Prophecy – Part 92 – Satan’s Activities Today, The Future and His Defeat

We have seen God’s sentence of Satan and its effect on Satan as He attempts to defeat God; He is using everything at his disposal.  Today, Satan is doing all he can WITHIN THE LIMITS OF GOD’S permissive decree to accomplish his own will, not God’s.

FACT:  Satan is doing all he can within the limits of God’s permissive decree to oppose saved people and to hinder the LORD’S work of building His Church (Ephesians 6:10-12).

“And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I build my church; and the GATES OF HELL shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18, emphasis added).

We can rest assured that Satan will not stop the church and its special mission to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Perhaps it would help to define the church at this point, for a lot of people from time to time ask, “What is the Church (ekklesia)?”

NOTE: The word means to call out a gathering, an assembly.  In the Greek there is no spiritual significance ascribed to the word itself.  An example is the town meeting in Ephesus which was “called out” (ekklesia).  It was only an official city-wide meeting (Acts 19:32, 39, 41).

What is the difference then between such secular gatherings and the church of God?

It is God who calls together and gathers His church.   His church is the body of people “called out” from the world by Him.  They are His body of people, a people sanctified or set apart by Him to form the church of the living God.

  1. God dwells within the very presence of believers when they gather together (I Corinthians 3:16-17).
  2. God meets together with His people for two purposes – worship and mission. God is the object of worship and His mission becomes the objective of the church.
  3. Therefore, God’s church, the local assembly, gathers together to worship and to pool its resources in order to carry out the mission of God Himself. It should be noted that this is the first mention of the church in the New Testament (see Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:20; 4:4-6).

Peter’s confession assigned great responsibility to believers for the church.  The steward of the house is given the keys or the responsibility for the house.  The steward has responsibility to close (bind) and to open (loose) THE HOUSE.  The key is the Gospel, the message of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  It is the business of the steward (Christian) to proclaim and teach the Gospel.  By proclaiming and teaching, the Christian opens the door; by not proclaiming and not teaching, he shuts the door.

Note:  The keys are not the keys to the church but to the Kingdom of Heaven.  It is entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven that is the point.  Peter was the first man to preach the gospel and open the door to Israel at Pentecost (Acts 2:38-42) and to the Gentiles at the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:3-48).

Note:  Peter claimed no power or authority beyond preaching the gospel and opening the door to unbelievers  (Acts 15:7-11).  His epistles, I and II Peter, say nothing whatsoever about man acting in God’s behalf and determining who will and who will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Only God will determine who lives and who does not live in His presence.

There is also this additional evidence:  Peter claimed nothing more for himself than what other men claimed – to be gifted by God as an apostle (I Peter 1:1) and an elder (I Peter 5:1).  This fact is clearly seen in his subservience to James.  James presided over the Jerusalem Council, NOT Peter.
FACT:  Satan cannot stand to see his previous subjects serving the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Church, and bearing witness to the Gospel and its truth.  Satan, it seems, cannot understand or accept that he is defeated and that God’s sentence will be carried out and he will end up in the eternal lake of fire.

We have seen how untiringly Satan seeks to stop God’s work and to render the lives of Christians ineffective – I Peter 5:8-9.  However, we also have seem how faithful the Lord is in protecting His people from the evil one [Satan] (2 Thessalonians 3:3; I Corinthians 10:13.

Let’s consider the future as we look at the middle of the coming Tribulation Age; Satan and his angels (demons) will be confined to earth (Revelation 12:7-10; Isaiah 14:12-17).  Realizing that his time is short, the Devil will again attempt to destroy Israel (Revelation 12:13-17; Jeremiah 30:6-7), for Satan knows that the Lord will not return until the elect remnant of Israel repents and turns to the Savior (Deuteronomy 30:2-3).

Satan will attempt to do this to destroy Israel through his human agent, (the Antichrist), “beast out of the sea,” by whom he will rule the earth and will persecute God’s people (Revelation 13:1-8; Daniel 7:21, 25).  Satan will not succeed in this endeavor, for God will preserve His elect people (Revelation 12:14-16) and will bring them to repentance (Hosea 3:4-5; 5:14-6:3).

FACT:  The Lord Jesus will return to earth in power and great glory (Matthew 24:29-30; Revelation 19:11-16).  The Devil’s human confederates will be destroyed in the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21), and he himself and his evil angels will be cast into the Abyss for a thousand years (Revelation 20:7-9).

At the close of the Lord’s millennial rule over the earth, the Devil will be released from the Abyss to lead a final revolt of the unsaved earth dwellers against King Jesus at Jerusalem (Revelation 20:7-9).  But the human rebels will be killed by divine fire and Satan will be cast into the lake of fire (v. 10), where and his allies will remain forever (Matthew 25:46).    Now let’s think about some specific areas of Satan’s defeat.

Satan’s defeat by Jesus

With His incarnation, the Lord Jesus came to earth as the Last Adam (I Corinthians 15:45), with the title to everything.

However, He could not claim His inheritance until He had defeated Satan in the arena where the first Adam had lost his authority to the Devil.  Also, before He could evict the usurper, the Lord Jesus had to bring the adversary to justice (John 16:11) by confirming the justice of the divine sentence against Satan.  He also had to defeat the adversary’s personal attacks against Him and break his power of death by His own death and resurrection.  Needless to say, the Devil did everything he could to destroy Jesus.

