The Devil You Know and The Devil You Don’t Know

Let’s start at the beginning, way back when it all began. Heaven was a happy place (Job 38:7 “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.”) till Lucifer (the top cherub, whose name translated ‘son of the morning’ Isaiah 14:12 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!…”) rebelled. He had the highest honour, the highest place, but it wasn’t enough. With the devil in the detail, he wanted more (Isaiah 14:13-14 “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”)

So starting with what we know:-

a) He rebelled against Jesus.

Revelation 12:7 “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,”

b) He fought against God’s government and was cast out along with his supporters.

Luke 10:18 “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”

Revelation 12:9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

c) He went to war with Adam and Eve and conquered.

Genesis 3:1,6 “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the  field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?… And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

d) The Flood. He fought against God every step of the way till he had corrupted the world so bad Jesus regretted the situation and bar Noah and his family Jesus destroyed the beautiful world He had created along with its sinful inhabitants.

Genesis 6:5-7 “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”

Genesis 7:10,12,21 “And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth… And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights… And all flesh died that moved upon the earth,…”

e) Babel :- Directly after God’s punishments he again urges the world on to challenge and usurp God’s power, believing they could outwit God. A tower to heaven? That really insults the power of God.

Genesis 11:1-9 “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one  speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

f) Moving down the timeline we eventually land at the cross. Here Satan shows his true character, here all angels and other inhabitants see the true nature of the devil. He is out to kill the Son of God. Forevermore Satan’s fate is sealed, no longer can he stand at the gates of heaven, tempting Jesus’ angels. He has destroyed any chord of sympathy, uncertainty or disbelief by anyone in heaven, other worlds or on earth. Satan stands unmasked, treason against heaven, liar, cheat, a murderer, worthy of death.

Ellen White:- “As he could not gain admission within the gates of heaven he would wait just at the entrance, to taunt the angels and seek contention with them as they went in and out.” The Spirit of Prophecy 1:28-30 (Truth About Angels 47.2)

Ellen White:- “Not until the death of Christ was the character of Satan clearly revealed to the angels or to the unfallen worlds. The archapostate had so clothed himself with deception that even holy beings had not understood his principles. They had not clearly seen the nature of his rebellion”. (Desire of Ages 758.3)

John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil… he was a murderer from the beginning…”

g) Moving down through the ages, Satan has been hell bent on destroying anything with God’s name on it. What he can’t destroy he distorts, so many different religions, all claiming to have the ‘true faith’. Yet some are so oppressive, others ‘seem right’ but don’t have all the beliefs (you know some things in the Bible don’t matter, is their motto) and still others are downright violent (the very principles of Satan himself).

So we can trace Satan’s destructive pathway. All his efforts are based on destroying anything and everyone relating to God.

That my friends is the devil we know.

But what about the devil we don’t know. How does he really work and can we unmask this devil we don’t know. If we can learn all of his deceiving ways, I believe we will be in a better position to withstand him. How many times have we heard ‘the devil made me do it’, true he probably did, but that put you under his control. You let him. Ultimately we are all accountable for ourselves. Don’t get me wrong we have a beautiful Saviour who readily forgives, but there is a point where we decide for ourselves whether we listen to the ‘devil in our ear’ or we pray earnestly for Jesus to intervene. Friends, Jesus never ever fails, help in our tempting hour is always right by our side, heaven is always ready to jump into the fight and battle it out for us, we only need to ask.

When I say we are all accountable for ourselves, I’d like to point you back to the original discussion in heaven when we were given freedom, we are not robots, we are free. Free to choose right from wrong, free to decide our life’s pathway. Jesus doesn’t hold suppression over us and He never will. But Jesus’ freedom doesn’t mean we are left alone. Jesus knows the temptations we face and Jesus above all others knows the powerful wiles of the devil. So while Jesus has created us free, He has also implemented a means of escape, escape from the devil and his temptations (1st Corinthians 10:13 “…but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”) Jesus is also our intercessor and by His blood we can claim forgiveness.

Let’s take a closer look at this ‘devil we don’t know’. Few people realise the subtly of the devil. In previous documents I have mentioned what I call Satan’s ‘magic bubble’. Picture a really big bubble, have a peek inside, surprise, surprise inside is your life, but take a closer look, something isn’t quite right, you see yourself, your wife, children going about your daily routine. Remember this bubble has been crafted by Satan, everything in this bubble has been crafted to your specifications and Satan has placed you and your family inside, everything is in the correct place, except for one detail, Jesus isn’t there. Satan has rubbed Jesus out of the bubble. Satan has created a atmosphere telling half the truth but never all of it. Satan presses your troubles upon you to the point of despair, your life isn’t worth living, your troubles are insurmountable, there’s no hope. This, my friend, is the atmosphere Satan presses down upon you, he has you ‘captive’ in his ‘magic bubble’. This my friend, is the ‘devil you don’t know’. But there is hope, Jesus will never stand by and let His children suffer. Help is always on hand.

Let’s now take a peek outside the ‘magic bubble’ Satan has placed us in. Low and behold it’s a different world. All oppression is gone, hope and peace are abundant, but best of all Jesus is holding His arms open wide offering rest, rest from our labours and peace from our troubles. Outside Satan’s ‘magic bubble’ we can see things clearly, yes we have problems but we do have Jesus, and that is a fact Satan was hiding. Satan was hiding Jesus’ love, patience and watchcare because Satan knows Jesus gives us hope. Jesus loves us dearly and Jesus will fight every step of the way to keep us by His side.

But what about this ‘magic bubble’, this atmosphere Satan creates, once inside it can be very hard to discern that Satan is feeding us lies. This is where our faith in God is paramount. Stop and listen my friend, do you hear any words of hope or comfort? is there any peace? If not, be assured Satan has you in his ‘bubble’. Then comes the tug-of-war. Satan will stop at nothing to keep you deceived but we have a merciful Saviour who is much stronger than the devil and if we place our trust and faith in Jesus, Jesus will pull us out of Satan’s ‘bubble’.

Friends, Satan’s subtlety knows no bounds. He often uses the truth against us, he distorts the truth always leaving out the part where Jesus saves. Beware friends of the wiles of the devil we know and the devil we don’t know for he goes about seeking whom he may devour (1st Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”). 

Be on guard friend, put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”) and stand ready to battle lest his next victim is you.

Friends it’s important to remember we are never without a safe guard. We are never left to fight alone. Angels that excel in strength are commissioned to protect us. Jesus Himself is watching the battle and it is Jesus that brings victory. Our Saviour is not oblivious to our trials down here, He often sheds tears on our behalf. Jesus also longs for this fight to be over, but look to the skies my friend, Salvation draweth near.