Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Do you believe Satan is real?

The Powers of Darkness: Part 1

As I continue my thoughts on darkness we will move to the “powers of darkness.” I’ll be honest with you. When I began to study on the powers of darkness, mainly studying on Satan, I did so with caution. I do not believe the powers of darkness are something to be messed with, or taken lightly. If God were to roll back the curtain that separates the human world and the spirit world it would scare us to death.

In our example of Judas in the upper room there is no doubt that Judas was under the influence of Satan. The bible says that Satan actually entered into the body of Judas. The job Judas was going to do was so important that Satan could not risk leaving it up to one of his demons. He enters Judas himself to get the job done.

Let me say a couple things about Satan real quick. First let me say that he is the enemy of every child of God. Satan would love nothing more than to destroy your life and the lives of those you love. Let me also point out that Satan does not like to be identified. Ignorance of Satan and ignorance of his motives is his strongest weapon. This is the way he moved in the Garden of Eden and it is still the way he is moving today. In the Garden he was a serpent slithering around. He did not want his true character to be seen, so he concealed it from Eve. This may not be as true here in the South, but the majority of the world does not believe Satan is a real person.

According to 2 Corinthians 2:11 there were some in Paul’s day already deceived about Satan. In Revelation 12:9 we are told that Satan will eventually deceive the entire world. Today the minds of the people are blind. People do not believe Satan is a real force. They have believed his greatest lie which is that a person does not need Jesus to be saved. Satan convinced Eve that she did not have to obey God to be saved. He convinced her that if she ate the fruit she would be a god herself. Today people are working and working. They are trying to earn their way to heaven. They are trying to earn their salvation. They have believed the same lie that Eve believed, “If you do enough you will be a god.”

Today men will get behind a pulpit and tell their congregation that they must do this, that, and the other in order to be saved. Any man that is willing to stand and proclaim that Jesus is the only way will be marked as a target. Satan will try to discourage that preacher and get him to quit, or change his message.

There are at least 40 names given to Satan in the Bible. Consider Revelation 12:9 if you will.

In this one verse he is called by four different names. He is called the “old serpent.” (Isn’t it interesting that here in the last book of the Bible Satan is given the same name as he was in the first. In Eden he appeared to Eve as a serpent. That is why he is called the “old” serpent.)

He is called the “devil”. This comes from the Greek “diabolos” which means to be a slanderer or an accuser.

He is called “Satan” which means the adversary. He is the adversary of God and of God’s people. Peter said this concerning our adversary:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”             1 Peter 5:8

In this passage in 1 Peter there are three names given to him. In Revelation 12 he is the “accuser of the brethren”. In Revelation 9 he is called “Apollyon” which means the destroyer. In 2 Corinthians he is called “Belial” meaning that he is lawless. He is called the “evil one” by our Lord. Jesus taught his disciples to pray that God would deliver them from the “evil one.” What a warning that should be. Jesus even prayed for his disciples stating:

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”   John 17:15

In Mark’s gospel he is “Beelzebub” or the prince or ruler of demons.

There are many misconceptions about Satan. The biggest misconception being that he is a creature with horns, a forked tail, and cloven feet. This picture of Satan comes from the Middle Ages. In Greek mythology this was the description given to the god Pan, who was the god of pleasure.

Let me further say that Satan is a personality.

“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

The way the bible speaks about Satan we can draw no other conclusion than, Satan is a person. In the previous verse he is a murderer and a liar. The interesting thing is that if you could see Satan today you would be surprised.

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”   2 Corinthians 11:14

This verse tells us that Satan transforms himself into the “angel of light.” If you could see him you would see the most beautiful creature you have ever seen. This is the reason sin is so attractive, because Satan is attractive. Satan is concerned with culture and refinement. He is in the midst of the best things in life.

In my next blog post we will follow Ezekiel to the time of the creation of Satan and see him as one of God’s choice angels. We will also follow Isaiah as he shows us the fall of Satan. Please read along. Hopefully we can learn together, and will not fall for the greatest tick Satan has. (Ignorance!)

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