Sunday, October 08, 2006

Meet Your Opponent, The Devil

By: Angela Lee Price

1 Peter 5:8-9 says, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Make no mistake about it, we all have an opponent in this world. His name is Satan. He is a liar and the father of lies. He is the prince of the power of the air. His only mission is to kill, steal, and destroy. There is no good deed in him. Submit to God, meet your opponent, the devil, and prepare for spiritual warfare ahead, for the race is not to the swift, but to those who endure to the end. And the battle is not yours, but the Lord's.

God's Original Intent:

It was God's intention that man would rule over the earth under God's authority (Gen. 1:26, Ps. 8:4-6, and Heb 2:5-8a). However, because of the fall as recorded in Genesis 3, Satan wrestled the rule away from man (Heb. 2:5 & 2:8b). But as promised in Genesis 3:15, the Lamb of God broke Satan's hold by means of His incarnation, sinless life, death, resurrection, ascension (Heb. 2:9-14) and will one day recover that which was lost through the judgments of the seven seals as described in Revelation 6-9. Satan once held a previledged position in heaven, but pride and sin were found in him and he was casted down to earth with a third of the angels.

Satan's (Lucifer's) Original Position:

Lucifer had unparalleled position in the universe. He was highly previledged, the epitome of God's creation (Ezek28:12-17).

  1. He had unparalleled wisdom and beauty (v.12).
  2. He had unparalleled habitation (vs. 13-14). He was on the holy mountain of God and walked in the midst of the stones of fire.
  3. He had unparalleled function (v. 14) He was an anointed cherubim. Anointed cherubims were associated with guarding the holiness of God (Gen. 3:24), with the throne of God (Ezek. 1:15), and with the actual presence of God. Lucifer was the chief guardian of God's holiness and majesty. He was also referred to as God's worship leader.
  4. He had unparalleled perfection (Ezek 28:15). He was perfect in the sense of being completedly sound and having total moral integrity.

The Five "I Wills" of Rebellion:

Isaiah points to the five "I Wills" coming from the proud and boastful heart of Satan that describe the nature of his aspiration (Isaiah 14:12-15). He pitted his will against God's will. These five statements reveal not only his intentions, but Satan's program as long as he is free to walk the universe.

  1. I will ascend to heaven (v13). There are three different spheres of heaven. The atmospheric heaven around the earth. The stellar heavens, the stars and galaxies. The heaven of heavens, or the Third Heaven which represents God's abode, God's throne or the seat of God's sovereign authority, the place of God's rule. The creature wanted to expell the Creator; the servant wanted to become the served.
  2. I will raise my throne above the stars of God (v13). Job 38:7 gives us a clue to the meaning of the phrase "stars of God," "When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy." While this could refer to the heavenly bodies that illuminate the night, this mostly likely refers to Satan's desire to exalt himself over the angelic kingdom as God.
  3. I will sit on the mount of the assembly of the recesses of the north (v13). Often in Scripture, mountains and hills refer to authority or right to rule. This describes Satan's desire to rule over the affairs of the entire created universe.
  4. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds (v14). Clouds are often associated with God's glory and presence, "And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud" (Ex. 16:10). Satan express the desire to to usurp the glory that belonged to God.
  5. I will make myself like the Most High (v14). Satan wanted to be responsible to no one but himself. He wanted to take the very place of God.

In Isaiah 12, we find the beginning or origin of sin. Iniquity was found in the heart of Satan. Iniquity came by what might be termed a "spontaneous generation" in the heart of this being in whom such magnificence of power and beauty had been combined and to whom such authority and priviledge had been given.

Satan Judged:

First, because of Satan's sin, he was thrust out of his exalted place and position, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" (v12), and further we read, "Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit (v15). Satan is described as the one who fell from heaven and was cut down to earth. One third of the angelic host chose to follow Satan, "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth...." (Rev. 12:3-4).

Secondly, the loss of Satan's standing as the anointed cherub is followed by the sentence pronounced against him in the garden of Eden after the temptation, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruse him on the heel" (Gen. 3:14-15).

Finally, Jesus Christ defeats Satan at the cross. The cross is the strategic place and basis for Satan's defeat and judgment.
  1. Christ's death provided complete victory over Satan and his evil forces, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;" (Heb. 2:14).
  2. Christ's death provided the perfect sacrifice for sin, "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight" (Col. 1:-21-22).
  3. Today, Christ's death on the cross provides redemption from sin for those who would believe that Jesus died on the cross and that God raised him from the dead, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Col. 2:14-15).

"...if thou shalt confess with thy mouth, the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Romans 10:9).

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This is the first in a series of articles on spiritual warfare, The Full Armour of God: How to Get Dressed for the Battle. Based on the Bible, and books, Spiritual Warfare: The Battle for Life, by Ray C. Stedman, and Spiritual Warfare in a Believer's Life by Charles H. Spurgeon.

Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!









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