Satan has always been deeply involved in the world’s politics, economics, hostilities and deceptions. He is, after all, the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4; John 12:31; Eph. 2:2). When we view the tensions and issues in this world, we generally focus on Russia, Washington D.C., Hezbollah, China and several others. And, if you are at all like me, the tendency is to forget the very active involvement of Satan and his forces in all of this. For some high tech, sophisticated Americans this kind of “Satan talk” seems downright medieval or perhaps just foolish. But as followers of the coming King Jesus, it is not. And for us, it is wise to periodically reflect on biblical realities, including those truths that tell us of God’s clear plans for the future of this world, as well as of the goals of the “god of this world”. We are aware that we live in an unsettled world. It is coronavirus infected, and it has an abundance of dictators, terrorists and other unsavory persons. If we look carefully, we can observe the philosophy of globalization gaining strength and seemingly pushing us towards the end times. The ever new and changing technology now enables the power brokers of the world to pretty much control the economics of the world. So, in all of this, we ask, is Satan really running this show? If so, does he have a goal in mind and a plan to reach that goal? Let’s remind ourselves of some satanic truths.
(1) Satan does not know when the end time tribulation events will come. Lest we think that Satan has some form of omniscience, let’s recall that he definitely does not know when the end will come. In Matthew 24:36, Jesus was as clear as can be when He declared that only the Father knows when the final days will come. And He noted that not even angelic beings were knowledgeable of this fact. This is why Satan is at a disadvantage regarding end time events. This is why Satan always has and always will have an “antichrist” ready to go at a moment’s notice (because that is likely all he will have). Some 80 years ago, many evangelical preachers pointed to Adolf Hitler as the likely Antichrist. And he probably would have been if God had given the green light for the final days. But He didn’t and so Hitler wasn’t. Satan just does not know when the prophesied end times will commence but he is always working at putting necessary things and people in place.
(2) Satan has a goal for this world system that he is in charge of. Revelation 13 gives insights into Satan’s passionate desire to be like God and rule over all the nations of mankind. He is the first and greatest globalist. (Note that God ordained nations for man to live in and as a means of putting a lid on evil; Genesis 10 and 11). Using the Antichrist and the False Prophet, they will form the unholy trinity and will come as close as Satan will ever get to being king of the world. Nothing less than absolute domination of this world is the goal of the Evil One. This is his great goal and he will have his way for about 42 months.
(3) Satan has “action steps” which he will use to achieve his desired goal. There is no doubt that Satan has for millennia observed mankind and in his brilliant, but perverse, mind he knows what works so very often. C. S. Lewis captured the “wisdom” and insights of Satan and demons in his classic tale of the “Screwtape Letters.” And if C.S. Lewis was right, a lot of understanding of man’s behaviors and tendencies have been cataloged by the forces of evil. For example, in today’s coronavirus environment, Satan has seen again that people will give up much for self-preservation, including their health. This observation is actually thousands of years old. In his dialogue with God about the man Job, Satan said, “skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life” (Job 2:4). In his observation of people, Satan has learned that being healthy is a primary concern for humans. Even “independent, self-reliant" people can quickly cave in when life and health are seemingly threatened. And this is a reality in our present environment. We sometimes wonder why in the end times people will so quickly give in to the Antichrist (and to Satan who empowers him—Rev. 13:4-7). When a person sees their health or wealth being endangered, it seems that for many it is now time to bargain, compromise and be done (if need be) with personal liberties. Was this not an observable phenomenon in German, Japan and Italy in World War II? And we are presently seeing it today in our own country and around the world. As we noted in previous articles, the coronavirus pandemic is not a sign of the end times, but there is significant illustrative value in it. As we observe present events and see how people are responding, it gives insights into how mankind behaves and how it will behave. And it sheds some light on how Satan and the Antichrist will control people, even using the infamous “mark of the Beast.”
(4) Satan always works in the minds of people to inculcate those “doctrines of demons” which are intended to bring about his desired goals. The Apostle Paul spoke of this in 1 Timothy 4:1 when he put the spotlight on deceiving demonic beings and their distorted doctrines. These fallen beings originate and propagate philosophies that find their way into the human experience. This is an important point for us to remember. What is being espoused by some mocking late-night talk show host, or proclaimed by some radical left-wing politician has its origins at Lucifer University. Whatever philosophies or ideas will bring about the intended one world government of the Devil will be used. Most of our great thinkers are simply “useful idiots” involved in a much larger cause which they likely know nothing about. The battle has always been for the mind and will continue to be the case all the way to the end of human history.
(5) Satan will have some success but it will be short-lived. Like a flash of lightning, Satan’s glory and success will light up the world and then quickly be gone. God is patient, but He is not tolerant. One wonders why Satan continues on his present course when he realizes his fate. Don’t you think that he has memorized the Book of Revelation? Surely, he knows how his efforts will end. But Satan is the classic example of what sin does to a created being. Sin distorts, hardens and deceives. He does understand his end, but apparently doesn’t believe it or think about it. But the Lord Jesus Christ will come in glory and terminate his plans, goals and all his “kingdom”.
As Americans, we have pretty much been insulated from many of the evil things that have plagued men and nations for most of earth’s history. This was because our republic was essentially based on the principles of God as found in the Scriptures. And adhering to those dynamic truths, America was a stable nation and one blessed because there were good consequences to abiding by God’s truth. We have, since the 1970s, been rapidly moving away from that foundation and now sense that instability has come upon us.
What shall we do now? The answer is found in an old hymn. We are to “trust and obey for there’s no other way.” And while we can involve ourselves in the political arena, we should remember that we hold a dual citizenship. We are first and foremost citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20). And as such, our primary loyalty and devotion is to our King. Each day we have an opportunity to be faithful to Him. That we can do. Faithful to Him in our relationships with others; in our worship of Him; in our praying without ceasing; and in whatever He might give us to do that day. As Jesus recommended, we are to live life in “day tight” compartments. This we can do.