Satan


Text: Ezekiel 28:12-19

 

I.         For a being who has plagued mankind since the beginning, it is surprising how little people know about Satan

            A.        Some declare he really doesn’t exist. To these people, he is just the personification of evil in mankind.

            B.        Others imagine a character with horns and a pitchfork who governs the realm where the wicked go after death.

            C.        I was even asked if Satan was female. Turns out that there are some groups teaching that Satan is God’s ex-wife!

II.        The origin of Satan

            A.        The Bible speaks of a rebellion among the angels

                        1.         Eliphaz, not a trusted source, makes mention of the belief that angels can sin - Job 4:18

                        2.         Peter declares that angels had sinned - II Peter 2:4

                        3.         Jude tells us the nature of the sin - Jude 6

                        4.         John, in symbolic language, gives a description of the conflict - Revelation 12:7-9

            B.        Jesus referred to Satan as “prince of demons” (Matthew 12:24) and talked of “the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41)

                        1.         The conclusion is that Satan was the leader of this angelic rebellion

                        2.         Meaning that Satan is a fallen angel.

                                    a.         As such he would not be male or female (Matthew 22:30)

                                    b.         But, as with other spiritual beings, is addressed with male pronouns (Matthew 25:41: “his angels”).

            C.        Satan is not deity

                        1.         He was created - Colossians 1:16

                        2.         He is not omnipotent because God is greater - I John 4:4

                                    a.         He had to ask permission to try Job - Job 1:9-12

                                    b.         He had to ask to sift the disciples - Luke 22:31

                        3.         Satan may be “god” of this world - II Corinthians 4:4

                                    a.         But the world was not his; it was given to him - Luke 4:6

                        4.         Satan can be opposed

                                    a.         Christians are told to resist him - James 4:7

                                    b.         God is able to keep us from being snatched - John 10:28

                                    c.         God holds him bound - Revelation 20:2-3

            D.        Two passages that holds hints of Satan

                        1.         Isaiah 14:12-15

                                    a.         The passage is addressed to the king of Babylon - Isaiah 14:4

                                    b.         Yet, it talks of Lucifer (star of the morning) who fell from heaven when he sought to place his throne above God.

                                                (1)       He sought to make himself equal to God.

                                                (2)       In punishment he was cast down to the abyss

                                    c.         Most see this as hyperbole. We see a king who thought himself so mighty that he could challenge God Himself.

                                    d.         Yet there are terms that go beyond what we would ascribe to a mere man.

                                                (1)       Men hope to reach heaven when they die. The star of the morning was cast down from heaven

                                                (2)       Men may dream of power, but few claim to place their throne in heaven and challenge the rule of God

                                    e.         It is likely that God is using an event from the past to illustrate the extreme arrogance of a current king. Yet, in using it as an illustration, it does not mean it was a complete fantasy. The illustration could be an allegory, and it does match other details about Satan in other passages.

                        2.         Ezekiel 28:12-19

                                    a.         Again a passage addressed to the king of Tyre

                                    b.         Again hyperbole is being used.

                                    c.         But if the story is being used as an allegory

                                                (1)       A cherub, a guardian angel, was created in perfection.

                                                (2)       Present in the garden of Eden and in heaven (the mountain of God)

                                                (3)       Perfect until sin came into him

                                                            (a)       For the king, it was his pride in his merchants and wealth

                                                            (b)       For the cherub it was pride in his beauty

                                                (4)       Interestingly, Paul also says that Satan’s fall was due to pride - I Timothy 3:6

III.       Satan is known by a variety of names. Each name gives us a glimpse into the character of Satan

            A.        The Devil - Matthew 4:1

            B.        Beelzebub - Matthew 12:24

            C.        Prince of the devils - Matthew 12:24

            D.        Strong man - Matthew 12:29

            E.        Wicked One - Matthew 13:19

            F.        The Enemy - Matthew 13:39

            G.        Satan - Mark 1:13

            H.        Prince of the world - John 12:31

            I.         God of this world - II Corinthians 4:4

            J.         Belial - II Corinthians 6:15

            K.        Tempter - I Thessalonians 3:5

            L.        Advisary - I Peter 5:8

            M.       Apollyon - Revelation 9:11

            N.        Abaddon - Revelation 9:11

            O.        Angel of the bottomless pit - Revelation 9:11

            P.        The great red dragon - Revelation 12:3

            Q.        That old serpent - Revelation 12:9

            R.        Accuser of our brethren - Revelation 12:10

IV.      Satan is the arch-criminal of the universe

            A.        Jesus describes him as a murderer - John 8:44

                        1.         He brought sin and death into the world - Genesis 3:1-7

                        2.         Continuing to instigate sin, Satan leads many to eternal death - Romans 6:23

                        3.         The ultimate murder arranged by Satan was the death of Jesus - Luke 22:3

            B.        Satan holds men and women captive through their fear of death - Hebrews 2:14-15; II Timothy 2:25-26

                        1.         His efforts to stop the mission of Jesus was to prevent Jesus from freeing us from death

                                    a.         He tried to tempt the Son of God - Matthew 4:1-11

                                    b.         When that failed, he arranged for the murder of Jesus - Luke 22:3-23:56

                        2.         It is ironic that in attempting to stop Jesus, Satan enabled the very thing he fought against. Mankind was offered salvation through the shed blood of Jesus.

                        3.         For his deeds, Satan’s punishment awaits

            C.        Meanwhile, Satan continues to rule this world

                        1.         All sinners are under his dominion - Ephesians 2:1-2; Colossians 1:13

                        2.         He manipulates and controls the world’s kingdoms - Luke 4:5-7

                        3.         His primary tool is deception - Revelation 12:9

                        4.         Jesus is the only way of escape from his clutches - Colossians 1:13

            D.        Because Christians have escaped his rule, he is the primary enemy of each child of God

                        1.         He seeks to overcome Christians - I Peter 5:8-9

                        2.         Christians war against his attacks - Ephesians 6:10-18

                        3.         Satan cannot force Christians back into his service - I Corinthians 10:13

                        4.         Instead, he lures us through our own desires to choose to serve him - James 1:13-15

                        5.         Therefore, Christians must resist Satan - James 4:7

            E.        Satan doesn’t fight fairly

                        1.         He uses every means available to gain control

                        2.         Often his methods are not easily identified - II Corinthians 11:13-15

                        3.         He uses cunning and trickery - Ephesians 6:11

                        4.         He sets traps for us - I Timothy 3:7

            F.        You see, Satan has never given up his battle for supremacy over God

V.        Satan has been defeated

            A.        Satan has been thrown out of heaven, along with the angels who followed his lead; but, he continues his warfare in this world.

            B.        Every Christian that he corrupts is a blow against God

            C.        Jesus came to destroy the work of Satan - I John 3:8

            D.        Satan killed Jesus, but by Jesus' resurrection Christ made spoil of the principalities and powers - Colossians 2:15

            E.        Jesus broke Satan’s power of death. He now holds the keys to death and hades - Revelation 1:18

            F.        Satan’s doom is sealed, and he knows it. He is not resigned to his fate. He wants to take as many as he can down with him - Revelation 20:10, 15

VI.      We cannot fight Satan alone

            A.        Must draw near to God and rely on His resources - James 4:7

            B.        But this can only be done through the Christ - John 14:6

            C.        Only by Christ’s shed blood, and our full obedience to the gospel, can we overcome Satan - Romans 6:3-7, 17-18