Series on The Great Test (Watch Video)
John J. Blanchard
Hello friends! This is going to be the last in the subset about the son of perdition that is within the entire set of lessons that we are doing on the great test at the end of the age. The title of today’s lesson is The Pervasiveness of the Son of Perdition.
In our previous studies we learned that the son of perdition is a spirit being. He opposes God and God’s plan, and he hates every single human being. We wage war with him by the blood of the Lamb and by our willingness to keep God’s law, for the son of perdition is the lawless one. As we discuss the pervasiveness of the son of perdition, we are going to see just how this enemy is everywhere we turn. It doesn’t matter in life, there is no way to get away from him, but there are ways to overcome him. That is what we are going to talk about today.
There is no place on earth that is safe from his influence. He is not constrained by space and time like we are, so he has an advantage. We can’t see him with our ocular eyesight. We cannot determine where he is going to come from next because he is a spirit being. He is not constrained by space and time. He has been active for thousands of years, as you would expect a spirit being could be. Let’s look at a few Scriptures that would support that statement.
I am turning to II Thessalonians chapter 2, starting in verse 1: “Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.”
Even back then, 2,000 years ago, people were concerned that Christ had either just come for His second coming or was about to.
He goes on to say in verse 3 of II Thessalonians 2: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.”
Until the very end of the age comes, Satan has been working, and at the end of the age, the restraining one—Jesus Christ—steps out of the way for a short time. Eventually this is going to work to the good. Scripture tells us that all things work to the good for those who love God. If we love God, and most of us do and most of us want to love God and obey Him, then we are going to get great help in identifying the son of perdition, as we have. We are learning how pervasive he is and how his influence is everywhere and what we can do as our part to help defeat him.
THE SON OF PERDITION 2,000 YEARS AGO
We see that the son of perdition was active back then 2,000 years ago.
Turn to I Thessalonians chapter 2, just back a few pages. We are told by Paul in I Thessalonians chapter 2, verse 17: “But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire.”
Paul wanted to get together with the brethren and see them face to face.
Continuing in verse 18 of I Thessalonians chapter 2: “Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us.”
We see Satan was bothering the apostles and getting in the way of the apostles’ work 2,000 years ago! That is that same lawless one—the son of perdition. For the last Scripture to support what we said, I want to turn to I John chapter 5. Turn to I John chapter 5 for our last New Testament reference.
I John 5, verse 18: “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”
Back then John was saying the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one, and he was trying to hinder the apostles. That’s 2,000 years ago. Let’s go further back in Scripture to the Book of Job. We are talking about a time that is probably at least 4,000 years ago! This is considered the oldest book in the Bible as far as history goes. We are turning to Job chapter 1.
THE SON OF PERDITION 4,000 YEARS AGO
Job chapter 1, verse 6: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.’”
We see God and Satan having a discussion at least 4,000 years ago where Satan says he has been walking to and fro on the earth. He was tempting people and trying to destroy people all the way back then! This spirit being, the son of perdition, has been active for a long time. In II Corinthians chapter 4 we can see some of the power this being has.
II Corinthians chapter 4, verse 3: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
SATAN DECEIVES EVERYONE
The god of this age is Satan. That’s why the word “god” here is spelled with a little “g.” But he is in a sense a god of this world. Now that is saying that being has a lot of power! He has a lot of influence.
In Revelation 12:9 which we have looked at many times, we are told that the entire world is deceived by this being. Satan literally deceives everyone! When someone is deceived, they don’t realize they are deceived; otherwise they wouldn’t be deceived. What is interesting is that so many of us in the world believe it is everyone else who has been deceived and not us—or our little group or our faith. That’s how tricky that being is. He has everyone thinking they are the right ones, but the Scripture says the entire world is deceived. We need God’s help to reveal this being for who he is, the power he has, and what we need to do to defeat him in our lives. It is very important. Paul said in II Thessalonians he would be revealed at the right time. The end of the age is that time before Christ’s second coming.
