Vol. 17, No. 4 – January 28, 2018
Eph 6 :10-24, Stand in Warfare!
1. The Empowerment, vs. 10.
2. The Enemy, vs. 11-12.
3. The Equipment, vs. 13-17.
4. The Energy, vs. 18-20.
5. The Encouragement, vs. 21-24.
2.) The Enemy, vs. 11-12.
Eph 6:11, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”
Given the variety of names that Satan has, we are warned to the fact that he can attack his opponents (believers) in a variety of ways. The entire spectrum from the fierceness of a dragon, Rev 12:3, to the attractiveness of an angel of light, 2 Cor 11:14, tells us that Satan can adapt himself and his tactics to suit the person and the occasion.
2 Cor 11:14-15, “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”
Although he may prefer to operate in a certain manner, he will meet you where you are and use whatever might defeat you in a particular circumstance. Even though he is not all-knowing, he has observed many others over the millennia in the same situations you might find yourself, and he can predict with a high degree of accuracy what will best defeat you. He is always probing for weaknesses, misdirecting strengths, and undermining faith, hope, and character, Luke 22:32; 2 Cor 2:11; 11:3-15; Eph 6:16.
Luke 22:31-32, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
2 Cor 2:11, “So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”
2 Cor 11:3, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
He should be taken seriously, for his malice and cunning are fearsome; yet he should not be taken so seriously as to provoke hopeless terror of him, for he is a defeated enemy. Satan is stronger than we are, but Christ has triumphed over him, Mat 12:29, and believers (you) will triumph over him too, if you resist him with the resources that Christ supplies, Eph 6:10-13; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9-10; 1 John 4:4.
James 4:7, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
1 Peter 5:9-10, “But resist him, (Satan), firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
In your own strength, you are no match for him at all. Not even the archangel Michael would rebuke him on his own, Jude 9. Yet, you can stand firm against him if you are “strong in the Lord,” vs. 10, and wear “the whole armor of God.”
Charles Stanley noted, “At times I hear people talking about demons, and I am amazed at the great power they ascribe to the devil and his cohorts. While I certainly believe in demonic power, I don’t quake at the thought of it. I am in union with One who is so far greater than all the demons of hell put together that there truly is no comparison. The devil is a creature, made by God and always under God’s dominion. He exists only because God allows him to exist. He has no authority over God, no ability to win a victory over God, and no power equal to that of God. As believers, we should give very little credit to the devil and demons. (More often the credit should go to our sin natures). They exist, they exert influence, but they are totally within the confines of God’s authority. The Bible states very clearly that the Holy Spirit resident in us is far superior to any power manifested by evil. John wrote, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, (the false teachers, antichrists that reject the Person of Christ), because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4.” (Charles Stanley on Satan, “Our Unmet Needs,” page 33.)
That is why you need the armor of God. So that you will not be defeated by the schemes of the devil and instead stand your ground in your spiritual walk to turn the tide, so that you are victorious in this life and defeat any attempt Satan makes towards you. Therefore, do not be “ignorant of his devices,” 2 Cor 2:11, the very first of which, and still the most effective, is to cause us to doubt God’s Word, Gen 3:1, 4, and then to disobey it, Gen 3:5-6.
Christ’s beatitudes of Matthew 5 have perhaps done more to mold disciples into the Divine image than any other text. But we must be consistently aware that there is another opposing power, namely, Satan, that seeks to influence believers with his own version of the beatitudes. They might read something similar to these:
- Blessed are they who are too tired and busy to go to church, for they are my best workers.
- Blessed are they who are bored with the pastor’s mannerisms and mistakes, for they get nothing out of the sermon.
- Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church, for his is part of the problem instead of the solution.
- Blessed are they who gossip, for they cause strife and divisions that please me.
- Blessed are they who are easily offended for they soon get angry and quit.
- Blessed are they who do not give their offerings to carry on God’s work, for they are my best helpers.
- Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother or sister for they think like I do.
- Blessed are the troublemakers for they shall be called the children of the devil.
- Blessed is he who has no time to pray for he will be easy prey.
Relative to the unsaved, he is in authority over them, Isa 14:17; 2 Cor 4:3-4; Eph 2:2; Col 1:13; 1 John 5:19.
