Two Ways the Devil Is at Work Today

Though the 20th century saw a lot of moral and technological advancement, it was still the bloodiest century in history.

In 1915, the Turks came to believe Armenians sharing their country with them was “a problem.” They began a genocide that would kill more than 1 million Armenians.

The Japanese declared a Black Friday during World War 2, when Japanese troops went through Alexandra Hospital in Singapore, bayoneting all the patients, doctors, and nurses.

In 1932, Joseph Stalin executed more than 10 million of his own countrymen and starved another seven million to death through enforced grain quotas.

Those aren’t even the most famous examples. I’m sure you could think of another half dozen more. I certainly can.

In every age, the spirit of the antichrist (i.e., Satan’s spirit) is at work: “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. …” (1 John 2:18 ESV).

Even though the ultimate antichrist is coming, the spirit of the antichrist is already here. From what we see in the prophecies of Daniel 7 and 8, we can learn what to expect in our day.

There are two things these passages teach us about what the antichrist is up to:

1. The Devil Devours Flesh.

In Daniel 7:5, he aims to “devour much flesh.” That’s not hard to believe, is it? Just look at the examples already mentioned from the last 100 years.

But can we also not see Satan at work today in the abortion industry? In the slave trade? In the myriad of places around the world where oppression is celebrated and basic human dignities are denied?

The spirit of the antichrist, which has the eyes of man but is much worse, has as its aim the devouring of flesh. And it’s not just in big picture ways, either. He’s at work in each of our lives, attempting to cultivate addictions, ruin relationships, and lead us to self-destruction.

2. The Devil Questions God’s Word and Exalts Man.

According to Daniel, the antichrist “will cause deceit to prosper through his cunning and by his influence, and in his own mind he will exalt himself …” (Daniel 8:25 CSB).

No surprise here: The spirit of the antichrist questions God’s Word and exalts man. He’s at work everywhere, trying to get you to question the Bible. He’s in university classrooms, entertainment studios, news offices, and corporate boardrooms, making people question God’s Word and puffing up our obsession with ourselves.

(He must particularly love social media because it’s designed to magnify our self-obsession, and that’s his calling card.)

Does this mean we should try to cast out demons from our university professors, denounce capitalism as the Great Satan, or cancel all our social media accounts? Not necessarily. (Though if the Spirit is telling you to take a step away from social media, by all means, say yes.) But we must recognize that there is a supernatural power at work in the world that is trying to deceive people against God.

If you think you’re just questioning what the Bible says about sexuality or any other culturally relevant topic and trying to “find yourself,” you’re not. You’re playing with hell. You’re exalting yourself and putting your thoughts above God.

There are two paths: one is the path of truth—God’s Word—and the other one is where you do what is right in your own eyes. God’s Word comes down from heaven, and it exalts God. There is nothing to do except humble yourself before it.

It’s Going to Get Worse. But Not Forever.

We can expect the spirit of the antichrist to be at work until the end of history. It’s not going to get better. If anything, it’s going to get worse.

The good news is that nothing gets past God. Nothing surprises him. He never learns anything. He never misunderstands, and nothing ever catches him off guard. There’s never been a time he wasn’t fully in charge.

‘As I kept watching, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was white like snow, and the hair of his head like whitest wool. His throne was flaming fire; its wheels were blazing fire. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from his presence. Thousands upon thousands served him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was convened, and the books were opened’

– Daniel 7:9–10

God’s hair is white as the purest wool, which means he carries the authority and wisdom of the ages. His clothes are white as snow, which means he is wise and righteous altogether, without the slightest blot of imperfection.

His throne blazes in fire, which means it consumes everything before it. He alone is worthy to judge the nations, and that’s what he is about to do.

God does everything for his purposes—and that’s true of your life, too. The good and the bad are all for his glory. He’s at work in every disaster, moving his church forward, for the sake of his kingdom.