Turn in your Bibles to the first chapter of the book of Job. I decided tonight because many of you asked me about this and some of you have been reading books about it and it's important, if we could talk about the subject of Satan. And so I want to do that tonight. And as I said, I do not particularly prefer sermons that are topical, I'd rather preach expositional ones, but from time to time, I think, topical sermons fit the need and we trust that tonight God has led in this decision to speak on the person of Satan.
I think a lot of us pass by the fact of Satan with very little thought. We don't stop to realize that Satan is a person, that he is really involved in our lives, that he is really involved in the church and he is really involved in the world in a personal aggressive way, that as the Spirit of God is endeavoring to enable you as a Christian to live for Jesus Christ, so the devil Satan is endeavoring to destroy your testimony, to sidetrack you, to derail you from serving Christ in any capacity that is in any way effective. Satan is a reality. And if nothing else tonight, I want you to see something of the strategy of Satan. You know, to know your opponent's strategy is pretty important. In terms of football, when you know the opponent's plays, you're in pretty good shape. If that were ever to come to pass, it would end the game. And Satan really is a very obvious character, painted to us explicitly in terms of Scripture, and we need not be in the dark about him.
We're first introduced to Satan time wise in the book of Job. Job is the oldest book in the Bible, chronologically speaking, though it does not start, it doesn’t come at the beginning of the Bible. Job was a man who lived during the patriarchal period, during the time of the men who were the patriarchs in the book of Genesis. And the first book chronologically speaking, Job, is a book about the conflict between a righteous man and Satan. And there's no bones about it and God doesn't waste any time at the very beginning of man's history, he begins a conflict with the devil and it never ends until Christ finally ends it in His Kingdom when He binds Satan and then looses him for a little while, then casts him into the pit. The history of man is the history of a conflict between God and Satan and the battleground is really the life of a man. That's where the battle is really fought.
So Job, the first book written chronologically, is the story of a man who lived in the patriarchal period, who really is the battleground in a conflict between God and Satan. It's simply the beginning of what's been going on ever since. And in the midst of this battle, in the midst of this conflict, Job stayed true to God and the summary of it all is when Job said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." Job said, even though God should slay me, I'll continue to trust Him. His faith was never shaken. Look at verse 6 of Job 1, just to set the stage. And this is really a pretext more than a text.
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord and Satan came also among them." Evidently Satan though cast from heaven still has access. "And the Lord said unto Satan, 'From where comest thou?' Then Satan answered the Lord and said, 'From going to and fro in the earth and from walking up and down in it." Now you know the sphere where Satan operates, in the earth. "And the Lord said unto Satan, 'Hast thou considered My servant Job that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect man, an upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?' Then Satan answered the Lord and said, 'Doth Job fear God for nothing? Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and about his house and about all that he hath on every side? Thou has blessed the work of his hands and his substance is increased in the land?'" In other words, no wonder Job likes you so well, God, no wonder he's so faithful, look at all the things You've given him.
And verse 11, "Put forth your hand now and touch all that he hath and he will curse Thee to Thy face." Just mess up his circumstances a little bit, God, and You're going to find out he's not as faithful as You thought he would be. "And the Lord said unto Satan, 'Behold, all that he hath is in thy power. Only upon himself put not forth thine hand." Not to slay him. "So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord," and this begins the conflict between God and Satan in the life of Job...a conflict that has been the history of every man from the beginning, a conflict that was actually set up in the Garden of Eden when Eve was tempted by Satan to disobey God. And this conflict has never stopped and even Christ came for the purpose of putting it to an end because the Bible says that Christ came to destroy the works of the devil.
