The Work of Satan

In the prologue to the book of Job, Satan appears with the angels who are gathering for their council meeting with the Lord (Job 1:6). After roaming the earth, Satan is questioning the way God orders his creation. God invites Satan to consider his servant Job. Whether Job is serving God with a pure heart or for the fringe benefits of knowing Him is the question. To find out, God allows Satan to test Job by destroying everything he possesses, including his own health (1:12-22; 2:6-8). Satan is not merely performing duties assigned to him as one member of the inner council of God. He came with the sons of God; he is not one of them. Prohibited from taking Job’s life tells us that God limits Satan in what he can do. God is not the author of evil, but He will allow it within limits for our testing. Neither did God create Satan. God created Lucifer with a free will to serve Him. The person of Satan is the result of Lucifer’s choice to rebel against God.

Satan described his activity as “roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it” (vs. 7). He is engaged in worldwide and unremitting conflict against God and His people. He is the “enemy” of God and truth (Matthew 13:28, 39; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). He works through our weaknesses and limitations and employs the allurements of the world. He works in the realm of moral darkness (Acts 26:18) as a “tempter” enticing us to sin. The purpose is to get the children of God to live independently of Him. When we sin, he changes his attack and acts as our accuser.

Jesus describes Satan’s chief characteristic, which is also evident in the sons of the evil one; “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Deception is Satan’s primary strategy having succeeded in leading the whole world astray (Revelations 12:9). Satan disguises himself as “an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Those who give themselves over to evil and become the agents of Satan to persuade others to do evil are children and servants of the devil (John 6:70; Acts 13:10).

Satan is a counterfeiter. He sends false prophets and teachers. He sows counterfeit believers among the “sons of the kingdom” (Matthew 13:25,38). Satan leads people away by counterfeiting the true gifts of God. Apostate workers engage in religious activities without accepting the power of God’s truth (2 Timothy 3:1-9). He blinds the minds of unbelievers, “so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Dr. Neil

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