How well do you know the Enemy?
Satan is not just a product of TV shows such as "Charmed", "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or "Angel", nor is he from the minds of some Hollywood special effects wizards, such as in the movie "Legend". He's a dangerous killer. By knowing the names, roles and strategies of Satan, we can prepare ourselves for his attacks! Not much is written about Satan in most Christian bookstores or on the Internet, unless it is false teaching. It amazes me how much I saw written on "spiritual warfare" which was biblically incorrect.
The tactics of Satan are similar to that of a pool shark. The pool shark, to be successful, has to be able to be very skilled in shooting pool as well as in pretending that he is not such a good player. The pool shark will deliberately miss a few shots and even lose a game or two when the stakes are not so high. As the stakes get higher, the pool shark will deliberately miss a few shots, but not the ones that really count. He keeps his opponent thinking that he will surely win the next game, and this goes on until the victim has lost it all. Satan operates much in the same way. He has defeated many by causing them to think that they were really winning.
Many do not believe that Satan exists; they think he is just the figment of an over-worked, bygone imagination. Such thinking greatly pleases Satan. The more covert he can be, the more successful he is. He has the best advantage over those who refuse to believe what the Bible teaches concerning his existence and influence in the world. Those who laugh at the existence of Satan, or a "real devil", accuse those who know of his existence as being unrealistic. But we need to ask the question, "Who is being unrealistic?" How else can we explain the immoral darkness into which our culture has plunged itself? How else can we explain the number of wars in the last century alone, and the hundreds of millions of people who have been killed, such as the Jews in WWII, the World Trade Center, and all the other horrible atrocities? How else can we explain the bankrupted morality and lawlessness which run rampant in our own country and its leadership? How can we explain a society that tolerates the murder of its unborn children?
The ones who are obviously unrealistic are those who explain all of these things as being due to the lack of education, of programs, and of a new world order? They think with just a little more progress, more education, and more money spent, then things will get better. Instead of getting better, they are getting worse. The U.S. leads the world in "progress" and also leads the world in pornography, addictions, prisoners, and divorce. So who is being unrealistic? Are you being realistic about the existence and influence of Satan in your own life? Just like the pool shark, Satan will let you win once in awhile. But you will not win the game!
You may resist temptation for a while and think you are winning. What you do not realize is that you are playing right into Satan's hands. Remember, in the end, the winner takes all. Satan is real, demons are real. Read through the descriptions and roles of Satan in the Word of God and come to grips with reality! There is only One who has successfully defeated Satan, and that is Christ. Without Christ you are no match for the enemy of your soul. With out Christ you will not win the game of life!
Remember This First:
· He is an angel who was kicked out of heaven because of his insurrection against God's authority (Isaiah 14:12-14).
· He wants to destroy you. "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
· He has been already defeated in the person and work of Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 2:14-15).
Whatever you call him: the Devil, Mephistopheles, Beelzebub, Lucifer, or the big, red dude; Satan is alive and well. His desire is to destroy you! The worship of Satan, witchcraft in movies and on TV, and occult practices with young people are on the rise. In fact, there are even "Churches of Satan" that worship him as we worship God!! He is real! The question is, "For there is a Devil, for there is no doubt; is he trying to get in you or trying to get out? (Ancient Greek Proverb)
Who is Satan? Satan is real and personal and dedicated to evil! The first thing that comes to people's minds today is a reddish man in a red suit with long horns, goat legs, a pointed tail, and a big pitchfork. For others who don't actually believe in his existence, "Satan" is simply a way to relate to the presence of evil in the world. Yet, the Bible reveals that Satan is real, personal; and a being who is a powerful destroyer, who is an active agent in our world (Luke 4:1-13). Satan is the leader of the fallen Angels (Demons). His main name means our chief adversary (1 Chronicles 21:1; Job 12f; Zechariah 3:1-2). Satan is so powerful that even Michael, the archangel, did not oppose him directly; Michael attacked him in the name of the Lord (Jude 8-9)! Satan can whip us good like a bully in the playground; we are no match for him. However our dad (Christ) can beat him up! See the names and descriptions in the preceding pages, which equal his strategies. Satan was defeated; thus, he is jealous of God and is opposed to all that represents the character of the true Creator.