Now let’s go to Ephesians chapter 2. We are told in Ephesians chapter 2, verse 1: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience…”
The son of perdition—Satan—is also called the prince of the power of the air. That’s like our minds having an antenna or a receiver, and he has the power to broadcast in our minds. That explains so much of the bizarre behavior we see on the earth. There are so many people that claim they couldn’t stop themselves before an act of violence or they didn’t know what made them do it. All of us have been tempted, so we can identify with this power that this being has to put thoughts in our minds. They are thoughts that we actually sometimes hate, but they come into our minds. The source of those thoughts is the prince of the power of the air—the son of perdition.
THE TEMPTATION OF CHRIST
I want to go to the gospel of Luke chapter 4 now. We are going to look at the temptation of Christ. If you wanted to read this whole section of Scripture, you would see this is where Christ defeated Satan when he tried to tempt Him to worship him, so that he would have a position as part of the Godhead. Jesus Christ resisted and defeated Satan. That’s why Jesus Christ is our Savior. He was able to lead a perfect life.
We are looking at Luke 4, verse 5: “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.”
Satan took Jesus Christ, who had been fasting for forty days, up to a high mountain. This is a spiritual mountain, a mountain of his kingdom. We discussed that in past studies. He took Him up there where He could see all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. Therefore, you know this is his spiritual mountain—his kingdom. Here is what he told Jesus Christ.
Luke 4, verse 5: “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.’”
Satan is telling Christ, this is all mine. I have authority over all this earth. This means he had power and privilege that had been yielded to him in trust. God the Father and Jesus Christ had trusted Satan to be an angel of light, as we are told in other places. Lucifer was the light bringer. He corrupted himself and became an evil being, but that left the earth still in his control, which is why Jesus Christ had to come and die for our sins. This powerful being says, I am in control of all of this. I am the influencer of all that you see! Basically he was telling Jesus Christ, you don’t need to die a death on the cross. Why don’t you just worship me and take the easy route! Take the easy road. Christ loved us so much that He said, no. Had He conceded, Satan would have been left with power over the earth forever. He would have shared power with Jesus Christ and God the Father, and that was totally unacceptable to both God the Father and Jesus Christ.
This is evidence of just how Satan has been working for a long time on the earth and how come he has authority to do so. We need to look at the evidence of how human beings have been used throughout history for his purposes.
THE SON OF PERDITION ENTERED JUDAS
Let’s go to Luke chapter 22 while we are in Luke. Luke chapter 22, verse 1: “Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people. Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.”
Here we see a human being, Judas Iscariot, tempted by Satan to turn and betray His Savior, Jesus Christ, so that He would die on the cross. You would think once Satan succeeded in getting these people to betray Christ and kill Him that he had won, but no he did not. God works all things to the good for those who love Him. John chapter 17 tells us a little bit more about this incident. Let’s go to the gospel of John.
In John chapter 17, verse 12 Christ is praying to the Father: “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”
Here we have the son of perdition, as we saw earlier, entering Judas. Now we see he actually turned Judas into a son, you might say, of the son of perdition. Judas had totally given himself over to Satan to do his will.
Now that gives us an example 2,000 years ago of how Satan could work in a mind and turn that mind against the truth to do an evil deed, a reprehensible deed. If he can do that to a man who knew Jesus Christ personally and physically, saw the miracles, talked to Christ, and was a friend of Christ, you know how easy it is for him to deceive those of us who walk this earth. We trust God to lead us, but we cannot see God and we cannot see Satan. We live by faith, and we need the strength of the power of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of the knowledge of God’s word in order to defeat the son of perdition and get him out of our lives. We are dealing with an extremely deceptive and tricky being.
SATAN WORKED IN PEOPLE
Let’s go back before the time of Jesus Christ to see how Satan had worked in people in history. We are going back to the example in Ezekiel to the king of Tyre. In Ezekiel chapter 28 we are going to look at an example in history of a king that actually lived and was so big in his own mind that he was in concert with the will of Satan. He was a demi-god. It is a fascinating set of Scriptures. We are going to start in verse 1.
