We have written about the good - now it's time to address Satan, the great deceiver. All over the world that force of evil is acknowledged: in Buddhism he is Mara, in Persia he is Angra Mainyu and in Islam he is Iblis.

George Barna the pollster tells us that 50 percent of Christians do not believe Satan is a real person but only the personification of evil. Consider that many people do not believe in angelic intervention in human affairs because they can't feel any angelic pull, yet who can deny the pull of evil in our lives?

We are not talking about a goatlike being in red long-johns, we are talking about an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14) that attempts to derail our morality every day - often succeeding.

There are 33 different names for Satan, including, devil, adversary, deceiver, belial, evil spirit, serpent, prince of this world, power of darkness, liar and tempter, to name a few. Satan may be compared to a predator (wolf) lurking at the perimeter of the flock, ever alert for the weak animal, the overly brave, the foolish, or the careless, in order to make his kill.

The Apostle Paul, strong character that he was, was susceptible to Satan's influence. In Romans 7:14-24 we read his testimony: "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I..... O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" The answer is in chapter 8, verse 1: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

Why is Satan permitted to exist and have so much power? Is God unable to destroy him? No, but Satan is permitted to operate for certain reasons best known to God. God is patient, giving men time to turn to Him.

Satan's power consists principally in his ability to deceive. According to the Bible, Satan is fundamentally a liar and his kingdom is founded upon lies and deceit. The antithesis of a lie is truth. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6) and Jesus will prevail. Satan operates only with God's consent and his power is limited. He is doomed to destruction in the latter days - he has only a short-term lease on this life.

Speaking of latter days, I Timothy 4:1 says, "Now the spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. We can clearly see that happening today with satanism, the occult, Eastern mysticism, astrology and new age religions. As the saying goes, if you know your enemy, you can defeat him. Be aware of Satan's tricks and live victoriously for God.

Raymond F. Smith is a deacon at Fellowship Bible Church in Victoria and President of Strong Families of Victoria.

Powered By Victoria Advocate

Related Posts: