Tracks of the Devil

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If you were in the forest and were looking for evidence that a particular kind of animal lived in the area, you would look for the unique signs and tracks that would tell you the animal had been there. The devil also leaves tracks—and they’re not very hard to find.

The prophet Daniel had been fasting for 21 days. Why he was fasting is not entirely clear except that he wanted to understand some earlier prophecies. He was in Babylon – more specifically, in the old region of Persia, along the banks of a river called Hiddekel.

As he stood there, staring into the water, he sensed a presence. Looking up, he saw what appeared to be a man. It was, however, a most singular man. Daniel describes him as dressed in white linen, with a solid gold belt. His body, according to Daniel, was like beryl, his arms and legs like polished brass. But what turned Daniel’s knees to jelly and left him trembling was the face of the man. The best Daniel could do was to describe his face as the color of lightning and his eyes like lamps of fire.

When Daniel saw this “man,” he collapsed in a heap, face down upon the ground. He was sure enough that what he saw was a spirit, but he did not know how to respond. The “man” (by now we suspect he is an angel) put out his hand and took Daniel and pulled him up on to his hands and knees. This is what Daniel heard him say:

Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.

Daniel 10:12–14 KJV

Now the vision Daniel received in answer to his prolonged prayer is fascinating enough, but in the process of revealing the vision, the messenger of God dropped a small piece of tantalizing information. Most of us believe that God is all powerful, that all He has to do is say the word and all powers, human and demonic, fall down before Him. Yet here is an emissary of God who is held up for three weeks by someone called the “Prince of Persia.” Who is this “Prince of Persia” and how was he able to thwart an angel of the Almighty?

Consider the picture. Daniel fasts and prays to God. God hears him and immediately dispatches an answer. The problem is that Daniel is inside the Kingdom of Persia, and God’s messenger has to fight his way in! It is no small battle – it takes three weeks to make it.

Think what this means. There was a spirit being, called the Prince of Persia, who was strong enough to stand off an angel of God for three weeks. In the end, it takes two to one odds to win, and the battle is still not over. Michael, another Prince of God, keeps the Prince of Persia busy while the angel comes to Daniel to deliver the message.

One would have thought that God could have whispered in Daniel’s ear, or that the angel could simply have materialized in Daniel’s room. Apparently not.

What this story reveals to us, almost as an aside, is that there is a spiritual world alongside our world, invisible to us, but real, vibrant, alive and dangerous. We use the word infrastructure to describe the physical structure underlying our society – water pipes, sewers, utilities – things underground and invisible, but real and necessary nonetheless. What comes as a shock is the fact that there is also a spiritual infrastructure – unseen, not sensed, invisible, but nonetheless real and powerful. Not only is there a spirit world co-existing with our own, but there are spiritual battles routinely fought around us, and the outcome is by no means automatic.

The angel revealed to Daniel, not only that he had to fight his way in, he was going to have to fight his way out. “Now you understand why I have come to you,” he said, “and now I must return to fight with the Prince of Persia” (verse 20). Then, he introduced a newplayer: “. . . and when I am gone forth, lo, the Prince of Grecia shall come.”

If you know your history, you might suppose the Prince of Grecia was Alexander the Great, but the context seems to be running at a different level. This seems to be yet another spirit being, identified with yet another country, for he proceeds to say, “There is none that holds with me in these things except Michael your prince” (verse 21). So this angelic messenger, alongside Michael, will be in full combat with two other spirit beings, the Prince of Grecia and the Prince of Persia. One can almost imagine the clashing of great spiritual swords.

There is no one place in the Bible where you can read all about the spirit world. We find a hint here, an idea there, a glimpse over there. We are left to put it altogether and draw inferences about the nature of this spirit world. Presumably, God wants us to know it is there, but He does not want us to know too much about it. He certainly doesn’t want us to dabble in spiritism. The more attention you give to the devil, the more likely he is to show up.

Nevertheless, it is in our interest to understand what God does reveal to us about this spirit world. Take a moment to read Isaiah 13 and 14. The prophet calls it “the burden of Babylon.” It is a prophecy dealing with Babylon in history, and Babylon at the end time. Late in this prophecy the prophet takes up a proverb against the King of Babylon. In an initial reading, you find yourself assuming that he is talking about a human being who ruled over the Kingdom of Babylon. Then, the prophet names the King of Babylon and describes him:

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.

