That’s right. Your devil. Why do I say that? It’s because the devil makes it his personal business to try to steer every human being (throughout history) onto a path of destruction – one that leads to death without salvation. You are continually in his crosshairs; and his purpose is not a good one. Jesus put it this way: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” Jn. 10:10 NKJV
Many people in this world (at every historical point) deny the existence of the devil – relegating his place to one of a fairy tale boogeyman, conjured up to keep us in line. There are even some church denominations that say that the devil is only a metaphorical representation for evil. However, denominations (always a sore spot with me) are only some human founder’s ideas shellacked over God’s word.
God says the devil is the real deal. In fact, the Bible shows him to be present throughout history and Jesus talks about him more than anyone.
He has many names in the Bible: adversary, devil, dragon, serpent, Satan, wicked one, darkness, evil, father of lies, prince of power of the air, thief, devourer, destroyer, and tempter.
We first meet him immediately after the creation of Adam and Eve: Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘you shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Gen. 3:1 ESV
We get confirmation of the devil’s identity even at the opposite end of the Bible, when God sends an angel to subdue him: And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years… Rv. 20:2 ESV
Notice too that the first words we hear out of the devil’s mouth consist of an attempt to twist God’s word to Eve, i.e. to lie. Jesus tells us that all Satan speaks are lies: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Jn. 8:44 NASB
Getting back to Adam and Eve, the devil ‘was a murderer from the beginning’ because it was his lies that led to Adam and Eve losing their immortality.
God immediately held Satan accountable: So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed…And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Gn. 3:14, 15. NKJV
God is saying that the devil will forever be at war with God’s children. There cannot be any reconciliation between the two. He is also prophesying that Jesus would be ‘bruised’ at His crucifixion, (but we know He triumphs through His resurrection), but Christ will eventually bruise Satan’s head, i.e. bring about his final demise.
After Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, the devil [a rebellious (fallen) angel], continued to comb the earth to perpetrate his deadly schemes: Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Job 1:6, 7. NKJV
Satan’s next recorded act was his role as an accomplice in Cain’s murder of his brother Abel:
…not be like Cain who [took his nature and got his motivation] from the evil one and slew his brother. And why did he slay him? Because his deeds (activities, works) were wicked and malicious and his brother’s were righteous (virtuous). 1 Jn. 3:11, 12. AMP
And as the history of man progressed, so did the devil’s evil meddling in their affairs: Then Satan stood against Israel… 1 Chr. 21:1 NKJV
Even when Christ came to be born on earth, the devil was there to try to thwart God’s plan of salvation for His children:
And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Rv. 12:4, 5. NKJV
Remember that the devil tried to kill baby Jesus through King Herod, but God had Joseph take Him to Egypt for safety. Satan would continue to try to make Jesus’ life miserable, to try to make Him abandon God’s charge to bring salvation to all the people of the earth. He especially came against Jesus after His baptism, when He went into the wilderness to fast for 40 days – to sharpen His spiritual focus for His Father’s mission:
THEN JESUS was led (guided) by the [Holy Spirit] into the wilderness (desert) to be tempted (tested and tried) by the devil. Mt. 4:1 AMP
And like Jesus, when we are Holy Spirit-filled by God to perform His unique mission for us, we too will come under attack from Satan – in the same manner as Christ was assaulted.
The devil first tried to tempt Jesus into sinning, by trying to convince Him to turn stones into bread in order to relieve His hunger, after having fasted.
This was the first part of his classic three-fold strategy. Satan was trying to entice Jesus (as he does us) into fulfilling the lust of the flesh. Jesus warded off the devil’s attack by speaking God’s words: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “ Mt. 4:4 NKJV
(In other words, we are to look to God to align with His will regarding things of the spirit first, then God will see that our appropriate physical needs are met as well. The strength that we need to stand tall in the face of the devil is found when we lean on God and do His bidding.)
Having failed at his first attempt, Satan took Jesus to the top of the of the temple in Jerusalem and told Him to prove that He is the Son of God by throwing Himself to fall to the ground because (the devil says) God’s word asserts that He will send His angels to keep Jesus from harm.
This is extremely important to see. The devil will even try to use the word of God against you by twisting its meaning or the context in which it was meant to be used. That is why it is so important to continually remain in God’s word, so that you know how to accurately apply it.
Jesus responds: “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’ “ Mt. 4:7 NASB
Christ is putting God’s word into laser focus for the devil to see that He is firmly rooted in God’s will. It is one thing to know what God says He will do, it is another thing to try to demand it of Him. Jesus is demonstrating for us the nature of Satan’s second plan of attack: to get one to submit to the sin of the ‘pride of life.’
Finally, the devil takes Jesus up to a high mountain and shows Him all of the kingdoms of man throughout history and he offers them to Him if He will worship him.
The first thing to notice is that the devil is saying that all of man’s kingdoms are his to give. That’s something to think about. It tells us that the devil is working behind the scenes of all the governments. Hmm…
Jesus answers: Begone, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. Mt. 4:10 AMP
We see then that God must come before all things in our lives. Jesus has just defeated the devil by using God’s word to thwart his third component of his spiritual attack strategy: the sin temptation to yield to the ‘lust of the eyes.’
So, Satan’s strategies against you are the same: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life; yet you can beat them all by standing with God.
The devil left Jesus at that time, but he would return. Stay tuned…
Goodnight and God bless.