MPGC33- SATAN IS DEFEATED
I had moved to London in 1982 to be part of the Christian Corps International community that ran businesses in the United Kingdom. We had a small chain of "fruit shops" as well as running The Garden Restaurant. I was to work in both businesses and was being trained to buy flowers at Covent Garden Market by my director Myron.
We drove a huge van 16 miles into London from our home in a village called South Mimms. We did this around 4AM so we could get our buying done and the goods delivered to the shops about the time that our colleagues were setting up the store for the day.
When you arrive at the huge and famous market you stop to pay 3 sterling pounds for parking. Then the gate swung open and in you drove. Myron and I would drive over to the far end where the flower market was located. As I was finding a spot to park I noticed an official man in a trench coat moving from car to car to collect parking fees. He was coming towards our van and I rolled down the window. That'll be five pounds to stay here he barked with his hand held open through the window. I immediately reached into my bag to get the money when I felt Myron's hand on my arm to stop me and with a wink in his eye.
I don't remember all that Myron said but it started with "Good morning mate! and then on into what I call London speak -- a sort of workman banter that eventually got him moving along to the next car and no money paid. I wondered what all this was about and Myron explained. This man used to collect parking money for Covent Garden but five years ago a new system was initiated where you paid your three pounds at the gate. He still roams the parking lot demanding parking money from whoever will give it. He looks official, he talks official and as you notice almost everyone gives him money. They forget that they have already paid the price at the gate and because he's so officious they pay some more.
The Lord immediately opened my eyes to see a spiritual truth in this little incident. Jesus has paid the ransom price for our lives with his own shed blood on the cross. Satan has been defeated. He holds no power over us unless we choose to submit to it. He is like a toothless lion roaming around the parking lots of our lives looking official, sounding authoritative, and trying to deceive us into paying more dues. He's real but disarmed and defeated.
Let's study together and look at the facts that.......
Satan is Defeated
SATAN BEFORE CHRIST
While Genesis opens with the creation of the world as we know it, we soon realize that prior to this was the creation of angelic hosts. These were spirit beings that shared the Heavens with God. While the angels did not have physical bodies they did have souls -- minds, wills and emotions. As created beings they could choose to serve God -- or not.
Day 1- The angels divided into two camps. There were those who loved God and willingly served Him. The others, led by Satan, loved themselves more and wanted God's power to do their own will. What happened as a result?
Revelations 12: 7-9
Day 2- Satan and his angels lost their place in Heaven and were "hurled to earth" where he took up the trade of deceiving men from following their Creator. In this verse what two things is Satan called?
Day 3- The fact that Satan and his followers were evicted from Heaven was great news for the angels that remained, but it was bad news for the earth. Why?
It's here on earth that Satan went off to do his evil among men and before God. What is satan called in this verse?
Day 4- Besides working to deceive men on earth he seems to still be allowed into Heaven to accuse men before God. We see this clearly in the book of Job.
Job 1: 6-12
(Notice how God had put a limit on his powers)
SATAN DURING CHRIST'S LIFE
From the time that Jesus came into the world (into what was now Satan's kingdom) Satan worked to defeat Him. How?
Day 5- It started when Jesus was a baby. Satan was using Herod as a means to destroy Jesus.
Matthew 2: 13-23
Then Satan tried to keep Jesus from having a faultless manhood, a holy ministry and an unblemished sacrifice. How?
DIRECT ATTACKS BY SATAN HIMSELF
Day 6- Christ's first attack came after 40 days of fasting when Jesus was hungry and in a physically weakened state. Satan came to Jesus and said, "IF you are the Son of God....." In other words -- "Here you are claiming to be the Son of God but you are out here in obscurity without any to attend to you and ready to starve! Is this any way for the Son of God to live?
So what does Satan tempt Jesus to do?
Satan wanted Jesus to distrust the fact that His Father would support Him and provide for his needs. He wanted Jesus to take matters into His own hands and use his powers to illicitly turn stones into bread. If Satan had succeeded, Jesus would have sinned. For sin is living our lives independent of God -- taking matters into our own hands apart from God's will.
Jesus won this round by declaring confidently the power and goodness of God.
Day 7- The second temptation starts the same way, "IF you are the Son of God....." This temptation is more subtle then the first one for Satan uses Christ's tactic of quoting scripture. He quotes these verses in Psalm 91 BUT he does so leaving out one clause. Can you isolate that clause?
Matthew 4: 5-6 / Psalm 91: 11-12
The missing clause is, "to guard you or keep you in all your ways." God promises to protect and keep us as we walk in His ways, along the path of duty. But if we step out of God's will and "do our own thing" then this protection is not promised.
Once again, Satan wanted Jesus to sin by acting outside of the will of God. He knew if he could do so that God would not be obligated to protect Him and therefore Jesus would be killed as he fell to the ground. Jesus saw behind this ruse. Notice for the second time he quotes what God says in his word.
In Adam Clark's commentary he says, "To expose myself to any danger naturally destructive, with the vain assumption that God will protect and defend me from the ruinous consequences of my imprudent conduct is to tempt God."
Day 8- Now in this last temptation Satan shows Jesus the kingdoms of Palestine (divided into three parts at that time).
