Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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December 2, 1998
Last Updated :
September 25, 2012
Trampling On The Trail Of Satan! The Truth Of The Beast Of The Book Of Revelation Revealed?
Moving up to chapter fourteen which continues the judgment against Babylon, we find the exact same kind of sudden twist in the Scriptures as we found in the prophecies against Tyrus, Egypt and Assyria. First we are told of the human king who is being judged, and then all of a sudden we discover that the Lord is also prophesying against Satan himself through a series of cryptic verses. Consider these Scriptures which suddenly appear right in the middle of the prophecy against Babylon:
"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."
Isaiah 14:12-15, KJV
Here we see a very clear reference to Satan's fall from Heaven. In the translator's notes to this verse, we are told that the alternate translation for Lucifer here is "day star"; thus it could be read, "O day star, son of the morning! As we know from other verses in the Bible, stars are also symbolic of the sons of God. As I have shown elsewhere, such as in the series "Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth", Satan was indeed counted among the sons of God in the book of Job. We also find this verse in the book of Job describing the sons of God who beheld Creation:
"When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
Job 38:7, KJV
The fact that Satan, via the king of Babylon, wanted to exalt his throne, or seat, to Heaven goes right along with other verses we have read previously:
The prince of Tyrus:
"Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:"
Ezekiel 28:2, KJV
"Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
2 Thessalonians 2:4, KJV
In thinking about Satan being fallen from Heaven and cut down to the ground, the Lord immediately reminded me of something Jesus Himself said:
"And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."
Luke 10:18, KJV
What I find interesting about this verse is that it comes only a few verses after the ones where Jesus mentions the destruction of Tyre -- or Tyrus -- and Sidon -- or Zidon -- which are the two cities which Ezekiel prophesied against as discussed earlier in this series. In this verse about lightning, could Jesus have been referring to Satan's fall as the king of Tyrus? Look at those phrases from the verse in Isaiah: "How art thou fallen from heaven" and "cut down to the ground". They are identical to what Jesus said: "lighting fall from heaven". When we see lightning, doesn't it seem to cut or slice through the atmosphere like a knife? Doesn't lightning quite often strike the ground or Earth? The connection seems obvious to me.
After these unusual verses nestled in the middle of Isaiah chapter fourteen, as with the other prophecies, the words of the prophet are then re-directed at the human king who is being prophesied against. In fact, one interesting point is that in verse twenty-five of this same chapter, we see the Lord referring to the king of Babylon as "the Assyrian":
"That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders."
Isaiah 14:25, KJV
The reason for this is quite simple. As I explained in the article "The Kings of the North and the South", when these various empires took over each other, they absorbed part of their culture, language, customs, etc. As pointed out in that article, King Nebuchadnezzar even spoke or understood Syriac. Perhaps he was even of a Syrian bloodline.
If we put together all of the Scriptures I have shared up to this point, we find that we have thus far followed Satan's trail from Heaven to Eden, to Egypt, to Assyria, to Babylon, to Medo-Persia, to Greece. If you are familiar with world history, then you are probably aware that following the Grecian era, the strong-fisted Roman empire came into power. The question is, are there any Biblical indications of Satan flexing his power and defying God as in all of these previous leaders? There most certainly is! As discussed in my in-depth study of the Daniel prophecies in the article "The Kings of the North and the South", Rome was represented in Daniel chapter two by a pair of iron legs. In the seventh chapter we see Rome symbolized by a fourth dreadful beast from which ten horns later arise followed by an eleventh horn after them:
"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things."
Daniel 7:7-8, KJV
Notice that, just like the former earthly rulers we have discussed who Satan used to try to exalt himself up to Heaven, this horn has "the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things". This idea of speaking great things is again repeated in verse twenty:
"And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows."
Daniel 7:20, KJV
The prophet Daniel is obviously deeply impressed by this eleventh horn or king who rises out of the ruins of the Roman empire, for he tells us a third time, and even more clearly, that this leader will blaspheme God, just as Satan does:
"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."
Daniel 7:25, KJV
Thus, it is now clear through Scriptures that Satan was not only present during the time of the ancient Roman Empire, but that he continues to be present in its final remains almost two thousand years later today. The question is, who are these ten horns, and who is this eleventh horn? If you have read my article entitled "The Kings of the North and the South", you will know that my current belief is that this eleventh horn is the Beast who we discussed earlier, who will arise out of the Middle East.
In Daniel chapter eight we see another connection in following the trail of Satan through the Grecian Empire. As pointed out in the Daniel articles, following Alexander the Great's demise, his empire was divided up by his four primary generals. From following the clues, I deduced that it would be from the Syrian/Babylonian sector that the Antichrist would arise. In the eight chapter, we find the following verses which again show a horn, or worldly leader, exalting himself to Heaven:
"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. 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. 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 8:9-11, KJV
This idea of magnifying himself against God is clarified for us even further in the twenty-fifth verse of the same chapter where we see him challenging Jesus Himself!:
"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."
