Satan is the ruler of the world system in which we live. It is his desire for all believers to be distracted from living their spiritual lives. Not only does Satan have a world system to distract you, he also has a vast army of demons (fallen angels). Never forget that we are in a spiritual battle against unseen forces. These forces (angels) have much more power than human beings, believers or unbelievers. Only by the utilization of God’s divine power can these satanic dark forces be conquered. (Romans 12:1-2)
The earthly kingdom of Satan is called the “kosmos” in Greek and refers to an organized, orderly, cohesive organization with purpose, policy and a structure of authority. Satan is a genius. He uses his genius to organize his demon army into a well-run machine. Therefore, believers had better be prepared for his attacks. The Bible declares that Satan and his army are seeking those whom they can destroy. (I Peter 5:8)
There are certain Greek words used for Satan and his demons that demonstrate Satan’s organizational skills and the fact that his demon army is well prepared. We find a number of these Greek words in Ephesians 6:12:
wrestle – Greek “pale”- to sway or vibrate as if engaged in battle with another person
principalities – Greek “arche”- rulers (archenemy)
powers – Greek “exousia”- authority; officers in Satan’s army
rulers – Greek “kosmokrator”- world rulers (demons)
darkness – Greek “skotos”- spiritual darkness
spiritual wickedness – Greek “ponderia”- evil
Jesus Christ controls history, but Satan is the ruler of this world. He was created a genius from the hand of God and has been observing mankind for thousands of years. He has a well-organized army of demons to do his work. Satan is not omnipresent or omniscient. Therefore, he is not personally after most of us, nor does he know everything about us. Satan relies on the influence of his army of demons, the world system and our sin nature to keep us off track regarding our spiritual life. (II Corinthians 11:12-15; Ephesians 6:11-12)
When the Bible says that a believer “loves the world” or “lives according the standards of the world,” that person is residing in Satan’s cosmic system. In order to camouflage his evil, Satan disguises his cosmic system as God’s power system. He does this by using human viewpoint thinking and human good to fool the unsuspecting into thinking that human viewpoint thinking and human good works constitute the spiritual life. (Ephesians 2:2; II Timothy 4:10; James 4:4; I John 2:15; I Timothy 4:1-5; II Peter 2:18)
For those who succumb to Satan’s trickery, they have played into his hand and accept the “doctrine of demons.” With the absence of absolute truth from God, a vacuum in the soul is formed. This vacuum is called “mataiotes” in Greek and means emptiness or vanity. This vacuum draws satanic doctrine into the soul. The only alternative to accurate Bible doctrine is satanic doctrine, which results in human viewpoint thinking.
The vanity that is drawn in by the vacuum of the soul is the arrogance complex. If a believer remains in the arrogance complex for a prolonged period of time, they have abandoned Bible doctrine and have sunk into a state of reversionism. Controlled by the sin nature and Human Viewpoint Thinking, the soul of the believer in reversionism gradually darkens into a state of blackout. Deliberate rejection of the study or rejection of application of Bible doctrine on a consistent basis leads the reversionistic believer directly into evil. In this case, evil is not what most people think of as evil. Here, evil is succumbing to satanic doctrine, which has entered the soul through the vacuum created by negative volition over a prolonged period of time. The vacuum is an emptiness or a void in the mind that must be filled with something. In this stage of reversionism the believer is operating solely on human viewpoint to life and circumstances. For this reason he is easily influenced by demons and the world system. Since thinking has become totally distorted, a reversionistic believer blames all his problems on God, on others or on circumstances, failing to take responsibility for his own bad decisions, bad choices and bad behavior. (Ephesians 5:11; 6:12)
As the reversionist moves further away from God, his conscience becomes more and more seared, his norms and standards revert to human viewpoint and the scar tissue of the soul begins to build. Capacity for life is replaced with the temporary happiness of the world: money, power, social status and material possessions. What a person thought was going to bring them lasting happiness only brings delusion. Delusion leads to frustration, discouragement and even depression. (I Timothy 4:2)
This emotional revolt, whether knowingly or in ignorance, rejects the authority of Bible doctrine resulting in mental instability and mental imbalance. A life ruled by emotion can never please God. A tool of Satan in order to counterfeit the work of God, emotion can control the soul even of the believer who has been learning doctrine. Emotion was never designed by God to control the soul, but it was designed as a response mechanism. When emotion is allowed to take over, Divine Viewpoint Thinking and application of doctrine are impossible. The slide into reversionism continues as “your experience” (usually an emotional one) replaces the truth of God’s Word. (Romans 16:17-18)
Emotional revolt of the soul means that a believer has locked himself into negative volition. Negative volition, of course, rejects all doctrinal teaching and stops spiritual growth. The more time spent in this condition, the more likely this believer is to abandon everything that he has learned about God’s Word. Eventually he becomes apathetic toward Bible doctrine as Human Viewpoint Thinking replaces Divine Viewpoint Thinking. This apathy leads to a change in priorities as interest in God’s Word is exchanged for interest in the details of life. Having turned his back on God and His grace policies, the reversionist forgets his source of blessing, bringing upon himself cursing in many forms from this world system and divine discipline from his Heavenly Father. This believer lacks the power to recover (due to negative volition in his soul) and the Problem-Solving Devices (if ever learned) are useless information to him until he rebounds and gets back to learning and applying Bible doctrine.
