The Devil as a Foe and Besetment “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” I Peter 5:8
Isa 14:12 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!
Outline of Discourse 1. As an opponent of God and our Lord Jesus 2. The effects of Satan’s influence on the world 3. A personal Adversary or foe of the New Creation 4. Admonitions as to “How we can conquer or resist” 5. Who actually destroys Satan in the End?
Satan: An opponent of God F613 Then it was that one of those of high rank, reasoning out the possibilities of the matter and harboring selfish and ambitious thoughts, concluded that if he could in some manner but capture the newly created human pair, and alienate them from God, then he could through them set up a special kingdom or dominion of his own, of which he would be the god or lord, usurping the place and honor of Jehovah respecting mankind and the earth. It was his prosecution of this criminal ambition that gave to him his present name, Satan--adversary of God. John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
The effect of Satan’s influence in the world. Lies Hatred Wars Stealing Injustice Murder Disease/Sickness Genocide Pain Death Jealousies Bitterness Anger Prideful power struggles Deception Crime Prisons Hospitals Funeral Homes Cemeteries
The effect of Satan’s influence in the world… in a nutshell. Pain SicknessSorrow Death
A personal adversary of the New Creation Satan hates us and would like to devour us – to kill us if he could. Since he cannot – unless God permits it – he tries to “crush out” our spiritual life – to kill us spiritually. Our great Adversary subsequently strategizes and plots out his schemes to entrap us – deceive us – and knock us off course, either morally or spiritually.
The Devil’s Identity - Scripturally Job 1:6-7 “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Zechariah 3:1-2 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
Matt. 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Satan Originally Created Perfect Deut. 32:4 He (God) is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
“Our Lord's declaration, that Satan is the great Adversary, not only of God, but of humanity, is by no means a fancy sketch, but the plain truth….Satan alone is the wilful, intelligent plotter and schemer who uses a superhuman intelligence and, so far as permitted, superhuman powers, to inveigle our fallen flesh, through depraved appetites, etc., and who frequently uses the worldly as his tools and unconscious instruments in opposing righteousness and truth and those who are of the Truth.” F611 Satan is a vicious, crafty schemer who as the slanderer of Jehovah, misrepresents God; and as an unabashed opposing spirit of all that is righteous and good. He is cold, ruthless, and merciless to his foes. Our Lord Jesus said: “He was a liar and a murderer from the beginning.” We believe Satan is 100% evil. His main problem from the beginning was apparently unholy and misdirected ambition. There is NO truth at all in him! (Jn. 8:44) The Adversary’s Character
What are some of the Adversary’s Snares and Traps? Pride Unholy Ambition Selfishness Sophistries Pleasure Jealousy Hatred Immorality Money Fear Angel of Light The Nominal System Misrepresentation Distractions Revisionism Revenge Depression Distracting Relationships Unfair Criticism Love of Ease/No Cross
Trap #1 Pride Nothing is more dangerous to the child of God than self-conceit; it blocks the way to true progress and reformation of heart, and hinders true usefulness to others, and especially usefulness in God's service. R5186 Matt. 4:8-9 “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me..”
Trap #2 Unholy Ambition Ambition is necessary in the Church, as in the world; but it must not be a selfish ambition for greatness or prominence, but a loving ambition to serve the Lord and his people, even the very humblest. F296 Isa. 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Snare #3 Selfishness Definition: Concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself. Seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure or well being without regard for others. R5229 Evidently the principle of selfishness is the root from which all disagreements emanate. Surely there is nothing of selfishness in the Lord's Spirit. Whence then is this spirit of strife and discord which sometimes manifests itself among the Lord's people? One sets himself up and seeks to take away the rights and liberties of others…. The most favorable condition for unity is that all seek to have the Lord's will done in their mortal bodies. The only difficulty that could then arise would result from ignorance or from weakness of the flesh that had not been overcome or that could not be overcome. The other members of the congregation, having the Spirit of the Master, would assume that the erring brother was merely ignorant, and not willfully in opposition. Therefore in all kindness and gentleness they would seek to point out the will of the Father as expressed in Christ. The younger brother would be glad to have this done, because he would have the Spirit of Christ.
