a cherub who covers.

·       He enjoyed free movement on God’s holy mountain.

·       He was perfect since the day of his creation, till iniquity was found in him and caused his downfall.

The angels who were deceived by Lucifer and sinned by sharing in his rebellion were cast out of heaven with him. Their iniquity transformed them into perverted and hateful creatures. After his fall, Lucifer was described as Satan, who is the adversary of God.

In Isaiah 14, the Lord uses the fall of the king of Babylon to describe Lucifer’s fall from heaven. Babylon is a well-known symbol of Satan’s kingdom on earth. This is evidenced by the fact that Satan took possession of Nimrod after Babylon was first established, and influenced him to become a violent person, so arrogant and great in his own eyes that he built a city and a tower with its top reaching to heaven (Gen. 11:4). In this way, it was thought that fallen man could rule over the whole earth, ascend to heaven and declare himself to be God.

During later history, the city of Babylon remained the symbol of a mighty kingdom, still violently opposed to the kingdom of God. According to Revelation 18, the city will be rebuilt in the end-time and will once again exercise dominion over the nations of the world. The demonic nature of this evil city is clearly evident from prophecies regarding its final downfall: “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every fowl spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!” (Rev. 18:2).

Throughout the centuries, Lucifer was the real king of Babylon, also of mystery Babylon, the harlot mother of all the false religions. The human tyrants who ruled in Babylon were all personifications of him who gave expression to his rebellion, violence, religious self-deification and idolatry in the most extreme forms. It is fitting that Lucifer’s fall from heaven should be likened to the fall of Babylon’s king, as his kingdom is also destined to destruction. From the context it is very obvious that it is Lucifer’s fate which is being discussed here, as the earthly king of Babylon was never described as Lucifer, (son of the morning,) who sat on the mount of the congregation in heaven and exalted himself to be equal with God:

“How you are fallen from heaven, o Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?” (Isa. 14:12-17).

It must have been a sudden and highly dramatic event when Lucifer and his angels were cast out by God. John says that he drew a third of the angels of heaven with him (Rev. 12:4), which is an indication of his considerable power and influence. The consequences of Lucifer’s expulsion from heaven were far-reaching. He swore to take vengeance on God and His kingdom by incessantly attacking and destroying His creation. This declaration of war finally transformed him into Satan – God’s Enemy and Adversary. He is particularly intent on controlling and destroying human beings who were created in God’s image; therefore, God describes him as a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44).

Satan’s fall from heaven was only the beginning of his humiliation. Following that, the opportunity was given him to reveal his true character, thereby filling up the measure of his iniquity. He did so by deceiving and destroying people. All of creation likewise suffers because of the Fall and the destructive acts of the devil and his human henchmen (Rom. 8:20). Satan will launch his most violent attack on mankind during the seven year-long reign of the Antichrist: “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Rev. 12:12). Many people will die because of wars, pestilences, famines and other calamities while the earth and its resources will be devastated.

Satan’s fall, as described by Ezekiel and Isaiah, occurs during different stages. It will assume a further dimension when, at the end of the great tribulation when Christ returns, he will be incarcerated in the bottomless pit for 1000 years (Rev. 20:1-3). Then, it will be said of him: “Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities?” Following his release from the pit at the end of the thousand years, Satan and all his followers will be cast into the lake of fire for ever.

Satan is further revealed

It is important to notice that Satan is progressively revealed in the Bible. In the process, quite a number of descriptive names have been assigned to him. These names are further indications of his motives, strategies and evil character. Satan and his demons arise from the abyss (Luke 8:31) and operate in mystical spheres or heavenly realms, i.e. the supernatural sphere (Eph. 6:12). They prefer to hide their true identity in order to gain easy access to people’s hearts and minds. Initially they assumed the identity of various idols, and even ancestral spirits, to ensure that people would unwittingly serve and worship them through prayers and sacrifices. This practice became very popular throughout human history, and Christians have clearly been warned to have no part in this (1 Cor. 10:19-21). Whether deceived humanity is aware of it or not, they are serving the devil through their false religious practices.

During Old Testament times the heathen nations served a large number of Baals (foreign gods) and Ashtoreths (goddesses) (Judg. 2:11-13; 1 Sam. 12:10). Israel was often deceived into participating in the worship of these idols. Idolatry was practised along with occult activities such as consulting the spirits, divination and soothsaying, which are all works of darkness by means of which Satan deceives people. Israel was sternly warned against these activities:

“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practises witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord… For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you” (Deut. 18:10-14).

In addition, astrology is prohibited as one of the works of darkness (Isa. 47:12-14).

Furthermore, the Old Testament contains concepts which are more directly related to the devil and his demons – among which are examples of explicit Satanism. The Hebrew word “sa-ir” means “devil” or “demon.” In Leviticus 17:7 and 2 Chronicles 11:15 it is translated as “demon.” The KJV renders it “devil.” However, “sa-ir” can also be translated as “hairy demon”. W.L. Holladay (1988) says that “sa-ir” is “a hairy demon in shape of he-goat.” This perception accounts for the fact that the devil may also be depicted as a hairy he-goat. Among Satanists, the devil is often visualised as a black goat or a human-like creature with the head of a goat. This abominable creature has human as well as animal features, but always with two goat-horns on his head.

The Hebraic Old Testament also uses the word “shed” for “devil” (cf. Deut. 32:17). In Psalm 106:37-38 an ancient form of Satanism is described, in which people sacrificed their children to the devils: “They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood… whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan.” In this case, devils are equated with idols.

As a precise and direct revelation of the Wicked One, the name “Satan” is only mentioned a couple of times in the Old Testament. This name means “Adversary” or “Enemy” and depicts Satan as the big adversary, or enemy, of God and all believers. “Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel” (1 Chron. 21:1). He deceptively motivated David into doing something that was contrary to God’s will. He is also the accuser of believers: “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose [or accuse] him” (Zech. 3:1). In the following verse is another descriptive name that strongly alludes to Satan: “In that day the Lord with His severe sword, great and strong, will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent” (Isa. 27:1).

In the New Testament, both the names “Satan” and “devil” are used. “Devil” has been derived from the Greek term “diabolos” and means “false accuser” or “slanderer.” Other descriptive names which are used for the devil in the New Testament are “the wicked one” or “the evil one” (Matt. 3:19; 1 John 5:19), Mammon, the god of money (Luke 16:13), the angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), the deceiver (Rev. 12:9), the father of lies (John 8:44), Apollyon, the destroyer (Rev. 9:3), Beelzebub, the dung-god (Matt. 12:24), Belial, the worthless one (2 Cor. 6:15), the accuser (Rev. 12:10), the murderer of people (John 8:44), the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2), the ruler of this world (John 12:31), the tempter (1 Thess. 3:5), the serpent (Rev. 12:9), the great dragon (Rev. 12:9), the roaring lion (1 Pet. 5:8), and the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4).

Satan is head of the kingdom of darkness and has many evil spirits, or demons, under his control. Since the Fall he has controlled and manipulated all unsaved people who are spiritually in his direct sphere of influence. It is this evil power that the Lord saves us from: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Col. 1:13).

The devil tries everything possible to gain authority over God’s creation with the specific intention of destroying it. He unceasingly endeavours to destroy the image of God in human beings by blinding them spiritually and making them slaves of sin. His final objective is to be served and worshipped by all people. Additionally, his plans are to establish the Antichrist in a position of authority on earth in the place of Christ. One of the methods he utilises to achieve these goals is to oppose the work of the Holy Spirit by subjecting people to the influence of deceiving spirits and doctrines of devils. Are you sufficiently equipped spiritually to fight this battle? The Bible says: “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:11-12).

The spiritual position of power which Satan attained on earth is a direct consequence of the Fall. All people are born with a nature which is inclined to sinning, and therefore join the devils in their rebellion against God. All are spiritually dead and morally depraved (Rom. 3:10-18). Even after the coming of Jesus Christ, nevertheless, most continue to prefer darkness to light because their works are evil (John 3:19). This is the reason for the devil being referred to as the ruler and god of this fallen, evil world (John 14:30; 2 Cor. 4:4). John says that the whole world lies in the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19). Therefore, Satan’s influence is far-reaching. He uses a variety of methods to spiritually deceive mankind.

Although Satan was defeated on the cross by the Lord Jesus, he has not yet been bound up in a bottomless pit and is still actively involved in the struggle against God’s kingdom. Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), and His Holy Spirit empowers us to prevail against the temptations and attacks of the evil one. We should remain vigilant at all times, putting on the full armour of God. It will only be at the second coming of Christ that Satan will be stripped of his power as the ruler of this fallen world, and incarcerated in a pit. Until then, the struggle will continue.

At the end of Christ’s thousand year reign of peace, Satan will be released for a short time to test the people on earth spiritually. Those who are not truly born again will immediately be overcome by Satan’s power and then they will be engaged by him to launch a renewed attack against the kingdom of God: “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Rev. 20:7-10).

Satan’s fall and humiliation will then be complete. Satan and his deceived followers will remain in the lake of fire for ever. Resist him and give him no place in your life (Jas. 4:7; Eph. 4:27).

