Satan / The devil – his tactics
In the study ‘Satan - an angel who rebelled’ we described how one of the most important angels in heaven rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven.
Satan’s character is described making use of word usage from Hebrew and Greek. From this it is learnt that Satan is an evil speaker, a gossip and an adversary of God.
How he sets to work is described in this study.
God’s adversary works from the darkness and cannot tolerate God, who is The Light.
He will therefore work against God in every possible way.
His area of activity is the earth and, in particular, the people who want to live in obedience to God.
God’s adversary will try to keep these people from God in every possible way.
Every disciple of Jesus, everyone who trusts in Jesus, in every area of life, will encounter ‘the adversary’ somewhere along the road, as Paul writes:
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 3:12)
‘Will be persecuted’, ‘dioko’ in Greek.
A few other translations, according to the OLB:
- expel / chase away / run fast to catch something or someone / run after something / annoy someone in every possible way.
Satan, the adversary, lures us into the trap.
Jesus said of Satan, the adversary:
Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind (you have no understanding of) the concerns of God (that which is of God), but merely human concerns. (Mattheüs 16:23)
A ‘stumbling block’: ‘skandalon’ in Greek, according to the OLB to be translated as:
- the loose piece of wood that holds a trap for animals open.
Satan, the adversary, will attempt to play along with our human desires in order, in so doing, to lure us into the trap and to snare us, so that we are kept away from God.
The devil, the malicious talker, is a murderer.
The apostle Peter writes:
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
The devil, the malicious talker, called ‘the enemy’ in this verse, goes around the world like a roaring lion. He cannot ‘devour’ everyone just like that. He has to seek out his prey, and he finds it in people he is able to intimidate, people he is able to frighten, so that they become easy prey for him.
Someone who is petrified by fear because of the lion’s ‘roar’ is quickly overpowered.
A tiger will always try to isolate its prey from the flock, by means of fear, in the hope that its prey will flee the wrong way.
After that it will hunt it down, until its prey becomes tired and weakens, so that it can pounce upon it.
The devil, the malicious talker, is a liar.
Jesus said of him:
He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)
With this statement Jesus points out that the adversary is a murderer, because he sets himself the goal of preventing his ‘prey’ from being with God for ever.
His way of doing so is by lying.An example of this is the first lie in this world was told in paradise, by the serpent (who is called the devil and Satan – Revelation 12:9 / 20:2) when he said:
God said no doubt: You shall no teat of any tree in the garden whatsoever?
(freely translated from Genesis 3:1)
God had said that Adam and Eve could eat of all the trees in the garden, except one, of which they were not allowed to eat.
Satan, the adversary, perverts the truth, so that Eve becomes uncertain, starts to doubt about what God has said, and makes a wrong choice as a result.
The right way of escape:
The Psalmist writes:
Rescue me from my enemies, LORD, for I hide myself in you. (Psalm 143:9)
The right attitude towards the adversary:
The apostle James writes about this as follows:
Submit yourselves (make yourselves subservient, obey), then, to God. Resist (set yourself up against) the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
Jesus offered resistance to the devil with the words: It is written …
(Matthew 4: 1-10 / Luke 4: 1-13)
Proclaiming the Word of God is the weapon with which to resist the devil.
Anyone who subjects himself to God, anyone who obeys Jesus and walks in the light, has nothing to fear from this ‘roaring lion’, who lives in the darkness and who hates the light:
- for darkness must give way to the light,
- for darkness flees from the light.
Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
They have left the straight way and wandered off … (2 Peter 2:15)
It is necessary, therefore, to check everything against The Word, the Bible and Jesus, The Living Word and, in so doing, to hold on to the good. (according to 1 Thessalonians 5:21)
Blessed is the one (the person) who perseveres under trial (also: test / inner temptation to sin) because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)
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Satan / the devil - his tactics.