KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE
LESSON 4 – OUR ADVERSARY, THE DEVIL
God’s work of creation includes the visible and the invisible universe. The invisible realm is that which consists of angels – both good and bad. The bad consists of Satan and his demons. They were not created evil, but they became evil by exercising their own free will. The first sin was not committed on earth…it was committed in Heaven by Satan. This was the first introduction of corruption that spread from the invisible realm to the visible, where you and I live. These evil spirits are actively engaged in the spreading of sin and evil among mankind. In order to understand our own fallenness, we must understand the reality, nature and the work of these spirits.
As with angels, some people don’t believe in the existence of demons or a real devil. This is a dangerous and fatal assumption. He is the adversary of mankind, wanting to pull into the depths of Hell all those he can…and the unwary one is the easiest for him to deceive. Make no doubt about it…those he deceives, he will destroy. As we will see in this lesson, the Bible clearly testifies to the literal existence of Satan and demons.
1. Satan is the ruler or prince of demons. Can anyone tell me what the name means?
Insight: It’s a Hebrew word meaning: adversary, opponent, accuser, one who tries to block your way. The N.T. word for Satan is diabolos, which means: devil, to accuse, to slander. Satan is whose adversary? (God and man’s.)
2. Can you think of any other names that refer to Satan or the Devil? (Beelzubub (Lord of the Flies), Abaddon (destruction), Apollyon (destroyer), Belial (liar, worthlessness), Lucifer (light bearer), serpent, dragon, tempter, deceiver, liar and the father of lies, ruler of this world, prince of the power of the air, and the evil one.)
3. Since Satan is a fallen angel, when was he created? (Unknown exactly, but he had fallen by the time Adam & Eve were in the Garden of Eden.) Ezek. 28:13
4. Ezekiel 28:1-19 is one of the fullest descriptions of Satan. Study it to answer the following:
What was his downfall? (v.2,6,9,17 – he lifted his heart up and wanted to be God; gloated in his beauty – arrogance and conceit.) 1 Tim. 3:6
How does his wisdom compare with man? (v.3-5,12 – wiser than man.)
What was his original appearance like? (v.12,13 – beautiful, radiant.)
Of what rank of angels was he originally? (v.14 – cherub. Cherubs were given the responsibility of guarding the Garden of Eden [Gen. 3:24], guarding the throne of God [Ezek. 1:5].)
What was his special designation? (v.14 – an anointed cherub to “cover” [the holiness of God possibly], God placed him there specifically on the holy mountain of God, walking in the midst of the stones of fire [reference to God].)
What was the sentence for his sin? (v.16-18 – He was cast down from the mountain of God, cast to the ground; God brought fire from his midst and turned him to ashes; he is no longer beautiful, but people are appalled & terrified when they look at him.)
5. How could one who was responsible for guarding God’s glory and covering His holiness become so corrupted?
Insight: Beware…his fall is the same temptation for your fall…he coveted that which was not his, and wanted to rule things his own way by being a god himself. The angel full of wisdom and perfect in beauty was not content…he wanted more…more than what God had given him…more than what God intended for him to have. Being next to God’s holiness will not prevent you from falling…you must constantly examine your heart for pure motives. By the way…what is the piece of armor that guards the heart in Ephesians 6? (Breastplate of righteousness.)
6. What similarities and differences from the Ezekiel passage do you see in Isaiah 14:4-19?
7. What is Satan’s ultimate goal? (To receive worship unto himself that he saw being given to God; and he wants to destroy Christians.) Rev. 13:1-8; 2 Thes. 2:1-4
Insight: Notice these passages say nothing of his attempt to overpower God or destroy the Church. It’s because he knows he can’t…but the very thing that caused his downfall is still the lust of his heart. And if he can’t strike God, he focuses his efforts on those who look like Him and are purchased by His Son’s blood.
8. Does Satan work in the heart of everybody? (No; it’s impossible; only God is omnipresent. Therefore the evil working in some people’s hearts is a mixture of the lust of their own heart [Ja. 1:14], or the work of demons [Lk. 11:24-26; Acts 19:11-17]. Don’t give Satan more credit than he deserves; to do so is to give him praise that he doesn’t deserve.)
Insight: In the Old Testament Hebrew, demons are called shedim, which means “shades.” They are but a shadow of the Dark One that led them astray from the Light! They are also called se’irim, which is a term used for wild goats…and thus the goat head feature of Satan persists today.
9. If at one moment Satan can appear as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), and then another be a fierce dragon (Rev. 12:3), what does this teach you about his tactics? (He can adapt himself to suit the person and the occasion.) What should we study to recognize him when we see him? (Study the TRUTH – only then will the counterfeit come to light! Illus. – new bank tellers are first given only the genuine bills to study; that way they recognize counterfeit money when they see it.)
10. What is Satan’s primary work among the nations? (To deceive them.) Rev. 20:3
Among unbelievers? (Blinding their minds so they won’t believe the Gospel; attack their bodies; possess them.) 2 Cor. 4:4
Among believers? (Tempt, get us to commit evil, steal, kill, oppress, manipulate our subconscious with subliminal thoughts, and set snares.) Jn. 8:44; 13:2; 1 Cor. 2:8; 2 Tim. 2:26; Job 2:7
Insight: Rest assured that if you belong to Christ, Satan cannot possess you. He possesses only those who do not have the seal of the Holy Spirit. God is a jealous God, and He will not share His temple (your soul) with another; His power is greater…He is Almighty!
11. As we saw with angels, there are also ranks of demons. What are they according to these passages? Eph. 3:10; 6:11-12; Dan. 10:10-13, 20-21
12. Should we find ourselves in the middle of spiritual warfare, what assurance do you find in these passages? 1 Jn. 4:4; Heb. 2:14; Col. 2:15
Insight: We will experience victory in spiritual warfare only if we rely on the covering and power of the Holy Spirit and heed His warnings. We have been given sufficient resources to repel these attacks…if we avail ourselves to them.
Insight: The road to spiritual victory begins with knowing the truth so we are not deceived by the lies. Second, we must submit our will to the Holy Spirit’s leading so that we can resist temptations. Third, avoid activities that give opportunity for demons to defeat you.
13. If someone is demon possessed or oppressed, what are the resources to bring about deliverance? (Call upon Christ through prayer to set the captive free; put on the full armor of God; take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.) Lk. 4:18-21; Eph. 6:10-11; 2 Cor. 10:3-6
Satan’s hungry belly roars in his effort to frighten and devour you. He is real. He is very active. And he is powerful and dangerous. He is a fearsome opponent, and you are no match to fight him by yourself. BUT Satan and his demons are no match for our divine and almighty Redeemer! Jesus has already crushed the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15) in His victorious death and resurrection…and He will soon crush Satan under our feet (Rom. 16:20). Though it appears from time-to-time that he is winning in the lives of people around us, we have the greatest news they desperately need: in Christ, we win! Introduce them to the mighty Deliverer, Jesus Christ!