Ezekiel chapter 28, verse 1: “The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, ‘Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Because your heart is lifted up, and you say, “I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, in the midst of the seas,” yet you are a man, and not a god, though you set your heart as the heart of a god (Behold, you are wiser than Daniel! There is no secret that can be hidden from you! With your wisdom and your understanding you have gained riches for yourself, and gathered gold and silver into your treasuries; by your great wisdom in trade you have increased your riches, and your heart is lifted up because of your riches),’ therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have set your heart as the heart of a god, behold, therefore, I will bring strangers against you, the most terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom, and defile your splendor. They shall throw you down into the pit, and you shall die the death of the slain in the midst of the seas. Will you still say before him who slays you, “I am a god”? But you shall be a man, and not a god, in the hand of him who slays you. You shall die the death of the uncircumcised by the hand of aliens; for I have spoken,’ says the Lord God.”’”
Here we see the king of Tyre portrayed as a demi-god. It is a person who literally thought he was God! There have been many people down through history and even people alive today and in our time who thought they were like a god. They think they are above everyone. It is a personality fault. There are nations on this earth where you see the head of the nation portrayed as a god with his statue everywhere and his picture everywhere! Everybody has to bow down to them. These are demi-gods. Satan can enter a person like that and get them to do terrible deeds because they are open to his influence to a greater extent than the majority of mankind are.
Let’s continue in Ezekiel 28. We are going to see how this transitions into Satan, so that you can get the idea that this son of perdition was working in the king of Tyre. Continue in verse 11 of Ezekiel 28: “Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘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…’”’”
He goes on to describe this beautiful being that had been in Eden.
Drop down to verse 14 of Ezekiel 28: “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.”
Here is a being—Lucifer—who became Satan. Lucifer means “light bringer.” That’s when he had the trust of God. When he became an adversary and iniquity was found in him, he became Satan, which means adversary, an enemy of God!
You can see that at one time instead of just walking to and fro on the earth, he was walking to and fro at God’s throne. He was right at God’s feet. He was one of the covering cherubs over God’s throne.
Continuing in verse 16 of Ezekiel 28: “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.”
He destroyed his position in heaven, and He cast him to the earth. Here he has been wreaking havoc ever since.
Verse 17 of Ezekiel 28: “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you. You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever.”
Meaning he will destroy his position and power forever, but it takes the world to know this being for what he is. That is what we are told here. When the world sees him for what he is, God can use us to deny him the place where he works, and that’s in human beings.
Satan was the first one to have a super outsized ego. He was full of his own beauty and full of his own intelligence until corruption entered his mind and heart. Iniquity and violence were found there, and he sinned. That made him a profane thing before God. It made him not only the enemy of God but the enemy of mankind as well.
That is just more proof that the son of perdition is indeed a spirit being. Because if he was alive at God’s throne, alive in the time of Job, alive when Christ walked the earth, and then alive at the end of the age, only a spirit being could be alive for that long. He needs to be revealed just before Christ’s second coming. That helps take away the mystery of iniquity because now we understand who and what he is. Instead of looking at human beings and blaming each other to be a great Satan, we know it is this spirit being working in human beings who is the real enemy of God and mankind. That tells us something.
SATAN MUST WORK THROUGH HUMANS
If that being can live all this time and influence people, it means he can strike us at anytime and anywhere. Satan is that powerful. He is that pervasive. He is anywhere on earth where people dwell. Wherever there is violence, Satan is there. The son of perdition is there. Where there ever is hatred, wherever it is, the son of perdition is there. Wherever there are riots and divisions, the son of perdition is there. Wherever there is racism, the son of perdition is there. Wherever there is persecution, the son of perdition is there.
By whatever means possible, that son of perdition enters the minds and hearts of human beings and gets them to do terrible things toward one another with the goal of getting us to destroy ourselves. Today he has more avenues into our minds than ever before. Now he has not only just physical example or physical teachings like down through history, but he has entertainment of every sort. He has movies, TV, and video games. He has books. He has the worldwide web. He has so many ways to enter our minds and hearts and cause serious and evil thoughts to enter our minds. He wants us to act upon them and destroy each other. He has never had so many ways to affect the human race as he does today, which is why I think it is so important to have him revealed in this time, so that we can do something about it in our lives.
Satan stirs up the human race to destroy itself. That’s what he wants. He wants to stir up so much hatred, so much intolerance, and so much viciousness between human beings that it would literally destroy us. He has one huge weakness, and it is a curse that God put upon him. He has been cursed, and this weakness is bringing him down. It started with Jesus Christ, a human being who lived a perfect life. That assured us that Satan will eventually lose all of his power and influence over the earth.
