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    SATAN
    (see also DEVIL)

    A friend and associate of boxers, American writer Wilson Mizner was himself a talented fighter. One night Mizner and boxer "Mysterious" Billy Smith visited a San Francisco bar, where Mizner started a fight with some longshoremen. At the end only one longshoreman was left standing. Although Mizner rained punches at him, he stayed obstinately upright. Suddenly, Smith noticed what was happening. "Leave him alone, Wilson!" he shouted. "I knocked him out five minutes ago." On investigation it turned out that a punch from Smith had indeed knocked the longshoreman out cold, but had also wedged him vertically between two pieces of furniture.

    Here's an accurate picture of our already-defeated but still standing enemy Satan!

    Today in the Word, April 3, 1993.


    Writing in Moody Monthly, Carl Armerding recounted his experience of watching a wildcat in a zoo. "As I stood there," he said, "an attendant entered the cage through a door on the opposite side. He had nothing in his hands but a broom. Carefully closing the door, he proceeded to sweep the floor of the cage." He observed that the worker had no weapon to ward off an attack by the beast. In fact, when he got to the corner of the cage where the wildcat was lying, he poked the animal with the broom. The wildcat hissed at him and then lay down in another corner of the enclosure. Armerding remarked to the attendant, "You certainly are a brave man." "No, I ain't brave," he replied as he continued to sweep. "Well, then, that cat must be tame." "No," came the reply, "he ain't tame." "If you aren't brave and the wildcat isn't tame, then I can't understand why he doesn't attack you." Armerding said the man chuckled, then replied with an air of confidence, "Mister, he's old -- and he ain't got no teeth."

    Our Daily Bread.


    The thoroughly evil nature of the devil consists in the fact that here we have spontaneous, self-generating sin expressed in pure defiance and pure arrogance.

    Nigel Wright, The Satan Syndrome, Zondervan, 1990, p. 58.


    The devil is not impersonal like stones or bureaucracies; he is a non-person. The Devil has become all that God is not; he is not beyond personality--he is without it. His purpose in creation is not to destroy God; he knows that he cannot do that. He wants to draw us into the vortex of non-personhood that he has become, and the nothingness of non-being that he is becoming. Satan, in short, aims to take as many of us with him as he can.

    Nigel Wright, The Satan Syndrome, Zondervan, 1990, p. 163.


    Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst;
    he promises honor and pays with disgrace;
    he promises pleasure and pays with pain;
    he promises profit and pays with loss;
    he promises life and pays with death.

    Thomas Brooks.


    Commentary

    Possible Biblical references to Satan:

    Genesis 3:1-14 He was disguised under the Edenic serpent
    Genesis 3:15 He is the serpent's seed
    Isaiah 14:12 He was Lucifer, son of the morning before the fall
    Ezekiel 28:14 He was the anointed cherub that covers
    1 Chronicles 21:1 He energized David to evil
    Job 1:7-2:10 He accused and afflicted Job
    Zecheriah 3:1-9 He opposes unbelieving Israel prefigured by Joshuathe priest
    Matthew 4:3 He is the tempter
    Matthew 12:24; Acts 10:38 He is the prince of the demons
    1 Timothy 4:1-6 He instigates false doctrine
    Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:10-11 He perverts the Word of God
    Matthew 12:22-29 He works in demon possession
    Zechariah 3:1 He is Satan, the Adversary
    Luke 4:13 He is the devil, the slanderer
    John 13:2,27 He caused Judas to betray Christ
    Acts 5:3 and Ananias to lie
    2 Corinthians 4:4 He blinds people spiritually
    1 Peter 5:8 He seeks to harm believers
    Ephesians 6:11-12 He heads a celestial hierarchy of evil
    Ephesians 2:2 He indwells the unsaved
    John 8:44 He was branded "a liar" and "the father of lies"by Jesus
    2 Thessalonians 2:9 He works diabolic miracles
    John 8:44 He is a murderer
    John 12:31; 14:30 He is the prince of this world
    Luke 13:16 He blinds people physically and spiritually
    Matthew 25:41 He is a fallen angel
    Matthew 13:38-39 He sows tares
    Matthew 13:19 and snatches away the Word
    Revelation 20:1-3 He will be bound during the millennium
    Matthew 13:39 He is "the enemy"
    Matthew 13:38 "the evil one"
    Ephesians 6:10-20 He is routed by Spirit-directed prayer
    1 Peter 5:8-9 He is overcome by faith
    1 Thessalonians 2:18 He hinders God's will in believers
    Revelation 12:9 He is the deceiver
    Revelation 12:9; 20:2 He is the dragon, that old serpent
    Luke 10:18 He fell from a sinless high estate
    Luke 22:31 He viewed Simon Peter as a target
    Revelation 2:9 He has a synagogue of legalists who deny God's grace in Christ
    John 3:8, 10 His children are unsaved people
    Matthew 25:41; Rev 20:10 His ultimate fate is Gehenna