Now Satan is the ultimate enemy. He is the ultimate enemy with which we must reckon. And the Bible never underestimates his power and the Bible never mistakes his intentions. It's kind of an interesting thing about Satan, that he very seldom paints it like it is. It's always sugar coated. The advertising world today when you see an advertisement for liquor, it doesn't show some poor person lying in the gutter in his own vomit or something like that which is characteristic of a drunk, it always shows some high-class society situation. It's never painted like it is. And every illicit love affair that's propagandized through movies and television and so forth and so on is always a very beautiful thing. Never is it painted like it is. But Jesus said in John 10:10 that the devil is a thief who comes to kill and steal and destroy. That's his job, that's what he's trying to do. And anybody who plays into his hands is playing into a situation where Satan is going to do nothing but kill and steal and destroy. He didn't stop even with Christ. Immediately after Christ's baptism, which was the high point of the beginning of His ministry, the Spirit of God led Him into the wilderness to be confronted with Satan. After the highest point of Christ's first thirty years, His baptism where the voice from heaven said, "Thou art My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased," the Spirit of God settled upon Him like a dove and He was commissioned to communicate the message of God, right after that point He went into immediate conflict with Satan. And you remember in His temptation Satan tried to derail Him from the cross. Satan figured that he wanted the kingdoms of the world, so “if You'll just bow down to me I'll give them to You, You won't have to die.” He tried to distract Christ at the very beginning.
He is hostile to God. He was hostile to Christ clear through His life. On one occasion he even spoke through the mouth of Peter himself. Satan is a malignant reality. He is always hostile to God and God's children. He is always promoting filth and vice and sin. You know, and I think sometimes we kind of joke about the devil and, you know, and we go to the dime store about this time of year, it's getting to be Halloween, we see little devil suits. I suppose in some sense they might fit the character of some of our kids...(laugh), but basically speaking Satan is pretty smart. And he knows that if he can create an atmosphere of joking about the reality of his person, it's going to do him a lot of good in the long run. We've come to the place where we kind of joke about the idea of the devil with little horns and a little tail and all that. That's Satan's lie to distract us from the reality of who he is. He's nothing to joke about. He's no impersonal influence. He's no mask. He is a living, active, violent, anti-God personal being. And he's running this world, in case you didn't know it. He is the prince of this world, he is the god of this world, he is the ruler of this present world. The whole world lies in the hands of the evil one, like a sleeping baby. And just as God is a personal God and Jesus Christ is a personal Christ and the Holy Spirit is a personal Spirit, so Satan is a personal reality. And as God is for you, Satan is against you. That's his job.
You know, there are only two chapters really at the commencement of the Bible, right at the beginning, Genesis 1 and 2, and two chapters at the end of the Bible, Revelation 20 and 21, and only those four chapters don't have anything to do with Satan. They're before him and after him. And there's only four chapters in the Bible that have Satan either absent or banished and in both cases, it's paradise. And every other chapter in the Bible is a constant never-ending struggle, conflict between God and Satan and man is the battleground. Through the rest of the history of man, he is recognized and referred to as an actual person, the embodiment of evil. Satan is just one of the numerous names given to him and Satan means adversary, that's what it means, and that's exactly what he is.
Now I want us to see just three aspects in our consideration of Satan tonight: His revelation in Scripture, his relation to the church and his relation to the world. First of all, he is very, very carefully revealed to us in Scripture as to his character. There are many scriptures that indicate, first of all, that he is a person. He is not just a fog. He is not just the presence of evil. He is a real person. And I don't mean that in a physical sense. He is a spirit as God is a spirit. He is not a human being, he is a spirit.
I remember one time in college I had a guy who lived across the hall from me who was really a strange character. He was really strange. And he came in one day and he just kind of walked up to you, a real sly look on his face and he said, "I never see you having your devotions." And I said, "Well I don't have them in your room." And he said, "I bet you don't have your devotions." I said, "Well there are some times when I don't." He said, "I knew it." He said, "You're not spiritual." And he went on like this. And I thought, "This is really weird."
So you know how a guy kind of...I'm just tempted to be a little bit...well anyway, I was coming back from an optional prayer meeting, and where I went to college, prayer meeting wasn't even optional, but this was an optional prayer meeting which was kind of refreshing. And so I went and I came back and he didn't go. And I couldn't resist it. And I walked by his door and I looked in and said, "You didn't go to prayer meeting. What's the matter with you?" And he got the strangest look on his face and he flew across the room and up against the wall like this.....and I'm not kidding you, and he pointed to me and he said, "You're not John MacArthur, you're the devil." And, of course, I went "Roar!!!!" you know, (laughter). And he was actually scared, he was actually afraid and he jumped back and I...I...you know, it was just the strangest thing that's ever happened to me, and I walked out of the room and I thought, "This can't be for real." Well the next day I was asked to report to the Dean and I went up to the Dean and the Dean said, "It's been reported to us that you're the devil." And I said, "Well if I was, you'd have heard from me a lot longer...a lot sooner than this, you know." And I convinced him that I was not the devil, that the devil is not a human being, the devil is a person, he is a spirit, not a human being.
So I'm not talking about a human being, I'm talking about the devil being a spiritual reality just as real and existent as God is, as Christ is, as the Holy Spirit is. And there's many indications, as I said, in the Bible that he is a person. First of all, he tempted Eve in Genesis 3 personally. Secondly, he personally tempted Christ in Matthew 4. He perverted the Word of God in Matthew 4. He opposed God's work in Zechariah 3. He personally hindered God's servants in 1 Thessalonians chapter 2. He hinders the gospel in Matthew 13 and 2 Corinthians 4, and many places in the Bible. He ensnares the wicked, 1 Timothy 3 and 2 Timothy 2. He desire...he really destroys nations, he ensnares them. First Kings 22 tells us about this and also in Revelation 16 and Revelation 20. He ensnares the wicked as well, 1 Timothy 3. He is an angel of light, says Paul to the Corinthians. He personally contended with Michael in Jude verse 6. He accomplished the entrance of sin into the world on a personal basis, Genesis 3. He personally appeared before God in Job chapter 1. He personally walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, 1 Peter chapter 5, and we'll get to that text in a few weeks. In Revelation chapter 12 he appears in heaven personally to accuse the believers. Hebrews chapter 2 says he is the personal power of death. And it's all climaxed in 1 John 5 when John says, "The whole world lies in the arms of that wicked one. He is a personal reality. The person and personality of Satan is revealed in Scripture as distinctly as the person and personality of Jesus Christ and to deny one is to deny the other.
For example, in casting out demons, Christ Himself perpetually addressed Himself to the demons as if they were definite personalities. He spoke to them specifically as personalities and they weren’t just the foggiest influence of evil. In fact, He sent a group of them out of the maniac of Gadara and they went into a herd of pigs and the whole herd went off the cliff. They were personal realities, they still are and Satan is one of them and when Christ was denouncing them, He was in the same way denouncing Satan as a real person.
Now what does the Scripture tell us about this person? First of all, it tells us that he is not self-existent. The Bible teaches that only God is self-existent, therefore Satan had to be created. You say, "Who created him?" The answer is God created him. You say, "Well God can't create evil." You're right, so obviously when Satan was first created he wasn't evil. Everything that God creates is good. And 1 John 1 says everything that was made was made by Him, by the Word. God created everything and God created everything good so Satan must have been good and then he became bad. That's true, that's exactly what happened. If he's evil today it's because he fell from his natural form which was good in the creation of God. And that's exactly what happened. Satan, the prince of the host of wickedness, the lord of the whole empire of sin, is not enthroned today, he's dethroned, he is fallen. He is fallen from heaven with his angels. And that fall is described for us by Peter and by Jude in some detail, that is the fall with the angels. The Scripture indicates that there was a fall. In fact, Jesus Himself says in Luke 10:18, He says, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." Originally he had a state with God and Christ Himself said that He beheld him falling as lightning.
