One of the themes in the Bible is Satan working to destroy Jesus. Paul addresses this theme in Ephesians 6:11-12 when he says,
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
From the time that God condemned Satan for his deception with Eve in the Garden of Eden, Satan has worked to destroy the promise, the hope, existence, and the work of Jesus coming in human flesh for the remission of sin. When God cursed Satan in Genesis 3:14-15 for deceiving Eve, the evil campaign against salvation began.
Satan is the banished angel who attempted to rise above God and make himself exalted on the throne of the only true and living God.
How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High." Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. [Isaiah 14:12-15 NKJV]
Satan was God's supreme archangel who abode on the mountain of God before iniquity was found in him and he was cast to the earth to abide in the pit of hell (Sheol).
14"You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. 16 "By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. 17 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you. 18 "You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you. 19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror, And shall be no more forever." ' " [Ezekiel 28:14-19 NKJV]
Satan and his demons are fallen, banished enemies to the kingdom of God. At one time he was the prince and the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), walking about the earth seeking those he can devour, like a lion hunting for his prey (1Peter 5:8). As a banished enemy he takes people captive at his own will (2Timothy 2:26). He does this without authority just as a bandit would take captives and steal them away to destroy the works the kingdom they have sworn to overthrow.
The night before Jesus was to be crucified for the remission of sin, he told his disciples, "Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out" (John 12:31). Satan is no longer the ruler of this world, but now Jesus the Son of God, the Christ is the ruler of this world (John 16:11). Satan only remains the "god of this age" (2Cor 3:4) for those who are blinded by his deception and swayed by his stolen power over them, the sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2). But for us who trust in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we can know the truth: that Satan is no more than a bully that thugs over people who know no better and tries to cast fear over us who believe. Jesus Christ is now the Prince of this world (Acts 3:15; 5:31) because he has overcome the world (John 16:33). We overcome Satan's powers of darkness simply by resisting him (1Peter 5:9) and exposing his disobedience and trickery (Ephesians 5:11; 2Corinthians 10:4-5).
Satan's Ultimate Purpose is to Steal, Kill, and Destroy (John 10:10).
Satan does not want anyone to succeed, or anything to survive his goal to destroy everything in the kingdom of God. When people decide to live together and not get married; when husbands and wives argue and cheat on one another, in adultery; when children will not honor and obey their parents; when families continue to fall apart; when people live by what they can get or take; when brother continues to kill his brother; when local leaders and business people choose to not honor God in their lives and dealing; when government rules according to man's dictates instead of "What sayeth the Lord"; when nations want to rule over other nations; and when people refuse to join together in worship and praise of the Lord God in local churches, Satan will continue to thrive in his purpose to steal, kill, and destroy.
But if people come together in local churches; repent and turn back to the Lord God by following the leadership of the Holy Spirit; using the Word of God as our rule of faith and practice; using the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), the Gifts of the Spirit (1Corinthians 12:1-10), and the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-118) to sustain life in Christ Jesus, then Satan will be defeated and the glory of the Lord will dominate the earth.
Things Satan does to work against Jesus
When we think of Jesus coming to in the form of man, we think of his birth.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
[John 1:14 NKJV]
Most connect the manifestation of Jesus in human flesh was to fulfill the Father's will for Jesus to die on the cross for mankind's sin. While this is one of the reasons he came, it is not the only reason for God to manifest himself and dwell among us. The other reason is so that Jesus would destroy the works of Satan.
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. [1John 3:8 NKJV]
From the very beginning, when Satan conceived he would go against God (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-19), he has been the originator of sin. His works are a declaration of war against the kingdom of God. With all evil and hatred toward God, Satan has made many attempts to overcome the Creator.
He tried to destroy the works of Creation.
In the form of a serpent, Satan beguiles Eve to sin against God and partake of the forbidden fruit. Eve's act was the beginning of several condemnations that resulted from Eve not doing as the Lord had instructed both Adam and Eve. As God cursed mankind for their role in causing sin to corrupt the world, God also cursed the ground that is the earth (Genesis 3:17). From Satan's influence on mankind to sin, the earth is also under the bondage of corruption.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. [Rom 8:20-22 NKJV]
He tried to destroy the Human Race.
