Three Enemies of Believers-Enemy #1-Satan

THREE ENEMIES OF BELIEVERS – ENEMY # 1 – SATAN

As long as we live in the world, we are going to have temptations from three different sources – the world, the flesh, and the devil. First of all, let us notice the temptations which come from the devil, and see how God would have us deal with them.

SATAN A PERSONAL BEING

The Word of God makes it plain that Satan is a living personality and not just an evil influence, as some would have us believe. The Bible refers to Satan by name 66 times, and calls him the devil 34 times, and in the 100 mentions of him as Satan and the devil, he is shown to be a personal being with personal attributes. Satan is more than evil. He is a person with mighty power.

Now what does Satan look like? Let us turn to 2 Corinthians 11:13-14 for the answer. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”

Here the Bible tells us that Satan is an Angel of Light. Is there any wonder that millions of people are deceived? There are very few people who think of Satan in that way and that’s the very thing Satan wants. Satan isn’t ugly. Satan is one of the most beautiful of God’s creation when you go back to read about him in Genesis. Satan is beautiful. Satan will actually come to you as an angel of light. By this illustration we might say he poses as a minister of the gospel, wearing religious clothing, and standing in the pulpit of a fashionable church. He uses religious words such as God, Jesus, and the Bible. He deludes his hearers, teaching that salvation is by good works or by human merit. He does not preach redemption through the blood of Christ.

SATAN AND THE BELIEVER

Now what does Satan do to the Believer? We read this in 1 Peter 5:8: “Be sober, be vigilant; because Your Adversary (your enemy) the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

The Scripture here clearly tells us that Satan is our enemy and that he walks about as a roaring lion persecuting the people of God. There’s nothing so terrifying as the roar of a lion. Well, that’s what Satan does. He goes around terrifying God’s people. He makes good souls turn back in the day of battle. He makes people of little faith give up the battle and fall beneath the burden in the day of the conflict. He is bent on terrorizing God’s people through persecution.

So far, we see that Satan is described in the Scripture as an Angel of Light and as a Roaring Lion. As an angel of light he deceives; as a roaring lion he persecutes.

If you are a born-again believer, Satan can never take you out of the hand of God (John 10:27-30; Rom. 8:38-39; 1 John 5:18) but this is what he can do:
(1). He will try to deceive you (2 Cor. 11:14).
(2). He will tempt you in your weakest points (2 Cor. 2:11).
(3). He will try to kill your testimony as a believer (1 Peter 5:8; Luke 22:31).
(4). He will try to get you to compromise on spiritual lines (Eph. 6:11-12).
(5). He will attempt to hinder your prayers (Daniel 11:12-21).
In short, he will try to bring to nothing the plan of God for your life.

SATAN’S DEVICES

It is important that we know something about Satan’s devices and his tactics and how to deal with them if we as believers are to live victorious lives. Here is what Paul said concerning Satan in 2 Corinthians 2:11. Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

Often Satan causes believers to use their energy in activities other than in direct service to God. For instance, sometimes fundamentalists become so absorbed in fighting or contending for a cause that they forgot that souls are lost and dying without Christ. We should contend for the faith as we are told in Jude 3, but we should never become contentious. Otherwise, we unwittingly become tools of Satan.

Another device of Satan is keeping God’s people so busy with church programs that they have no time to pray or get along with the Lord. One has to understand that the strength of our spiritual life is our personal communion with the Lord. There is nothing that pleases God better than for us to take time just to sit at Jesus’ feet. We read in Luke 10:42 that Mary has chosen that good part which will not be taken away from her.” Yes, Mary took time to pray and sit at Jesus’ feet. However, Satan keeps many believers so busy in church activities that they have no time to set at Jesus’ feet.

Another way that Satan gains victory in the lives of God’s children is to lure them away from God’s Word. As an example: when it’s time to read the Bible at night Satan will whisper, “You’re too tired; wait until morning.” Then when morning comes, Satan says, “You’ll be late for work, don’t read it now.” Even when prayer time comes, Satan causes all manner of interruptions. The telephone will ring, or the children will get in a fight or something will go wrong in the kitchen. You see, if Satan can cause us to have broken relationship or fellowship with the Lord, he knows he has gained a victory.

When God’s people fail to pray and have communion with the Lord, they become easy targets for the fiery darts of Satan. Many church squabbles or disputes between believers would never have happened if the parties concerned had been in close communion with the Lord.

You see, Satan is quite the enemy – not just a little tin soldier. Satan can even cause a saint to lie to the Holy Spirit. We read this in Acts 5:3: But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit.” We also read in 1 Thessalonians 2:18 that Satan can hinder the most consecrated saint. Therefore, we wanted to come to you – even I, Paul, time and again, but Satan hindered us.”

Believers need to understand that once you start serving God, the devil will be against you every time you raise your voice for God or try to do anything for the Lord. It’s hard to explain because we’re dealing with spiritual things, but I can remember in my earlier days when I first started writing and feeling the heavy resistance and pressure from the forces of darkness.

WHERE SATAN WORKS

There are some people who have the idea that Satan works in gambling dens, houses of prostitution, the honky-tonks or other similar places. One needs to understand that Satan already has these people – he owns these people.

