Satan and Demons

Part 2: Satan's Attacks and the Christian's Defense

Norman Manzon

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Satan and Demons

We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, the Adversary of God. Satan is the originator of moral evil and the god of this world. He and his agents are active in blinding mankind to spiritual truth, inciting anti-Semitism and attempting to defeat believers. Believers can and should resist him by applying Scriptural truth. (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; 2 Corinthians 4:3,4; 10:3-5; Ephesians 2:1,2, 6:10-18; 1 Timothy 3:6; 2 Peter 2:4)

In Part 1 of this study, we determined that the exalted angelic being once called Day-Star, Son of the Morning and the Anointed Cherub, hovered over the throne of God and led the angelic host in the worship of God until he led a third of the angels in rebellion against God. This act eternally converted them into the wicked angelic beings that Scripture has since referred to, among other titles, as Satan and demons. We'll now conclude this study with a survey of Satan's wicked attacks against God and humanity, his motives for these attacks, what the believer is to do in the face of these attacks, and the ultimate end of these once exalted beings.



Satan's temptation of Eve demonstrated that his nature was already corrupted with evil, indicating that his rebellion against God took place prior to the Edenic temptation. Passages from Isaiah and Ezekiel describe his insurrection.

Isaiah 14:12-14:

12. How you are fallen from the heavens, O shining star, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! 13. For you have said in your heart, I will go up to the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. 14. I will go up above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.

Ezekiel 28:15-18:

15. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, until iniquity was found in you. 16. By the multitude of your trade, they filled your midst with violence, and you sinned. So I cast you defiled from the height of God, and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from among the stones of fire. 17. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. I have cast you to the ground. I will put you before kings, that they may see you. 18. By the host of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trade, you have defiled your holy places. So I brought a fire from your midst and it shall devour you, and I will give you for ashes on the earth in the sight of all who see you.

Revelation 12:3-4 is not a description of Satan's original rebellion, but it does reveal how many angels he was able to win to his camp:

3. And another sign was seen in the heavens. And behold a great red dragon.... 4. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them onto the earth.

Keil and Delitzsch render Ezekiel 28:16 and 18 as follows:

16. On account of the multitude of thy commerce, thine inside was filled with wrong,
and thou didst sin.... 18. Through the multitude of thy sins in thine unrighteous trade
thou hast profaned thy holy places

Strong's Concordance gives three possible translations of the word translated here as commerce and trade: trade (as peddled), merchandise, traffic. Whatever Satan peddled was not of a material nature, as material trade does not take place in heaven. What he must have peddled were promises of power and glory related to his five I wills of Isaiah 14:12-14, above.


Satan seeks to destroy the entire human race. Isaiah 14:12 refers to him as the one who "laid low the nations." Revelation 12:9 calls him "the deceiver of the whole world." 2 Corinthians 4:4 says,

... the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving ones, so that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ (who is the image of God) should not dawn on them.

Satan blinds individuals to the light of God, and brings down nations morally and in every other way because its citizens are spiritually blinded.


Not satisfied with having won the allegiance of a third of the angels, Satan drew the human race into his rebellion against God with his successful temptation of Eve in the Garden and the subsequent sin of Adam in following of Eve's lead (Genesis 3:1-6). Our first parents' sin resulted in the depravity (sin nature) of the entire human race and in the curse upon the earth and every earthly creature (Genesis 3:14-19).

Human depravity soon found its expression in the murder of Abel by Cain (Genesis 4:1-8) and in the gross wickedness of virtually the entire human race:

Genesis 6:5

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.

For this cause, God purged the corrupted human race by means of the Noahic flood (Genesis 6-8); but man's innate wickedness climaxed again at the tower of Babel, an astrological observatory whose purpose was to spurn the worship of God by seeking guidance from the stars and by worshiping demons, for which cause God scattered them abroad by means of confounding their language (Genesis 11:1-9).


Physical Attacks

God cursed mankind's first parents, but He did not leave them or their offspring without hope. In His mercy, He gave them a Messianic Hope by promising them the Messianic Seed of the Woman who would, figuratively speaking, crush Satan's head (Genesis 3:15). No doubt shocked and angered, Satan set out to destroy all possibility of that Hope materializing.