Strategies of Satan as an outcast

The multiple revelations of Satan regarding his fallen state render clear evidence of his continued efforts to wage war against God and His kingdom. In this way he endeavours to muster up more support for his alternative kingdom of darkness with a view to ultimately establishing himself as the sole ruler of the universe. It is expedient to conduct a closer examination of his kingdom’s structures and methods since he still wields considerable power.

Right from the onset of human history the devil has made concerted efforts to promote apostasy among people by leading them into false religions in which foreign gods (demons) are worshipped. By his masterminding the Fall of man he achieved a major victory by establishing a sinful nature in all people’s lives, thereby making them easy targets for further deception.

During the first coming of God’s Son to the world, Satan often carried out virulent attacks against Him in an effort to kill Him, deceive Him spiritually, and also to instigate His own people and the world to reject Him. If Satan had succeeded in incorporating Jesus into his kingdom of rebels, it would have afforded him a shortcut to fulfil his ultimate objective of becoming sole ruler of the universe. The fact that Jesus came in the form of a humble servant with a frail human body, could have led the devil to believe that He was an easy target for attack and deception.

According to Luke 4:1-13, Satan’s cleverly planned strategy to deceive Jesus was based upon three false arguments. Although he completely failed to achieve his purpose, he did not give up. During subsequent centuries he has been even more determined to implement new techniques of deception by which he offers these same lies to tempt the Christian church and the depraved world. For this reason it is imperative to clearly take note of Satan’s historical efforts to deceive Jesus. The three deceptive strategies which he employed are the following:

A prosperity gospel based on the fulfilling of material needs. The Lord Jesus had fasted for 40 days, and had become very hungry, thus the devil exploited his biggest physical need at the time by saying: “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread” (Luke 4:3). Jesus immediately overcame this temptation by emphasising that man’s life does not depend on satisfying of his material needs, but rather on spiritual fulfilment: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4). If we first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33), we will never become victims of Mammon’s kingdom of earthly wealth and worldly prosperity. If we are dedicated to seeking God’s kingdom, these other needs will be provided for.

An unbiblical kingdom theology associated with the worship of a foreign god. Satan deliberately tried to introduce Jesus into his alternative kingdom, on condition that He would be prepared to worship Lucifer as God. The promise of great earthly power and dominion was made to Him, if He would have been willing to follow this radical advice: “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours” (Luke. 4:5-7).

The Lord Jesus did not dispute the fact that Satan, through his deception of virtually all of humanity, has gained control over earthly kingdoms – that being the reason for Jesus referring to him as “the ruler of this world” (John 14:30). However, while He persisted against Satan’s temptations, Jesus clearly stated that neither He nor any of His followers would be permitted to subject themselves to an earthly kingdom which is hostile towards the kingdom of God, nor to worship the god of such a renegade kingdom: “And Jesus answered and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve” (Luke 4:8).

A religion of supernatural signs and wonders. A final effort was made by the devil to convince Jesus to relinquish His role as the humble Servant who would be rejected, persecuted and eventually crucified. Rather than Him enduring these awful events, Satan suggested to Jesus that He jump off from the pinnacle of the temple and miraculously make a safe landing, so that the people would be convinced by this sensational sign and recognise Him as the Messiah sent by God (Luke 4:9-12). However, the Lord Jesus resisted the devil by stating that one should not succumb to megalomania by tempting God into giving you supernatural powers in order to exalt and glorify yourself.

In the light of these personal attacks on Christ it is obvious that Satan has a comprehensive plan of action to pursue his evil war against God and His kingdom with all the might at his disposal. Firstly, it is a battle for his survival in an effort to avert his further humiliation and eternal condemnation as prophesied in the Bible. Secondly, it is an attempt to change his fortunes by achieving victory in his battle against the kingdom of light and thus becoming ruler of the universe in God’s place. With this being his ultimate goal, he continues to expand his support base through relentless efforts to gain control over more and more people.

When Christ returns to the world at the end of the great tribulation, the devil will again personally confront Him in the battle of Armageddon by waging war against Christ and His heavenly army (Rev. 16:13-16; 19:19-20). The turn of events on that day will prove to be disastrous for Satan and his myriad of supporters.

As the end of the church dispensation rapidly approaches, it becomes obvious that Satan realises that time is running out for him to execute all his plans. Conspicuously, the strategies which he used in his temptation of Christ in the wilderness, are once again being extensively applied to all people in preparation for the revelation of the Antichrist and his world empire.

Churches are being deceived into proclaiming a prosperity gospel focussed on earthly wealth, thereby impoverishing themselves spiritually and making themselves victims of shallow thinking. With these worldly values being the centre of their attention, they will be receptive to the establishment of an earthly kingdom, even before the coming of Christ as King of kings. In order to realise this kingdom they must be deceived into a compromise with all other faiths under the erroneous premise that all religions worship the same God.

However, they do not realise that the devil is the universal God of all false and unbiblical faiths, and they also disregard the fact that no compromise is possible between God and all the false gods (2 Cor. 6:14-18). Multireligious deception will progress to the extent that a Satanically driven alliance of world religions will have been formed in a humanistic world empire. Apostatised humanity, involved in the building of a modern tower of Babel, will employ cosmic powers to perform signs and wonders.

All these false religious manifestations will be typical of the Antichrist once he assumes dominion on earth during the final seven years before the second coming of Christ. He will amass earthly treasures, gain political and religious control over all people, and also perform astounding signs by means of his occult powers. His coming will be “according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish” (2 Thess. 2:9-10).

Paul adds that people who are deceived by the Antichrist, wilfully turn their backs on biblical truths and the true Christ: “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thess. 2:10-12).

It is vitally important that all people of all ages take note of Satan’s temptation and deception, because without this knowledge they are easy targets of subtle lies. The strategies which are applied by the kingdom of darkness are all aimed at harming God’s kingdom by influencing people to fall away from the truth (Heb. 3:12). The more knowledge people have regarding this dark kingdom, its principles and plans of action, the better they will be able to defend themselves against it.

 

2. The Kingdom of Satan

It is important to acquire knowledge and an understanding of the opposing kingdom of darkness and the strategies and methods employed by Satan to deceive, harm and control people, as that will enable us to offer effective resistance: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).

Beyond the world of physical phenomena is the real world – the unseen world – from which great and decisive influences emanate, which have an impact on the lives of all people. Since humans do not only comprise a body and a soul, but also a spirit, they are conscious of the spirit world and are receptive to communication from it. The immense importance of spiritual influence necessitates a sound knowledge of spiritual reality. Even in the instances where people choose to ignore these realities they are, nonetheless, profoundly affected by them. The two great realities in the spirit world are the kingdom of God, which is the kingdom of light, and the kingdom of Satan, which is the kingdom of darkness.

These two kingdoms are diametrically opposed to one another, both competing and contending for the souls of all people. Both have long been established on earth, and while neither has yet been outwardly revealed, both will be when their respective ‘kings’ emerge onto the world stage. The kingdom of Satan will finally manifest visibly when its forthcoming earthly king, the Antichrist, appears and he asserts himself to assume global control of the world for a short period. His disastrous reign will be ended by the visible appearance of Jesus, the true Christ, on earth, who will destroy the Antichrist and his Satanic kingdom and replace it with His millennial kingdom of God, as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 11:15; 19:16).

All the people of God are engaged in a continual deadly struggle against Satan, who is the great adversary of God and His people. It is of crucial importance that we understand the principles and strategies of Satan’s kingdom in order to prevail in the struggle.

2.1 The reality of the battle against Satan

The spiritual battle against the evil forces of Satan is a very real one, and it will intensify as we approach the end of this dispensation. This fact presents us with the responsibility of achieving a thorough understanding of the objectives and methods of the enemy. This struggle is taking place in a number of different spheres. The most important battlefield is in the arena of human lives that were created in the image of God. Satan’s attacks on the kingdom of light are aimed at dethroning God and enthroning himself as the ruler of the universe. By means of this process he intends to gain control over all people, in spirit, soul and body, and to be worshipped by them as if he were God.

There are various forms and degrees of influence and control that Satan exercises over people, and his final objective is to further expand this control. The Bible says that “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). However, the kingdom of God also has established interests here and a considerable number of followers on earth, although they are a minority in a predominantly evil world.

Despite this situation, God still has undisputed sovereignty in the universe. Integral to His eternal plan was His decision to give humanity a free will as well as the authority to subdue the earth and to have dominion over it (Gen. 1:28). By having yielded to Satan’s temptation to disobey God in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve and subsequently all their offspring died spiritually and became subservient to another god – the devil. In this way the devil and his fallen angels became “the rulers of the darkness of this world”.

Ever since, fallen humanity has been confronted with a choice between two kingdoms – the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. The freedom of people to decide which of  these two kingdoms to follow, would be the deciding factor as to whether spiritual light or darkness would prevail on earth or in specific parts of it. The sinful inclinations and unrepentant hearts of the majority of people are the reasons why believers everywhere find themselves “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).

Because the vast majority of people deliberately live in darkness and sin, they are the object of God’s wrath: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

The majority support that the kingdom of darkness enjoys on earth is the reason for the Bible referring to “this present evil world” from which God wants to deliver us (Gal. 1:4). The great multitude who tread the broad way that leads to hell are those whose minds have been blinded by the god of this world and therefore do not believe (2 Cor. 4:4). The god of this dark world is Satan. In John 14:30 Jesus refers to him as “the ruler of this world”.

