I must confess that in contemplation of this series of letters to you that I had to give much thought to even the title, for the topic of them will be not only about individualized subject matter, and of course the ways that are Lord can be glorified in them, but of a single individual, a created being, in fact, the most powerful entity that God created. Even in the title I feel that I have been blessed by our Lord, in the most simplest of ways, the craftiness and subtle uses of deceit and lies that this individual is capable of, for if the heading at the top of these letters would have been any different, we may not have seen that this is a personal battle that we are in.
Although at times a group effort is required, our adversary is in a sense working as our Lord does in this area, he does not roam about seeking groups to devour, but individuals, one person at a time, and as the Holy Spirit of God does, seeking and calling one at a time, so our adversary does. At least in this he is not counterfeiting his efforts.
I believe the trap that the Lord allowed me to see in the title was the difference between the words “our” and “the.” To call Satan the adversary would have made him much less personalized, more generalized, and thereby would have made him a foe in essence, instead of an opposer in reality. Instead of an enemy of you and me, it seems to me that it would have been a continuance of his plans that he has been working on for quite some time now, to make himself invisible, universal in thought only, self-erasing, if you will, for the sole purpose of creating unbelief in the world of his existence. It is easier to fight a battle when you cannot be seen, much less when those that you are attempting to defeat do not believe that you even exist.
In this series we will discuss, and hopefully be able to differentiate the difference between our own personal sins against God with those that we have succumbed to because of the efforts of our adversary. We will begin to see that no matter if these sins are devised and acted upon within ourselves, or brought upon us by external sources, our adversary, we are accountable to our Lord for the sins that we decide willingly to commit. In other words, whether we fall to the wiles of the Devil, or of our own accord, our sins against a Holy God are our sins.
We will need to look at why his name was changed from Lucifer to Satan and some of the meanings behind the other various titles that he has been given, for within them we will be able to tell his motives, he is much more that a deceiver my friends, and each of his names were given to him for a reason.
We will try to determine what that very first thought he had in heaven was that brought the wrath of God upon him, that caused the fall of all of humanity, that will ultimately lead to his final and eternal demise. Why, if the Holy Spirit leads us to search out, did our Lord allow this thought process within our adversary to continue, and perhaps even more important why allow him to even have that first thought.
No topic of conversation about our adversary would be complete without the effects of sin on man, how in depth into this area we will attempt to go, only our Lord knows, for though in humility I try to be an obedient servant to His desires in the writings of these letters to you, I dare not say in totality where they will go. I do not know the future and I will not presume to know the mind of God, that His name is glorified is my one true desire. The effects of sin are many and varied, and if left unrepented of in the life of the lost soul can lead to devastating consequences, in fact will lead straight to eternal damnation. Without at least touching on them though, since our adversary was responsible for their entering into our world in the first place, we would be remiss in this study, for the author of them is our subject matter.
I believe that one area that also must be searched out are the first thoughts of another individual, as much as is possible, our first ancestor, Adam. Beyond the deception of Eve, Adam sinned against the Lord of his own free will, and in these two individuals we will see the very beginnings of rebellion against our Lord, the root of all sin.
Another point that will give us insight into the ways of our adversary will be a study of how Satan coerced a third of the angelic beings to accompany him on what will eventually be a failed attempt to usurp God. This may pose some interesting ideas, for these fallen angels actually stood in the very presence of the Most High, they witnessed His majesty and glory first-hand, those that chose of their own free will to rebel against He who created not only them but all of reality.
Though some of these will inevitably lead us to doors that our Lord has determined to leave closed for now, at least in their totality for us, they will open for us some of the knowledge the incredible powers of persuasion that our adversary is capable of, not only in the spiritual realm, but in the lives of men.
Our adversary, out of all the created beings, is not only powerful and subtle beyond our imaginations in the spiritual realm but holds dominion in many parts of the realm of nature. One of his titles is the prince of the power of the air, and this power over some of the attributes of Gods creation is indisputable, the ability to use and control the natural forces of this planet have been granted to him.
We must also search out just how much control over the thoughts and even the physical side of the Christian Satan has been given, his ability to recognize and deal with the hedges that our Lord has placed around his children, the abilities and hindrances that have been placed upon him when it comes to his desires to thwart the efforts of Gods called out ones in their efforts to serve Christ fully. Which will lead us to discuss just how he knows who the Christians are in the first place.
It does little good to have on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:11-24) if you can’t recognize your enemy, if you are not fully aware of his tactics, if you look only with your physical eyes and rarely use your spiritual senses. We are in a battle with the most ruthless, compassionless, evil being in all of creation, and though the war has already been won, our adversary cares not, he will keep all the eyes that he can off the cross of Christ, he will steal every seed that he sees dropped. Those that he cannot steal, he will see to it, as aggressively as he can, that they end up in the rocks or the weeds. He will continue to blind all that he can, kill those that he cannot, for those who have called on the name of the Lord Jesus as their only way to salvation, he will deceive and lead astray as often as he is allowed, keeping them essentially useless to Christ, reminding them continuously of the perceived joys of this world and all that he promises it still has to offer them.
For those who are becoming obedient, willing servants of our Lord, to those who are being submissive to the Holy Spirit, to those who are dying to self, whose only goal is for Christ to be glorified in them, he will bring all of his powers of destruction that God allows him to against them, for his incredible hatred of God is best shown in his actions against the children of God.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) I submit to you with no disrespect to the Word of God, that if you take the letter “s” off the last word in that verse, you will find in that verse that you have only one true friend in this life, and that the life that he has given you is worth laying down for Him, even unto death. It is He that defeated our adversary, we are asked only to stand.
I will infer no presumption when I say this, but if there is one thing that I believe our adversary hates above all others in all of Gods creation, it is a man that is filled with the Holy Spirit, one whose face is set like a flint to whatever task that the Lord has set before him. A child of Almighty God whose life here on earth means nothing to him but to serve Him who came to serve, whose sole purpose is to bring glory to God and the Lamb that was slain.
Our adversary hates us, he hates who we serve, he will do all that he can to defeat you, to deceive you, to make you stumble and fall. This is a battle for the warriors of God, those willing to stand, no matter the cost. These champions for Christ are on the front lines, on their knees, seeking His will daily, equipped with and knowledgeable about the sword of the Spirit, willing to stand where many of their brothers and sisters will not.
The enemy, our adversary, has been defeated, but is still roaring about like a lion, learn of him so that you can stand against him.