By now you have likely heard the story of the creepy statue of Satan (pictured above) unveiled last week by the Satanic Temple of Detroit. Best I can tell from research this group is not so interested in worshiping Satan as a deity, but rather gathering together for debauchery. (Which in a sense is accomplishing the same thing.) Hundreds gathered in an undisclosed location outside Detroit to get a glimpse of the statue. Temple leaders gave a sermon, ripped a Bible apart and then took the cover off the statue that they refer to as “Baphomet.” The name comes from the medieval period and originally described an idol or deity. Christians are outraged and most Americans are creeped out by the whole thing. With all the attention surrounding the statue and the satanic temple, I felt it was a good time to bring proper perspective on who Satan is and what he is trying to accomplish.
The Bible is replete with information about Satan’s past, present and future. He is referred to as “Lucifer,” “Satan,” or “serpent”. The title “Satan” means “adversary” or “the accuser”. Isaiah 14 teaches us that he was originally Lucifer, a son of the morning. This name literally means “day star” or “shining one.” Ezekiel 28 describes Lucifer as “the seal of perfection. Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” We tend to think of Satan as being evil looking or scary (such as the statue), but his origins are of immense beauty. We should not assume that Satan will reveal himself to us in horrific ways, often his attacks come from things that are aesthetically pleasing. The Bible teaches us that Lucifer was a star angel whose pride got the best of him. “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty.” (Ezekiel 28:17). Isaiah gives us even more detail of his sinful pride, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High” Isaiah 14:12-14. The result of his pride was an expulsion from heaven. Twice in the Ezekiel passage we find that God cast him to the earth. “By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you there, O covering cherub…” (v.16). When Satan, the great dragon in Revelation 12:9, fell he took a third of the heavenly host with him (a “third of the stars” were taken to earth with him by his tail, Revelation 12:4)). Peter refers to this heavenly rebellion is 2 Peter 2:4, “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment…” The deceiver’s work began in Genesis 3 when the fallen one tempted Eve resulting in the fall of creation. In Job we find him going “to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” (Job 1:7). It is clear that he and his demon minions are hard at work trying to usurp God’s people and God’s work.
In the New Testament he is most often referred to as “the Devil”. He is first seen in the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4. The title of “Devil” is used 61 times in the New Testament, a large majority of those found in the Gospels. That title means “slanderer or false accuser” Seven times he is referred to as “Beelzebub” which means “ruler of demons” or “chief of evil spirits”. Revelation clearly reveals to us Satan’s onslaught on this world during the time of tribulation. It also clearly reveals to us his defeat in Revelation 20:1-3, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished…”
According to the Scriptures, there is no doubt of his future. Satan’s fury was released on Jesus Christ and the lamb was killed, yet the resurrection disarmed our great enemy and took away his most lethal ammunition. Sin, death and hell were defeated when the Father breathed life back into his son and Jesus walked away. (1 Corinthians 15: 54-56.)
We are now awaiting the consummation of the age. And as in Job, the deceiver, the accuser of the brethren, our adversary is still going to and fro on the earth. Thus Peter’s reminder to the church, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. If you have ever tried to corner a wild animal you know of the veracity of their fight. The intensity of Satan’s attacks will continue and even increase as the return of Christ nears. If he tempted Jesus, then rest assured he will do the same with you. It was said of the tribulation saints that they “overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11). What will be true for them is also true for us now. Jesus refers to the devil as the ruler of this world (John 12:31) and the prince of this world (John 14:30), but he is a ruler with limited power. The power of God in you will always overwhelm the prince of this world. Greater is He that is in you my friend. (1 John 4:4) Your past doesn’t define you (Isaiah 43:25), the present attacks shouldn’t overwhelm you and your future is secure in Jesus Christ. Any attack by Satan will only lead to momentary irritations, but will not accomplish Satan’s ultimate goal. “The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy..” (John 10:10) There is an obvious plan to overcome found in James, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7).
I know the “Baphomet” statue looks creepy. I am aware of the blasphemies of the temple leaders. However, long after the statue has crumbled, the temple leaders have met their eternal fate and the debauchery has ended, our great God and Savior Jesus will still be the victor! Stand strong believer, stand under the weight of the temptations that will come. At the end of days there will be one who sits on a white horse called Faithful and True. He will bring with him the armies of heaven to make war on the enemy and his fallen colleagues. A sharp sword will come out of his mouth and devour the opposition. He will rule and you and I will be joint heirs with him for all eternity. “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16.) And there is nothing that Satan can do to change that! Live in victory today, your enemy’s days are numbered!