How often have we heard the fisherman tell about "the really big one that got away"? You know how the story goes. We can all smile in our mind's eye as we reflect on the animated discussion and fictitious dimensions displayed by the fisherman's arms stretching out so far that they can seemingly reach no farther. But upon a keener examination by the listener, the would-be Moby Dick of the pond shrinks into proper proportion. We all laugh. We all go home. We all wait for the next "fish story." But some fish stories are true. Very true! And, in the turbulent and troubled waters of our current age, there are some really "big ones" still out there.
As I write, the U.S. Army has landed a big catch. Uday and Qusay Hussein were, to put it delicately, "reeled in" and put on public display. These two sons of Saddam Hussein were the embodiment of the Baathist regime's evil as they murdered, tortured and raped their way through the decades in Iraqi society. It was a bold decision by the U.S. command structure to place their bullet-ridden and bloated bodies out there for all to view. It may well have shocked our own civilized sensibilities to witness such gore.
The rationale for such a photo op was to break the cycle of fear that is paralyzing the average Iraqi from moving forward to build a new society. After decades of horrendous physical and psychological repression, the Iraqi public has got to know that "these guys simply aren't coming back." A very real mental image had to be indelibly stamped into the minds and hearts of the average Iraqi that the door to the past was shut and bolted from any possible future reopening. Such effective closure, as gruesome as it may be, is certainly a path to new horizons for a people who can only believe what they see.
Still, even bigger fish out there
But even as we all take a collective sigh of relief that justice has been enacted upon such evil men, and seemingly there is some "wiggle room" for hope to find a home in a demoralized society; we also know that there are still even bigger fish out there—and thus our arms knowingly spread much wider to show the size of the potential catch.
Even as I write, it seems Saddam Hussein is moving from house to house seeking to evade capture and the fate of his offspring. Will he be captured? Only time will tell. It has been reasonably postulated that until Saddam Hussein is caught and bound, whether in life or death, Iraq will remain basically paralyzed as a society. A true and lasting peace cannot be assured in Iraq until he is caught and put out of business.
But then, the arms begin to span even wider as we think of the even "bigger fish" out there in global waters eluding capture—yes, Osama bin Laden, whose audiotaped shockwaves still stir up the unsettled imagination of the world's citizenry. Why? Because there has been no effective closure. We don't know whether he is dead or alive. We don't know what he is planning next or where the next "shoe" will actually drop. It truly is unsettling as we move through the uncharted waters of global terrorism.
But what about the biggest one of all?
But stay with me as my story continues and my arms stretch even wider to remind us there's still a bigger fish out there. And yes, he's big. And yes, he's real. And yes, he's oh so elusive. He would like us to divert our attention and energy away from him to the current crop of history's most wanted list of thugs, be it Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden or, for that matter, future poster children of inhumanity like the biblically prophesied Beast and False Prophet. And yes, he would like us to listen to "experts" who downplay his existence and influence, or who deny his abilities to affect our daily lives or the course of society.
Yet none other than Jesus Christ Himself defines the dimensions of the "greatest catch" in world history and verifies the reality and enormity of such a creature. In Matthew 10:28 Matthew 10:28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
American King James Version×, Christ jolts His audience by declaring, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
Even then, 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ was challenging His followers to reach beyond the familiar and stretch their senses beyond the known sources of terror of their times and focus on the real source of human woe. His reference was to none other than Satan the devil, the adversary, the ultimate spiritual terrorist threat.
We don't wrestle against flesh and blood
Building on the words of Christ, the apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:11-12 Ephesians 6:11-12  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
American King James Version×exhorts us to "put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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."
While there is certainly "evil incarnate" stalking this earth in the form of man, we must always be mindful that the ultimate source of spiritual mass destruction is not readily seen or noticed by the ordinary individual. Satan seems to specifically like it that way. He chooses to stay behind the scenes and allow his minions to do the dirty work.
In Ephesians 2:2 Ephesians 2:2Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
American King James Version×, Paul defines his modus operandi as being the "prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience." This evil power seemingly operates from behind the scenes by projecting attitudes, moods and thought patterns through our atmosphere thus rendering his will upon humans. Yes, while we see the human faces of dictators, thugs, murderers, rapists, thieves, "beasts" and "false prophets," never lose sight of the force behind them.
