Monday, April 13, 2009

The Arch Enemy of Man: Part III: What Is Satan's Destiny

You cannot hide anything from God. He keeps record of our thoughts as well as our actions. We learn this truth by observing how God confronted Lucifer with his sin:
13 “You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High' “(Isaiah 14:13-14). Lucifer was full of self – full of pride – and rebelled against his Creator God. God changed Lucifer’s name to Satan for becoming an Adversary – a hater of God.

According to the Holy Scriptures, war ignited in Heaven between God and Satan:
Revelation 12:7-12 7 ¶ “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!"

Satan knows that his time is short. The hate that Satan has for God is immense. And because man is made in the image of God, Satan hates mankind as well. The Evil One quickly provided the proper scenario in which Adam and Eve could be tempted with sin in a way that he was familiar:

"Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" 2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" 4 But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1b-5).

Adam brought sin into the world when he chose to follow Satan instead of God. With Adam spiritually dead, it didn’t take the Adversary long to become the god of this age.

A spiritual darkness came over this world. Satan’s hatred for man became reflective in all the religions he invented – human sacrifice became the de facto method of worship for fallen man. Satan thought everything was going well until he realized that God was sending His Son, Jesus, into the world to usher in the Kingdom of God. Through the successful work of Jesus on this earth, He was able to say relative to the Evil One,

“…I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18a).

Jesus maintained to his disciples that

“…the kingdom of God is within you"(Luke 17:21).

He reminded them of the fact that

“…the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

Satan thought he had defeated Jesus on the Cross by having Christ killed; but Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. And with His resurrection Jesus validated the Kingdom of God which He ushered in when He came into the world. Jesus reigns today as His Kingdom grows.

Satan’s destiny:

“and the devil … was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

Satan’s destiny is the same as all those who reject Jesus, as their personal Savior.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Satan: The Arch Enemy of Man: Part II: How Satan Works

Satan: The Arch Enemy of Man
Part II: How Satan Works
By Creth D. Hopkins

Jesus was speaking to unbelievers when He made the following statement concerning their will and the nature of Satan:
John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
The nature of lost man is to do the desires of the devil. And since the character of Satan is that of a liar, unsaved people will believe the lie of the Devil before they believe the Truth of Jesus Christ. The following is a partial list of some of the lies Satan wants you to believe in comparison to the Truth that God declares to all who will hear:
(1.) Satan: “The Bible is full of errors, myths and interpretations by men.”
God: “All Scripture is breathed out by God” (II Tim.3:16a); “Know this first of
all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from
God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (II Peter 1:20-21).
(2.) Satan: “There is no God; He is just something sick minds have invented.”
God: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do
abominable deeds, there is none who does good” (Psalm 14:1).
(3.) Satan: “Man is basically good. Any wrong that is found in man is due to his
parents, his culture and others around him.”
God: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for
God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does
good, not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).
(4.) Satan: “There is more than one way you can find God and there is more than
one truth that will lead you to God.”
God: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one
comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
(5.) Satan: “You can have eternal life by simply believing in Jesus’ name – you
don’t have to obey Him. Remember, once saved, always saved!”
God: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the
Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36).
(6.) Satan: “God will reject you because of the sinful life you have led.”
Jesus: “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to
Me, I will never cast out” (John 6:37).
(7.) Satan: “You can fall from your salvation, your salvation is never secure.”
Jesus: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will
snatch them out of my hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater
than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the
Father are One” (John 10:28-30).

Who do you choose to believe: the father of all liars, Satan, or will you believe Jesus? Your choice is critical – your soul hangs in the balance.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Satan: The Arch Enemy of Man: Part I: Who Is Satan?

Is there such a being as the Devil? Is he red in color, has horns and a forked tail and carries a pitchfork? And what about Lucifer and Satan; are these names of other evil beings or do all these names apply to one evil essence? Is the Devil the product of religion or Hollywood, or is he the figment of our imaginations?
This is the first installment of a three-part series on “Satan: The Arch Enemy of Man.” The papers will follow in this order: Who is Satan? – How Satan Works – What is Satan’s Destiny?
Satan is real – there is no doubt about that. But he wasn’t first called Satan (which in the Hebrew language means “adversary”), he was named Lucifer. There are two passages that give us a clear description of Lucifer (Hebrew meaning: “Day Star”):
Isaiah 14:12-15 12 " How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.”
Ezekiel 28:15-19 15 “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity (sin) was found in you. 16 "By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. 17 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you. 18 "You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you. 19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror, And shall be no more forever." ' "
Like all angels, Lucifer was created by God (Psalm 148:2, 5) to serve the Lord. Sin originated in the heart of Lucifer due to pride. And it was pride that drove him to rebel against God and become His adversary; thus, God changed his name to Satan.
He is far more than the caricature of a red devil with a pointed tail and a pitchfork. When it is to his advantage the Evil One can display himself both in horrid realism and in ghoulish reality. There are other times when Satan will portray himself as a holy man or even an angel of light (II Cor. 11:14). Satan can appear like the well dressed gentleman in the pew or the nicely dressed lady standing in the aisle. He is well versed when it comes to quoting the Bible (Matt.4:6), but herein he betrays himself – he will inevitably quote the Scripture out of context. He will place a satanic spin on the Scriptures and interpret it contrary to how God meant it.
In trying to understand who Satan is, it is good to know the meanings of his names. Satan is a Hebrew word, it means ‘accuser’ or ‘adversary.’ Devil is a Greek word, it means ‘slanderer.’ From the word ‘devil,’ we get the English words diabolical, or diabolic. Indeed, Satan is the Diabolical One. In Ephesians 2:1-3, he is listed as “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience (v.2b). To those people who reject Jesus and His Word, the Devil is their god – “the god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4). Satan is the father of those who hate Jesus and the Holy Scriptures (John 8:44). He hates all mankind, especially genuine children of God.