This and the other verses we have read clearly show that Satan is the ruler of this present evil world, but he retains that power only by God's express permission. God has assigned Satan 6,000 years in which to rule over mankind. When that time expires, Christ will forcibly intervene in world affairs and reestablish the government of God on earth. He will then rule the world for the next 1,000 years. Thus God's plan spans a period of one prophetic "week," since a day is as a thousand years with God, and a thousand years as a day (II Peter 3:8).

God has said to Satan, in effect: "Six 'days' shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh 'day' is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work" (Exodus 20:9-10). The first six days of this prophetic week God has turned over to Satan, and given him free rein to influence and deceive.

Satan's work is a labor of deception—of deceiving mankind—of turning God's truth upside down—causing honest, sincere people to accept a counterfeit for the genuine—deceiving people to sin. And how successfully he has worked at his occupation for nearly 6,000 years!

We are now nearing the end of Satan's six millennial days of work. And the coming seventh millennial day shall be the Sabbath of the Lord God. That "day" will not belong to Satan. It belongs to God. In it, Satan shall not do any work. He will be chained, restrained, and thrown into the symbolic "bottomless pit" (Revelation 20:1-3). He will not be allowed to deceive anyone during the Millennium.

When Christ returns to earth, He will seize rulership from the archdeceiver who has deceived and swayed humanity. Christ will then restrain the builder and ruler of this world's civilization and bind him for 1,000 years!