Satan, The Grim Reaper - Lesson 6
From scripture it is apparent that Satan has power, but he also has limitations to that power.
He is not a creator, he is not able to make life, he is only allowed limited power and that allowance comes from God.
In Godís infinite wisdom He allows Satan to do what he does but that allowance is limited within defined barriers and within a time period which will end according to Godís choosing.
So Satan, not being a creator can only copy.
He can only counterfeit that which God has created.
He has taken that which God has created and has altered it into a form which suits his purpose.
We have seen from scripture Satanís attempt to destroy and confound Godís redemptive plan and we have seen it come to failure.
So today Satan uses his means to lead people to follow counterfeits of Godís Messiah, Godís Word, and Godís church and these means all revolve around the flesh.
In our previous lesson we have seen that
Satan has his own synagogues and churches.
Satan has his own gospel
Satan produces counterfeit Christians
Satan also counterfeits preachers and teachers.
Satan can and does perform counterfeit miracles.
He even counterfeits the Messiah of God.
Jesus warned his disciples of this inevitability in Matthew 24:4-5, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
As the end time approaches Jesus warns us to let no man deceive you, and again we are reminded that this deception comes to those who do not compare scripture with scripture.
In order to know the counterfeit you must know the genuine.
For Satan also counterfeits and perverts the word of God.
This perversion was practiced in the garden of Eden.
Satan revealed his modus operandi when he questioned Godís word by bringing doubt to Eve, when he said, Yea, Hath God said? For he was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.
That word subtle means smooth talking, cunning, crafty.
In this subtlety he has brought into existence so-called holy books that confuse the minds of people and are thought by the world to be equally on par with Godís word.
He has brought into existence the Book of Mormon, the Koran, the multitude of Bible versions which distort and remove the clarity of Godís word.
Satan, through these books and translations, moves to take away the truth of the virgin birth in order to make Jesus Christ as any man of sin, a man who could not be the Son of God.
He uses unbelievers to translate passages and slant them toward positions of unbelief or doubt.
These translators are just extensions of their father who said, Yea, Hath God said?
Doubt planters, not bold attackers of the word of God but deceptive doubt planters designed to decrease faith in Godís word and veracity.
These translations do not change the truth to an out-and-out lie, but instead use less distinct words so as to muddle the truth.
Satan also intends to counterfeit the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He intends to produce a counterfeit savior, his son, described as the beast of Rev. 11:7, who ascends out of the bottomless pit to make war against Godís prophets.
This is the beast of Rev. 13:3 who was wounded to death but whose deadly wound was healed and caused all the world to wonder after the beast.
The fact that antichrist lives, in spite of this mortal wound, will make it appear to the world that he has been resurrected from the dead.
This is that one, called that Wicked, Paul the Apostle speaks of in:
II Thessalonians 2:8-10, 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: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
We have talked before about Satanís tactics of using the lusts of the flesh for his own good.
We have seen how his attempts to corrupt are filled with using emotion rather than reason.
He uses any emotional crises and disappointment to gain advantage over you.
The sin nature that he brought into the garden is used by Satan to promote his world, he being the god of this world, he being the prince and the power of the air.
The pull of lust is encouraged by the world system that Satan has brought into being.
The world is not a friend to grace but is a friend to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life as stated in 1 John 2:16.
You do not have to know much to see how these things are the paramount things of this world.
The world system is designed to encourage sinful appetites of the flesh, removal of sexual boundaries, approval of mind altering drugs, and misuse of foods for the body.
In our day especially, the world provides unending views to pleasure the eyes to encourage sinful cravings, and to encourage the pride of life to engage in the lust for money, material things and power over others.
The devil is the originator of this world system designed to win you to itself.
Remember the caution of Peter in: I Peter 5:8, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Satan or his cohorts are always there to push you over the edge when you allow the pull of lust to draw you to the brink of sinning.
James 1:14 verifies this readiness on Satanís part, But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Now notice that statement, drawn away of his own lust.
What is you own lust? What is it that you are most weak in?
Each man or women is different in this.
What causes one person to be lying in the gutter filled with alcohol and another able to use alcohol without it using him.
What causes one person to eat sensibly and another person to have no control at the table.
What brings a person to sexual immortality of the grossest nature but others do not seem to be affected by this lust.
Are you a person whose pride puffs you up with thoughts of yourself being more high that you ought to think?
Are you a person prone to anger?
There are weaknesses that you have that others do not but God is faithful to those who trust in Him.
I Corinthians 10:13, There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
So the message is to flee temptation.
If your weaknesses get weaker in certain places, or around certain people, then stay away from those places, and avoid those people.