Satan tried to destroy the newly created universe by deceiving Eve that "Surely you shall not die" if you take of the fruit (Genesis 3:1-6).
Satan tried to have the population of the world destroyed by tempting man to become wicked with every imagination of evil (Genesis 6:5).
This originated from the devil who sinned from the beginning, leading people in the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), making them the sons of disobedience (Colossians 3:5-6).
Because the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23a) man would have to be completely destroyed (Genesis 6:7). God caused a great flood which destroyed all but eight people and the animals that were on the Ark (Genesis 7:23).
But thanks be to God, "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord" (Genesis 6:8), and so do we, ". . .but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23b).
He tried to destroy the Family of Righteousness.
Satan has always used evil in the hearts of man to carry out his agenda. He tried to use this evil as a means to keep the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 from taking place. The promise that Eve's seed would defeat the works of Satan could be stopped if the seed-family did not survive. Revelation 12:9 tells us that Satan is the devil, who deceives the whole world. Because the heart of man is evil continually (Genesis 6:5) without intervention from the Lord himself, it is easy for Satan to persuade evil to take place.
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. [James 1:14-15 NKJV]
Cain killed his brother Abel (Genesis 4:1-15).
Mankind becomes so corrupt God wanted to destroy everything (Genesis 6:6-7).
Jacob's sons sell Joseph as a slave (Genesis 37), but God used him to preserve nations (Genesis 50:20).
Pharaoh commanding all the Hebrew sons to be killed (Exodus 1:15-22).
Wars between the kings of Judah and Israel almost killed all the descendants of David (2Kings 9,10,11). Joash was preserved to continue the lineage (2Kings 11:1-3).
The Kings of Judah lose their nation and power (2Kings 25:1-2; 2Chronicles 36:15-21).
Haman's plot to have the Jews annihilated (Esther 3,4).
Herod orders the massacre of the children of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16-18).
He tried to destroy the nation of Israel.
God promised Abram He would make him into a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3). For this reason, Satan has moved against the existence of Abram's descendants in hopes to keep God's promise from taking place.
It started the sons of Jacob trying to do away with Joseph (Genesis 37), but God used him to preserve nations (Genesis 50:20).
Then by a new Pharaoh enslaving the growing Hebrew population (Exodus 1:8-12).
Pharaoh commanding all the Hebrew sons to be killed (Exodus 1:15-22).
The Children of Israel refused to go in and take the land (Exodus 13:28 - 14:4).
The many nations that tried to destroy Israel in wars (Books of Joshua, Judges, Kings, Chronicles).
The people reject God as their king and select Saul, a Benjamite, instead of someone in the line of Judah (1Samuel 8).
King Saul attempts to kill David (1Samuel 18:29; 19:1).
Rehoboam causes rebellion that divides the nation (1Kings 12:1-20).
Continued idolatry and turning from the statues of the Lord brings the two nations into bondage (1Kings 17:1-6; 25:1-8; Jeremiah 21:4; 32:30-31; 39:1-9).
Haman's plot to have the Jews annihilated (Esther 3,4).
God promised Israel would return (Jeremiah 31:1-14), and there would be a new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
He tried to destroy the works of Jesus.
It started with Herod's orders the massacre of the children of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16-18).
It continued with Satan trying to tempt Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13).
Peter trying to get Jesus to avoid going into Jerusalem and suffering unto death (Matthew 16:21-23).
The priests and leaders plotting to kill Jesus (Matthew 26:1-5).
Satan's hour to use the powers of darkness against Jesus (Luke 22:53).
Satan hoped death on the cross would have destroyed Jesus. Instead, it was what allowed Jesus to destroy the works of Satan (1John 3:8).
He tries to destroy the works of the Church.
Satan failed in all his attempts to destroy the work of God on the earth so he attacks the ones God has given authority to carry on his work, the church (Matthew 28:18-20).
Jesus foretold they would be hated for his namesake (Matthew 24:9).
Satan used the evil in people to bring persecutions upon the church by the Jews (Acts 6:41; 8:1-3; 21:1) and later the Romans under Nero and those who succeeded him as Emperor.
Satan causes deception of truth in the Word of God (Galatians 1:6-8; 3:1; 5:7-8; Colossians 2:8,20-22) hoping to destroy the church.
