KNOW YOUR ENEMY

As Christians we must always be on the lookout, be aware, and be cautious of the tactics of the enemy.  We must guard ourselves against allowing Satan a foothold in our lives.

Let’s first discuss who the enemy is, where he came from, and why he is here. You must “know your enemy” before he can be defeated and conquered.

Who is Satan?

The Bible calls Satan the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) as well as the “god of this world” (II Corinthians 4:4), for he currently has all the kingdoms of this world in his power (Luke 4:5-7).

The Scriptures reveal that Satan is a real, evil being — not a fictional character. In this study, we will examine what the Word of God says about Satan and see how the actions of this evil being affect mankind. We will then learn ways to overcome the temptations of Satan, and learn to live in the light. We will learn how to avoid Satan’s tricks and become better Christians.

Here are the many names of Satan in the bible.

  • Accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10)
  • Adversary of mankind (I Peter 5:8)
  • Apollyon (Abaddon), which means “destroyer,” is sometimes attributed to Satan. But in the context of Revelation 9:11, this creature is not Satan but rather a fallen angel of the “bottomless pit” who is bound until he is loosed in the end times to release havoc on the earth.
  • Belial, which means “worthless” or “wicked” (II Corinthians 6:15)
  • Deceiver (II Corinthians 11:3)
  • Devil, which means “slanderer”
    (Matthew 4:1)
  • Enemy (Matthew 13:39)
  • Great red dragon (Revelation 12:3, 9)
  • Liar and father of lies (John 8:44)
  • Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12, KJV)
  • Murderer from the beginning (John 8:44)
  • Prince of the devils, or Beelzebub, which means “lord of the flies”
    (Matthew 12:24)
  • Prince of this world (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11)
  • Satan, which means “adversary”
    (Mark 1:13)
  • Serpent (II Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 12:9, 20:2)
  • Spirit that works in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2)
  • Strong man (Matthew 12:29)
  • Tempter (Matthew 4:3; I Thessalonians 3:5)
  • Thief, whose mission is to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10)
  • Wicked one (Matthew 13:19; I John 5:18)

Satan is the great dragon who even now prowls around the earth like a roaring lion, “seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8).

Who in the Bible Encountered Satan?

The Bible tells the stories of people who contended with Satan, the great accuser:

  • Eve, whom the serpent beguiled in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-13; II Corinthians 11:3).
  • King David, whom Satan provoked to number Israel (I Chronicles 21:1).
  • Job, who did not curse God even through Satan’s tests (Job 1-2).
  • Joshua the high priest, whom Satan opposed (Zechariah 3:1-2).
  • Jesus, who overcame all of Satan’s temptations (Matthew 4:1-11).
  • Peter, whom Satan wanted to sift as wheat (Matthew 16:23; Luke 22:31).
  • Some who hear the Word, and Satan snatches the seed from their hearts (Mark 4:15).
  • Israelite woman, whom Satan bound with a spirit of infirmity for 18 years (Luke 13:16).
  • Judas Iscariot, whom Satan entered in order to betray Jesus (Luke 22:3; John 13:27).
  • Ananias, whose heart Satan filled to lie to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3).
  • Hymenaeus and Alexander, who were delivered to Satan because their faith was shipwrecked (I Timothy 1:19-20).
  • Paul, who was buffeted by a messenger of Satan (II Corinthians 12:7) and hindered by Satan (I Thessalonians 2:18).

Satan filled the heart of king Herod to kill all the baby boys of Bethlehem in a rage to kill Jesus (Matthew 2:16). Satan also tempted Jesus in the wilderness to see if he could get Jesus to sin. If he succeeded, Satan would thwart God’s plan and remain ruler of the world. But Jesus overcame the temptations of Satan and gained the right to rule the world. Satan came against Jesus in other ways throughout His ministry, ultimately stirring up hatred in the hearts of men to put Jesus to death. But God raised His Son Jesus from the dead, so Jesus emerged victorious over the evil one.

When Was Satan Cast Out of Heaven?

After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus triumphantly ascended into heaven and during this time a great war was raging in the spirit.

Revelation 12:7-9 says, “Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceived the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

As a result of this heavenly war, Satan was permanently cast out of heaven. He was banished to the Earth. Let’s read what scripture says about this:

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night’” (Revelation 12:10).

Even after Satan was cursed in the Garden of Eden, he still had access to the courts of heaven (see Job 1:6). But during the resurrection, Satan was banished forever.   Ever since Messiah’s victory, the devil and his fallen angels do not have access to the throne room of God.

Jesus foretold to His disciples, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:31-32). “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30; also see 16:11).

The book of Revelation mentions the fall of one-third of the angels. Revelation 12:4 says that the tail of the great red dragon drew a third of the stars from heaven and cast them to earth. When did this happen? Many people believe this happened at the beginning of time; however, in context with the surrounding verses, this event happened sometime around Christ’s birth. Notice in the account that Israel was already a nation and the woman (Mary, also symbolic of Israel) was about to give birth to a son (Jesus), “who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron” (12:5). So, sometime around Christ’s manifestation on earth, one-third of the heavenly angels were recruited by Satan to become fallen angels, perhaps with the goal of joining up to prevent Jesus from completing His mission (the dragon sought to “devour her child”).

“For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time” (Revelation 12:12).

Where are these fallen angels now? Here on EARTH!

Peter and the other apostles referred to the time after Christ as the “last days” (see Acts 2:17; Hebrews 1:2; I John 2:18), because Jesus’ second coming could happen at any time.

Therefore, Satan wages war with the children of God in great rage, knowing that his time is short, these are literally his “last days” to try to Kill, Steal, and Destroy.

How is Satan Overcome?

Revelation 12:11 tells us that the saints overcame Satan the accuser “by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” You see, Satan is already a defeated foe.

We are called to walk in the victory of the Son of God (Jesus Christ), Who was manifested on the earth for the purpose of destroying the works of the devil. “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8). The Greek word for “destroy” here literally means loosing what is bound. When Jesus’ disciples discovered that the devils were subject to them through His name, Jesus replied, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Jesus had seen in the spiritual realm that Satan was undone. Truly, Satan’s days are numbered.