Spiritual Warfare: Our Enemy
We Christians are in the midst of a very dangerous battle. Dangerous in the sense that we are fighting a very powerful enemy far beyond our capability to beat. In our strength, we are no match for him. He is subtle, fierce, strong, liar, and commands a big and strong army. He is non-other than Lucifer. In the early stage of my ministry when I was teaching in our Bible Study, I touched the topic
about Satan. Somebody tried to stopped me because for him we shouldn’t even mention his name.However, I told the him that we should know our enemy so that we will be able to resist him and defeat him.
I. His other names and titles:
A. Satan—Used over 50 times in Scripture, it means “resister, opposer.” He is opposed
to everything related to God; he tries to destroys God’s plans and oppose God’s
B. Devil—Used 35 times in the OT and 4 times in the NT, it means “slanderer, liar.”
Jesus described him as “a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).
C. Accuser of our Brethren—Rev. 12:10. He accuses God’s people day and night. Cf. Job
1:6-7; 1 Kings 22:19-22; Jude 9.
D. Prince of this World—John 12:31. Adam and Eve gave him the world system, and he
wants people to be involved in Satan-worship.
E. God of this world—2 Cor. 4:4. A lot of this age’s styles, moods, changes, thought
forms, educational philosophy, arts, communications systems originated from him.
Also, names in this regard as: Eph. 2:2 “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2:2).
F. Angel of Light—2 Cor. 11:14. Fallen Lucifer will try to hide his real hideous self. He sneaks into churches to preach liberal messages without the blood of Christ.
G. He is also called “a roaring lion” (1 Pet. 5:8) for his strength, “a dragon” for his fierceness (Rev. 12:9), and the “old serpent’ (Rev. 12:9) for his subtilty.
H. Beelzebub (Mt 12:24), meaning “dung-god.”
II. His cohorts:
A. Principalities. A possible reference of Satan’s generals who have the oversights of
entire nations (Dan. 10)
B. Powers. May speak of his “privates” who possess human beings (Mk. 5, Mt. 17).
C. Rulers of the darkness. Those demons in charge of Satan’s worldly business.
D. Spiritual wickedness. Those demons in charge of worldly religion
III. His tactics
A. The “wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11). Wiles means his methods, deceit, craft, trickery. The devil is master deceiver.
B. Fiery darts (Eph. 6:16). They are arrows tipped with pitch which is set on fire before
they are discharged. Temptations are likened to the flaming arrows shot to us Christians by our enemy
IV. Works of Satan with Unbelievers
A. Blinding the minds of the unregenerate (2 Cor. 4:4). Satan blinds men to God’s truth through the world system he has created. Did you not notice that smart, intelligent, and brilliant people cannot even understand and accept the simple and easy to understand presentation of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their minds had been blinded by Satan that is why God’s wonderful truths like creation and redemption don’t even mean a thing to them.
B. Snatching away the good seed of the word (Matthew 13:19). Satan and his cohorts
are represented by the fowls that came and picked up the seed by the way-side. The
good seed is the gospel preached to sin hardened heart. It has no effect to unregenerate men. It lies like seed in the hard path; it is easily taken away, and did not have chance to take root.
C. Lulling the unbeliever into a false sense of security (Luke 11:21). Unbelievers feel secure with their properties and possession. It is the source of their pride and happiness. Satan makes sure they will never response to the Word of God. Riches sometimes is a hindrance to the salvation of men.
D. Laying snares for the unwary (2 Timothy 2:25-26). Deceptions are Satan’s trap. He
propagates lies to captivate and keeps men in error
E. Masquerading as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13-14). Satan masquerades as an angel of light,”. Light is the emblem of purity and holiness. Angels that dwell in heaven are pure and holy. Satan assumes such a form as to appear to be such an angel to deceive people. Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst; he promises honor and pays with disgrace; he promises pleasure and pays with pain; he promises profit and pays with loss; he promises life and pays with death.
F. Deceiving those whose minds are not subject to the Word of truth (Rev. 12:9). From
the beginning, Satan has been the master deceiver. From the Book of Genesis to the
book of Revelation, he is involved in deceiving people. He very active now as you can see what is happening around. False religion, terrorism, drugs, alcoholism, human
trafficking, prostitution, adulteries and fornication, same sex marriage, government
corruption, etc. He will deceive people during the Tribulation and after his temporary release from the bottomless pit, at the end of the Millennium.
G. Mixing truth with error (Matthew 13:25-8). This represents Satan’s effort to destroy the church. False teaching is rampant, cults like Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventist, Catholics, Islam, and many more are mixing truth with error. Satan also mingles his children with the true children of God that it is impossible for believers to discern the true from the imitation or false.
V. Satan’s Power
A. His power is very much limited. He is always under God’s control (Job 1:1-3; Lk. 22:31).
1. Satan can tempt me, but he cannot make me sin (Jas 1:14).
2. Satan can hinder me, but he cannot stop me in the will of God (compare 1Thess. 2:18 with Ph. 4:13).
3. Satan can persecute and even cast me down, but he cannot destroy me (2 Cor. 4:9).
4. Satan can wish me evil and curse me, but he cannot stop God’s blessing (compare Eph. 1:3; Pr. 26:2). We see this in the life of Balak, who tried to curse Israel (Num. 23:7-10).
Illustration: Satan’s Power is Permitted
Lest we be “terrified by our adversaries,” it is well to remember that Satan’s power is not inherent but permitted (Rom. 13:1). It is not unlimited, but controlled (Job 1:12; 2:6). It is not invincible, but
broken (Luke 11:21-11). It is not assured of success, but is surely doomed (Rev. 20:2-3). Satan knows well that there is no ultimate victory for him. The pronounced sentence has only been postponed. But he works to hinder and postpone Christ’s final triumph. We can rejoice in the certainty of John’s assurance: “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4).
J. Oswald Sanders, Cultivation of Christian Character, (Moody Press, Chicago; 1965), p. 86
VI. Satan’s Future.
1. He will be cast out of Heaven (Rev. 12:7).
2. He will increase his activity during the Great Tribulation (Rev. 12:12).
3. He will empower the Antichrist (2Thess. 2:8-9; Re 3).
4. He will bring the nations together for the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:13-14).
5. He will be bound in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-3).
6. He will be released to stir up one final rebellion (Rev. 20:7-9).
7.He will be cast into the lake of fire where he will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Rev. 20:10).
Satan is powerful but not unbeatable. He is a defeated foe but still dangerous. Let’s be on guard always. We will have more on this next week.