[Guest-Blogger, Kyle Frank, presents another in his series on Satan and the occult.]
In the midst of this series on the occult, and its master, Satan, it would be a good idea to take a look at this opponent in the light of God’s word. So much is said from many different sources that we must always remember what scripture tells us and not take any other statements as truth unless viewed through the lens of scripture.
It is vitally important that we must always remember that he is a devoted foe to both God and to his creation-mankind. His business is our utmost misery and suffering and his goal is our death and eternal destruction.
Scripture tells us a number of things about him. It is important that we look at what scripture says and base our understanding upon that rather than myths or stories based upon what so-and-so says or thinks. Unfortunately, in our times many base their knowledge upon that and are thoroughly misled. It is very difficult to separate truth from legend, or opinion or just simply the false doctrines that seem to surround this being.
We know that he was in the garden with our forbearers, Adam and Eve. Scripture tells us that they believed his lie (“But the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die.” Genesis 3:4) By that lie, he became a murderer, because that deception led them to sin and to die because of that sin. Jesus told the Jews: “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies”. John 8:44. We need to remember that!
We know that he appeared with the angels before God in the Book of Job. At that time he manifested another attribute-that of “The Accuser” He accused Job of only serving God because of his “favored” status. This led to the ordeal in which Job was tried by numerous afflictions. (see the entire Book of Job) Some of his other names are: Tempter (Matt. 4:5; 1 Thes. 3:5), Beelzebub (Matt. 12:24), Enemy (Matt. 13:39); Evil One (Matt. 13:19, 38; 1 John 2:13-14; 3:12, and particularly 5:18); Belial (2 Cor. 6:15); Adversary, (1 Pet. 5:8); Deceiver (literally “the one who deceives”) (Rev. 12:9); Dragon (Great) (Rev. 12:3); Father of Lies (John 8:44); Sinner (1 John 3:8) – these are isolated references occurring from 1 to 3 times each. In the vast majority of passages (70 out of 83) either Satan or Devil is used. These numerous titles show some of the activities in which he is involved. No matter what name or function, he is dangerous and we ought never to stray from the way which keeps us under our great Father’s protection!
Satan often is among the people just as he was among the angels in Job’s day. His business is to keep men from hearing and accepting the message of truth which leads unto salvation. That is a primary function and one in which we ought to be ever more vigilant. We are our brother’s keepers, despite the temptation to “look after ourselves.” We need to follow the example that Jesus gave when he told the disciples to pray for more laborers because the harvest is plenty and the workers are few. Besides pray, we need to be those laborers and get to work! You probably remember my “you are the only Bible some people will ever read?” To work, to work!
Satan often comes in among God’s people. He was among the Apostles when he asked to sift Peter as wheat. Luke 22:31‑32. He certainly was with Judas Iscariot, whom all remember as being “the betrayer” Luke 22:3. The devil uses his ministers to infiltrate and work inside the church. This can be seen in 2 Pet. 2:1‑2; Jude 4; Acts 20:29‑30. His ministers within the church do more damage than those who persecute the church from without. Remember, too, that they come as ministers of righteousness in sheep’s clothing, with strong deception. How many of us can look back in recent history to see some of these fruits unto destruction which have been manifested among the churches? Not only does Satan devour God’s people through false teachings, but he is also mightily at work with the enticements of the world. Notice the example of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1‑5. Notice how Satan worked in this instance. Ananias and Sapphira wanted to be praised as though they had given all that their possession was worth; however, their love of money caused them to keep back part of the proceeds from their sale. The sin was severe because it was before God. They could have fooled their brethren, but not God. We must be careful not to give false impressions and cause others to think we are better than we actually are. We can be guilty of the same thing for which he has been judged and will be punished.
These are but a few of the facts in regards to the adversary of man and God-Satan. It is vital for our survival as well as our homes and families that we are aware of him and his tactics but let us not get fixated upon him and be diverted from our service to God!!