Live Oak —
By Tim Seaton
Preacher, Northside Church of Christ, Mayo
The most powerful tactic of an enemy is to make you think they don’t exist. The black ops missions of Satan work just in that way, and they work so well that he has deceived a lot of people into believing, “There is no truth,” and “There are no such things as good or bad.” Do you know that there is a war going on right now over our souls? It is a tug of war from the heights of Heaven to the depths of Hell, pulling us this way and that! The forces pulling us and pushing us are the influences we face to be more like God or more like Satan. The choices we make move us in one of these directions. If any of us wants to God to Heaven, we need to make conscious decisions. Understanding our Enemy can help us do that. We need to know what we’re up against, how Satan works, and how we can blow his cover.
He goes by many aliases: Satan means “adversary” or “opponent” (Job.1:6). He roams the earth looking to corrupt all of God’s creation. He challenges our love for God by testing our love for material blessings. Devil means “slanderer;” one who ruins reputations with lies (Mt.4:1). He slanders Jesus, saying “if you are God’s Son,” speaking against who Jesus is and what faith he has (remember 1Jn.2:3). He slanders the scriptures by using them to promote sin and by lying about their application. Beelzebub means “lord of the flies/filth” or “dung god”. In Old Testament times this was the ancient and false god of Ekron who roused God’s wrath in 2Ki.1:1-6. In the New Testament this was the chief of the demons (Lk.11:15) who once possessed men, driving them mad, or suicidal, or subjecting them to ailments. The Evil One (Jn.17:15) is in the world and of the world (1Jn.5:19; Lk.4:6). He preys on those who don’t care to understand God’s Kingdom (Mt.13:19). Biblical references closely related to Satan include demon, “an evil spirit,” and Lucifer, “the morning star,” (Is.14:12). The latter is a sarcastic name given to Nebuchadnezzar (Is.14:4), but the same sentiment may be used of Satan.
Understand the history of this War on Satan. Concerning Christ’s crucifixion, Jesus said that this was the judgment of this world (not the appointed Judgment Day of Ac.17:31; this is the preliminary judgment of the ruler of this world); this was when the prince of this world would be cast out (Jn.12:20-32). In Jn.14:28-32 we see Satan coming to claim the Son of God in this moment, but Jesus proved by His resurrection that Satan has no part in Him. After Christ’s resurrection: the Spirit was be given to judge this world because its ruler is judged already (Jn.16:7-12). However, Satan still uses this world to kill men’s souls by their sinning (1Jn.5:18-19). Therefore, we fight for righteousness (2Cor.10:3-5)! Rev.12 is a perfect depiction of this war. This shall carry on until the appointed Final Judgment at the end of the world (2Pet.3).
In order to point Satan out and blow his cover, we need to take up the whole Armor of God (Eph.6:10-19). God has already defeated the devil. You just have to stand in the strength of His might. He has armor for you to wear: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of readiness given by the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Put your armor on. Get comfortable in it. Learn how to use it well. Pray all the time. Fight the good fight, and leave no soul behind!
– Tim Seaton is the preacher for the Northside Church of Christ on SR51 in Mayo. Come out to edify and be edified with us! We’ve no authority but Christ; no name but Christian.