Bible Truth Examiner

Studies

STUDY 2: THE OVERTHROW OF SATAN’S EMPIRE

 

Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.

 

IN Study 1, we briefly discussed the overthrow of Satan’s empire, the fourth main object of our

Lord’s Return. Let us now go into more detail. According to the Bible, God uses our Lord Jesus

and His Church, The Christ, as His primary agency in accomplishing this overthrow,

accompanied by many human agencies (Daniel 12: 1) (Revelation 17: 14)

(Revelation 19: 11-21). Even before Satan’s reign began, God prepared a Plan for its overthrow,

one feature being to keep Satan’s activities within certain metes and bounds, while God prepares

The Christ and His supporters as His agency for its overthrow.

 

To those unfamiliar with God’s Plan, it appears that Satan has been winning, however, in reality

every feature of God’s Plan, so far due, has been fulfilling with complete success, despite every

effort of Satan to thwart it. Even his opposition to Jesus and His Faithful has given them the

necessary experiences to develop characters fitting them for their work, in due time, of

overthrowing Satan’s empire, of establishing God’s Kingdom and of ruling over the human race

for its uplift to perfection.

 

Christ’s Attack on Satan’s Empire

 

The Bible pictures The Christ (Head and Body) coming forth as an army, whose Commander is

the Lord Jesus, to attack Satan’s empire (Revelation 17: 14) (Revelation 19: 11-21). His weapon

is a “sword that proceedeth out of his mouth.” Revelation, being a book of symbols, suggests

that this sword is not a literal sword, but that it is the Truth on secular and religious subjects

(Ephesians 6: 17) (Hebrews 4: 12).

 

How appropriate that our Lord would use the Sword of Truth as a weapon of warfare in a

conflict with an empire whose weapon is untruth, and whose ruler is “the father of lies”

(John 8: 44) (2 Corinthians 4: 4)! Though Christ attacks the ignorance and error that Satan has

advocated, the particular objects of His attacks have been the three foundation doctrines of

Satan’s empire: (1) the Divine Right of kings, (2) the Divine Right of aristocrats and (3) the

Divine Right of the clergy; and the three supporting doctrines of his empire: (1) the

consciousness of the dead, (2) the transformation of the dead into spirits and (3) the bliss or

torture of these spirits.

 

Additionally, our Lord has attacked Satan’s empire by spreading the Truth on secular and

religious subjects by opening the eyes of the people to see the truth along all lines of human

thought (Daniel 12: 4). The question of right and wrong as it applies especially to the common

people, to the privileged classes and to nations is continually being thrust upon the attention of

people everywhere. Our Lord is using thousands of instrumentalities to bring the Truth on these

subjects to light.

 

Undermining Satan’s Foundation and Supporting Errors

 

Many of our Lord’s attacks upon Satan’s empire have consisted of His exposing the dark deeds

committed by the three departments of his empire: oppressive governments, predatory

aristocracies and false religious systems, all of which violate the Golden Rule.* Our Lord’s

exposures have completely refuted the doctrine of the Divine Right, and have thereby almost

entirely destroyed the confidence of the people in that doctrine, thus freeing them from its

bondage. He has also been undermining the faith of the people in the three supporting doctrines

of Satan’s empire: the consciousness of the dead, the transformation of people at death into

spirits and the bliss or torment of these spirits.* Our Lord has done this through able and devout

students of the Scriptures, with science and reason cooperating.

 

Furthermore, our Lord has also undermined the people’s confidence in these doctrines in another

one of His works: by revealing to mankind everywhere a series of truths underlying man’s

relations to one another governmentally, morally, socially, religiously, commercially,

economically and industrially – truths that in many particulars contradict Satan’s doctrines and

laws. This double work of our Lord has produced intense dissatisfaction with the theories,

practices and departmental organizations of Satan’s empire, especially throughout Christendom –

particularly among the masses of common people.

 

Conservatives and Radicals

 

The exposures of the above wrongdoing of the privileged classes made them more determined to

perpetuate present conditions, so from shortly after 1874 human society began to divide itself

into two opposing classes. One of these was the Conservatives – the rulers, aristocrats and

clerics, with their supporters – who desired to maintain what, unknown to them, is Satan’s

empire. The other class was the Radicals – Trade Unionists, Socialists, Communists and

Anarchists, with their supporters – who desired to set aside what, unknown to them, is Satan’s

empire.

 

The conflict between Capital and Labor continued to intensify year after year. Capital, supported

by the State and Church, maintained the advantage; whereas the Radicals became more and

more embittered against the present order, until it seemed that revolution was inevitable.

Satan recognized the threat to his order of affairs, and its overthrow, if preventable, he would not

permit. He therefore sought to reconcile the two classes by offering some concessions from the

classes to the masses, even raising up various reformers, but the breach between them became

ever wider until revolution became imminent.

 

Satan’s Defense

 

Satan, determined to prevent such a catastrophe, decided to unite the Conservatives and Radicals

in each country, by making its inhabitants believe that other nations were seeking its destruction.

Satan was even willing to plunge the world into a world-wide war if necessary in order to

prevent his world order being overthrown by revolution.

 

But how could he accomplish such a thing? The Triple Alliance, which embraced Germany,

Austria and Italy, and other alliances, enabled him to arouse the fears of other nations, causing

them to form the Triple Entente, embracing Britain, Russia and France, and other alliances. The

tension between these two rival alliances became so tense, that the murder of the Archduke of

Austria sparked the greatest explosion of human history up to that time – the World War of

1914-1918 – to which the Radicals and Conservatives in each country rallied in defense of their

native land and institutions against the threatened destruction, which the inhabitants of each set

of countries were led to believe their enemies sought.

