He doesn’t have horns or a pitchfork, and it’s likely he’s never even visited Hell yet… But make no mistake; there is no Being in all of God’s creation that is more set on seeking our destruction than he who first brought sin into God’s creation, the Devil…
He is known by many names in many cultures, and in the Word of God as well. The Deceiver, the Adversary, the Beast, Lucifer, and Satan, just to name a few… He was created the highest of the angelic hierarchy, the “anointed cherub that covereth,” whose position may have been over the very throne of God, leading worship of the Creator. And it was said that “thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:11-12).
Ezekiel goes on to describe what that particular iniquity was, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness…” (Ezekiel 28:17). Pride; the very thing that has led to the downfall of so many over the millennia, it is what first brought sin into God’s perfect creation…
And at some point, there was unbelief as well… The Bible does not detail it, but there had to be unbelief. Pride alone doesn’t explain Satan’s rebellion against God. At some point, he stopped believing God’s Word, as all sin begins with unbelief in, or apathy towards God’s Word… Perhaps it was God’s account of Creation; perhaps it was God’s testimony of His attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. But I think, perhaps, the thing that Satan just couldn’t wrap his mind around, was God’s eternal self-existence.
“Let me get this straight God; everything I can see and perceive is created, but not You??” “So, where did You come from!?!” This would explain the very ancient belief of evolution among Man. It didn’t begin with the “Age of Reason,” it began with Satan. I believe he is convinced that God hasn’t been truthful about His origin… And if Satan could just figure out where God came from, then perhaps he could figure out how to win this age-old battle against Him.
But it isn’t only God’s Word that the Devil despises; he hates God’s people as well. From the very first ones created, down through the millennia since… “Created in the image of God,” indeed… Neither he, nor any of the angels could claim that! He despised them from the moment he first saw them walking in the garden with the Lord in the “cool of the day.” Ever since, Satan has focused most of his energy against those who belong to God, and any who seem they might “jump ranks” to God’s side.
What did Peter warn us? “…your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…” This warning is to Believers; Satan doesn’t have to spend time seeking out those who already belong to him! His war is against those who have given their lives to Christ. In the last days, Satan will empower the Antichrist against the Believers. The apostle John writes in the book of Revelation,
“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:7-8).
But can Satan truly “devour” Believers? Do we not have God’s protection against the powers of darkness? Indeed we do; but that protection is only iron-clad when we are right with God, walking in His Spirit, and have on the whole armor of God. Remember Paul’s words to the Ephesians,
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 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…” (Ephesians 6:10-12).
Many Believers today do not take the Devil seriously… Many are confident in their own power to resist him… Many believe they can live their lives any way they choose and still have God’s full protection against him…
All of these are wrong. Ananias and his wife Sapphira were Believers, sealed with the Holy Spirit the same as the apostles. Yet when they persisted in unrepentant sin, God removed His protection, and the Devil instantly killed them… (Acts 5:1-11).
Daniel was “a man greatly beloved” of God. He heard Daniel’s earnest prayer, and immediately dispatched an angel to bring Daniel God’s words. And yet, it took twenty-one days for that angel to reach Daniel because of demonic opposition… (Daniel 10:1-14).
The Apostle Paul was God’s “chosen vessel” to take the Gospel to the Gentiles, and yet when he desired to go minister to the Believers in Thessalonica, he testified that, “we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again: but Satan hindered us” (I Thessalonians 2:18).
Our common enemies are three-fold; our own sinful flesh, this present world system, designed and energized by the Devil, and an unseen myriad number of fallen angels led by Satan himself. We are foolish to not take all three enemies most seriously. God does not want us to live in fear, but we should indeed “be sober and vigilant.” Remember these promises of God:
• “…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (I John 4:5)
• “…Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)
• “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Eph. 6:11)
• “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
God’s Spirit, God’s Word, God’s power, God’s love… These are the “weapons of our warfare;” these are key to success in our struggle against our common enemies, the World, the Flesh, and the Devil. These are the only things that are able to overcome; abide in these…