In Genesis 12:1-4, God called out a man from among his people to begin a new people through whom He would bring forth the Seed of the Woman. God called Abram out from among the Chaldeans to father the nation Israel. From that moment on, Satan has focused his venom upon the Jews. If he could destroy Israel he could prevent the birth of the Seed and his own subsequent demise. Having been unable to prevent the birth of the Seed, he still seeks to destroy Israel for he knows that it is the national salvation of Israel that will trigger the Seed's return (Hosea 5:15; Matthew 23:37-39).

It must be noted that

*  *  Satan's efforts at preventing Messiah's advents is the spiritual root of all anti-Semitism.  *  *

No sociological factor in all of Israel's history in the Land and in the Dispersion can otherwise account for the venom exhibited by Israel's enemies, as during the Holocaust, in which six million of the world's eighteen million Jews were murdered, and in the blind, demonic venom exhibited by Israel's intractable Muslim enemies, whose Qur'an reads,

I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads.
Maim them in every limb. (Qur'an Al'anfaal 8:12)

Satan will continue to stir up anti-Semitic tsunamis against the Jews even until he is cast into the abyss for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-2). In the second half of the Great Tribulation, he foments and leads the greatest persecution of the Jews in history in his final attempt to destroy them, succeeding in killing two-thirds of them (Revelation 12:6, 13-15; Zechariah 13:8), twice the fraction of Hitler's one-third. It is this future persecution that Jesus was referring to when He said, in Matthew 24:15-22,

15. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16. Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.... 21. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

There will be such a slaughter of the elect, Israel, that the Lord will bring those days to a close to physically save the remaining one-third so that He might subsequently save them spiritually (Zechariah 13:1, 8-9).

Theological Attacks:

Theological Corruption of the Church Leading to Persecution of the Jews

Theological corruption has been the bedrock of the church's physical and social persecution of the Jews. From the earliest centuries of the church era, Satan has deceived virtually the entire church into believing that Israel is no longer God's chosen people, but that that status has been transferred to the church. This deception has freed the church to pay no heed to the curse for curse declaration of Genesis 12:3 and to not fear to touch "the pupil of God's eye" (Deuteronomy 2:10; Zechariah 2:8). The denial that Israel is still a chosen nation combined with the belief that the Jews, alone among the nations, are the "Christ-killers," has proven to be the deadly witches' brew for two millennia of virulent persecution of the Jews by the church.

Theological Corruption to Preserve Israel's Spiritual Blindness

Theologian Satan has not only attempted to prevent the Lord's return by destroying the Jews physically, but by keeping them blind spiritually, as well, for he knows that it is the national salvation of Israel that will bring the Lord back (Hosea 5:15; Matthew 23:37-39). To this end, he has blinded virtually all of the spiritual leaders of both peoples of God: the church and the Jews. This declaration will be explained in the next two subsections.

Theological Corruption in the Church Leading to Underevangelism
or Evangelistic Neglect of the Jews

On the one extreme, consistent with his success in establishing replacement theology in the church (the belief that the church replaced Israel as the people of God), Satan has blinded virtually the entire church into believing that the "to the Jew first" principle of Romans 1:16 came to a halt when Jesus commissioned His disciples to "make disciples of every nation" (Matthew 28:19) and to "preach the gospel to all the creation" (Mark 16:15). Since the principle came to a halt, the thinking goes, it is no longer applicable in evangelistic efforts. On the other extreme, Satan has succeeded in convincing another portion of the church that because Jews do have a special relationship with God, they do not need to be evangelized, at all, as their special status assures them salvation apart from their reception of the Gospel. This latter belief is known as the Dual Covenant position.

To restate these errors simply:
1. Because the Jews are no longer a people of God, the "Jew first" principle no longer applies.
2. Because the Jews do have a special relationship with God, their salvation is assured, and preaching to them is unnecessary.

