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Satan and the Bible Part 4
His Activities and Destiny
Ever since Satan's fall, caused by pride, he has endeavored to thwart the plans of God. From the different names that he has, we can surmise that he uses a variety of methods to do this. He can have the fierceness of a dragon (Rev. 12:3), or the attractiveness of an angel of light (II Cor. 11:14). He adapts himself to suite the person and the occasion. However, the principle tactic that he uses is to offer a counterfeit kingdom and program from the one that God offers. This counterfeit was first seen in the Garden of Eden when the serpent offered Eve the chance to be like God (Gen 3:5).
Later in history, with the temptation of Christ, we see Satan again offering a counterfeit. He offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world without the necessity of going to the cross, suffering and dying.
Today he continues to promote a form of godliness, while denying its power (II Tim. 3:5). This is where his disguise as an angel of light comes in. He promotes a doctrinal system that may go to one extreme or another. The first extreme is false asceticism. Asceticism is the doctrine that through the renunciation of worldly pleasures, it is possible to achieve a high spiritual or intellectual state. The other extreme is unbridled license. That is the mindset of: "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die." It is total giving in to your passions and pleasures, and not caring about the consequences.
I. His Activity with the Nations
The Bible talks about Satan deceiving the nations (Rev. 20:3). He makes them think that they can govern righteously and bring peace in the world apart from the presence of Jesus Christ. We see from Daniel 10:13, 20 that he uses demons to carry out his deception. This deception will be seen on a grand scale during the coming Great Tribulation, when Satan will cause the nations to accept the Antichrist as their savior. (Revelation 13:2-4). By the end of the seven year tribulation, the nations will follow him to their doom at the battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:13-16).
II. His Activity with Individual Unbelievers
Not only does Satan deceive the nations, but he deceives individual unbelievers as well. II Corinthians 4:4 talks about him blinding their minds so that they will not accept the Gospel. A major way that this takes place is by the counterfeit that all religions or beliefs will lead you to God. Jesus said: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Satan would have us believe that any way to heaven and the Father is acceptable. And of course, he uses all of the world's other religions and philosophies to do this. There are so many religious beliefs out there that are constantly trying to promote their ways, which include asceticism and license as I said earlier. And there is also the occult, with its fortune tellers, horoscopes and the like. Each does its part to keep the unbeliever away from the one true God (Col. 1:13; I John 2: 15-17).
III. His Activity with Believers
Satan tempted our Lord and he tries to tempt us as well. His aim is to cause the Christian to become unfruitful, losing his witness to the world. In this way, the progress of the Gospel is hindered. He does this in several ways. One of which is to tempt the believer to immorality (I Cor. 7:5). He also accuses and opposes the follower of Christ in various areas of our lives. For instance, he spotlights our sins. By this I mean that he accuses us before God when we sin, making us think that we can lose our salvation. Of course, our great advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ, takes our case, reminding the Father that He paid for all of our sins when he died on the cross (I John 2:1,2).
We could go into more detail, but you get the picture. The Bible calls Satan a "roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (I Peter 5:8). The word devour is the same Greek word used to describe they way the Red Sea swallowed up the Egyptians when they were pursuing the Hebrews (Hebrews 11:29). This is a vivid picture of the ultimate goal of Satan to completely drown the believer's testimony and his usefulness.
IV. His Destiny
The good thing is, Satan is already defeated. He was beaten at the cross. He still is fighting battles, but the war has already been won. He just hasn't conceded defeat yet. That will come when Jesus Christ returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. After Satan is defeated, before the Millennial Kingdom, he will be bound for that thousand years. (Rev. 20:1-3). Then for a short season he'll be released and will try to lead the world in a final attempt to overthrow Christ and His Kingdom. But that will be quickly overcome by our Lord and Satan will be thrown forever into the Lake of Fire. Then he will never be able to harm anyone again. (Rev. 20:7-10)
Once again Satan is seen in Scripture as a powerful adversary. Without Christ we are no match for him and his schemes. But with Christ there is nothing Satan can do to us that cannot be overcome. However, we need to rely on the power of our Lord, and the Holy Spirit living in us, or we will be defeated over and over again. The battle is the Lord's. Through Him we are more than conquerors!