That Old Serpent the Devil and Satan
Satan, who has spent thousands of years walking the earth as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8), has corrupted many men over the years, turning them towards false gods and ungodly lusts (Jude 1:17-19). However, as far as the world is concerned, Satan is simply a mythological figure, one that most of us grew up knowing as a red cartoon character with horns and a forked tail. The notion of Satan being fictitious has been pushed in popular culture through movies, television, books and so on, all with the intent to ridicule the reality of his existence and, by extension, the truth of the Bible.
The Great Deceiver
From the very beginning, Satan has deceived people with delicious lies and promises. God commanded Adam and Eve to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17), telling them they would die if they did so. Satan tempted Eve by raising a question about God’s commandment and, thus, sowed the seed of doubt in Eve. Knowing their death would be spiritual, not physical — at least not immediately so; but it was this first sin that brought death to all men (Romans 5:12) — Satan told Eve that if they ate the fruit of the tree they would be as gods, knowing good and evil. Tempted by the prospect, and possibly thinking worldly wisdom to be a good thing, Eve listened to Satan and took that fateful bite of the apple.
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Genesis 3:1-6)
Satan’s methods haven’t changed over time. The master of deception and seduction, Satan is adept at appealing both to people’s baser as well as higher instincts. He entices those who lust after power and glory with promises of greatness, whether by subtle temptation or by presenting a contract at the crossroads. And he diverts those in search of spiritual truth by creating myriad religions and belief systems, working through those whose hearts and minds he’s already infiltrated, thus ensuring the vast majority will be attracted to the false light of one or other of these “spiritual” paths. And while many of these paths contain varying degrees of truth, all are controlled opposition designed to divert the spiritual seeker from the only path that leads to ultimate truth and eternal life.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
Just as Satan told Eve that if she ate the apple — if she did this one thing — she could make a difference to her life and destiny, Satan has also entered into the hearts and minds of many, convincing them that there’s something they can do to reach heaven. Or to attain spiritual perfection, reach nirvana, become gods, etc. However, the apostle Paul wrote the following to the believers at Corinth:
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)
Thus, Satan’s greatest deception, that we are the authors of our own spiritual destiny, continues to work through the teachings of all spiritual paths and world religions today — the “many paths, one destination” myth. This deception very much includes Catholicism which promotes the “Mary as intercessor” lie, and the larger portion of Christianity that believe in a works-based salvation. As a result, many Christians believe they must confess their sins to a priest, recite Hail Marys, pray the rosary, be baptized, go to church regularly, do charitable works, and so on.
But, as we see from Paul, there is a simplicity in Christ, and that simplicity is faith. No more, no less.
The Father of Lies
Through his minions, those whom he has successfully corrupted, Satan spreads many lies designed to turn us from God. Two foundational lies that have turned many from belief in God are the big bang theory and the theory of evolution which, for many, have become firm beliefs, held as “scientific” truths.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)
In order to spread these lies throughout the whole earth, embedding them as facts in the minds of many, Satan worked through men who had already turned from the love of God — men who rejected the truth that we are created beings living on a God-created earth, who didn’t want to ascribe their very existence to an omnipotent creator who not only has had the audacity to create commandments for us to live by but also has the presumptuousness to execute judgment on those who refuse to listen.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (Romans 1:18-23)
Thus, these two “scientific” theories work in tandem to convince us that we are random beings on a random and insignificant earth, resulting in an ever-increasing number of people turning either to atheism or to one of Satan’s many New Age spiritual paths. Hence the popularity of the impersonal, amorphous “universe” as the safe space of spirituality, another of Satan’s masterful deceptions. The Bible tells us that God created everything in six days and that it was finished (Genesis 2:1); therefore, there is no such thing as an expanding universe, since it simply doesn’t exist. The sun, moon and stars are all set within a physical firmament (Genesis 1:14-18) and it is they that move (Joshua 10:13) not the earth (1 Chronicles 16:30).
The Grand Pied Piper of Death and Hell
God created Satan to have great musical ability and Satan knows very well that music has the power to affect our feelings. The Bible records many instances of people singing and playing music to lift their hearts in praise to God (Psalms 33:2); and when David played the harp for Saul it had a positive, refreshing effect on the king (1 Samuel 16:23), who was being troubled by an evil spirit. Satan, however, has used the seducing power of music to beguile and corrupt the hearts of men.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. (Ezekiel 28:13)
The music industry is rife with satanists at every level and Satan himself has enticed many musicians into signing that contract at the crossroads in return for musical ability, financial success and worldly fame — a deal that’s most famously been cut with Robert Johnson, Bob Dylan and Jimmy Page. Of course, it goes well beyond Johnson, Dylan and Page with an overwhelming number of musicians being occultists and Satan worshippers. Working through these musical antichrists, Satan has spread ungodly music throughout the world, influencing billions of people with discordant sounds and increasingly wicked lyrics that embed themselves in the minds and memory of the listener, corrupting the very soul.
