1. The Enemy - His Profile
page describes the enemy as detailed in the Bible. Before
we can fight, we need to understand just who it is we are fighting against.
This study starts us off in understanding just who our enemy is.
Angels, Spirits or Demons
of all we note that there are spirit beings, other than God Himself,
and we need to remember that HE made them all.
term designates a role rather than an entity, a messenger.
are created beings (created by God) Psa 148:2,5
largely exist in heaven Psa 148:2 / Gen 22:11
they appear on earth Gen 16:7 / Num 22:22
are spirits who serve God's purposes Heb 1:14 / Mt 26:53 / 2 Kings
and the angels that followed him, rebelled and were cast out of heaven
and therefore operate from the earth. (These we call fallen angels
or demons) Rev 12:7-9
term designates the nature of the being.
angelic beings in unseen form carrying out hidden activity 1 Kings
linked with an adjective to describe nature: Mark 1:26
evil spirit / Mark 9:25
evil spirit / deaf and mute spirit.
fallen angels (Rev 12:4) they are called evil spirits or demons
/ Lk 4:33
simply linked to an effect, obviously caused by them Matt 9:32,33
9:17,18 / Lk 13:11
need to understand that in Scripture there is a distinction made between
those who are afflicted because they are demonised and those who are
simply sick. Mt 8:16
/ Mt 10:1 / Mt 10:8
are spirit beings.
angels are referred to as evil spirits or demons.
have power over unbelievers as they are allowed it.
opposed them and delivered people from them.
consider more about them further on in the study after we have considered
the chief of demons, Satan.
to as Satan or the devil, but has various other names.
names also give an indication of his activities.
1:6 / Zech 3:1 / 2 Cor 11:14 - Satan
4:3 - The tempter
8:44 - the devil ..... a murderer ..... the father of lies.
“tempter” he seeks to lead people astray
“the devil” he is the leading demon
“the serpent” he deceived and was a liar, seeking to kill (a murderer)
a deceiver he comes in disguise to lead astray
- Rev 12:9
The great dragon ... that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan
also comes as a “dragon” or “lion”, indicating his intent to create
2:2 - the ruler of the kingdom of the air
14:30 / Jn 16:11 - the prince of this world
acknowledged that he was a ruler
So that we do not get over-awed by him,
we need to know:
is merely one of God's created beings.
can only to go as far as God permits. See Job 1 & 2.
end is decreed by God Rev 20:10
is used by God (see Section 5 below).
The Demonic Beings
have seen already they are created beings, created by God.
need to remember constantly that they are mere created beings and
are in no way to be compared to God in power.
appear to be organised into a hierarchy that holds sway over different
geographical areas - Dan 10:12,13 / Eph 6:12
higher demonic authorities would appear to hold sway over unbelieving
and godless countries, areas, towns etc. until either God moves in
sovereign reviving power, or the church in that area/town comes in
repentance and prayer to release it under the guidance of the Holy
there appear to be “princes” who rule over areas (as permitted by
God because of the rebellion and unbelief of that area), at the lower
levels of the demonic hierarchy are the individual evil spirits or
demons who the individual comes against.
would appear that God does not let the powerful princes come against
the individual; they appear restricted to warfare with other angelic
contact appears, therefore, to be limited to dealing with individual
spirits who seems to be identified simply by their activity, e.g.
1 Kings 22:22 - See above / Lk 13:11
we'll look at their activity more fully in the next Part, we'll simply
note here that in respect of Christians, the agents of Satan only appear
to have opportunity to attack where there is ungodliness and unrighteousness
in a person.
are seen in Scripture as beings USED BY God for various purposes, e.g.
to bring judgement
22-24 God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of
Shechem, God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal's seventy
sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother
Abimelech and on the citizens of Shechem
to deceive, to judge
kings 22:19-23 - see above
Sam 16:14 Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an
evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.
These are similar to the way God
uses Satan (see later)
In our opposing the enemy we:
can resist Satan
4:7 When we submit to God we can then resist the devil, and he will
can cast out demons
Jesus did Mk 1:25,26 / Jn 14:12
cannot oppose powers and principalities unless expressly led by the
Holy Spirit under rare circumstances when he imparts authority.