What is that weakness? That weakness is that he must work through human beings. He must work through human beings. God set that as a condition for him to continue to be god of this world, a little god. He must defeat every human being ever born and cause them to sin, and the wages of sin is death. He failed when he reached Jesus Christ, which gives us all hope that eventually Satan will be totally without influence on this earth, and we will have a wonderful peaceful earth.
SIN ENTERED HUMANS
Let’s look at the story in Genesis of how this being entered the human race and the curse that God put upon him. We won’t read the entire first couple of chapters of Genesis, but you may want to do so on your own. Let’s go to Genesis chapter 2. We saw a reference to Eden in Ezekiel 28. Here we now find ourselves in the Garden of Eden in Genesis chapter 2.
Genesis chapter 2, verse 8: “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
Jesus Christ was and is the tree of life. Satan and his way of life is the evil tree—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Let’s go to chapter 3 of Genesis, beginning in verse 1: “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.”’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that there were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”
And so sin entered Adamic man. Adamic man has been in existence since the Garden of Eden. Just as an aside, we know from scientific evidence that there were people before Adam and Eve, but they were not Adamic man. It can be proven from the Bible itself. Adamic man was God making man in His image and likeness in a beautiful place called the Garden of Eden. He said do not let sin enter you in the garden. Avoid sin at all cost. There is only one way that it will enter you, that’s through the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That would allow Satan to enter your mind and your heart. They fell for Satan’s devices, and Satan did indeed enter into the minds and hearts of Adamic man. Let’s see what God had to say about that and what He did about it by dropping down to verse 13.
Genesis 3, verse 13: “And the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ So the Lord God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.’ To the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.’”
There is a lot in these Scriptures. There is a lot about the history of mankind written in advance, but we can find here that there would be enmity between Adamic man and Satan. Her Seed would prevail, and that was in the form of Jesus Christ. But the point we want to see here is that Satan was cursed. Since he put sin into Adam and Eve, God said, if that is the game you want to play, you had better succeed in doing that to every human being! Devour every human being with sin.
We know the story. He lost when it came to Jesus Christ. That gives us all hope. That is an amazing thing, and God knew it would all work to the good. We have all this suffering and all this pain that we have gone through. There is all the hatred and violence on the earth, but God ultimately knew He would ultimately win. It would be good for mankind to learn to repent, grow close to God, and forever after avoid evil of every sort.
I think we have certainly learned our lesson by now that all this violence and hatred on this earth is terrible. We need a way out of the situation we find ourselves in at the end of the age, because the problems are getting to be so huge. Satan has so many avenues to get into the human race and to cause us to do harm to each other. We need the intervention and the return of Jesus Christ. Christ is allowing it to come to a head, so that He can save us all from this being. We need to cooperate. We need to want to be saved. We need to want to obey the laws of God, so there is peace on earth. We need to want to wage war with the lawless one.
All of us have succumbed to Satan’s deceptions down through our lives. All of us have felt the impact of the son of perdition when we get angry, and we all have. When we feel hatred in our heart, when we feel lustful and act upon that lust, when we feel greedy and we take what is not ours, when we are covetous of our neighbor’s belongings, covetous of his wife or her husband, or covetous of the property they have, that is Satan at work in our minds.
All of us have sinned. Wherever there is corruption, greed, hatred, and violence, the son of perdition has been there! All of us have felt the impact in our mind. Most of us struggle and fight against these impulses and against the temptations from him. We go through our whole lives struggling against evil. Most of us want to win that fight. We want to control the impulses. We want to control the evil desires. We make amends when we do fall short. We try to fix hurts that we have caused and ask for forgiveness. We want peace. Genuinely I think most people want peace, but Satan is so powerful and so tricky that sometimes he makes us turn against each other thinking we are doing God’s will!
Human beings do have the power and the capacity to overcome Satan with the blood of Jesus Christ, the truth of His word, and the obedience to God’s law. When we do this, we fight the impulses that lead to these crazy things we see around the world. There is murder by passion, and there are the mass murders that are premeditated. We see the greed and the corruption and how much harm it does when businesses go bankrupt or people get embezzled or identities taken. There are so many ways that Satan tempts us to hurt each other. God says we can overcome it with the blood of the Lamb, the truth of God, and obedience to His laws.
