Written by Dr. Jerry E. McKeehan 

When Satan talks to you about God he always lies. When Satan talks to God about you he sometimes tells the truth

Satan is referred to in seven Old Testament books and every New Testament writer talks about Satan. Belief in Satan is not optional.  He was created by God. Understand that God created and uses Satan to his own ends (2 Corinthians 12:7).

  • Satan is not omniscient!  He is not all knowing.
  • Satan is not omnipotent! He is not all powerful, 
  • Satan is not omnipresent!  He can’t be everywhere at the same time.
  • Satan is not sovereign!  He has limited power.

I. The Fall of Lucifer (Satan) 

Lucifer (Satan) was the most perfect of all angels (Ezekiel 28:11-19) 
He was the model of perfection. Not only was he the highest order of angel, a cherub, whose job it was to protect the holiness of God (see Isaiah 6). He was the pinnacle of God's creation. Ezekiel says he was literally the mold God used for perfection. 
Sin started in Lucifer's heart out of pride 

Possibly the most ominous words in all of scripture are Ezekiel 28: 15, ‘until wickedness was found in you'. Sin started in Lucifer's heart. It was beauty and perfection twisted by pride and the desire for power. Isaiah lists the five statements that summarize the sin in Lucifer's heart - The five "I will's" of Satan. They all boil down to one goal, to sit on God's throne as His equal or more. 

How you have fallen from heaven, 0 morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, 

  • "I will ascend to heaven;
  • I will raise my throne above the stars of God;
  • I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.
  • I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
  • I will make myself like the Most High." (Isaiah 14:14). 

Jesus called Satan's sin "the Lie". The lie is that you can be like God (John 8:44). He led an unsuccessful rebellion against God in heaven (Rev. 12: 1-9) He convinced one third of the angels to join his rebellions and they were tossed out of heaven (notice the references to his trade in Ezekiel 28 and those who look upon him in Isaiah 14). We know those fallen angels as demons (Ephesians 6:10-12)

II. Spiritual Warfare, Fact or Fiction 

Book Excerpt
Luke 22:34 “Satan desires to sift you like wheat"
John 17:15 “protect them from the evil one”
Romans 7:22-23 “waging war”
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 “In order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes”
2 Corinthians 11:3-4 “deceived Eve by his craftiness"
Ephesians 4:25-27 “do not give the devil an opportunity”
Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the powers, against the
world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
James 4:7 “resist the devil and he will flee from you”
1 Peter 5:8 Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion”

III. Are Demons for Real? 

C. S. Lewis said: The devil's two extreme tactics are: (1) to have us believe he doesn't exist; (2) to have us believe he is all-powerful and everywhere to be found.  Let me repeat this again:

  • First, Satan and his demons do not have Omniscience (all knowing). Nowhere in the Bible do we find that Satan or demons can read someone’s mind. Satan is an angel and angels don’t know everything (1 Peter 1:11-12).
  • Second, Satan and his demons are not Omnipresent (everywhere at once).
  • Third, Satan and his demons drop thought bombs.
  • Fourth, we are very predictable people and Satan knows our past.
  • Fifth, as a Christian any temptation God ALWAYS provides a way of escape. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Cor. 10:13)
  • Sixth, anything you go through as a Christian, Satan has to get permission from God (Job 1:7-12). The expressions used of demons in the Bible are: 
    • unclean spirit;
    • evil spirit;
    • spirit of infirmity; 
    • lying spirit.

Demons have all the marks of personality:

  • will - Mt. 12:44; Mk. 5: 11-13; James 2: 19;
  • emotion - James 2:19;
  • knowledge - Mt. 8:29; Mk. 1:23-24; Acts 19:13-16; 
  • self-awareness - Mk. 5:9;
  • ability to speak ~ Mk. 1:24; 5:7-12; Acts 19:15 

The origin of demons: they are fallen angels who followed after Satan's rebellion against God prior to the creation of the world. Some of these creatures are free to roam about while others are bound (Luke 8:30-31), apparently because they are either so terrible as to destroy mankind, or else they are so numerous as to overwhelm mankind. 

IV. The Activity of Demons 

  • They cause disease: blindness, dumbness, deafness, suicidal mania; physical defects (Mt. 12:22; Mk. 9:17-27; Lk. 13:10-16).
  • They disseminate uncleanness (morally and physically) - 21 times they are called "unclean."
  • They are a source of lust (Eph. 2:1-3).
  • They can manifest supernatural strength (Mk. 5:1-4).
  • They are guilty of error, deception, lying, witchcraft, and heresy (yet they seek to be worshiped) - Lev. 17:7; 01. 32:17; 1 Sam 18:8-10; 1 Kings 22:21-24; 2 Chron. 33: 1-6; 1 John 4: 1-6; 1 Tim. 4: 1-2.
  • They oppress and depress (Acts 10:38).
  • They steal (M1. 13:19; John 10:10).
  • They tell fortunes (Acts 16:16-21).
  • They imitate the dead (2 Sam. 28:3-19).
  • They wage war against believers (Eph. 6:12).
  • They advocate sexual immorality (1 Tim. 4:3).
  • They trap and enslave (Rom. 8:15; 2 Peter 2).
  • They torment (compare 2 Tim. 1:7 with 1 John 4:18).
  • They drive and compel (Lk. 18:29).
  • They perform miracles (Rev. 13:11-14; 16:13-14). V. Sources of Temptation The Bible tells us there are three common sources of temptation. 
  • The world (1 John 2: 15-17)
  • The flesh (Galatians 5: 16-21)
  • The devil (Satan) (Matthew 4:1)

VI. The Nature of the Conflict (heart and mind)

It is not a physical warfare with physical weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3). It is not a person-to-person combat, but rather, a spirit-to-spirit combat (Ephesians 6: 12).

