Satan

satan

When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him. Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine. The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out.” (John 12:29-31)

Read: 1 Chronicles 4:24 – 5:17, Psalms 137:1-9, Jeremiah 52:28-30, Ezekiel 32:17 – 33:20

Relate: In the five hundred some odd devotionals I have written for The River Walk I could count the number of times I have talked specifically about Satan or hell on one hand and still have a few fingers left. In fact, I would have five fingers left. I just went through and checked and the closest I have come is writing on sin, demon possession, and Halloween. In the past year of sermons I have listened to at church, preached, and heard on a podcast (I have a three or four preachers I do like to listen to just about once a week each), I am pretty sure I have not once heard a sermon specifically on this topic. Oh the devil will pop up here or there as the abstract “adversary” necessary to the dialogue, point, or illustration but as the primary point of a message he is noticeable only for his absence.

It is funny then that I seem to see pictures and comments popping up all over the place on social media saying things like: “If you need the threat of eternal torture in order to be a good person, you’re not a good person!”torture Is it that the only people who truly want to talk about Satan are the ones who claim not to believe in him? Is it that we are so eager to not appear guilty of their charge that we do our best to avoid the topic? Have we been so subtly influenced by a modernist, materialistic, worldview that we simply not only avoid but we do not even realize that we are avoiding such things as Satan and hell? Whether or not you agree with their stances and interpretations of Biblical and church views, kudos have to be given to both Rob Bell and Francis Chan for their willingness to at least wade in and discuss these neglected topics. Now, in a few short paragraphs, I’ll do a little wading in as well.

React: For brevity’s sake there are only three things I will say here about Satan. The first of those is that Satan is real. In our times and in our culture we simply do not acknowledge things like angels and demons, heaven, hell, and the devil. Yes, we might make an intellectual assent to their reality but our living, our actions, and our moment to moment thinking do not in any way acknowledge their existence. Craig Groeschel writes about how we do this with God in his book Christian Atheists. Living this way regarding Satan is dangerous. We have been given the command to be clear minded and vigilant because he prowls about seeking whom he may devour.

The second truth we need to understand is the flip side of that coin. Yes, Satan is real and we must be wary of his schemes but we must also understand that he is already defeated. This is what Jesus was foretelling in the verse for today. Through the atoning work of the cross and His victorious resurrection Jesus has been crowned victor. After Jesus died on the cross he descended into hell to do two things. He metaphorically stole the keys and kicked down the gates. Now, against any who are found in Christ, Satan is powerless. The question is, where do you find yourself today?

Finally, even though Satan has already lost, we must understand that he hasn’t yet conceded defeat. To understand this best, I recall a story I heard one time about a man who saw his farmer friend kill a chicken. That bird was all nervous and panicked but it literally went ballistic when the ax came down and its head was cut off. The headless bird flapped and kicked until it was about six or seven feet in the air when it suddenly stopped, and fell to the ground lifeless. Satan has lost his head, but he hasn’t yet stopped flapping. The evil, the destruction, the torment he inflicts on this world will continue and intensify until that moment when God says “enough.”

Respond: 

God, thank You for allowing me to partake in the victory You have won on our behalf. Help me to maintain a balanced view of the enemy of our souls. Help me to be vigilant of the war that is waged while always remembering that the victory has already been won. You are the Champion. You alone are God.

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19 thoughts on “Satan

  1. Sadly Satan is real and he exploits that fact by ‘Blinding the minds’ or ‘veiling truth’.

    The significant portion of this scripture is the purpose of the voice from Heaven – it was for those assembled and became a powerful indication that Jesus Kingdom is of a higher source.

    On one point where does the Bible say that Satan had the keys to Hell? This is a Catholic heretical teaching designed to appease the masses (literal people and the ceremonial worship). Even in the parable of the Rich Man and the Beggar Lazarus – Satan is not mentioned as the gate keeper.