You say, "Well what was the sin of Satan that caused him to fall?" I want to show you two passages that will tell you what it is. Isaiah 14, Isaiah chapter 14, these are two very, very significant portions of Scripture. Isaiah 14 verse 12, now let's back up and look at verse 4. Isaiah is...is talking to the king of Babylon here and Babylon, of course, was the first of the world empires and Babylon was about to fall to the Medo-Persians...Darius and the Medo-Persians. And Isaiah really and Israel were happy because Babylon was about to collapse...the great empire, the world empire of Babylon, the golden head of Daniel's image. And so, in this prophecy in chapter 14, Isaiah is prophesying against...I shouldn't say prophesying, well again you might say...but he's pronouncing judgment on the king of Babylon. Look at verse 4, "Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon and say, "How hast the oppressors ceased, the golden city ceased?" In other words, it's going to come to an end, the whole thing. Then in verse 11, "Thy pomp is brought down to Sheol, or to Hades, and the noise of thy lutes, the worm is spread unto thee and the worms cover thee." In other words, king of Babylon, you and your city have had it. Now all of a sudden a fantastic change in verse 12. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning, how art thou cut down to the ground who didst weaken the nations." And you say, "Well how does this...how does Lucifer get into this thing when he's talking about the king of Babylon?" Well it's very simple. The passage is aimed initially at the king of Babylon who is being given a declaration by Isaiah that he is about to be judged. But at the same time, Isaiah goes beyond this king to the source of his evil who is Satan himself. And so while he's really pronouncing judgment right at the king of Babylon, he's going right through him to Satan who is the source of his problem. So he goes right past this guy and says, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning? How art thou cut down to the ground who didst weaken the nations?...verse 13...for thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation on the sides of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to Sheol to the sides of the pit." That's exactly what happens at the end of the kingdom.
Now you see, what has happened here is this. Isaiah has been speaking to a human figure but past that figure to the source of his problem, the reality of Satan himself. That shows you the influence that Satan had on the life of this man. You say, "Well that's a little strange, isn't it?" Well not really. This is a very common scriptural occurrence. On the positive side, you've read the messianic Psalms, right? Psalm 22 perhaps being the prime example, Psalm 118 being another example. But Psalm 22 is a messianic Psalm. And in that, David is talking about himself but the things that he says in reality are...have a greater fulfillment in Christ. Take for example what we mentioned earlier about Peter. When Christ said I'm going to go to the cross, etc., etc., Peter said, "Lord, let it not be so." And what did Christ say to him? "Get thee behind Me, Peter?" Get thee behind Me...whom?...Satan. He was talking right to Peter but He was going to the heart of the problem, past Peter to Satan. That's exactly what Isaiah is saying here. And so here we have the king of Babylon being addressed and at the same time the source of his evil, Satan, is not only addressed but judged. And in this context we find out the sin of Satan that made him fall. You notice five "I wills" beginning at verse 13. And, boy, this is his problem. First of all, "I will ascend into heaven." Then, "I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit upon the mount of the congregation," 14, "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the Most High." You know what he had? He had an ego problem. You know what his problem was? Pride. I will be this, I will be that. He wanted to be...climaxing it...I will be like the Most High God. Boy, that's a serious problem. That's why he fell...pride.
Look at Ezekiel 28 and we have the second key reference to Satan's fall. Ezekiel 28:11, actually in Ezekiel 28 you have the very same thing. Now Ezekiel is going to prophesy against the king of Tyre just like Isaiah wanted to prophesy against the king of Babylon. And he's...the first ten verses of this chapter, look at verse 2, for example, well verse 1, "The Word of the Lord came again unto me saying, 'Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyre..." And then he starts this judgement at the prince of Tyre. But starting then in verse 11, he goes right past this prince to Satan again who is the source of the prince's activity, see. It's the same technique exactly. And you have in verse 11 this, "Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me saying, 'Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyre and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God, thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden.'" Now we know the king of Tyre was never in Eden. "The Garden of God, every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, the topaz, the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, the jasper, the sapphire, emerald, carbuncle, and gold, the workmanship of thy timbrels and thy flutes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth." Now we know that's not the king of Tyre. He was no angel. "And I have set thee so, thou wast upon the holy mountain of God," also could never refer to the king of Tyre. "Thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire, thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created till iniquity was found in thee." See, God is not responsible for creating an evil being. He was perfect. And so again, talking to the king of Tyre and he goes right past him to the problem of the whole thing who was the reality of Satan himself. And he was perfect until the time that iniquity was found in him and that iniquity was pride and that caused him to fall from heaven.
