Avoiding the Pitfalls of Satan in a Dark World
What do you know about Satan? Why is it important to understand his origin and ambition? What would Satan like to say about you and your life?
Satan is a fallen angel. He led a rebellion with other angels against God. He wanted to be God.
How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning [light-bringer], son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the ground, You who have weakened the nations [king of Babylon]! But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of assembly In the remote parts of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But [in fact] you will be brought down to Sheol, To the remote recesses of the pit (the region of the dead). Those who see you will gaze at you, They will consider you, saying, ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms, Who made the world like a wilderness And overthrew its cities, Who did not permit his prisoners to return home?’ All the kings of the nations, all of them lie [dead] in glorious array, Each one in his own sepulcher. But you [king of Babylon] have been cast out of your tomb (denied burial) Like a rejected branch, Clothed with the slain who are pierced by the sword, Who go down to the stones of the pit [into which carcasses are thrown], Like a dead body trampled [underfoot]. You will not be united with them in burial, Because you have destroyed your land, You have slain your people. May the descendants of evildoers never be named! Isaiah 14:12-20 AMP
Jesus cites Himself as a witness to Satan’s fall.
He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like [a flash of] lightning. Luke 10: 18
In Revelation, Satan’s fall is highlighted and believers are warned of his great anger against them.
Then another sign [of warning] was seen in heaven: behold, a great fiery red dragon (Satan) with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven royal crowns (diadems). And the great dragon was thrown down, the age-old serpent who is called the devil and Satan, he who continually deceives and seduces the entire inhabited world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom (dominion, reign) of our God, and the authority of His Christ have come; for the accuser of our [believing] brothers and sisters has been thrown down [at last], he who accuses them and keeps bringing charges [of sinful behavior] against them before our God day and night. And they overcame and conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them [in the presence of God]. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you in great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time [remaining]!” Revelation 12:3, 9-12 AMP
Satan”s name, in fact, means adversary. Other names used for him in the Bible include the devil (Matthew 4;1), the serpent (Genesis 3;1), Beelzebul (Luke 11:15), the ruler of this world (John 14:30), the prince of the power of air (Ephesians 2:2), and the evil one (I John 2:13)
Jesus describes him as a murderer and liar.
…He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths. John 8:44 AMP
Satan makes our faith his business. He wants to deceive us as to our identity, temp us to sin, so he can accuse us before God, and cause us to deny our faith when faced with death. Causing us then to destroy ourselves by turning from God. He roams the Earth looking for people to devour.
Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.] 1 Peter 5:8-9 AMP
For example, here in Job, probably the oldest book in the Bible, we see Satan roaming even then, but this time, with his eye on Job.
The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming around on the earth and from walking around on it.” Job 1:7 AMP
Then with Joshua the high priest of Israel,
Then the guiding angel showed me Joshua the high priest [representing disobedient, sinful Israel] standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at Joshua’s right hand to be his adversary and to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Even the Lord, who [now and ever] has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is this not a log snatched and rescued from the fire?” He spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And He said to Joshua, “See, I have caused your wickedness to be taken away from you, and I will clothe and beautify you with rich robes [of forgiveness].” And I (Zechariah) said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with [rich] garments. And the Angel of the Lord stood by. “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘If you will walk in My ways [that is, remain faithful] and perform My service, then you will also govern My house and have charge of My courts, and I will give you free access [to My presence] among these who are standing here. Zechariah 3:1-2, 4-5, 7 AMP
And then in the New Testament,
Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has demanded permission to sift [all of] you like grain; but I have prayed [especially] for you [Peter], that your faith [and confidence in Me] may not fail; and you, once you have turned back again [to Me], strengthen and support your brothers [in the faith].” Luke 22:31-32 AMP
Yes, the church should still listen to Jesus’ warning to Peter, because Satan’s goals and ambitions have not changed. The only difference now of coarse is that with the inauguration of Jesus’ ministry His followers were given power and authority over the demonic, to cast Satan and his demons out.
Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you. Nevertheless do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” Luke 10:18-20 AMP
Clear voices are still needed that speak of righteousness and the deceptions of Satan, So That, people do not remain ensnared to sin and can receive forgiveness along with an inheritance of an eternal life holy unto God.