Isaiah 14:12–14 KJV

This is not a description of a human being. Lucifer had been in heaven. He had been cast out of heaven. He had actually engaged in a revolt against the Most High God. Lucifer is universally understood to be the devil.

We commonly think of a great archdemon when we speak of the devil. What we often don’t consider is the possibility that there is more than one demon prince. Ezekiel describes yet another. He calls him the King of Tyre and says of him:

[…] Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

Ezekiel 28:12–15 KJV

As we read this passage, the realization grows that we are dealing with a great spirit being who was once at the very throne of God, who is called “the anointed cherub,” and who apparently turned against God.

Now we either have Satan in two separate situations – one is the King of Babylon, and the other is the King of Tyre – or we have a king of Babylon and a king of Tyre, both of whom are powerful spirit beings. Our knowledge of spiritual things is somewhat limited and we have to be careful about the inferences we draw. Nevertheless, we can be absolutely certain that there is a spirit world out there and that major events take place in that world – some of these things affect our world.

Spirit Warriors

Joshua had an encounter with one of these great warriors just before the Battle of Jericho. Shortly after the Passover, Joshua was standing not far from Jericho. He turned and saw a man standing opposite him with a sword drawn in his hand. This was not just any man. Joshua challenged him: “Are you for us or are you for our enemies.” The man looked at him and said, “No, but as captain of the Lord’s host am I come” (Joshua 5:13-14).

If you have one of those Bibles with marginal notes, you will see that the word captain comes from the Hebrew word for prince. This “man” identified himself as the prince of the Lord’s host. He isn’t named in this passage, but “The great prince which stands for the children of thy people” is none other than Michael (Daniel 12:1).

Michael seems to be a major player. Jude calls him an archangel and shows him in conflict with the devil (Jude 1:9). John, in the Book of Revelation, saw him as a leader of a band of angels fighting against the dragon who is also identified as the devil (Revelation 12:7).

So at the moment when Israel is about to do battle under God’s direction for the very first time, Michael the prince is there as captain of the Lord’s host. We can’t know for certain, but it seems likely that there was a spiritual prince of the Canaanites. Joshua needed to understand that not only would he fight a physical battle, but a spiritual battle as well.

We would love to know more about these things. For example, why did the devil want the body of Moses and why did Michael have to go to battle with him over it? But Jude didn’t bring it up to explain all that. His point was that even when Michael the archangel was disputing with the devil he dared not bring a railing accusation against him (verse 9). Whatever else Michael may have felt about the devil, the devil was a prince with great power. That power had to be respected.

I sometimes think of this when I see some holiness preacher dancing across the stage claiming he’s going to “twist the old devil’s tail tonight.” If Michael, the archangel, dared not bring a railing accusation against the devil, who are these preachers to say “I’m going to handle the old devil; we’re going to get a hold of the devil tonight; we’re going to root him out of here.” They aren’t going to run the devil anywhere. They don’t even know where he is, and they have little idea of what he is doing.

Jude gave us one other passing clue about the devil. The devil wanted the body of Moses. One can only presume it had something to do with the confirmed necrophilia that exists in so much of the occult. You see it everywhere in occult objects and occult books. Perhaps Satan was going to turn Moses’ body into a cult object.

Seven Churches, Seven Angels

John is introduced to seven angels in the first part of the Book of Revelation. Once again, they are not the point of the story. We learn about them almost as an aside.

John fell into a vision and in the vision he saw a man standing in the middle of seven golden candlesticks holding seven stars in his right hand. An angel told John that the seven candlesticks were the seven churches and the seven stars were the angels of the seven churches (Revelation 1:20). We would love to know more about that, but that is all we get. Then he proceeds to address a letter to each of the angels.

This is one of the puzzling things about Revelation 2 and 3. The letters in this passage are not addressed to the brethren of these churches, their elders or their deacons. Each letter is addressed to the angel of each church. One would gather from this that all angels are not alike, because each of these churches develops a totally different character, a different spirit, a different attitude. And when God says, “I have somewhat against you,” He is criticizing the angel, not the church.

Not everything in this spirit world is sweetness and light. These are intelligent, active, creative spirit beings who are thinking, working, fighting, arguing, and bickering. They are there. We don’t see them – thank God. We are largely unaware of them. It’s only on very rare occasions that a little tear between our world and theirs allows us somehow, momentarily, to interact with someone in that other world. But the other world is there, it is active, and it is powerful.

Guardian Angels

You may have heard of guardian angels. You may even have wondered if they are biblical. Well, they are. Jesus let drop this nugget of information while He was talking to His disciples about little children. He warned them severely against offending or harming little children, saying:

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 18:10 KJV

Now you may wonder where your child’s guardian angel was when the child fell out of a tree and broke his arm. What we forget is that there are many things in this world more dangerous to children than climbing trees. There are worse things that could happen to a child than falling out of a tree and breaking an arm.

The charge given to guardian angels is not to prevent your children from getting hurt while they are having a good time. Children get hurt as a part of living. They take chances, they have successes, they have failures. It’s all a part of growing up and a part of developing character. It teaches us how to handle pain, how to learn from disaster, how to live with broken arms and even broken heads. As bad as physical danger is, that is not where the most serious danger lies with children. There is danger to children from a spirit world and from the wars that rage unseen around us. Seeing to it that your child doesn’t get hurt physically is your job. Your guardian angel is there to see to it that the child is protected from that spiritual war.

The Dominant Spirit

Among all the spirits that ebb and flow in this world, there is one that is dominant. There is a familiar passage in the fourth chapter of Matthew that describes one of those rare occasions where a human being finds himself in direct confrontation with the devil. It is the temptation of Christ. It is not what one might have expected.

Jesus had been fasting for 40 days and 40 nights and had become very hungry. The devil came to Him and said, “Here are some stones. If you are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” His first challenge to Jesus was a challenge of His relationship with God. Jesus’ response was simple. He said, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds our of the mouth of God.”

Defeated on this issue, the devil took Him up to the pinnacle of the Temple. He said, “If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee: in their hands they shall bear thee up lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Once again Jesus answered, “It is written, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

As an aside, notice that Jesus’ defense against temptation every time is the written Word of God. Also notice that each time Satan’s challenge is to His relationship with God: “If you be the Son of God.”

Finally there is the third temptation. The devil took Jesus up to an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and promised, “All these things will I give thee, if thou will fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8). Satan was the dominant spirit of this world. He was able to give the power of the Prince of Persia, the Prince of Grecia, the Prince of Tyre, all to Jesus Christ – if only Jesus would worship him and accept his dominance.

Once again Jesus appealed to the written Word of God, saying, “It is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”

This was the strongest response Jesus gave to Satan, because this is the commandment Satan had broken. Jesus did not rail at the devil. He did not call him names. But He faced and defeated him precisely on the point where Satan had failed. The question of obedience to God and the maintenance of the relationship with God was a major difference between Jesus and the Son of God, and Lucifer as the prince of this world.

Later, when Jesus was giving His last instructions to His disciples, He said, “I’m not going to be able to talk with you much longer because the prince of this world comes and has nothing to do with me” (John 14:30). Now all that was coming toward Jesus at that time was Judas, some priests, and some soldiers. They were merely flesh and blood human beings. But by this time, Satan had entered Judas. The prince of this world was instrumental in the murder of the Son of God. It was a part of his plan. It was a part of his efforts to defeat the Father in whatever effort the Father might make.

Spirits That Work

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience[.]

Ephesians 2:1–2

There are three important things to understand from this Scripture. First, the prince of the power of the air is a spirit. The wording suggests a discrete spiritual being.

Second, this is a spirit that works. “Work” is a simple word, and a word we easily understand. In this passage it’s in the present tense, which means he is working – that there is a constant, deliberate working of the prince of the power of the air.

The third point to note is that the prince of the power of the air works in a certain category of people – the “children of disobedience.” These are people who simply do not obey God.

