Beloved, be awake, and keep awake; be always watchful; never be off your guard.
HYMN: CHRISTIAN, SEEK NOT YET REPOSE
TEXT: John 8:44, Matt. 4:1-11
The devil is a real and very dangerous enemy. He is a created spirit being. The devil’s primary work is deception and in doing this, he has his own synagogue (Rev. 2:9), gospel (Gal. 1:6-9), ministers (2 Cor 11:14-15), and communion table (1 Cor 10:20-21). For us not to fall prey into the devil’s net, this study will review the person of the devil, his devices (strategies) and how to handle him.
The objectives of this study are:
- To understand who the devil is.
- To review the devil’s strategies/devices.
- To understand Scriptural ways of handling the devil.
- To know the consequences of not handling the devil.
Q1. WHO IS THE DEVIL?
Isa. 14:12-15, Ez. 28:12-19, Rev. 12:9, 2 Cor. 2:11
The devil is a spirit by creation, and angel of light and an immediate attendant upon God’s throne, but by sin became an apostate (an irretrievable enemy of God) from his first state and a rebel against God’s crown and dignity. Multitudes of the angels fell, but this that attacked our first parents (Adam and Eve) was surely the prince of the devils, the ringleader in the rebellion: no sooner was he a sinner than he was a Satan, no sooner a traitor than a tempter, as one enraged against God and His glory, and envious of man and his happiness. He knew he could not destroy man but by debauching him. Balaam could not curse Israel, but he could tempt Israel (rev. 2:14). The game therefore which Satan had to play was to draw our first parents to sin, and so to induce separation between them and their God. Thus, the devil was, from the beginning a murderer, and the great mischief-maker. The whole race of mankind had here, as it were, but one neck (ancestry), and that Satan struck. As a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8), Satan tempts under three forms:
The subtle serpent: to beguile our senses, prevent our judgements, enchant our imagination,
As an angel of light: to deceive us with false views of spiritual things, refinements in religion, and presumption on the providence and grace of God.
As a roaring lion: to bear us down and destroy us by violent opposition, persecution, and death. The adversary and enemy is that wicked one.
Q2. WHAT ARE THE DEVICES/STRATEGIES THE DEVIL USES IN DEBAUCHING MAN?
- Deception: The major device the devil uses, is deception. He tends to counterfeit all the good ways and precepts God had given to man. Deception is the use of deceit, trickery etc. to make someone or group of persons stray from their original beliefs, focus and plans (Eph. 6:10-11). He is wily. This means that he prepares scenarios and plans with the sole purpose of deceiving you and capturing you. Sometimes it seems hard to believe how far he can go to achieve his purposes. He will use everyone that will give him access, even your parents, or anyone within his reach.
- Fear/Shame: Again, the devil imposes fear/shame on sinners thereby preventing them from obeying altar calls. We have heard testimonies of how he threatens his servants with death, if they renounce their membership. He uses that to deprive them from coming to Christ.
- Discord-seed sower: (Prov. 6:14-19): Satan accuses the brethren before God, he also accuses God before the brethren; thus, he sows seeds of discord, and he is the father of those that do so. He understands the power of unity and fellowship/communion within the household of faith so he strives to create disunity/discord.
- Persuasion in solitude to satisfy the desires of the flesh: (Gen. 3:1-6, 39:7-11, Matt 4: 1-11). In the garden the person tempted was the woman, alone, and at a distance from her husband but near the forbidden tree. It was the devil’s subtlety to assault the weaker vessel with his temptations. Though perfect in her kind, yet we may suppose her inferior to Adam in knowledge, strength and presence of mind. Some think Eve received the command, not immediately from God, but at second hand by her husband, and therefore might be more easily persuaded to discredit it.
It was his policy to enter into discourse with her when she was alone. Had she kept close to the side out of which she was lately taken, she would not have been so much exposed. There are many temptations, to which solitude gives great advantage; but the communion of saints contributes much to their strength and safety. He took advantage by finding her near the forbidden tree, and probably gazing upon the fruit of it, only to satisfy her curiosity. Those that would not eat the forbidden fruit must not come near the forbidden tree. Avoid it, pass not by it (Prov. 4:15). Satan tempted Eve, that by her he might tempt Adam; so, he tempted Job by his wife, and Christ by Peter. It is his policy to send temptations by unsuspected hands, and theirs that have the most interest in us and influence upon us.
Q3. ENUMERATE SCRIPTURAL WAYS TO HANDLE THE DEVIL AND HIS TRICKS.
Eph 6:11-18, Rom 12:1-2, 2 Cor 10:3-5
- Be alert and Not Asleep.
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”. According to this verse, the devil is your adversary. This means that the devil is not someone that is in coalition with you. In contrast, he is someone that fights against you. He is an enemy to you. The Word also says that he “walks about like a roaring lion”. In other words, he is not a “sleeping” enemy. It also tells us that the reason that he is active is very evil since what he seeks is “whom he may devour”. It is because of this evil that the Word of God instructs us to be sober and vigilant i.e. to be alert and not sleep.
- Be strong in the Lord.
Ephesians 6:10-11 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God (having your loins girded about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, take the shield of faith, take the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, praying always in the spirit), that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”.
- You carry God inside.
1 John 4:4 says “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because “HE WHO IS IN YOU IS GREATER THAN HE WHO IS IN THE WORLD”. God is greater than the devil. That’s why God promises in His Word a victorious life in this world.
Q4. CONSEQUENCES OF NOT HANDLING THE DEVIL.
The consequences of not handling the devil are
spiritual blindness and a prey to the devil. Let the class highlight other consequences.
DAILY LIVING APPLICATION
Satan, the accuser of the brethren before God, also accuses God before the brethren; thus, he sows discord, and is the father of those that do so. It was a dangerous snare to our first parents, as it tended to alienate their affections from God, and so to withdraw them from their allegiance to Him. The devil draws people into his interest by suggesting to them hard thoughts of God, and false hopes of benefit and advantage by sin. Let us therefore, in opposition to him, always think well of God as the best good, and think ill of sin as the worst of evils: thus, let us resist the devil and he will flee from us (James 4:7). God will always lead you in triumph, as you look to him in His word.
1 Peter 5:8
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”.
DAILY DEVOTIONAL GUIDE
Monday: Know your Enemy.
Isa. 14:12-15, Ez. 28:12-19
Tuesday: Be not ignorant of his devices.
2 Cor. 4:4, 1 Pet. 5:8, Prov. 6:14-19
Wednesday: Reflect on
2 Cor. 10:3-5
Thursday: Be strong in the Lord
Friday: Take the whole armor of God.
Saturday: The greater One is in you.
1 John 4:4