Satan is the father of lies and the greatest liar of all! He is called the deceiver and the manipulator. To accomplish his purposes, Satan blinds people to their need to be in Christ and causes us Christians to fight amongst ourselves so the Word does not get out, or gets out wrong!
Two forces are at work in the world, the forces of Christ and the forces of evil. These are not the force of "Star Wars" of equal balance, such as the Chinese philosophy of "Ying and Yang". God is Sovereign; Satan is a condemned created entity! Satan cannot exert his power beyond what God allows him to for His purpose! Remember Satan may be the "god" of this age and ruler of the earth, but God is God and is still King and in charge! You are asked to choose between them. This choice should not be difficult: To side with defeat and destruction or with the One who creates and loves us and who is the victor!
God is a God of truth and purity. Satan is the opposite! Satan is not a god, nor is he pure or concerned with truth!
Biblical Names of Satan =his Schemes and Plans: By knowing his names, we know how he behaves!
Apollyon & Abaddon (Rev. 9:11): These Greek and Hebrew terms mean he is the destroyer.
LUCIFER (Isaiah 14:12): This term means the morning star. It literally means a "light-bearer", the shining one, a picture of Satan's original position in heaven with the angels. He is able still to masquerade as a beautiful being to snare Christians!
SATAN (1 Chr. 21:1; Job 1:2f;Job 16; Zech 3:1-2; Matthew 4:10): This term means "adversary"; he is the chief adversary both to God and to humans.
DEVIL (Matt. 13:39; Ephesians 6:11): This term occurs in the New Testament only. It comes from the Greek language, meaning to accuse and slander. He accuses and slanders (Rev. 12:10).
DRAGON (Isaiah 51:9, Revelation 12:3,7; 13:2): The term dragon means literally "Serpent" or "Sea Monster". A dragon is a terrifying and destructive beast who seeks the total devastation of God's people. This image is not meant to terrify us..
SERPENT (Genesis 3:1; Isa. 27:1; Rev. 12:9; 20:2): This term refers to his "crookedness", "craftiness", and "deceitfulness." This name reveals the first reference to Satan in the Bible, as he stalked and deceived Eve. His intention is malice, fury, cruelty, all directed toward God's truth and God's people.
BEELZEBUB or BEELZEBUL (Matt. 10:25; 12:24,27; Mark 3:22): The exact meaning of this term is not known. It is suggested that it means "lord of the house" and may refer to Satan's authority over the demons.
BELIAL or BELIAR (2 Cor. 6:15): This term was used in the Old Testament in the context of "worthlessness."
THE WICKED ONE OR THE EVIL ONE (Matt. 13:19,38; Eph. 6:16): A description of his character and work.
THE TEMPTER (Matt 4:3; I Thessalonians 3:5): This name indicates that his constant purpose is to cause people to sin. This term seems to indicate that he presents the most plausible excuses and suggests the most striking advantage for sinning.
THE GOD OF THIS WORLD (2 Corinthians 4:4): He sponsors false religion and all the false cults and systems which are against Christianity; he presides over our anti-God life style.
THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR (Eph. 2:2; 6:12): As such, he is the leader of the evil angels and prince over this vast host (army) of subordinates (demons) which carry out his orders. He rules with tyrannical power.
PRINCE THAT SHALL COME (Daniel 9:26): This is a picture of a military commander of an army, occupying the front, doing horrible atrocities. Also see II Thessalonians 2:3-4 and Revelation 12:7-9.
SON OF PERDITION (John 17:12; II Thes. 2:3): Satan can and will cause ruin or loss in physical, spiritual or eternal arenas. He will destroy you fully if you let him and refuse Christ's love and mediation.
