Shadows are interesting things. They communicate a reality, yet, they themselves are not really real. They indicate the thing that is coming, yet, they are not the things themselves.
Pastor Ken Ortize (Calvary Spokane)
The late Chuck Missler once said, "...there is evidence to suggest that our world and everything in it are also only ghostly images, projections from a level of reality so beyond our own it is literally beyond both space and time." While I don't know if I completely share that same sentiment, we do know that certain things and places on earth are but a type and shadow of things to come as Hebrews 8:5 points out. But as a matter of fact, this universe and all of the physical components we call reality is not so much a ghostly mirage, as it is temporal in comparison to the eternal realm.
Scoping in from the macro view to the micro, kings, and kingdoms have been the chief objective on this planet since God first instituted human government in Genesis 9. It has been the overarching force that has guided the affairs of this world these past 4,500 years (i.e., since Noah's exit from the ark). This brings us back to the point of the system within the system. Any belief system, government, economy, academic endeavor, any form of entertainment, political movement, or means of business/commerce which denies Christ as God come in the flesh, is antichrist. You might be thinking, well, that is most of everything in the world...and you'd be right. The Apostle John said pretty much the same thing when he wrote, "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one." 1 John 5:19
Something doesn't have to be overtly satanic to be satanic. Just as Satan loves to claim the limelight, he also likes to operate as the darkness in the shadow. He loves the subtlety of deception by subversion and infiltration and corruption from within. He is equal parts rust, mold, and 'angel of light' who deceives both with the uncaring indifference of time (apathy, gradualism, uniformitarianism, etc.), as he is with deceiving the masses by dazzling displays of distractions and illusions.
But it's not just the deception of mankind that the devil delights in, he also seeks to terrorize man and bring him back to the old ways. It means the return of paganism. It means the return of polytheism. It means the return of people worshipping and following many gods. And to paraphrase Charlie Kirk, "Polytheism means many gods and many gods means many moralities." It is why in recent years, we are seeing the darkness stepping out of the shadow to reclaim its prominence in the affairs of man.
This, in part, explains the insanity we are witnessing today with the blood lust for abortion and child mutilation by the LGBTQPXYZ movement. It explains the rise in all forms of violence and mayhem, the blatant corruption in government, and the fixation with all things occult in entertainment. Even science and technology are getting on board by both trying to play god and opening new doorways to places they don't understand. Satan knows his time is running short, and he is abandoning gradualism to aggressively spearhead his agenda in consolidating his grip on the planet. He needs to minimize the fallout from the impending Rapture of the Church so he can more quickly regain control of the earth and shape the coming kingdom of the beast.
I addressed this return to paganism in my portion of Terry James's 2020 book Lawless and how this resurgence is impacting our world today. I have also discussed many times that when a spiritual vacuum is created by the departure of our worship of the one true God, it will be replaced with dark spiritual forces. It is no great mystery then that as our nation departs from its Judeo-Christian roots, Satan will seek to quickly fill that void with paganism, witchcraft, satanism, eastern mysticism, and countless other antichrist systems. These forces, once hidden behind the façade of enlightenment and reason, are abandoning both for the perverse and occult and will be far worse than before.
“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.” Matthew 12:44-45
Humans are created by God to worship Him. You might say we are "hardwired" to do this. When we abandon our God-given conscience, it begins to darken and harden. The longer we are in this fallen world, the more exposed we are to the toxicity of sin and wickedness, and it warps our understanding of the truth. Ultimately, by the time most people reach adulthood, they've seared their consciousness as with many hot irons by doing things antithetical to what God has planned for us further callousing our ability to connect to Him. At a certain point, should God not intervene, man reaches a point where he/she is 'given over' to a reprobate mind and is both unwilling and unable to come to the saving knowledge of the truth. Satan knows we are designed to worship God, and how powerful this draw is to us. Therefore, he uses people, things, and ideas to corrupt our understanding of the real truth, and then ensnares us in chains of darkness. Satan knows if we aren't worshipping the one true God, then we will worship anything.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. Hebrews 11:1-2
Humans are created to experience this reality with our five senses, which is what makes true faith such a gift from God. Thankfully, God has not required us to have blind faith, for all of creation, the Scriptures, archeology, history, and prophecy testifies of God and provides ample evidence. Still, we have to have eyes that see, and ears that hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to us. This is why Jesus continually rebuked that generation for hearing but not hearing, and seeing but not seeing (Matt 13:10-17). This blindness and deafness hearken back even unto the days of Moses when, even after all they'd seen, the Israelites still chased after other gods.
They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
To gods they did not know,
To new gods, new arrivals
That your fathers did not fear.
Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful,
And have forgotten the God who fathered you.
As Scripture states in numerous places, until we place our faith in the finished, redemptive work of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, we remain unregenerated and spiritually dead. Paul states we were dead in our trespasses (sins), the walking dead, spiritual zombies if you will. While I'm not attempting to build any doctrine off this crude analogy, from what the world has indicated to us about zombies through pop culture, they are mindless, flesh-eating ghouls who don't realize they're dead. In other words, zombies are the walking dead who wander about mindlessly, and aimlessly, only seeking to fill their bellies, and are ultimately, only fit for destruction.
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:13-15
When one remains spiritually unregenerate (not born again), then they are spiritual zombies. They are aimless, mindless (minding the things of God), spiritually deaf, dumb, and blind creatures only seeking to fulfill the lusts of their flesh because they cannot perceive anything beyond what their five senses feed them. Man was created in God's-image, and is the only one in all of creation to whom this honor is afforded (not even the angels can claim this). We were given every advantage to seek after God, but still, so many refuse to come.
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. Philippians 3:18-19
Those who go through this life refusing to come to God through Jesus Christ, are used as cogs in the wheel of the machine that is the system of the antichrist. They are part of a system that will meet its ultimate demise at the Second Coming of Christ. It is a world system that is going to be consumed to the very last atom through the unquenchable fire, and then, cast into the very real lake of fire to be eternally destroyed. In other words, a system (filled with Christ-rejecting people) who are to remain in a perpetual state of destruction, forever.
Not a pleasant thought I agree.
This is why we, who are spiritually regenerated, and have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a mouth to speak must be about our Father's business bringing in anyone and everyone who will come. Just as it was in Noah's day, so too will come to a point when God shuts the door to this dispensation, and then the judgment will fall.
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ Revelation 3:8-13