Trap #4 Pleasure Pleasure seeking of the natural, gratifying desires of the human senses. Taste, sight, sound, touch, and smell are all a part of our human nature – which wants (demands) to be continually gratified. Any kind of humanly pleasurable experience the Adversary can use to snare us away from a “consecration to sacrifice”. If Satan can misuse these natural desires to lead us away from God or the narrow way of sacrifice – you can bet that he will do it. In fact, any doctrine – like the “sin-offering” he will attack or discredit by the force of argument the flesh can put up to deny or challenge the scriptural validity. After all, the worldly fleshly pleasures could be more satisfied if this important doctrinal understanding was swept under the rug of confusion, doubt or denial. “Present your bodies a living sacrifice” could be perceptually overlooked while on the path to the trap named “pleasure”.
Snare #4 Sophistry (you can’t see it!) (subtle deceptive reasoning or argumentation) Psa. 19:13 “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins” R4835 The perversion of what he (God) has revealed, or claiming and holding tenaciously any doctrine merely on the ground of fallible human reasoning. (Examples: Immortal soul, Trinity, Hell Fire, etc.) Question: Are there any doctrinal beliefs that we as Bible Students hold tenaciously on to - that we can cannot prove by the scriptures? Some Christians of past history have subscribed to and justified their actions by: “The end justifies the means” Morally wrong actions are sometimes necessary to achieve morally right outcomes; actions can only be considered morally right or wrong by virtue of the morality of the outcome. (Who says? Is that in the scriptures?) Rom. 3:7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? Rom. 3:8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
Songs of Solomon 8:6 “…jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.” R4789 JEALOUSY of another is always an evil quality; as the text states, it is "cruel as sheol," which engulfs all mankind; it is unreasoning and insatiable. One has said of it, "Jealousy is really--whether so recognized or not--a thirst for blood, life; at any moment, when reason is a little weaker than usual, jealousy is ready to kill the thing it hates or the thing it loves." It signifies either apprehension of being displaced in the affections of another, or of being outdone by a rival in matters of favor or popularity with others. The jealousy mentioned in our text is the most vicious kind of cruelty, committed in the name of love, or through envy; it is one of the great foes which confront every Christian and is closely allied to hatred, malice, envy, strife, and should be slain on sight as an enemy of God and man, and of every good principle; and to the extent that its presence has defiled the heart even for a moment, a cleansing by the spirit of holiness and love should be invoked. It is not only a cruel monster of itself, but its poisonous fangs are almost certain to inflict pain and trouble upon others. The mind which is once poisoned with jealousy so rapidly brings everything within its environment to its own color and character that it is with great difficulty that it can be entirely cleansed from it. Read James Chapter 4 also. Snare #5 Jealousy
Trap #6 Hatred 1Jn 3:14-16 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. R3928 The new creature cannot deliberately entertain a feeling of hatred toward a brother--it would mean the spirit or disposition of murder, and thus the reverse of the Lord's Spirit.
Trap #7 Immorality Is the world media promoting sex and immorality more and more on the magazine racks, as well as television and the movies today – more than ever before? Who can deny it? Our young brethren values have especially been greatly attacked by these traps of the great Adversary. “Watch out where you step!” Br. Russell said one time that “that which is prevalent in the world, will be a special threat to the Church.” How true do you think that is? How careful the new creation needs to be with what they allow their minds to be entertained with and their eyes to be drawn towards. Are we walking in the flesh, or in the spirit? Be on guard to not fall into the trap of immorality – even in your mind. Be careful of the “little foxes that can spoil the vine”. King David fell into this snare that the Adversary laid for him – and paid for it heavily. Is the cost and loss worth it? James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Snare #8 Money 1Tim. 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. R2259 The spirit of Mammon crowds out the spirit of love and wisdom from above, and leads to losing the spirit of the truth, the letter of the truth and the faith.
