Satan: The Lesser Disturber

Jan Antonsson

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The Glory Road Blog, A Kingdom Highway

July 30, 2017

Neosho, MO

“But the man whose life is habitually sinful is spiritually a son of the devil, for the devil has been a sinner from the beginning. Now the Son of God came to earth with the express purpose of undoing the devil’s work (I John 3:18, Phillips).

The devil and his ilk are another topic that I’m loath to write about, so I’ve been dancing around this assignment for at least the past week.  What started the thinking process was an e-mail from a dear friend, who by God’s grace, has come a long way out of religion’s legalism and into the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.   After last week’s writing about sin, she wrote: 

“Your writing led me to consider whether God actually tricked Satan into thinking he could discredit, destroy and devour God’s plan for man by tempting man to disobey and live a life of condemnation when in actuality it was God’s plan to consign all men to the prison of disobedience so that He might have mercy on them all. 

“Sometimes it feels like we (humans) are game pieces in this fight between good and evil. Between God’s supremacy and Satan’s defiant rebellion against that supremacy. But I chose to believe God’s supreme plan = our ultimate good no matter our role or title.”  End Quote.

She has expressed the hope captured by the Greek word, Apokatastasis (universal restoration), but at the same time, seems to give credence to religion’s fall back belief that we are in the midst of a death struggle in this fight between good and evil.  The comedian Flip Wilson made famous the phrase, “The devil made me do it,” part of the idiomatic thought about this struggle, blaming the devil while he was at it amidst laughs and guffaws.

My opinion based on personal observation and experience, is that evil, personified by the devil, is no joke, no trifling matter.  If it were, Jesus would not have taught us to pray “and deliver us from evil.”  

This writing is for me, by the way, and if you get something from it, to God be the glory. The first thought that occurred to me after receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, was “Yikes, if Jesus is real, and He is, then so is the devil.”  In my youth, the church I attended didn’t emphasize the devil so much as they did personal responsibility for avoiding sin and doing good for God.  This new awareness of the devil and his power, set me up to gobble up the Charismatic teachings of Copeland, Duplantis, and others, that we must fight the devil with all our strength and all our might.  The first church group I attended in Thousand Oaks, CA, was into casting out demons, binding the devil, and pleading the blood of Christ over it all.

You can guess what happened then, I became so focused on the devil and his alleged handiwork that I got very little done other than the aforementioned casting, binding, and pleading activities.  The end of it was one day when my dryer quit working and I just knew it was the devil who had done it.  So, I began to cast him out of my dryer with all my might.  The dryer started up again, but in the midst of the procedure, God opened my eyes to see how futile, how ridiculous were my efforts.  In those days, I always opened the Bible to see what confirmation I could get, and He led me to Ephesians 4:27,  “Neither give place to the devil” (KJV).  From that day to this, I have followed that advice carefully.

Moreover, I do not diss the devil, because of the 9th verse in Jude: “But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, ‘‘The Lord rebuke you’ (ESV). 

One Sunday, I had joined Lenny at the Baptist Church to which he was called, to hear a visiting pastor.  The man wrung his hands and blamed the devil for making him late for services, for causing the sound system to quit working and something else I forget.  When we were leaving, I shook his hand and then encouraged him to quit glorifying the devil.  He looked as shocked as if I had slapped him, but I explained as nicely as was possible under the circumstances, that he had spent more time lamenting what he considered the devil’s work, than he had in glorifying Christ. Flip Wilson was aiming for laughs, but this pastor, charged with the care and feeding of the flock, should have known better.  Don’t mess with old ladies.

A lot of what we blame on the devil comes from our own neurotic stuff:  “Finish, then, with lying and let each man tell his neighbor the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. If you are angry, be sure that it is not a sinful anger. Never go to bed angry; don’t give the devil that sort of foothold” (Ephesians 4:25-27, ESV).  Easy enough to say, Paul, but how do we manage that?  For me, no amount of praying, repenting, confessing, or any other activity I have attempted to curtail my own neurotic stuff has done any good at all, and in fact, mostly, it has left me more guilt ridden than before.

So what’s the answer?  For me, the only thing that rids me of my anger, unforgiveness toward those who have wounded me, and just general orneriness, is to say, “Lord, I can’t do anything about this, but You can.  So have at it.”  He is faithful to be in us and through us what we cannot possibly generate for or within ourselves.

When I was dithering around about this writing, trying to figure out what He was leading me to, it finally came to me that there is still a tiny bit of fear of the devil left from those Charismatic days.  That’s why, “Give Him no Place” was the perfect remedy.  I no longer blamed him, accused him, or even thought of him, which was wonderful respite from the trauma and turmoil that imagining I could fight him and win left me in.  After a week of debating with myself over this topic, I conclude that the Lord has loved me out of my fear, as He always does.

Now, I realize that while Paul certainly acknowledged evil, nevertheless, his praise of the power and majesty of Almighty God shows us we have nothing to fear from mankind’s ancient foe, who in reality has absolutely no power other than what God allows.  Some Christians lead me to believe that the battle between God and Satan rages fiercely and it’s difficult to know who will win.  REALLY?

Of course, the battle scene found in Revelation, Chapter 12, between the Archangel Michael and Satan would support the idea of good battling evil.  However, that battle was won at great cost to Himself by Christ, and how grateful we are that we do not have to fight it, worry about it, or fear it.

Recall that Jesus said of Himself, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me(Matthew 28:18, ESV).  That alone shows the devil is undermanned and outgunned.  “For he (Christ) rescued us from the power of darkness, and re-established us in the kingdom of his beloved Son. For it is by him that we have been redeemed and have had our sins forgiven” (Colossians 1:13-14, Phillips).  This, dear friends, is our “ticket to ride” through the kingdom, unscathed and undamaged, free from the wiles of the devil and fear of same. 

Christ is our all time hero:  “Be careful that nobody spoils your faith through intellectualism or high-sounding nonsense. Such stuff is at best founded on men’s ideas of the nature of the world and disregards Christ!  Yet it is in him that God gives a full and complete expression of himself in bodily form. Moreover, your own completeness is realized in him, who is the ruler over all authorities, and the supreme head over all powers (Colossians 2:8-9, Phillips).  “And then, having drawn the sting of all the powers and authorities ranged against us, he exposed them, shattered, empty and defeated, in his own triumphant victory!” (Colossians 2:15, Phillips).  The battle is over, the victory is ours in Christ.  If He be for us, who can be against us?

Paul knew this truth intimately, personally, and experientially.  God was the wind beneath his wings, and He is the same for us.  “For, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39, NIV).

John the Beloved said that the reason Christ came was to undo the work of the devil.  Did He fail in that mission?

We thank You and bless you, dear Father, for the wondrous gift You have blessed us with in Christ Jesus, our Lord, our Redeemer, our Savior.  Give us the tongues of prophets and angels to proclaim Your victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil. Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever. Amen.”  Jan Antonsson

Jan Austin Antonsson

17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850

All our writings from 1997-2010 are on

The Glory Road

Our writings from 2010 to the present are on this blog.

We always enjoy hearing from you!

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