He causes people to not follow the movement of the Holy Spirit, which will kill a church. We are told to not grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) and to not quench the Holy Spirit (1Thessalonians 5:19).
Peter told the Jewish leaders that the Holy Spirit was given to those who obeyed Him (Acts 5:32). On the other hand, the Lord told the church of Ephesus to repent for leaving their first love, or He would come and remove their lampstand from its place (Revelations 2:5). The lampstand of a church is its light, which is the Holy Spirit. Without it, a church is dead, having no power. Jesus told the church at Sardis that they were already dead (Revelation 3:2-3). This means the Holy Spirit had already left them. Anytime a local church body goes against the move of the Holy Spirit, it can kill them as a church of Jesus Christ. At that point they become only a social group coming together as believers.
Things Satan does to work against Us
We do not need to be outwitted by Satan and his demonic powers. We can know his devices toward us.
. . .lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. [2Co 2:11 NKJV]
It is God's purpose to prepare us for all that He needs us to do. Part of that preparation requires that we can stand against the wiles of the devil and the workers of iniquity. It is called a good warfare in 1Timothy 1:18, and a good fight in 1Timothy 6:12. This preparation is a good warfare and fight because resisting against fire will refine the trial of our faith (1Peter 1:7). Because God can see beyond the battle lines, He knows the strategies of our enemy and He has given us revelation through the Word of God and by the testimony of the Holy Spirit, that through the Armor of God we can defeat all of Satan's devices.
Here are the things Satan does toward us with plans to destroy our faith, our lives, and our existence.
Satan is a liar and is the father of lies.
It is Satan's nature to lie because he is the one who created lying (John 8:44). In his consciousness he lied to himself, thinking he could ascend above God. He presented lies to Eve deceiving her that she would not die from eating the forbidden fruit. He lied to Jesus, claiming that he could give Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth. He continues to lie to everyone who will fall prey to anything that comes against the Word of God (2Corinthians 10:5). People truly believe the lies of Satan when they accept that they can live outside of marriage by living together; by thinking they were born with homosexual tendencies; by thinking they can do what they want and it does not matter. These are all lies, and they come from the father of lies, the devil, Satan Lucifer.
Satan binds the minds of unbelievers.
2Corinthians 4:4 tells us, "The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ." Satan not only speaks lies, but he also works to hide the truth of God's word, hoping that no one will ever know the true gospel of Jesus Christ. This is why there are so many deluded concepts about faith or if there is even a true god or not. It is easier to accept a lie than it is to trust in truth, because truth, when it is first presented to you, does not balance in your mind until it is proven to be true. So people trust in the lie first. This is why Satan can take you at his will and you may not even know it. By causing so much misunderstanding about who God is or if there is a god at all, keeps the truth hidden. This is why the weapons of our warfare are mighty in God, so we can pull down anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2Corinthians 10:4-5). Satan has difficulty hiding the facts and proofs about the gospel, so he works to hide its preciousness by causing persecutions and accusations, trying to make people think they are not capable of subduing and maintaining salvation.
Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and righteousness.
Paul gives much warning to the churches that many will come as false apostles, false prophets and teachers, trying to deceive people to follow their false doctrines (Acts 20:30; 1Corinthians 4:14; 2Corinthians 11:13; Colossians 1:28; 1Thessalonians 5:14). Even Jesus warned about many coming to deceive (Matthew 24:5). Paul warns Timothy that these are preachers of deceiving spirits that teach doctrines of devils (1Timothy 4:1). Paul remarks to the Corinthians that Satan transforms himself into an angel of light and that his ministers transform themselves into ministers of righteousness (2Corinthians 11:14-15), so that they may pull people away with their deceiving ways. Jesus called these wolves in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15). Acts 20:30 says they will not spare the flock but draw people away to their own destruction. This is why we are to try the spirit to know if they are of God or not (1John 4:1).
Satan does do works of signs and wonders.
In his deception, Satan will do works that simulate the works of Christ. Jesus said a time will come when false christs and false prophets will rise up to show great signs and wonders to deceive even the very elect in Christ (Matthew 24:24).
Satan temps people to sin.
James 1:14 teaches us that people are tempted when they are drawn away by their own desires and enticed. Satan will use our desires and enticements to draw us into sin because when sin has fully grown it becomes death. The same method the devil used in the Garden of Eden with Eve, he uses on people to twist the truth and tempts people to sin. Satan tempts us using our weakness, not our strengths. Eve was weak to how the fruit looked and wanted to taste it. Judas Iscariot was tempted with money as he took thirty pieces of silver from the high priest for betraying Jesus. He tried to tempt Jesus to sin in the wilderness after his baptism by John the Baptist. Jesus said that Satan has nothing in Him (John 14:30), indicating that the devil has nothing that can tempt Jesus to sin, nor does the devil have any spiritual goodness that can corrupt what we have in Christ. Jesus did say we "would have tribulation in this world, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world," and we can too.
Satan works to remove the Word of Truth from our heart, hoping to choke our faith.
In the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-20), when the seed of the word of God is sown, several things keep the word of God from growing. Verse 15 explains that Satan comes and immediately takes away the word that was sown in the hearts of those who heard it. This is why we must keep guard over our heart.
My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring]the issues of life. [Pro 4:20-23 NKJV]
Satan snatches the word from those who are not careful to keep guard over what they hear because he hates the faith that is produced from the word (Romans 10:17).
Satan causes sickness and disease.
God created our bodies to generate its own healing abilities naturally. This is why injuries to our body will heal itself in time. When the injuries or sickness is too severe it takes knowledge and medicine to correct these things. We use the wisdom God gives in the medical field to heal our bodies. We also have the power given to us through the Holy Spirit to bring healing when we speak healing into the sick or injured. Romans 8:11 teaches us that the Holy Spirit in us "will give life to your mortal bodies". With all these factors available for our good health, why do we still get sick or have diseases? Some sickness and disease are due to us not taking care of our bodies. Smoking, drinking, and bad food choices will destroy your body and even cause death. But Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He works to use every means possible that we get sick, and stay sick, or injured. In Luke 13:10-17, Jesus is teaching in a synagogue as a woman was brought to him with an infirmity she had for eighteen years. Jesus said it was because Satan had bound her (v.16). When Jesus healed the epileptic boy in Matthew 17:14-18, He rebuked the demon that held him captive in epilepsy. In Acts 10:38 Peter tells that Jesus went about healing all who were oppressed by the devil. This is how we know that Satan will use disease and sickness to destroy people.
Satan is a murder.
Jesus said in John 8:44 that the devil was a murderer from the beginning. In John 10:10 Satan is compared to the thief and he comes to kill. Satan desires that we are all dead so that we cannot accept Jesus by faith, and so that the message of Jesus Christ never gets out.
Satan works against our plans for ministry and good works.
In 1Thessalonians 2:17-18 Paul explains their great desire to see them face to face. He adds in that Satan hindered them from coming. Satan works against our plans to do good works for the kingdom of God. He works against us in the natural realm because Jesus stripped him of powers he had in the spiritual realm when Jesus went into the lower parts of the earth (Ephesians 4:8), and become triumphant over sin and death. Satan works to destroy our plans with poverty, sickness, hunger, mechanical and technical malfunctions, and even death when he can carry it out. This is why we have the spiritual tools of the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22); the Gifts of the Spirit (1Corinthians 12:1-10); and the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), to overcome and guard ourselves against the devil's plans and strategies.
Satan accuses us before God.
In Revelation 12:10 Satan is called "the accuser of our brothers. . .who has accuses them day and night before our God". Satan has always gone before God to make accusations against those who believe. He did in the days of Job (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6) and he continues to do so today. Satan will accuse us of anything he thinks shows us to be weak or wrong. If you think the accuser could have any validity before God because your sins are so much, we have Jesus making intercession for us before God (Hebrews 7:25), and for those who walk in the light. Jesus speaks the word of God in our defense that His blood cleanses us from all sin (1John 1:7).
Why Didn't God Just Destroy Satan?
The obvious question is, "Why didn't God just destroy Satan the and demons that rebelled instead of waiting until the end of times mentioned in the book of Revelation?"
You would think it would have been easy for God to destroy them and all this would have never taken place.
The answer: God did make a plan and that plan is moving toward their destruction.
God first sent Jesus to destroy the works of Satan (Hebrews 2;14).
Now God uses those who believe to carry out His plans until the times of the book of Revelation.