However, Satan does not rule over Christians because he has been dethroned in their lives. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Even though they have been set free from the control of the Evil One, Christians are nevertheless engaged in the fierce battle that is being waged by Satan against the kingdom of light. Therefore, the Bible emphatically commands us: “Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11).

Satan’s attacks are not aimed primarily at those who are already under his control, as he can oppress and manipulate them at will. He is, however, careful to maintain his grasp on them. His most virulent attacks are reserved for the believers who oppose him and have committed themselves to helping other people to be set free from the powers of darkness. In so doing, Christians have also declared war against him: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5).

2.2 Satan’s warfare against the kingdom of God

Satan employs different strategies in his war against the kingdom of God in an all-out effort to destroy the foundations of the Christian way of life. His purpose is to ultimately gain absolute control and to establish a fully-fledged satanic world order in all spheres of life. He obviously realises that time is running out on him as he is radically increasing the severity of his attacks. The different types of warfare that he is engaged in are the following: 

Religious warfare

It is high on Satan’s list of priorities to deceive people spiritually, thereby gaining control over their lives. He employs various methods to achieve this objective, all of which are aimed at eroding faith in God and replacing it with unbelief, superstition, or one or other false religion:

The Christian church: Satan attacks the church of Christ in his most well disguised and deceiving form, by infiltrating it with false prophets who pretend to be apostles and ministers of Christ. 1 John 4:1 says that “many false prophets have gone out into the world.” The Bible also reveals that “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:14-15).

These deceivers sow confusion, falsify and utterly distort the Word of God through their erroneous translations that alter the intended message and misrepresent the original text. A false Christian church is a powerful tool in the hands of Satan which he uses to deceive nominal Christians into believing that they are saved and destined for heaven, while in truth, that is not the case. Millions of naïve people are unwittingly exposed to damnable heresies without them having put the false teachers to the test, by themselves discerning in terms of biblical principles, the spiritual powers that are at work in the preaching during the ‘religious shows’ and in the literature that is presented to them.

In her classical work, War on the Saints, Jessie Penn-Lewis (1910) offers a very convincing expose of Satan’s assault on the church. In their summary, Amazon.com say: “This book was written by Mrs. Penn-Lewis in collaboration with the Welsh revivalist Evan Roberts as a disclosure of the deceptive strategies used by evil spirits against God’s people and as a guide to winning victory over counterfeit practices.”

False religions: More directly, humanity is deceived by the non-Christian religions into worshipping idols that are disguised demons. According to the Bible, the idols to which the heathens make sacrifices, are demons (1 Cor. 10:19-20). Anyone who participates in these sacrifices has fellowship with demons. The heathen are not aware that Satan has deceived them. Similarly, compromising, liberal, and ecumenical Christian churches do not realise these dangers, due to the fact that they subscribe to the false idea that all religions worship the same God. Multireligious deception is proliferating in this day and age which amounts to a complete denial of the unique position of Jesus Christ as the only Saviour of the world. Ecumenical ‘Christians’ should endeavour to become more aware of the activities of the god of this world who blinds the minds of people rendering them unable to see the truth.

Occult powers: Occult or mystical practices provide an even more ostensible revelation of Satan. Yet, he does not openly associate his name and his kingdom with it, allowing people to be more easily deceived into becoming unfaithful to God. Satan’s power is marketed and promoted through the New Age Movement, the Human Potential Movement, and related occult and mystical practices such as spiritual channelling, shamanism, the application of magical powers, transcendental meditation, yoga, fortune-telling, the use of psychic powers, astral projection, holistic healing, extrasensory perception, clairvoyance, etc. People are influenced into opening themselves up to these powers and to cosmic wisdom, and freely draw on these resources. Eastern meditation is one of the most popular methods of bringing about an altered state of consciousness which leads to a vulnerability and openness to occult powers, cosmic wisdom, spirit guides and demons.

Satanism: Due to the inherent repulsiveness of the idea, the direct revelation of Satan can only be made to gravely deceived, morally decadent, and spiritually degenerate people. In the past, these direct revelations by Satan were restricted to a few small groups of people, but during the past two decades their numbers have greatly increased throughout the world. Satan and his demons reveal themselves in all their abominable vileness and bloodthirstiness to their worshippers. They demand animal or human sacrifices from their worshippers and also commission the murder of certain of their victimised enemies.

A war against the Bible

Due to both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible being the inspired, inerrant Word of God, it has been and remains under the most virulent and sustained attack from Satan and his agents. Its inspiration, historicity, canon and scientific accuracy have all been questioned by ‘higher criticism’, the theory of evolution and many other opposing forms of critique.

War against moral values

Satan continuously questions, challenges and breaks down the moral norms which God has established through His laws and precepts, and which the human conscience should acknowledge as right and good. Moral decline is promoted by demons. This is done with a view to replacing God’s morality in the world with the opposing values of a satanic immorality. These two sets of values can be contrasted as follows:

God’s morality

Satan’s immorality

Truth

Lies

Righteousness

Unrighteousness

Self-control

Lawlessness

Honesty

Deceitfulness and theft

Moral chastity

Moral depravity and vileness

Soberness

Drunkenness

Sincerity

Slyness

Reverence to God

Blaspheming of God

Orderliness

Disorderliness

Meekness

Arrogance

Peacefulness

Violence

Forgiveness

Revengefulness

Love

Hate

Kindness

Cruelty

Conservation

Destruction

Satan knows that by means of this war against moral values he can achieve a great victory in gaining control over and eventually destroying humankind. The Roman Empire, for instance, was never defeated by military force but destroyed itself by way of internal moral decay. Sexual orgies, drunkenness, fornication, homosexuality, materialism, corruption, theft and bribery gave rise to one scandal after another. Widespread immorality completely ruined the integrity and effectiveness of the governments in Rome and Constantinople.

The apostle James also contrasts God’s standard of morality against the moral depravity of a fallen world that lies in the sway of the Evil One: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (Jas. 3:13-18).

Under the cloak of humanistic reforms the world is, for the most part, being drawn into a demonic immorality. When this process has sufficiently advanced, the man of sin, the Antichrist, will be revealed. He will be the leading figure in the new world order’s culture of sin. He will act according to his own will (Dan. 11:36), rule by means of satanic powers (Rev. 13:2), blaspheme God (Rev. 13:5-6), together with Satan, be worshipped by a morally and religiously depraved human race (Rev. 13:4), be a tyrant and mass-murderer (Dan. 11:44) and order the execution of all people who refuse to worship him as god (Rev. 13:15).

Psychological war

A psychological war is also being waged against humanity by convincing people to not limit themselves only to rational thinking based on logical facts. They are encouraged to discover and use their hidden psychological potential by switching over from their rational left brain to their creative right brain. Here they will discover a super memory, powers of self-healing, the gifts of clairvoyance, telepathy, etc. The lie that these discoveries are allegedly associated with the unexploited side of our human potential is being proclaimed and this is referred to as the deeper self or the higher self. Extra-sensory techniques, which are used to effect such a switchover to the hidden side of the human psyche, include transcendental meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, as well as mind-expanding drugs which produce a hallucinatory experience.

Various psychics, psychologists, deluded Christian counsellors and even evangelists and pastors, are guiding people into this new self-discovery that leads them to attain an altered state of consciousness. Some of them discover their deeper self; others encounter spirit guides that help them to regress to previous lives, while others discover their abilities to achieve self-healing, improved learning, etc. However, these gifts and discoveries are clearly of mystical and demonic origin. By using them, people relinquish all forms of self-control by submitting themselves to higher powers, opening themselves up to the working of unknown spiritual agents, and entering a cosmic realm in which the gifts and experiences are clearly not from God. They abandon all the logical and rational arguments of the Bible, and thereby render proof that the god of this world has indeed blinded their minds.

Victims of Satan’s psychological warfare all undergo a radical change in their thoughts and behaviour. In addition to their reliance on higher spiritual powers of unknown origin, most of them develop an entirely new world-view. Boundaries and divisions disappear and they regard everything as being one (monism, or synthetic thinking), for instance, a recognition of the equality and inherent unity of all religions. They no longer subscribe to antithetic thinking in which a clear distinction is made between opposite categories of things such as the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the devil, the lie and the truth, etc. Satan’s world government (Rev. 13:3, 7) and his alliance of world religions (Rev. 17:3-5) will be perfectly acceptable to them.

Social war

As the Creator of human beings, God also laid down rules for social identity and the formation of groups to ensure the orderly functioning of society. The most important of these is the family unit which God has ordained to be the very bed-rock of ordered, disciplined, well-adjusted, happy, stable societies and nations. Satan relentlessly attacks these institutions in an effort to sow disorder and chaos.

God created humans as male and female, with different characteristics and social roles assigned to each sex. Their appearance, conduct, dress and hairstyle should reflect and conform to these differences. In all respects, men should be truly masculine and women, truly feminine. Satan tries to eliminate these differences through unisex reforms and endeavours to establish homosexuality as an alternative and socially acceptable lifestyle. Under his influence, society is also being restructured on a non-sexist basis with a view to introducing uniform roles for all individuals irrespective of gender. Due to God having appointed the man as head over his wife, resulting in a paternalistic society, Satan employs humanism and radical feminism to give impetus to his egalitarian reforms. As a result the family unit has been and remains under sustained attack from many quarters. Unfaithfulness within marriages and adultery has led to widespread divorce. The increasing breakdown of the God-given institution of marriage has consequently caused damage to children, brought about increasing delinquency, drug dependency, and crime. Cohabitation outside marriage has also become common, as have one-parent families, with similar disastrous effects upon children and society.