SATAN WANTS TO DESTROY ALL HUMANS
The interesting thing about the son of perdition though is that he is never satisfied. He is not satisfied with getting an individual here or an individual there and totally possessing them or causing us to sin here or sin there because the wages of sin is death. He wants much more than that. He wants to deny God the Father and Jesus Christ the human beings that He created to be in His image. He wants to destroy all of us! That’s his goal. Destroy this earth! Destroy all of us. Isaiah chapter 14 is another Old Testament Scripture that tells us how he has been hurting the nations back then and all the way through to now. Let’s turn to Isaiah chapter 14.
Isaiah chapter 14, beginning in verse 12: “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!”
He certainly has. You can look in the Middle East at the broken buildings and the destroyed cities. You can look at pictures from World War II of the devastation in Europe and the same thing with World War I. Look at what war wreaks in the human beings and how it destroys the nations and weakens the nations. You will see what we are being warned about here. Isaiah is saying, this is terrible! Satan has run amuck in the human race and weakened the nations.
Verse 13 of Isaiah 14: “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?’”
Indeed he has held this earth in an iron grip, and he won’t let go, not if he has anything to say about it. Jesus Christ has forced that hand open. With the blood of Jesus Christ and the willingness to obey the law of God, we can get this being out of our lives and end this suffering in the nations.
This being is called here the man of sin who will be cast into a pit. If you want to go back and listen to the segment about identifying of the son of perdition, you will see why he is called a man here. The man of sin is a spirit being. Satan is called the son of perdition, the lawless one.
How does he go from individuals, to destroying whole nations and whole societies, and ultimately his goal is to destroy the whole world? It is by entering the mind of man in various ways. It is not just in technology to create nuclear bombs. In order to warp mankind’s thinking, mankind will get passionate about something so much that he is willing to destroy his fellow man. He does this very effectively through ideology, combined with megalomania. He puts together ideology and megalomania, and when he finds the ideology working in people and the megalomania—the big ego that’s there—Satan can influence that person in ways that are just beyond thinking! They are so terrible!
If we think of the ideology, there have been lots of them in the past to examine in history. There have been Fascism, Communism, and today radical Islam. I could even say rabid Christianity when you look at the Crusades. There is nationalism or nationalistic fervor. Satan can use these ideologies that on the surface can look good. When you combine that with an individual with a big enough ego to twists men’s minds to get mankind to act upon their base impulses, lots of damage can be done. All we have to do is look at history.
History is replete with examples of humanity moved by evil. Think of such people as Genghis Khan or the Roman caesars who were demi-gods. They caused such destruction, like Nero, Diocletian, and Napoleon. Napoleon was so full of himself that he brought a continent to its knees. Crusaders, as I mentioned, under various leaders and various potentates waged war on others who they felt were less spiritual than them. Their religion was not up to their standards. They thought they were doing God’s will and killed many people.
In the last century we had Hitler, Stalin, and Mao Tse-tung. They were people who were full of themselves who were like demi-gods. They literally brought their nations crashing down and nations around them as well, all because Satan was able to use megalomania, big ego, and ideology. He put them together and moved mankind and moved nations to do terrible things to their fellow man.
When ideology is used to direct anger by a leader who thinks too much of themselves, the sparks can be ignited that will devour whole nations, sometimes whole continents as we saw in World War II and World War I. It is human weakness amplified. It is human weakness in an individual that spreads because of the ideology that is made to look so appealing, just like Satan was at the Garden of Eden. It happens over and over and over throughout history, but it need not ever happen again. The son of perdition has been revealed now, and we know how to fight him. We know individually what we need to do to get him out of our lives, and when we do so, we weaken Satan’s power.
HOW TO DEFEAT SATAN
God’s word reveals that the son of perdition will be defeated. We will gain victory on this earth, and the victory will come through the blood of Jesus Christ and the willing obedience of the people of the earth to obey the Ten Commandments—God’s law. That is the opposite of the lawless one. God’s law takes away and literally cancels the influence of Satan. When we obey God’s law and use God’s truth—the Bible—we are waging spiritual warfare. We don’t need to see Satan to wage spiritual warfare when we use Christ’s ways, Christ’s laws, and Christ’s word.