Relative to the saved, he comes in conflict with them, Eph 6:11-18.
Relative to truth, he is a liar, John 8:44; the author and father of “the lie.” In that lie, He deceives the whole world, Rev 12:9; 20:3.
Rev 12:9, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”
Rev 20:3, “And he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.”
The principal tactic Satan uses to attack God and His program in general is to offer a counterfeit kingdom and program. This was evident when he originally sinned by wanting to be like, not unlike, God, Isa 14:13-14. The counterfeit was first attempted on mankind when Satan offered Eve the chance to be like God, knowing good and evil, Gen 3:5.
Gen 3:5, “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The temptation of Christ was also an attempt at the counterfeit, Mat 4:1-11. A counterfeit is as like the genuine as possible, only without some vital feature. Satan’s offer to our Lord was to have the glory due Him without the essential feature of His death.
Today, Satan promotes a form of godliness while denying its power, 2 Tim 3:5.
2 Tim 3:5, “Holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.”
Scripture depicts Satan as:
Opposing God’s work, Zech 3:1,
Perverting God’s Word, Mat 4:6,
Hindering God’s servant, 1 Thes 2:18,
Hindering the gospel, 2 Cor 4:4,
Snaring the righteous, 1 Tim 3:7,
Holding the world in his power, 1 John 5:19.
To do this, Satan disguises himself and his servants as servants of righteousness, 2 Cor 11:15. He promotes a doctrinal system through the demons who in turn use people who advocate a false asceticism or an unbridled license to sin, 1 Tim 4:1-3; Rev 2:24.
1 Tim 4:1-2, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.”
This is not speaking about overt “devil worshippers,” although they have existed in the past and continue to exist today, but about the false teachers of false doctrines who counterfeit the Word and Plan of God in a false system that looks like Christianity, but is not. They promote systems of legalism, works for salvation, do-goodism, human good, the prosperity gospel, etc., and on the other side, ultra-liberalism, or abusive-grace where they are free to sin because of God’s grace, or do not believe they ever sin because of the forgiveness of sin at the Cross and God’s regeneration at salvation. This also includes those who abuse 1 John 1:9, by thinking it is not needed for the believer post-salvation, and those who teach you can simply confess sin without repentance / recovery, thereby leading to the abuse of 1 John 1:9 as a mode of sinning, recovery, sinning, recovery, etc., without any change in behavior.
In relation to unbelievers, Satan uses the counterfeit life style to blind their minds so they do not think they need a Savior or salvation, and therefore do not need the Gospel, 2 Cor 4:3-4; cf. Rom 1:21-25; 2 Thes 2:7-10; 2 Peter 2.
2 Cor 4:4, “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
This blindness attacks the minds of people, and while unbelievers may think and reason, a power greater than Satan must remove that blindness. Human reasoning and convincing arguments have a ministry, but only the power of God can remove satanic blindness.
In promoting blindness, Satan uses counterfeit religion. He often does this by leading them to think that any way to heaven is as acceptable as the only way, many times through a system of human good works or a false religion; again, a counterfeit. This may include everything from asceticism to license, from theism, (as being a theist does not necessarily mean being saved), to occultism.
In addition, sometimes the devil comes and takes away the Word that people have heard in order to prevent them from believing in Jesus Christ, Luke 8:12.
Luke 8:11-12, “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. 12Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.”
In other words, Satan will use any aspect of the world system that he heads in order to confuse, conflict with, twist, change, deny, etc., the Word of God, to keep people from thinking about it or doing that which will bring them into the kingdom of God, Col 1:13; 1 John 2:15-18.
1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
1 John 2:18, “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”
Col 1:13, “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
J.I. Packer wrote, “If I were the devil (please, no comment), one of my first aims would be to stop folk from digging into the Bible. Knowing that it is the Word of God, teaching men to know and love and serve the God of the Word, I should do all I could to surround it with the spiritual equivalent of pits, thorn hedges and man traps, to frighten people off.…
How? Well, I should try to distract all clergy from preaching and teaching the Bible, and spread the feeling that to study this ancient book directly is a burdensome extra which modern Christians can forgo without loss. I should broadcast doubts about the truth and relevance and good sense and straightforwardness of the Bible, and if any still insisted on reading it I should lure them into assuming that the benefit of the practice lies in the noble and tranquil feelings evoked by it rather than in noting what Scripture actually says. At all costs I should want to keep them from using their minds in a disciplined way to get the measure of its messages.
