||20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly
||Satan: His Meaning, Minions, and Methods
Most people today don't believe in the Devil. For them, he's merely a symbol of evil, or he's reduced to a mythical figure with horns and a pitchfork. But the Bible is clear: Satan exists. There is no more powerful foe we face as believers. In this message, Skip Heitzig reveals six surprising facts you may not know about our Enemy.
Connect Group Recap Notes: December 6, 2020
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Satan: His Meaning, Minions, and Methods"
Text: Luke 10:17-20
Most people today don't believe in the Devil. For them, he's merely a symbol of evil, or he's reduced to a mythical figure with horns and a pitchfork. But the Bible is clear: Satan exists. There is no more powerful foe we face as believers. Here are six surprising facts you may not know about our Enemy.
- He Is Real
- He Is Magnificent
- He Made a Stupid Choice
- He Is Not the Opposite of God
- He Is Highly Organized
- He Has an Agenda
He Is Real
- The Bible teaches that we have three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the Devil. The most powerful by far is the Devil—Satan.
- Contrary to popular opinion, Satan exists. How do we know?
- Jesus told us he does, as did other biblical writers (see Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 22:3, 31; 1 John 3:8).
- There is other evidence Satan exists:
- Philosophically: If a loving God made the world, how do you explain evil? The existence of a being of evil makes philosophical sense, providing a contrary presence to God's original intentions of goodness and love (see Genesis 1:31).
- Biblically: The Bible clearly teaches there is a Devil, who goes by various names: Satan, Lucifer, the Evil One, the Wicked One, Apollyon, Beelzebub, Belial, and others. All these names speak of a real entity with purpose, power, and planning.
- Experientially: Anyone who denies there is evil in the world is out of touch with reality; it is everywhere.
He Is Magnificent
- Many people envision Satan as part beast, ugly and deformed.
- But Lucifer is the only angel in the Bible whose beauty is described (see Ezekiel 28:12-15).
- If you want to know what God thinks is beautiful, Lucifer would fit the description.
- As a beautiful creation of God, what was Lucifer's original purpose, his job?
- A director of worship or musician of sorts
- An anointed cherub: he was in God's presence, bearing witness to God's glory and holiness
He Made a Stupid Choice
- At some point, Lucifer's heart filled with pride.
- Ezekiel 28 tells us Lucifer had "iniquity" (v. 15), had "sinned" (v. 16), and had a "heart…lifted up" (v. 17).
- Jesus stated that He saw Satan fall from heaven. Isaiah described the event (see Isaiah 14:12-15).
- Lucifer's rebellion was seeking God's place: "I will ascend into heaven" (Isaiah 14:13). The only place higher in heaven that Lucifer could occupy was God's throne.
- It appears Lucifer was not content worshiping and honoring God; Lucifer wanted the worship.
- When Lucifer was cast out of heaven, his judgment began; he became Satan.
- The final judgment for Satan will occur when he is cast into the eternal lake of fire (see Revelation 20:10).
He Is Not the Opposite of God
- Christians need to understand that Satan is not God's opposite, with the same power.
- Rather, Satan is "God's monkey," as Tertullian stated. Satan tries to ape God.
- How does Satan differ from God?
- Satan is not self-existent. He is a created being with a will; he has not always existed.
- Satan is not sovereign. He is not in control of the universe; God is.
- Satan is not omnipresent. He is limited spatially and can't be everywhere at once.
- Satan is not omniscient—all knowing (see 1 Peter 1:12). For example, Satan didn't know or understand God's plan of rescue at the cross.
He Is Highly Organized
- When Satan fell, he organized a coup, a widespread rebellion.
- Revelation 12 tells us that when Satan fell, he took one-third of the angels with him, and they became demons (see vv. 4, 9).
- Jesus recognized the organization of Satan, calling him the "ruler of this world" (see John 12:31).
- In Ephesians 6:12, Paul noted the various dominions of the Devil: principalities, powers, etc.
- With the bad news comes good news: two-thirds of the angels stayed with God and are at His command.
He Has an Agenda
PracticeConnect Up: God did not create Satan; He created Lucifer, an angel. Lucifer was not created to do evil, but in his will, he elected to rebel against God. But God also allowed Lucifer to fall, which created evil. Why do you think God allowed this to happen? Consider these points:
- Satan's agenda is simple: to disrupt and destroy the works of God.
- Satan's name means adversary, one who is against.
- Who is Satan against?
- Jesus: Satan works to attack Jesus and His work.
- Holy angels: Satan works to undermine God's work through other angels (see Daniel 10:13).
- Israel: Satan works to attack God's people; this will culminate in the end times (see Revelation 12:13-17).
- Unbelievers: Satan works hard to keep unbelievers from the saving work of Christ (see John 10:10).
- Believers: Satan uses temptation, doubt, guilt, fear, confusion, sickness, envy, and slander to sway Christians.
- In short, Satan wants to limit God's work, lessen Christians' witness, and keep people from Christ.
Connect In: Why is it important for the church to understand and acknowledge that Satan strives to thwart the works of God? How are Christians to offset the works of Satan? See Ephesians 6:10-18 for insight.
- God gave angels and humans free will (see 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Jude 1:6). Why is free will an important part of our being?
- God had an ultimate victory plan in Christ.
Connect Out: How can Satan impede outreach to nonbelievers? If you have a story of such interference—of spiritual warfare—feel free to share it. What did you do to offset the attack?
- He is Real
- He is Magnificent
- He Made the Stupidest Choice Ever
- He is Not the Opposite of God
- He is Highly Organized
- He Has an Agenda