Torrey - Satan - 1.03- Satan's Power, Character

Satan - 03- His Power

III. SATAN'S POWER. Ephesians 6:11-12 RV — "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

First Proposition: The devil has far greater power than men — flesh and blood.

He has under him beings so great in power and dignity as to be spoken of as "the principalities, the powers, the world-rulers, spiritual hosts (spiritual beings) of wickedness in the heavenly places." The conflict we have on hand is terrific. Let us not underestimate it. Luke 11:14-18 — "And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb.

And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say, that I cast out devils through Beelzebub."

Second Proposition: Satan is king over the realm of demons. Daniel 10:5-6, 12-13 — "Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude .... Then said he unto me, fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia."

Third Proposition: The devil, or one of his subordinates, has power to resist and retard a glorious angel many days. Acts 26:18 — "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."

Fourth Proposition: The whole mass of unsaved men are in Satan's power. 1 John 5:19 RV — We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one."

Fifth Proposition: The whole world — i.e., all of humanity, except those who have been called out, the Church — dwell in the evil one.

They rest supinely in his embrace. Job 1:10-12 — "Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord."

Sixth Proposition: Satan can exert his vast power only as far as Jehovah allows him to do so.

Satan - 04- His Cunning

IV. SATAN'S CUNNING. 2 Corinthians 2:11 — "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."

First Proposition: The devil has many subtle devices. Ephesians 6:11-12 RV — "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

Second Proposition: The devil has so many and such cunning wiles that we need to put on the whole armor of God to stand against them.

The devil doubtless gets the mastery of many through his wiles and devices, that he could not overcome by an open exercise of his power. We have an illustration of his wiles in the temptation of Eve and of Christ. The "old serpent" is more dangerous than the "roaring lion." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 RV — "Even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that are perishing: because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."

Third Proposition: Satan displays such power, signs, and wonders of falsehood so as to utterly deceive those who do not receive the love of the truth. (Compare to Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.") Some have said, "The devil is God's ape," i.e., he imitates God's work. 2 Corinthians 11:14 "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."

Fourth Proposition: Satan can fashion himself into an angel of light.

The devil is never more dangerous than when he gets into the pulpit or the theological chair and pretends to teach Christianity, when in reality he is corrupting it; pretends to teach Christian evidences, when in reality he is undermining the foundations of faith; pretends to teach biblical introduction, when in reality be is casting the Bible as a book unworthy of being introduced. Look out for him; this is when he is at his most dangerous work. There was never a science more godless and subversive of true Christian faith than that which Satan is now exploiting under the pseudonym, "Christian Science." Happy is the person who is not ignorant and realizes that the devil frequently masquerades as an angel of light.

V. SATAN'S WICKEDNESS. 1 John 5:19 RV — "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one." Matthew 5:37 RV — "But let your speech be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: and whatsoever is more than these is of the evil one." Matthew 6:13 RV — "And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."

First Proposition: The devil is the evil one.

He is the embodiment of evil and the source of it in others. 1 John 3:8 — "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."

Second Proposition: The devil sinned from the beginning.

QUESTION: What beginning is referred to here? Does this mean that the devil sinned from the very origin of all things and that he was created sinful?

ANSWER: We will see later that Ezekiel 28:15 refers to Satan, and that the devil was created upright. The verse means, then, that Satan is the original sinner. The expression "from the beginning" is characteristic of this epistle, and does not necessarily mean from the origin of things. (See, for example, verse 11.) John 8:44 — "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do: he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar and the father of it."

Third Proposition: The devil was a murderer from the beginning. He is a liar and the father of it. There is absolutely no truth in him. 2 Corinthians 4:4 RV — "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them."

Fourth Proposition: The devil blinds the minds of men so that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ may not dawn upon them.

What enormous, incredible malignity that is! Luke 8:12 — "Those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved."

Fifth Proposition: The devil comes and takes away the saving word of God out of the hearts of men where it has been sown, in order to keep them from believing and being saved.

VI. HIS COWARDICE. James 4:7 — "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Proposition: When the devil is resisted he flees.