    Merrill F. Unger, The New Unger's Bible Handbook, Revised Gary N. Larson, Moody Press, Chicago, 1984, p. 407.


    J. O. Sanders offers this interesting description of the counterfiet nature of Satan:

    Satan has his own trinity--the devil, the beast, and the false prophet (Revelation 16:13).
    He has his own church, "a synagogue of Satan" (Revelation 2:9).
    He has his own ministers, "ministers of Satan" (2 Corinthians 11:4-5).
    He has formulated his own system of theology "doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4:1).
    He has established his own sacrificial system; "The Gentiles...sacrifice to demons" (1 Corinthians 10:20).
    He has his own communion service, "the cup of demons...and the table of demons" (1 Corinthians 10:21).
    His ministers proclaim his own gospel, "a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you" (Galatians 1:7-8).
    He has his own throne (Revelation 13:2) and his own worshipers (Revelation 13:4).

    So he has developed a thorough imitation of Christianity, viewed as a system of religion.

    In his role as the imitator of God, he inspires false christs, self-constituted messiahs (Matthew 24:4-5).
    He employs false teachers who are specialists in his "theology," to bring in "destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them" (2 Peter 2:1). They are adept at mixing truth and error in such proportions as to make error palatable. They carry on their teaching surreptitiously and often anonymously.
    He sends out false prophets. "And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many" (Matthew 24:11).
    He introduces false brethren into the church, who "had sneaked in to spy out our liberty...in order to bring us into bondage" (Galatians 2:4).
    He sponsors false apostles who imitate the true (2 Corinthians 11:13).

    J.O. Sanders, Satan is No Myth, Moody, 1975, pp. 35-36.


    J. O. Sanders offers this summary of the strategies of Satan:

    Strategies of Satan with unbelievers:

    1) blinding the minds of the unregenerate (2 Cor. 4:4).
    2) snatching away the good seed of the word (Matthew 13:19).
    3) lulling the unbeliever into a false sense of security (Luke 11:21).
    4) laying snares for the unwary (2 Timothy 2:25-26).
    5) masquerading as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:13-14).
    6) deceiving those whose minds are not subject to the Word of truth (Rev 12:9).
    7) mixing truth with error (Matthew 13:25-8).

    Strategies of Satan with believers:

    1) annihilate the church or neutralize its witness from within (Acts 5:1-6).
    2) virulent persecution from without.
    3) smother its witness by according it great popularity.
    4) disturb the unity of the church by creating discord and division
    5) subversion of the church through apostasy and heresy (2 Peter 2:1-2).

    J.O. Sanders, Satan is No Myth, Moody, 1975, p. 72ff.


    Statistics and Research

    Even those who claim to be Born Again are not necessarily firmly grounded in the truths of the Bible. In his book which provides a statistical analysis of religious beliefs in America, George Barna cites several fascinating statistics which are based on a national survey.

    In chapter four he states, "The Devil, or Satan, is not a living being but is a symbol of evil." Then asking that segment of his survey respondents who have identified themselves at being Born Again, he states, "Do you agree strongly, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat, or disagree strongly with that statement?"

    The Born Again population reply with 32 percent agreeing strongly, 11 percent agreeing somewhat and 5 percent did not know. Thus, of the total number responding, 48 percent either agreed that Satan is only symbolic or did not know!

    Should it then be surprising that a few pages later Barna would receive some very startling responses? His next question, "Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and others all pray to the same God, even though they use different names for that God." Again, the respondents were asked to agree strongly, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat or disagree strongly.

    Of that population surveyed who identified themselves as Born Again, 30 percent agreed strongly, 18 percent agreed somewhat and 12 percent did not know. That is a total of 60 percent! (What Americans Believe, pp. 206-212).

    Watchman Expositor, Vol. 10, No. 4, 1993, p. 31.