Paul says that in time past we walked “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air.” Walking according to the course of this world is nothing but “going with the flow.”

What happens when you decide not to go with the flow? There is another short passage dealing with Michael the prince that sheds some light:

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Daniel 12:1 KJV

Where is the connection between Michael standing up and the beginning of the Great Tribulation? Surely Michael isn’t the one who carries out the Great Tribulation. The tribulation is a time of trouble upon Israel. Michael is the prince who is the “guardian angel” of all Israel. Why should he be the one who causes all the trouble?

Think about it for a moment. When you “go with the flow” in this world, when you don’t disagree and merely drift along with what people want to do, do you get much “tribulation?” If there is a temptation that comes your way and you merely give in to it, where is the struggle? When you go with the flow, when you walk according to the course of this world, you have relatively less conflict in your life. You probably have no spiritual conflict at all. All you’re doing is making yourself comfortable. But when you stand up for what is right, when you start resisting the flow, when you start trying to do the right thing, that is when the opposition starts.

Satan will not resist you when you’re going with the flow – after all, it’s his flow. It’s when you start resisting the flow that you get enemies – human and spiritual.

This is a point that bothers many people. When they make a decision to obey God, it is then that their lives seem to fall apart. They are naturally disturbed by this because they believe that obeying God ought to bring blessings, peace, happiness – everything ought to work.

Why, people wonder, are all these things happening to me? The answer is simple. God is not the one doing these things to you. You have stood up for God and now you have made enemies and those enemies are the enemies of God. Jesus said plainly, “If they hate me they will hate you.” Then if we stand up for Him, will we not be hated by somebody? If it works this way at the individual level, you can expect the same thing when it applies to the nation of Israel as a whole. As long as our nation is going with the flow, as long as the spiritual world around us is not doing anything in particular, then there is no war to be fought. But when Michael, the prince that stands for Israel, stands up to resist the devil, all hell breaks loose – quite literally. When this all begins to break, the prophet lets us know that it is going to spill over into our world in ways that we cannot even imagine. There will follow a time of destruction and death in the world that your Bible describes as the Great Tribulation.

A Time of Trouble

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 12:7–9 KJV

Michael is obviously a major player in this drama. The devil apparently mounts assaults against the throne of God, and Michael and his angels fight against him. Also interesting in this passage is that the devil has angels. Apparently, one-third of the original cast of angels joined Satan in his rebellion and were cast out of heaven with him. The bad news for us is that they were cast out into the earth (verse 9) – and they’re still here.

Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Revelation 12:12 KJV

Satan is your enemy. He is called “the accuser of the brethren,” and he is busy accusing us before God day and night (verse 10). The Book of Job is the story of what can happen to a man when God allows Satan to have access to him.

What exactly is our protection? How is it that the devil is not able to wipe us out? Having said that he is our accuser, the prophecy goes on to say, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (verse 11). It is the blood of the Lamb that stands between us and the evil infrastructure of this world. They cannot touch us unless God allows it.

The saints also overcame the devil by “the word of their testimony,” by what they stood for, by what they confessed in their life, what they did, what they said. They also overcame him because they didn’t love their lives unto the death. They knew what was at stake in this great combat for God, and that it was God’s duty to see that they survived.

When the prophet says “woe unto the world” because the devil has come to us – along with the host of his fellows – what is it that the world has to fear? From the Bible we learn that there are many kinds of spirits in the world. There is an ebb and flow of them in, through, and around all society. On occasion, what the Bible describes as a “spirit” may sound like a mere human attitude. But the implication as you read about them in the Bible is not that they are merely attitudes. These attitudes have come from somewhere.

The Bible describes many “spirits.” On the one hand, there is the Holy Spirit. Then there is a ministering spirit, a spirit of judgment, and “the spirit of Elijah” which seems to be distinct in and of itself. There is a spirit of truth, a spirit of glory, a spirit of knowledge, a spirit of prophecy, a spirit of understanding, a spirit of wisdom.

On the other hand there is a hardened spirit, a dumb spirit, a foul spirit, a perverse spirit, an unclean spirit. There is a spirit of antichrist, a spirit of bondage that will bind people where they cannot move. There is a spirit of divination that has to do with calling up messages from the dead. There is a spirit of error where some people can’t seem to ever get their feet in the right way. There is a spirit of fear that keeps us from being able to be confident, going ahead in our lives.

