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Someone Cares Series
Satan - Our Enemy
In our last two lessons we learned how to develop a relationship with God. In this lesson we will study about Satan. Who is he? Is there really such a being? And if there is, has he existed from all eternity? Is he therefore another god, who is in conflict with Jehovah? We will answer these questions in this lesson.
There are many who believe that Satan doesn't exist, while others believe he has existed from eternity, a god, and enemy god in conflict with the true and living God.
1. Where did Jesus say Satan came from?
"And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Luke 10:18).
Jesus told His followers that He saw Satan fall from heaven. When Satan and the Son of God first met in conflict, Christ was the commander of the heavenly host, and Satan, the leader of revolt in heaven, was cast out. It was in heaven that Satan first attempted to overthrow God's law. A vast number of the angels were seduced, but this apparent success resulted in defeat, separation from God, and banishment from heaven.
2. Why did Satan fall from heaven?
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit" (Isaiah 14:12-15).
In heaven Satan was called Lucifer, where he desired to be like God and above God. Once holy and undefiled, he stood in the presence of the great Creator. He was full of wisdom and beauty and little by little he indulged the desire for self-exaltation. Not content with his position, he coveted the homage due to the Creator.
3. How did Satan come into being, and what was he like?
"Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee" (Ezekiel 28:13).
Satan is a created being like ourselves. In Ezekiel 28:12 Satan is referred to as the king of Tyre. Just as the Lord was the real king behind the human ruler in Israel (1 Chronicles 29:23), so Satan was the real king behind the pagan kingdoms of Babylon and Tyre.
4. Since Satan was created as a holy and perfect angel, what change took place in him that caused him to be cast out of heaven?
"Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. ... Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee" (Ezekiel 28:13, 14, 17).
Satan was perfect in his ways until iniquity was found in him. He was one of the covering cherubs in the sanctuary in heaven, but he sinned. Becoming the first sinner, he in fact originated sin, though he had been the highest of all created beings.
5. Who were expelled from heaven with Satan?
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. ... Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" (Revelation 12:7-9, 12).
Opposition to the law of God had its beginning in the courts of heaven. Satan wanted to be first in the councils of heaven and equal with God. He began his work of rebellion with the angels under his command seeking to create a spirit of discontent, working with such deception that many of the angels were won to his side. This continued until there was open revolt and war in heaven. Satan and all the angels who sympathized with him were cast out.
6. How did this world become involved in Satan's rebellion?
"Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat" (Genesis 3:1-6).
In Eden Satan used the serpent as his instrument. Today he makes use of the human family, striving by every means of cunning and deception. As he later worked through the king of Tyre, so in Eden he used the serpent as a medium. Satan tells us that if we give heed to him we shall reach great heights of knowledge. As a result of accepting Satan's falsehoods as truth, they choose to obey Satan rather than God.
7. In the beginning, Adam was made the ruler over this world (Genesis 1:26). But after Satan caused Adam to sin he lost that dominion. Who then claimed rulership of this world?
"And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine" (Luke 4:5-7).
In the beginning Adam was made ruler over this world, After the fall of Adam, Satan in his pride and arrogance declared himself to be rightful and permanent ruler of the world and asked Jesus to worship him as such in return for all the possessions of earth. Satan wanted to rule in opposition to the God of heaven.
8. What does Satan do to those who oppose truth?
"In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will" (2 Timothy 2:25, 26).
All who oppose truth become ensnared by Satan and he does what he likes with them. Worldly possessions are used to entangle some, while reputation and honor hold others in the snare of Satan. Satan is pleased when we despise reproof and the counsels of the Word of God. He uses flattery to hold people captive. It is only as we humble ourselves before God and are pardoned and cleansed by the blood of Jesus that we can be set free. All are to turn from the pleasures of earth.
9. What warning does Peter give to Christians living in the last days?
"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world" (1 Peter 5:6-9).
In these times Satan is like a roaring lion which scatters the flock of takes captive those who are weak. We need to be humble, acknowledging our need of God's mighty power to keep us. As we rely more fully on His strength we will be able to resist the enemy through faith in Jesus.
10. How will Satan work in the last days, and who will he deceive?
"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10).
It is because people do not love the truth that they become deceived by the signs and lying wonders of Satan. The time is coming when Satan will work miracles right in front of us, claiming to be Christ. It is only as we are established upon the truth of God that we will be secure. We should store our minds with the Word of God.
11. How will Satan disguise his work and workers in the last days?
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
Paul warns us that it is by the means of corrupt teachers that the enemy will attack the faith of Christians. He will come, pretending to be Jesus, working miracles and men will fall down and worship him. No storm or tempest can move those who are founded on truth and they will be able to stand in this time of trial.
12. How can we overcome Satan?
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11).
All who will, can be overcomers through faith in Jesus and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is our Righteousness. It is only as we trust in what He had done for each one of us, and we share with others what the Lord has done for us, that we become overcomers. Our faith is thus strengthened.
Many people have wondered how a God of love could permit the sin and suffering in the world today. But God never intended it to be thus. God never made sin and suffering. He gave all His beings, including the angels, the power of choice; and one of those angels in heaven chose to rebel.
Then our first parents joined him in that rebellion. So sin entered our planet. Satan is at war with God and is seeking through intrigue, deception, and force to cause our eternal destruction. The Bible reveals his plans and disguises. it also reveals a Saviour--Jesus Christ--who will save us from Satan.
Will you study His word and allow Him to save you from the wiles of the Devil?
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