God is telling us that there is a way of escape if we want it.
Jesus brought this thought to the brink when he said in:
Matthew 5:29, And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Jesus is saying to all of us: Forget the excuses, Whatever is necessary to protect yourself from yourself, Get it done!
But we are also to protect our self from Satan and his forces.
As we have already read in I Peter 5:8, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
He devoured Adam and Eve in the garden for they obeyed not the word of God.
The word of God tells us to be sober, to be vigilant.
To be sober is to be calm, to be not under the influence of passion.
It is to be serious minded, always knowing that the adversary is at work.
The devil is working to devour you and up and down emotions are not an effective defense against his wiles.
To be sober is to be steady, not letting victory or despair upset your way for Satan looks to attack on emotional highs and emotional lows.
He looks for those who are disappointed, depressed, desperate, doubting, angry, stressed or hateful.
We are also told in I Peter 5:8, to be vigilant which means to keep awake, to watch.
To keep awake means to be in Godís word where Godís word continually arms you for the battle.
Without that arming, which is unique to Godís children, you are at the mercy of the devil, who has no mercy
It is so easy to forget that the battle is the Lords.
It is so easy to confine our thinking to that which we can see, and to those to whom we relate and think that our wits can overcome anything.
But the battle emanates not from this world but from on high.
And because of this the arming must be such to oppose that which comes from the spiritual wickedness in high places.
We read of this in Ephesians 6:11-17, Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
These attacks are spiritual attacks and must be thwarted with spiritual armor and spiritual weapons.
Your armor against spiritual attacks consists of truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, your faith, and your salvation.
This armor is only available to those who are in the family of God.
It is only available to those who have been born of the spirit for these are the only ones who can use the only weapon God has given, and that weapon is the sword of the spirit, the inerrant, infallible word of our God.
Hebrews 4.12, For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
God only gives armor that covers the front of your body.
It is armor suited to the offense for it offers no protection while in retreat.
Satan is not all powerful in regard to his attack and can only attack with Godís permission, such as the permission he gave with regard to Job.
Everything that God does is for your good and that includes the fiery darts of the wicked against you.
God gives armor so that you may engage in warfare where you will learn to face and defeat evil.
God wants you to learn to face temptation and resist it.
God wants you to learn where your power to resist comes from and continue to access that power from Him by submitting to Him.
God wants his children to learn to stand and fight.
God insures that if you rely upon Him you shall have the full power of God to stand against the wiles (methods, trickery, lying in wait) of the devil.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, and Satan must obey Godís order to flee.
James 4:7-8a, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
Now this battle against Satan is not an eternal battle for it too has a season.
There is a reason for Satan and that reason is for him to gather unto himself all who refuse the grace of God, all who refuse the hand of God extended in Jesus Christ.
Man has the free will to choose and Satan is the other choice.
Satan then is the gatherer of all those who make a choice against God.
Satan has a final destiny. Part of that final destiny is at a place called Armageddon where he will gather his forces against Israel.
Revelation 16:14 and 16, For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. ÖÖAnd he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
On this coming day Satan will make one final attempt to prevent the return of Jesus Christ by seeking to totally destroy Godís holy land.
To that point things on this earth will wax worse and worse and all hope for deliverance will seem lost.
To the unbelieving world it will seem inevitable that the Jewish nation and its people will be totally erased.
Utter destruction is Satanís goal and the world will rejoice for the world will be his.
But as we know victory over Satan was accomplished at Calvary and in Godís eyes what takes place in this great time of tribulation is simply a mopping up.
It is a culmination of that victory for this is the time the Jews will recognize Jesus Christ as their Messiah and call upon Him to save them.
Zechariah 12:10a and 12a, And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, ÖÖÖ..And the land shall mourn (repent),
It will be at that point when all seems lost that Jesus Christ and his armies will come down from heaven riding white horses.
Christian, if you have never ridden a horse you will at that place be riding, for you shall come with the Lord and witness his victory
Revelation 19.11, And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Revelation 19.13-14, And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
Revelation 19.19, And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
Israelís Messiah will confront Satan and we will know that the battle is the Lordís for only His vesture is dipped in blood.
Revelation 20:1-3, And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Revelation 20:7, And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
So we see that Satan is loosed again to do Godís bidding for he will sweep the earth of all who oppose God and collect them in his dustpan for God to cast into the lake of fire.
For Satan is simply the grim reaper of God who gathers all those who refuse to bow the knee and repent.
We are to remember that Satan is simply used of God for his own purposes in bringing all things to work together for good to them that love Him.