Satan: His Meaning, Minions, and Methods - Luke 10:17-20 - Skip Heitzig
[LOUD CROWD NOISE]
God isn't really something to worship.
He's just waiting destroy all of us.
I guess there's a God out there somewhere.
I hope there is a God.
God isn't really something to worship.
God, Allah, Buddha.
God is everywhere.
Good morning, great to see you this morning.
Go ahead and turn in your Bibles to the Gospel of Luke. Luke chapter 10, we're going to look at a few verses together. We've been doing a series on doctrine, starting with the doctrine of God, the character of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the nature of man, his fall, his need of redemption. We looked last week at angels and we're continuing this doctrinal series 2020.
And today, we look at a topic that is probably one of our least favorite things to talk about. And that is the devil. Nobody really likes to talk about the devil. In fact, I have discovered that most people in the world don't believe there is a devil that is in a literal sense. Or the devil has just been portrayed as this weird cartoon caricature of a skinny guy in a red satin set of pajamas with a pitchfork and horns, half man, half beast, all of that nonsense.
A Gallup poll was done that revealed 89% of Americans say they believe in God, whereas 61% of Americans say they believe in the devil. And what was disturbing about those who said they believed in the devil, half regarded the devil as an actual real person, a literal person, the others, not literal. And a bulk of them considered themselves born again Christians.
So just get that in mind. You've got a born again Christians say, I believe in God, I follow Jesus, but I do not believe there is a devil. Is there a problem with that? Yes. And I'm going to show you why.
The devil has been reduced to a fairy tale. One person told me, it's stuff, it's something parents made up to scare their kids into obeying them. There are all sorts of songs that have reduced the devil to just a humorous cultural caricature.
So we have songs like "The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea." Or "The Devil With A Red Dress On." Or "The Devil Went Down To Georgia." And judging from the elections, that actually may be the case. "The Devil In Her Heart," "Run, Devil, Run." Or it has ended up to be in foods, like devil's food cake. Who eats that? They eat it in hell. Devil's food cake, or deviled eggs, or deviled ham.
And so people have regarded the idea of a literal devil as passe, as naive. And rather they would prefer to see the devil is just sort of a general idea of evil in the world. Listen, one of the first principles in warfare is to know who your enemy is. And there is no more powerful an enemy than one who is there, but you don't think is there.
If you have an enemy who exists, but you don't believe that enemy exists and yet he does, he's won. So what I'd like to do today in this study-- by the way the name of this study is Satan-- His Meaning, Minions, and Methods-- is give you some surprising facts about the devil.
Essentially, there are three enemies that we face, the world, the flesh, and the devil. The world is the world system of ideas and values that disregards God. The flesh is your flesh, your fallen nature. And those two enemies would not have any kind of a powerful foothold without a third enemy, the devil. The devil uses your flesh and uses the world to get at you.
And even though the Bible says, according to Paul in his epistle, we are not ignorant of Satan's devices, unfortunately I've discovered a lot of Christians who actually are ignorant of his devices. So allow me to go through this and give you, starting in our text here in Luke, chapter 10, six surprising facts about the devil. Number one, he is real. I know that doesn't surprise you. But that is a surprise to the average person living today.
Satan is real. He's not a Halloween costume, he's an actual real personal being. Now in Luke chapter 10-- and by the way, you may want to turn in advance to two other passages we're going to look at in a little bit. One is Ezekiel chapter 28, and the other one is Isaiah chapter 14. Luke 10 is where we begin, but then Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14.
In Luke 10, Jesus sends out his disciples, not 12 of them, but 70 of them, to the towns and villages around the area on his way to Jerusalem. He sends them out two by two. He wants them to go into the village, speak about the kingdom of God, see who's open, see who is not open, and get ready for his coming to those areas later on. So it's sort of like an evangelistic team that is sent in advance.
So they go, they do what Jesus tells them to do. They come back, and they are so stoked at what they discovered. Let's pick it up in verse 17 of Luke chapter 10. "So then the 70 returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.'" They saw some exercise of spiritual authority as they went.
"And he said to them, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.'"