So, Satan is not self-existent. He was created good, he fell. And since that first rebellion against God, he has been in a constant never-ending rebellion against God.
Secondly, he is not only not self-existent, but he is not sovereign. Satan has not cast off the government of God. He is still subject to it. Satan still is running around in a little sphere that God has permitted him to run in and he can't run out of it. He is still in rebellion, open rebellion against the sovereignty of God but he is still held by it. He has a sphere of operation which God has permitted him to have in this world, but he is still subject to God's sovereignty and if you don't believe it, read the book of Revelation and find out what's going to happen to him. Satan is not like God. He is not omniscient. He can't see and know everything. Satan doesn't know everything. He can't see everything. He's not omniscient. He can't see the end from the beginning. He is not omnipotent. He is still subject to God's power. And he is not omnipresent. He walks to and fro throughout the earth. He goes everywhere and he's fast, he's really fast, he's not omnipresent. That is resigned for God and God alone. No angel is omnipresent, a holy angel or a fallen angel.
You say, "Every time I sin, is that Satan?" No. Satan can tempt you sometimes as demons can tempt you sometimes, and sometimes you don't need anybody, you've just got a depraved sin nature that will do the job. But Satan is not omniscient, he's not omnipotent and he's not omnipresent. Those are the attributes of God, and Satan is not sovereign.
Then not only is he not self-existent and not sovereign, but he is powerful and subtle. He is really subtle. He is not blatant, as I said earlier, he is extremely subtle. He sneaks around. He doesn't come walking up, "I'm the devil, I'd like to ruin your life, do this..." Never...never. He always paints the picture so lovely that we get sucked in on it and then we find out it spells ruin. And the devil runs the world's system. He's powerful...he is powerful. He has captured the medias of the world...all of them belong to him...the movies, to newspapers, for the most part, the schools, the education system, the books, every...every systematized thing in the world is really in the hands of Satan, except those things that are dedicated to Jesus Christ. There's no neutral ground, folks. You can't go and indulge in a neutral activity basically speaking. Now, of course, there are some things that are for the health and the body and the enjoyment of the soul that have no moral significance and God's given us those for our enjoyment. But anything that draws a moral conclusion is either for God or against God. Paul says, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, the spiritual host of wickedness in heavenly places." He's powerful and he is subtle.
And so we see the revelation of Satan in Scripture and we just barely scratched it. But let's look at his relation to the church, secondly. How is he related to the church? Well it's obvious from what we said that he is anti-Christ, he is anti-God, he is anti-Christianity, but he is pro-church and he is pro-religion. If he can hang on to the church and make it become something God never intended it to be and still exists, he has accomplished his purpose. He is right in the midst of the church trying to destroy the work of Jesus Christ, trying to destroy the truth of the Word of God and he's done a pretty good job in some areas. See, he already has the world, he doesn't have to spend a lot of time there. So he spends his time trying to ruin the testimony of Jesus Christ. And he's been successful. Many churches today are run by Satan, for all intents and purposes. They deny Jesus Christ, His reality, the Word of God, the existence of God, even, God's dead, yet they call themselves churches. Those are liberal, you say, and those are modern. That's true but, you know, Satan's at work in evangelical churches, too. He really is. He loves nothing better than to split the church and to bring up sin among the members that’s divisive and that stains the entire congregation. He loves nothing better than to take someone in the church who is in a key position and bring them to a serious ruin because of sin and then destroy the fellowship of the church and make its name black. He loves to do that. He loves to create fights and any kind of sin that's blatant, open sin that will destroy the church. And that's why we pray constantly, incessantly every day that goes by that God will rebuke Satan in this church and keep it pure. Whatever Christ is trying to do in this