The Powers of Darkness
Recognizing Satan's Tactics in the Light of God's Word
The intent of the Holy Bible is not to focus on Satan and his work. However, we do find much in the Bible that exposes his character and works.
Satan was at one time an angel, but he turned against God, his creator, and wanted to be like Him. The practices of the dark kingdom of Satan are not new. They are typical of his efforts through the ages to rival the kingdom of God. He is offering an alternative to what God, through the power of His Holy Spirit, is accomplishing.
We read in Exodus of the power of the magicians of Egypt who tried to reproduce the miracles that God did by the hand of Moses. In the book of Job, Satan is exposed as very jealous of Job's faithfulness to God. He used cruelty and deprivation to try to force Job to turn from God.
Satan's methods are characterized by: fear, threats, promises of pleasure or power, intimidation, and suspicion. Some of the first things he introduces to us seem very interesting and intriguing. He suggests, "Would you like to know the future or have insight that others are not able to have?" He may offer cures that are beyond the realm of science. Astrology or fortunetelling may seem innocent enough, but this is soon followed with certain magic words or formulas, observing certain days and fearing unlucky numbers. The thought is introduced that there are certain spirits to be respected and feared because of the power they may have over us. Thus Satan snares the unwary into the realms of fear of him and his spirits.
Too many individuals have been caught up in curiosity of things that, at first, appear to be rather innocent. By experimenting with the Ouija board, horoscopes, palm reading, and many other such practices, they have made themselves vulnerable for evil spirits to further trouble them.
The goal of Satan is to erode and finally destroy the Christian's faith in God. The Christian experiences victory by having a faith in Christ and in Him alone. The desire for knowing the unknown or the lust of power motivates one to sometimes experiment with that which is of the Satanic realm. A simple trust in God puts one at rest with what is unknown and makes one completely confident in the power of Christ.
That which is begun out of curiosity or experimentation soon entraps one in a web of fear; fear of what might happen, fear of greater powers, fear of other people, fear of Satan himself. These fears envelop the individual who has allowed himself to become involved in dubious practices. In response to this fear Satan claims to have an antidote. He offers more power if one will subject himself to certain rituals or other obediences. Fear of other spirits can be counteracted with a possession or greater power ourselves, he says. Thus a person is introduced to successive tiers of power that, rather than causing the individual to reach greater levels of peace, cause a never ending downward spiral into the depths of satanic abomination. The security promised by Satan proves elusive, being replaced by the need of protection from a still higher power in this wicked domain. This is the system of Satanism.
Satan's plan is to supplant God. Satan was created to worship, not to be worshipped. He is not a supreme power; he cannot overcome the Lamb of God; he cannot give security; he is not interested in our well-being. Nevertheless he continually works to exercise power over people to bring them into subjection to him. He tries to create mistrust toward God and His kingdom. He is endeavoring to establish an organization with himself as the master. This is developed through a system of fear and illusions of power. He works marvels to create awe in people's minds (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). The effect of this system is to destroy peace and security in individuals, homes, and governments. It captures people, causing them to feel seriously threatened if they try to escape.
Satan is the bitterest, most malicious, most vicious, most terrible enemy you have. He is totally without honor. He is a liar. There is no truth in him-"He is a liar, and the father of it [untruth]" (John 8:44). He is a murderer, a destroyer. He is the very embodiment of hatred and evil. He is totally wicked through and through, with absolutely no redeeming good.
Satan is the instigator of all evil. There is neither crime nor sin too evil or too filthy for him. He is the cause of all hatred, all murder, all child or wife abuse, all drug abuse, all immorality, all broken homes, all contention, all witchcraft, all dishonesty. He delights to cause crimes of passion and evil, crimes committed against innocent people who happen to fall into the hands of depraved or perverted persons. He is ruthless and unforgiving. Suffering does not inspire compassion in him. Bloodshed and death are tools he uses to gain his ends. He has come "to steal, to kill, and to destroy" (John 10:10).
Satan's eternal destiny is already decided. There is a place of eternal fire prepared for him and his angels (Matthew 25:41). He is interested in getting as many people as he can to suffer that torment with him. He knows he can do this by undermining and finally destroying our faith in God. He will do this either by openly challenging God's Word or by subtly encouraging lukewarm, careless, permissive Christianity.
There is deliverance from the clutches of Satan. He would have you to believe that there is no way out. The Bible tells us that Jesus has come to set the captive free. He has come to give life. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). In His life on earth Jesus demonstrated His power over Satan by resisting the temptations of Satan and by casting out evil spirits by God's Word (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 9:25-26). Jesus conquered the power of Satan by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.
Can we avail ourselves of this victory and overcome the arch enemy of our souls? First, we must realize that we have been captured by Satan and are bound by his fear. We must admit that this is sinful and that we are lost if we remain in this state. As we realize that we are unable to deliver ourselves from Satan's grasp, we must cry out to God for deliverance with all our heart. We must repent of, and turn away from our sins. We need to accept by faith the atoning blood of Jesus Christ for our sins. We must yield ourselves to God, accept His forgiveness and faithfully obey His Word. As we meet these conditions He gives us peace with Him, quiets the uneasiness in our hearts, forgives our sins, gives us a new nature and makes us one of His children. This is what it means to be born again. Anyone who resists the call of God is still in Satan's kingdom, and the deceiver will eventually take that person with him to everlasting torment.
If you do not understand the plan that God has made for you, study God's Word, pray to Him with an honest heart, and He will show you the way. God is calling you to Himself and wants you to escape from Satan's bondage. May God bless you. Read Psalm 91.
Luke 11:20-23 .......One stronger than Satan
Romans 6:20-23 ....Free from sin
Isaiah 61:1 .............Liberty to the captives
Romans 8:1-2.........Free from condemnation