“The Devil – Fallacies & Facts”

Posted: June 20, 2014 in Bible Study, Christian Life, Hell, James, Promises, Salvation, Security, Spiritual Gifts

When people portray him as other than what he really is, the Devil is delighted. He doesn’t want us to know the truth about him.  But the truth can set us free (John 8:32; 17:17).  If you were to describe or draw a picture of him, what would it look like? Would he have a red suit with horns and a pitch fork? Would he be ugly or beautiful? How much of what you believe about him is based on the information you’ve drawn from the Bible?

Dark Ages. “During the dark ages, or medieval times, most of the human race was illiterate. Some of the literate few used various visual displays and methods to teach religion. But events were portrayed by means of puppets, stage plays, pictures, stained glass windows and bas-relief carvings over cathedral entrances…The difference between good and evil was often pictorially demonstrated by characterizing the Devil in a way that even the most illiterate surf could recognize as evil. Usually the chosen figure had horns, cloven hooves and a tail. Occasionally he was colored red and other times he was black. His face had a form of a goat or a repulsively ugly man. He was portrayed as the ruler of Hell and the being who tormented the souls of the lost in Hell.” – Dr. H. L. Schafer, “Maturing In Christ” p. 141

Knowledge. Satan knows that he can’t take the true believer’s salvation from him (John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:35-39), but he can/does render many Christians ineffective in their service to God. Do you fit into this category? Do you leave it up to “Clerical George” to do the work that God wants you to do (Ephesians 2:10; 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:10)? The Devil is a deceiver and a liar (John 8:44; Revelation 21:8). He has many titles to describe his sinister nature.

Sleep. He lulls most of his children to sleep so they sense no impending danger (1 John 5:19). They are apathetic and don’t really care about the most important issues of life and eternity. He also has some mature sons of disobedience (John 8:44; Ephesians 2:2). They often appear as angels of light preaching another gospel and a different Christ as the cults do (2 Corinthians 11:3-15; 2 Peter 2:1).

Family. To get out of Satan’s family into God’s family (Colossians 1:13; 1 John 3:10), one must place his/her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16 :31: 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). We aren’t saved by any of our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). Are you certain you’ll go to heaven if you died today (1 John 5:13)? Why should God let you into heaven (John 3:16; Acts 16:31)? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation if you think you’re saved (Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:37-39)? If so, what? How do assurance and security differ?

Fallacies & Facts

Angel. No, Satan is not an angel but a powerful cherub (Ezekiel 28:14). He was created as the highest of all the spirit beings and they are innumerable (Hebrews 12:22). He was anointed by God to rule over all other spirit beings from his mineral garden in Eden that was on earth (Ezekiel 28:13, 14). He was not satisfied with his exalted position and he didn’t like having to give an account to God (Isaiah 14:13, 14). So he lured 1/3 of the lower two categories of angels, made up of principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:16), to join him in his rebellion against God (Revelation 12:4). Do you know what happened after his rebellion and how God responded (Genesis 1:2)?

Rank. He had and still has a higher rank and greater power than Michael the archangel (Jude 9). Without the information that we have about him in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, we wouldn’t be able to prove that sin (lawlessness) isn’t eternal, that God didn’t originate sin, and that Satan is not merely a principle (influence) but rather a real person with a mind (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ezekiel 28:17), will (Isaiah 14:13), and emotions (Revelation 12:12). As Christians, we are supposed to resist him (James 4:7) when he or a demon attacks us, but only after we’ve put on the whole metaphorical armor of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles (craftiness) of the devil or demons (Ephesians 6:11). He also has devices (2 Corinthians 2:11) and snares (2 Timothy 2:24-26) that he can use against Christians.

Games. Satan doesn’t play silly little games. He’s out to ruin the Christian’s effectiveness and good influence on others. He doesn’t want to lose any of his spiritually blinded subjects (2 Corinthians 4:4) to the Lord. Thankfully, God is greater than Satan and can open spiritually darkened eyes and enable people to see and believe on Christ so they can be saved after they’ve heard the unadulterated Gospel (1 John 4:4; 1 Corinthians 15:1- 4).

Cause. Satan is not the spiritual enemy that is responsible for most of the sins we commit. He can only tempt us after he secures permission from God (Job 1, 2; Luke 22:31; Ephesians 6:13). Our sin nature is our biggest problem and we take it with us wherever we go. We didn’t lose it at the time of our salvation. The Apostle Paul struggled with his for many years after he was saved (Romans 7:15-25). He referred to many of the Christians in Corinth as being carnal, or those who were governed by their sin nature (1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Anyone Christian who says that he doesn’t have a sin nature is simply deceiving himself but not God or others (1 John 1:8).*

Access. Some people erroneously think that the devil is currently confined to hell. No, even though he has been judged (John 16:11), he will not be cast into the lake of fire until the end of the 1,000 year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:7-10). He spends most of his time now in God’s presence, in the third heaven, as the accuser of the brethren who engage in sinful behavior (Revelation 12:7-12; Job 1, 2). However, Jesus Christ, our Lawyer, counters his accusations by reminding God the Father (i.e. humanly speaking) that He (Jesus) paid the debt for all the sins we have committed and will commit in the future (1 John 2:2). Satan and his demons (fallen angels) roam the earth looking for Christians to trip them up and cause our family fellowship with God to be broken (1 Peter 5:8; 1 John 1:3-10).

Torture. Instead of Satan’s tormenting others in hell, he himself will be tormented forever in the lake of fire that was prepared for him and his angels (Matthew 25:41, 46). Everyone who dies as an unbeliever will go there too (Revelation 21:8). They will not be annihilated or reincarnated as some cults and religions teach (Hebrews 9:27). Jesus is the only way to God in heaven (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Before Christ’s 1,000 year reign on earth, Satan will be taken by a low level angel and be bound in the sides of the abyss that is in the heart of the earth (Revelation 20:1-3; Luke 16:26; Deuteronomy 32:22). He will be confined there and will be unable to tempt anyone on earth during the millennium (Revelation 20:1-7). No one on earth will be able to say, “The devil made me do it.”

Possession. The devil or demons can inhabit the bodies of unbelievers (John 13:27; Luke 8:30). But a demon must leave a person’s body as soon as he/she is saved (Luke 4:35). They can’t dwell in a Christian’s body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). They can only attack believers from the outside by placing evil thoughts (fiery darts) in our minds (Ephesians 6:16).  They can’t read our minds and they aren’t omniscient as God is (John 2:24, 25; Isaiah 46:10).  But they notice how we respond to the temptations they put into our minds (Job 1:22, 23, 2:9, 10).

Victory. Without a clear, Biblical understanding of our adversary the Devil, the Christian will not be able to overcome the 14 temptations that come from him or demons who assist him in his work in all nations around the world. At the present time, with God’s permission, he owns all the kingdoms of this world. Most of the earthly rulers do his bidding, often without knowing it (Ephesians 2:2). But God is still sovereign (Daniel 4:17, 25). Satan offered these kingdoms to Jesus if He would bow down and worship him (Matthew 4:8-10). Jesus could have avoided the cross to gain the nations of the world if He had taken Satan up on his offer. But He (Jesus) knew that it was part of the “Decree” (Ephesians 1:11) for Him to go to the cross, die for our sins, and then rise again bodily from the dead and wait for the Father’s timing for Him to be given the kingdoms of this world (Psalm 2:8, 9; Revelation 11:15).

Temptations. His temptations are different from the temptations that come from our own sin nature (Galatians 5:19-21) or the temptations that come from the Devil’s world system (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Corinthians 7:31). This is why we, as Christians, must study the Scriptures to show ourselves approved to God, workers who don’t not need to be ashamed, who rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). By the way, the temptation to be spiritually lazy comes from the devil (1 Timothy 5:13-15). Do you know which piece of the metaphorical armor you must use to overcome it (Ephesians 6:15)?

Promise. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to mankind; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Help.  We’re here to help unbelievers come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and assist them in their spiritual growth (2 Peter 3:18), and service to God (1 Peter 4:10), so they can reproduce themselves in the world (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8).  If this article has helped you, please let us know how it has and then share it with others.  Click on “Follow” to receive future articles. You can reach us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at http://www.kelseypeach.com.

Some material adapted from “Maturing In Christ” by Dr. H. L. Schafer

*Sin Nature http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/1natjm00.htm


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