church, Satan is actively trying to do the opposite. Don't ever forget it. And don't you ever forget that Satan is fighting for his neck. He can read the Bible, too, you know. He knows how it's going to come out but he's not about to sit around and wait for it. If God loves men, then Satan hates them. If God loves Christ to be in men, then Satan hates Christ to be in men and will prevent the Christ like life any way he can. If the Holy Spirit tries to lead to the things of righteousness, then Satan tries to lead men to the things of unrighteousness. And that's why Christ's mission was to destroy the works of the devil because he's in direct opposition to everything Christ stands for. And I'll tell you something, Christian, learn it if you haven't already. The minute you determine to live your life completely committed to Jesus Christ, Satan begins the fight. And if you're sitting around saying, "Boy, everything is going great for me," that's because you're not doing anything. Somebody said to me one time, "You know, I've just learned how to witness and the more I witness the easier it gets." Really! The more I witness, the harder it gets. Why? Because the better you get at it and the more committed you are to it, the harder Satan's going to work. And the closer we get to the coming of Jesus Christ, the more hard men's hearts are going to be. It doesn't get easier.
In the life of a believer, what does Satan do? In Acts chapter 5 it tells us he tempts us to sin. In 2 Corinthians 2 it tells us he hinders us. In Revelation 12, he accuses us before God. In Ephesians 6, he employs his demons to defeat us. He's busy in the life of a committed believer. The same thing is true of the church. When the church begins to move for Jesus Christ, when a church takes its stand on the Word of God and the person of Christ and begins to move out, you can be sure Satan's going to get in there and try to sow as much discord and to bring up as much black blatant sin as he can to destroy the testimony of that church. The moment you take a stand for Jesus Christ, Satan declares war on you. That's why when Paul got to the end of his life, he sort of took a great big gasp and said, "I have fought the good fight." He didn't waltz through his experience, he fought all the time...all the time. That's one thing the Christian can look forward to that the unbeliever doesn't have to worry about, he doesn't fight, he just does evil all the time. There's no battle at all. It's when you become a believer that the fight begins.
"Ah," but you say, "it sounds like a terrible thing." Not really. Paul told the Corinthians there is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. God is faithful who will not suffer thee to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptation make...what?...a way of escape that you may be able to bear it. There's always a way out.
You say, "Well, when Satan comes after me, how can I defeat him?" Well some people think...well, you just really fight him, and so forth and so on. You know, I always think about a guard on a wall, when the enemy comes, he doesn't run out and fight him himself, he goes and tells the commander. And when Satan starts bombing you, don't start battling by yourself, just tell the Lord. Say, "Lord, get him off my back." You know whenever Satan starts tempting me, it's very practical, I just bring up the person of Jesus Christ...whoosh...he's gone. Have you ever caught yourself in a sin that you kind of enjoy and you just keep pushing the thought of Christ out of your mind because you want to indulge? When Satan begins to tempt, just bring Christ into reality, bring Him into focus. Satan can't stand the presence of Jesus Christ. And so the Christian does not attempt to resist in his own strength, but we begin to pray and we call on Jesus Christ.
I'll tell you something. You get into a situation of temptation and you just stop and call Jesus Christ to your aid, and, boy, you'll have victory. But you try to fight it yourself, and you'll never make it. Satan's greatest battles are fought against the believer. The Christian life is never easy but there's always victory, there's always, always, always victory. You say, "Where is it?" Peter says, "The victory was provided for us in the blood of the Lamb," that's where it is. The victory was already won at Calvary, all we have to do is latch on to it. It's over with. The writer of Hebrews says that Christ was the Lamb that was slain who through death will bring to naught him that has the power of death, even the devil. It was the death of Christ and His shed blood that provided victory.