Cultural differences among various societies and nations are also being minimised by superimposing universally acceptable trends and institutions on groups with a strong sense of identity – the aim being to erode their patriotism and transform their members into planetary citizens. These reforms, through which national and ethnic identity are discouraged, form the basis of the neo-Babylonian world society of the future. In that society, any ideology may be subscribed to, any religion may be practised, any type of marriage may be practised (e.g. same sex) or none, and no moral norms are enforced. When this stage has been reached in the demonic war against God’s standards for individuals, groups, and nations, Satan will have achieved his objective of creating cultural chaos and loss of identity among human beings.

Economic warfare

In the kingdom of darkness, money and capital goods are regarded as very important means to control people’s lives. With money people can be controlled, bribed and induced to do things that they otherwise might not have done. The mere desire to become rich in material terms, gives rise to a form of idolatry. The god of money is Mammon, which is one of the descriptive names of the devil.

The Webster’s Dictionary defines Mammon as: “(1) the false god of riches and avarice; (2) riches regarded as an object of worship and greedy pursuit; wealth as an evil, more or less personified.” The Oxford Dictionary defines Mammon as: “the god of wealth, regarded as evil or immoral; those who worship Mammon are greedy people who value money too highly.”

Mammon is a term that was used to describe riches, avarice, and worldly gain in biblical literature. There are warnings against the negative influence of excessive materialism and greed. The original Aramaic word “mamona” specifically refers to “riches” or “wealth”. However, in the New Testament this word was personified as a false god (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:9-13). In these scriptures, Christ issued stern warnings against Mammon and He said that it is impossible to serve both God and Mammon. The unrighteous Mammon is clearly equated with the devil.

Among other things, Wikipedia (2012) says the following about Mammon:

“During the Middle Ages, Mammon was commonly personified as the demon of avarice, richness and injustice. Thus Peter Lombard (II, dist. 6) says, ‘Riches are called by the name of a devil, namely Mammon, for Mammon is the name of a devil, by which name riches are called according to the Syrian tongue.’ Piers Plowman also regards Mammon as a deity. Nicholas de Lyra (commenting on the passage in Luke) says: ‘Mammon est nomen daemonis’ (Mammon is the name of a demon).

“The common literary identification of the name with a god of covetousness or avarice likely stems from Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, where Mammon oversees a cave of worldly wealth. Milton’s Paradise Lost describes a fallen angel who values earthly treasure over all other things. Later occultist writings such as De Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal describe Mammon as Hell’s ambassador to England. For Thomas Carlyle in Past and Present, the ‘Gospel of Mammonism’ became simply a metaphoric personification for the materialist spirit of the nineteenth century.

“Mammon is somewhat similar to the Greek god Plutus, and the Roman Dis Pater, in his description, and it is likely that he was at some point based on them; especially since Plutus appears in The Divine Comedy as a wolf-like demon of wealth, wolves being associated with greed in the Middle Ages. Thomas Aquinas metaphorically described the sin of Avarice as ‘Mammon being carried up from Hell by a wolf, coming to inflame the human heart with greed’.” (End of quote from Wikipedia).

What are Mammon’s plans for the future? Satan clearly intends to make full use of the power of money in the end-time. According to Revelation 13:16-18, the Antichrist will be in control of a cashless monetary system for the whole world, operated by a number system. Nobody will be able to buy or sell without the number of the Antichrist.

Not only individuals, but also all nations, will be economically controlled by a future world government headed by the Antichrist. Economic subservience to global economic structures, such as the IMF and the World Bank at present, will contribute towards the loss of national sovereignty. National sovereignty is under additional threat from the activities of multinational companies, the accelerating trend of supra-national company mergers and, especially, from activities conducted on the Internet which can by-pass national laws and regulation.

The present debt crisis and economic collapse threatening the developed world offers an ideal opportunity to establish a new world order and to institute centralised control over the global economy. These developments will bring about a new dimension to Satan’s economic warfare.

Political warfare

Satan is clearly also engaged in political warfare against humanity. God’s order for human communities is based on the principle of sovereign nations, each with its own government and territory. According to Acts 17:26, God determined the boundaries of their habitation. Satan’s first rebellion against the existing order of independent nations was the motivating force behind the building of the tower of Babylon and the establishment of the ancient Babylonian Empire. This effort was aimed at political, religious, economic, and linguistic unity on earth (Gen. 11:4-6). The Babylonian ideology of globalism was wrong in the eyes of the Lord; consequently He confused their plans and forced the participating nations to move away from each other and follow an independent existence without domination by a world empire.

The human idea of the form that global unity should assume is wrong because of humanity’s sinfulness and rebellion against God. God does intend to bring about global unity, but on His own terms, under His own laws and under His own global Ruler, the Lord Jesus Christ, as King of kings and Lord of lords. The reason for God disapproving of global unity achieved by any other method, is because it would be a unity of rebels, inspired by the chief rebel, Satan, who will succeed in establishing a short-lived kingdom of this sort.

The devil has not relinquished his plans for an alternative order of global political domination of all the nations. Various evil world empires have been established through the ages. In every instance they oppressed and exploited the nations which were conquered, imposed a heathen religion on them, and also undermined other cultures by enforcing cultural and linguistic conformity to their own institutions. Certain efforts to establish similar world empires were unsuccessful, an example being the failed attempts of Hitler in World War II.

Whenever Satan makes an attempt of this kind, he prepares a suitably strong man who rises to such a high position of political leadership, that he becomes a military dictator who conquers and subjugates other nations. By means of this expansion of his empire he then attempts to become a world emperor or ruler. Ill-begotten power such as this has always been abused to induce or force people to rebel against God by bowing down before man-made idols or to the emperor himself who poses as God (as in the Roman Empire). Due to their inherent immorality, corruption and oppression of other nations, all these empires eventually collapsed.

According to the Bible, before the second coming Satan will use all possible means to once more overthrow God’s order of independent nations. He will try to achieve this by incorporating them into a new world order of international political, religious, economic, social and linguistic unity. In the Bible, the man he has chosen to head the new world order is referred to as the Antichrist, the beast, and the man of sin. The world empire that he will establish will be a revived replica of the Babylonian Empire of Nimrod and Nebuchadnezzar. For that reason, the end-time world empire is, quite aptly, called Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18.

Like Nimrod of old, the Antichrist will seek to deify himself. Through cunning and deceptive diplomacy he will persuade other nations to join the new world order of global unity. Therefore, initially it will be a jointly negotiated agreement. In their vision for a united world they might paraphrase Genesis 11:4 as follows: “Come, let us build ourselves a city as world capital and establish a powerful world religion which exalts and enthrones humanity; and let us make a name for ourselves as planetary citizens, lest we be divided and scattered over the face of the earth.”

Diplomatic negotiations for the establishment of a new world order are already being conducted under the auspices of the USA, the United Nations and other world bodies. Once the Antichrist assumes control, he will coerce these negotiations to their final conclusion. Daniel says: “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week” (Dan. 9:27; the ‘many’ probably refers to ‘many nations’). This prophetic week represents a period of seven years, and refers to the coming tribulation period.

The global acceptance of the Antichrist as world leader will be at the cost of the deceived nations with whom he has confirmed covenants. He will not act in their best interests, but rather in the interests of Satan who prepared and empowered him (Antichrist) for his position. John says: “And the dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (Rev. 13:2). This will lead to global political control by Satan’s kingdom: “And he was given authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Rev. 13:7).

We must clearly understand that, besides his attacks on individuals and groups, the devil also follows a strategy of deceiving the nations into serving him and joining his antichristian new world order of political and religious unity. In Revelation 20:3 we read that after the second coming of Jesus, Satan will be bound and confined to a bottomless pit “so that he should deceive the nations no more.” After a thousand years he will be released to once more deceive the nations and mobilise them for a war against the kingdom of God (Rev. 20:7-10).

At present, the nations are being deceived into sacrificing their sovereignty on the altar of regional and global unity. The current tendency to move towards achieving European unity is a good example of this dangerous trend. The process of political unification will culminate in a new world order and global governance. At that time Satan’s strong man, the Antichrist, will offer his services to the deceived masses. Revelation 13 says: “And all the world marvelled and followed the beast. ... And he was given authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Rev. 13:3, 7).

Military warfare

In keeping with his political war against independent nations – particularly those nations which strongly resist satanic ideologies – Satan actively resorts to military conquests to establish and expand evil empires. He is the “God of forces” (Dan. 11:38) who uses his power in various ways to deprive nations of their independence by subjecting them to stronger adversaries who, wittingly or unwittingly, advance the interests of the kingdom of darkness. 

