"Know Your Enemy" by Bryan Craig
Who is the Devil?
"We are at war. The world in which we live is a combat zone, a violent clash of kingdoms, a bitter struggle unto the death. I’m sorry if I’m the one to break this news to you: you were born into a world at war and you will live all your days in the midst of a great battle involving all the forces of heaven and hell and played out here on earth." John Eldredge, Waking the Dead
I’m leading a couple of discipleship groups, and we are in the beginning part where we unpack this idea that “God knows”. As we grow closer to God, we realize that the more we know about God, the more we realize His knowledge of us. However, we also must have a knowledge that we have an enemy who wants to thwart all of God’s plans in our life. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy us and our faith. In every discipleship group I’ve led, the participants have commented that they have experienced frustration, opposition, distraction, and temptation. They feel a force working against their desire to abide in Christ.
So, who is behind this opposition? You need to know you have an enemy.
This week, we will explore this being called Satan, Lucifer, Belial, or the Devil. In the original Hebrew language, Satan means “adversary”. He is not God or a god, but rather, he is a fallen angel. Ezekiel speaks of him in Chapter 28, verses 14-17 NIV:
“You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.”
Also, in Isaiah 14:12-15 NIV:
“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of the assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.”
Lastly, in Revelation, though it is the last book of the Bible and speaks of the end, it also speaks of the beginning:
“And there was a war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him…Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” Revelation 12:7-9, 12b NIV
Yes, we have an enemy, and he is filled with fury. Tomorrow, will discuss his organization and strategy.