It's pretty obvious that those 70 disciples believed in literal demons. Because they said, the demons were subject to us in your name. So they believed. It's also pretty obvious Jesus believed in a literal devil, because he named him. I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. So you got 70 and Jesus believing in a real devil.
Now what evidence do we have that the devil is real, that he is literal. Let me give you three lines of reasoning. Number one, philosophically, philosophically. By simple reason, there has to be an adversary. I mean, just think it through. There's a God, he makes a world. And yet the world that he made is not in perfect harmony. It's in disarray.
And we wonder, well, why is that the case? If you have an all-powerful good God who can do anything and he makes his creation, yet his creation seems filled with violence and flaws and problems, you've got this dichotomy. God made it, and yet it's filled with evil.
You have a mix of happiness and sorrow, wisdom and stupidity, kindness and cruelty. How do you account for that? The presence of another being, another powerful being. I mean, you tell somebody about God. God loves you, has a wonderful plan for your life. That person happens to be an unbeliever and shoots back and he says, what do you mean there's a God who loves me? Why is there so much bad stuff in the world if there's a good God? So just reasoning it through philosophically, it makes sense.
But a stronger line of evidence is biblically we know it to be so. The Bible speaks about Satan 54 different times. It means adversary, an enemy. He is your enemy. Another 35 times the Bible speaks of the devil.
And when the Bible speaks of the devil, it doesn't say it. It uses personal pronouns, he, him, himself. Also, Satan, the devil, is called the evil one, the wicked one. He's given the name Abbadon and Apollyon. in the book of Revelation. One is a Hebrew word, one is a Greek word that means destroyer. Real names, formal names, speak of a real person with personality, and power, and planning, and purpose.
And the strongest case for the biblical position is the Lord Jesus Christ, himself. Like here, he named Satan. I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Jesus had conversations with Satan, like when he was being tempted in Matthew chapter 4. And the Lord Jesus rebuked him personally.
Or when Jesus spoke of the devil's work against the gospel, he said, the word is sown. That is the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. The word is sown. As soon as people hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. There again, he is speaking of a literal, real Satan doing a work.
Or how about when Jesus told Peter near to the crucifixion. He said, Peter-- or he put it this way, Simon, Simon, Satan has been asking for you. He wants to sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you. Well if I was Peter, I wouldn't feel too good about that. Because Jesus just identified an enemy by name who has been asking for my soul.
Now let's look at verse 18 again a little more carefully. "And he said to them, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.'" What he means by that is, I was there when it happened. When the fall from heaven happened, I saw it, I was there, I experienced it.
In fact, the whole reason Jesus was on the Earth was to undo all the bad stuff that happened since he fell from heaven. Listen to what is written in 1 John chapter 3, verse 8. "For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil." Now, the reason I'm making a deal out of this is, that means if you say you believe in Jesus Christ but you don't believe in the devil, you are making a mockery out of what Jesus said he came to do.
If he came to destroy the works of the devil, that's the purpose of the incarnation of him coming, if you say I don't believe in a devil. Devil doesn't exist. It's just an idea. If Jesus believed in it, the disciples believed in it, James wrote about it, John wrote about it, Paul wrote about it, Peter wrote about it, and you say, yeah, I don't believe it, then you are making a mockery out of the entire New Testament. So we know it philosophically. Moreover we know at biblically.
But third, there's another line of evidence. We know it experientially. I mean, who can live today with all that is going on, and deny the existence of the devil? Anybody that does that is just out of touch. Back in his day, D.L. Moody said, "I believe Satan exists for two reasons-- First because the Bible says so, and second because I've done business with him." And you have, as well. You know by your own experience, yeah, it's real.
There was a poem years ago, and one of the stanzas says, the devil is voted not to be, so of course the devil is gone. But simple folks would like to know, who carries his business on? Somebody is doing it. Somebody is causing all these problems and all this evil. So the devil is real. He's real.
In fact, there are some people that are so convinced he is real, they worship him openly. The Church of Satan has been growing in numbers since it was developed in the 1960s in San Francisco by Anton LeVay. Thousands, millions of people worldwide say, not only do I believe there is a devil, I worship him. So that's surprising to a lot of people in the world, but that is the first one. He is real.
Second one, the second surprising fact-- and this is going to surprise some of you. Not only is he real, but he is magnificent. Now I've gotten some of your attention by saying that, because the last thing you expected in coming to a church service to hear an evangelical pastor say the devil is magnificent. But he is.
Or in the very least, we have to say, he was. He was so magnificent that God describes him as the most glorious creature he had ever made. In fact, he is so beautiful there's an indication in the Bible that we're going to have some capacity in the future to see him. And when we do, we're going to be surprised when we look at him, probably because of his beauty and magnificence.
Turn with me to the book of Ezekiel. I've had to mark that in advance. Go to the book of Ezekiel chapter 28. And we don't have time to go through a lot of it, but let me just kind of cut to the chase. We're going to begin in verse 11. But let me set it out for you.
In Ezekiel 2008, actually in this section of Ezekiel, the prophet is pronouncing God's judgment upon different nations. And there's one nation in particular in this chapter, the kingdom of Tyre which was a city-state right up on the upper Mediterranean coast in what is today Lebanon. And at the time, there was a ruler of Tyre called the Prince of Tyre. And that is to whom this section is addressed, a lamentation against the Prince of Tyre.
We know him to be a real historical figure. His name was Ithobaal the second. He was a very ruthless, godless, prideful ruler. In fact, he even claimed that he was God. So judgment is proclaimed against Ithobaal, the Prince of Tyre. But then in verse 11, there's a shift that occurs. Then somebody who cannot be identified in the earthly sense is talked about. And that is the King of Tyre. And from the description that we are about to read, we will understand that the description cannot fit any human being. And you'll see why.
Let's begin in chapter 28 verse 11. "Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord God-- you were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.'" Watch this. "'You were in Eden, the Garden of God.'" Now I highly doubt that Ithobaal the second was in the Garden of Eden.
This does not fit any description of any human ruler. What the prophet is doing is after addressing the Prince of Tyre, he goes to the very source of evil itself, the King of Tyre, the real power behind the earthly Prince. And that shouldn't bother you, because the Bible does that a lot. It kind of shifts from one reality to another.
In fact, Jesus did this. Jesus was talking to Peter when he announced that he was going to Jerusalem and he would be crucified, and Peter said, oh no, we're not going to let that happen to you. And Jesus said to Peter, get behind me Satan, Satan. What's he doing? He's addressing the power that gave Peter the thought, we're going to keep you from going to the cross. Get behind me Satan. So we see that here, but in a bigger kind of a sense.
So he's addressing the King of Tyre. And look at the description. In verse 12, you were the seal of perfection. In other words, you're the sum of everything I have made. You were the best of the best, the seal of perfection, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. What a statement. If you want to know what God thinks is beautiful, you would need to see this angel.
Why is that important? Because when people today think of the devil, they think of him as what? Ugly, right? Misshapen, a deformed half beast, half man. Say, you were beautiful, magnificent. In fact, the only angel in scripture-- and this does describe an angel because it talks about the cherub. You'll see that in a minute. The only angel in scripture given this much detail of beauty is not Gabriel, not Michael, but this one. This was the most glorious creature God ever made.
So it says, "You were in Eden, the Garden of God. Every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, emerald, with gold." I don't quite know what that means, the psychedelic kind of beauty that was displayed. "The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers." A cherub is an angel. It's the highest of the ranking of the good angels, the most powerful, surrounding the presence and glory of God.
"I established you, you were on the holy mountain of God, you walked back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, til iniquity was found in you." Now it goes on to say, "By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence, and you sinned." And you sinned.
Back in Luke 10, Jesus said, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. This describes why. What happened to him? Well, we just read it. You'll notice in verse 15, he says, "Iniquity was found in you." Verse 16, "you sinned," and then verse 17, notice, "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty. You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground. I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you."
Now go back to verse 13 for just a moment because I want you to notice something. What was it that this cherub was doing in heaven? Two things. Number one, he was a musician. Notice in verse 13, he talks about your timbrels and your pipes. "The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you." Timbrels and pipes are musical instruments. Why is that important?
It would seem to mean that this cherub, this being, in the Garden of Eden who was there, that at one time in heaven, he was the worship leader. He was the worship leader, he was the choir director. It's interesting to think, when God made his supreme creation, he made a musician.
Now if you're a musician, don't get big headed about that, because look what happened to this one. But verse 14, "You were the anointed cherub that covers." Inferring that Satan must have had some position of hovering over the throne of God to protect his holiness and protect his glory. So he is real, he is a magnificent.
Third fact, he made the stupidest choice ever. It's mystifying to me still. It's surprising still to me when I think of what happened. Because I think, wait a minute, you had like the best gig ever. If you're the anointed cherub who covers, if you're the highest of God's creation, if you're number 1 minus 1, you've got a good gig. Don't mess that up.
But he did. Iniquity was found in him. He sinned, his heart was puffed up with pride. Now I want to show you how that happened. It is described. Go back now to Isaiah chapter 14. Isaiah chapter 14, remember Jesus said, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
OK, remember that. And let's read now in Isaiah chapter 14 verse 12. "How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cast down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!" You know that Lucifer is one of the most beautiful names you could come up with. And yet I've never found a parent saying, here's my little son Lucifer, could you dedicated him to the Lord. No, nobody does that.
But you know what it means, Lucifer means daystar. Or son of the morning, or star of the morning, or shining one. It's a beautiful, beautiful name. Yet to use that name would be almost profane because of what happened. Now I told you last week that there are three beings in the scripture of which we have the name, Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer. And the only reason we know their names is because those beings are germane to the biblical narrative.
But I would suppose, therefore, that all the angels have names, and God knows all of them just like God knows your name. I don't think when God calls an angel, he says, OK, angel 1,650,016, come forward. He knows their names. They have names, they're identified.
Now what was the horrible sin to cause judgment? Begin in verse 13 of Isaiah 14. "For you said in your heart--" Remember what we just read in Ezekiel. You were lifted up in your heart. You were puffed up with pride in your heart. "So you said in your heart-- I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the North, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High."
Notice five times Lucifer going, I will, I will, I will, I will, I will. That is the definition of sin. Sin begins when a person, a being, says in his heart, what I want is more important than what God wants. I will exalt my will above God's will. That's sin. That's where it all begins.
Five times he uses the word, I will. He goes, "I will be like the most high." Verse 15, "You shall be brought down to hell," this is God's response, "to the lowest depths of the pit." Now go back to what he says here in that verse. I will ascend into heaven. Why does he say that? I mean, if he's already in heaven, why does he go, I'm going to ascend into heaven? Well, you're already there.
So why are you going to ascend? For him to ascend, there's only one person left who's higher, and that's God. For the chief angel to get a promotion would make him God. That's the problem. Something happened in his heart where he is now not satisfied with worshipping God, but now he wants to be worshipped as God. I will be like the Most High.
And when that happened, Lucifer became Satan and he was cast out of heaven. I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Verse 15, "You shall be brought down to sheol," hell, "to the lowest depths of the pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying-- 'is this the one that made the Earth tremble, who shook kingdoms?'" So he says, I'm going up in life. God says, you're going down to the pit.
And it's going to be fulfilled in Revelation chapter 20, when it tells us that Satan is cast into the lake of fire. He and all of his demons, cast into the lake of fire. And God has been waiting a long time for that to happen. Still hasn't happened yet. And when it finally does, it's God's way of eternally demonstrating the absolute stupidity of defying God.
You want to defy God? You want to exalt your will above God? Let me show you what that will get you. Because the chief of my creation tried that, and here's his end. Now I want to apply that with this question. What choices are you making in life? Are you making stupid choices? Are you making smart choices?
You say, Skip, define stupid. OK, here's a stupid choice. Any choice that moves you away from the heart of God is stupid. Any choice that draws you closer to his heart and will is smart. Anybody who says, I want this, I want that, I will this, I will that, is stupid if it's against the will of God. And God will demonstrate that eternally by casting the greatest creation he made into the pit.
So a lot of surprising things. He is real, he is magnificent, but he made the stupidest choice ever. I'll give you a fourth surprising fact about the devil. And that is this, the devil is not the opposite of God. The devil is not the opposite of God, but he wants you to think he's the opposite of God.
Oh, he loves it when people give the devil more credit than he's due. He loves it when people think, yeah, he's like, he's like the opposite of God. He's powerful like God. I read a news article in the LA Times some years ago. It caught my attention so I cut it out.
17-year-old boy said, "I often think of Satan as a cool dude." I'd never heard anybody talk about the devil as a cool dude. But this 17-year-old boy said, "I've often thought of the devil as a cool dude, since he controls one part of the supernatural." Wrong. "He tends to let you be on your own and do what you want, whereas God wants to put you in a jail cell."
Listen, the devil wants people to think he is so awesome and so powerful, that the universe is sort of like one big celestial boxing ring. And over here in the corner, ladies and gentlemen, is Jesus Christ, and over here in the other corner is the devil. And they're duking it out, who's going to win? What round are we in?
Are you kidding? The devil was created by Jesus. He can't go one round with the champ. He is not the opposite of God. He was created. He was created. Tertullian, one of the church fathers, had a pretty famous saying in his time. He gave it in Latin, it was [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]. Which literally translated, means Satan is God's monkey.
What that means is, the devil tries to ape God. He wants to be like the Most High, so he does things to get the earth, people on the earth, and hopefully demons, the third went with him, to believe that he is more powerful than he is. But Jesus said, I saw Satan fall. He didn't stay in that position, he went down. I saw it.
And the 70 disciples said, the demons are subject to us in your name. That just shows that God is superior to the devil and the demons. He's not the opposite of God. He doesn't have the attributes of God. Listen, the devil is not self-existent like God is.
God is self-existent. Nobody created God. The devil is not self-existent, he was created. If he was created, it means he is contingent. If he is contingent, it means he is inferior to God, supremely so. So he's not self-existent.
Something else he's not, he's not sovereign. Yes, the devil has certain freedoms. But did you know that Satan operates only within the government of God? That he has to get permission from God to do anything? I don't know why God gives him the permission he gives him, but he has to have permission to do it.
For instance, when he wanted to attack Job, he had to appear before God and make an appeal. And get permission to go after Job. In the Gospel accounts of the man who was demon possessed, and Jesus came to deliver the man who was possessed with demons.
The demons had to get permission from Jesus to leave that man and go into a herd of swine. Permit us to go into the herd of swine. And unless Jesus would have said the word go, which he did, those demons would have stayed in that man. They had to get permission.
The apostle Paul talked about his thorn in the flesh. Remember in 2 Corinthians chapter 12 he said, there was given to me-- which implies God gave it to me, or God allowed it to be given to me-- there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, listen to what he says, a messenger of Satan to buffet me.
In other words, God for his own purposes can even use the malevolent designs of the devil in trying to attack you for his own glory and for the good and betterment of his people. Because Paul said, I ended up hearing God say, my grace is sufficient for you. My strength is made perfect in your weakness.
So he's not self-existent, he is not sovereign. Something else the devil is not, he is not omnipresent. Don't think the devil is everywhere, he's not. He is limited spatially. He can only be in one place at one time. A demon can only be in one place at one time. The demons were in the man, and when Jesus cast them into the herd they left the man and they went over to point B, the herd of swine. But they are limited spatially, they are not omnipresent.
Another thing the devil is not, he is not omniscient. He doesn't know everything. He can't predict the future. I hear Christian sometimes get freaked out, and they go, I think the devil can read minds. I think demons read my mind.
And I've heard people tell stories of before they were saved, they went to a fortune teller or a psychic. And the fortune teller or psychic gave details of their life. And I don't know how he knew that, but he knew what I had for breakfast. Well, your husband knew what you had for breakfast. I mean, it's observable information. It's past history. I'm sure there was a demon present when you were having breakfast who told it to the fortune teller.
But that's different than predicting the future. That's something only God knows. So the devil is not omniscient. He doesn't know the future, he doesn't know what you are thinking. I mean, even good angels lack information.
Remember what it says in Peter, that the angels desire to look into things regarding our salvation. That's because angels experientially don't know what it's like to have God's mercy, grace, and forgiveness. We do. Redemption is something unique to human beings. We have that. That fascinates the angels, they desire to look into that. So if good angels don't have all the information and know everything, certainly demons don't.
So he is not the opposite of God. He's not real. He's not-- he is magnificent. He is real. He is magnificent. He's made a stupid choice, and he is not the opposite of God. Let me give you a fifth surprising fact about the devil. He is highly organized, really into organization.
I don't know if you read the book The Seven Habits of Effective People. I don't know, but he's highly organized. And one would have to be. To be effective in a fallen state, you have to get organized. When Satan fell from heaven, the Bible indicates that he managed to bring other spirits, angel spirits, with him. That he staged a coup in the heavenly places, a mass rebellion of which he has been sort of a ruler of, ever since.
Revelation chapter 12, John said, "I saw a dragon, and his tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them down to the earth." We read that and go, so what, that's a vision. What does that mean? Well, you keep reading that chapter and it tells you that the stars are fallen angels.
And it says, the great dragon was cast out. "That serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan," "And his angels were cast out with him." Did you notice that? His angels. So with a third of the angelic hosts that rebelled with him, he has put together a highly organized network of powerful spiritual beings of which he is the chief.
He said, I wanted to be like God. That's his-- that's what he's God, that network. But that is why Jesus calls him the ruler of this world, John chapter 12, John chapter 14, and John 16, the ruler of this world. Paul said at Ephesians chapter 2, he's the prince of the power of the air. That's an interesting description of him. Prince of the power of the air.
Air meaning, the atmosphere. Meaning Satan's realm is the earth. The earth that has this atmosphere. But I kind of see more in that. He's the prince of the power not only of the air, but of the air waves. He is very interested in media. He is highly invested in media. And he seeks to pervert that, and I think he's done a pretty good job.
Luke chapter 11 verse 15, he's called the ruler of demons, the ruler of demons. So you've got this coup that was staged. He has fallen, he has all these angelic beings that went with him who are now demons. He is like the prince of them, the ruler of them. And that system is highly organized.
In fact, we have names of their rankings in Colossians 1 and Ephesians chapter 6. Let me just read one to you. Ephesians 6, Paul said, "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but," listen, "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts," or armies, "of wickedness in the heavenly places." All of those are titles of rankings of angelic beings that are evil against you.
Now this freaks most people out. OK, the devil is real, he's got an army, and they hate my guts. Well, that's because we focus on the wrong truth. A third of the angels fell, that leaves how many left? 2/3, they're outnumbered. Satan's outnumbered 2 to 1. 2 to 1, and greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
Focus on the 2/3 that did not fall of whom God said, he sends them out to minister to those who are heirs of salvation, Hebrews chapter 1, rather than one third of demons. Yeah, demons are real. Yeah, demons are out to get you. But God is living in you and His angels are surrounding you. That's what you need to focus on.
Yep, Satan is highly organized. So is God, and he's better at it. And I'll leave you with the sixth surprising fact, maybe not so surprising to you. Satan, the devil, has an agenda. He has an agenda, a very specific agenda. It's not just to create chaos. He's not just a bull in a China closet. Here I go, blululuh. No, he has an agenda, which is this, to disrupt and destroy the work of God. To disrupt and destroy the work of God.
The very name, Satan, means adversary, enemy. He is our enemy. He is against people. He's against certain ones. Question is, who is he against? At the very basic level, I suppose you could say, well, he's against everyone, right. 1 John chapter 5 verse 19, we know that the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. Peter said, the devil is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He'll take anybody down, anybody who's available.
But if you've been in the military, you'll understand this. There are people who would be considered the enemy. But within the camp called the enemy, they have what is called HVTs, High Value Targets. High Value Target, get the High Value Target and the rest will fall. I believe Satan has High Value Targets he has been after.
Let me give you a few of them. Target number one, HVT number one on Satan's list, Jesus Christ. Ever since Genesis 3, 15 announced somebody is going to be born, Satan, who is going to crush your skull. Satan has tried to attack the messianic line. That's enemy number one, to him. Jesus and those attached to him.
Number two for Satan, HVT, High Value Target, holy angels, holy angels. You know, we're a little naive and prideful, I would even say, to imagine that the devil himself is out to get me. He has some bigger fish to fry first of all. Even beyond the earthly realm, even beyond the political, even beyond the elections, even beyond the rulers of this world, and that is, in the heavenly places, Satan fights against holy angels.
You want to get a little insight into that, read Daniel chapter 10 where an angel says to Daniel, look, as soon as you prayed, I came. But 21 days I fought the demon prince of Persia. And it was such a heavy fight I had to call for super angel Michael to come and help me out. But here I am. So there's a battle going on in heavenly places, far beyond the earthly.
So Jesus, holy angels, number three, number three High Value Target, Israel, the nation of Israel. God has made a plan for the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. And in the New Testament he made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, that he will have a theocratic kingdom upon this earth, the likes of which has not been fulfilled yet. And that is why in Revelation chapter 12, it is Satan fallen from heaven attacking the nation of Israel.
So we have Jesus, holy angels, and Israel. Those are High Value Targets. Let me throw in a fourth, unbelievers, unbelievers. Satan and his demons attack unbelievers. What's his purpose with unbelievers? Keep him unbelievers. Keep him deceived. Distract them, do anything to distract them to get them to reject God and never receive Jesus as Savior. Remember, Jesus said the thief Satan comes to kill, to steal, and to destroy. Satan wants unbelievers to die in unbelief.
Number five, fifth High Value Target, believers. But let me be specific about that. Believers who are making an impact for the gospel. Believers who are making an impact. If you are a serious-minded Christian, you have a target on your back.
Now, if you play it cool, you say, yeah, you know I believe in Jesus and stuff, but I don't want to get too fanatical and too serious about God. By and large, Satan's won. He'd made you impotent. You're just going to sort of veg out through life and go to heaven.
But if you are saying, you know what, I want to do damage to the kingdom of darkness between now and heaven. I want to seriously promote the gospel and help people in the name of Jesus and storm the gates of hell. HVT, High Value Target on your back. And he'll use everything he can to hinder your witness, to lessen your effectiveness, because he is Satan, the adversary.
So I know as we come to a closure, saying Skip, this sermon today is not on the high-- number 1 to 10 encouraging list, I put this down at the very bottom. Because you just told me there's a real devil who hates my guts, who wants to destroy my witness, who sends his demons out, and he is my enemy. You're right, I told you that. And that should make you happy.
Now you're looking at me like, you're weird, you're nuts. You're telling me that the devil is my enemy and that should make me happy? Yes. That's what I'm telling you. Because the other alternative is the devil isn't your enemy, he's your friend. That's far worse news. If you're going to have any relationship with the devil at all, you want him as your enemy, not your friend. Because if he's your enemy, God is your friend. God is your friend.
I'm going to close with this, Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote these words, "There is something very comforting in the thought that the devil is an adversary. I would sooner have him for an adversary than a friend. Oh, my soul, it was dread work for you if Satan were a friend of yours, for then with him you must forever dwell in darkness, shut out from the friendship of God."
And he closes by saying, "but to have Satan for your adversary is a comfortable omen," In other words, it should bring you comfort. "For it looks as if God were our friend." And so far let us be comforted in this matter. Satan hates you. Yes, thank you Jesus. I'm so happy, God, that he hates me.
He hates me because I defected from his kingdom. I didn't listen to his lies. I said, I figured it out, devil. The wages of sin is death, I'm quitting before payday. I'm giving my life to Jesus. Now he's my enemy, good. Because God is my friend. God is my friend.
Father, how thankful we are for the friendship of God, for the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, who said, I no longer call you my servants, I call you my friends. And to be a friend of God is to have the devil and his minions as enemies. We are comforted in that thought. We know he is real. We know he's powerful.
But you are God, you created him. And his future is total annihilation, destruction, in the future. So we have unmasked him, Lord, and seen him for what he is. A defeated foe. Fill us with your spirit, Lord, to march into the future boldly, confidently, not afraid. Not afraid of what's going on around us, not afraid of what's coming at us, but comforted at who is living inside of us. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. Let's all stand and worship together.
We hope you enjoyed this special service from Calvary Church. We'd love to know how this message impacted you. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And just a reminder, you can support this ministry with a financial gift at calvarynm.church give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Calvary Church.