There is no example in Scripture of anyone coming against powers and
principalities. Although we “struggle” against them (Eph 6:12), virtually
all that Paul says in the verses following is defensive, about holding
your God-given ground.
and his demons are angelic beings, created by God, and although permitted
apparently to wage warfare against the world, they are used for disciplinary
or judgement purposes in His dealing with the world.
are told to resist and oppose them and God has given us the means
“in Christ” to deal with them. Because they are ultimately under His
authority, it is only as we are led by Him that we receive His authority
to deal with them.
Christians we are to understand who they are, the extent of their
activities, their place in God's purposes and, above all, their limitations
before Almighty God who created them.
Why God Permits Satan
We can benefit from understanding the following reasons
why God allows Satan's activities on earth:
To reveal men's hearts
Chron 21:1 Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take
a census of Israel - he was to reveal David's underlying sin of pride
- in the parallel verses (2 Sam 24:1) it is seen as God who
was behind it (to deal with the sin)
To bring judgement on unbelievers
9:11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name
in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon. (both names mean “Destroyer”)
To bring discipline to believers
Cor 5:5 By putting this sinful believer out of the church's protection,
it enabled Satan to come against him and humble him and bring him
To subjugate unbelievers
Jn 5:19b The whole world is under the control of the evil one
is allowed to rule where there is unconfessed sin, i.e. over unbelievers
To maintain humility in our lives
of the key things God does with his children is to seek to develop
character in them. As pride is always lurking, sometimes God
allows us to be attacked so that we maintain our reliance upon Him
and realise that of ourselves we are nothing.
Cor 12:7 Because Paul received wonderful revelations from God, to
keep him from getting puffed up, he was given a thorn in the flesh,
a messenger from Satan to torment him and keep him from getting proud.
To develop faith & righteousness in our lives
is one of the key elements God wants to develop in our lives, and
so often He does this by allowing us to encounter trying circumstances
where our faith is both revealed and developed. Similarly, such
testing times are to reveal and bring about greater righteousness
Pet 1:7 Trials are testings and testings reveal our faith - such revelation
of our faith brings honour in heaven
Pet 5:8,9 Satan seeks to attack us, but we are to learn to resist.
Pet 1:4-8 The testing of our faith develops our lives in many ways
To bring about trials whereby we can be rewarded
trials, that involve Satan, make us rely upon God, His word and His
Spirit and so the outcome of the battles we fight is that we appreciate
Him, His word and His Spirit more and more.
1:12 God blesses the people who patiently endure testing - testing
develops us and God blesses through it
Jn 2:13,14 It is a battle with Satan which we can win with God's word,
as we battle we rely on that word more and more
Jn 4:1-6 Our battle is also with Satan's agents; we are to overcome
in the mind and we overcome by the Holy Spirit within us, as we overcome
we realise the wonder of who it is within us more and more.
2:17 Our reward, as we overcome Satan's attacks, will be intimacy
2:26-28 As we obey Jesus and have the victory so he is preparing us
to take authority, both in this world and the next.
To teach us how to fight
we face such trials we learn how to overcome.
3:2 God did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites
who had not had previous battle experience.
grew in their knowledge of the Lord and how to fight as they opposed
the enemy. We do the same in the spiritual sphere.
To demonstrate God's power over the enemy
need reminding who is who in the battle. Jesus IS Lord!
3:10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom
of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in
the heavenly realms.
we triumph God is glorified in the heavens.
1:21-27 As Jesus cast out a demon God was glorified.
13:6-12 As Saul triumphs over Elymas God was glorified.
Satan was apparently not created for these express purposes, God takes
and uses his rebellion for His purposes.
Joseph once said, (Gen 50:20) "You intended to harm me but God intended
it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many
it is that in this fallen world where sin dominates, Satan is allowed
access for the sake of God's overall purposes.
therefore, need to maintain a right perspective so that we see:
the enemy is being allowed activity because of man's unrighteousness,
and therefore the unrighteousness is the thing to be dealt with.
the enemy should be resisted because he is simply seeking to expand
his arena of control, and here we need to look to seek what God is
wanting us to learn or develop in resisting the enemy, so we can co-operate