Sin has no claim on us. Not anymore. Why? Because we died in Christ. Remember Romans 6? Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ." Sin required death, I died. And as I've said to you, it's just sin's tough luck that I arose from the dead and that I'm living in newness of life. I owe sin not even a bit of attention. When Christ died on that cross 1900 and some odd years ago, I was there too. Sin required that I died, I did die and sin makes no claims on me anymore. The Law required that I die, I die in Christ. I owe the Law nothing, I owe sin nothing. There's victory for me in the death of Jesus Christ because I was there.
There was a large painting of a chess game between the devil and a young man. It was hanging in a museum. And it showed the devil who had checkmated the young man. And there was no way he could get out, seemingly. And the devil had a look of glee on his face and the young man was horrified. There was a great chess player visiting the museum and he stopped and looked at the picture and it fascinated him so he copied down on a piece of paper the situation on the chess board, went home and spent two days figuring out that the young man could make one move and reverse the situation. Kind of an interesting thought. And life is like that. Man has no chance, Satan has us checkmated. But at Calvary, Jesus Christ made one move and reversed the entire process. There's victory in His death for the believer.
Napoleon was planning his conquering of the world and he opened a great big map and on that map was England. And he painted a red dot on England and he said, "If it weren't for that red spot, I could conquer the world." And you know something? In your life, it is that red spot, the blood of Jesus Christ, that gives to Satan no victory.
His relation to the church...lastly and quickly, his relation to the world. What's Satan doing in this world today? Well the world itself is the media through which Satan acts. Satan comes to us through the world to the flesh...the world, the flesh, the devil. Satan begins coming through the media of the world to our flesh to tempt us to sin. He's hiding in the world today and he's not really very well hidden, he's fairly obvious. He's hiding in our half-theology. He's hiding in our philosophy and our education system. In all the media of the world, that's where Satan is. In fact, in Ephesians 2 it says that the unsaved man does the things of the world, verse 2, because he's guided by the prince of the power of the air who is Satan. Satan's running the world. And every unsaved man in this world is run by Satan. You say, "Well that's a little hard to swallow." Well I hope so. I hope so. You see, Paul says in Ephesians 2 that the unsaved man buys the world's bag. Whatever the world is selling, he buys. And he says that's because that's the only store he has to shop in. And the proprietor of the world's store is Satan himself. He's running this world...he's running this world. And I, as I've said so many times, the pigpen morality of our world is the propaganda of Satan, the tolerance of gross immorality and sin that is painted before us constantly on television, in movies, in books, is Satan's propaganda to break down our resistance, and he's doing a very good job of it. Most of us are infinitely tolerant of the gross things that the Word of God condemns. In fact, we often sit and entertain ourselves with them. No wonder we live defeated lives and we sit around allowing Satan to shovel garbage into our brains. The world does his bidding. Remember Jesus said to the leaders in John 8:44, He said, "You are of your father...whom?...the devil." In Acts 13:10, "Thou art the child of the devil." In 1 John chapter 3, just to suggest to you what is John's message there, he says this, "He that committeth sin is of the devil," no question about it. The devil is involved in this world intrinsically in everything that is going on. He says in verse 10, "In this the children of God are manifest and the children of the devil. Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." The one who doesn't do righteousness is of the devil, he's a child of the devil. Just that simple. And Jesus said, He put it this way, "He that is not with Me is...what?...is against Me."
There's no neutral ground. You can't stand in the middle and say, "Well, I haven't made up my mind." I've got news for you, if you're not with Christ, you're against Him. If you're not a part of Christ's Kingdom, you're a part of the devil's darkness.
So how's it going to end with Satan. Well we won't get into it tonight, but as we've said in our prophetic series in the past, finally Satan comes to full power in the tribulation and then the great battle of Armageddon when he decides he's going to defeat Christ and he's conquered and he's bound for a thousand years, at the end of those thousand years he's loosed for a little time of temptation in the world. And then finally he's cast into a pit for eternity. Yes, finally Jesus Christ will destroy the empire of Satan and he will destroy Satan once and for all and the conflict will end. It began and it will end. And the question we ask you tonight, the question everybody has to answer, is whose kingdom are you in? Who are you following? Who is your king? Whose subject are you?