    Satan has lost – he awaits the period of the confinement in the Abyss (Revelation 20) and his short release to mislead the world again and then his destruction.

    The reason many preachers avoid Satan is that a detailed study of him and what he did would expose the origins of some of their favourite teachings. Not certain what I mean try The Two Babylons as the beginning point and move on from there.

    Really interesting post.

  2. I think their are lot of Christians like myself who have come under demonic attack and have no one but the Lord to help. It is like you say, Christian’s say they believe there is God, angles, demons, and Satan, but try telling others about it when you have had personal encounters.

    • Yes. Have to look hard for people who rely on the Holy Spirit. Some have their own experiences they don’t talk about (there is a tendency to forget when one is not being actively attacked, I think) and others who haven’t had potent personal encounters are still willing to believe and pray. But still hard.

  3. People can choose to believe it or not but I have been physically shoved, had many, many strange things happen. Ive been shouted at during prayer and told to shut up (I cleaned it up for your benefit but add a few f bombs and you got it). For the past 5 years I started having a shooting, sharp, double you over and make you lose your breath pain down inside my ear. One night I was laying in bed and I felt the Lord tell me to close my eyes. So I did and I could see through my eye lids wide awake, in the spirit Im guessing, and a swirling, foul black fog came rushing up into me face … its own face was demonic but human looking. The closer it got, the pain began to intensify. As the fog got close, a peace that passed all understanding covered me and a voice said, Cast it out in my name. So I cast it out in Jesus name and it left immediately. It still comes back from time to time and every time I cast it out in Jesus name, the pain stops. I have another where it feels like something is punching me in the stomach and it hurts so bad I cant breathe. I cast it out and it leaves, it happens less and less as time goes by. I cant understand or relate to people who never experience some of these things. I have to have Jesus.

    • One of the most potent demon repellants I have found is singing hymns, mainly deep-theology hymns that focus on Christ and the cross. More importantly, singing voluntarily also builds up joy in the Spirit and the will to serve no matter the opposition.

      • The worship and praise is amazing. It makes me feel like Im hiding behind Christ while peering from behind His shoulder to see what He is going to do. This is going to sound weird, but if it feels like something icky is in the house … spiritually it gets a dingy feeling, like a grime on it … I often clean my house literally with worship and praise blasting and with the intent of spiritually cleansing it at the same time. 💪👍👌🙏

  4. There are several reasons a lot of churches don’t want to acknowledge Satan – people do funny things with that subject. Some get fearful, others get overly fascinated and distracted, still others start laying the blame for all their sins at Satan’s feet. That’s in addition to simple rationalism. There are also some people who prefer to emphasize God’s sovereignty and, in doing so, don’t really treat Satan as a distinct actor at all.

    None of it changes the fact that Satan exists, and that he’s hiding under more rocks than the church wants to admit. Temptation is not his only mode of operation, though it is his favorite. He sometimes simply trades in discouragement and loss of heart. The Bible lays some sicknesses, some ministry barriers, and some great tragedies at his feet, and treats him as a strong, intelligent agent rather than a pittance or a non-entity. He strikes at our lives, even at stuff like family vacations, just to get us to lose heart. And then he lies, convincing us that God doesn’t care.

    The good news is, by being aware of his schemes and knowledge with our weapons, we can defeat him!

  5. Our eternal victory, already acquired and given to us by Christ, is truly certain and complete, but is only experienced here in this present age with battle. If we want to live free now and do the work we’re called to, we will have to fight.

  6. Help me Lord to fight a good fight of Faith. I know the devil has been defeated yet, sometimes wonder why things that happens happened. Yet Victory is guaranteed in every battle against the wiles of wickedness. Praise God!

  7. Reblogged this on ChristianBlessings and commented:
    My God is real. I am so glad I have committed my life to Him – He is my Protector, my Savior, my Coming King!
    Satan is real, defeated and seeks to drag me down to his level.
    My God is the Victor. I am too in Him. Praise the Lord!

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