The first has resulted in the underevangelism of the Jews; the second, to non-evangelism of the Jews, the exact opposite of "to the Jew first," which principle Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, walked out throughout his entire ministry, as can easily be traced in the Books of Acts. (See the author's article, Messianic Issues in Jewish Salvation.)

Theological Corruption of Judaism's Spiritual Leaders

In his campaign to prevent the Lord's return, Satan has also blinded the eyes of the leaders of Judaism to the messiahship of Yeshua; and as water from a fountainhead spreads abroad, so has unbelief in Yeshua among Judaism's spiritual leaders spread throughout Israel, even from Jesus' day until now.


Indeed, Satan attacked our Lord directly.

When Herod heard that the magi had come to worship the recently born King of the Jews, he ordered the slaughter of all males below the age of two in the vicinity of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-16). That Satan was behind this attack is shown in Revelation 12:1-5:

12:1 And there appeared a great sign in the heavens, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head, 2. and having a babe in womb, she cries, being in travail, having been distressed to bear. 3. And another sign was seen in the heavens. And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads! 4. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them onto the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman being about to bear, so that when she bears he might devour her child. 5. And she bore a son, a male, who is going to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her child was caught up to God and to His throne.

Genesis 37:9-11 explains the symbolism. The sun was the patriarch Joseph's father, who was Jacob or Israel; the moon was his mother, Rachel; and the eleven stars are Joseph's brothers who, with Joseph, make the twelve stars, which symbolize the patriarchs of the tribes of Israel. Therefore, the woman in the midst of these symbols represents the nation Israel whose child, who is going to rule all nations with a rod of iron, ascended to His heavenly Father after His resurrection. The Revelation passage reveals that before the child was even born, the dragon and his demonic host were poised on earth so that when she bears he might devour her child. Thus, the slaughter of the babes of Bethlehem.

Satan attacked our Lord immediately after He was launched into ministry at His baptism, this time by trying to get Him to sin (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12; Luke 4:1-13), which would have disqualified Him from being the sinless "Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29, 36). He attacked again when He moved Peter to rebuke Jesus for speaking about going to the cross (Matthew 16:21-23). He attacked Him repeatedly through Yeshua's unbelieving Jewish brethren by getting them to try to kill Him on a number of occasions (John 10:31), but in the wrong way, so He would not fulfill the prophecies of His crucifixion (e.g., Psalm 22:16), and at the wrong time, so He wouldn't be the Passover Lamb (Isaiah 52:13-53:12), nullifying the atonement aspect of His death. Finally, Satan attacked again to kill Jesus, using as his agents Judas Iscariot, the "son of perdition" (John 13:2, 27; 17:2), and the Jewish spiritual leadership (Matthew 26:14-15). (However, God, in His providence, saw to it that Jesus did die at the right time and in the right way. It was the plan of the chief priests to kill Jesus, but "not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people" [Matthew 26:5, Mark 14:2], which would have been consistent with Satan's desire to kill Jesus at the wrong time; but when Jesus let Judas know that He knew that Judas was His betrayer, Judas went to the high priests [John 13:27-30] and no doubt informed them that Jesus knew of the plot. The chief priests then sought to take Jesus immediately and delivered Him to be killed in the right way and at the right time [Matthew 26:17-30, 47-49; Mark 14:1-46; Luke 22:1-47; John 18:1-3]), though they were blind to it, causing Satan's plan to be overridden.)        


Yeshua, of course, did become the slaughtered Lamb of God, rose from the dead, and birthed the church. Satan now focuses his attacks on the church, the corporate ambassador of Christ on earth, as well as on Israel.

By means of false doctrine and sinful enticements, Satan has succeeded in causing the corruption of the beliefs and morals of many believers; indeed, of perhaps all believers, to one degree or another. Paul said to the Ephesian elders,

Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departure grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30. Also men shall arise from your own selves, speaking perverse things in order to draw disciples away after them.

