This wonderful earth was given to us by our Creator. The fact that mankind voluntarily gave up dominion over and control of the world to Satan—who has extreme enmity toward God—is the reason for all of the pain, loneliness, distress, hate, murder, disease, starvation, unfairness, pollution, ozone depletion, and all of the other problems constantly plaguing us and our world. God did not and does not create our problems and never should be blamed for them. We have no one to blame but ourselves by allowing the wrong “god” to gain control of this world and of our lives. The real God allows these things to go on because He honors our free choice to disobey his rules and laws; but bad things result when we (along with the other people in the world) choose against him. Breaking laws simply has negative consequences.
Unfortunately, those who have not made peace with their Creator, through the atoning blood of Jesus, are not aware that God’s great Power, accessible by means of the Holy Spirit, is available to anyone to withstand much of the onslaught of Satan and his forces. God plays “by the rules,” intervening in human affairs when we ask Him to do so—mainly through prayer and supplication (see “prayer”: C-10, P-II). At some point, though, God will have to intervene forcibly in the satanic world system (see C-12, P-III, S-2 and C-12, P-IV). Otherwise, under the influence and direction of Satan, mankind would end up destroying the world and himself.
Satan definitely is not “anti-religion.” In fact, he constantly inspires and influences new religious ways and beliefs which divert people away from the one True, Almighty God. These new (as well as the old) religions all seem to lead to God; but, in reality, they all lead to Satan himself. Millions in the world, particularly in the “New Age” movement, unknowingly give him the worship he craves. (To give one’s attention primarily over to anything other than to God is, effectively, to worship Satan, whether or not one realizes or acknowledges it.) The “New Age” goal, basically, is to attempt to unite all religions, other than true Christianity and Judaism, into one.
Although Satan is not against “religion,” he adamantly is anti-God and anti-Christ; so he is against true Christianity. He envies and covets, more than we could imagine, the worship given to the Father and to the Son. And he wants to be the center of that worship—so that all, without exception, will bow to him.
<!>Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, for much of his life, did not believe in the devil. He did not believe that satanic or demonic possession was real. However, after encountering two cases of “genuine possession,” he became a believer in the reality of Satan. As he puts it in his best-selling book, People of the Lie, “I now know Satan is real. I have met it.”
Yes, both God and Satan exist. Choosing not to believe in one and/or the other does not nullify the existence of either. Many people who believe in God do not believe in Satan. It is really more “comfortable,” on a day-to-day basis, not to believe in the devil, because doing so compels one to consider that, at any given moment, a given (bad) thought just might originate from a controlling, manipulative source other than oneself. This certainly is not a popular idea from a humanistic, egoistic philosophical standpoint; people would rather believe they formulate all their own thoughts.
Being told that the devil exists is similar to being informed by a doctor that your tumor has tested to be malignant or to being told by another parent that she observed your kid smoking crack cocaine. If one of these actually is true, ignoring the condition or circumstance will not make it go away. Refusing to believe or acknowledge any such situation, and not following through with further investigation and consideration of what is a fact, can have serious, destructive results. In effect, by denying the truth, one will fail to take the steps necessary to protect oneself, or loved ones, from looming danger. And that is exactly what Satan wants. On the other hand, knowing that Satan and evil spiritual forces exist is the necessary first step in being able to battle them (see “spiritual weapons”: C-10, P-II).
Satan has numerous symbols representing him or his anti-God movement. Many people wear some of these things or keep them in their homes, often completely unaware that they are associated with Satan and/or the occult. Here are just a few of the symbols:
1) pentagram*: 5-pointed star, usually directed downward, sometimes drawn on the floor.
2) goat’s head: actually a counterfeit of Jesus, the “Lamb”—see “Jesus, atonement sacrifice and Redeemer”: C-5, P-II.
3) upside-down cross: indicates the overthrow and defeat of Christianity.
4) “peace” sign: broken upside-down cross with a circle around it; similar to upside-down cross above.
5) ankh: Egyptian cross-shaped figure with a looped handle at the top; symbolizes “death,” but masquerades as a symbol for “life and prosperity.”
6) swastika: Greek cross or “plus” sign having the ends of the arms bent to form right angles; clockwise configuration adopted in 1933 as the emblem of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.