There is a spirit of jealousy that comes upon people so that they are unreasonable. There is a spirit of slumber which keeps us from being spiritually awake when we need to be. There is a spirit of whoredoms that probably accounts for those people who are obsessed with sex and carried away with it. There is a spirit of infirmity that leaves people too weak to do the things they need to do. These are all given to us in the Bible as though they were discrete spirits that work and do things in this world.

How do they work? A demon spirit can possess a person, but demon possession is rare. What is much more common in this world – and is very familiar to us all – is simple temptation. But the Bible tells us very little about the mechanics of temptation. I presume God doesn’t tell us because we don’t need to know that – in fact, it might be better for us if we didn’t.

The truth is that you and I are rarely tempted by demons. It may happen that we find ourselves thinking thoughts that are not our own – thoughts that we believe came from a source other than ourselves. These are not difficult to deal with. It is simply a matter of prayer, of turning to God, of asking for God’s help, and then putting your mind on things that are good. It’s not a complicated problem to solve as long as you overcome it by “the blood of the Lamb” and by your testimony.

There is however, a much more grave type of temptation in the world. It is more serious, because we usually don’t recognize it as temptation – at least we don’t recognize it as coming from the devil.


Imagine yourself standing in a forest with a friend. Your friend turns to you and asks, “What kind of wildlife do you suppose there is in this forest? Have you seen any?” Standing where you are, you will see birds, perhaps a squirrel. You’re not likely to see much else, but you know that is not all the wildlife there is in this forest.

But even as a total amateur, if you’ll take the time to slow down, study the ground, look at the trees, look at the bark, you’ll become aware that there is more here than meets the eye. For example, you may see branches of a bush that are broken and you might suspect that there has been something there to break those branches. You may see trees with bark knocked off. If you look carefully at the ground, you may see little brown pellets on the ground. As you study the ground a little more carefully, you see the distinctive tracks of deer. You may be lucky enough to find where the deer have bedded down. Their beds are very distinctive and it’s obvious what they are.

You don’t have to be a professional tracker to see these things. You can kneel down and look at the dung and see if it’s shiny. If it is, it’s very recent. The deer may have passed this way a moment before you. If it’s obviously dried out, then it may have been some period of time.

If it rained last night, and you see a clearly formed deer track, you’ll know that the deer passed this way since the rain. There has been no weathering of the tracks. If you’re walking down a snowy mountain trail, following the boot tracks of one of your friends, and you see a deer track in his boot track, you can conclude that the deer had passed between you. You don’t have to know a lot if you’re in the forest or the field. You just have to look.

Now the world is like a forest in this regard. All you have to do is slow down, take a look around you and tell me what you see. If you realize there is a spiritual infrastructure in the world and that there are spirits that work in the children of disobedience, there ought to be something that gives you hints.

For example, if you attend a PTA meeting at your children’s school, you may learn that some of the teachers and parents are concerned about children dabbling in the occult. Some parents are concerned because their children have been bringing home games that have to do with wizards, witches, trolls, and dragons.

It isn’t as though some demon came along and gave these to the children. They get these things, these ideas, from other kids who get them from other kids. If you look at some of the games children are playing – especially some of the computer games that are out – you don’t have to be a specialist to see the tracks of the devil going right through the middle of your local school. The tracks are there. You just have to look.

Drop by your local video rental store and take a look at the different kinds of movies that children can rent. Talk to the clerks at the video store. Who rents these splatter movies, horror movies, demon movies? The largest number of viewers of them are children and teenagers. The video stores aren’t supposed to rent adult movies to children, but they get them anyway. Take a look at the titles, the jackets. Can you see the tracks of the devil through your local video rental store?

If there is a horror movie on in the local movie, make your way down there about the time the movie starts and see who is going in. Read the movie reviews. You’ll find the tracks of the devil walking right through the movie industry.

But don’t make the mistake of looking for traditional demons and hobgoblins when you look for the tracks of the devil. It’s much more subtle than that. How many movies have you seen in your lifetime that make religion look good? One observer made a strong case that Hollywood hates religion. Movie after movie makes ministers, Christian people, or devout people look like fools, idiots, and worse. Why do they do that?

One would naturally suppose that they do it to make money. But the truth is that movie after movie of this type has consistently lost money. When you’ve lost money on film after film making fun of religion, why would a movie studio come along and make a turkey like The Last Temptation of Christ? Perhaps they made it for its artistic value. But the critics panned the movie as art. It was, they said, one of the worst movies of that type to come along. The truth is it would have lost even more money if religious people had not given it so much publication by picketing the movie houses.

Oddly enough, the movies that make religion look good make money. The movies that make religion look bad don’t make money. Then why do they do it? Do you see the tracks of the devil in the movie industry?

It has been well publicized recently that some of the greatest talent in the movie industry has been lost to AIDS. The reason is that so many people in the arts are homosexuals. Now does it take much imagination to understand why a class of people, whose conduct is condemned in both the Old and the New Testament, might hate God or hate religion? Can we understand why they might want to make religious people look like fools or idiots? The tracks of the devil are all over the movie industry.

Higher Education

I stumbled across the tracks of the devil where I should have expected them but didn’t. I found them in academia. I read an excerpt from a speech by Christina Hoff Sommers, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Clark University. In the speech, she expressed her concern over the inroads the feminist movement was making in university curricula. However, she drew a very sharp distinction between what she called equity feminists and gender feminists.

Equity feminists, she said, are those women who are simply concerned about equality – equal opportunity and equal rights. They are the women who have fought for the right to be able to go into a bank and borrow money on the same basis as a man. In years gone by, banks were reluctant to lend to women to start a business or build a home. It didn’t matter if she had the same income as a man, they just didn’t do it. Equity feminists fought for a change in this area and they were right.

On the other hand, there are what Ms. Sommers calls the gender feminists. According to her, the gender feminists are those who are out to abolish gender altogether. In doing her research, she looked at dozens of textbooks in use in colleges across the country. She found evidence of a clear anti-family agenda coming from gender feminists. One, for example, claimed that the family “is a cornerstone of oppression that enforces heterosexuality and imposes the prevailing masculine/feminine character structures on the next generation.”

According to gender feminists, the family is the problem. The family, they say, is the root of oppression that imposes heterosexuality on our society. Some feminists look forward to the day when the miracle of science will allow us to alter basic human functions like insemination and lactation and gestation. Perhaps one woman could inseminate another, even men could lactate and nurse a baby. Fertilized ova could be transferred into women’s or even men’s bodies. There probably is a little revenge written into that last one.

Gender feminist literature is replete with proposals for abolishing marriage and the family in favor of various forms of androgyny or bisexuality. Yet another authority, Richard Wasserstrom, former president of the American Philosophical Association, argues that all the differences between the sexes are arbitrary and irrelevant. He concluded that in a truly just society we would no more notice the sex of a person with whom we were romantically involved than we would notice the color of their eyes.

He recommended bisexuality as the ideal romantic relationship because heterosexuality, even homosexuality, is a reflection of bigotry.

Ms. Sommers concludes that war has been declared, not on inequality, but on gender. She saw that the hidden agenda of the gender feminists could not be achieved without reeducation. They are pursuing their goals vigorously through colleges and universities. The gender feminist’s highest priority today is getting rid of the traditional curriculum in colleges and ensuring that feminists and their views occupy a prominent place in every college and every university. They have had a lot of success.

For example, you can send your daughter to the University of Nebraska where she can take a course in Twentieth Century Lesbian Novels. The University of New Mexico would offer her a course in Heterosexism and the Oppression of Women. Perhaps she could go to Queen’s College City University of New York, and take a course called The Lesbian in Literature and Honors Tutorial.

As I read all this, I slowly became aware that there are two hidden agendas. The front line agenda of the feminists movement is equality. The hidden agenda below that is the elimination or abolition of the family. But there is still another agenda even more hidden and even more serious. I saw it because I was standing still and looking for tracks. There were tracks enough in the mere idea of the elimination of the family. But because I was looking, I found yet another hidden agenda: The Abolition of the Father.

Men and women are prone to blame one another for the destruction of the father’s role. They are both right. The men went a long way down that road before women ever started. The fathers have failed, and the mothers have failed, so there is no reason to point fingers at one another because of our gender. What we need to understand is that the devil has been among us. He has come and he has gone, but his tracks are still here.

The attack on the family has very nearly succeeded. We’ve gotten to the place where we have one divorce for every marriage in our society. That is not a practical maximum for divorces. We’ll need to have two divorces for every marriage for a while until we get rid of all the marriages.

The goal, you see, is the elimination of marriage and the family altogether. Babies are being killed off before they can be born. In the name of reproductive freedom, women and their doctors are destroying the results of fatherhood. The very idea of the father is fading away. This is not merely a war on men who father children. It is a war on the very idea of father.

But even the most radical gender feminists don’t understand the depths of what they are doing. They are not the author of the anti-father agenda. It is buried deeper than that. Think about it. Who is there in this world who has more reason than anyone else to hate the Father, despise the Father, destroy everything the Father stands for? It is the devil, of course. And the destruction of everything the Father stands for is the hidden agenda behind the abortion movement. It is the hidden agenda in the hard core feminist movement.

Who suffers, who gets hurt? The children, of course. What most people don’t realize is that most of the poor people in this country are children. Not only that, but most of the poor children are poor because of the destruction of the family – they have no father. It is so simple. Ninety-four percent of the married couples in the United States are not poor. The poverty problem in this country is a direct result of the systematic destruction of the family.

Poverty is a spiritual problem. Child abuse is a spiritual problem. The sexual abuse of children is a spiritual problem. The solution of these problems will have to be spiritual. Not only does Satan have to be bound, this entire rotten spiritual infrastructure in the world has to be taken away.

Satan Bound

It seems that it is ultimately God’s plan to gather all this corruption together in one place. John saw it in vision:

And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

Revelation 18:1–2

The truth is that the Kingdom of God cannot be established on this earth until God deals with this corrupt spiritual infrastructure. For Christ to return and to attempt to impose His government on this earth while all that is still here would be an exercise in futility. In fact, it would be destructive because of the continuing war.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of this one event in the plan of God. All the foul spirits must be gathered together and dealt with, and Satan himself must be bound.

What do we do until then? We are stuck here, and the spirit world ebbs and flows and backs and fills all around us constantly. The tracks are everywhere to be seen. There is a short passage in the book of James that is helpful:

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:6-7).

That will take care of one side of the issue, but there is more here. In verse 11, James admonishes us, “Speak not evil of one another, brethren.” Bear in mind that Satan is the accuser of the brethren, and that there is no better way to conjure up the devil than to start accusing one another. When we’re doing that, we can’t have the protection we need from the accuser of the brethren. You’re helping him make his tracks.

And this brings us directly to another point. Stay involved with a church. When there is a war on, the last thing you want is to be alone. One person by himself might fall, while two can stand. You need support, you need encouragement from people who care about you. There are many times when you know what to do – you just need someone else to say, “Yes, you’re right – do it!”

You need to have a place to go for knowledge so you can be taught, so you can learn, so you can grow. You need to have a place to go so there will be someone to pray for you, someone who knows about you, someone who is aware of you, someone who cares about you. If you are alone, you don’t have that.

You need a place to go for correction, where there will be someone to tell you when you’re wrong. You need a preacher every once in a while to admonish you from God’s Word and to warn you against doing stupid things with your life.

Above all, you need a place to go for love – where there are people who care. If there is no place at all to go, write a letter. Keep in touch. Use the telephone. Use the cassette recorder. Do what you can to reach out and stay in touch with God’s people. It’s a jungle out there, and the jungle is full of wild animals. You have no business going out in the dark alone. You should reach out to one another. You should support one another and care about one another.

But remember, when all is said and done, you don’t need to be afraid of these spirits running around in the jungle. Those who are with us are greater than all the powers of all of them.

This message has also been released with the title: “The Devil's Tracks”


Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart (1934–2016) — People around the world have come to appreciate his easy style, non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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