Upon hearing the news of yet another senseless tragedy, I sometimes lose heart. I even admit to struggling with ill-will feelings towards God. God, why don’t you just destroy the forces of evil already?!
I can go on and on when it comes to the sin which abounds here on earth: the Parkland, Florida shooting; bombs which kill innocent civilians in countries like Syria; and the horror stories of young women caught in the insidious web of sex trafficking.
I raise imaginary fists at God. Why aren’t you doing anything, God? Why does suffering continue? Do you even act on our behalf?
But then I stop to think: What about friends and families and strangers who haven’t yet heard the miraculous Good News? What about backsliding saints? What if God wants to develop your faith for times like this?
Our Adversary’s Origin
Before God fashioned and formed humanity, our adversary existed. Isaiah 14:12 reads, “How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” Lucifer means “bearer of light” or morning star.
In heaven, Satan was an angel of splendid beauty and intelligence, he held a powerful position. It is no wonder the downfall of mankind had and has much to do with subtle idolatry today. Christians aren’t exempt from what taints non-Christians. Our own hearts can covet: ruthless ambition, position, even the desire to control or manipulate. And sadly, those desires of the flesh are where our adversary operates.
Why Satan Was Banished from Heaven
Old Testament prophet Ezekiel told of Lucifer’s fall: “You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden the garden of God. (Ezekiel 28:13)
“You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you.” (Ezekiel 28:15) These verses speak to how Lucifer originally was a created angel.
Power and ambition were the very things which led to Lucifer’s banishment from Heaven: “you have come to a dreadful end and shall be no more forever.” (Ezekiel 28:19) Revelation 12:4 tells us that a third of Heaven’s angels rebelled with Lucifer as well and were expelled to earth and became demons.
Man and Satan’s Shared Desire
This section of Ezekiel was written about a king of Tyre, who really existed and embodied similar satanic qualities.These scriptures carry spiritual and symbolic references, and Theologians look to this book today to understand the origins of Satan. Sadly, mankind struggles with the same desires which led to the Devil’s downfall.
Where Satan Operates Now
Today, Satan operates through avenues such as mass media: television, horror movies, unwholesome literature, and other forms of entertainment like video games. His deception has fueled the pornography industry. He revels in violence, and unfortunately, this same violence has made its way into video games.
He also operates through our weaknesses: pride, unforgiveness, indifference, and anger.
Blinded to the Light
He directs the spiritually-blind, people who haven’t encountered Christ’s salvation. II Corinthians 4:4 tells us, “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News.”
A very powerful satanic network operates in the world, but it’s a subject Christians sometimes feel uneasy discussing: the occult. Today, Satan operates through witchcraft. In the guise of fortune-tellers and seemingly innocent horoscopes.
Consequences Seen in my Culture
As a woman of Caribbean origin, I witnessed my ancestors flirt with evil. Various idols decorated my grandmother’s home, and today I truly believe the consequences of flirting with the dark arts had dire consequences in my life: untimely and tragic death, alcoholism, adultery, drug abuse, sexual immorality, as well as various forms of verbal and emotional abuse.
Although I’m proud of my cultural heritage, sound biblical doctrine opened my eyes to how demonic activity infiltrated and attacked the matrilineal side of my ancestors. Today, a seemingly harmless form of magic called Santeria is practiced in certain areas of the Caribbean.
Is White Magic Harmless?
Some people assume that white magic is harmless and that it only brings good fortune. Followers chant and dance with spirits for power. But in actuality, they are opening up their soul to Satan and a myriad of demons.
Leviticus 19:31 warns, “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.”
Magic is magic is magic. But people assume there’s no harm in buying their children books which include characters involved in wizardry.
Don’t believe me? Wander around the bookstore aisles today, how many books can you spot with occult undertones?
Satan operates as “an angel of light,” and this is one of the reasons we live under the subtle influences of Satan: we don’t realize we’re buying books marketed as “good.”
Modern Day Babylon
Long ago, the city of Babylon revelled in sexual immorality and ritual child sacrifice through the worship of a deity called Baal. It displeased God that the Israelites had turned from his commandments to embrace pagan rituals.
Apostle John understood that Romans had struggled with similar sin: “By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.” (Revelation 18:23) But a “Modern-Day” Babylon exists in most parts of the modern world. Child sacrifice hasn’t gone away; it’s just been given a classier name: The Pro-Choice Movement.
God Will Destroy Satan
It is biblically unsound to assume that evil will continue forever. The study of eschatology is theology concerned with the final destiny of a human’s soul and the end of the age.
Scripture tells us that Satan will be destroyed:
“When the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations,…and they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown in the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Revelation 20:7,9)
We have guaranteed hope that God will destroy the forces of darkness. Every act of evil will face judgment: “No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.” (Revelation 22:3)
Our Guaranteed Hope
So long as we live and breathe on planet Earth, opposing forces of darkness will try to infiltrate the good in our lives. But take heart! The redemptive work of Christ, thousands of years ago, has power today.
John 4:4 states, “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 has more power than Satan.
Never forget it! Scripture is alive! Scripture is a weapon! At the cross, God outwitted Satan. At the cross, Christ willingly accepted the sin of mankind and died for us. We are blood-bought saints passing through a temporary place. Thanks be to God that we have the resurrecting power within us. And that Christ’s shed blood is no match for the evil we continue to see today. It won’t always be this way, saints. Hang on and keep the faith. Because one day, we will taste and see that that Lord is good!
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