Summary: 10th in First John Series
SATAN IS ALIVE BUT NOT WELL
INTRO: In recent years through magazines, movies and music there has been renewed emphasis on the subject of the devil and the powerful forces of evil which exist in our world. The secular press has noted a revival of interest in witchcraft, the occult and in Satan worship itself. This renewed interest by the media has encouraged Bible-believing scholars to again restate what the Word of God says on the subject of the devil. Many books have been written on this subject in the last few years. This message is not intended to give undue emphasis to the subject of the devil, but to deal with it as it is dealt with in the Word of God.
I. THE ORIGIN OF THE DEVIL.
This verse suggests to us something of the origin of the devil. Who is the devil and where does he come from? As you study the Bible you will observe that nowhere in the Bible is there any attempt to prove the existence of the devil. It is assumed that there is an actual personality known as Satan. To learn something of the origin of this creature we need to look at Ezekiel 28.
A Created Being (Ezekiel 28:12-15). — This passage is primarily a reference to the King of Tyre. But the verses obviously go beyond the man to the motivating force and personality who was impelling him in his opposition to God. The prophet saw the work and activity of Satan, who the King of Tyre was emulating in so many ways.
ILLUS: The words of Jesus to Simon Peter in Matthew 16:23. Notice what this passage says in v. 15, “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created...”
We are taught in this passage that the devil is a created being. V. 14 teaches he was created as an anointed cherub. A cherub in the Word of God seems to have been the highest order of angelic beings in heaven. Look at v. 14 again, “thou art the anointed cherub that covereth...” The word covereth could be translated “that guardeth.” This anointed cherub was set aside for the specific purpose of guarding access to the throne of God.
A Corrupted Being (v. 15). — The devil became a corrupted being. One of the age old questions of theology is presented here. What is the origin of evil? We know that Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan. Who tempted Satan? From whence did the first unholy affection he had come from? We can discover what his sin was, but we are left to conjecture where the desire came from. From these verses and from the passage in Isaiah 14:9ff, we can discern that the reason for Lucifer’s fall was pride.
The Bible says, “Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall.” The moment we allow pride to come into our heart God says we are headed for a fall!
Luke 10:18 makes mention of this when Jesus says, “I beheld Satan fall as lightning from heaven.” We are given indication in other verses in Revelation 12, Jude 6 and 2 Peter 2:4 that the devil carried with him a third of the angels of heaven in his fall. They make up a vast horde of demons, devil angels, if you will, that do the devils bidding.
A Condemned Being. — God has pronounced His condemnation upon the devil and declared that eventually he will be cast into hell. The devil has retained some authority and power. Jesus said in John 12:31 that the devil is the prince of this world. Again in Ephesians 2:2 Paul tells us that the devil is the prince of the power of the air. But in Genesis 3:15 we have the first gospel message preached to man and it pronounces condemnation on the devil.
II. THE OPERATION OF THE DEVIL.
It is very important for us to understand how the devil operates. We are warned in 1 Peter 5:8. Notice from the Bible how the devil would devour us.
Mentally. — The devil wants your mind. He seeks to destroy the minds of men through error. God confronts the mind of man with truth. In John 17:17 the Bible says, “Thy word is truth.” If the promises and truths of God’s word can be absorbed in your soul, your life will be different; you will never again be the same.
In John 8:44 the Bible tells us that the devil is a liar from the beginning. There is no truth in him; every time he speaks, he speaks a lie for he is a liar and the father of lies. The ultimate source of all untruth is the devil. If the devil can cause you to believe his lies he has gone a long way toward wrecking your life.