Do we really understand how much and to what degree this world is being held captive by Satan and his demons? Could this also apply to any of us? (cp. 2 Timothy 2:24-26). Of course, Satan cannot do what God does not allow, but still, this is NOT God’s world. It is Satan’s world, and he has deceived and is deceiving the whole world (Revelation 12:9). We are asked to come out of this sinful Babylon of confusion (Revelation 18:4). While living in this world (John 17:18), we are not to be part of this world (John 17:14, 16). Satan is the ruler of mankind, and he gives power and authority to human leaders. In Luke 4:5-7, we read how Satan tried to tempt Christ, saying: “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.’”
Christ did not dispute Satan’s claim. He knew it was true. He knew that Satan rules on his throne here on earth (Revelation 2:13). He also knew, of course, that Satan would be behind the ten revivals of the Roman Empire in Europe (Revelation 13:2, 4), and that he would give power and authority to the coming beast and the false prophet. But do we understand that this is not limited to those past, present and future developments and rulers in Europe? Satan has power over ALL the kingdoms of the world, and he gives his authority to WHOMEVER he wishes.
People are deceived, because Satan is pretending to be an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14)… not of darkness. They may believe that rulers under his guidance and direction want to do the best for the people… and some in authority might very well think that they do, but they don’t understand what is good and what is bad (Isaiah 5:20). While they say they want peace, their actions lead to war and misery; rather than saving lives, they help to destroy lives (Romans 3:10-18).
Satan wants all mankind to be eradicated and wiped off this planet. And he would be successful if it were not for Jesus Christ who will come back to this earth to make an end to this madness of human misrule at His return.
Satan’s main target, however, is the people of God. He knows that Christ’s true disciples will replace him and his rule when Christ returns, and so he has great wrath against God’s Church, knowing that his time is short (Revelation 12:12).
Satan’s modus operandi is not just to destroy and kill literally, but also, and perhaps even more importantly at this time, to destroy us spiritually. He uses teachers in all the world who are teaching our children the wrong things in school—from the godless evolution concept to the abominable ideas of abortion and war to the false concepts of sexual immorality, just to name a few. He will try to use his human rulers to prohibit the preaching of the gospel and to malign, accuse and persecute those who do. We are already seeing the beginning of these endeavors. Satan is a liar and a murderer, and we must not be ignorant of his evil devices.
Very importantly, Satan is the accuser of the brethren, accusing them day and night before God (Revelation 12:10). Some of his accusations might be their sinful conduct for which he was directly responsible. Satan influenced Peter to speak Satan’s words (Mark 8:31-33); and he influenced Judas to betray Christ (Luke 22:3; John 13:27). It is therefore critical that we repent of our sins when we become aware of them and confess them to God so that we can be cleansed (1 John 1:9), and so that Satan does not succeed (Revelation 12:11; Zechariah 3:1-5).
It is Satan’s goal to devour us (1. Peter 5:8). In order to accomplish this, he is using fiery darts (Ephesians 6:16); evil devices or schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11); craftiness or unscrupulous conduct (2 Corinthians 11:3); and wiles or thought-out tricks (Ephesians 6:11).
God warns us that we can easily fall for Satan, if we are not careful. He describes Satan in very descriptive ways:
Satan is identified as our adversary (1 Peter 5:8); the god of this age or of this present evil world (2 Corinthians 4:4) who is worshipped (Matthew 4:9; Revelation 13:4); the prince and ruler of the darkness of this world and age (John 12:31; 14:30; Ephesians 6:12); the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2); a murderer and a liar (John 8:44) who blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4); and Apollyon, meaning “the destroyer” (Revelation 9:11).
But we don’t have to be or become Satan’s victims, falling for his evil devices and becoming inadvertently his instruments (1 Timothy 5:15). It is very comforting to know that we can protect ourselves against Satan, when we are sober or self-controlled (1 Peter 5:8); when we are vigilant or watchful and on the alert (1 Peter 5:8); when we resist him (1 Peter 5:9; James 4:7) while submitting to and drawing near to God (James 4:7-8); when we put on God’s whole spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:11); accept and apply the “blood of the Lamb” or Christ’s Sacrifice to and for our sins (Revelation 12:11); when we believe God and His Word and live by it, while rejecting all lies (Revelation 12:11, 17); and when we give our lives to God (Revelation 12:11).
The good news is, God will crush Satan under our feet shortly (Romans 16:20), but in the meantime, as we have read, we must resist him now and draw near to God; and Satan will flee from us. Then, we can say victoriously with Jesus: “Satan has no power over me” (compare John 14:30, Revised Standard Version).