Satan's Deception, Now and Later
So we understand at least one reason why the devil and his rebel army are permitted to work on this planet: for the purpose of deceiving those who love darkness.
This truth is further validated when we consider that according to the book of Revelation, Satan will one day be bound by an angel and incarcerated for a thousand years. The reason for his incarceration? "That he should not deceive the nations any longer" (Rev. 20:3). During that Millennium, Jesus will personally rule the world from Jerusalem.
But after those thousand years, Satan will be released for a short period of time. The result? He "will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth" (Rev. 20:8).
If God doesn't want Satan to deceive people at that time, why will He release him? Especially in light of the fact that God originally incarcerated Satan "that he should not deceive the nations any longer"?
God, of course, would prefer that Satan never deceive anyone. But He knows that the only people whom Satan can deceive are those who don't believe what He Himself has said. Satan can only deceive those who reject the truth, and that is why God permits him to operate now, and why He will permit Satan to operate then. As Satan deceives people, the condition of people's hearts is made apparent, and then God can sort the "wheat from the tares" (see Matt. 13:24-30).
This is exactly what will happen at the end of the Millennium when Satan is released. He will deceive all those who love darkness, and they will then gather their armies around Jerusalem in an attempt to overthrow Christ's rule. God will know exactly who loves Him and who hates Him, and thus He will immediately send "fire from heaven" that will "devour them" (Rev. 20:10). Satan will serve God's purposes then just as he does now. For this reason among others, it is foolish to think that we can "pull down territorial spirits." God allows them to operate for His own reasons.
|Read the previous article in this series,
This is God's Plan
This article is an excerpt from the book, The Disciple-Making Minister. The actual book itself may be ordered by visiting our online store. To view our copyright policy, click here. © 2013 by David Servant