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
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, 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
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.
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
Return to Studies Main Page