Five Ways to IDENTIFY and DEFEAT Satan
INTRODUCTION: Did you know that there's an invisible war happening all around you? It's a huge war. It started at the beginning of time – when the world was first created, and it's being fought all throughout the earth. Yet nobody has ever seen it. It is a spiritual war.
So, what exactly is spiritual warfare? Spiritual warfare is a battle fought between God and Satan that goes on in the invisible, spiritual world—the world you can't see—while playing out in the visible, physical world—the world you can see—at the same time.
In spiritual warfare God and Satan are battling each other for control of your life.
Now, it's important to remember that God is the One who is truly in control. He's already won the battle!
But Satan wants to make you think that he's the one in control, so he tries to get to you in any way he can. He likes to play games with people. He loves to make you feel worried or scared or angry.
Why does Satan do this? Because when you start thinking his way, you stop thinking about God. The devil wants you to believe that he—not God—is in control. He wants to make your life miserable, and he wants you to think that there's nothing you can do about it.
Don't believe Satan for a second! When things go wrong in your life, God wants you to turn to Him. He wants to hear your prayers, comfort you, and help you through your troubles. As you turn to Him, you get to know Him better and discover His amazing plan for your life.
This message begins a fifteen part series on the Armor of God found in Ephesians 6:10-18.
There will be 4 messages to introduce the series, 8 messages on the armor mentioned in Ephesians 6 and 3 message challenges to close out the series.
Perhaps you are asking why this series? I believe this introductory message will answer this question.
Fact: Let’s face it we are in a battle. The church has been called to a spiritual battle.
Though our battle is spiritual, that is, unseen, it is no less real than any battle ever fought between nations on the battlefields of the world. In fact according to Daniel 10, there is biblical evidence to suggest that the real battles in the universe are first spiritual, then physical.
What is acted out between the nations of the world may simply be reflections of the struggles going on between Satan and his angelic forces and the heavenly hosts of God. These are struggles in which the destiny of the human race and planet earth hangs in the balance.
The apostle Paul said in II Corinthians 10:3-6 that we do not fight our spiritual battles as the world fights its physical battles.Here we read,
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (4) (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;…) (5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;…”
We fight a spiritual enemy, Satan, who according to II Corinthians 2:11 and Ephesians 5:11, has schemes and strategies that he employs against us. Therefore, we must know our enemy and defend ourselves accordingly in order to gain and keep the victory. Here is a story from history that will help us to understand our need to know our enemy.
Edward the 1st defeated the Scots in 1296; but in 1297, a Scottish commoner by the name of William Wallace led a rebellion against England to win back Scotland's freedom.
The epic film Braveheart told the story of Wallace's patriotic struggle to keep Scotland free. From the film, we learn the value of knowing the warfare strategies of one's enemy.
At Sterling, hundreds of English archers lined up facing the Scottish ranks and, as was their predictable custom, let fly a storm of longbow arrows. The Scots simply raised their shields and formed a barrier-like covering over themselves to absorb the incoming arrows. The English always started with arrows, so the Scots were ready.
On another occasion, when the English charged the Scots on horseback, the commoners held their position until the horses, coming at full speed, were a mere ten feet from them. They then lifted up hundreds of long, thin saplings which lay hidden in the grass in front of them, the sharp points of which were driven deep into the chests of the galloping horses. They knew horses were coming, so they prepared weapons that would defeat horses. As the horses went down, the Scots dispatched their riders easily.
Finally, on the night before a battle, the Scots soaked the ground over which the English would be approaching with flammable oil and pitch. The next day, when the wide, straight lines of English troops began marching toward the Scots, the latter sent flaming arrows over the heads of the advancing English, setting afire a wide swath of the battlefield, cutting off the English from their reinforcements.
We know that the English ultimately extended their rule over Scotland and executed William Wallace for his insurrection. But in the film, the way the Scottish took advantage of the predictable English warfare strategies was truly inspiring.
Question: Do you know your enemy? The Berna Research did a survey to determine the beliefs of various categories of Americans about Satan. They discovered:
58% – of adults say that the devil is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.
45% – of professing born-again Christians deny Satan's existence.
68% – of Catholics said the devil was non-existent.
60% – of Protestant mainline denomination attendees denied the devil exists.
50% – of Protestant non-mainline church attendees denied the devil exists.
The most startling number among Berna’s research is that almost half of "born-again" Christians-those who have a high regard for Scripture-say the devil doesn't exist.
What hope is there for Bible-believing Christians to learn about their enemy and his strategies if they don't believe he exists? Is it any wonder that many Christians today lead defeated lives?
Thankfully, the Bible is not nearly as confused as the church is about the enemy of Christians. There are five aspects of our enemy's being which we can easily describe and which will help you defend yourself against him.
Number 1: There is SATAN'S PERSONALITY: In Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28; we have actual and typological descriptions of this "Lucifer, son of the morning." In Ezekiel 28:1-10; we have the description of a ruler, the Prince of Tyre who is a man. Who was this King – it was Satan himself. Now in verses 12-19; we read,
“Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. (13) Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. (14) Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. (15) Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. (16) By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. (17) Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. (18) Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. (19) All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”
The language of Ezekiel 28:12-19 describes Lucifer's great beauty and wisdom, calling him an "anointed cherub."
Verse 12 1st he was full of wisdom
2nd he was Perfect in beauty
Verse13 3rd he had been in the Garden of Eden
4th he was a created being
Verse 14 5th he was an Angel
6th He was an anointed angel – one of the three archangels,
Michael and Gabriel being the other two.
Verse 15 7th He had iniquity or sin in him
In verse 7 because of his anointed role in the heavenlies and his great beauty, his heart was lifted up in pride, and he was cast out of heaven by God.
If Satan's personality is characterized by pride, what attitude do you think he would tempt Christians with?
Second: There is SATAN'S POSITION: Satan remains a powerful creature on this earth and in the realm of the heavenlies.
In Ephesians 2:2 he is referred to as the “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
In II Corinthians 4:4, he is referred to as the "god of this world."
So even though Satan is a defeated foe that cannot according to James 4:7 harm Christians he is still temporarily powerful. If Satan still has power, who do you think he will most try to intimidate and make fearful with his power?
Third: There is SATAN'S POWER: We are not to fear Satan's power, only to recognize it. Just as a healthy recognition of electricity causes us to use appropriate protective measures, so acknowledging Satan's power makes us depend on Christ in whom we are safe. Satan is so powerful that he is able to hold men captive to do his will if they have not been freed from him by faith in Christ.
In Ephesians 4:26-27; we read, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (27) Neither give place to the devil.”
The willful indulgence in sin on our part can give the devil's power a foothold in our life.
Fourth: There is SATAN'S PURPOSES: In Matthew 25:41; we read “… Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” Did you notice that Hell is prepared for the devil and his angels. Out of fury toward God, he will try to take with him to hell as many of God's human creatures as he can. That is his purpose.
The verbs used in the Bible to describe how purposeful he is in achieving his goals are these: he beguiles, seduces, opposes, resists, hinders, buffets, tempts, persecutes, deceives, and blasphemes.
If Satan is willing to do everything possible to take people to hell, how serious should we be in defending ourselves and loved ones from him?
Fifth:There is SATAN'S PLANS: Satan is three things:
First from John 8:44 he is, above all, the great liar and deceiver.
Second from II Peter 2:6 and Jude verse 6, he is the great divider, seen when he took a portion of heaven's angels with him in his rebellion against God.
Third from Revelation 9:11, Satan will destroy whatever he can: the church, a life, a marriage, a ministry. It is his mission to break up and tear apart the work of God in this world.
The GOAL of every Christian should be to learn the IDENTITY, PLANS and PURPOSES of the Devil and to stand firm against him.
Again, let me be clear the Christian life is not a playground – it’s a battle ground. No good soldier enters a battle without being fully prepared and protected. Likewise, God does not expect us to go to war unarmed. He has given us the armor and weapons we need for the fight, and He expects us to use them. So in Ephesians 6:10-18; we read,
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles ofthe devil. (12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
Notice in Ephesians 6 God is reminding us to have the WHOLE armor of God on not just a piece here or there but the WHOLE armor of God to enable you and me to stand against the Wiles or strategies of the Devil.
The FIRST piece of ARMOR mentioned is to "gird about the loins with truth." This piece of armor speaks of our INTEGRETY.
We know that the Word of God is truth and I certainly must know the truth. But I believe this also has to do with me being TRUTHFUL. I believe you'll find that nobody was ever immoral that was not first dishonest. Our honesty and purity are closely related.
The SECOND piece of ARMOR mentioned is "…having on the breast plate of righteousness." The righteousness Paul is taking about here is my PERSONAL righteousness or RIGHT LIVING. Living right will help me in the battle against the Devil.
The Third piece of ARMOR mentioned is “your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace."These shoes are our soul-winning shoes. If you are not a soul -winner, then you are a BAREFOOTED SOLIDER. If you are going to be victorious in the Christian life then you had better have your spiritual shoes on.
If you or I think "we are too BUSY, or too IMPORTANT or have no desire to reach souls for Christ, you'd better watch out." That will be your downfall. You'll be a casually unless you take Paul's advice to "take the whole armor of God." and that includes your shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace. Without them you are barefooted soldier.
The FOURTH piece of ARMOR mentioned is "the Shield of Faith." This is my defensive piece of armor again the fiery dart of Satan, who throws DOUBTS our way.
Listen to this definition of faith that is so simple yet so profound. "FAITH IS WHEN THE WORD OF GOOD IS ENOUGH." God's Word is enough to act upon.
The FIFTH piece of ARMOR mentioned is the “Helmet of Salvation."This is not a helmet to protect me from losing my salvation. The helmet has to do with protecting right THINKING. That is to allow the principles of God's Word to govern you though life.
In this day of the evil philosophy of situation ethic in both religious and worldly mindless there are a lot of Christians who have been knocked out of the spiritual battle.
They have a saved soul, but a lost mind.
They think like the world thinks, they make decisions on the same basis that the world decides, and it is to their destruction.
The SIXTH piece of ARMOR mentioned is "the sword of the spirit."God didn't tell us to hide in the church and say, "Na Na Na Na, you can't get me, devil." He promised that the gates of Hell could not withstand against the attack of a SPIRIT-FILLED, SOUL-WINNING, SIN -FIGHTING CHURCH. In Ephesians 6:12 Paul made it clear our problem is not people; “We wrestle not against flesh and blood.”
When strife and problems exist, our trouble is not with the person but with Satan, who is working in the through that person. Satan can even use a believer. For example
When Peter was trying to divert Jesus from His plan for mankind, Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16:23, “Get thee behind me, Satan.”
He Devil used Ananias and Sapphire, filling them in Acts 5:1-11 with greed and lies, which they died on the spot.
Satan is not an abstraction. He is a real person and he uses people, including people in the church.
Ephesians chapter 6 was not written to idol worshipers and unbelievers; it was written to people in the church at Ephesus.
Satan wants to work in the Church, using it for his evil purposes. He is strong and powerful. His strategies and wiles are subtle and deadly. He is well organized; he has a whole army of demonic forces at his command
Therefore, we must know our Enemy, use the armor we have been given and depend on the energy and strength that God alone can provides if we are to win our war with Satan.
If God has spoken to your heart after reading the sermon "Five Ways to IDENTIFY and DEFEAT Satan”right now talk to God about what He has spoken to you.
Do you have the assurance that one day you will go to heaven? If you have no assurance that you know Jesus Christ, then I trust you will decide to accept Him as your personal Savior. The Bible tells us in
Acts 16:31,“…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…”
Romans 10:13,“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This prayer is here for those who need to ask Jesus to be their personal Savior: “I do want to go to Heaven. I know I am a sinner, and I do believe Jesus Christ died for me. I realize I cannot buy this great salvation, nor can I earn it. Knowing Jesus died on the cross and arose from the grave to pay my sin debt and to purchase my salvation, I do now trust Him as my Savior, and from this moment on I am completely depending on Him for my salvation.”
If you made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, please let me know. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you some literature that will help you in your Christian life.
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In His Amazing Grace,
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