Billy Graham: Satan Is Desperate

Billy Graham: Satan Is Desperate

Crime is on the rampage. Extremist groups threaten to use terrorist tactics, including assassinations of prominent people. Drug addicts commit more and more crimes in order to get more and more drugs. People are frightened. They are afraid to walk the streets—not only at night but in the daytime as well. 

People everywhere are asking, “What has happened? What can we do? Which way can we turn?” 

The Scripture says: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). 

These principalities, powers and rulers of darkness are at work in our world at this moment. There is no explanation for what is going on at this hour apart from a spiritual explanation. Pornography, crime, filth, the almost total preoccupation with materialism—and even more shocking, the departure of a great segment of the institutional church from true, Biblical faith—all of these are convincing evidences that supernatural powers are at work.

To the Christian, the Apostle Paul says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong. … For we wrestle” (Ephesians 6:10, 12, KJV). The archenemy of Jesus Christ is always attacking His followers. No Christian anywhere in the world is exempt from this great spiritual conflict. God has no place for spiritual pacifists. Every Christian is conscripted for both defensive and aggressive warfare. God calls every one of His followers to march not into a religious playground or a sports field but into grim, terrible, bloody conflict. 

The Bible indicates that our enemies are powerful and desperate. Issues of life and death, defeat and destruction are at stake. God warns that we are not up against flesh and blood. This is a spiritual warfare—to the death.

The Scriptures describe Satan as the bitterest enemy of God, and he is a cruel adversary. The Apostle Peter warned, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Notice, he is seeking you. He wants to fight you. And he has supernatural power.

The very names of Satan indicate what type of personality he is. He is called in the Bible a deceiver (Revelation 20:10); a liar, a murderer (John 8:44); an accuser (Revelation 12:10); a tempter (Matthew 4:3); and the evil one (John 17:15). Every name is repulsive and repellent, indicating the type of personality with whom we are dealing. 

The Bible defines Satan’s works as wiles (Ephesians 6:11), devices (2 Corinthians 2:11) and snares (1 Timothy 3:7). He beguiles (2 Corinthians 11:3, KJV), seduces (1 Timothy 4:1, KJV), opposes (2 Thessalonians 2:4), resists (Zechariah 3:1, KJV), deceives (Revelation 12:9), hinders (1 Thessalonians 2:18), buffets (2 Corinthians 12:7), tempts (1 Thessalonians 3:5), persecutes (Revelation 12:13) and blasphemes (Revelation 13:5-6). Every work of Satan is diabolical and destructive.

I am convinced that Satan is desperate. He knows his time is short. He is going all out to destroy the witness of true believers and to remove the last vestiges of morality and decency.

Christ spoke of Satan many times, and every time it was in a way and by a name that confirms that Satan is a genuine, real personality. Our adversary is personal, aggressive, intelligent, cunning and destructive. It is against this powerful spiritual being who conducts a spiritual warfare that the forces of God are contending at this moment.

The Bible indicates that Satan has great authority in this world. In fact, the Bible says, “The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Three times Jesus Christ called him “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Ephesians 2:2 teaches that he is the ruling spirit over the children of disobedience, which includes all people who have not made their peace with God.

Satan has powerful influence in every nation of the world. He is the mastermind behind the whole system of evil that permeates a world dominated by lustful power, greed, ambition, intrigue, hatred, lies, aggression, rivalry and brutality.

You know, Satan once offered Jesus Christ all the kingdoms of this world with their power and glory if He would but worship him (Matthew 4:8-9). Christ did not dispute his claim for their control. Christ knew that Satan had the power to deliver the world to Him. He plainly said, in Matthew 12:26, that there is a kingdom of Satan.

Satan also has authority over a vast host of demons and evil spirits; Jesus taught that the devil even has angels (Matthew 25:41). He has a mass organization of hellish forces working secretly and subtly against heavenly forces.

The devil is going all out. He is offering the greatest smorgasbord of worldly pleasures and amusements in the history of the world to get us sidetracked from our spiritual pilgrimage and our witness for Christ.

The Bible teaches that we as Christians are to be separated from the world. It says, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Satan is doing everything in his power today to get us to love the world. 