It is a continuous conflict: James 4:7 "resist" (it is the nature of the enemy to strive again and again).  It is fought mainly in the realm of the thought life (2 Corinthians 4:4). Why? He is a spiritual being, not a physical one. Thus, he uses mental and spiritual attacks. Since sin begins in the heart and mind, that is the most strategic place to launch temptations and attacks. 

The devil's tactics: 

  1. Aims to destroy (John 10: 1 0)
  2. Blind eyes (2 Corinthians 4:4)
  3. Sows doubt (Genesis3;Matthew4:3,6)
  4. Deceives(Revelation12:9)
  5. Sends temptation (Genesis 3: 1-6)

He understands that all he needs is a starting point in the mind in order to control the entire person. 

VII. The Seven Entry Points 

"What are the entry points our enemies enter?" 

  1. Rebellion/Self-will: "For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from {being} king" (1 Samuel 15:23; NASB).
  2. Anger: "BEANGRY,AND {yet} DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity' (Ephesians 4:26- 27; NASB).
  3. Hatred/Murder: "not as Cain, {who} was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous" (1 John 3:12; NASB).
  4. Guilt: "Then 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 brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night' (Revelation 12:10; NASB).
  5. FalseReligious:"ButtheSpiritexplicitlysaysthatinlatertimessomewill fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4: 1; NASB).
  6. Fear: "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell' (Matthew 10:28; NASB). 
  7. Sexual Immorality and Perversions: "Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control' (1 Corinthians 7:5; NASB). 

These I believe are the seven entry points of our enemy. These doors MUST be CLOSED! 

VIII. What is our position as Christians? 

  1. Christians are transformed from darkness to light (Colossians1:13)
  2. Satan was defeated on the Cross (Colossians 2: 15)
  3. Jesus gave His disciples authority over demons (Luke 10: 17 -20) 
    • You have authority over the enemy!

What Is Authority Vs. Power? 

  • There is a difference between authority and power.
  • The New American Standard Bible makes this distinction in Luke 10: 19. Christ told His disciples: "Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you."
  • Notice that the disciples were not given power over the power of the enemy, but authority over the power of the enemy. 

Example: 

You have watched a policeman walk into the middle of the street with 
his hand raised. All the traffic stops. He does not have power over them—indeed he wouldn't have the power to physically stop a car. But he does have authority over the traffic because of his identification with the police department. He has the entire power of the state behind him when he asks cars to stop, though he personally has no power over them at all. 

What if a policeman didn't understand the difference between power and authority? Suppose he believed that he must seek power so that he could stop the traffic by the strength of his own right hand. 

  • Foolish? Yes.
  • But no more so than Christians who ask God for power to overcome Satan.
  • God never gives us power as such, but we can exercise our authority which is ours by inheritance as a believer. 

What is authority? 

  • It is delegated power.
  • It is the right to exercise control in the kingdom because of one's special relationship to the king.
  • It is one person acting in the name of another. Receiving Authority!
  • We need not seek a special gift, agonize for power or pray for an experience that will make us victorious over demonic forces.
  • Perhaps this is why Paul spoke of standing firmly on the territory Christ has already conquered (Eph. 6:14).
  • By His death and resurrection, Christ defeated Satan. "When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him" (Col. 2:15, NASB).
  • Be of sober spirit. Be on the alert. Gird your mind for action. (1 Peter 1:13; 5:8)
  • Have a mentally disciplined life (Romans 12:1-2).
  • Yield yourself to the control of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:5-7; Galatians 5:16-23).
  • Make no provision in the flesh for the works of the devil (Romans 13:14)

IX.  How Did Jesus Resist the Temptations of Satan?

How can we resist Satan’s temptations? We can learn some valuable lessons about how to deal with spiritual warfare by watching how Jesus was able to resist the temptations of Satan (Matthew 4; Mark 1; Luke 4) in the forty-day Temptation. The Bible records three attempts by Satan to get Jesus to act independently of His Father’s will for Him.