7) number “666”: often written on paper, engraved in wood, or tattooed on the skin; see “mark of the beast”: C-12, P-III, S-1. Interestingly, on the Internet, Worldwide Web and Net addresses begin with “www.” In Hebrew, “w” corresponds to the letter “vav,” which has a numerical value of “6.” So “www” in Hebrew is “666.”
8) encircled “A”: indicating “anarchy,” a hatred of and a rebelling against authority (particularly, God’s Authority).
9) hexagonal, elongated crystals: supposedly “vibrate in harmony with the universal Energy of God”; actually can be vehicles for spirits to work through, much like divining rods, Ouija boards, Tarot cards, or I Ching sticks.
10) chalice: metallic cup or goblet used in Black Mass§ ceremonies to drink wine or blood.
11) hooded black robe: worn by participants in satanic worship services and rituals.
12) daggers, swords, and double axes: used in satanic worship services and rituals, sometimes as means of sacrificing.
13) black or white candles: burned during satanic worship services and rituals.
14) parchment paper: written upon or read from during satanic worship services and rituals.
15) Book of Shadows: used by occultists to record personal prayers to Satan, incantations to summon demons, and other occultic activities.
* It is my belief that a pentagram (a 5-pointed star) is a satanic counterfeit of the Star of David (a 6-pointed star which is on the flag of Israel). The Star of David consists of two equilateral triangles, one pointing up and the other down, superimposed one upon the other. I see the one pointing up as triune mankind (spirit/body/soul) looking upward to God and the one pointing down as the Triune God (Father/Son/Holy Spirit) looking downward to mankind. Only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ can they be united into one. On the other hand, I view the 5 points of the pentagram as the five “I will’s” of Satan (Isa. 14:13,14—see“heavenly citizenship revoked”: P-I). A pentagram pointing down represents his presumed power over mankind, while one pointing up depicts his supposed “defeat” (in his own mind) of God. The blood of Jesus invalidates both of these desires of Satan. (It may be that Jesus shed blood in five different places—head, back, wrists, side, and feet—to counteract or neutralize the five “I will’s” of Satan.)
<!><!>§ A Black Mass is a ceremony counterfeiting the Christian Eucharist celebration. Wine and/or blood is drunk from a chalice, and a black wafer is eaten (substituting for the white one, representing the body of Jesus, eaten at the Holy Communion sacrament). Often the Lord’s prayer (Matt. 6:9-13) is read backwards (from end to beginning), symbolizing the undoing or reversing of Christianity. Paul clearly stated that the real reason for drinking of the cup and eating of the bread is a participation in the blood and body of Christ (1 Cor. 10:16—see“Holy Communion”: C-4, P-II). Anything else is a demonic counterfeit, against which Paul strongly warned (1 Cor. 10:20,21).
Satan still, at this very moment, has a delusion that he can seize God’s Crown (see “Scorpio and Ophiuchus”: C-9, P-IV, S-1) and replace the Throne of God with his own. Since this is his main motivation, he is doing everything he can—in the time God has given him—to attain his goal. To be a “god,” one must have subjects to provide worship. Satan craves worship and attention. He already has it from the demons whom he deceived into separating themselves from God and following him by making promises which he never will keep. But the ultimate next goal is to have our worship.
Since God created our spirits to have a choice (and hopes that we will choose to love and to follow Him), what greater flattery to Satan (and insult to God) than that we would not choose God but, rather, would turn our attention to Satan? Anytime we disobey or fail to acknowledge God, we are turning our attention to Satan—whether or not we realize it, or even whether or not we believe that Satan actually exists. If one is not on God’s side, one automatically is on Satan’s side; there is no other choice. By utilizing “New Age” precepts (which are merely new statements of ancient pagan ideas), Satan instills into our minds the concept that we can be “gods” (see “‘New Age’ folly”: C-9, P-I) so that, whether we realize it or not, we are “supporting his cause”—a cause which has its roots in pride and which eventually will have its culmination in separation from God if one does not get on (or back on) the “track” of God’s purpose for one’s life (see “on and off the track”: C-15, P-II).
There is coming a time when the ones who will love God forever will be dissociated from the ones who will not love Him. Those who love God will go into God’s presence; those who do not love God will remain out of His presence. I, for one, am looking forward to being in the presence of the Lord God, experiencing and learning new things every moment, and enjoying an intimate relationship with my Creator forever. I hope you choose the same. It is, after all, a permanent choice (see “real eternal choice”: C-15, P-III).
