satan In Our Midst

July 3, 2023

A man is trying to make a bargain with satan and asks, “So, I get anything I want?” satan responds, “Absolutely.” The man says, “You say all you want is my shoe?” satan smiles saying, “Just the bottom part, but yes.” Put another way, Jesus wants you to give him your soul, whereas satan is willing to buy it off you (Note: I don’t capitalize satan because he doesn’t deserve it).

Where did this great cosmic battle begin? Originally, satan and his angels were created good by God and are ultimately under the sovereignty of God. But at some point, possibly before or shortly after the creation of humankind, satan and the other fallen angels were corrupted and rebelled against God. Some think that Isaiah 14:3-21 and/or Ezekiel 28:1-19 (esp. 12-19) describe satan’s fall through pride, but this is an interpretation of these texts that can be argued.

The battle was begun by satan in the Garden of Eden with the temptation of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-7). After this, the corrupt angels spread corruption on earth, which may help us to understand the bizarre words of Genesis 6:1-5. Apparently, satan was able to move between heaven and earth, and accuse God’s people even in the presence of God (Job 1 and 2, especially 1:6-7.

During the Last Supper Jesus says to Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32). It is noteworthy that Jesus does not pray for Peter’s protection from satan, but instead prays for his faith to be strong while attacked by satan. Peter would fail those tests during Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, but would come back stronger and strengthen the early church with his faith and leadership.
Through Jesus Christ, God decisively defeats satan through the power of the cross. Paul tells us how the cross sets us free in Col 2:13-14, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”

Even though Christ has won the war against satan, the battles continue until Christ comes again. As Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:11-12, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (see also Revelation 12:12-17). The conflict is brought to an end by Christ’s final victory when He returns in glory (see II Thessalonians 2:8-10).

Though the battles continue, God has given us weapons to fight in the cosmic battles. We have binding and loosing prayers (Matthew 16:19). Paul describes the “Armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-18). We can Renew of our faith by confessing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior every day. James 5 explains how to use anointing oil to bring spiritual and physical healing. Learning how to praise and adore God as the angels who did not fall from grace did in God’s throne room is crucial to keeping our faith strong in the battle (Revelation 4). (Edited from Dunamis: Equipping for Spiritual Warfare and Kingdom Advancement, pp. 56 ff.)

I close with this curious story. A hunter raised his rifle and took careful aim at a large bear. As the hunter was about to pull the trigger the bear spoke in a soft soothing voice, “Isn’t it better to talk than to shoot? What do you want? Let’s negotiate the matter.” Lowering his rifle, the hunter replied, “I want a fur coat.” “Good,” said the bear, “that is a negotiable question. I only want a full stomach, so let us negotiate a compromise.”

They sat down to negotiate, and after a time, the bear walked away alone. The negotiations had been successful. The bear had a full stomach, and the hunter had his fur coat! Satan says to you, “Let us negotiate.” But there are some things that cannot be negotiable. We cannot compromise the church with the world. Christ and His church deserve our very best and utmost loyalty. Don’t Negotiate With satan!

I hope you found this Biblical summary of the cosmic battle helpful. I can assure you that satan has engaged the battle in some way in your life. Do you know how? (To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles see,