Many wars have been instigated by Satan against Israel in an effort to obliterate the Chosen People, from whom the Messiah came and to whom He will shortly return, to rule the world from the throne of David. These wars were often motivated by conspiracies against God:

“Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people. ... They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more. For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You: ... Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagarites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them” (Ps. 83:1-8)

Relentless wars against Israel and various Christian communities and nations were waged by the Roman Empire in New Testament times, and subsequently also by Islamic nations, the Vatican, the Nazis, various Communist countries, etc. Satan inspires these wars, and he will continue to do so. The two wars that are probably the highest on Satan’s agenda for the end-time are the Russo-Arab invasion of Israel (Ezek. 38-39) and the Third World War (the battle of Armageddon). Active demonic incitement will occur to mobilise the armies of the world:

“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. ... And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon” (Rev. 16:13-16).

As we move closer to the tribulation period, the occurrence of wars, revolutions, floods, earthquakes, famines, pestilences and other troubles of which our Lord prophesied, will continue to escalate with the evil intent of bringing about total disarray among the nations. Under these circumstances they will be prepared to accept the temporary assistance, security, peace and unity that the Antichrist will offer them, and in so doing become subjects of his world empire. They will relinquish their political and economic independence and also willingly honour and worship Satan’s ‘Prince of Peace’ as their Messiah.

2.3 Operational Structure of Satan’s Powers

The above-mentioned types of warfare which Satan is waging against mankind and the kingdom of God are planned and co-ordinated from within the structures of his own kingdom. Although the devil operates in the spiritual realm, he controls a hierarchy of authority and typical governmental institutions for the execution of specific tasks. Paul calls him “the ruler of the kingdom of the air” (Eph. 2:2; NIV). Harold Hoehner (1983:622) says the following regarding his comprehensive domination of the unsaved world:

“The unregenerate follows the ways of this world. Unbelievers follow the lifestyles of other unbelievers; they experience the world’s peer pressure. ‘This world’ (kosmos) is the satanically organised system that hates and opposes all that is godly (cf. John 15:18; 23). The unsaved follow the ruler of the kingdom of the air, that is, Satan. ‘The whole world is under the control of the evil one’ (1 John 5:19), also called ‘the god of this Age’ (2 Cor. 4:4). ... The unsaved are now in the clutches of this ‘ruler’ and follow in his opposition to God.”

In addition to controlling the unsaved world, Satan and his kingdom are waging an active war against believers, aimed at multiple target groups. We should resist the actions of these principalities, evil spiritual forces and structures of authority (Eph. 6:12). It is evident from these diverse activities that the kingdom of Satan has, at the very least, the following seven evil powers which are devoted to specific tasks:

Powers for nations

The Bible clearly alludes to the fact that attacks are levelled against nations from the kingdom of darkness in order to distort their vision, mislead them ideologically and to promote evil on a national level. An example of this kind of demonic intervention is found in that which took place in Persia (present day Iran) of which is written in the Book of Daniel: “The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me 21 days” (Dan. 10:13). In his commentary on Daniel 10, Dwight Pentecost (1985:1366) says: 

Daniel 10:12-14. Encouraging Daniel not to be afraid (cf. v. 8), Gabriel explained the reason for the delay in God’s answer to Daniel’s prayer. When Daniel first began fasting and mourning in response to the vision on a great war (vv. 1-2), God had dispatched Gabriel with a message for him, but Gabriel was hindered by the prince of the Persian kingdom (cf. ‘the prince of Persia’, v. 20). Since men cannot fight with angels, the prince referred to here must have been a satanic adversary.

“God has arranged the angelic realm in differing ranks referred to as ‘rule, authority, power, and dominion’ (Eph. 1:21; NIV). Gabriel and Michael have been assigned authority over angels who administer God’s affairs for the nation Israel (cf. Michael in Dan. 10:21; 12:1; Jude 9). In imitation Satan has also apparently assigned high-ranking demons to positions of authority over each kingdom. The prince of the Persian kingdom was a satanic representative assigned to Persia.

“To seek to prevent Gabriel’s message from getting to Daniel, the demonic prince attacked Gabriel as he embarked on his mission. This gives insight into the nature of the warfare fought in the heavenlies between God’s angels and Satan’s demons to which Paul referred (Eph. 6:12).

“The battle between Gabriel and the prince (demon) of Persia continued for three weeks until Michael, one of the chief princes of the angelic realm, came to Gabriel’s assistance. Such angelic-demon conflict indicates something of Satan’s power” (end of comments by Pentecost).

In modern times, evil, worldly and humanistic ideologies are still being offered to the nations to seduce them into collaborating with Satan. Paul warned against deceptive philosophies when he said: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, ... according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).

Examples of evil ideologies being embraced by nations and other opinion-formers such as educational institutions are: humanism, atheism, evolutionism, socialism, communism, liberalism, existentialism, relativism, pragmatism, globalism, New Age mysticism, and any of the non-Christian religions. If only one of these ideologies gains control over a country or an organisation, it constitutes a great victory for the kingdom of darkness. One simply needs to consider the potential for mass deception in countries that officially identify with communism or one of the non-Christian religions. In a country such as Saudi Arabia, because of their association with Islam, no Christian church may be erected in their entire territory.

Since governments have extensive powers to determine the ideological orientation and national ethos of a country, it is a high priority of Satan to deceive nations, their political leaders and governments. Many nations, even in the traditional Christian world, demonstrate that they are influenced and even controlled by the kingdom of Satan! They heed the call of the prince of darkness by abrogating Christian constitutions and laws in which the supremacy of the Triune God is recognised, by the phasing out of Christian education in state schools, by the degrading of Christianity by demoting it to the same level as the non-Christian religions, and by substantially lowering the moral standards in a country through the legalising of prostitution, homosexuality, abortion, and other immoral practices. In this way a lawless, immoral, violent, and barbaric lifestyle is promoted.

All that still remains to take place in such a pernicious world society is the revelation of the man of sin, the Antichrist, who will be Satan’s ruler over a wicked and perverted generation. Through demonic deception, government leaders of the revived Roman Empire will be so enchanted by the antichristian new world order of the end-time that they will transfer their authority to the world empire of the beast: “These [kings] are of one mind and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them” (Rev. 17:13-14).

From Revelation 16:13-16 it is evident that special demons will be assigned to deceive these rulers into joining forces with the beast in fighting against Christ at His return. That will be a bad day for them, their supreme leader, the kingdom of darkness, as well as all their deluded followers (Rev. 19:19-21).

Powers for personal attacks

In the kingdom of Satan, much attention is devoted to personal attacks. Information is gathered about all people on earth, which is used to exploit their weaknesses, to encourage their passions and evil desires, to seduce, mislead, oppose, accuse, rob and even kill them. In this regard every Christian is therefore continuously involved in spiritual warfare against such demonic attacks. In his commentary on Ephesians 6:11-13, Harold Hoehner (1983:643) says:

“The purpose of putting on God’s armour is to be able to stand against the schemes or stratagems (methodeias) of the devil our adversary (cf. 4:27). Christians are not to attack Satan, or advance against him; they are only to ‘stand’ or hold the territory Christ and His body, the church, have conquered. Without God’s armour believers will be defeated by the ‘schemes’ of the devil which have been effective for thousands of years.

“The struggle is not physical (against flesh and blood); it is a spiritual conflict against the spiritual ‘Mafia’. Though the ranks of satanic forces cannot be fully categorised, the first two (rulers and authorities) have already been mentioned in 1:21 and 3:10. Paul added the powers of this dark world (cf. 2:2; 4:18; 5:8) and the spiritual forces of evil. ... Satan ... is trying to rob believers of the spiritual blessings God has given them (Eph. 1:3)”.

Powers for the infiltration and deception of the Christian church

A high priority division was established in the kingdom of Satan to infiltrate and deceive the Christian church: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1).

The demons to which these duties have been assigned select the best possible human collaborators to do their evil work. These are then converted into false prophets who are wolves in sheepskins. These evil cohorts are usually esteemed and influential persons in society whose opinions as pastors or theologians carry a lot of weight. Their deceptive teachings are very subtle forms of disinformation that cannot be easily discerned from the truth. Their deluded supporters have blind and unconditional faith in them. Paul says:

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Such people cause great confusion among poorly informed believers. The following characteristics are typical of false prophets:

Misleading Pharisees

They pretend to be what they are not: “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matt. 23:28). They proclaim a dead form of outward godliness “to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Matt. 23:15). We are clearly warned against these heretics: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15).

Stumbling-blocks in God’s kingdom

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (Matt. 23:13). These preachers are esteemed spiritual leaders who are not only unsaved themselves, but act as stumbling-blocks to hinder those who are searching for the Lord, and as “blind leaders of the blind” (Matt. 15:14). They preach a fashionable ‘social gospel’ or ‘liberation theology’ in which they tend to split hairs over trivial issues, but the important subjects of sin, condemnation and salvation are not addressed: “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel” (Matt. 23:24).

Proclaimers of a false peace

For the sake of his own popularity, a false prophet proclaims a false peace to pacify people and seduce them into continuing with their sins under the premise that a loving God will not condemn them. At the same time the false prophets who are used by Satan, keep themselves busy with corruption and self-enrichment: “For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. They have also healed the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace! when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:13-14; cf. Jer. 14:13-16).

Deniers of Christ

“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed” (2 Pet. 2:1-2).

Those who collaborate with Satan enjoy great public support. Peter says that many will follow their false teachings. They abhor and scoff at the evangelical churches who continue to preach the biblical doctrine of salvation based upon faith in the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus, His deity, His atoning death on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, and His coming again in glory. The false prophets are also campaigning against those who believe in the divine inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. They describe such people as fundamentalists who are naïve, uninformed and outdated in their views.