STRONG MAN (Mt 12:29): Satan is powerless to prevent the Kingdom of God because he has been bound. We do not have the power to do it as some teach; only Christ does and did!
THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD (Daniel 10:12-11:1; John 12:31; 14:30 16:11): This seems to refer to his influence over the governments and political arenas of this world, that he is the one who is the ruler and guards his position.
ANGEL OF LIGHT (2 Cor. 11:12-14): This phrase best describes Satan's masterful ability of imitation and his counterfeit proposals given to individuals. He is cunning as a wolf in sheep's clothing, disguising evil in a good-looking package.
LITTLE HORN (Daniel 7:8): This is just symbolic power, a horn (as an extrapolative); by implication, a flask, a cornet; by resembling an elephant's tooth (ivory), a corner of the altar, or a mountain peak, or a ray of light.
ROARING LION (1 Peter 5:8): This "word picture" emphasizes Satan's continual persecution and his role as a persecutor of believers.
FATHER OF LIES (John 8:44): Satan's opposition to God includes a vast host of fallen angels and his counterfeit proposals, which do not derive their source from the Lord. It describes Satan as the source (father) of all that is untrue (lies) (1 John 3:8.).
KING OF BABYLON (Isaiah 14:4): This name means confusion; 'Babel', i.e., "he keeps babbling about…" (i.e., Babylon = nonsense). This also refers to Babylonia and the Babylonian empire.
KING OF TYRUS (Ezekiel 28:12): refers to a rock; 'Tsor', is a place in Palestine. Satan is the false rock. Christ is the One true Rock!
WICKED ONE (1 John 5:18): This description is self evident!
MEPHISTOPHELES: is not a biblical name; it is found in German folklore. The most notorious of the spirits of evil, it is identified with the exploits of "Dr. Faust Goethe", who defines Mephistopheles as, "part of the power that still works for good while ever scheming ill." Mephistopheles in Goethe's Tale called "Faust": I am the spirit that denies! And justly so; for all things from the void called forth deserve to be destroyed; "Twere better, then, were naught created. Thus, all which you as sin have rated, Destruction, caught with evil bent. That is my proper element."
Satan's Descriptions=Satan's Strategies!
Liar: He is the father, inspirer, and creator of lies. His goal is to steal God's glory and plan through God's people (John 8:44) and to stimulate us to lie (Acts 5:3)!
Enemy: He is totally dedicated to the opposition of the children of God with destructive ferocity (I Peter 5:8).
Counterfeiter: He is able to present an innocent "front" 2 Corinthians (11:14,15).
Misleader: He uses evil spirits to mislead Christians in Bible truth and doctrine (I Timothy 4:1).
Deceiver: He seeks by all possible means to create false impressions and misunderstandings, and use innuendoes, to cause us to fight amongst each other (Revelation 12:9; II Thessalonians 2:9,10).
Promoter of pride: He stimulates humanity's high appraisal of itself (Genesis 3:5; I Timothy 3:6).
Outwitter (Luke 22:32; 2 Cor. 2:11; 11:3-15; Eph. 6:16): He probes us for weakness, then misleads, misdirects and undermines our strengths, hopes, faith and love in the wrong direction, away from God's will.
Blinder of people's minds: His purpose is to keep individuals in darkness (ignorance) of the light of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Ruler of darkness: His kingdom is totally without the light of truth, peace and love (Acts 26:18; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Colossians 1:13; I John 2:9-Il).
Director of demonic activity: He controls an army of evil spirits, not limited to "demons". Remember he controls only a third; God has 2/3rds (Matthew 12:24; Ephesians 6:12)!!!
Suppressor of the Word of God: He constantly seeks to block the proclamation, acceptance, and use of the Scriptures Matthew 13:38,39).
Hinderer: He seeks to put things in the way of the Christian seeking to do God's will (I Thessalonians 2:18). He also is opposed to our prayers and fights against them (Dan. 10:12-11:1).