Satan has scored victories in the lives of all believers by getting all to sin (1 John 1:10), some to such an extent that they have become useless for godly service (1 Corinthians 9:27; 1 Timothy 1:19). False doctrine and sinful temptations have poisoned the church spiritually, led to ungodly practices, shattered the church into thousands of slivers, and ruined the lion's share of its potential witness. He has also attacked the church furiously and unceasingly since the day of its birth by means of social ostracism and physical persecutions in every degree, even causing the murder of believers in the millions.


Satan's attacks on the church are an indirect attack on unbelievers. To the extent that he can neutralize or corrupt the church he can neutralize and corrupt the church's witness to the world. But he attacks unbelievers directly, also, by blinding their minds to the truth of the gospel:

2 Corinthians 4:3-4:

3. But also if our gospel is hidden, it is hidden to those being lost, 4. in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving ones, so that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ (who is the image of God) should not dawn on them.

In addition, he seeks to kill unbelievers while they are yet in that state of blindness lest the Lord open their eyes and they be saved, as is evidenced by the ceaseless killings and wars upon the planet whose kosmos he controls (James 1:15 and 4:1).



Jesus, Paul and James said, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8), and Jesus said

Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)

In other words, we are to love all of the unsaved, even our enemies and the unsavory.

First and foremost, the Christian must seek to rescue the unsaved from the attacks of Satan by seeking to make them disciples of the Lord. Matthew 28:18-20:

18. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to Me in Heaven and in earth. 19. Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20. teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen.

The making of disciples, of course, must begin with the preaching of the Gospel. Mark 16:15-16:

15. And He said to them, Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation. 16. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Secondly, the Christian is to administer acts of mercy and of power to the unsaved ( Matthew 14:15-21; 20:34), including feeding the hungry, counseling the troubled, and administering healings and exorcisms as the Lord provides leading and empowerment. Such ministry is of great value in itself (James 1:27), but it also softens the hearts of many to the ministry of the gospel, which is the greatest ministry of all.


"No Trespassing!"

Ephesians 4:26-27:

26. Be angry, and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath,
27. neither give place to the Devil.

Dr. Fruchtenbaum writes, "In this passage, give place means 'give a beachhead.'" (Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. Radio Manuscript #19: The Darkness of Demonism. San Antonio: Ariel Ministries Press. P. 21). A beachhead is a strip of territory just within enemy territory.

We are to put up a sign on the borders of our lives that says to the enemy, "No Trespassing!" Upon recognizing when he is on the attack, we are to resolve to prevent his entry into our lives in any degree. We are to do that by resisting him; but if he does gain entry, whether through our lack of vigilance or through our rolling out of the red carpet for him, we are to repent and force him out through resistance, even by commanding him to leave, if necessary, as Jesus did with Peter (Mark 8:31-33, below). If need be, we are to seek the prayers, counsel and assistance of mature brethren in getting the job done. That's what the body of Christ is for.

The Christian Is to Resist the Devil

James 4:6-7:

6. But He gives more grace. Therefore He says, God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. 7. Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

1 Peter 5:8-9:

8. Be sensible and vigilant, because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour; 9. whom firmly resist in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions in the world are being completed in your brotherhood.

We are to resist the Devil in humility, but firmly, and in the faith, meaning within scriptural truth and obedience.

How Is the Christian to Resist the Devil?

We'll glean some principles from the Epistles, and then see how the Lord resisted Satan.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5:

3. For though walking about in flesh, we do not war according to flesh. 4. For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, 5. pulling down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ....

Various literal translations render high thing as mental elevation or arrogance.

We are not to attempt to defeat Satan by fleshly, or carnal, means. We are not to berate him, lose our tempers at him, or in any other way employ the world's means of gaining dominance. To do so would be to lose a round to Satan, not win one, as we'd actually be calling upon him to mold our attitude. We must defeat him by being mighty through God, through spiritual means, by means of the Spirit's guidance and empowerment, to pulling down imaginations. Various literal translations render imaginations as reasonings and arguments. In other words, the battle is in the thought realm. We're to purge out satanic thoughts and reasonings and replace them with godly thoughts and reasonings. This is done by "eating" the Scriptures and meditating on them before the Lord.