Satan has a particular hatred for the books of Genesis and Revelation, as his doom is predicted in the former and the details of its execution are described in the latter. His collaborators embrace the theory of evolution and deny the literal truth of the creation account. They also try to spiritualise away the end time prophecies in their campaign to undermine the credibility and literal meaning of God’s Word.

False prophets who deny the divinity of Christ abound in most of the large theological seminaries and faculties of theology at the various universities. Their influence is most destructive, as they are responsible for the training of the following generation of “unfaithful servants” who will continue to lower the spiritual standards of various denominations.

Extra-biblical revelations

False prophets turn away from sound biblical exegesis and rely on extra-biblical revelations of a highly questionable nature. They promote their own agendas which are in accordance with their distorted understanding of Scripture, and then they attempt to lend credibility to the new revelations by asserting that God Himself imparted the information to them. Their communication with God is usually claimed to be through dreams, visions, messages received from angelic beings, and even astral travels to heaven where they allegedly talk to deceased saints. They then convey these messages to their followers, rather than preaching the Word of God to them.

What does the Bible say about extra-biblical revelations? “If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18). Such false teachers will share in the judgements which have been prepared for the father of lies.

Small gods, signs and wonders

As we are now in the end-time, many false prophets are appearing on the scene and they are deceiving large crowds with sensational signs and wonders. Some of them do not hesitate to call themselves apostles, prophets, or even gods. They command powers that can put people into a trance and fall down on the floor, behave as if drunk, shake or laugh uncontrollably, shout at the top of their voices, bleat, roar, make other animal noises or behave in other bizarre ways. Biblical justification is then wrongly provided for these phenomena. The Lord Jesus warned against false prophets and their deceptive methods:

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. … For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:11, 24).

Do not underestimate Satan’s powers which are aimed at infiltrating and deceiving the Christian church, but be fully aware of such tactics and guard against them. The Lord Jesus “disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:15). We should be able to identify the false prophets and expose their deceptive teachings with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. John said: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

Powers for the perversion and destruction of God’s Word

Throughout history and still to the present day, incessant attacks have been made against the written Word of God by perverting and distorting it with wrong exegesis, and also by the provision and usage of new translations that deviate substantially from the most reliable manuscripts in the original languages. In this way people become doctrinally deceived and ignorant of vital promises and warnings in the Bible. There is only one way to correct these heresies and falsifications, and that is through the continued insistence on the usage of reliable translations and by proclaiming the true and unadulterated Word of God (cf. 2 Tim. 4:1-5).

Powers promoting false religions

It is obvious that Satan concentrates his efforts intently on the founding and expansion of false religions in his efforts to deceive mankind. In this way he deceives millions of people into worshipping idols, and through them he proceeds to oppose, discredit, undermine and persecute Christianity from a distance. In this instance, he and his demons hide their identity and pose as gods, spirit guides, ancestral spirits, or ascended masters of wisdom (1 Cor. 10:19-20). They even “transform themselves into apostles of Christ” (2 Cor. 11:13) in order to establish false forms of the Christian faith which are naturally inclined and sympathetic towards the non-Christian religions, and have no problem in associating and collaborating with them.

Powers in control of occult activities

From mystical, supernatural spheres, Satan and his demons are able to unleash a great variety of occult powers among people on earth. It is done in such a way that people do not realise that these powers are from the devil. Occult powers manifest in supernatural abilities such as psychic powers, extrasensory perception, signs and wonders, holistic healing, witchcraft, magic, spells, divination, fortune-telling, clairvoyance, astral projection, levitation, and the ability to walk over hot coals. Thousands of years ago, Israel was explicitly warned against engaging in practices of this nature:

“Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practises divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or cast spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord (Deut. 18:10-12).

In his commentary on Deuteronomy 18, Jack Deere (1985:296) says: “People who are knowledgeable of the occult and demon possession quickly point out that the practices mentioned in verses 9 to 14 have led many into satanic bondage. Divination means to give false prophecy. ... Sorcery is the attempt to control people or circumstances through power given by evil spirits (demons). To interpret omens is to tell the future based on signs. ... Witchcraft involves practising magic by incantations. One who casts spells is literally ‘one who ties knots’, thus one who binds other people by magical mutterings. A spiritist is one who supposedly communicates with the dead but who actually communicates with demons. One who consults the dead may mean the spiritist’s attempt to contact the dead to gain advice, information on the future, or help in manipulation. Such detestable practices were one reason the Lord used Israel to destroy the Canaanites.”

Powers to promote Satanism

The seventh division in the kingdom of darkness is concerned with the unconcealed, blatant worship of Satan as the cruel, revengeful, and power-hungry god of a fallen world. Because of the gruesome and despicable nature of this practice, only people who are in the darkest depths of spiritual and moral depravity would feel inclined to go to these extremes.

As the spiritual and moral falling away in the world increases, there are more perverted human beings who take pleasure in violence, rebellion, curses, murder, liquor and drug abuse, sexual orgies, and the most grisly satanic rituals in which skeletons, skulls and blood are used. A movement which was restricted to small groups of people who met in dark dens in deserted places to worship Satan and to make sacrifices to him, has now gained millions of supporters and worshippers all over the world.

Apart from the fact that Satan is a rebel and a murderer he also wishes to be worshipped and honoured by his followers. Those who are prepared to accept and worship him in spite of his cruelty and evil characteristics become involved with Satanism. In America and other countries there are branches of the Church of Satan that was established by Anton LaVey in 1966.

In Satanism there is a hierarchy through which a member moves upwards into the higher ranks; consequently, many of the new members have only limited knowledge of who and what Satan really is. As they become more deeply involved in the movement they learn more about him and become more and more like him.

There are various reasons why people become involved with Satanism. Some are motivated by a spirit of extreme rebellion. They revolt against the social order, reject all authority and the norms of decency, and then associate with the great rebel, Lucifer. Others crave for mystical, supernatural power and approach the devil to get such powers from him. There are also people with murderous inclinations arising from a thirst for revenge, who then join forces with the great murderer and execute their plans with accomplices of an equally corrupt spirit. Common attractions to Satanism are the sexual orgies and the availability of liquor and drugs at their meetings.

Another reason for people to become involved with Satanism, is to become financially prosperous. Many of the members of rock bands in America have approached high priests or witches of satanic groups to sell their souls to Satan in exchange for fame and riches. With their own blood they sign a covenant with Satan. They are then under obligation to promote themes like witchcraft, magic, drugs, Eastern cults, or Satanism in their songs.

One of the most important activities at their meetings is to make sacrifices to Satan, which are accompanied by prayers to him. Animals are sacrificed to him, but in some cases human sacrifices are also made. There have been known instances where abducted people have been sacrificed to Satan, as well as the unregistered babies of cult members. Those participating in the ritual drink blood mixed with liquor or drugs. Demons also appear at meetings and take possession of people who are open to receiving them. 

Satan’s captives are on the lowest level of spiritual and moral corruption imaginable. Everyone should avoid taking even the first step in that direction. The Bible says: “Do not give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:27). The advice of James is: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7). Do not risk the extreme danger associated with becoming acquainted with the depths of Satan by descending into the pit of Satanism (Rev. 2:24).

It is imperative that parents make an early identification of the signs which reveal that their children may have become involved with Satanism. There are various signs that indicate such a possibility, in particular the following:

·        An obsession with black clothes, black walls in bedrooms, and black bedding. Dim candle-light is preferable to bright electric lights.

·        Pictures of satanic figures are pasted onto the walls of rooms.

·        Much time spent alone in meditation.

·        Secrecy regarding the identity and whereabouts of cult members and friends, as well as secret phone calls.

·        Very loud music by heavy metal, black metal, satanic metal and rave groups.

·        The reading of books and viewing of DVD’s on witchcraft and other occult activities.

·        A strong anti-Christian disposition, accompanied by fits of anger, rebelliousness and the rejection of all authority.

·        Cursing and blasphemous language.

·        An interest in sharp knives and other murder weapons.

·        A desire to drink blood, which is done to acquire the power of demons. Such persons may also make cuts on their bodies, especially on their left arm, and drink their own blood. The blood of animals is also drunk.

·        A special fondness of skeletons. That is the reason why graves are sometimes dug open during moonlit nights. Skulls are particularly sought after. Black candles are often lit and placed in the skulls. Skulls are also used as receptacles from which liquor or blood is drunk. If a person is in possession of a skull when expressing curses, casting spells or practising astral projection, his power is allegedly increased tenfold.

·        Hatred, vindictiveness, and excessive cruelty against people, plants, and animals.

·        A strong inclination towards vandalism. Anything that is of value to other people is broken or damaged.

·        Signs such as the inverted cross, the broken cross, the pentagram, the number 666, the lightning symbol, the anarchy symbol (A) and KISS (Kids in Satan’s Service) are regularly displayed.

·        Drug abuse and abnormal sexual behaviour.

·        Physical and psychological signs of deterioration, accompanied by nervousness.

·        Sleeplessness, nightmares and hallucinations.

·        Depression and suicidal tendencies.

·        A complete break with former friends, and also withdrawal from sport and other extramural activities.

·        A high rate of absenteeism from school, and a conspicuous decline in educational achievements.