Daniel 8:25, KJV
The exploits of this fierce king who arises out of one of the four sectors of the ancient Grecian Empire continues in Daniel chapter eleven, and it is there that we find additional proof that he is indeed Satan's tool for the hour:
"And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done."
Daniel 11:36, KJV
In case you are a little confused as to how this demonic leader can arise out of both Rome and Greece and still be the same person, the answer is really simple. Just remember that as each empire overtook the one before it, it also took over the land, people and culture of the previous empire. While Daniel first tells us that ten horns and then an eleventh horn will arise out of Rome, this is not specific enough for us to determine the possible place of origin of the Antichrist. By telling us that he will also arise out of one of the four sectors of the Grecian Empire which came before it, this helps to narrow down our search considerably. If you would like to understand this more fully, please refer to the aforementioned "The Kings of the North and the South". The best way to understand this is to pretend that each prophecy we have covered is like a transparency in time. If we lay each one on top of each other, things become clearer and clearer as more detail is added to the picture.
So then, we have now followed Satan from the very beginning of his arrival on Earth at Eden! Isn't that amazing? We know exactly where he started, and exactly where he is going to end up! If you want to take the time to really see this in a visual format, you might want to get a map and mark each spot on it. It ought to be quite interesting. So far I have only given you the key points on the map. To give you a little more to work with, I am now going to give you more details to add to your map, whether you just do it in your head, or else on a real map. Before Satan moved to Rome, do you know where he was before that? Well, obviously, during Jesus' ministry, he had to be in Jerusalem, right? Remember, he wanted to get as close to Jesus as he possibly could. One of his first attacks was when Jesus was only two years old:
"Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men."
Matthew 2:16, KJV
As discussed previously, the second attack is when Satan tempted Jesus following his forty days of fasting in the wilderness. Would Satan have attacked Him unless he had thought there was a chance of winning? Remember, Jesus was in human flesh and was tempted in all points as we are tempted:
"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
Hebrews 4:15, KJV
We also know that throughout the course of His ministry, Jesus was attacked by the Jews and by certain towns and villages which rejected His message. In the case of the Jewish Elders at Jerusalem, Jesus clearly exposed them in His famous blast in Matthew chapter twenty-three. In the Gospel of John, He tells them and us, exactly who is behind their devilish deeds:
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
John 8:44, KJV
Towards the end of Jesus' earthly ministry, we see Satan getting desperate when he attacks the Lord directly through Peter's rebuke, and then through the Lord's betrayal by Judas. One thing which seems very apparent to me through all of this study is that, just as he is not omnipresent, neither is Satan all-knowing. If he was, do you think he would have influenced the Jews and the Romans to crucify Jesus? If Satan had known that Jesus' death would mean his own defeat, do you think he would have worked towards that end? For this reason, while he is a spiritual being, it doesn't seem to me that he is all-powerful, omnipresent, or all-knowing. Throughout history, he has been having to second guess God's next move. Part of the mystery of God is that even the angels do not know everything as Jesus Himself confirmed when He said:
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
Matthew 24:36, KJV
In speaking of the mystery of salvation and the Old Testament prophets, Peter tells us in part:
"Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into."
1 Peter 1:12, KJV
Why would the angels be desirous to look into these things unless it is because they don't know them?
After Jesus' Death and Resurrection, we know that Satan continued to remain in Jerusalem for a while. After all, the Jewish Temple was his favorite haunt. It was also in Jerusalem where Saul began his campaign of terror against the First Disciples. But, eventually Satan did leave there; but he didn't go directly to Rome. Instead, he spent quite a bit of time running around trying to slow down the spread of Christianity. If you are still using that imaginary map, you will want to put a mark on Samaria, as that was one of his stop-overs also. In fact, Samaria was full of pagan devil worshippers from Babylon and elsewhere. This is why the Jews hated the Samaritans. Is it any wonder then that in Acts chapter eight we find that Simon the Sorcerer totally controlled Samaria? Just like all of these other leaders Satan has used, Simon was exalted in his pride and treated as a god:
"But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God."
Acts 8:9-10, KJV
It was right after this that Saul was converted and eventually began his missionary journeys. Well, obviously, Satan knew he had to stop Paul. I don't think he was too worried about the other Disciples in Jerusalem at the time as they were kind of compromising with the Jewish Elders concerning the need for circumcision as a part of salvation. Satan has his other demons to help with the minor jobs. Remember what I said earlier; he always wants to be closest to the person who can do the most damage to his Kingdom of Darkness. For this reason, after leaving Samaria, we find Satan in Damascus a few years later inciting the Jews to kill Paul:
"But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:"
Acts 9:22-23, KJV
After this attack, Paul escapes to Jerusalem where he only lasts for fifteen days before Satan, who has obviously followed him there, stirs up the Jews again:
"And he was with them coming in and going out at Jerusalem. And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him."
