10. Satan: Our Adversary
The Article: The Holy War--A Spiritual Warfare Primer
Whether you are a new believer or an experienced saint, you may not realize something very important—you are a soldier in an ongoing war. There are two opposing forces in this war. There are fallen angels who seek to corrupt saints, and thwart the salvific purposes of God, and there are holy angels who seek to carry out God’s will. Both forces are powerful and the battle takes place in the spiritual and physical realm as the fallen angels often work through people and the holy angels often seek to aid the church. Though the battles are real and the carnage at times devastating, the ultimate victory, however, is in no way left up to chance. God is the sovereign king in charge of all battles and the one who designed the final outcome. He will win. That much we know for sure!
But there are often misunderstandings among Christians as to the proper focus we ought to maintain in light of this truth. The Holy War--A Spiritual Warfare Primer seeks to clarify some of these misconceptions. One must learn that it is ultimately the Lord’s battle and that we fight by submitting to God in obedience and taking up the full armor of God including his word in every and all situations.
1. What are the two classes of angels and how are they distinct?
2. What are some misconceptions about fallen angels?
3. What are our weapons?
4. According to the article, should we ever attempt to deal with Satan directly? Do you agree? Why or why not?
5. How does Jude 9 contribute to question #4?
The Article: Satanology: Our Invisible Adversary, the Devil
This article begins by establishing what you have learned so far—Satan is real and it is certain folly to deny his existence and work. From this biblical foundation, the author talks about the nature of Satan, his personality, and certain designations which are given him in scripture. The focus on the nature of Satan is to point out that he is a creature with limitations. Therefore, whatever else we want to say about his power, it is infinitely limited compared to God’s. There is no point at which they are comparable. The scriptures clearly indicate that he has personality and his designations underscore the nature of his rebellious, deceitful, and vicious work.
The last half of the article is taken up with the history of Satan as revealed in the Bible, his activities, the world system he governs with God’s permission, and the Christian’s defense against him. Two primary passages will be looked at in terms of the history of Satan, i.e., Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:11-19. These texts, as well as others, will help us understand his original position, his fall, his relationship to the chaos and ruin of God’s creation, as well as his ultimate end in judgment. Regarding his activities, discussion will center around their relation to Christ, to God, the nations, unbelievers, and believers. Finally, we will look at Satan’s attempt to control a world in rebellion against its Creator as well as the Christian’s provisions (in Christ) for victory in the midst of the ongoing battle.
1. Define the nature and personality of Satan? What observations from Scripture demonstrate that he indeed is a creature and that he has personality? How could you use these to respond to the person who says that Satan is just an impersonal force?
2. Outline the history of Satan according to Scripture. What are the problems with the interpretation of Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:11-19? How do you handle them?
3. What are some of the activities of Satan?
4. What is Satan’s relationship to the present world order? In what sense is he the “god of this age”?
5. Discuss the Christian’s relationship to the Devil and what spiritual realities God has put in place in order to enable us to overcome Satan and his demons? What do you think is the role of fear in Satan’s plan (cf. Heb 2:14-15)?