To sum up this passage, defeating Satan requires the employment of biblical truth in a godly manner and attitude.

This is spelled out in Ephesians 6:10-18:

10. Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11. Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world's rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13. Therefore take to yourselves the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14. Therefore stand, having your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness 15. and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. 16. Above all, take the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, 18. praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching to this very thing with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

Verse 12 tells us whom we battle against. Though satanic temptation or attack may come through another person or groups of persons, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world's rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Our battle is not against people, but against demons, spiritual wickedness in high places. Consistent with the assertion of 2 Corinthians 10:4, that the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, verse 10 tells us that we are to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Verses 13 through 18 tell us that we are to do that by putting on the whole armor of God.

  • We are to have our loins girded about with truth. Isaiah 11:5 says of the Messiah, righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins. The warrior's sword was hung from a belt about his waist. What enables the Christian warrior to bear his sword is the fact that he stands in Christ's righteousness, which has been imputed to him at the moment of his salvation,

For He has made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become
the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

He is also to walk in righteousness, living a life dedicated to honoring Christ. This, too, will enable him to carry his sword comfortably, properly and handily.

  • The Christian warrior is to have on the breastplate of righteousness. Here again we see righteousness come into play in his warfare against the devil; only here it is for the protection of his heart and lungs, both necessary for life. Translated into spiritual terms, his righteousness will protect him from Satanic attack that may cause him to become "shipwrecked" (1 Timothy 1:19) or a "castaway" (1 Corinthians 9:27), that is, killing his usefulness for the Lord's service. Speaking of the Lord again, Isaiah said, in 59:17,

For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head;

  • The helmet of salvation of Ephesians 6:17, represents protection of the believer's thought life in that, despite the fiery darts that the Wicked One seeks to shoot into his mind, he will retain the assurance that he has the ultimate victory and can gain the immediate victory by virtue of his salvation and standing in Yeshua.

  • The Christian warrior is to have his feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Isaiah 52:7 says,

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, making peace heard; who brings good news, making salvation heard; who says to Zion, Your God reigns!

He is to be walking among the people, heralding the good news of salvation. This, too, wards off the enemy's attacks; and it speaks of a consistent lifestyle, not an occasional foray.

  • Above all, he is to take the shield of faith, with which [he] shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. We are to battle the enemy in faith:

It is of faith so that it might be according to grace (Romans 4:16).

It is through faith in God's declarations and promises that the Christian warrior may appropriate the grace of God unto victory.

  • All of the armor that has been mentioned, thus far, has been defensive. One more item remains: the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, the believer's sole and all-sufficient weapon. We thwart Satan's lies and temptations by opposing them through the declaration of God's truths and admonitions.
  • And all of the Christian's warfare is to be done praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching to this very thing with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. His warfare is always to be accompanied by prayer; not only for himself, but for all saints - even while he, personally, is under attack.

How Jesus Defended Himself Against the Devil's Attacks

Luke 4:1-14:

1. And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness 2. forty days, being tempted by the Devil. And in those days He ate nothing. And they being ended, He afterward was hungry. 3. And the Devil said to Him, If you are the Son of God, speak to this stone that it might become bread. 4. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written that "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God." 5. And the Devil, leading Him up into a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6. And the Devil said to Him, All this power I will give you, and the glory of them; for it has been delivered to me. And I give it to whomever I will. 7. Therefore if you will worship me, all shall be yours. 8. And Jesus answered and said to him, Get behind me, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve." 9. And he brought Him to Jerusalem and sat Him on a pinnacle of the temple and said to Him, If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down from here. 10. For it is written, "He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You; 11. and in their hands they shall bear You up, lest at any time You dash Your foot against a stone." 12. And Jesus answering said to him, It has been said, "You shall not tempt the Lord your God." 13. And when the Devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him for a time. 14. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee. (Parallel passage: Matthew 4:1-11)

Four things should be noted here:
1. Jesus did not lose His temper at, berate, or insult, Satan.
2. With each temptation, Jesus told Satan exactly why He would not succumb.
3. Each declaration as to why He would not succumb was in the form of a quoted scripture.
4. He commanded Satan to leave Him.

