Overcoming Satan


Overcoming Satan

Most of you have heard about the science-fiction fantasy Star Wars movie series. But did you know that the Bible talks about a real star wars that is more astounding than any fiction? The real star wars have been going on for thousands of years, and whether you realize it or not, they are affecting your life.

The very last of these star wars is building now on Earth, and it will be a thousand times deadlier than any other. Yet it will be the last one, forever.

This is not fantasy. This is reality. It is happening behind the scenes—but it is clearly depicted in your Bible if we do a little digging to see—and its end is imminent.

Stars in the Bible

The Bible uses stars as symbols for angels. Notice, for example, Revelation 1:20: “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches ….” These seven stars represent seven righteous angels.

There are also fallen stars. “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth …” (Revelation 12:3-4).

The Bible shows who this great red dragon is. God created him as an archangel and named him Lucifer (“light-bringer”). But he rebelled against his Creator and led a large faction of angels to actually war against God and literally attempt to overthrow Him (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28).

What was the result? Jesus Christ Himself actually tells us about the decisive moment: “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Lucifer became Satan, and his angels became demons.

Notice the rest of Revelation 12:4: “[A]nd the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” Almost immediately after Christ was born, Satan inspired King Herod to kill all children 2 years old and younger in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:13-18).

This is important to understand: These star wars among spirit beings affect physical human beings on Earth! If we misunderstand or disbelieve that fact, we will be deceived and will end up being victims.

Let’s go back in history to the beginning—the most destructive war among the stars ever, the war that started all of these wars.

Covering Cherub

In Ezekiel 1, God showed Ezekiel a vision of intense brightness.

But there is another god discussed in Ezekiel. It is important that we keep bringing that vision of the true God back into our lives, because there is this other god, a great deceiver, who knows God and knows His plan and is trying very hard to foist upon us a counterfeit of the true God.

Let’s get some background on this god.

In Ezekiel 28 is a prophecy about “the king of Tyrus.” But this clearly is not speaking of a mortal man. In fact, this is referring to Lucifer, who became Satan. “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 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 …” (verses 12-13). Lucifer was right there in Eden, the garden of God.

“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” (verse 14). Lucifer was one of only three archangels mentioned in the Bible. He was one of the highest-ranking angels God created, if not the highest. His prestigious position was that of a covering cherub. What did he cover? The very throne of God—“in the midst of the stones of fire.”

God Himself gave Lucifer a position right over His throne as a covering cherub! He was right there with God, probably the most powerful of the three archangels the Bible mentions. Later, God sent him to rule the Earth and put one third of the angels under his authority.

Let’s look for a moment at the instructions God gave on building a type of that throne here on Earth—the mercy seat on top of the ark of the covenant. “And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof” (Exodus 25:17). Remember, inside the ark were the Ten Commandments, the rod of Aaron, and some manna (Hebrews 9:4). It all revolves around the government (symbolized by Aaron’s rod) and the law. And once a year, on Atonement, the high priest would enter the holy of holies in the tabernacle and sprinkle blood on the mercy seat. This was a type of Christ’s blood, which is what it takes to truly cover the sins of the people who break the Ten Commandments that were located inside that ark.

Notice what was on top of that seat: “And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be” (Exodus 25:18-20). Here is a representation of the exalted position Lucifer held at one time. He was the covering cherub before he rebelled.

“And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony [the Ten Commandments] that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel” (verses 21-22). God was making a covenant. What a history Lucifer had with God! It is hard to even fathom.

God originally appointed Lucifer and one third of the angels to rule over Earth. It was God’s testing ground to prepare them to rule the universe. When Lucifer ruled Earth with God’s government, those angels under him were full of joy. It was a wonderful and happy place.

But then he and his angels rebelled.

Learn From History

“Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:15). The word iniquity should be translated lawlessness. Sin is transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). God found lawlessness in Lucifer.

“By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned …” (Ezekiel 28:16). Look at the world today! Why do we see all this violence around us? Why are our major cities plagued with crippling violence? Because Lucifer was filled with violence after he rebelled. He is the god of this world. It is a lawless way of life that will never work.

Verse 16 concludes, [T]herefore 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.” God is simply reminding Satan of his history. His responsibility was to cover the majestic throne of God. No angel was closer to God! Look what he had, and look where he is now! “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. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more” (verses 17-19). It is all over for Satan. He has no future, no hope. God promises that he will never rise again.

Satan and the demons failed dreadfully and disastrously. They disqualified themselves from ruling over the Earth and the universe.

We must look closely at what happened to Lucifer, because he is still in power on this Earth! He despises having his failures exposed. He detests the thought of being cast into outer darkness. He knows his time is short. He is discouraged, depressed and passionately hateful! He has terribly deceptive power, and his primary target is the very elect of God—that means you, if you are in that category!

The First Star Wars

After Satan led one third of the angels to rebel, what did they do? Lucifer became bitter, and he filled the Earth with violence! (Ezekiel 28:16). That is what he’s all about: violence and bitterness. God changed Lucifer’s name from “light-bringer” to “the adversary,” or enemy of God—and that is what he is to this day! “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep [the destroyed surface of the Earth]. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2).

When Satan rebelled against God, he started a war. That left the Earth and the universe “without form, and void,” a state of waste and decay—a state God never created (Genesis 1:2—the word was should be translated became; see also Isaiah 45:18).