You say, "Well I haven't decided." Well if you haven't decided then you're Satan's. You're either of Christ's or your Satan's. You're either buying the things of the Word of God, you're either a part of the relationship of God through love of Jesus Christ, or you belong to Satan and he's ruining your life, destroying you as fast as he can. I trust tonight if that's the case of some of you that you meet Jesus Christ. Oh, I don't understand how people could want to be guided by Satan and run by Satan when Christ stands there so willing to change everything and make it glorious and give real life. And then, Christian, examine your own life, you've chosen your King, Jesus Christ, are you lapsing back to serve Satan? You've chosen to be a slave of God, Paul says in Romans 6, and don't you know that to whom you yield yourselves to obey whose servants you are? If you've yielded yourself to Jesus Christ, what right do you have to serve Satan? Examine your life. Make your choice. If you're not a Christian, choose Jesus Christ. If you are, be faithful to your choice. Let's pray.
Father, we thank You tonight for Your Word to us. It's not easy, we know, to present truth about Satan because he fights it. We thank You, Father, that we've been able to complete this tonight. We thank You for grace in allowing us to communicate this message. Perhaps we've underestimated You, we expected a little trouble, perhaps, Lord, maybe interruptions or something; we didn't know, we expected Satan to rear his head in objection. Maybe he's doing it in the hearts of some people right now. God, rebuke Satan. We call upon Thee to exhibit Thy power tonight. And, God, if there are some here tonight who are being guided and motivated and moved and propelled by Satan, help them to wake up to that fact. God, by Thy Spirit, teach their hearts the reality of Satan in their lives and cause them to turn to Jesus Christ whose blood alone can wash away sin and who can transform them from darkness into light, who can take them out of the kingdom of darkness, of Satan and put them in that which is the glorious kingdom of Jesus Christ, can take away sin and replace it with glory, who can take away the legalism of law and replace it with grace, who can establish purpose and meaning in their lives. God, we pray that there will be some tonight who will turn to Jesus Christ, forsake the ways of Satan and follow the one who loved them and died for them and whose blood can alone cleanse. And then, God, we pray for those of us who are believers. We have chosen to be servants of Thine, may we realize that having yielded to Thee, we are Thy servants, we have no right to go back on our word and serve Satan. God, forgive us for the times we sin. We admit we're sinners. But, God, beyond all, give us a love for Your will, a delight for the things of You. Don't let us slip back to serve Satan. We've chosen You to be our God, our King. We counted the cost. Help us to be willing to pay the price of true discipleship.
While your heads are bowed, as we just prepare to close our service in a moment, if you do not know Jesus Christ as Savior, I say it in a sense, I say it with a breaking heart, you are really bound by Satan, he's blinded your mind to the things of God. And I'm praying that God will open your eyes to see the reality of Jesus Christ tonight, that you'll see that He died for you, that He loves you, that He wants to come into your life and change you, to forgive your sin and take you out of the domain of Satan and sin and put you in His own glorious sphere of grace. You say, "How can I let Him do that?" Simply by inviting Jesus Christ into your life. You can do it right where you sit, right now. All you have to do is say, "Lord Jesus, come into my life, forgive my sin, take over control of my life." Why don't you pray that right now in your heart? If Jesus Christ isn't a reality in your life, if you know He's not your Savior, just say, "Lord Jesus, come into my life, forgive my sin, take over my life," and He'll do it. He always does because that's His promise. Invite Him in right now and pass from darkness into light. Be a part of God's glorious Kingdom.
I trust that some did. Christian, how about you? Have you been naming the name of Christ and serving Satan? Is there sin in your life? Disobedience? If you've drifted away from the place of commitment, don't let Satan get the best of you. Perhaps you need to talk to God just quietly in your heart about your own life.
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