According to Rev. John C. Hagee, a San Antonio evangelist,
Satan wants to be like God. He wants God’s authority and control. Since God will not share his glory or position, Satan chose to rebel against God and become a supernatural counterfeit...not a replacement.
Satan has a counterfeit gospel, a counterfeit church, a counterfeit doctrine, counterfeit preachers and a counterfeit heaven promised by drugs called “ecstasy,” “angel dust” and “heaven.” Satan promises heaven and delivers hell on earth!
Satan wants to be worshiped as “God.” On earth, at the end of this age, Satan ultimately will designate and empower a man to deceive a desperate world into trusting him to bring “world peace.” I believe that this “pawn” is alive right now and is working on the mechanics of a 7-year treaty involving Israel, the ratification of which will begin the “70th Week” (see “the 70th Week covenant”: C-11, P-III; and C-12). At the time the treaty is signed, it may not be common knowledge just whom is the primary person implementing this “peace” process. In fact, it may be that the treaty and its signing will be kept a secret from most of the world for a time. It also could be that the treaty will become common knowledge, but the identity of the major figure behind it will be concealed. Or, possibly, both the treaty and its advocate immediately will come into public view. Only time will tell.
Whenever and however the identity of this man is disclosed, he will be the leader a desperate world will look toward to finally bring a lasting peace. He will be looked upon with awe by the people of the world, because he will have done what no one ever has been able to do before: bring peace to the Middle East (as well as, probably, to other “hot spots” in the world)—albeit a pseudo-peace, as everyone eventually will find out. I predict that, for a short period, a heightened, almost ecstatic prospect of international peace will captivate the world community. The idealized “New World Order” will have arrived.
With time, though, this man, energized more and more by Satan, will bring, according to Jesus, “...great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again” (Matt. 24:21), the most horrific, terrible time of tribulation and calamity the world has known up to that point. And Satan will be the controlling force behind the entire movement.
<!><!>The turmoil on the earth during the first half of the 70th Week—the rise to authority of the man ultimately empowered by Satan—will be merely a reflection of Satan’s final and greatest attempt to rise to Authority and Power in heaven. At the midpoint of the “70th Week,” however, a great war will take place in heaven; and Satan’s access to heaven will be cut off permanently (Isa. 14:12; Rev. 12:7-9). He will be restricted to the earth for the last 3½ years of this age, no longer having access to heaven, and he will be outraged as never before that this has happened to him. And he will vent his anger and wrath mainly upon Jews and Christians (Rev. 12:17—see “middle of the 70th Week”: C-12, P-III, S-1).
<!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!><!>Finally, after the commencement of a siege against Jerusalem by the armies of many nations, Jesus will return from heaven with His own armies. In what I believe will be two separate battles, Jesus will conquer 1) forces attacking Jerusalem (Rev. 14:19,20, 19:11-15) and, soon thereafter, 2) armies rebelling against His rule and Authority (19:19-21). (See “physical return of Jesus” and “blood-stained garments”: C-12, P-IV, S-1; and “destruction of Antichrist and his armies”: C-12, P-IV, S-3.) Then Jesus, after he has had Satan (the instigator of the entire rebellion) bound and, along with all the evil angels, thrown into the “Abyss” (Isa. 24:21,22; Rev. 20:1-3ab—see “Abyss”: “references to hell”: C-14, P-I), will rule with His believers for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:4,6—see “reign of Jesus” and “reign of saints”: C-13, P-II). After Satan is released for a short time at the end of the 1,000 years, (20:3c,7), his final rebellion will be quelled (20:8,9); and he will be thrown into the fiery lake of hell (see “lake of fire; fiery furnace”: “references to hell”: C-14, P-I), which has been reserved for him and his followers, for eternal punishment (2 Pet. 2:4,9; Jude 6; Rev. 20:10). God, and those who have chosen to be with God, ultimately will be victorious.
Included among Satan’s followers are evil angels and demons who will be assigned with Him to the lake of fire; while those who will be victorious with God include the host of angels in heaven who have chosen not to follow Satan. Both groups are discussed in the next chapter.
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Copyright © 1998– by Ted M. Montgomery, O.D. Most rights reserved.