Satan - Riverside Indonesian Fellowship

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Bible Study 2022
The apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 2:11 says that we are not to be ignorant of the schemes or the plans or the strategies of Satan. We need to know how he works. We need to know something of his character, something of his person, something of his approach. And since we have the Word of God which unmasks Satan’s disguises, there’s really no reason to be ignorant.

And what we’re doing is simply open the Word of God and show you what God has revealed about our enemy. One of his clever ploys is to make people believe that he doesn’t exist. If there is no enemy, there is no need to have a defense, and so victory is easy. For those who believe that he exists, Satan would rather give you false ideas about himself, that he is less than what he really is.

Some would imagine him to be a mythological figure representing general evil. Others would see him as a horned, red, fork-tailed, sort of fairy tale monster. Others would see him as somebody to torment Christians from whom we have to get delivered. But the Bible unmasks him. Even those who claim to worship Satan are not worshipping the real Satan, but a manufactured Satan.

For religious people, who not only believe in the Devil but believe in the true God, Satan has another approach. He likes to be mistaken for God. Tertullian once said, “The Devil is God’s monkey.” What Tertullian meant was that the Devil likes nothing better than to mimic God. And believe me, there are a lot of Christian people who think God is doing something when it isn’t God at all.

He is called the god of this age, and the word “age” means a god of this era; the god who propagates his system of philosophy, humanism, materialism and sex. Also called the prince of demons, Beelzebub in Luke 11:15. Satan is an evil spirit that has spatial qualifications and limitations. The highest kind of angel that could be created is a cherubim, and Satan was an anointed cherub.

There are three chief cherubim in the Bible, Gabriel seems to have a very specific task, and that is to reveal and interpret God’s purpose and program for His kingdom. There’s another angel that all of us have heard of; his name is Michael. Michael is what is called an archangel, the general of the angelic army. But there was even a greater angel than Gabriel and Michael, the most glorious creature God ever made.

Let us look at Ezekiel 28 where he is talking to the king of Tyre about the sin of pride. But he goes behind the King of Tyre to the source of that evil, Satan. And beginning in verse 11 Ezekiel refers to Satan in verse 12, “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God. The timbrels and pipes were prepared for you on the day you were created.”

He was the supreme musician of heaven and the heavenly choir director. He was the supreme being of God’s creation, and he was the beauty of all of heaven. Verse 14, “You are the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so. I made you the supreme angel, the anointed cherub that covers. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you.”

Verse 16, “By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned; therefore I’ll cast you as profane out of the mountain of God; and destroy you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.” I’ll throw you out, not only because you sinned, but you merchandised your sin, says God. What did Satan do? He didn’t go alone.

How many angels fell? One-third of the angels rebelled with Satan according to Revelation 12:3-4. But not all of them are on earth, some of them are locked up, some for a little while and some forever as shown in Jude and Peter. Those locked up are those that sinned in Genesis 6, cohabitating with women, producing giants in the earth, which were destroyed in the worldwide flood.

The ones that are temporarily bound may be the ones that have been cast into the pit. And in Revelation 9, they’re seen coming out of the pit during the tribulation. What was Lucifer’s sin? Isaiah 14:12-15 says, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart,”

“I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north.” “14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Now here is the sin, and it’s the sin of pride, five “I wills”. Do you know the Most High is God’s title as possessor of heaven and earth? Lucifer said, “I will become the possessor of heaven and earth.”

You see the unbelievable egoism and pride of his sin? And he fell, and Jesus said, “I beheld Satan as lightning falling from heaven.” When he went, he went fast, and dramatically; and his beauty was immediately corrupted; and every angelic being who thought those thoughts with him was doomed to hell forever. Did you know that hell was created for the devil and his angels?

What were the results? Isaiah 14:15, “Yet you shall be brought down to sheol, to the sides of the pit.” He was banished from heaven. He was corrupted. “They that see you shall narrowly look upon you and consider you, saying, and ‘Is this the one who made the world like a wilderness, destroyed its cities, and opened the house of his prisoners?’” Not only is he damned, but he becomes despicable.

Our Lord Jesus Christ believed in a personal devil. Matthew 4:1- 4, “Then when Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by the devil, He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards became hungry. When the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If You be the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread.’ He answered and said, ‘It is written: man shall not live by bread alone.’”

And you know the whole conversation. The Lord spent ten verses recorded there, talking to the devil. All throughout His ministry He spoke regarding Satan. He went around casting demons out. He went around undoing the deeds that Satan was attempting to do. Jesus is defeating Satan in John 12:31, “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”

Our Lord is saying, “I am in conflict with Satan; I’m going to the cross to win the victory.” Anybody who lives today in the 21th century and denies the existence of a personal devil just isn’t understanding what’s going on. The devil has manifested himself greatly today. He is also called the prince of this world, speaking of his rank. He rules a world system of evil, including demons and men.

There’s a war at the angelic/demonic level and among people. If you haven’t awakened to it, you ought to because there’s a war at the human level. Jesus said, “You are of your father, the devil,” in John 8:44. And He said we are the children of God. And the children of God and the children of Satan fight against each other. Satan is contending for the souls of men, and so is God; and we are on God’s team.

So how does Satan operate?” We need to understand that he operates in two categories. He operates in his own children, and he operates on the children of God. So let’s look, at how Satan works in his own children. Who are his children? All people in the world who are without Jesus Christ are the children of Satan. Jesus said in John 8:44 of unbelievers, “You are of your father the Devil,”

Satan works in his own children in several ways. First Satan is busily engaged in the work of preventing. Luke 8:11, “Now this is the parable of the seed, the Word of God.” The sower speaks of that one who spreads the Word, who spreads the truth. “Those by the wayside are they that hear; then comes the Devil and takes away the Word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.”

Notice in verse 5, that the wayside is described there as a path that is hard as a rock. The seed falls, and the birds take it. That’s an example of the Word of God being spread on hard soil, and the Devil comes and takes it away. Matthew 13:19, “When any one hears the Word of the kingdom and understands it not, then comes the wicked one, catches away that which was sown in his heart.”

In this parable we have four kinds of hearts, four kinds of soil. We have the unresponsive heart in verse 19. Then we have the impulsive heart, in verse 20 and 21, “Hears the Word, and immediately with joy receives it, endures for a while, tribulation or persecution arises, and immediately he’s offended.” This is the person who makes an impulsive commitment to Christ that has no root.

Verse 22 tells us about the preoccupied heart. “He also that received seed among the thorns. He hears the Word; and the deceitfulness of riches chokes the Word, and he becomes unfruitful.” Here is a case of somebody who’s too preoccupied with the worldly system to give himself to hear and believe the Word. In verse 23, there is the good ground, the responsive heart that believes.

The parable teaches that the result of hearing the Gospel is always dependent on the condition of the heart. Only where the heart is hard, Satan can take away the Word. There is another passage that shows Satan’s work of preventing, in 2 Corinthians 4:3, “If our Gospel be hidden, it is hidden to them that are lost: in whom Satan has blinded the minds of them who do not believe.”

This is the idea that you’re being victimized by Satan: you’re sort of trapped; you’d like to believe in God, but you’re blinded. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “The preaching of the cross to them that perish is foolishness.” Not only is Satan involved in the work of preventing, but he is also in the work of perverting. He desires to pervert the truth so that what people are hearing isn’t the truth.

Satan is teaching false doctrine. He would rather not have to do the work of taking away the seed that has been sown. He would rather so control the one who is doing the preaching that something other than the good seed of the Word of God is preached. But knowing that the Word of God will be proclaimed, Satan is prepared to prevent the Word from falling into the good ground if he can.

He is actively perverting the gospel. Satan’s ministers speak every Sunday from thousands of pulpits, right? 2 Corinthians 11:13 says, “For such are false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostle of Christ.” Satan is most active within the framework of the Christian religion. “Don’t be surprised, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

1 Timothy 4:1-2 says, “The Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter time, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” They go right ahead speaking hypocritical lies and it doesn’t even seem to bother them. False prophets are everywhere. They are Satan’s great weapon.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:9 it says, “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders.” Not only do they sometimes speak lies that sound like the truth, but they sometimes do deeds that are satanic but appear to be godly. And there we have again, Satan mimicking God. So what is the basic false doctrine that Satan propagates?

Satan always denies the authority of Scripture. If he can destroy the authority of this book, then nothing matters. Everything becomes arbitrary. He began in Genesis 3, when he said to Eve, “Did God say that? How do you know God said it?” He is casting dispersions on the truth of God. In 2 Timothy 4, he not only did it at the beginning, he’s going to do it all the time till the end.

Verse 3, “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts they will heap for themselves teachers.” Satan always denies the deity of Christ. And that includes the doctrine of salvation. If Christ was not the God Man and he was not God Almighty in human flesh, dying on the cross, then the atonement that He purported to accomplish, He didn’t accomplish at all.

That fits Satan because his great lie in salvation is that you’re not saved by faith, you’re saved by works. There’s only two ways to get saved. One is the religion of divine accomplishment, and the other is the religion of human achievement. That’s Paul’s great argument in the book of Galatians that a man is not saved by human achievement, but only by divine accomplishment.

Satan always denies also the second coming because the second coming is connected with judgment. Usually false teachers have the wrong eschatology conceivable because they’ve got to get rid of ultimate judgment. In 2 Peter 3, false teachers are saying in verse 4, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”

Peter says, “Are you ignorant of the flood?” All things haven’t continued as they were. And so, they are busy propagating false doctrine. For example, one of Satan’s favorites is that you can get succeed with rebellion. Satan is trying to prove that rebellion against God works. And that is what God is trying to show you is not the case. Rebellion against Him will not work. God wants all people to know that.

Satan wants men to believe that you can do just exactly what you want, and that rebellion will work. Listen to the story of Hemingway, right after his death, it said that he had proven that you could sin and get away with it. He had destroyed biblical morality by doing exactly as he pleased. He had obliterated biblical morality. And ten years later, he took a gun to the side of his head, and blew his brains out. Let us study more about Satan next week. Let us pray.

© 2017 Ferdy Gunawan

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