WHAT YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT SATAN
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” Matthew 6:13).
When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, part of that prayer was to ask, “Deliver us from the Evil One.”
Military officers know you cannot fight your enemy—much less defeat him—if you do not know who he is.
Satan knows you must recognize your enemy or you’ll be unprepared. It’s always been his plan to pull the veil of darkness across his kingdom so we'll not understand who he is.
SATAN IS A DECIDED FACT
Some people believe the devil is just a bit of fiction, a cartoon character dressed in red with a pitchfork and tail. But Scripture is clear:
"Be sober [serious minded, vigilant], for your adversary [you have an adversary] the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking-whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8
He is the bitterest enemy of God and His people. If you want a blessing, think of the names of Jesus. If you want a warning, look at the Bible’s names for the devil: deceiver, destroyer, liar, murderer, accuser of the brethren, tempter, prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), and the evil one.
The devil is called “the God of this Age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). At one time he was “Lucifer, son of the morning,” the most glorious angel ever created. Heaven was his dwelling place, serving God as an archangel. What happened? Isaiah tells us:
How art thou fallen from Heaven, Oh Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground which didst weaken the nations, for thou hast said in thine heart, 'I will ascend into Heaven. I will exhalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation; in the sides of the north, I will be like the most High God.’ Isaiah 14:12-14
“I will be like God!” His heart was lifted up with pride. No sooner was that challenge uttered than the thunder of God's wrath rolled down the corridors of Heaven, and he was banished. No longer “Lucifer, son of the morning,” he became Satan, father of the night. He took one-third of the angels with him. Today we call them demons, and Satan is lord of them. Ephesians 6:12 describes his malevolent force:
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.
The Amplified says it this way:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly [supernatural] places.”
No wonder then he’s also called “the Prince of the Power of the Air.” The Contemporary English Version is even more specific:
We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.
The battle may be within man, but it's never between men. The devil may have a thousand heads, but he has one heart. Through his demon spirits, he not only controls individuals, but literally controls nations. So often at the UN, at the negotiating table, the devil is an unseen presence. Demon spirits are influencing leaders all over this world.
Your enemy is not a human being. It’s not the Republicans, the Democrats or the Independents.
HIS CHIEF PURPOSE
Before he fell, as Ryrie says, “Satan was the consummation of perfection in his original wisdom and beauty.” Now his unholy ambition is to pull God from His throne, to literally overthrow God, a rebel in revolt against Almighty God. Ezekiel 28:11-19 explains that his wisdom was corrupted because of his pride.
HIS CHIEF WEAPON
Deception. It’s been that way since the Garden of Eden, when he deceived Eve.
HIS MODE OF OPERATION
Jesus described it: Speaking to the Pharisees who wanted nothing more than to kill the Lord Jesus, he said,
“You are of your father, the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He [the devil] was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there's no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44
In that salient verse, our Lord tells us two things about the devil:
To overcome his plan and methods, the Bible says,
“Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11
“Wiles” is the word we get our English word “methods” from. The devil is methodical. He's willing to wait. He'll let you succeed, that you might further fall. He will let you get away with sin, that sin might greatly entrap and then snare you. He is quite content to be patient. The apostle Paul said,
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Corinthians 2:11
But many today are ignorant of the devil’s devices!
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. 2 Timothy 2:26
Put those words together—wiles, devices, snares—that’s the enemy we have.
SATAN IS A DESTRUCTIVE FORCE
Jesus taught us to pray, “Lord, deliver us.” When you think of deliverance, you think of danger. We must understand just how dangerous our enemy is!
In the last days there will be a resurgence of demonic power, the Bible teaches, destroying civilization as we know it. I believe the world is about to enter into the Great Tribulation after the Rapture of the church. The Bible describes the sins of the Great Tribulation:
Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. Revelation 9:21
The big four in the Tribulation will be murder, sorcery, fornication, and thievery.
Murder—look at the unrepentant abortion rate and the violence in our streets.
Sorcery—(in Greek, pharmakia, meaning “an enchanter with drugs.”) We have exponential use of drugs today. It is a form of synthetic salvation, drugs producing instant “heaven” leading to eternal Hell.
Fornication— Satan is a destructive force through all forms of the media and the internet. Sexual sin is in music, movies and on TV in unrestrained display. Almost all sex on television is outside of marriage. Much of rock music glorifies drugs, sex, and even devil worship. As “Prince of the Power of the Air,” he knows how to use these things.
Did you know that the devil by his very nature is a musical being? In Ezekiel we read that before he fell, when Lucifer would speak, it would be like great music (Ezekiel 23:13). He sounded like a pipe organ when he spoke. His very name, Lucifer, means “Lightbearer.”
“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14
Taken together, this tells me the devil is a master of media.
Thievery—graft, greed, corruption, bribery—run the gamut from politicians and corporate titans down to the smallest embezzlement from an employer.
Satan is also a destructive force through false doctrine.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirit and doctrines of demons.” 1 Timothy 4:3
When you look for the devil, never fail to look in the pulpit. “Satan himself is transformed as an angel of light.” The apostle John in Revelation calls some churches "synagogues of Satan." Satan has his ministers. They preach another Christ than the Christ of the Bible. We see that today in the compromising of the Gospel. The devil has warped and twisted the minds of people as he has denied, perverted and twisted the Word of God.
BUT SATAN IS A DEFEATED FOE
In our next article, we’re going to see how we can overcome this powerful foe.
There’s much more to come in this message. To hear it in its entirety, call 1-800-LOVE-GOD and ask for message #0991’ “Overcoming the Evil One,” to receive the CD for yourself or to give to a loved one or friend.
You may already be sure that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. But let this book reinforce your faith and help you to share it with others. There are many today who are trying to make their way through a world of darkness, having never heard the gospel. Read John’s account with that in mind, and discover new ways you might introduce others to the Light of the World (John 8:12).