 

World Wars I and II

 

But how can we conclude that Satan plotted and brought about the World Wars in order to

preserve his order of affairs? The following reasons suggest it: (1) as the ruler of this present

world (2 Corinthians 4: 4), such a great event as would involve all of earth’s nations would not

be without his ordering; (2) the danger that the Radicals would bring about World Revolution

prompted Satan to take such drastic measures; (3) the uniting of the Radicals and Conservatives

in each country for the purpose of preserving Satan’s present order is in harmony with his

purpose; (4) the great wickedness that led up to the war; and (5) the fact that humanity free from

Satanic influence is not capable of committing many of the devilish deeds enacted in the World

Wars.

 

Although Satan purposed that the World Wars would unite the masses and the classes, the Lord

overruled the matter so that the opposite resulted, such as: (1) much less autocratic rule, an

element of the Divine Right; (2) a great diminishing of aristocracy; (3) greatly decreased belief

in, and influence of, the Divine Right of the clergy; (4) greatly increased embitterment and

opposition of the radicals to what is Satan’s order of affairs; (5) greatly increased demands for

more liberty from state, aristocracy and clergy; and (6) more threatening imminence of world

wide revolution. The same effects took place after each World War, except that they were even

more pronounced after World War II. Many Scriptures refer to the World Wars: (Joel 3: 9-14)

(Daniel 12: 1) (Matthew 24: 21, 22) (1 Thessalonians 5: 1-3).

 

World Revolution and World Anarchy

 

The next phase in the overthrow of Satan’s empire will be World Revolution. Following are

some of the Biblical descriptions, clothed in figurative language: “the battle of that great day of

God Almighty” (Revelation 16: 14), “Armageddon” (Revelation 16: 16), “a great

earthquake” (Revelation 16: 18), a “whirlwind” and a “storm” (Nahum 1: 3, 6, 7), “a tempest of

hail,” “a destroying storm” and “a flood of mighty waters” (Isaiah 28: 2) (Nahum 1: 4, 8), “the

supper of the great God” (Revelation 19: 17) and “the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of

Almighty God” (Revelation 19: 15).

 

World Anarchy, which will follow World Revolution, is most frequently described in the Bible

by the term “fire.” The prophet Elijah was given a vision of the three great phases of the Time of

Trouble – war, revolution and anarchy – by wind, earthquake and fire (1 Kings 19: 11, 12). The

prophet Ezekiel, using Jerusalem as a figure of Christendom, uses the term “sword” to describe

the War and Revolution, and the figure of “the noisome beast” (a beast is opposed to law and

order) to describe the Anarchy (Ezekiel 14: 21). This passage also shows that famines and

pestilences will play their part in these troubles, as we know they did in the World War phase.

 

Jacob’s Trouble

 

Following Anarchy, Satan will attempt one final effort against God’s people, in this case against

fleshly Israel. One of the signs of our times as a fulfillment of prophecy has been Israel’s return

to Palestine (Ezekiel 36: 8, 12). The first stage began with the Berlin Congress of Nations in

1878 (Zechariah 8: 23), which required Turkey to permit Israel’s return to Palestine; the Balfour

Declaration of 1917 advanced their return; and they finally became a nation in 1948.

 

Satan will stir up the anarchistic remnants of all nations to plunder the Israelites in Palestine

(Ezekiel 38, 39) (Zechariah 12: 1-9) (Zechariah 14: 1-3). These plunderers will sorely afflict

Israel in what is called Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30: 1-9). This will be Israel’s final

chastisement, and it will turn them to the Lord Jesus in thorough conversion, when they witness

the complete overthrow of their plunderers by the Lord Jesus. Satan’s rulership as man’s

supreme oppressor will then be over, for which we thank God.

 

Final Results of the Overthrow of Satan’s Empire

 

One may ask, How could a God of love permit these things? We answer, that for nearly 2,000

years God has been calling upon the world to repent; but apart from a saintly few they have

refused to respond, and thus have demonstrated that they will not be reformed by moral suasion.

God therefore determined to permit devils and wicked leaders to bring them into great

tribulation, which He designs to use as a rod of correction, that men may learn righteousness

(Isaiah 26: 9). As a surgeon, though inevitably hurting the patient whose broken limb he must

set, performs the operation as the only means to secure the ultimate good of the patient, so God

permits the Great Tribulation as the only remaining method of bringing the world to its senses,

and thus of preparing it for its uplift through Christ’s Millennial Reign.

 

But another thing also shows God’s love even amid wrath: this tribulation will break Satan’s

yoke from off the neck of the race, and thus free humanity from the oppression of the worst of

all tyrants (Isaiah 9: 4) (Psalm 72: 4). And best of all is the third reason why God permits the

Great Tribulation: it will be the means of sweeping away Satan’s empire, and therefore of

making way for the establishment of God’s Kingdom the world over for the blessing of mankind,

living and dead, with the privileges of restitution to human perfection and Edenic bliss. We may

well praise and thank God and our Lord Jesus for such a wonderful future prospect!

 

*For a review of Satan’s foundation and supporting errors, please see our Study series, Hope

Beyond the Grave, Study 9: Satan and His Empire.

 

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