Mark 8:31-33:

31. And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32. And He spoke that saying openly. And Peter took Him and began to rebuke Him. 33. But when He had turned around and looked on His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Go behind Me, Satan! For you do not mind the things of God, but of the things of men.

Satan attempted to dissuade the Lord from going to the cross, using Peter as his ambassador. Obviously, the Lord knew this; yet, He rebuked Peter. While Peter's motive was one of love for his Master, yet his plea and urgency were so in keeping with Satan's desire that Peter's desire and Satan's were one and the same: that Jesus not go to the cross. Unwittingly, Peter had truly become Satan's vicar. Hence the sharp rebuke directed squarely at Peter - not indirectly, but directly - a point that must not be missed - and simultaneously, at Satan: Go behind Me, Satan! For you do not mind the things of God, but of the things of men.

Six things should be noted here:
1. Jesus did not lose His temper at, berate, or insult, Satan.
2. He commanded Satan to leave Him, speaking directly at Peter.
3. He told Satan, in a very clear and direct manner, exactly why he was to leave Him, speaking the same principle into Peter, as well.
4. The justification that Jesus gave for commanding Satan to leave Him was Satan's transgression of a godly life principle: that one ought to prefer the things of God to the things of men.
5. In declaring the biblical principle that Satan transgressed, Jesus did not quote Scripture, though, of course, the principle He stated had been stated numerous times by Him and by the Hebrew Scriptures in a multitude of ways.
6. He did not hold back from shocking His disciple greatly.

Obviously, Jesus' response was sufficient: Peter's mouth was closed, Jesus won the battle against Satan's temptation, and Jesus did go to the cross.

To combine our observations from these two passages,

1. In neither case did Jesus lose His temper, berate or insult Satan.
2. In each case He commanded Satan to leave Him.
3. In each case He declared to Satan in a very clear and direct manner the biblical principle to which He was adhering as the reason for His refusal to succumb and for His command for Satan to leave.
4. When Satan tempted Him directly in the wilderness, He quoted Scripture. When Satan tempted Him through one of His disciples, He did not quote Scripture. By no means can this be seen as a law, or even a principle, to be followed. Two instances with differing modes of response do not constitute sufficient statistical data to declare a pattern. Nevertheless, there is a common denominator between Jesus' different modes of response. Whether He quoted Scripture or simply declared the principle, He was plain, clear and authoritative. So how is the believer to proceed? The surest way for a believer to successfully battle Satan is to be able to likewise declare biblical principles plainly, clearly and authoritatively; and the surest way to do that is to know Scripture so well that he could quote it.
6. Jesus did not hold back from shocking His disciple severely as a means of discipline.


All of Satan's attempts to prevent the Lord's return will end in futility. Just as the Seed of the Woman went to the cross despite Satan's furious efforts to thwart Him from doing so, so the Lord will come again, have Satan bound in the abyss for a thousand years (Revelation 18:2), and finally cast him and his demons into the Lake of Fire for eternity (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 19:11-21; 20:1-2,10). 


One final word: The believer is to be aware of the wiles of the devil and do battle against him, but his focus is not to be on the devil, but on the Lord.

Hebrews 12:1-2:

1. let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2. looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God.

Let us, therefore, keep our eyes upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Amen.

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For a fuller treatment of the subject, the author recommends these "Messianic Bible Studies" by Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, which may be obtained from Ariel Ministries:

001. The Six Abodes of Satan
019. The Darkness of Demonism
077. Satanology: The Doctrine of Satan
082. Demonology: The doctrine of Fallen Angels
143. The Spiritual Life and Spiritual Warfare
156. The Fall of Satan According to Ezekiel 28:11-19

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  For a continuous exegesis of every doctrinal point covered thus far, click AllBelieve *

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Norman Manzon, 2007.

Norman Manzon is a Bible teacher in Hawaii and may be reached at BibleStudyProject@hawaiiantel.net.
More of his studies may be accessed at www.BibleStudyProject.org.