Acts 9:28-29, KJV
Here we see Satan stirring up his old friends from the Grecian Empire, his former haunt. It might even be that these were Grecian Jews. After all, as I point out in "A Biblical Cafeteria, or the Whole Course?", by this time the Jews had synagogues spread out all over that part of the world. This was due to the dispersion -- or "diaspora" -- which had begun since the invasion of Israel by Assyria and then Babylon.
At this point I would like to backtrack a little in order to emphasize and expand upon an idea which I stated earlier. As I said, unlike God, Satan is a created being, and thus he is not omnipresent. He can only be in one place at one time; and he will always be in the place where he can do the most damage to God's Work. He will give orders to all of his lower princes and demons, but he will make sure he is at the right place at the right time controlling and manipulating his chosen vessel. Being as he is a spiritual being, he is not affected by time as we are. He can pop in and out of it at will. As we have now seen, it is possible to literally trace where Satan has been every step of the way since the very beginning. As we all know, he first tried to pervert God's plans in the Garden of Eden when he successfully convinced Adam and Eve that they could become as gods:
"For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
Genesis 3:5, KJV
Following this event, he tried to stop Christ's bloodline by having evil Cain kill his righteous brother Abel:
"And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."
Genesis 4:8, KJV
Next he fomented an angelic rebellion in Genesis chapter six hoping to corrupt the righteous bloodline of Seth who was Abel's replacement. This is when the giants were born and is covered in several of my other articles. Satan must have thought he had won when the Lord decided to send The Flood in order to destroy the wickedness spawned by the giants:
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them."
Genesis 6:5-7, KJV
Satan later realized his error in judgment when righteous Noah built the Ark and survived The Flood with seven other members of his family:
"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."
Genesis 6:8, KJV
In Genesis chapter eleven we see Satan trying a new technique when he works through Nimrod and his followers who attempted to reach heaven through building the Tower of Babel:
"And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."
Genesis 11:4, KJV
Shortly after this we find a pivotal part of God's plan being fulfilled with the births of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the heirs of the promise. Satan is again hovering close by just waiting to strike out like the subtle venomous viper that he is, hoping to defeat God's plan. After Jacob deceives his father Isaac and steals the blessing from Esau his brother, Esau determines to kill his brother, now the heir of the promise:
"And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob."
Genesis 27:41, KJV
Later on we have the birth of Jacob's twelve sons, the eldest of which was Judah, thus making him the heir of the promise. Satan again enters the picture when Judah's first son, Er, turns out to be wicked and the Lord has to slay him. Judah's second son, Onan, then refuses to give an heir to Tamar, the wife of his dead brother, so the Lord ends up slaying him as well:
"And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him."
Genesis 38:7, KJV
"And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also."
Genesis 38:9-10, KJV
Judah ends up making love to Tamar when she disguises herself as a harlot; and from this union, the bloodline is continued when Pharez is born with his twin brother Zerah:
"And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez. And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah."
Genesis 38:29-30, KJV
It is then that we re-enter the picture described previously with Pharaoh king of Egypt who becomes Satan's first world leader to try to stamp out the righteous bloodline of Christ through the enslavement of and attempted extermination of the children of Israel before their escape from Egypt:
"Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land."
Exodus 1:8-10, KJV
"And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live . . . And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive."
Exodus 1:15-16, 22, KJV
Satan, via Pharaoh, attacked again when he tried to have Moses, the future deliverer of the Hebrew children, killed after he slew the Egyptian:
"Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well."
Exodus 2:15, KJV
When Moses returns to Egypt some forty years later, Pharaoh quickly shows his disdain for the true God of Heaven:
"And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go."
Exodus 5:2, KJV
As we know, after a series of plagues, the final one being the death of all firstborn man and beast in Egypt, Pharaoh finally did let the children of Israel go. He then changed his mind and pursued them to the Red Sea where he lost his entire army. With the loss of his army, and the entire land of Egypt destroyed, Pharaoh's once great kingdom was reduced to a minor power. After this event, the children of Israel wondered through the wilderness for forty years while the Lord purged out the older complaining generation who Satan stirred up time and again against Moses and Aaron. Later, when they actually entered the promised land of Canaan, home of the pagan descendants of Ham, Satan used these pagan leaders and their nations to fight against the invading Israelites. While they may not have known it, Satan was just using them to try to stop God's promises from being fulfilled.
So as should now be seen, Satan has been busy at work since the dawn of human history trying to frustrate the plans of God. Just look at who was Israel's primary opponent at any given time in the Old Testament, and that is where you will find Satan. And because his main interest has always been in trying to stop the Work of God, you will often find him very close to those who were in some way associated with the bloodline of Christ. Consider how the Lord had Esther, one of Jesus' ancestors, marry the pagan king Ahasuerus of the Medo-Persian Empire in order to prevent the evil Haman from wiping out the Jews. Consider how the evil king Saul sought to kill David, another ancestor of Jesus. The trail of Satan, the King of Empires, is clear throughout the Bible.
Please go to part four for the continuation of this series.
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