Were I the devil, taking stock today, I think I might be pleased at the progress I had made.”
Based on the outline in L.S. Chafer’s Systematic Theology, the following is a brief outline of the career of Satan past, present, and future.
- Satan experienced a moral fall, Isa 14:12-20; Ezek 28:15; 1 Tim 3:6.
Ezek 28:15, “You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.”
- Satan’s judgment was predicted in Eden, Gen 3:15.
Gen 3:15, “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
- His judgment was accomplished at the Cross, John 12:31-33.
- He is reigning as a usurper today, 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2; Rev 2:13.
Rev 2:13, “I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”
Pergamos (properly called Pergamum) at that time was the capital of the Roman province of Asia, which today is Turkey. Jesus recognized it as a place where Satan dwelt and had his seat or “throne.” This refers to the idolatry of the city and the severe persecution of the Church as a result. On the city’s acropolis stood a great altar to Zeus, the chief Greek god. Nearby was an elegant temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, another to Dionysius, later called Bacchus, and another to the emperor god Trajan. Outside the city wall was a shrine to the Greek god of medicine, Asklepios, with his symbol in the form of a serpent. Thus, the city was a center for both idolatry and persecution of Christians.
- He gains the name accuser of the brethren for what he is doing now, Rev 12:10.
Rev 12:10, “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’.”
He accuses us before God when we sin, thinking he can cause us to lose our salvation. But Christ, our Advocate, takes our case and reminds the Father again and again that He paid for all our sins when He died on the cross, 1 John 2:1-2.
- He opposes believers in various areas of their lives. He opposes our witness to the Gospel. He does this by confusing us when he plants tares among the wheat, Mat 13:38-39, by snatching away the Word that has been sown, Mark 4:15, by aligning governmental authorities against believers, 1 Thes 2:18, or by imprisoning believers, believing this will keep their testimony from spreading or make them fearful of witnessing, Rev 2:10.
- He is father, in a spiritual sense, to all who accept his philosophy of independence from God, John 8:44; Eph 2:2.
- He is to be confined to the abyss for one thousand years, Rev 20:1-3, 7.
- He is one day to be cast out of heaven, Rev 12:7-12; cf. Isa 14:12; Luke 10:18.
- When released from the abyss, he will lead armies against God, Rev 20:8-9.
- His final doom is the lake of fire, Rev 20:10.
In the present, just as Satan tried the Lord, he also tries believers. His aim is to get us to commit evil. There are three ways that Satan tries to tempt us; appetite, beauty, and ambitious pride. He first creates an appetite in your soul so that it craves/lusts for something. Then he provides something that can satisfy that craving. And finally, he influences the soul to think you deserve to have that thing to satisfy your craving. This progressive scenario of temptation leading to sin is the concept of 1 John 2:16; Col 2:18.
1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (appetite) and the lust of the eyes (beauty) and the boastful pride of life (ambitious pride), is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
Col 2:18, “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement (appetite) and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen (beauty), inflated without cause by his fleshly mind (ambitious pride).”
Satan used these same three areas of temptation against the woman in the Garden of Eden, Gen 3:6, and our Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded in Luke 4:3, 5, 9.
At any one of the three areas of temptation, we can stand firm by putting on the armor of God, utilizing the strength of His might to say no to the temptation in our soul, as our Lord did. If we do, we will be victorious experientially. Yet, if we do not, we will succumb to the demonic influence that leads to sin.
Gen 3:6, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food (appetite), and that it was a delight to the eyes (beauty), and that the tree was desirable to make one wise (ambitious pride), she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”
James 1:13-15, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
Satan’s only purpose is to tempt the believer to commit evil. In others words, appetite, beauty, and ambitious pride can result in lust, sin, and death for the believer who does not have the strength of Christ in His soul via putting on the full armor of God.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#18-008, 18-009, 18-010
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I Welcome You to the Eternal Family of God !!!