“Our Adversary II”
We are continuing our study regarding our adversary, the devil. We are looking at names or titles by which he is identified in the scriptures.
1. He is called, by Jesus, a Murderer.
In John 8:44, Jesus said, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.”
In John 8:37-38 Jesus said, “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”
In John 10:10, Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal, and to kill and to destroy I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
Do you remember how early in the history of man, following the fall of Adam and Eve, that their son Cain killed his brother Abel!
How many of these senseless horrific killings are being motivated by the devil who is a murderer. In many countries today, Christians are being killed because they are Christ followers. This will go on right until the time we reach the gates of heaven.
“And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
2. The Devil is also referred to as a Roaring Lion.
The Apostle Peter wrote, “You adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour”. 1 Peter 5:8
The devil’s goal, like the lion, is always destruction. He roars after his conquest, but doesn’t give advance notice; that’s why Peter begins that 8th verse with this warning, “Be sober, be vigilant …” As Christians we must always be alert. We never know when our adversary is going to make his move and pounce on us.
The Psalmist, numerous times, uses the analogy of the lion as a major threat to us.
Psalm 7:2, “Lest they tear me like a lion, rending me in pieces, while there is none to deliver.”
Psalm 10:9-10, “He lies in wait to catch the poor.”
One thing to remember is that Satan is a master of disguises. He might present himself to you in a totally different manner than he does me. Here is a powerful verse to keep in mind.
2 Cor. 11:14, “And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”
Keep in mind that when he presented himself to Eve, in the garden of Eden, she showed no fear.
3. The Bible refers to Satan as a Liar.
Satan can speak truth if he chooses, but it will always have a hook in it. Listen to what John wrote in 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father, you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources for he is a liar and the father of it”.
4. Satan is also known as the Tempter.
“To tempt” is a verb and in the New Testament, it is used in two senses.
a. The neutral sense of “to tempt” simply means, “to put to the test”, like we would if we were assaying and refining gold.
b. The other use or sense means, “to incite to do evil.” In Matthew 4 we read how the Holy Spirit led Christ out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. In vs. 3 we read, “Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
Folks, Jesus had fasted forty days and nights. He was hungry Satan tried to cash in on Christ’s hunger but Jesus responded, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
Continue reading of the other attempts by Satan to do evil in Matt. 4:5-11 and you will see that each time the LORD confronted Satan with the word of God.
Friends — if Satan could be so brazen as to tempt Jesus to do evil, surely you can see he will try to compromise you.
5. He is also called the Dragon.
This term or title is found in the New Testament in the book of Revelation.
In Rev. 12:3, 7-8 we read, “And another sign appeared in heaven; behold a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns and seven diadems on his head … And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angel fought but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.”
As we might picture a dragon, we would probably see a creature as ferocious and frightening.
In Rev. 12:4, we see he influenced a third of the angels of heaven to rebel against the Most High and he and they were cast down to the earth. You can imagine the persuasive power he must have.
Rev. 12:9 says, “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan who deceives the whole world: he was cast to earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
6. Jesus is the Good shepherd. Satan, however is the embodiment of all that is evil and unholy. In 1 John 5:19 we read, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the evil one.” Satan casts a wide net of temptation, sin and condemnation.
We are not able to escape that net without God’s help Flip Wilson’s “The devil made me do it” may get laughs, but it will not fly in God’s presence.
In Genesis 3:12-13, we see that Adam, led by Eve, who was herself led by the serpent, defied God by eating the forbidden fruit. As a result, first of all, the anti-God, self-aggrandizing mindset expressed in Adam’s sin, became a part of him and of the moral nature he passed on to his descendants.
(Be sure to read Genesis 6:5-6; Romans 3:9-20)
7. This next description of Satan is a real attention getter. He is called, “The Accuser of the Brethren”. In Rev. 12:10 we read, “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God and the power of His Christ have come for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down’.”
He has been cast down from heaven, but he is very active in our world carrying out warfare against every Christian who desires to live for the glory of God.
He is the father of lies but he can speak truth when he chooses to. Satan will say whatever is necessary to rob the child of God of his peace and joy. He longs to mar the Christian’s service for God. His non-stop accusations can actually leave us with a sense of condemnation.
Anytime you are conflicted with a thought that is contrary to God’s word be assured where it comes from. The adversary is messing with your mind.
Well, I have some good news for you. The Apostle John wrote, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask, we receive from Him.”
I love the way Martin Luther confronted Satan. The devil had been taunting Luther with list after list of his sins. Luther with a spirit of penitence, admitted they were all his sins; but then he turned to the accuser and said, “Now write across all of them ‘The blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin’.”
Satan wants to render us useless by nagging guilt.
Precious friend, I declare to you that the only one who has the right to bring a charge against us is the One against whom we have sinned. What does our LORD say to the repentant sinner? “Neither do I condemn you; go your way; from now on sin no more.” John 8:11
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? Who is to condemn?”
I close this study with Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.”
Let’s be like the dear African-American brother who said, “When the devil comes knocking, I just ask Jesus to answer the door and the devil flees every time.”
There is continual victory in Jesus.