God created the universe. It was structured and beautiful. But what do you see today if you look out at the universe? Destruction, decay and bondage. Why? What happened between the time God created it and now? It was destroyed in that same war!

That great star war between the fallen angels and the righteous angels of God devastated not only the face of the Earth but also the planets, the galaxies and the universe! That shows the destructive power of Satan. There was a great war out there, and even though the beings fighting in that war are invisible, you can see how destructive they were to physical things! They can destroy physical things, including physical human beings. They have tremendous power, and the only way to combat that power and overcome it is to have God’s power.

The state of the universe shows you how real and how destructive the true star wars are. We are talking about the real war happening between the stars: the righteous stars and the fallen stars. This is the real star wars!

God recorded this war in many scriptures in your Bible, yet most churches and religions say very little about it. People don’t understand and don’t believe in these wars and their effect on events on Earth right now.

Sons of God Will Rule the Universe

“Because the creature [should read, creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:21-22). The whole universe is in “the bondage of corruption.” How did that happen? Why is the universe pictured here as groaning in travail and pain? Because of the decay and great devastation! All those desolate planets have been greatly damaged. God never creates anything unless it is very good (e.g. Genesis 1:31). That means something went terribly wrong with all these planets; we can see how much damage has been done to them. That is the result of Lucifer and the angels’ rebellion. They have awesome destructive power! Yet few people understand it.

At one time, Lucifer was a covering cherub for God. This powerful being was trained at the headquarters of the universe. But his rebellion led God to eliminate the potential He had given the angels to rule the universe.

When God saw the destruction of the material creation, He realized that He could not trust the angels to rule over it.

The terrible tragedy of Lucifer’s failure forced God to change His whole plan. He went from Plan A to Plan B, because He could see by the fruits that the angelic plan simply wouldn’t work. They didn’t have a high enough level of character. Request a free copy of my booklet The God Family Vision to understand this history.

The only one who can rule the universe is God. Only a God Being could be trusted with such power. So He set in motion a plan even greater than the angelic plan. He decided to re-create Himself. He renewed the face of the Earth and then created a new type of being: mankind.

Believe it or not, the truth of your Bible is that God’s magnificent purpose for human beings on Earth is to be fashioned after His image and likeness (verse 26)—and to actually enter His Family as God beings! That is what God is doing with mankind! That is His magnificent plan! I urge you to request from us a free copy of Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The Incredible Human Potential, which explains this wonderful truth in detail straight from your Bible.

Romans 8 says “children of God” will be the ones to bring liberty and freedomnot just to their personal lives or their families but also to the Earth and the rest of the universe! It plainly tells us that God is preparing human beings to rule over this vast and awesome creation. Why don’t people talk about this more?

Now, if you look at human beings, it is obvious that we are not yet ready to rule the universe. We have become rebellious, sinful and destructive, just like Satan. In fact, Satan and the demons still rule the Earth and have massive influence over human beings.

Satan Broadcasts

Notice Ephesians 2:2: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” This, of course, is referring to Satan the devil. He is the “prince of the power of the air.” He broadcasts his attitudes to mankind like a television signal transmits over the airwaves directly to tv sets.

This is how Satan got to Eve. Read Genesis 3. Satan caused Eve to doubt God. It was all very subtle. Satan did not approach Eve and say, “I am Satan the devil and I command you to choose my way.” No, Satan very subtly and deceptively got to Eve through her human spirit. Here is what Mr. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages: “He [Satan] put doubts in her mind about God’s veracity. He put a sense of injustice and resentment within her. He deceived her into believing God had been unfair—selfish. He subtiley injected vanity of mind. He misled her into thinking it was right to take of the forbidden fruit.” (You may also request a free copy of Mystery of the Ages.)

But what about Adam? There is a clear distinction between what happened to Adam and what happened to Eve. Satan deceived Eve into thinking he was right. Paul wrote, “For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:13-14). Mr. Armstrong wrote, “Adam disobeyed God and sinned deliberately. But even though he was not deceived in this original temptation, his deliberate disobedience of God’s explicit command cut him off from God, producing a state of mental perversion and opening his mind to the deceptions of Satan” (ibid).

And so we read in Genesis 3:7 that “the eyes of them both were opened.” They both acquired this evil, sinful human nature directly from Satan himself. Now, how did the rest of mankind acquire this evil human nature?

The Rest of Mankind

Most in the world today assume this evil nature is something every human being is born with. This theory underestimates the great power of our adversary, Satan the devil. Notice what Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “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). In verse 2, Paul said he desired to present them as a “chaste virgin to Christ.” Paul feared that the Corinthians would revert to their former ways before they came into the knowledge of the truth. Prior to that time, they had been deceived just as Eve was! In other words, directly by Satan’s broadcasting.

Mr. Armstrong wrote in the June 1976 Good News, “Eve did not have a mind that was evil before Satan came along and confronted her. But Satan, by subtlety, deceived Eve. Eve’s children were not born with this evil nature. Nor were the people of the Corinthian church. But Paul feared lest Satan, still around after some 4,000 years, pervert Corinthian minds directly, as he had done to Eve.”

Like Eve, the rest of mankind after her has been deceived. Mr. Armstrong went on to write: “[T]he selfishness, hostility, deceitfulness, wickedness, rebellion, etc that we call ‘human nature’ is actually Satan’s nature. It is Satan’s attitude. And broadcasting it, surcharging the air with it, Satan actually now works in the unsuspecting all over the world today! That is how Satan deceives the whole world today (Revelation 12:9; 20:3).”

We have seen that Lucifer acquired his evil nature through false reasoning. Eve acquired it through Satan. Adam, though he wasn’t deceived, likewise acquired his evil nature through false reasoning under the influence of Satan. And today, we live in a world where everyone has acquired this evil human nature—not from heredity—not from the environment—but directly from Satan the devil. That is why Revelation 12:9 says: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world ….” Churches today do not want to believe this verse. The whole world is deceived. The very fact that they are deceived means they don’t know it!

Notice 2 Corinthians 4:4: “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not ….” Satan is the god of this world. And notice, he has blinded mankind. The world didn’t inherit an evil nature. It was caused by Satan. He is the prince of the power of the air. People cannot see Satan. That is what makes him so deceptive. He gets to us through the human spirit. Satan’s attitudes of self-centeredness, anger, envy and strife begin to affect us when we are small babies. Those attitudes revolving around self become absorbed and eventually become normal. In other words, they become habitual. As Mr. Armstrong often said, “That which has become habitual and therefore natural becomes a nature within us.” That is why so many assume we were all born with an evil, self-centered nature—because it seems so natural and normal to be that way.

Obviously, this human nature manifests itself in varying degrees. One person can become more evil than another. But the overall attitude of vanity and self-centeredness is something we all have and must overcome. That can only be done by the power of God living in us.

Human Nature Defined in the Bible

Adam and Eve were not created in a state of rebellion and sin. They were created incomplete. They needed the Spirit of God.

Jeremiah 17:9 reads: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Yet Genesis shows Adam and Eve to be “good” and obedient prior to the temptation by Satan. So when there are verses in the Bible that describe the evil, sinful nature of carnal-minded man, they are speaking of a human mind that has been deceived by Satan, like Eve—a mind that has Satan’s nature. A human being without God’s knowledge, who has been swayed and deceived by Satan’s nature, is one who is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.”

Notice this simple, yet profound, definition of human nature, as written in Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The Missing Dimension in Sex: “Human nature is, simply, the subconscious pull of a definite attitude of mind. It is the attitude that became Satan’s. It is the natural attitude implanted from infancy by the invisible Satan. It is the attitude of vanity—of self-concern—of lust and greed. It is the attitude of hostility to others, and resentment of authority over it.” (Request your free copy of The Missing Dimension in Sex.)

Notice Romans 8:7: “Because the carnal mind [a mind apart from God’s Spirit] is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” When we understand that it is actually Satan’s nature in us and that we are not born with it, we can clearly understand why man is wicked and hostile toward God: because Satan hates God.

Satan’s Power

If you want to really understand Satan’s power, look at Isaiah 14. “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 …” (verses 12-13). “Above the stars” means above all the angels—but Satan has even greater ambition than that.

Notice: “… 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” (verses 13-14). Here God records Lucifer’s thoughts as he prepared an attempt to depose God and steal His throne! That was Lucifer’s ambition! It was an insane attempt against the all-powerful Creator, but Satan was so full of self-will, vanity and bitterness, he actually tried it.

“Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell [the grave], to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man [should read, one] that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms” (verses 15-16). This power actually shakes kingdoms and makes the Earth tremble! A lot of people on Earth tremble today because of this evil being and his fallen angels. These “stars” exert tremendous influence over men, because men absorb that same rebellious spirit.

The Emphasized Bible refers to Satan in verse 12 as “crusher of nations.” The American Standard Version says he “didst lay low the nations.” The Jerusalem Bible uses the phrase “enslaved the nations.”

Who today really believes that Satan has the power to crush nations or lay nations low or enslave nations? Do you believe Satan has power like that?

Your Bible says Satan and his demonic fallen stars have power over human beings and even nations! That is why they cause so many problems and get involved in such wars. They have nothing but bitterness and wrath in their minds because of their rebellion against God. That is the way it is when angels or when humans rebel against God. We enter into a bitterness that’s almost like an addiction to heroin. It is extremely dangerous.

And think about this: If he can do that to the nations, what can he do to you?

The Prince of the Kingdom of Persia

Daniel 12:4 shows that this prophetic book was written for “the time of the end.” In verse 9, the angel speaking to the prophet says, “Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”

This prophecy was recorded some 2,500 years ago. For 2½ millenniums, its meaning has been closed up and sealed. But we are living in the time of the end today, and God has unsealed this prophecy! He has revealed its meaning. (You can prove this from our free booklet Daniel—Unsealed at Last!) That is a gigantic miracle! What a thrill and a wonder to be able to understand this prophecy.

Satan is always ferociously fighting to keep God’s Word sealed.

Daniel recorded how Satan even fought to prevent this prophetic book from being recorded in the first place! God had given the prophecy to Gabriel—one of three archangels, the highest-ranking angels, mentioned in the Bible—to deliver to Daniel. But as Gabriel was delivering the book to Daniel, he was attacked by Satan the devil!

In Daniel’s prophecy, Gabriel is recorded as saying, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days …” (Daniel 10:13). This “prince of the kingdom of Persia” is the devil. Only he has such power to be able to fight against Gabriel!

Why is Satan called “the prince of the kingdom of Persia”? The kingdom of Persia in this prophecy is the world-ruling Medo-Persian Empire, which has been written about at length in history books. Satan is called the prince of Persia because he had that much control over that world-ruling empire!

Can you believe that? This is what happens in these great world-ruling empires; that’s why they are so evil and why they do such deadly, destructive things.

Satan does get control over world-ruling empires. People may scoff at that idea, but it is the truth, and you can prove it to yourself.

Continuing in verse 13: “[A]nd behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia” (New King James Version). This prince of Persia was fighting against Gabriel, God’s archangel, so it is obviously referring to Satan the devil and his fallen angels. This was a great battle in the star wars of the Bible.

Clearly, Satan has awesome power. Gabriel and Michael are the most powerful beings in the universe except for God the Father and Jesus Christ—and yet Satan was there fighting against them very effectively. God made the archangels do the fighting against this former archangel, and they did eventually defeat him.

This is the real star wars! Satan has forceful rule and power over the rulers of the world. He empowers them to cause destruction. And very soon, according to the prophecies of the Bible, he is going to cause the greatest crisis ever on Earth. He is fighting against God. He knows his time is short! (Revelation 12:12). Why is it short? Because Christ is about to return and kick him off his throne forever and bring this world peace, joy and happiness that it should have had from the very beginning.

Fighting the Devil Today

Daniel’s prophecy continues, “Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come” (Daniel 10:14; nkjv). “Many days,” indeed! In fact, it wasn’t even unsealed for another 2,500 years!

Gabriel was delivering the prophetic message of this very book of Daniel, and he told Daniel it would explain what would happen to “your people” in the latter days. Daniel was from the tribe of Judah of the nation of Israel. This prophecy is for the end-time nations that descended from the biblical nation of Israel! If you haven’t proved which nations those are, request free copies of The United States and Britain in Prophecy and The Key of David.

Why would Satan fight so hard to stop this message? He obviously sees the great value of the book of Daniel and wants to thwart God’s purpose by stamping it out!

Think about this for a moment. Satan is alive today, and he still hates the book of Daniel. If he would fight so hard to prevent the book of Daniel from ever being written, what do you think he would do today when God has revealed this book and what it means for us in the latter days? You can be sure he would fight even harder to stop this book today! That’s the way Satan operates. He is a spirit, and he is alive, and he hates anybody who talks about these prophecies of the end—because they describe how his works are about to be destroyed.

If you understand what this means, you realize that you cannot hang on to this truth unless you are willing to fight and conquer the devil! Ephesians 6:12 describes how God’s people are locked in battle with spiritual wickedness and powers in high places on Earth! Most people read over such scriptures and don’t believe them—or if they do, they certainly don’t act like it.

Do you and I believe in this book enough to fight for it?

The Prince of Grecia

After Gabriel delivered this prophecy, he went back to fighting the prince of Persia. But he first warned Daniel that “when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come” (Daniel 10:20).

As this verse makes clear, Satan was not also called the “prince of Grecia” at this time. This is referring to Alexander the Great, of the Greco-Macedonian Empire, who was about to come on the scene. Satan hadn’t yet gotten control of Alexander, but you can be sure Satan was going to viciously fight for all the power God would allow him to have! After all, God had prophesied he would come, and Satan wanted to stop those prophecies from being fulfilled! The devil worked to help the Medo-Persian Empire continue just to thwart God’s Bible prophecies.

That effort failed. God has a master plan, and He’s not going to let this ex-archangel stop that. Just as God prophesied, Alexander’s empire conquered the Medo-Persian Empire. Lange’s Commentary says that the book of Daniel was actually written right around the time Alexander was rising in power and the Persian Empire was beginning to fall, and there was a great clash between the two.

Though Satan couldn’t stop that prophecy from happening, he did eventually get control of Alexander as well. We know that because the Bible says all of those great world-ruling Gentile empires were heavily influenced by Satan. He has guided them and even controlled them in many cases. So Satan probably would have been called the prince of Grecia, or of the Greco-Macedonian Empire, at a later time.

If we don’t recognize just how great Satan’s power really is, how could we possibly avoid being deceived—or worse—by that great being?

Think again about the sequence of events revealed in this passage in Daniel. Satan attacked God’s Work—Gabriel’s message to Daniel—and then he went back to the kings of Persia. Satan knows what is most important on this Earth: God’s Work! God’s message—God’s revelation. Satan always attacks God’s Work first! Then he goes back to the kings of the Earth and does all he can to influence them or even control them. That is how he operates.

Satan’s History

Ezekiel 28:12 says, “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” This is an interesting verse because it starts out talking about a king, and then it starts talking about a being “full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” That’s not talking about a human king. It’s talking about Lucifer, who became Satan the devil.

In this verse, Satan and “the king” are used interchangeably. What does that mean? It means that Satan was really the king of Tyre! God talks about the king of Tyrus and Satan the devil almost as one and the same, because Satan rules over kings!

“[T]hou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more” (verse 19). God will put a stop to it, but Satan is a terror to this world! He is a terrorist—the supreme terrorist on Earth—and he rules over all terrorists! How many people understand that? He is really the one behind all the violence and terrorism and evil in our world today!

Can the United States win its “war against terror” without God on our side? No we cannot. Satan is too strong and powerful. It is also clear, if you know Satan, that you will get nowhere trying to win that war through negotiation. Satan is the king of terror! Anyone who thinks he can be overcome without a real war is completely ignorant of just how powerful the devil is!

That is the clear message of the Bible. But if you tried to explain that to a scholar in this world, he would say that was nonsense. But the truth is, the only way we can overcome or conquer terror is to have God’s power, which is far greater than any power Satan has. But we turn away from God today, so we have no spiritual power.

Daniel 8:10-12 also talk about these stars: “the host and of the stars” were cast to the ground. That is, the very work of the angels of God was cast to the ground because 95 percent of God’s own people rebelled and transgressed. They left themselves without God’s power, and Satan just took over God’s Church. He not only takes over nations, he takes over God’s own Church if the people don’t obey Him (“A Demon Army!” page 16). That is the kind of power Satan has. Yes, these star wars go on even inside God’s Church! These invisible beings—evil beings and God’s angels—are battling against or with God’s people. The effectiveness of those righteous angels depends on how obedient the people are.

Why End-Time Crises Intensify

Isaiah prophesied of a beautifully peaceful time just ahead of us. “The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing” (Isaiah 14:7).

Just before that happens, there will be an unparalleled crisis. The Assyrians, or Germans, will conquer Israel. However, God will break the Assyrians in Israel’s land. That is just the opposite of what happened in Israel’s first captivity (718 b.c.). This is obviously a prophecy that is yet to occur in the near future! This Assyrian attack on Israel will be inspired by Satan in this end time. Of course, this all fits into God’s plan (Isaiah 10:5-6).

“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 [one] that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms” (Isaiah 14:12-16). This is the story of Satan being cast down to the Earth when he tried to overthrow God. Isaiah then places this event in the context of the end time. Why? Because Satan is cast down again in these latter days!

This is a being who has “made the earth to tremble”—he has the power to “shake kingdoms”! And now he has been cast down to this Earth again. “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Revelation 12:12). “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth” when this satanic powerhouse is cast down. And this time he has “great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Satan knows his time is short because the gospel has already been preached around the world (Matthew 24:14).

We publish books or booklets on all the major prophets. Two of them—Isaiah’s End-Time Vision and Ezekiel—The End-Time Prophet—discuss Satan being cast down (see Ezekiel 28). We discuss Satan in detail. Only the Philadelphia Church of God understands Satan today. Only we reveal Satan to the Laodiceans and the world.

God’s Church understands what Satan is planning and doing, and we expose it to all who will heed. That is why Satan hates us most of all and persecutes us so intensely. “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child” (Revelation 12:12-13).

This Earth has never experienced the full wrath of Satan until this end time! He has already conquered the Laodicean Church. The majority of God’s own people have been deceived. He caused a Church split. That could only happen through his unparalleled, wrathful deceit. It is one of his greatest feats in this end time! He persecutes the Church intensely until God’s Philadelphians must flee to a place of safety (verse 14). Next, Satan focuses his great wrath on bringing the nations of Israel down.

This world has changed dramatically since Herbert W. Armstrong died. Everything indicates that Satan was cast down around that time. And now this world is on a downhill plunge to destruction!

How can we protect ourselves from this powerful and violent spirit being? God gives us the solution in the same chapter that describes Satan being cast down. “What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it” (Isaiah 14:32). God has founded Zion, or God’s Church. The Laodicean Zion has rebelled. But there is a Zion doing God’s Work and resisting Satan’s powerful onslaught. And God’s people “trust in it”—the Zion that God is using. They will trust God to protect them from Satan’s attack. They are “poor,” or meek and humble. Only God can lead and protect them. The Revised Standard Version translates verse 32 this way: “… The Lord has founded Zion, and in her the afflicted of his people find refuge.” Obeying God causes them to be “afflicted.” They remain loyal, and God gives them “refuge” from the Great Tribulation. A cataclysmic storm is coming—only God can protect us!

We have seen the bloodcurdling horrors of World War ii. That was mild compared to the nuclear holocaust that is fast approaching (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21). Nothing has ever happened on this Earth to compare with it! Nothing!

The Revelation 13 Beast

Revelation 13 provides one of the Bible’s most vivid descriptions of Satan’s power.

Here is a vision the Apostle John received of a beast, representing a political power that has dominated human history. “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy” (Revelation 13:1). This is a frightening world power!

This beast represents the Roman Empire, which started in 31 b.c. This world-ruling empire absorbed all the empires that preceded it and occupied their territory. Compare verse 2 with Daniel 7, and you see the components of those other empires: the head of the lion, like the Babylonian Empire; the legs of the bear, like the Persian Empire; the swiftness, cunning and cruelty of the leopard, which symbolized Alexander’s Greco-Macedonian Empire. Its seven heads include all seven of the heads of the four beasts described in Daniel 7.

Daniel likened those other empires to animals on Earth. But this beast cannot be described in such simple terms. It is so dreadful, there’s no beast on Earth like it!

Revelation 13:2 concludes, “… the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” This is why this political beast has “the name of blasphemy”—because it is empowered by Satan! He hates God and speaks blasphemy against God all the time! (verses 5-6).

What influence Satan has! This is why we have never had peace in this world. Men don’t know why we can’t have peace—but the Bible makes it clear.

“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death …” (verse 3). That is when the Roman Empire was defeated in a.d. 476. But that was not the end of this beast! Verse 3 continues, “[A]nd his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” After that deadly wound was healed, the Roman Empire surfaced in various forms down through the ages even to our present day! It is a religio-political combine that is the most dreadful beast that has ever been!

In fact, it has been resurrected six times, and the seventh and final resurrection of this beast is occurring right now!

The whole world wondered after this beast! This is talking specifically about the very last of the resurrections of the Roman Empire. This power is rising right now on the world scene! You need to understand that.

Look at John’s prophecy of what we are about to see: “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?” (verse 4). People will actually worship the dragon!

This will be a combine of church and state. It will become the most frightening beast this world has ever experienced—a superpower of superpowers.

Nothing will change these prophecies. We can’t wish them away. We must face reality!

Conquering the Devil

Revelation 13:5 shows that this final resurrection of the beast will only last 42 months. Then the good news comes! That beast is going to be stopped. After a short 3½ years, Jesus Christ is going to return and will conquer it!

This monumental event of all history will happen in our lifetime!

We must respect how great Satan’s power is and realize that only God can conquer it. Satan will do all he can to conquer us, and God wants us to draw on His power to conquer Satan instead. All those who are called during this present age must do so.

The Bible tells us how to protect ourselves from the devil very effectively. We must learn how to overcome Satan. If we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil, he will flee from us (James 4:7). God will show us how to conquer.

God assures us in His Word that we can conquer Satan. And He shows us how. With God on your side, you won’t have to fear the devil. You will always be a step ahead of him.

Those who do conquer and overcome the devil enjoy the kind of successful, happy, abundant lives that God wants all of us to live!

Why won’t men listen to God? Why won’t they quit worshiping the devil and heeding his message and refusing to hear God’s message?

You can turn your life around. You can conquer any problem that comes your way—if you will just obey what God tells you to do. That is the best thing you could ever do in your life.

Join the Fight!

Though so few people believe it, this world needs this message. They need the message of God to understand why they are here, what is happening on Earth, and what it all means. People are in confusion and into all kinds of destructive thoughts and activities. But there is a great future ahead of us. We need to understand the real star wars—and what God and those righteous stars are fighting for! It’s about nothing less than our purpose for existing!

Romans 8 says God is preparing “children of God”—human beings—to rule the Earth and the universe. But to reach that stage in His master plan, God is going in several successive steps. Right now, God is not yet trying to make all human beings—or even all who consider themselves Christians—into “children of God”! He has actually chosen only a little flock today to come out of this world.

That tiny church that Jesus Christ founded is preparing to marry Him and help Him bring liberty and freedom, joy and happiness to the Earth, and then to the universe.

Those who respond to this calling now, before Christ returns, are merely the firstfruits. God is going to use them as His Bride to rule with Him in the World Tomorrow from His headquarters—and open up salvation to all mankind. They will have a remarkable, amazing reward for what they do today to get this message out to the world. They will help Christ lead His entire Family to rule over the Earth and then all the universe!

We get to bring liberty, real freedom, to the entire universe! No more suffering! No more pain! No more star wars! What could be more wonderful and exciting? The real star wars God has revealed are a campaign to eliminate all wars, all unhappiness, all pain, all suffering and all misery.

Look around! Are all the problems and disasters you see in our world what God wanted for mankind? No. We have these curses because people rebel against God. People need to be taught to obey God to receive all of the wonderful blessings He has for all of us!

If you respond to God today, you get directly involved in those star wars, and you have God and His righteous angels helping you fight the destructive power of Satan and the fallen angels. That is how we prepare to rule with God.

I hope this real star wars becomes vivid in your mind so you can see what it is all about and see God’s master plan. The people of God are fighting in this evil world today, fighting ferociously, to win this battle for God. And we absolutely will win! We cannot lose if we are loyal to God!

A Demon Army!

We need to clearly understand the meaning of the word host in Daniel 8. “And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land” (verse 9). The little horn is Antiochus. This is a type of the coming leader of the Holy Roman Empire. But it is also a type of a leader inside God’s own Church.

There is a duality here. First, there is an Antiochus used by Satan to destroy God’s Church, spiritual Israel, from the inside. Then there is an Antiochus, leading the Holy Roman Empire, who destroys the nations of Israel.

“And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them” (verse 10). The Revised Standard Version reads “of the host of the stars.” God’s own people are helped by the stars, or angels, of God (Revelation 1:20), if they desire help. This evil power “stamped upon them”—the end-time Laodiceans—those saints of God who transgressed God’s law.

Strong’s Concordance defines host this way: “a mass of persons, … especiallyorganized for war” and “soldiers,” “army.” The expression also means to muster soldiers for warfare.

Host can refer to an army of demons, angels or men. God has an army of angels and saints. Satan has an army of demons and men—in this case sinning saints.

“Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down” (Daniel 8:11). These words are written in military terms. The Prince of the host is Christ. The word to should be against. This Antiochus inside God’s Church is fighting against Christ.

There are two great sins. The daily, or Work of God, has been taken away by this evil man. Also, the place of the sanctuary, the place where God’s Work was being done, was cast down.

This evil Antiochus took over God’s Church. Only the very elect remained loyal to God and were used to continue His Work.

God’s Work is always done through men and women. It takes time to continue God’s Work when it has been destroyed.

“And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered” (verse 12). This evil Antiochus was given an army of God’s own people to fight against God! Satan gave him this army because God’s people sinned.

In 2 Thessalonians 2, this same event is called “a great falling away” in the Greek. That is another way of saying they were “casting truth to the ground,” or destroying the faith of God’s people.

First you must have the truth to cast it to the ground! Who had the truth in this end time? God sent an end-time Elijah (Herbert W. Armstrong) to “restore all things” (Matthew 17:10-11).

Elijah had to be the source of this truth discussed in Daniel 8, because he restored all things—all major truth in this end time!

Then, after the Church rebelled, God commanded His very elect to “prophesy again” (Revelation 10:11). We must do the continual by prophesying again as Mr. Armstrong did—with new revelation added, as always.

This is all so very simple and logical if we understand God’s truth.

The great responsibility that each of God’s members has is to keep the world and sin out of God’s Church. It is a continual battle when you have God’s truth. Satan is totally committed to destroying that truth.

We must fight to keep Satan and transgression out. That means you must have God’s government—headed by a leader like Mr. Armstrong—to implement God’s law. This is where the Laodiceans have transgressed. They rejected the government God gave to Mr. Armstrong. Only the pcg continues that same identical government. Every one of the Laodicean groups have rejected God’s government. That is why they are Laodicean!

What is our spiritual war about? It’s about fighting for truth. Once we have the truth, it is our basic duty to keep Satan from casting it to the ground. We are God’s loyal host—defenders of the faith.

Implementing God’s government and law is the only way to protect God’s precious truth.

God’s Church has suffered probably the worst defeat ever in this end time. And it all revolves around rejecting God’s government. That is where the great transgression lies.

Where do you find this war of Daniel 8 today? If we know God’s truth, the answer is painfully clear!

The host, or God’s own army, has been “trodden under foot” because of its rebellion (verse 13). This is the greatest crisis in this end time! Why? Because many of those Laodicean people will lose their salvation. Nothing could be more serious.

The Last End

Daniel didn’t understand this vision God was giving him. God sent the archangel Gabriel to Daniel to explain (Daniel 8:15-16). “Understand, O son of man,” Gabriel said, “for at the time of the end shall be the vision” (verse 17). That means what it says! Though prophecy is dual, and this passage was fulfilled in part by Antiochus Epiphanes in the second century b.c., its main fulfillment is for “the time of the end”—the time immediately preceding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to this Earth.

“Now as he was speaking with me,” Daniel wrote, “I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be” (verses 18-19). This all unfolds in the “last end”—the end of the end time, as we have often said. We are in that time! Notice it says, “for at the time appointed the end shall be.” The time appointed at the “last end” is referring to a specific period of a few years that has already come and gone (I explain this in my free booklet Daniel—Unsealed at Last!). This means there is not much more time left before Christ returns.

Skip down to verse 23: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.” Keep in mind the context. The main fulfillment of this is for the time of the end. It’s still speaking about what’s happening inside the Church. It’s a time when transgressors, or sinners, “are come to the full”—during the Laodicean era, led by a man of sin.

“And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people” (verse 24). There is a far greater power here than just a physical being. Satan is behind this man. As we have taught in the past, this verse does refer to a Satan-inspired man leading the great false church to rally a united Europe. In type, this verse applies to that Hitler-type leader. He will be the leader of the Holy Roman Empire.

The next verse is even more descriptive: “And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (verse 25). This man will destroy many people by preaching peace, peace—or love, love—but he practices the opposite. His is a policy of craft, or deceit, as it reads in the Revised Standard Version.

Satan is to blame above all. He is the father of lies and deceit (John 8:44). He never comes with warlike rhetoric—it’s always with words of “love” and “peace.” (Paul even said the devil is disguised as an “angel of light” in 2 Corinthians 11:14.) But make no mistake, Satan comes to destroy! He destroys by peace and, as Lange’s Commentary adds, “with suddenness, by a malignant surprise.”

In verse 26 of chapter 8, Daniel writes, “And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.” Today we are right in the midst of it. This is happening in God’s temple. This whole vision is about God’s Church right now—the last end. Daniel is trying to get us to see the kind of warfare going on behind the scenes.

This is the only time of salvation for those members called into the Church of God today. Judgment is now on us. If we fail this time, there is no second chance.

God gets very specific with this prophecy. It’s carefully planned to the very day! What a loving God we have. If God did so much to help Daniel fight against Satan while this was being revealed, what kind of battle do you think we will face as God opens our minds to actually understand and proclaim this message? Satan is raging mad right now. He’s been cast down to this Earth and his sight is fixed on you—your faith. How will you respond to his attack? Will you be like so many Laodiceans who have caved in to the pressure? Or will you respond as Daniel did?

“And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it” (verse 27). He was astonished and he didn’t even understand it! Now that you understand, how astonished are you?

Worldly Scholarship

The Apostle Paul warns us against being led astray by a man. “And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words” (Colossians 2:4). Verses 8 and 18 thunder the same warning! A man can easily lead us astray “with enticing words” if we aren’t spiritually alert.

Paul was absent because he was in jail (verse 5). Today, Herbert W. Armstrong is absent because of death. Still, we are admonished to remain steadfast in the faith. We must learn to follow God—not men.

Rooted in Christ

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7). We are told to keep ourselves rooted in what we have received in the past. At the time this was written, the Laodiceans were getting away from what Christ had taught them through Paul. The end-time Laodiceans are getting away from what Christ taught them through Mr. Armstrong.

We must be “rooted and built up in him [Christ].” Our command is to hold fast to what Christ has taught us! The big focus of our lives must be to get “rooted” in that truth. There is great danger in this area. This is the area where thousands of God’s people are being deceived today!

It is virtually impossible to uproot a strong tree. The roots are planted so firmly in the ground that a violent storm can’t uproot it. This is what God says we must be like spiritually. Our eternal life is at stake, so we must be deeply rooted in God’s truth!

In this end time, that means we must be well grounded in all of Mr. Armstrong’s major books. The church that he founded has discontinued all of them! We must master all of the truths that Christ established through Mr. Armstrong. The Laodiceans are doing just the opposite.

The Philadelphians also must be grounded in what God is revealing to the Philadelphia Church of God today. That certainly includes the centerpiece of our literature, Malachi’s Message. That book is what brings members into this Church. God REVEALED that message!

It’s so easy to continually seek “new truth” instead of getting ourselves deeply rooted into the foundational truths—“as ye have been taught.” This is where the Laodiceans failed in the first century, and this is where they are failing today! Because they are not “rooted and built up” in Christ, they get deceived and drawn into worldly pursuits.

Deceit Through Philosophy

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). The Laodiceans are deceived by vain philosophy and wrong education of this world.

Instead of being “rooted and built up,” the Laodiceans destroy what has been built by Christ. This happened anciently and was prophesied to happen in the end time. And it has happened!

Here is one example of what I mean. The Worldwide Church of God (wcg) discontinued The United States and Britain in Prophecy after debating whether that book was God-inspired truth or only speculation. Of course, you can prove it is God’s truth. And it doesn’t need to be debated—just believed! That book is not flawed. Their faith is flawed!

As part of their deception, for a while wcg leaders acted like they might bring the book back into circulation. But prophecy in Revelation 3:7 discusses only the Philadelphians, not the Laodiceans, as having the “key of David,” which is the understanding of prophecy—especially about David’s throne and Israel. The discontinuing of that book was another major Laodicean act. They are not “rooted” in Jesus Christ but in their own ideas.

Paul warns us not to let a man “spoil” us through philosophy. Individuals become the deceivers’ spoil, or victims, by allowing themselves to be turned away from what they have been taught. Vain philosophy turns them from what they should have been rooted in.

Listen to what K.J. Stavrinides, a wcg scholar, wrote in an article about the trinity in the January-February 1991 Reviews You Can Use: “[T]he Worldwide Church of God has made a clear distinction between issues that are strictly biblical, and issues that are essentially theological or philosophical. The former are easily accessible through the Bible in any translation, while the latter require special training or expertise” (emphasis mine). When you get into the theology or philosophy issues, you need “special training or expertise.”

Then the wcg leaders instructed people to look to their scholars. They would have you believe the laymen are just too incompetent to grasp such issues!

That is what the Laodicean ministers said anciently! The people believed them and were led astray. Now we see history repeating itself. Satan is using the same strategy again. Why not? It worked so effectively before.

The word philosophy means “love of wisdom.” However, it’s wisdom of this world—inspired by Satan the devil!

‘Rudiments of the World’

Vain philosophy is “after the rudiments of the world” (Colossians 2:8). What does that mean? The New Testament in Today’s English Version translates that expression as “ruling spirits of the universe.” Most commentaries give a very similar meaning. Here is how Thayer’s Lexicon defines “after the rudiments of the world”: “to invade, of evils coming into existence among men and beginning to exert their power.”

Verse 18 explains it in context: “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.” The Laodiceans were guilty of “worshiping angels.” Angels are not to be worshiped. Only God should be worshiped. However, this is referring to fallen angels, or demons!

Many of God’s own people in the first century and the last century turned to worshiping demons! In verse 8, Paul is discussing a demon attack through “philosophy and vain deceit,” or wrong spiritual education!

Christ built a strong work through Mr. Armstrong that spanned the globe. Mr. Armstrong was used to establish three dynamic colleges for God that produced abundant fruits over several decades.

Mr. Armstrong was used by God for 55 years to do the most powerful Work of God in 2,000 years! Now the Laodicean leaders are teaching “philosophy and vain deceit” in place of God’s truth. Paul calls that being “vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind” (verse 18). It’s worshiping human vanity and demons!

“Intruding” in verse 18 means “to invade, make a hostile incursion into” (Thayer’s Lexicon). The Laodicean churches of the past and present were invaded by Satan. Those churches today are still under satanic attack. And Satan uses men! “Let no man beguile you … [as he is] intruding into those things which he hath not seen ….” Most texts omit “not.” The demons are inspiring men to invade or intrude “into those things which he has seen”! It’s as if the Laodicean leaders are invading God’s holy of holies. They were a part of God’s highest inner circle and are now betraying that trust!

The wcg has rejected all of Mr. Armstrong’s books, his strong prophecy message and all the major doctrines on which the Church was founded. Those top Laodicean leaders have intruded into and changed many of God’s truths which they professed to believe when Mr. Armstrong was alive. Anybody should be able to see their blatant hypocrisy!