And I (Paul) said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. Get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you [to serve] as a minister and as a witness [to testify, with authority,] not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you, to open their [spiritual] eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness and release from their sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified (set apart, made holy) by faith in Me.’ Acts 26:15-16, 18 AMP
God further gives us other clear instructions on how to preserve our lives and faith.
In relation to anger,
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4: 26-27
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to keep your eyes on those who cause dissensions and create obstacles or introduce temptations [for others] to commit sin, [acting in ways] contrary to the doctrine which you have learned. Turn away from them. For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites and base desires. By smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting [the innocent and the naive]…. I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The [wonderful] grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Romans 16:17-20 AMP
Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers [do not make mismatched alliances with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial (Satan)? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said: “I will dwell among them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. So come out from among unbelievers and be separate,” says the Lord, “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will graciously receive you and welcome you [with favor], And I will be a Father to you, And you will be My sons and daughters,” Says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 AMP
God goes on to promise as a means of protection,
If you forgive anyone anything, I too forgive [that one]; and what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of [and with the approval of] Christ, to keep Satan from taking advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his schemes. 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 AMP
In fact the only thing identified as unforgivable is to deny the miracles of the Holy Spirit and attribute them to Satan instead.
I assure you and most solemnly say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and all the abusive and blasphemous things they say; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit and His power [by attributing the miracles done by Me to Satan] never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin [a sin which is unforgivable in this present age as well as in the age to come]”— [Jesus said this] because the scribes and Pharisees were [attributing His miracles to Satan by] saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” Mark 3:28-30 AMP
Satan is a very good maligner, manipulator, and deceiver.
He is known as the deceiver of the whole world. Revelations 12:9
…the god of this world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving to prevent them from seeing the illuminating light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4 AMP
And no wonder, since Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. So it is no great surprise if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness, but their end will correspond with their deeds. 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 AMP
We are told not to worry over their deception
because the Holy Spirit convicts the world regarding sin guilt, the need for salvation by reproving all unrighteousness, and assuring coming judgment.
And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment: about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see Me; about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned. John 16:8-11 AMP
This will be Satan’s punishment.
And then I saw an angel descending from heaven, holding the key of the abyss (the bottomless pit) and a great chain was in his hand. And he overpowered and laid hold of the dragon, that old serpent [of primeval times], who is the devil and Satan, and bound him [securely] for a thousand years (a millennium); and the angel hurled him into the abyss, and closed it and sealed it above him [preventing his escape or rescue], so that he would no longer deceive and seduce the nations, until the thousand years were at an end. After these things he must be liberated for a short time. Revelation 20:1-3 AMP
The important thing to remember is Jesus already paid the sin debt and draws all men to Himself thru His resurrection.
He said just prior to His betrayal and crucifixion,
Now My soul is troubled and deeply distressed; what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour [of trial and agony]’? But it is for this [very] purpose that I have come to this hour [this time and place]. [Rather, I will say,] ‘Father, glorify (honor, extol) Your name!’ ” Then a voice came from heaven saying, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” Now judgment is upon this world [the sentence is being passed]. Now the ruler of this world (Satan) will be cast out. And I, if and when I am lifted up from the earth [on the cross], will draw all people to Myself [Gentiles, as well as Jews].” John 12:27-28, 31-32 AMP
We do not know when the day of judgement/ the day of the Lord will come,
Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first [that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed], The coming of the [Antichrist, the lawless] one is through the activity of Satan, [attended] with great power [all kinds of counterfeit miracles] and [deceptive] signs and false wonders [all of them lies], and by unlimited seduction to evil and with all the deception of wickedness for those who are perishing, because they did not welcome the love of the truth [of the gospel] so as to be saved [they were spiritually blind, and rejected the truth that would have saved them]. Because of this God will send upon them a misleading influence, [an activity of error and deception] so they will believe the lie, in order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe the truth [about their sin, and the need for salvation through Christ], but instead took pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 9-12 AMP
Till the day of the Lord, and in conclusion,
…be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 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. Ephesians 6:10-12 AMP
* Amplified Bible and Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem