About Satan
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caveat: we may disagree on this.  However, we can still love each other and do God's work together

OUR VIEW FROM SCRIPTURE

how we view scripture will determine our beliefs about the supernatural
Francis MacNutt: "A basic principle of Scripture interpretation is that we should accept what the writer says in its literal sense unless there is strong evidence that we should understand the passage in a symbolic or metaphysical way."
others will say the stories that mention demons or Satan are either (1) always symbolic of evil in general or (2) the people of Jesus' day grew up in a culture that believed in evil spirits and thus, for instance, they would see an epileptic person as being possessed
about (1): the writers were obviously not writing about Satan in a symbolic way, any serious study of scripture will show the obvious falsehood of this belief.
about (2): there are several problems with this line of thinking:
Yes, we do have more medical knowledge than was available 2,000 years ago, however, the stories in scripture clearly delineate between healing a physical problem and casting out of a demon. People argue, however, that the casting out of demons was the cultural way of describing the healing of a psychological illness. The problem with that line of thinking is we are throwing our cultural and educational thinking backwards to explain something we do not want to believe. In other words we are guilty of doing what we describe them as doing.
When we attempt to explain away what Jesus is doing, we are forgetting that we believe Jesus is all knowing. If we really believe that Jesus is all knowing, then why would he cast out a demon if he "knew" it was a physical or psychological illness? If we do not believe that Jesus is all knowing, then what do we do with the scriptures that say Jesus knew the thoughts of their hearts?

the entirety of scripture argues for a view of the supernatural which includes God and Satan. If belief in Satan was simply a result of cultural conditioning, then that conditioning has taken place from the beginning of time until the present. Can cultural conditioning be changed? Obviously it can. New knowledge can change beliefs. However, no new knowledge has come to light which denies with absolute certainty existence of Satan.
Another thought about how we view scripture: how can we accept the concept of God, miracles and angels, but not believe in Satan and demons? If we accept anything about the supernatural, such as the resurrection, then it is absurd to not believe other aspects of the supernatural

Satan's Names

serpent (Revelations 12:9)
the devil (Matthew 17:18)
Satan - from the Hebrew, which means adversary (Luke 10:18)
deceiver (Matthew 27:63)
the accuser (Revelations 12:10)
Beelzebub  (Matthew 10:25)
prince of demons  (Matthew 9:34)
great dragon  (Revelation 12:3)
fiery flying serpent (Is. 14:29)
evil one  (Matthew 13:19)
king of terrors  (Job 18:14)
god of this age  (2 Cor 4:4)
angel of light  (2 Cor 11:14)


His Minion's Names

demons
evil spirits
fallen angels
spirit guides
spirits of the dead
prior incarnations

 

SATAN AND HIS WAYS

C. S. Lewis - there are two mistaken views: an unhealthy interest or disbelief

Who is Satan?

Satan is a fallen angel:
Luke 10:18 Jesus replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
Revelation 12:9 The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
leads demons, who are other fallen angels.  Usually, we are referring to Satan's powerful organization of angels and humans.

What is his character?

evil
rebellious
self-willed
limited power and knowledge

What authority does he have?

limited on earth to the authority given him by gullible humans who own the world. Genesis 1:26-28
no longer has the authority as an archangel to do things for himself.  Luke 10:18
to teach - 1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
controls the world right now through gullible humans through the promise given them by God - 1 John 5:19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
hinder the work of Christians - 1 Thessalonians 2:18 For we wanted to come to you--certainly I, Paul, did, again and again--but Satan stopped us.

What are his tactics?

deception - John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
temptation - Jesus was tempted, Matthew 4:1-11
sows doubt - Genesis 3 "Did God really say . . . " and Matthew 4 "If you are the Son of God . . ."
accuses - his very name means "accuser"; difference between conviction & condemnation
devours - 1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
blinds us - (2 Corinthians 4:4) The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
leads us away from Christ - 2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
uses people for his purposes - (John 13:27) As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
influence & possession  - (Luke 8:27-39)  The Gadarene demoniac had enough control to bring himself to Jesus; the demons upon him resisted Jesus' efforts to cast them out.  This can be minor influence upon a human's thoughts all the way to suppressing the human personality for a time.

What do we do?

Put on the spiritual armor: Ephesians 6:10-18
vs. 14 Gird your waist with Truth. (to counter Satan's primary weapons -- lies)
vs 14 put on the breastplate of Righteousness. (to counter Satan's accusations)
vs 15 shod your feet  to go share the gospel of Peace. ( to reduce Satan's sources of power)
vs 16 take up the shield of faith (by which we can stop Satan's attacks against us)
vs 17 put on the helmet of salvation (to counter Satan's discouragement and despair)
vs 18 take up the sword of the Spirit ( the spoken word of God to break down Satan's strongholds)
resist and stand firm in Christ - 1 Peter 5:8-9 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. {9} Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Evangelize his followers.  The fewer there are, the less power he has.
reckon our victory is in Christ on the cross - Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
we have authority in Christ to cast out demons - Mark 16:17-18 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

what we don't do:

horoscopes, sun signs and Astrology
ouija boards, dowsing rods and pendulums
reading tarot cards, palms, tea leaves or iris patterns
consult psychics, mediums or channelers
do channeling or seances
black or white magic, magick, witchcraft and Wicca
mind-blanking meditation, chanting or hypnosis
automatic writing
have amulets, talismans, idols, masks and charms
communicate with spirit guides or 'voices'
Reiki, soulish power massage and Shamanism
sorcery and homeopathy
Feng Shui
etc.

All of these things seek for power or hidden knowledge from Satan.  These open back doors to your soul for Satan's demons to disrupt your Christian walk.  They take special prayer to close them.  Contact the pastor if you have any questions or engaged in any of these.