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Does Satan Influence World Leaders?

The question for this week comes from the Sunday morning message. After preaching Isaiah 14 and highlighting the epic crash and burn of Lucifer/Satan someone asked me if Satan has anything to do with world leaders. This is something that I meant to share this past Sunday, but didn’t have the opportunity to highlight in the message. Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about satanic activity and world leaders.

Let’s start with the passages that we talked about this past Sunday about Satan—Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. Both passages are oracles against earthly kings (Babylon and Tyre) and are prophetically illustrated by satanic influence working behind the scenes with these leaders. The king of Babylon is described as an “oppressor” and one who “ruled the nations in anger” so that he “struck the people in wrath” (Isaiah 14:5-6). Here, Babylon’s king is pictured as a ruthless ruler that violently punishes people into submission. What can be more devilish than that! No wonder Isaiah was led by the Spirit to compare this violent king with Lucifer. Interestingly, the king of Tyre is not described in terms of violence but pride, beauty, and wealth. Here in chapter 28 the prophet Ezekiel calls out the king of Tyre for thinking he is a god (v.2, 6), condemns his abundance of gold and silver (v.4-5), and how his “heart is lifted up because of his treasures” (v.5). Following this description of the king of Tyre, the prophet illustrates the downfall of the king with the story of the fall Satan. What we can see is that Satan can influence people through violence and oppression like the king of Babylon or he can manipulate people by the abundance of wealth and possessions as in the case of the king of Tyre.

Scripture goes further in talking about Satan’s engagement in spiritual warfare to influence generations and nations against God and His people. For example, in Daniel 10 the angel Gabriel is sent to Daniel to give him understanding and the angel says that he was delayed because of the satanic stronghold of the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” (Daniel 10:13). This prince was an evil angel (or Satan himself) that had a powerful grip on the Persian kingdom and attempted to thwart God’s plan by fighting against holy angels (Gabriel and Michael) in trying to stop communication from God to Daniel. The ultimate example, of course, is in the Antichrist of Revelation 12. Scripture says that the Antichrist will rule with satanic power and demand all people to worship him as god. He will be supernaturally energized and empowered by Satan himself.

So, what can we say about Satan and his targeting world leaders? The answer to our question today is an unequivocal yes—Satan takes the opportunity to influence and indwell those who give themselves over to evil—especially those who have power over others. We can see this devilish plan for Satan’s influence in world leaders lived out in evil leaders like Nero, Joseph Stalin, or Adolf Hitler.        

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,” 1 Timothy 2:1-3





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