The apostle Peter adds a chilling dimension in regards to our elusive yet very real spiritual foe by insisting that the reader "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
American King James Version×). It's been said that in Africa, three beasts lie in wait for prey: the lion, the leopard and the hyena. The hyena and the leopard do not completely eat the prey, but desire only certain parts of it. The lion, however, completely devours its helpless victims, leaving not a single portion. What a perfect picture of Satan, the devourer of souls.
The very first prophecy tells it all
But the best news of all is that the time of this "devourer of souls" is coming to an end. Did you realize that the very first prophecy in the Bible clearly indicates his demise? In the Garden of Eden, God clearly spells out the fate of Satan, the serpent.
There can be no doubt. In foretelling the coming of Christ through the womb of woman, God graphically portrays the conquest of Satan by Christ: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel" (Genesis 3:15 Genesis 3:15And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
American King James Version×)."
Yes, God plainly spelled out how this "Son of Man" would be temporarily wounded by death at the hands of an agitated humanity directed by Satan (notice Luke 22:3 Luke 22:3Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.
American King James Version×). But upon His glorious resurrection the clear indication is that Christ would triumph over Satan.
The apostle Paul concludes his great thesis on salvation to all humanity, known as the book of Romans, by ending with this joyful reality, "And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly" (Romans 16:20 Romans 16:20And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
American King James Version×). This thought was never too far from the minds of the early followers of Christ. It was a reality that they welcomed and reflected on. The apostle John clearly announced in 1 John 3:8 1 John 3:8He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
American King James Version×that "for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."
What is it going to be like when Satan is put out of commission in the future? Can you imagine what it will be like when "the big one" that kept on getting away is caught? There is going to come a time when Satan is going to be cornered. He will no longer be able to hide his persona behind the actions of others. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, is going to be able to see the depth and size of his monstrous efforts against humanity.
Then the depth, breadth and enormity of his crimes against humanity will be understood by all.
God's servants have spoken through the ages of such an evil one. They have been met with mockery and ridicule as if telling one more "fish story." In the end they will be justified by the reality of events before them.
Do you think God is just going to quietly incarcerate Satan for crimes against humanity? I don't think so. The recent deaths and public exhibition of Uday and Qusay Hussein's corpses help to paint a vivid type of future events and their related effects upon a world completely pulverized by the Great Tribulation. Yes, the world will have lost hope and wonder if the "bad guy," Satan, is coming back. Let's realize that God sees things as if they already are, and thus He shares not only His victory over Satan, but also some of the colorful details.
He laid hold of the dragon
Revelation 20:1-3 Revelation 20:1-3  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
American King James Version×paints a vivid and colorful picture that is designed to offer humanity some real hope and effective closure after 6,000 years of spiritual tyranny and abuse. "Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more." Can you grasp the sights, sounds and dynamics of what you are going to be privileged to behold?
Just imagine watching an angel enter earth's atmosphere and grab hold of a spiritually tangible Satan, who is going to be incarcerated, bound and sealed up so that he cannot influence humanity.
Just as many of the citizens of Iraq cannot move forward until they know the threat of Hussein is totally gone, likewise, the future citizens of the world are going to have to know Satan has "gone out of business"—even with Christ and His occupying heavenly army now on earth. And God is more than willing to comply with overwhelming force and power. Just imagine the rejoicing and celebration that will occur.
Yes, there is coming a day when the really "big one" out there isn't going to get away. Your family, friends and neighbors will come to realize that the size and scope of your concerns regarding the "god of this age" (2 Corinthians 4:4 2 Corinthians 4:4In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
American King James Version×) were no stretch of your imagination, but in reality were the biblical truth all along.
Until that day of divine justice, let each of us be mindful of the biblical admonition found in Isaiah 30:21 Isaiah 30:21And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk you in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.
American King James Version×which tells us—"this is the way, walk in it." Perhaps there is no better recurring echo of this advice than that found in the words of Peter who encourages us to "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."