Satan’s defeat at Jesus’ first coming

  • At His first coming, the Lord Jesus broke Satan’s lethal power.  By His obedience to the Father, Jesus defeated Satan during His pre-ministry years in Nazareth (Matthew 3:17).
  • At the beginning of His messianic work, the Lord Jesus was victorious over Satan’s temptations to abandon His mission (Matthew 4:1-10).
  • He also defeated Satan throughout His public ministry when the adversary approached Him through His enemies who sought His life (Luke 4:28-29; John 7:30, 44; 10:31, 39; Matthew 22).
  • Also Jesus defeated Satan when His friends through sentimental urges tried to get Him to avoid the Cross; He did not (Matthew 16:22-23).
  • When Satan tried to kill Jesus in Gethsemane (Mathew 26:36-39), the Lord declared His commitment to the Father’s will and was divinely preserved (Luke 22:42-43).
  • The Lord was victorious over the adversary:
  1. In His trials and at the Cross.
  2. In committing Himself to the Father and His will (Matthew 26:42-44; I Peter 2:23).
  3. By submitting himself to the abuses of His enemies (John 18:4-11; Matthew 26:51-68; 27:26-31).
  4. He did not sinfully respond with hostile acts and retaliatory threats (Matthew 26:63-64; I Peter 2:22-23).
  5. He also gave Himself to crucifixion (Luke 23:33-34), the most humiliating of all executions.
  6. NOTE: These anguishing experiences revealed the hatred of Satan and of unsaved people against God and the Lord Jesus (John 3:17-20).
  7. What Satan and the world did to Jesus was self-incriminating. It confirmed the justice of their divine condemnation (John 12:31; 16:11).

The Lord Jesus decisively defeated Satan by breaking his lethal power, uniquely laying down His life in death (John 10:18).

  • Jesus invaded the Devil’s domain, yielded to death’s power, and snapped the bond of death and Satan by His resurrection (Hebrews 2:14-15).
  • Death could not hold Jesus, for it had no claim to Him (Acts 2:22-24).  Why?  Because of His sinlessness (Romans 6:23; I Peter 2:22; I John 3:5).
  • Today, the risen Lord Jesus has authority over death and hades, the place where dead unsaved people and imprisoned evil angels are detained (Revelation 1:18), as well over all angels, both holy and evil (Ephesians 1:20-21; I Peter 3:22).

Now let’s consider:

SATAN’S DEFEAT AT JESUS’ SECOND COMING

At His second coming, the Lord Jesus will break Satan’s earthly political power.  Because of His previous victories over Satan and His subsequent exaltation, together with the repentance of the elect remnant of Israel at the close of the Tribulation Age (Deuteronomy 30:2-3), the Lord Jesus will triumphantly return to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16).

  • Jesus will deal with His human enemies in the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:17-21) and Jesus will confine Satan and his demons to Hades (20:1-3).
  • The Lord will then establish a new political world order, based on the inheritance and mandate that He received from the Father (Psalm 2:8-9; John 3:35).
  • The Lord’s worldwide reign will continue for one thousand years (Revelation 20:1-7; Psalm 2:7-9; 72:8-11; Matthew 11:27; 28:18).
  • As the Father’s anointed Slave and the Last Adam, He will do what the first Adam failed to do— subdue and rule the earth for God’s glory (Hebrews 2:5-9).
  • The millennial kingdom will close with Satan’s release from hades and his leading earth dwellers in a final revolt against King Jesus (Revelation 20:2-9).
  • These rebels will be consumed, and Satan will be crushed and cast into the lake of fire where he will remain forever (Revelation 20:10; Matthew 25:41).
  • Through the Lord Jesus, the chosen Anointed One (Isaiah 42:1-4), God the Father will have gloriously triumphed, not only in putting away the enemy forever but also in accomplishing the divine purpose for the Devil’s existence and his wicked deeds (Romans 9:22; Revelation 11:15-18).

NOTE:  We who are saved can look forward to this triumphant event (Romans 16:20).  God will accomplish His purpose, too, for man’s rule over the earth in the administration of the Lord Jesus – the last Adam, the Second Man (I Corinthians 15:45, 47).

SATAN’S DEFEAT IN THE LIVES OF SAVED PEOPLE

Although he has been defeated by the Lord Jesus Christ in every contest thus far, the Devil is still very active in his (8) warfare against his former earthly subjects, the Lord’s people “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” (Colossians 1:13, KJV).

However, we who are saved can have occasions of victory over this adversary as we prepare for and take those steps that lead us to victory.  If we fail to do our part, we shall be temporarily defeated by the adversary.  God can only give us victory in our skirmishes with the Devil as we look to Him to help us (James 4:7).

Happily, these defeats do not determine the outcome of the campaign, although they do hinder our testimony and hinder our spiritual progress.  One day when He completes the church, the Lord will remove His people from the scene of this spiritual warfare (Gal. 1:4; I Thess. 4:13-18).

To experience victory over this enemy, we must prepare for his attacks and take those steps that lead to victory when he does attack.  Also, we must ALWAYS be alert for his attack.

APPLICATION/CHALLENGE: 

Review the message and select one area to challenge your life with.  Write it down and think about it for one week.

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ [God’s Son] as your personal Savior consider the following:

John 3:16 – Romans 6:23 – Romans 10:9-13

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