Not only is the devil trying to get us mixed with the world that crucified Christ but he is also causing religious leaders to deny the Scriptures. Graham Scroggie of Edinburgh, Scotland, was speaking at a Keswick meeting some time ago. He said that modern criticism tells us that Genesis is a myth and Revelation a mystery. He then asked, “I wonder who it was that inspired that theory?”

A voice in the tent shouted out, “The devil!”

“Quite right,” said Scroggie, “and I will tell you why the devil is so anxious to get rid of Genesis and Revelation: because in Genesis his sentence is declared, and in Revelation it is executed.”

The devil is the defeated enemy, and some day we are going to see him cast into the bottomless pit and no longer able to disturb and tempt the world (Revelation 20:1-3).

In Ephesus the devil used Demetrius and the craftsmen to start a riot in the city (Acts 19:23-40). A disturbed devil is positive evidence of revival and renewal. Certainly the devil is disturbed today.

But, ladies and gentlemen, there is also a moving of the Spirit of God. Thousands of prayer meetings are being held. Thousands of Bible study groups are taking place. Hundreds and thousands of people are being converted to Christ. The devil is disturbed, and from that point of view we should be encouraged.

There is no doubt that there is raging on this earth at this moment a spiritual battle between the forces of God and the forces of the devil. Any carnal weapons that we try to use in this spiritual warfare have no power against the cunning wiles and fiery darts of the devil. The Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 10:4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.” 

Americans have come to believe that Washington should solve everything. We’ve come to believe that money or education is the answer to everything. It is being proved every day that none of these provide the answer to our dilemma. Our great problem is a spiritual problem; and until we have a spiritual and moral renewal, we will go from crisis to crisis.

The greatest strength we have at this hour will come from living for God and being filled with the Holy Spirit. The greatest roadblock standing in Satan’s way is the Christian who lives for God above all else, who walks worthily and who is filled with the Spirit and so is “able to stand against the wiles of the devil” and “to withstand in the evil day” (Ephesians 6:11, 13).

We live in a world whose civilization is on the brink of utter collapse, literally rotting to pieces through its own corruption. Moral restraint has been cast to the winds. Immorality permeates every phase of life, manifesting itself in speech, clothing, amusements, literature and relationships. The very atmosphere is charged with Satanic suggestions that pollute both eye and ear.

And the greatest contribution you can make as an individual is to live a clean, honest, humble, Spirit-filled life; trust God to guard and protect you morally, physically and spiritually; and become a part of that vocal minority that is openly and publicly witnessing for the Lord Jesus Christ. Identify yourself as a true believer in your community, on your campus or wherever you are.

True believers are a dynamic minority. They are the “called-out ones.” They are part of the bride of Christ. They are members of His Body. If not for them, the nation would have been destroyed long ago. Isaiah the prophet once said, “Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah” (Isaiah 1:9).

Then he warned ancient Judah, “Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; give ear to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah” (Isaiah 1:10).

I warn the leaders of our nation: “Hear the word of the Lord” and turn to Him while there is time. Isaiah warned the people of Judah, “‘But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword;’ for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 1:20). Let us recognize that we are involved in a great spiritual conflict and that each of us has a decisive role to play. Let us not be the pawns of the devil, but let us be the servants of God at this hour.

You must make a choice. You must decide on which side you are going to serve—the devil’s side or God’s side. The choice is clear-cut. I am asking you at this moment to receive Christ as your Savior, repent of your sins and by faith say yes to Christ. Let Him come into your heart, and choose God’s side in this great spiritual conflict.  ©1972 BGEA

Unless otherwise specified, Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version. The Scriptures marked KJV are taken from The Holy Bible, King James Version.


Will you serve God or Satan? It will either be one or the other. God has made a way for you to know Him and spend eternity with Him, through faith in Jesus Christ. What do you need to do? First, confess your sin and turn away from it. Second, receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord, putting your faith in Him alone to save you. You can do that right now. He promises to live in you and transform your life. You can have a new life, a new beginning, if you will surrender to Christ.


You can pray a prayer like this:

“Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I’m sorry for my sin. I want to turn from my sin. Please forgive me. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son; I believe He died on the cross for my sin and You raised Him to life. I want Him to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as my Lord from this day forward. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”


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Photo: Russ Busby / ©1972 BGEA Archives

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