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 the enemy and his goals

As believers in Jesus Christ we are at war ~ a spiritual war ~ that the body of Christ in Dallas has chosen to overlook. How can such an oversight take place? It has done so because we are either unable to recognize it, or too uncomfortable to identify our real adversary.

Currently, Satan is the prince of this world xxviii and he roams and walks the earth. xxix He is not observing us from his ornate throne, surrounded by the damned and by lakes of Hell-fire…he is here, walking among us. He is an active adversary looking to attack each of us as followers of Jesus Christ. The apostle Peter confirmed Satan’s desire to destroy us when he wrote in his first letter, " Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." xxx

Can we see our enemy? Do we actually know where our struggles come from? Do we really understand why life can be so devastating? Are we clear as to why we are faced with mockery and suffering? Do we completely comprehend why it is that we fall? Why we fail and give in to temptations? These are tough questions… with only one answer. Satan. He is our enemy, our adversary, and his ultimate goal in this spiritual war is to bring destruction to the kingdom of God.
Our perception of Satan is construed. We identify Satan as a mix between man and demon. Satan is usually portrayed as fiery red with two horns, a forked tongue, and a pointy tail. We dress like him in Halloween costumes and even name athletic teams after him. Worse is that we categorize him as a symbolic figure of evil rather than the absolute evil that he truly is. In fact, according to The Barna Group, 46% of all born-again adults believe that Satan does not exist. xxxi He is simply a figurative representation of the dark-side. This is a prime example of how Satan, very effectively, uses deception as a weapon against us. He wants us to believe that he is simply a symbol of evil (that current culture portrays him to be). Why? Because when we do not understand the reality of our enemy, we underestimate the role that he plays in each of our lives.

In the very beginning, xxxii Satan was an anointed angel, given responsibility to oversee the Garden of Eden. xxxiii However, he decided to go against the seal of perfection, and was filled with violence. xxxiv Remember when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? Satan used his power and wisdom to turn Adam and Eve away from God. xxxv Satan also corrupted other angels, swaying them to join in rebellion xxxvi against God. Some of these fallen angels are permanently bound in the Abyss, xxxvii while some are temporarily on the loose. These " angels on the loose" are known as demons, xxxviii which work side by side with Satan and strive to bring destruction to the kingdom of God. With his destructive mentality, one of Satan’s goals is to " rob God of His glory and man of his joy.xxxix" Satan does not want God to be glorified. Nor does Satan want us to worship the one and only God. A spiritual war is being waged: God and His faithful followers vs. Satan and his demons.

If we can recognize and identify the role that Satan tries to play in each of our lives, we will be better able to engage in spiritual warfare. Paul wrote, " For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." xl Please do not deny the impact that Satan tries to have in our lives on a daily basis. We must know who we are up against, and know that Satan disguises himself in many ways and plays many roles.

Abaddon / Apollyon (angel of the abyss)
  • Revelation 9:11

Adversary (an opponent)
  • 1 Peter 5:8

Accuser (against one in the assembly)
  • Revelation 12:10

  • Matthew 4:1

Enemy (adversary)
  • Matthew 13:39

Evil One (hurtful)
  • Matthew 13:19;

god of this world
  • 2 Corinthians 4:4

prince of the power of the air
  • Ephesians 2:2

ruler of this world
  • John 12:31

Satan (opponent)
  • Job 1:6

son of perdition / destruction
  • John 17:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3

  • Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5

Despite the cunning and widespread influence of Satan, praise be to God, Satan’s freedom to rule over the world will not last. At the return of Jesus Christ, Satan will be bound for 1,000 years. xli Then, for a short period of time, Satan will be released and he will make one final attempt to deceive the nations from all four corners of the earth. xlii Satan knows his time is limited, for God has prepared an eternal fire for the devil and the demons. xliii Satan, demons and those who oppose God " will be tormented day and night forever and ever." xliv

Until the Day of the Lord arrives, we must persevere and hold fast in each and every spiritual battle against Satan and his fallen demons. We have no choice. Satan will not stop until he has either been destroyed or he has fulfilled his goal, bringing destruction to the kingdom of God. As believers in Jesus Christ, we already know the outcome of this spiritual war. Satan and his rebellious goals have already been defeated.

xxvii Lewis, C.S., Quotes about Revival, http://www.goodpassage.com/quotes_about_revival.html, December 2005.
xxviii John 12:31 NASB
xxix Job 1:7 NASB
xxx 1 Peter 5:8 NASB
xxxi Barna, George. " Beliefs: Trinity, Satan," http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=Topic&TopicID=6, December 2005.
xxxii 1 John 3:8 NASB
xxxiii Ezekiel 28:12-19 NASB
xxxiv Ezekiel 28:12-18 NASB
xxxv Genesis 3 NASB
xxxvi Revelation 12:4,9 NASB
xxxvii Luke 8:31 NASB
xxxviii Matthew 25:41 NASB
xxxix Pocock, Dr. Michael.  WM525 Spiritual Warfare, Dallas Theological Seminary, Fall 2003; The Sources of Spiritual Opposition: Satan and Demons.
xlii Revelation 20:7-9 NASB
xliii Matthew 25:41 NASB
xliv Revelation 20:10 NASB
" There is no neutral ground in the universe;
Every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan." xxvii

- C.S. Lewis
" Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;

but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

-1 Corinthians 15:54-56