Excerpted (albeit expanded) from Biblical Demonology: A Study of the Spiritual Forces Behind the Present World Unrest by Merrill F. Unger:
In every age of human history and in every phase of daily life demons have played a tremendous and very important role. These evil spirits are represented in the Bible as being exceedingly numerous, well-organized, and having access everywhere in our world.
Satan, the archdemon, is exceptionally powerful. Men are said to be led captive by him, working in the hearts of the disobedient. Christians are warned against his devices and called to resist him, not in their own strength but in the strength of the Lord.
In no realm is demonic activity more significant than in the sphere of human government. In this area possibly more than in any other field of their operation their activity has frequently been undiscerned, ignored or ridiculed. Their invisible natures, their close and inseparable identity with their visible human agents, and the supernatural character of their operations have combined to clothe the actual presence of demons; their wicked maneuverings and evil enterprises remains to unsuspecting secularists unknown. Innumerable multitudes of people without the light of divine revelation, and other multitudes possessing the Bible, but unversed in the truths of the “mystery of lawlessness” (II Thessalonians 2:7), cannot get beyond “flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6:12). Humans can see only their fellow human actors upon the stage of history. Wicked rulers, ruthless dictators, tyrants, oppressors, kings, governors, and presidents are, to them, the real and only characters in the great drama of life as it affects the political realm. Men have no idea there exist an unseen realm of evil personalities, energizing and motivating the magistrates around them. “The principalities . . . the powers . . . the world rulers of this present darkness,” and “the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12) is mere theological nonsense to most people.
In realms hidden within a parallel angelic universe human governments are in fact controlled by the unseen demonic personalities, and they are just as real and active as their visible human counterparts. Human history is not merely an account of human activities and events independent of spiritual forces, but a continuous interaction of spiritual and human personalities, in which demons play a prominent part.
Although demonic activity is proliferates in this age as so in preceding ages – and will be enlarged as the present evil age draws to a close – the works of Satan is limited. Indeed his power is extraordinarily vast but the Lord’s power is greater still. Furthermore, while God does not sanction anything related to Satan or evil men’s wicked rapacity, yet the Lord makes clever use of the occasion. God’s divine will is fixed and certain. It is God who is governing the world and regulates all events.
“… we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose … we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”
If Satan and ungodly men rage, God acts by their hands that the wicked deeds belong to them and the blame belong to them. God will turn their perverse actions to the reverse of that which they intended. Whatever poison Satan produces, God turns into medicine for His elect (Calvin, John; Commentary on Genesis 50).
Ultimately Satan and his demonic hordes are destined to be destroyed. God is at this time permitting Satan to operate under certain restrictions. Through his myriads of demons Satan plots his own ambition to be like God and to attempt all the functions of God. The one true God permits the sinful acts of evil men and evil demons in such a way that it is included in His holy and perfect plan, and the evil deeds of Satan are overruled for the good of His people. Yet while his schemes appear to us as faultless, Satan’s program is foredoomed to failure and destruction and serves to demonstrate to the entire universe the utter folly of a creature attempting to act in independence of and in opposition to the Creator.