"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
(II Corinthians 2:11)
The gathering of intelligence is important in warfare. When one army is advancing on another you certainly want to know where the enemy is because running upon him unawares can have disastrous results. Before facing an enemy, a military commander wants to know as much about that enemy as possible. He wants to know;
Based on this intelligence a commander will decide how to where to engage the enemy or maybe to leave the field and fight another day. He wants know everything possible about the enemy, then exploit that intelligence to its fullest. To exploit every weakness to its fullest.
- exactly where the enemy are and what kind of ground do they hold,
- what kind of commander do they have,
- what is their strength in men and armament,
- and what kind of reserves do they have and where would they come from.
We are at war. We do battle every day. Our enemy is Satan. The war is not over control of some geographic region, but for our eternal souls. Satan has a lot of intelligence on you and I. He knows what kind of ground we hold, whether our house is built on the rock or on the sand. He knows who is our commander, who it is who sits on the throne of our hearts. He knows our strengths and he knows our every weakness. He will exploit that intelligence to its fullest. What do you know about Satan? What do know about his strengths and his weaknesses. Do you know enough about his tactics and his weapons to be able to defend yourself against him?
Who is Satan?
Satan is known by several names in the Bible. Satan seems to be his proper name, while other names seem to be more nicknames or titles.
He is called Beelzebub and the prince of devils:
But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges." (Matthew 12:24-27)
He is known as Belial:
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" (II Corinthians 6:14, 15)
Paul called him the "prince of the power of the air":
"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:" (Ephesians 2:2)
He is a murderer, a liar, and the father of lies:
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is 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)
He is the great dragon, that old serpent, the Devil:
"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." (Revelation 12:9)
He is the adversary, stalking us like a lion:
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" (I Peter 5:8)
Where did Satan Come From?
The Devil, once an angel in Heaven, was cast out for his rebellion:
7: And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8: And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Luke 10:18: And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
And his angels were imprisoned. (I Peter 2:4; Jude 6)
The Devil was once an angel, and so he is God's creation (Psalms 148:1-5; Colossians 1:16,17)
Where is Satan Now?
Satan was cast down to earth.
Revelations 12:9: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Earth was Satan's answer when God asked him where he had been in Job.
6: Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
7: And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
And what is the Devil up to as he walks up and down in the earth?
I Peter 5:8: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
What Does Satan Look Like?
How many ways have you seen the devil pictured? Some times he is pictured as a man with a man with a Van Dyke beard, evil eyes, and wicked little smirk. He is also pictured the same way except with red skin, horns, a pointed tail, and carrying a pitch fork. Now add the feet of a goat and you have another picture of the devil. And finally, he is sometimes pictured as a creature with the head of a goat, the arms and torso of a man, and the legs and feet of a goat. These images are from legend and imagination, but what does the Bible say that the devil looks like?
He appeared to the woman as a serpent in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). But other than this account, we are not given a description of what the devil may look like. Since Satan was an angel, he is therefore a spiritual being like an angel. Being a spiritual being would allow him to appear as anything he wanted (a serpent for instance), or not be seen at all.
Paul said that Satan can appear as an "angel of light"
II Corinthinans 11:
13: For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15: Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
How Powerful is Satan?
To some people Satan is no more than a Halloween costume, a myth used to scare them when they were children. Others see the devil as a deity, an adversary every bit as powerful as God Himself, and therefore they do not want to do anything to make him angry anymore than they do God (is that not the reason people celebrate Mardi Gras). Neither one of these views are substaniated by the Bible. What does the Bible tell us about Satan's power?
We should never underestimate Satan's power. Satan is very powerful. Since he is a spiritual being like angels, he is therefore more powerful than men:
II Peter 2:11: Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
The book of Job is probably our best source to learn about Satan's power. He was able to send fire from the sky to burn up Job's sheep and servants:
Job 1:16: While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
He was able to send a wind that blew down Job's son's house:
18: While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
19: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
He was able to move evil people against Job:
14: And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:
15: And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
17: While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
He was able to afflict Job with disease:
Job 2:7: So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
Satan is not a deity. He is the creation of God and is therefore under His control. He could not do those things without God's permission. He could not act outside of God's restrictions.