2.4 Characteristics of the Satanist Movement

From a study of the subtle methods Satan uses on people in general, as well as the more outrageous and extreme manifestations of his evil nature within the Satanist movement, the following 13 basic characteristics that mark Satan and his agents can be identified:

Rebellion

Satan is the great adversary who promotes anarchy by rejecting all authority and law. He undermines divine and human authority in an effort to create total chaos. This is part of the struggle that he has waged against the kingdom of light throughout the ages. Satanists are possessed by the same spirit of rebellion and anarchy. They demonstrate their rebelliousness clearly by painting the Anarchy symbol (A) on walls or floors of public buildings. The circle around the symbol (which is also used in conjunction with other symbols) is the circle of power. The occult power of Satan must be kept inside the circle, and danger outside of it.

Destruction of the natural world

God’s entire creation is a target for Satan’s destructive activities. He is intent on polluting, poisoning, burning and destroying the earth, its natural resources and the environment with the aim of making it uninhabitable. The more control Satan gains over a people and their culture, the more he blinds the minds of the people, erodes their moral values and sense of responsibility, and transforms them into materialistic and covetous people who overexploit or destroy nature in a callous and unscrupulous way to benefit themselves at any cost. Trees are cut down without replacing them, the rainforests are destroyed, pastures are over-grazed and arable land is exhausted by over-production and insufficient use is made of natural fertilisers. Soil erosion is allowed to continue unchecked, land and sea animals are hunted without allowing stocks a reasonable chance to recover and the genetic modification of animals and crops threatens to have catastrophic consequences. Land, water and the atmosphere are being polluted to the extent that the chance of survival for man and animals is being seriously endangered.

It is clearly Satan’s intention to destroy the ‘very good’ world which God has given to humanity to cultivate, control and maintain. During the great tribulation, Satan will come very close to causing a total ecological collapse on earth.

Destruction of God’s institutions

Not only do Satan and his followers endeavour to promote the destruction of the physical creation, but also God’s institutions for the orderly existence of human societies. Of these, marriage and government institutions are the most important targets for attacks. Satanists often curse Christian marriages in the hope that they will succumb to pressure and that the marriages will end in divorce. Sexual promiscuity and cohabitation is promoted in various ways.

Continuous efforts are being made to bring down or destabilise governments and institutions that are committed to the maintenance of law and order. The police are abhorred because they impede the advance of anarchy and hunt down Satanists who contravene the law. The police force and other security services are consequently undermined and sometimes even infiltrated by Satanists to get covert protection through access to inside information. To protect themselves against the police, Satanists use code names for one another at meetings, and they also maintain secrecy about their addresses and places of employment. In this way, a member who is arrested and interrogated by the police will not possess valuable information that may lead to the arrest and prosecution of other members. Satan thus protects his agents who are dedicated to sowing chaos, disorder and anarchy in society.

Sabotage and underground activities

In Satan’s empire there is a strong commitment to sabotage in order to break down what has been built up. That does not only involve the vandalising, burning or destruction of buildings, cars and other property, but also of the non-material possessions such as the intellectual property of a nation. This includes encouraging student unrest and walk-outs, the sabotage of educational standards and other forms of academic terrorism by which tertiary institutions are threatened. Most of these activities are planned by an underground network of secret societies. Satan’s evil plans are then executed by various front organisations. Covert attacks are made in this way on a society with the intention of depriving its members of their material and spiritual goods and leaving them destitute. Christian civilisation is incessantly being attacked and undermined by the forces of darkness.

Lying and the spreading of evil doctrines

The devil is the father of lies; he therefore opposes all forms of the truth and endeavours to substitute it with lies. This attitude emanates from the demonic ideology of reversed values within Satan’s domain in which everything that is good is regarded as bad. Beautiful, clean, honourable and positive things are despised by the devil and his followers. In their place, ugly, vile, dishonourable and negative things are promoted. Filthy, pornographic material is displayed in public places to promote the process of spiritual, psychological and bodily defilement, thereby putting Satan’s stamp on society.

Doctrines of demons are also disseminated in the form of distorted religious, political and philosophical ideologies in an attempt to replace the Christian values. Churches, governments, political parties and universities are often contaminated by this assault from the underworld. In many theological seminaries, demonic teachings have been firmly established in which the deity and virgin birth of Jesus as well as the inerrancy of the Bible are denied. Demonic signs and wonders have also found their way into many churches and Christian movements through the mediation of false prophets. Satanists also infiltrate many churches and Christian groups to spread their evil influence there.

Cursing and blaspheming

The devil and his followers hate, ridicule, reject, and slander the Triune God, the Christians and Israel. Devil means False accuser or Slanderer, and that describes precisely what he is doing. An extended vocabulary of swear-words, curses, and slanderous talk is used. Curses are placed on individuals, groups, churches and even on entire countries. The Name of God is also blasphemed. This will also be a major characteristic of the Antichrist: “And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies,.. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven” (Rev. 13:5-6). All people who participate in this evil practice are playing directly into the hands of Satan.

Opposition to the cross of Jesus and the Christian church

The kingdom of darkness is fanatically opposed to the church of Jesus Christ and tries to question, discourage, deceive, infiltrate, oppress, undermine or destroy it in every possible way. Some of the symbols that they use in this campaign are the following:

The broken cross

In this symbol, the cross of Jesus is turned upside down and the horizontal bars are broken and bent downwards to point diagonally to the bottom. It represents the rejection and destruction of Christianity – something to which every Satanist must commit him or herself. Witches use the same symbol. A number of radical peace movements also use this symbol, which they refer to as the peace sign. One of these groups campaigns against the use of nuclear weapons. Although their cause may ostensibly seem just, they are inspired by Satan in his ‘angel of light’ guise and are looking for a false, humanistic peace outside of Christ. In their concept of peace there is no place for peace with God based on the atoning death of Jesus on the cross. To the contrary – the cross of Jesus is broken, rejected and replaced by the efforts of fallen humanity to achieve their own peace, with the exclusion of God. This false peace, which is also promoted by the New Age Movement and the new world order, is a deceptive prelude to the great tribulation: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety! then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thess. 5:3).

The inverted cross

This cross is not broken, but turned upside down. It indicates the rejection of Jesus Christ and contempt for the gospel of salvation. Inverted symbols are typical of the reversed and opposite values pursued by Satanists. People who are sometimes sacrificed to Satan on Black Sabbath are crucified upside down in accordance with this tradition.

The cross of confusion

This is a cross of which the lower upright bar is curled to resemble a reversed question mark. It is also a satanic cross by which the genuineness and power of the cross of Jesus is questioned. The rock group Blue Oyster Cult uses this symbol on their record covers. The official website of Blue Oyster Cult, who recorded songs with titles such as “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”, “Burnin’ for You”, “Hot Rails to Hell” and “Fallen Angel”, says the following about the symbol: “Its metaphysical, alchemical and mythological connotations, combined with its similarity to some religious symbols gave it a flair of decadence and mystery…”

The Ankh cross

This is an Egyptian symbol of life, of which the short upper bar forms a circle. It also depicts a combination of the female and male signs of Isis and Osiris. Satanists use it as a sex symbol for their sexual orgies.

Immoral behaviour

Because the Bible upholds the highest moral standards, the Adversary makes it his business to break down these standards and replace them with the most extreme forms of immorality and misconduct. Filthy habits, swearing and vile conversations, anti-social behaviour, a propensity for nakedness, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, paedophilia, corruption, fraud, violence, and theft are all part of an immoral lifestyle that is continuously promoted by Satan. He is the author of sin and seeks to establish an international culture of sin among all nations. That is the reason for his future world leader, the Antichrist, also being referred to as “the man of sin” and “the son of perdition” (2 Thess. 2:3).

During the rule of the Antichrist the decadence and immorality on earth will be comparable with the days of Noah and Lot. The Bible describes the time of Noah as follows: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually … for the earth is filled with violence through them” (Gen. 6:5, 13). In the time of Lot, homosexuality and violence were rife. Because of their exceptional wickedness, immorality and rebellion, God poured out His wrath upon the people of those times.

During the coming rule of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, immorality and rebellion against God and His standards will again assume unprecedented proportions. As a result, the world will be surrendered to a great tribulation as never seen before; and if those days are not shortened no flesh will be saved (Matt. 24:21-22). Sin is the reason why God judges people. Satan makes it his job to plunge individuals, groups, and even whole nations into sin by promoting acceptance of a sinful way of life and falsely presenting sin as justifiable human freedom. In the Satanist movement the culture of sin already reigns supreme.

The use of occult power

Satan doubtless has considerable power, which he effectively uses to promote his interests and expand his kingdom. He makes this power and knowledge available to Satanists, magicians, witches, diviners, necromancers, psychics and various other practitioners of the occult. Through these people it is channelled to the wider community. Occult powers are also offered to false prophets who infiltrate Christian churches and perform sensational signs and wonders. In the end-time, the occurrence of this phenomenon will increase considerably.

In His prophetic discourse the Lord Jesus said: “For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders” (Matt. 24:24). In this way Satan and his collaborators will pave the way for the coming of the ultimate false Christ, who is the Antichrist. Paul says his coming is “according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders” (2 Thess. 2:9). The false prophet will have the same occult powers. John says about him: “And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those that dwell in it to worship the first beast. … He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast” (Rev. 13:12-14). In the coming new world order, the occult powers and cosmic wisdom dispensed by Satan through his agents and gurus will be much sought after by both political and spiritual leaders. Those without it will be disregarded as ignorant and powerless.

Usurping God’s rights to universal rule and worship

In his kingdom, Satan insists on being referred to as the god and ruler of the universe. People must also accept him in this capacity when they conclude covenants with him. It is his great desire to have dominion over all people. He already has a considerable degree of influence and authority over the deceived nations of the world – indeed he even had the audacity to offer them all to the Lord Jesus in return for His worship! (Luke 4:5-8) – yet he is not content with that which he already has. His ambition is to usurp God’s sole right to universal obedience and worship. As it has been so often throughout history, he aspires to institute a world government with absolute power over the inhabitants of the earth. People must be ruled with an iron fist and forced to worship Satan or his demons who pose as idols. According to the Bible, a satanic world government will indeed be instituted by the Antichrist. It will be a revival of the Babylonian and Roman world empires in which occult powers and idolatry were rife. Satan will give his power and authority to the Antichrist, to enable him to subject the people to his military and political control and he will also insist on being worshipped by all people (Rev. 13:2-4). Many of the followers of Lucifer also deify and exalt themselves, and become very arrogant and tyrannical, of which Hitler and Stalin were good examples.

Murder

Satan “was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). He takes pleasure in killing people so that they may be plunged into hell where eternal death awaits them. His followers also have an attraction to murder, massacres, murder weapons, blood and skulls. The more gruesome a murder scene is, the more they like it. When people have completed Satan’s tasks, he kicks them aside, drives them to commit suicide, or uses other people to kill them. Anton LaVey, the satanic priest who founded the First Church of Satan in America on the sixth day of the sixth month in 1966, and who also wrote the satanic bible, died in 1997 in a very mysterious way. During the last few months before his death he suffered from severe depression and according to certain reports, it seems likely that he committed suicide.

Demonic possession

A commonly used method in the kingdom of Satan is that of demonic possession. Satan and his fallen angels are spirits who are dependent on possessing people and working through them. They can also influence and deceive people without possessing them, but it remains their priority to gain full control over their victims. When a demon possesses a person, it completely changes the personality of his host, controls his will and emotions, intimidates and commands him by way of telepathic orders, or even by talking to him or her in an audible voice. He tortures the person who refuses to execute his orders. The victim has frightening nightmares, is forced to display macabre pictures on the walls of his or her room and to wear black clothes. In the satanic cult are high priests who are possessed by a number of demons, each having its own name. These can be given certain assignments by the high priest.

The worship of Satan

Satan is the undisputed head of his kingdom and demands the loyalty and worship of all his subjects. Satanists must continually worship him and honour him with sacrifices. They most commonly use the name Lord Satan when they worship him, but they sometimes invert the name to become Natas. They also address him as Lucifer or Leviathan. In illustrations he is depicted as a human-like being with the head of a goat, or simply as a black goat. The symbol most frequently used in association with Satan is the inverted pentagram. The head of a goat is sometimes drawn inside the pentagram. At satanic meetings a large, encircled pentagram is drawn on the floor and black candles, which are lit by supernatural power, are placed on each of its five points. Demons that are ritually summoned appear in the middle of the pentagram.

Although Satan and his demons are indirectly honoured by millions of people who worship idols, it remains his final objective to be directly worshipped in his undisguised form as Lucifer. Together with the Antichrist, who will be the leader of the future luciferic world order, it is the will of the dragon, Satan, that he be worshipped by all people. Refusal to obey will be punishable by death:

“And all the world marvelled and followed the beast. So they worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? … Then I saw another beast ... and [he] caused as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed” (Rev. 13:3-4, 11, 15). In the coming hour of darkness, millions of people will openly worship Satan.

2.5 Future Developments

We will now briefly investigate how the struggle between the kingdoms of light and darkness will develop in the future, according to the Bible. Due to its increased perversion and corruption, the world is heading inexorably toward a satanic take-over. At the height of the Antichrist’s reign of terror during the great tribulation, Satanism will be the only officially recognised and compulsory world religion. This darkest hour in human history will commence in the middle of the tribulation period, shortly after the outbreak of war in heaven between angels and demons which will result in Satan’s defeat. This will be followed by his expulsion from heaven and confinement to earth. He will realise that he has little time to accomplish his evil plans and will act with intensified anger and viciousness:

“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels fought, but they did not prevail. … So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. … Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Rev. 12:7-9, 12).

Satan will know that he only has 3½ years to implement his plans for world domination and to compel all people to worship him. The Bible is very clear about the fact that Jesus Christ will return to earth with a heavenly army at the end of the great tribulation, placing His feet on the Mount of Olives outside the Old City of Jerusalem, defending its inhabitants and destroying the enemies attacking it (Zech. 12:8-9). Satan will muster all his forces to fight against Jesus in an attempt at preventing this divine intervention in his kingdom. This conflict is called the battle of Armageddon. Satan will use evil spirits to incite the kings of the world to send their armies to Israel and to join in this great battle against Jesus, His people Israel and His heavenly hosts (Rev. 16:13-16).

The battle of Armageddon will not last very long, as it will be a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. The Lord will quickly and effective deal with Satan and all his deceived hordes (Rev. 19:19-20; 20:1-3).

Are You a Victim or a Conqueror?

In the light of this information on the kingdom of Satan, there are a few important questions which each of us need to answer. Some people may be shocked to learn about the plans and modus operandi of the kingdom of darkness, but nevertheless remain under the illusion that these things do not directly influence or have any relevance to themselves. The fact is that Satan does not overlook a single person on earth. As a result of the fall of mankind that was planned and precipitated by Satan, all people are born with a sinful nature from which they desperately need to be saved. Otherwise, they are lost sinners on their way to eternal damnation. Because of their sins they will share eternity with the devil and his fallen angels (Matt. 25:41). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). “There is no one righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). “Unless one is born again [and gets a new nature from God] he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

The question is not whether you became involved with Satanism, have practised false religions, experimented with occult powers, or were deceived by false prophets. These are all very real dangers, and people who were lured into the evil practices of darkness urgently need to be redeemed. However, millions of people are not lost because of these things, but because of their own sins and rebellion against God, despite the fact they may have been reasonably good people by human standards. A definite decision must be taken for the Lord Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on your behalf and against your sins from which you must sincerely repent.

Although you may not have explicitly chosen to be evil-minded, neither are you responsible for having inherited a sinful nature because of Satan’s deception of Adam and Eve, our common ancestors, you nevertheless have the responsibility to do something about it. God has given each of us a free will to take independent decisions and thus to accept accountability for whatever we have decided to do. Because your sinful nature is part of your personality, which includes your free will, God holds you responsible for your own sins: “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (Jas. 1:14-15).

The devil does exploit your evil passions and strengthen your sinful tendencies and desires; nevertheless, because of your inherently sinful nature, you mostly commit sins of your own volition without the direct intervention of Satan and his demons. You always have the option to make a decision to either yield to a temptation or to resist it.

Is your life characterised by continuous sins, or are you born again with a new nature that was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness? (Eph. 4:24). Do you live a sanctified life in the power of the Holy Spirit? If you live in sin you will go to hell just as certainly as will all the deceived victims of Satan, who yielded to his deception in different ways.

You need to examine yourself as to whether you are in the faith and are bearing fruit that befits repentance. A few straight questions may help you to conduct this examination: “Sir, do you practise a dead form of godliness without a clear testimony of being born again? Then you are deceiving yourself. How is your conduct at work? Are you overcome by rage and do you often lose your temper? Are you honest and do you avoid corrupt behaviour? Do you refrain from cursing, participation in filthy conversations and the viewing of pornographic material? How is your conduct at home? Do you love your wife and are you true to her? Do you set the right example of holiness and living a godly life for your family? Do you regularly worship the Lord and read the Bible in family and private devotions? Do you study the Bible for advice, guidance and answers to your problems? Do you read good Christian literature?”

Ladies, you need to face up to similar questions about your life and conduct, as well.

These questions will help you to determine whether you belong to the Lord Jesus or to the devil. All habitual sinners are children of the devil. Jesus said to the unsaved religious leaders of the first century: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do” (John 8:44). When a child of God commits a sin it is a disaster in his life and he must immediately confess and forsake the sin. The rule of the Christian life is that we should not sin (1 John 2:1). We must resist to the point of bloodshed, in our striving against sin (Heb. 12:4).

If you are a saved person belonging to the Lord, then: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). Help others who are bound by Satan, that they may be liberated by the only Saviour of the world. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

 

References

Deere, Jack. S. 1985: Deuteronomy. In: Walvoord, John F. & Zuck, Roy B., eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament. Victor Books.

Hoehner, Harold W., 1983. Ephesians. In: Walvoord, John F. & Zuck, Roy B., eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament. Victor Books.

Holladay, W.L., 1988: Concise Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament. Eerdmans.

Penn-Lewis, Jessie, 1910: War on the Saints. Reprinted in 2004 by CLC Ministries.

Pentecost, J. Dwight, 1985: Daniel. In: Walvoord, John F. & Zuck, Roy B., eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament. Victor Books.

Wikipedia, 2012: Mammon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammon.