The Struggle with Satan: part one

If I asked you, “do you believe in Satan”, what would be your answer? Did you know that many who call themselves “Christian” do not believe in Satan? What about demons? Many that do believe in Satan do not believe in demons. These beliefs are not only dangerous and wrong, more importantly they are unbiblical.

(Photo credit Wikipedia)

As Believers in Christ, we need to believe that Satan is real, and so are his angels which we refer to as demons. What we do not need to do is to see demons hiding behind every bush, and blame Satan for every little thing that goes wrong in life.

I am amazed and at the same time saddened that people who believe in God, do not believe in Satan. Why on earth would I be saddened over this? If you choose not to believe in the existence of Satan and his demons, then you also choose to disbelieve the very Word of God. You also choose to place yourself in an extremely dangerous position.

The Word of God tells us about Satan and his angels who are the demons. The fact that they are real is testified to not only in the bible but also by early church fathers.

Origen wrote: “In regard to the devil and his angels and opposing powers, the ecclesiastical teaching maintains that the beings do indeed exist; but what they are or how they exist is not explained with sufficient clarity. This opinion, however, is held by most: that the devil was an angel; and having apostatized, he persuaded as many angels as possible to fall away with himself; and these, even to the present time, are called his angels.” 1

Saint Athanasius (around 293 to 373 A.D.) “While the devil thought to kill one, he is deprived of all cast out of hades, and sitting by the gates, sees all the fettered beings led forth by the courage of the Saviour.” 2

Hippolytus of Rome 47. For John says, “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” That is the half of the week whereof Daniel spake. “These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the Lord of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire will proceed out of their mouth, and devour their enemies; and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy; and have power over waters, to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their course and their testimony,” what saith the prophet? “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them,” because they will not give glory to Antichrist. For this is meant by the little horn that grows up. He, being now elated in heart, begins to exalt himself, and to glorify himself as God, persecuting the saints and blaspheming Christ, even as Daniel says, “I considered the horn, and, behold, in the horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things; and he opened his mouth to blaspheme God. And that born made war against the saints, and prevailed against them until the beast was slain, and perished, and his body was given to be burned.” 3

From the Word of God we can see that Satan is very real and so are his demons.

Job 1:6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.

Job 2:3-7 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” 4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 6 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” 7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.

1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Even Jesus Himself had interaction with Satan on Earth (Jesus would have been there of course in heaven when Satan appeared before the throne as in Job 1:6). Matthew 4:1-11 tells the story of Jesus temptation by Satan. Some regard this a mere story; it is not a story but a reality of what happened. What was the point of this temptation of Jesus? Surely this is just a story, after all if Jesus is God, then Satan could not possibly temp Him with food though He was hungry along with the other things that happened during the time of Jesus temptation. It bears mentioning here that Jesus was also human, and His human side was open to temptation. Temptation is not sin; giving in to the temptation is where the sin occurs.

In part two, we will look at Jesus temptation and how Satan interweaves himself into our world.

 

 

1. From: Neil Anderson’s Daily in Christ: The Reality of Demons, Sunday Sept. 23 2012 http://www.oneplace.com/devotionals/neil-andersons-daily-in-christ/daily-in-christ-923544806.html

2. From: The Church Of Christ’s Glory: Paul’s Primers Daily Bible Study Forum for April 13-17: Christ’s Victory in Hell over Satan according to the Early Church Fathers

3. From: Early Christian Writing: Hippolytus of Rome Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, Verse 47
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/hippolytus christ.html 

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About πίστις

A prodigal for many years, I eventually found my way back to Jesus through several difficult trials. I write with the hope that I can bless others who have struggled as I have. I seek through Christ to present the truth, and lead others to the cross of Calvary. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There is no other. In 2014 Greg Holt founded The Olive Branch Report, a premier Christian news service. Please visit Greg Holt on the web: Inspirational Christian Blogs, & The Olive Branch Report
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11 Responses to The Struggle with Satan: part one

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  6. If I didn’t believe in a living, active devil and his demons, I would have to tear out a lot of pages from my Bible, and if I tear out even one little bit, I may as well burn the rest. “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God”

    Do I believe in the devil just because the Bible says there is such a being? No way! I know he is real because he tries to influence me. He tries to distract me from my Lord and His service. He tries to disrupt my peace by interferring with my emotions and my thoughts. He tries to lure me with his camouflaged ‘attractions’. How I praise God that he is a defeated foe! What a thrill it is to see the devil flee when I submit to God and resist the devil!

    What an amazing God!

    Looking forward to part two.

    • writinggomer says:

      I only wish there was a switch that could moved to the on position for both Believers and unbelievers so that their thoughts on the great deceiver would come into alignment with ours. “sigh” People just do not realize the serious danger of disbelieving the power of Satan.

  7. ptl2010 says:

    The devil is real and we see evidence of his rule daily in broken lives, drug and alcohol, porn, sex, addicts , sinners and all abusive relationships in marriages, families, even in churches when he gets one foot in the door of man’s hearts. We must resist him – it is a choice and only then will he flee and not walk around seeking to devour us at any time when we are least armed with the Word of God and the armor of God provided for us, and when we step away from The Lord. We cannot fight him, except with the help of the Holy Spirit, who resides in each child of God, and is greater and more powerful than the evil one and his cahoots who is in the world.

    • writinggomer says:

      An apt comment, yes the evil one rules this world and as time passes that becomes more and more apparent. Except that Satan hides his responsibility for this so well that many do not even realize (and this unfortunately includes Believers) he is the driving force behind the degradation of society.

  8. Lyn Leahz says:

    Very informative article. Growing up in church and believing from an early age, it is most difficult for me to fathom not believing in dark forces (demons, Satan) in this world. Add to that, when I was heavily involved in anorexia and bulimia as a teenager, I came close to death several times. in fact, as crazy as it sounds, I believe I actually did die once, but God, as merciful as He is, had compassion on me.
    I was awaken twice that night. The first time, it sounded as if a hundred semi trucks were plowing through my window. My ears were ringing, I was nauseous and out of sorts. I don’t know how else to describe the feeling, but it felt as if someone was literally pulling me out through my feet. Then it suddenly ceased.
    I am not sure how long it was after that, but I was suddenly awaken once again, the same sounds, the same feelings, except this time, there was the ugliest grayish-white ‘thing’ standing next to my bed…right next to me…looming over me. This ‘thing’ was so ugly, there is nothing I have ever seen in this world; on the internet, in a picture, in a movie…nothing….that compares to the hideousness of it. It was the color of death, and the closest, but not exact, way that I can describe it would be a cross between a living dead person, a skeleton, and an alien…but more hideous and evil than that. It was the spirit of death.
    Suddenly, I felt this pressure, and I felt dizzy and as if I was about to throw up. I was above myself looking down. I could see the cat sleeping between my legs, and the impression of my legs beneath the blanket. It looked as if I was looking through a veil..a thin veil. I tried so hard to cry out to Jesus, but I could not speak. It was like trying to force words out..to push them out with great force, to no avail with your lips super glued shut. So I began to think, over and over, just as I had always learned as a child. “Jesus! Jesus! Help me Jesus!”
    Suddenly, I was safely back in my bed as if nothing had ever happened. My heart was racing, and I prayed and I prayed. It was one of those things you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt had happened, and I can tell you, it was not a dream.
    I was, as I mentioned, heavily involved in rebellion at the time, as well as eating disorders. I weighed approximately 87 pounds at that time, maybe less. My all time low was 64 lbs at 5’7, shrinking at the time to 5’4 due to malnutrition (Osteoporosis–my back looked like a little old lady at the time). Praise God, I was put on supplementation and am 5’7 once again..I grew back to my height as my spine straightened back out. Because I was still a teenager, on supplementation, I was able to reverse it. I know one thing for certain, even though I had been ‘saved’ as a little girl, I believe wholeheartedly what the Bible says..not everyone who says to me, “Lord Lord” shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If the Lord had no had compassion upon me that night, I would be in hell right this very moment because I was living my life outside of Jesus, and, rebellion is the same as witchcraft in God’s eyes.
    Sorry for the length of this Gomer. I know we are not to leave long messages, but there was no other way to shorten this and it did go with your topic. Please delete or edit as you feel necessary if I’m in the wrong for the length of this comment. God bless you!

    • writinggomer says:

      No I will not edit or delete this Lyn. This is a great comment and who knows but that this comment will reach and minister to someone who has been or is going through the same thing(s) as you did. Bless you for sharing your experience with us.

      Stay tuned, part two is even better.
      Greg

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