In Chapter 1 God told the devil that he could not touch Job:
Job 1:12: And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
In Chapter 2 God told the devil that he could not kill Job:
Job 2:6: And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
In the same manner, God will not let Satan tempt us more than we can stand:
I Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
If we give in to temptation, it's not God's fault. It is due to our own weakness.
Jesus interceded on Peter's behalf to stop the Devil from getting the better of Peter:
Luke 22:31, 32 "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
Satan is not omniscient. Satan tempted Judas so that he betrayed Jesus, and as a result Jesus was arrested and put to death on the cross:
John 13:2: And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;
But Christ's death was His victory over Satan:
Hebrew 2:14: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
So, how exactly does Satan work?
Satan uses our own lusts against us:
James 1:14: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Lust was the thorns in the Parable of the Sower:
18: And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19: And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
There are three kinds of lust:
I John 2:16: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh,
and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Look how Satan used lust when he tempted Eve:
Genesis 3:6: And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,
Lust of the flesh
and that it was pleasant to the eyes,
Lust of the eyes
and a tree to be desired to make one wise,
Pride of life
she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Satan tried to use the same tactic on Jesus:
3: And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Lust of the flesh.
8: Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9: And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Lust of the eyes.
5: Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6: And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Pride of life.
Satan uses deceit, after all, he is a liar:
John 8:44: Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
When Satan tempted Eve, he lied to her adding one word to what God had said:
3: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4: And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Satan preys on ignorance. If you don't study the scriptures, the devil has won already. Satan does his best to take God's Word out of our hearts. Look at the Parable of the Sower:
3: And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4: And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
19: When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
He uses tribulations, afflictions, and persecutions. Look what he did to Job. In Job Chapter 1 he took away everyone of Job's possessions including his children. In Chapter 2 he took Job's health.
This is what happened with seed sowed in the stony ground in the Parable of the Sower:
16: And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17: And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
So, how do we defend ourselves against the devil?
First of all, we have to get in control of our lusts
1 Peter 2:11: Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
Submit yourself to God, and resist the devil:
James 4:7: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
How do we resist the Devil?
In Mark 4 Jesus answered every temptation with "It is written"
And Satan left him albeit for just a season.
13: And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
Yes, Satan would be back to tempt Jesus again, but to no avail:
Hebrews 4:15: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
We must put on the whole armor of God:
11: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12: 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.
13: Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Where do we find the whole armor of God?
14: Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
II Timothy 2:15: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17: For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
15: And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
12: Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
18: And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
19: For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
20: And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21: And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22: In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
16: Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
17: And take the helmet of salvation,
Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
So what is to happen with the Devil?
Satan's fate is sealed:
Matthew 25:41: Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Revelation 20:10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
And Satan would love for that to be your fate too!
What have we learned?
1)Satan is the enemy of mankind, and walks this earth seeking to ruin our lives and cause us to lose our souls.
2)Though Satan is not all-knowing or all-powerful, he is still a very powerful and knowledgable foe. We have to be on guard at all times and armed with the gospel.
3)Satan was created by God and is not deity. He is not all-knowing or all-powerful as is God.
4)God limits the devil's power over us so that we cannot be tempted beyond that we can endure. God provides a way of escape for every trial and temptation that Satan throws our way. We just have to look for it.
5)Satan exploits ignorance and lust. He knows our every weakness, every chink in our armor.
6)Our every defense against the devil is found in the Bible. It is therein we can find the "Whole Armour of God".
7)Satan fate is sealed. He is doomed to eternal damnation in hell. He wants to see you there too. But your fate is not sealed. You can foil Satan by submitting yourselves to God.
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