Thus, Satan not only lures many musicians to follow him on his rebellious path but, through these musicians, he also seduces the mass of humanity into following him on this same path that leads directly to spiritual death and eternal torment in hell.
Over the millennia, Satan has worked tirelessly to conquer humanity and elevate himself as a god in the eyes of the world. In order to achieve his goal he needs to enlist those willing to sell their soul for earthly gain and fame, something that has proved to be relatively easy, so susceptible are so many to being beguiled by his seductive, serpentine ways. Appealing to pride and vanity, Satan tempts people to do everything from lying for expediency or turning a blind eye to degrading and destroying others for promotion, prominence and power.
Satan knows firsthand the appeal of pride and vanity as they were the cause of his own fall. And, as we saw in Genesis, he employed these tactics very successfully with Eve, and by extension Adam and all of humanity.
Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. (Ezekiel 28:13-17)
Satan’s minions can be found at all levels of society, authority and power, from the order followers who push aside whatever conscience they have that enables them to carry out that one small task which contributes to the whole, right through to those who not only orchestrate the whole shebang but delight in doing so (Romans 1:32).
Satan cares not who carries out his bidding, he only cares that there exist willing executors of evil. Unfortunately for humanity, and as history can attest, Satan has little trouble finding such people. All we need do is look at the state of the world today to see how successful he’s been in recruiting those willing to work against their fellow man.
Today, as we near the endgame, Satan has raised a formidable army of willing laborers who are working together to bring about the prophesied one world system that will incorporate a world government, world currency and world religion.
But, while the human perpetrators of corruption, tyranny and evil, as well as the promoters of degeneracy, are certainly guilty, they’re nothing more than Satan’s minions. However far back we follow the chain of command and influence, even those at the top of the pyramid are puppets whose strings are being pulled.
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. (Ephesians 6:12)
The Power Behind the Antichrist
The Bible refers to Satan as both the prince of this world (John 12:31) and the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), yet he desires to be as God, like the most High. Since Satan is not God he can never become higher than or even equal to God, but he does have the power, to a limited extent, to be seen as God by being the power (the dragon) behind the Antichrist.
And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? (Revelation 13:3-4)
When the Antichrist comes to power he’s a man in thrall to Satan. However, after his fatal head wound, he becomes a man indwelt by Satan, and this power from Satan not only brings him “back to life” but also changes him from being a man who is an antichrist to being the Antichrist. It’s interesting to note that the Bible tells us Satan entered into Judas Iscariot (Luke 22:3) in order to betray Jesus, and that both Judas (John 17:12) and the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3) are referred to as the son of perdition. Other than this, the Bible makes no mention of Satan entering any other person, neither does it refer to anyone else as the son of perdition. Thus, when Satan attempts to come against Jesus, he makes use of man by entering him physically so that he is fully in control of all decisions and actions.
This apparent rising from the dead is an imitation of Jesus’ resurrection that not only takes away the glory that rightfully belongs to Jesus alone, but also causes the overwhelming majority of the world to believe that the Antichrist is the redeemer they’ve been waiting for — specifically, and most significantly, he’ll be seen as the Jewish Messiah. But, he’ll also be seen as the Muslim Mahdi, Hindu Kalki, Buddhist Maitreya and Zoroastrian Saoshyant. And even those not actively looking for their own version of the Messiah will be so amazed by the miracle of his apparent resurrection that they, too, will worship the Antichrist and, by extension, Satan himself, because they refuse to believe the truth that Jesus is the Christ.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12)
As a result, those who follow the Antichrist seal their own fate and are damned to suffer eternal torment in the lake of fire in the presence of Jesus and the angels. Hell is not eternal separation from God, as some teach.
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: (Revelation 14:9-10)
That Old Serpent the Devil
Satan has many traits, all of which have a destructive influence and impact on humanity. He’s a deceiver, a distractor, a dissimulator and a destroyer.
The good news is that, despite being a sly, slippery snake, Satan fails in the end. Although he will succeed in manipulating certain people into elevating the Antichrist as the ruler of the one world system, he’ll fail in his ultimate goal of conquering the world and overcoming God. Instead, Satan will be bound and cast into hell for a thousand years.
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (Revelation 20:2-3)
The Book of Isaiah, written in the 8th century B.C., contains some more detail on Satan’s time in hell:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? (Isaiah 14:12-17)
Cast into the Lake of Fire
At the end of Jesus Christ’s millennial reign on earth, Satan is given one last taste of freedom when God gives him license to deceive and divide the people once more as a means to separate, for ever, the God-rejecting from the God-fearing.
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:7-10)
After Satan is cast into the lake of fire, the dead are resurrected for the great white throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-14) and all unbelievers are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). Lies, deception and wickedness will be no more because no longer will our adversary the devil walk the earth as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
Image of the Beast (Image in Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream) Photo Credit: Lumo Project