  1. Challenged God’s provision – Satan first challenged Jesus to turn stones into bread (Matthew 4:3). The Bible tells us that Jesus was very hungry after fasting for forty days. While Jesus had the power to do so, He resisted because it was His Father’s will that he fast in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights.I nstead Jesus quotes a portion of Deuteronomy 8:3 back to Satan. “But He answered and said, ‘It is written, man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4).
  2. Challenged God’s protection – Satan next took Jesus into “the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple” (Ma¬tthew 4:5). He then commanded Jesus to throw Himself down in order for the angels to protect Him. In other words, Satan wanted Jesus to take His protection into His own hands and no longer trust in God’s protection. Notice that Satan even quotes Scripture (Psalm 91) to Jesus (Matthew 4:6) in order to tempt Him.  Jesus, however, quotes a portion of Deuteronomy 6:16 back to Satan. “Jesus said to him, ‘On the other hand, it is written, you shall not put the Lord your God to the test”” (Matthew 4:7). 
  3. Challenged God’s dominion – Satan then took Jesus “to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory” (Matthew 4:8). And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9). Satan would give Jesus rule and dominion over all that the world could provide if he were turn away from His mission to save mankind and worship Satan.  Notice that Jesus did not challenge Satan’s claim that he had the kingdoms of the world to give to Him. After all, Satan is the “prince of this world” (John 12:31). But instead Jesus said to him, “Go Satan! For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only” (Matthew 4:10).

As believers we should remind ourselves that Satan is a defeated foe. Jesus tells us that “the ruler of this world has been judged” (John 16:11). But his influence is still felt. Jesus also refers to Satan as “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31). John tells us that “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). And Peter reminds us that “the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The good news is that “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

X.  Spiritual Warfare is Always Defensive: (Ephesians 6:11-13)

  1. Armor of God is strictly defensive clothing. “…so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground…”  (Ephesians 6:13)
  2. We do not go on the attack; we ‘take our stand’.
  • This should not surprise us; twice we are told to ‘resist’ the devil (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
  • You only ‘resist’ when being attacked; you cannot resist when you are taking the initiative.

X.  Rules For Spiritual Warfare: (Ephesians 6:11-18)

  • We can never improve on God’s ways.
  1. The right clothing: wearing the full armour of God (v. 11).
  2. The right posture: to ‘stand’ (v. 11).
    1. (a)    Your Defense—The indwelling Spirit of God (Romans 12:1-2).
    2. (b)    The right theology: ‘Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place (v. 14).
    3. (c)    Note: Defense against ‘A liar and the father of lies’ (John 8:44).
    4. (d)    Note: Defense against ‘The accuser…’ (Revelation 12:20).
    5. (e)    Your Defense—The ‘interceding Son of God’ (1 John 2:1).
  3. The right conduct: ‘And with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace’ (v. 15).
    • ‘The feet’ is about walking in the light (holiness).
    • ‘Readiness’ comes from having been faithful.
    • Your Defense—The imparted Grace of God (2 Corinthians 12 7-10).
  4. The right reaction: ‘In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one’ (v. 16).
    • Note: the shield refers to defense to resisting the devil!
  5. The right mentality: ‘Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God’ (v. 17).
    • The helmet protects the mind from the deceiver.
    • The sword of the Spirit is the right use of the Bible when being attacked (Matthew 4:7).
    • Your Defense—The inspired ‘Word of God’
  6. Praying in the Spirit: ‘And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints’ (v. 18).
    • Note:  Prayer is not part of the armor of God.  Why?  Because prayer is your breath.  Prayer is your communication with God. 
  7. There are basically two kinds of praying in the Spirit.
    • Consciously, when we are praying according to God’s will (1 John 5:14-15).
    • Unconsciously, when we are praying but aren’t sure what God’s will is (Romans 8:26-27).

Look at the lives of these who had encounters with Satan

Person Eve Job David Joshua
(Gen. 3:1-7) (The Book of Job) (1 Chr. 21:1, 2, 7, 8,14-19) (Zech 3)
Satan - Deceiver Satan- Destroyer Satan - Ruler Satan- Accuser
Satan’s target the mind,(2 Cor. 11:3) the body the will the heart and conscience
Satan’s weapon lies – (Rev. 12:9) suffering,(Ps 81:16. ) pride,(1 John. 2:15-17) accusation
Satan’s purpose ignorant of God’s will,(Acts 22:14;,Eph. 5:17) impatient with God’s will independent of God’s will indictment of God’s will
Your defense inspired Word of God,(Matt 4:1-11),Jesus our example imparted grace of God,(2 Cor. 12:7-10) indwelling Spirit of God,(Eph. 3:20) interceding Son of God,(1 John 2:1)


XI.  The Stages in Satan existence (six stages) 

  • Stage One - a heavenly being of glory in the highest places (Ezekiel 28:14-17)
  • Stage Two - a fallen angel in the lowest places (Genesis 3; Luke 10: 18; Ephesians 2:24; 6: 1 0; Job 1, 2)
  • Stage Three - an enemy of mankind upon the earth (Revelation 12, 13)
  • Stage Four – a bound captive in the Abyss during the millennium
  • Stage Five – a temporary released enemy upon the earth (Revelation 20:3-8)
  • Stage Six – a vanquished foe forever in the eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:10)

Your brother in Christ, 

Jerry


Suggested reading:

  • Warren W. Wiersbe,  The Strategy of Satan, (1988)  
  • Erwin W. Lutzer,  The Serpent of Paradise: The Incredible Story of How Satan's Rebellion Serves God's Purposes (1996)
  • Kerby Anderson,  Spiritual Warfare, (2009)