Oppressor: He uses depression and discouragement as weapons to undermine the Christian's sense of purpose (Acts 10:38; 1 Kings 19).
Troubler: He seeks to invade the physical realm and to limit the strength of God's children (2 Corinthians 12:7).
Accuser and slanderer: His name, Devil, or "diabolos" (Greek), means a person who throws things at people (Revelation 12:10).
Creator of division: He is out to cause dissension and disagreement between Christians (2 Corinthians 2:10,11; James 3:13-16).
Trickster: He uses subtle ways and means of confusing the Lord's people (Ephesians 6:11).
Tempter: His plan is to persuade us to take an alternate course to God's way (Matthew 4:1 - 11; Luke 4:1-13; I Thessalonians 3:5).
Ensnarer: He is out to trap the Christian to commit sin, thus ruining and spoiling his testimony (I Timothy 3:7).
Stimulator of lust: He distorts normal desires, by taking God's design and inflaming it; uncontrolled sensuality (emotions) is a tool of Satan (Ephesians 2:2,3).
Counterfeiter: He is capable of presenting an innocent "front" (2 Corinthians 11:14,15).
Murderer: He is the destroyer and devourer. He is intent upon the callous and calculated destruction of God's children (I Peter 5:8; John 8:44; Revelation 9:11).
Angel of bottomless pit (Rev 9:11): Same context as murder.
God and prince of this world: He stirs up the three cravings described in I John 2:16 (foolish pride, selfish desires, & worldly desires) and focuses Christians on the worldly desires (2 Corinthians 4:4; John 12:31; 14:30; 1 6:15; Ephesians 2:2; 6:12).
HOSTILE OPPONENT: He is the grand adversary to everything good and is dedicated to the opposition of God's plans (Zech. 3:1; I Thess. 2:17-18).
Our response to Satan's lies (Eph 2:8-9; 1 John 4:1; James 4:7):
· We are to submit to God's will (2 Cor. 11:3, 14-15). Satan's ways look good and appealing, but God's way is the way that is best; Satan's way is death. It is better to be poor and honest than rich and dishonest!
· We are to obey God's will (2 Tim. 3:16). This is our sure-fire response to temptation, just as our Lord used!
· We are to focus on the Cross (John 14:6). We are to ignore the human standards, remember that Jesus died for us, and know that no sin is too big for Him to deal with and forgive. No matter what we have gone through, He is there for us, loving us. Satan wants us to diminish the cross by adding to it with penance; Christ wants us to repent!
· We need to commit to God's Purpose (1 Timothy 4:1-3; Luke 8:11-12; John 11:25-26), not our will and dreams and aspirations, but need totally to surrender to Christ all of our plans and desires no matter where it takes us.
· Remember Satan's pride brought him down (How is your pride doing?) to the lowest of levels, and he is certain of his fate. His current ambition is to deceive as many of humanity as possible, to share with him in his fate.
· God gives all of the armor we need to defend ourselves (2 Cor. 10:4).
So, we are to trust Jesus Christ as LORD and use Him and His gifts and tools! We are to have them on and be holding them, and using them, especially militant prayer! It is our responsibility to have the armor of God on and to be ready to be attacked. If we are watchful and prepared, then we are ready for the attack of the devil, his demons, and those fiery darts. We may not all know how to attack with the Sword of the Spirit, which is why we have the rest of the armor. If we are not ready to properly use the Sword of the Spirit, then we need to do as II Timothy 2:15 calls us to do: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." When we have all of the gear of the armor, then we are to, "With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints" (Eph 6:18).
Richard Joseph Krejcir, is the Director of 'Into Thy Word Ministries, 'a discipleing ministry. He is the author of the book, "Into Thy Word" and is also a pastor, teacher, speaker and a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena California and has amounted nearly 20 years of pastoral ministry experience mostly in youth ministry, including serving as a church growth consultant.