If an enemy is to be punished for their crimes, is it better to destroy them so they go out of existence or is it more harmful to the enemy to strip them of all their authority and power, and subject them to an extended time of being under the authority of something more inferior? Since they were stripped of their power by Jesus Christ, the devil and all demonic beings are subject to the authority we have been given in Christ Jesus, until the day God does destroy them all in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10, 13).
We who believe are now the devil's adversary with authority to keep him subdued under the name of Jesus Christ. We wrestle against principalities, evil powers, and rulers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12) with power from being baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is one of the reasons it is God's will for us to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:17-18), so we use the Holy Spirit power to overcome the devil and his ways.
Satan knows things, but not all things, because he is not omniscient. Satan can move to and fro upon the earth, but he is not omnipresent. He must use principalities, evil powers, rulers of darkness, and demons to carry out evil concepts because he cannot be in more than one place at the same time.
Satan does know that his days are limited because he is the angel of perdition (Revelation 17:8,11). Perdition means damnable, appointed destruction or time to die. Peter refers to perdition as being for those reserved for fire and judgment of the ungodly (2Peter 3:7). Jesus referred to Judas Iscariot as being the son of perdition when he was praying to the Father in the garden (John 17:12). He was referring that Judas was the son of the one who is appointed to destruction, which is Satan. God does have a plan for destroying Satan and he is working toward the completion of that plan. If God would have simply destroyed Satan from the beginning there would have been no victory for us who chose to live in faith and not be subject to the lures of sin. Satan can and does tempt us through our weakness, but when we chose to live in the faith and the gifts presented to us through Jesus Christ, there is no power or influence Satan has over us any longer.
The best way to defeat an enemy is not by locking him up or cutting off his head. The best way to defeat an enemy is to turn his people away from his influence and choose another king to place their love and commitment to. This is why Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your strength, and all your mind" (Matthew 22:37). In so doing, you stop being one of the sons of disobedience and become a son of the Most High God.
How We Defeat Satan
James says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you!” (James 4:7). He also says to submit and draw near to God (James 4:7,8). We defeat and conquer the ways of Satan by the "blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony" (Revelation 12:11). When we embrace the triumph of Christ; when we speak about the truth of His blood; and we speak these truths in faith, we are sharing the "word of our testimony".
Use the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
The Armor of God is more than seven metaphors that tingle our spiritual senses when we fear something is attacking us. The Armor of God is the weapon of choice for us who believe; that we can attack the evil works of the devil and his hordes of demons with purpose and power. We attack offensively and defensively, striking our enemy with accurate blows that defeats the advances of evil and commands surrender to the those who would attempt to do anything against the truth of God's word. The Armor of God protects the promises of God and maintains the earnest faith that God has given us a way to overcome in life's battles. We do not have to allow Satan or demons the right to bombard the peace and joy Christ gives us in life. We do not have to give in to the attacks of sickness, poverty, misunderstanding, confusion, despair, and hopelessness. We can overcome through the powers given to us in Christ Jesus and use the Armor of God to maintain our good and happy lifestyles. We do not have to take it anymore.
We speak in TRUTH as we live RIGHTEOUSLY in the power of God, preaching the GOSPEL OF PEACE in FAITH; showing that we have SALVATION through Jesus Christ. The WORD OF THE SPIRIT testifies to us and others that we are the sons of God, as we PRAY IN THE SPIRIT keeping Satan and the powers of darkness from knowing what we pray. Then our prayers are manifested in the power of the Spirit as a continual testimony that we are saved and walk in the Spirit. This is how we live out the Armor of God and defeat Satan against the evil day.
Satan WILL NOT Win!
Though Satan is crafty with his strategies, his cleverness with never surpass the things God has for those who believe. Jesus came that He would destroy the works of the devil (1John 3:8), which He has done through his death on the cross, and the power of His resurrection (Hebrews 2:14). Jesus disarmed the devil, taking away his abilities (Colossians 2:15) and stripping him from being the prince and the power of the air. Now Jesus is the name above all names (Philippines 2:9-11), whether in heaven, on the earth, or under the earth. We can overcome Satan by resisting him and drawing near to God (James 4:7-8) and putting on the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:11). In the end, Satan will be cast into the lake of fire with death and hell (Revelation 20:10), and we who believe will live with the Lord in peace and harmony on the new earth (Revelation 22:1-5).