The natural progression from the arrogance complex is into the hatred complex. Hatred is more than a mere human emotion when referring to hating God, His Word or others, especially believers. Hatred in this case is an entire complex of mental attitude sins which result in antagonism toward anything to do with God. Hating God and His Word can be either active or passive. By default you hate God and His Word when you fail to advance toward spiritual maturity as a believer. A believer may even say they “love” God and His Word, while neglecting the study and application of Bible doctrine. You cannot love God and neglect His Word. (John 15:10-18; I John 2:11)
Negative volition toward God and truth opens the flood gates for satanic doctrine to flow into the soul. The more satanic doctrine that enters the soul, the farther a believer sinks into a state of degeneration while sometimes outwardly appearing to be very religious. Religion is Satan’s ace trump to seduce unsuspecting believers into believing a lie that is cleverly disguised as truth. The Scriptures talk a lot about those who sneak into our congregation (false teachers) and catch immature or distracted believers by surprise, just as Satan did Eve in the Garden of Eden.
These apostate false teachers are those who reject or distort the truth of the Word of God for selfish motives. These teachers are called false, which is the Greek word “pseduo.” They represent themselves as true in order to gain entrance into a ministry. Peter says they come in covertly, like a spy would infiltrate an organization. We know these false teachers are unbelievers from certain words in the Bible, such as destruction. Destruction is the Greek word “apoleia” and it means eternal destruction or eternal separation from God. Some of these unbelieving teachers deny the deity of Christ and deny the saving power of the Gospel.
These false teachers have deliberate motives, which include monetary greed, sensual pleasures, luxurious lifestyles, power, and fame. They actually train themselves in the art of greed and lust. The Bible says that they use fabricated words of flattery with promises of prosperity in order to extort money and material possessions. They are members of the “mutual admiration society,” pretending to admire certain people in order to gain acceptance. They literally make merchandise, the Greek word “emporeuomai,” of the unsuspecting, unstable, spiritually weak believer. (II Peter 2:3,14,15,18; Jude 11,16,18)
They play upon the emotions of the duped believer since they themselves are ruled by their emotions. These false teachers have no substance in their message, they scoff at the truth and will not accept the authority of Biblical doctrine. These unbelievers bring with them into these ministries destructive, self-willed, erroneous opinions that lead to divisions and the formation of sects. It is, of course, impossible for them to bring in accurate doctrinal information from God’s Word, since as unbelievers they are unable to learn truth. These apostates are so arrogant they even reject human authority and speak evil of persons in authority over them in order to carry out their own agenda.
The Bible says that these false teachers live a lifestyle of the “rich and famous,” while turning the grace of God into a license to sin. They are arrogant souls, in love with themselves, in love with money and love to brag about it. Conceited, unholy, lovers of sensual pleasures, they cannot be appeased. They are rash in their speech, lack self-control, especially over their emotions, and cannot be trusted. With everything they have accumulated they are never-the-less ungrateful and callous to human affection, they do not honor their parents and are haters of anything good. We are commanded to avoid these blasphemers of truth. (II Timothy 3:2-5; II Peter 2:2,12, 13,14,19; Jude 8,16,18)
The followers of the apostate teachers are those who allow themselves to be seduced; believers and unbelievers alike. They are those who reject truth and believe the fabricated lies of the false teachers. Peter tells us that many will follow their evil ways, so it should come as no surprise when these ministers of Satan are able to “pack the pews.” The pivot (remnant according to grace) has always been a small elite group of believers who refuse to compromise accurate Bible teaching. The others who follow after the “about to” ministers (God’s about to do this or that, but never seems to get around to doing it), have become enemies of the Cross of Christ, haters of God and partakers in satanic activity. They have been enticed by words of flattery, which promise wealth and physical healing from a “fairy god mother” type of god. (II Timothy 3:6, 4:3-4; II Peter 2:2,3,14,18; Jude 12,16)