Satan is not keen on drunkards, gamblers, or loose women. People like that injure Satan’s purpose in the world. If Satan had his way, he would do away with these types of people. Why? They are a bad advertisement for him.

A lot of things that we attribute to Satan are really the works of the flesh. In Galatians 5:19-21 we are told, The works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanliness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murderers, drunkenness, revelries, and the like…” Often we focus on the drunkard, thief, or vile woman and miss out on what the real work of Satan really is.

Look, Satan’s one purpose, aim, and goal is to lead man to worship him. He deceived our first parents in the Garden of Eden to do this very thing, and he’s been deceiving people ever since.

Now, in order to accomplish his end, Satan works primarily in the spiritual realm. Satan loves to operate in the field of religion – that’s his forte. That is why we have so many false sects and false religions in the world today. Most people would never think that Satan works in the field of religion, but that’s exactly what the Bible tells us: For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder. For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works (2 Cor. 11:13-15).” You can see from this verse that Satan has used false preachers and false religions to damn more souls to hell than anything else.

Believers have to understand that not every preacher that stands behind the pulpit and preaches the Bible is saved. The Word of God makes it clear that Satan has his ministers who pose as angels of light, who act as ministers of righteousness. Listen to what Jesus had to say: Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’ (Matt. 7:22-23).”

Believers need to understand that this is a prophetic statement regarding preachers in the last days. Christ said, “Many,” which when referred to a class or group means “The Vast Majority.” If we are living in the last days and no doubt we are, then the vast majority of the preachers in the pulpits of today are called to preach by Satan, placed in the pulpits by Satan and are bringing Satan’s message. We are living in a day when Satan has many followers and worshipers.

It is very important for believers to be able to distinguish between the true and the false. Jesus said, Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15).” The apostle John also wrote about this when he said, Beloved do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).”

HOW TO RESIST THE DEVIL

We have to realize that Satan is no friend to the born-again believer. The word “devil” means “slanderer or accuser,” and that Satan works overtime to oppress God’s children. Satan likes nothing better than to kill the testimony and influence of a child of God. Many Christians are living defeated lives because they don’t know how to cope with the fiery darts of Satan.

According to Scripture there is only one way that we can defeat the devil. God’s Word tells us to “Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).” There are only two things in the Bible that we are told to resist. One is sin (Heb.12:4) and the other is Satan. We are not to resist anyone else who may do is evil. (See Matthew 5:39).

The question is how do we resist the devil? First of all, let me say – never argue with the devil or reason with the devil. The only way to overcome him is to resist him. The word “resist” literally means “to stand up and fight.” Now, it’s quite obvious we cannot fight Satan with our fists because we are dealing with a spiritual being. The Scripture clearly says that this is a fight “…against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12).”

Then how can we resist the devil? God gives us the secret of victory. For the answer turn to Revelation 12:11. And they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives until death.” In this chapter and in particular in this verse we read how the devil is going to persecute God’s people during the coming tribulation period. But we also notice how the saints of God will overcome him.

First, they overcame the devil by the blood of the Lamb. When Satan comes against you, just say to him, “I am protected by the blood of Jesus, and the same blood which protects me has broken your power; now get behind me Satan.” You may have to repeat this over and over again, but the time will come when you will realize the victory.

Secondly, they overcame the devil by the word of their testimony. We can defeat the devil by giving him the Word of God. This is the way the Lord Jesus overcame him at the time of His temptation. Three times Jesus said to the devil, It is written ”and quoted from the Word of God, and Satan fled from Him (Matthew 4:1-11).

Thirdly, they loved not their lives until death. In other words, they stood their ground. There is no use to try to make a peace treaty with the devil, nor to compromise with him. We must always resist him with the Word of God and the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

IN CLOSING

In Scripture we have the Word of God to overcome Satan (1 John.4:4) and the evil spirits of fear (2 Timothy), insecurity (Phil. 4:19), anxiety (1 Peter 5:7), depression (Lam. 3:21-23), worry (1 Peter 5:7), stress (John 16:33), weakness or addiction (Phil. 4:13; Psalm 27:1; Daniel 11:32) plus many other conditions.

Here is just one example of God’s Word that can be applied to all conditions – Satan and the evil spirit of fear. When Satan comes at you, you can say to him, “Satan in the name of Jesus I command you to get behind me for it is written, ‘Why should I allow Satan supremacy over my life when He that is in me is greater than he that is in this world’ (1 John 4:4). Satan, I command you to get behind me.”

Now, when the evil spirit of fear comes at you, you can say this: “In the name of Jesus I take authority over the spirit of fear and I command it to leave me now for it is written, ‘Why should I fear when the Bible says God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and the sound mind’ (2 Timothy 1:7). Satan, I command you to get behind me.”

God’s instruction to every born-again believer is this: Put on the whole armour of God (God’s Word), that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:11).

If we pray, use the Word of God, and plead the blood of Jesus Christ over our lives…. Satan will not be able to overcome us.

Oscar

Comment:

Many Christians often think, at least subconsciously, that the mere fact that their belief in Christ is enough to protect them from demonic attacks. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Someone once said, If you never meet the devil on the road of life, it’s probably because you’re both headed in the same direction.”

Oscar leske

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