Snare # 9 Fear (of loss) There are many kinds of fear…but the fear trap that we point to is a “fear of sacrifice”. At first, it is rather easy to consecrate our “all” on the alter of sacrifice, until we realize just what that really requires. The test of time surfaces a love of ease and comfort in the great Company where it is finally required that many have to have a “forced” consecration – when it is too late to gain the chief prize. Matt. 25:11-12 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Heb. 2:14-15 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; And deliver them who through fear of death (of the flesh) were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Snare # 10 The Nominal Systems – THE Most Deceptive Trap! The temptations to the New Creation from the world would be comparatively powerless were it not for the fact that the nominal church combines the worldly spirit, aims and ambitions with the name of Christ and an humble service to him. The ease, honor of men, emoluments, freedom from sacrifice, and sureness of attaining the best things that this world can give, are the baits and allurements, the snares and traps, which Babylon holds out to the New Creation, and that continually. No others of the Adversary's snares are so alluring, so deceptive, so powerful, as this one.
Snare # 11 Angel of Light 2Co 11:14-15 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.
Snare # 12 Misrepresentations and Misunderstandings Amongst the Brotherhood
Snare # 13 Distractions Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Snare #14 Depression According to WolframAlpha.com there are about 2.5 million people in the United States that have some form of depression. Are we exempt? Can the Adversary use the trap of depression to trip us up in the narrow way of our Christian walk? Absolutely. Wouldn’t Satan like to discourage us so much that we might feel like “giving up the racecourse” – “we won’t make our calling and election sure”. We have too many flaws in our character – too many issues to become as Christ-like as we need to become. But didn’t God know what He was dealing with when he called us? Maybe our character flaws are the REASON that he called us, because he needed someone like us in the body of Christ that believed in His strength made perfect in our weakness – that could identify with the millions who have the same struggles – and will need us in the Kingdom.
Snare #15 Distracting Relationships Matt. 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Signifies a cutting off of every other love that would conflict with our love for the Lord. Our earthly loves are to be counted as nothing in comparison. R5426 “He will have in that select Little Flock only such as love him supremely--more than they love houses or lands, husbands or wives, or children, or any earthly thing.” "Lovest thou me more than these?" John 21:15
Snare #16 Unfair Criticism or Hypercriticism We seldom weigh others in the same balance as we weigh ourselves. See also F 297-298 Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Mat 10:24-25 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
Snare #17 Love of Ease/No Cross “The missionary zeal of the church of Philadelphia, which at one time inflamed the whole mass of reformed Christianity, subsided into lukewarmness--phariseeism--the happy medium between impiety and pietism.” Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. “If we turn aside from the path of humiliation and daily cross-bearing and strife - for present exaltation and preferment, we are forgetting the very conditions upon which the future exaltation depends.” R1988 No Cross – No Crown
Snare # 19 Revisionism Many people and groups today say that the Holocaust never happened. There is a movement to rewrite the history of this by revisionist historians. Has Satan tried to set a trap of revisionism amongst Bible Students? Have some of our doctrines been slowly revised over the past hundred years to reflect self or popular opinion over and above what the seventh messenger’s statements are in the volumes of Studies in the Scriptures? R 3100 2 Peter 2:10
The Truth is in the Bible… But the UNDERSTANDING… Is in the Volumes.
How Can We Resist the Adversary? 1. First, be very aware that he notices our every weakness. 2. Stand pat in your confidence in the Lord and HIS strength. 3. Keep your spiritual armor on – make sure you’re wearing all of it! 4. Transform your mind with the scriptures and retrain the convolutions of your thoughts– let’s improve our efforts! 5. Know the Adversaries tools and tactics and snares 6. Stay very close to the Lord in prayer, meditation and study. 7. Don’t forsake the assembling of your brethren. 8. Place a sentry of love at the door of your heart. 9.“Run with patience the race that is set before us ” 10. Watch and be vigilant “because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” 11. Resist the Adversary with a “stone from the brook” appropriate scriptural affirmations backed by a resolute will I Cor. 15:58, James 4:7, 2 Thess. 2:9, 2 Thess. 2:11,12
WHO actually destroys Satan in the End? God destroys Satan in the End R 4999 Neither is Satan one of the enemies whom Jesus will then destroy. He was an enemy before man sinned, and his rebellion was not brought about by man's sin. He was subject to Divine authority before man was created, and will be a subject of Divine authority after man shall have been redeemed and restored. It will not be for the Mediator to deal with him, but for Divine Justice to determine his deserts. Besides, it is said that he will be destroyed in the Second Death, in the death from which there will be no redemption, no resurrection, no recovery. Rev 20:9 …and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Finally…and in Conclusion Eph. 6:10-13 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 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. 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.
James 4:7 …Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.