Let’s turn to II Corinthians chapter 10. II Corinthians chapter 10, verse 3: “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…”
Our weapons to fight Satan are not bombs and bullets. You can kill despots. You can kill dictators. You can squash one ideology with another, but Satan is always ready to rear his ugly head as the son of perdition and move mankind into the next war, into the next acts of violence.
Continuing on here in II Corinthians 10, verse 4: “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, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”
When we let Christ’s thoughts into our mind and we push out Satan’s thoughts, we defeat the son of perdition. We remove his influence from our life. When enough of us do that, he literally doesn’t have the power anymore to move nations! Ideology that is silly and destructive is revealed for what it is, and people don’t fall for it. We need that from God. We need God’s help in that way to pull down foolish arguments and the deceptions of the lawless one.
Going to Ephesians chapter 6, we discuss spiritual warfare again in verse 10. Ephesians 6, verse 10: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Then he goes on to say we need the truth. We need the gospel. We need to learn to obey God, so that we can have a peaceful earth. We can’t have all kinds of laws on how to worship God that are in opposition to one another. We have to fall into line with the Ten Commandments. That’s what Satan is trying to get us away from. We can unify this earth. God says it will happen. We know a Millennium is coming. All will work to the good for those who love God. Most of us want to do what’s right.
Let’s go back to Romans now. Romans chapter 16, verse 17: “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”
We see here that we can resist by resisting flattering words and the ideologies that would lead us astray and lead us to do wrong things. We can resist the impulses that Satan wants to put in our minds and in our hearts and have the peace of Jesus Christ by following the truth—the true doctrines—that He puts in His word.
Our second to the last Scripture is James chapter 4. We are told that we literally can resist Satan, and he will flee. James 4, verse 1: “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from our desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
He goes on to talk about adultery and adulteresses. It is literally wanting what’s not ours. Whether it is power or grandeur or money or to satisfy lusts of the flesh, that’s how Satan gets an inroad. We are told in verse 7 that we can resist these things.
Drop down to verse 7 in James 4: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
Humility denies Satan power. Resisting these impulses denies Satan his power. Obedience to God’s law denies Satan his power. He no longer is the son of perdition in our lives. That is something we need to do, brethren. As brothers and sisters in the faith and in Christ who want to become better people, we need to follow Jesus Christ. We need to learn to become like one happy family of man, treating each other the way we want to be treated. We need to love our God and love our fellow man the way we were designed by God to be.
Many individuals in the human race are ready, I believe, to be converted to God’s way of life. They want peace on the earth. They are frightened and anxious by what we see happening in the news today.
God’s way of life is there for us, but we have to choose to believe Jesus Christ—the tree of life. We need to wash our sins clean with the blood of the Lamb and agree to follow God’s laws. We need to love God the way He said and to love our fellow man the way He taught us. Loving God and loving our fellow man denies the son of perdition any power that he may have.
AN INNUMERABLE MULTITUDE
For the last Scripture I want to read to you today, let’s go to Revelation chapter 7. There is an innumerable multitude, and it’s coming upon the earth very quickly! These will be people who have learned just what I have told you today. You can be among that group!
Revelation 7, verse 9: “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’ Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation [the great test that is now starting upon this earth], and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
You can be part of this group! It will be an enormous group, and it is proof positive that God will not see Satan win by destroying this earth. Satan will not succeed in getting us to destroy ourselves, but God will win. He will win in a bigger fashion than we ever dreamt! It is Satan who wants to destroy. God wants to give us life and life more abundantly and a beautiful earth in a Millennium of peace and joy. That is just around the corner!
We needed to know who the son of perdition was and how he fights. We needed to know how pervasive he is, so that we know why and how we can defeat him. If we want peace on the earth, we are going to have to follow God’s methods. We are going to have to accept the blood of Jesus Christ and keep His law. We fight the lawless one with the laws of God.
With that I leave you with this lesson, and we will get back into the series on the great test next time. We have identified the son of perdition. We have seen how to wage war with him. We have seen how pervasive he is, but we have seen how God will ultimately win with an innumerable multitude of people. You can be part of that number!