It's true that this was Satan's kingdom for three times Satan is called "the ruler of this world". Here was Jesus, supposedly "king of the Jews" without money, without followers, and without armies. Satan's purpose was to put Jesus into possession of this, if Jesus acknowledged him as the ruler and final authority over the property. If Jesus had done so he would have trusted himself to Satan rather than God.
Jesus answers this ploy more firmly than before and once again he quotes God's word --- "It is written...."
This was a proposal that Jesus should worship the devil and this was forbidden by God.
Jesus had won round three of this time of testing but more would come.
INDIRECT ATTACKS THROUGH PEOPLE
Satan and his demons are spirits without bodies and therefore most of the time they do their work by using cooperative humans. All throughout Christ's life you'll see how Satan was at work to destroy the Son of God before his time.
SATAN USED THE JEWS
Day 9- Satan used people right in Christ's hometown!
Luke 4: 28-30
Day 10- How did Satan work to kill Jesus before his time?
John 8:59 / John 10: 31-33, 39
Day 11- Satan especially used the Jewish leaders -- chief priests, pharisees, and the whole sanhedrin (the formal governing body of the Jewish people). Even though there are a lot of verses to look up, take the time to examine what these leaders were trying to do to Jesus and make a list.
Matthew 21:45-46 / Matthew 22:15 / Matthew 26:3-5, 59 / Mark 3:6 / Mark 11:18 / Mark 12:12 / Mark 14:55 / Luke 6:7,11/ Luke 19:47 / Luke 20:19-20 / John 7:32 / John 11:45-53 / John 11:57 / John 12:9-11
Day 12- Why were the religious leaders such good candidates to be used by Satan?
John 12: 42-43
Day 13- Often when Satan is using someone you'll see them in the act of accusing -- because that is with Satan does -- he accuses the brethren.
SATAN USED THE ROMANS
Day 13- Satan had Herod Antipas working for him.
Day 14- Satan used the weak willed Pilate.
Luke 23:24 / John 19:14-16
Day 15- How did Satan use the Roman soldiers?
Luke 22:63-65 / Luke 23:36
Often he'll use people like this to set a scene of discouragement and despair.
Day 16- Satan was behind the scenes when the chief priests and Roman guards instigated a cover up scheme.
SATAN USED CHRIST'S OWN DISCIPLES
Day 17- Satan singled out Judas to have a special part in the Lord's death.
Matthew 26:14-16, 47-50 / Luke 22:1-6 / John 13:21-30
We saw in an earlier study that Judas was an easy target. He was already walking in sin.
Day 18- But Satan even used Peter, one of the Lord's closest and dearest disciples.
Matthew 26:69-75 (Also: Mark 14:30, 66-72 & Luke 22:54-62 )
In these verses in John, Peter seems like a hero for protecting Jesus but in actuality he is hindering the Lord from God's will -- going to the cross.
Day 19- Satan eventually used all the disciples. How?
Matthew 26:56b / Mark 14: 27,50
SATAN USED THE CROWDS
Day 20- Satan used the crowds to produce questions, doubts, and proclamations even when they had seen the facts and heard the truth. Make a list of what the crowd was doing and saying.
John 7:12-13,20, 40-44 / John 8:52-53 / John 10: 19-20
Day 21- Satan can instigate crowds to take matters into their own hands.
Day 22- Crowds of course are a living mass of people that become like a single entity in themselves. The louder one shouts the louder they all shout.
Luke 23: 18,21,23-25
SATAN USED THE THIEF
Day 23- Can one criminal accuse another one? That is just how Satan used the thief, hanging next to Jesus, to accuse him.
Day 24- Did Jesus know that all this was going on? Did he recognize Satan working behind the masks of all these various players?
Matthew 16:21 / Matthew 20:18-19 / Mark 8:31 / Luke 18:31-33
Day 25- I list these incidents so that we will realize how much the enemy wants to stop our walk with God, thwart the work God wants to do through us, and pursue us to our death -- spiritually, physically or both. As you read these verses make a list of the malignant work of our enemy.
Job 2:7 / Zechariah 3:1 / Matthew 13:19, 38-39 / Luke 9:42 / John 13:2
Day 26- Jesus knew his enemy well and He knew His Father (God) even better. But he was so concerned for us. Matthew, Mark and Luke record many of his warnings.
Matthew 24:4b, Mark 13:5,9,23,33, 35-37 / Luke 21:8,34,36
Notice the common warning written by all of them -- "let no one deceive you." This will be the main reason Christians will fall away from the truth of God and begin to believe and act on lies.
Here is an example in 2012. On TV there is an ad for a web site called christian mingle.com. It's here in cyber space that Christians can go "on line" to meet other Christians whom they might eventually marry. The ad ends with the line, "Sometimes we are waiting for God to act when He is waiting for us!"
If you are a young Christian that really wants to get married to someone who shares your values this sounds so good. But the ad is full of deception. First, there are no "christian web sites". Only a person can make a commitment to Jesus Christ. There can be many "nominal Christians" (Christians in name only) who are just "good, law abiding citizens" that want to meet someone similar. There is nothing stopping them from registering on this site. The final deception is masterfully expressed. Yes, we do need to step out in faith and act but NEVER independently of God. This web site makes it possible for us to find our own mate if God hasn't come through for us yet. Anytime we can do something without God we are walking in sin. Of course a Christian man or woman might say that "they are trusting God to lead them to the right person." But God is not obligated to guide and guard us once we step out on our own. It's a different version of the Lord's temptation that we looked at under Day 7.
Day 27- Just as Jesus warned his disciples to watch out, they in turn warned us that it is our duty to resist Satan and to do so actively. As you look up these verse make a list of the active commands given to us.
Ephesians 4:26-27 / Ephesians 6:11 / James 4:7 / 1 Peter 5:8-9
Day 28- If Satan uses people -- maybe even us -- does that mean we are demon possessed? It could mean that. But usually it's an unwitting suspect that has had a thought injected by Satan, hasn't examined it thoroughly, and then acts upon it. In this way we cooperate with him to do his work -- all without knowing it. Satan is the master at deception and lies. He mixes just enough truth with lies so that it can seem to us like God speaking. As we gain information today through: TV, radio, books, internet, church, school, work, newspapers, magazines -- what are we commanded to do?
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 / 1 John 4:1
How do we test things?
1 John 4:2-6
SATAN AT CHRIST'S DEATH
As we have seen, all of Christ's life was hounded by Satan. But Satan could not discourage Him. Satan could not drive Jesus from the work he came to do. He could not kill Jesus before His work had been finished.
Day 29- Now in one last desperate attempt, the principalities and powers of darkness were assembled around the cross casting the shadow of unbelief in men's hearts. Those who stood and mocked Jesus had the same rebellious spirit as the first great rebel. Who are they?
Matthew 27: 39-44
Had Jesus yielded to Satan in even one particular action to escape his terrible torture, Satan would have triumphed. That is probably why Jesus refused the wine mixed with gall. It would have numbed the pain.
Day 30- To the watching world the death of Christ looked like the greatest defeat. So many had thought that this man was the Messiah they had waited for. Surely he would rise up even at the last minute to save himself and everyone else. But he did not. The haunting prophecy of Isaiah had come true.
Or had it? Jesus knew something that we didn't.
We must keep in mind that Jesus laid down his life of his own accord. He always had a choice.
Day 31- These two verses remind us of the reason Jesus came into the world in the first place.
Hebrews 2:14 / 1 John 3:8
Day 32- The apparent defeat of Christ at this death and his hours in the tomb would have marked a glorious triumph for Satan and the defeat of all men IF it had not been for the Resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:13-19
SATAN AFTER THE RESURRECTION
If Jesus Christ had stayed in the grave, Satan would have triumphed. He would have proved to the world that this man claiming to be the Son of God was just like any other man. He talked big -- but -- he died.
Satan had failed to kill Jesus ahead of time. He had failed to keep Him from going to the Cross in place of mankind. In short, Satan had failed -- PERIOD.
While this world exists, Satan is still its ruler. His daily task is to go about keeping men and women from the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He keeps them occupied with the things of this world. Those who do not know Jesus or believe in what he has accomplished for us, are part of Satan's kingdom either by default or by choice.
Satan also spends his days deceiving those who belong to Jesus. If he can get believers to believe half truths and lies then it will usually lead them to commit sin. Once a believer commits sin and continues to live in that sin they have stepped back into Satan's kingdom and out of the Kingdom of God. For believers, Satan most often uses his disguise as an "angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14) and he knows and quotes scripture better than we do. He uses the good to keep us from God's best.
What we must always remember is that the only power Satan has over a believer is what WE choose to give him.
Day 33- Because this world for a time (until it comes to an end and Christ returns) still belongs to Satan, all of us can count on the fact that there will be trouble. But, if we belong to Jesus notice that the problems we face will be sandwiched between Christ's peace and His victory.
Even in the most severe trials we are promised victory in Christ.
Romans 8: 35-39
We can walk in peace and wholeness today because Jesus did not allow Satan to defeat Him. Satan is a defeated foe -- a toothless lion prowling around looking for someone to devour.
The church today attributes way too much power to this defeated enemy. Yes, we need to recognize him, for he is real, but there is no need to show an unhealthy interest in him.
Day 34- God wants and expects us to be conquerors over the powers of darkness so that God's triumph and victory over His enemies will be demonstrated by us to the world. According to these verses what is the truth regarding Christ's victory over Satan, and his demon followers.
Colossians 2:15 / Ephesians 3:10 / Ephesians 1:20-23 / 1 John 3:8
Our position of strength is that we are "in Christ". And where are we when we are in Christ? Ephesians 1:21 tells us ---"far above all rule and authority, power and dominion...." We are to be strong , not in our own power, but in the power of Christ's unlimited resources.
Day 35- Because we are up against an unseen evil power that controls this world, every believer must dress for battle everyday! Why?
We can NEVER afford to be casual and head out into our day without our armor. If we are diligent to do this what will we be assured of?
Make a list of the armor we are to put on everyday.
We'll continue in our next study to learn how we overcome our enemy.
Next Study: MPGC#34