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March 16, 2017

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  I Peter 5:8

The Devil is a much more clever character than we give him credit for! Why do I say that?  Satan has allowed his real characterization  to become be-smudged because that gives him the advantage of being under-rated by men. To begin with, God has revealed Satan to be a very  clever character. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.” Genesis 3:1a  Nevertheless, the Devil knows that if you allow people to laugh at and ridicule something long enough that the fear and hatred of that person or object will be replaced by acceptance and dread of him will fade into the background.  And so mankind has made a cartoon of him and ridiculed him in jests and songs until they amused themselves and forgot his true terror and  power, thus accepting his deceptions and temptations, and abandoned the terrible reality of his seductiveness and horror of his punishments. We have taken a hideous enemy of our eternal souls, and have changed our perception of him to a harmless, jovial buffoon. Look at his caricatures.

Image result for free cartoon character of the devil









Satan is opportunistic.  The Devil knows when to attack, what to attack, where to attack, how to attack, and whom to attack.  A preying beast, as Peter revealed him, is treacherous, and unrelenting, and you are at a great disadvantage unless you maintain a constant vigil.  Look at the temptation of Jesus in  Matthew 4. Not just a casual assault, but carefully planned, Satan knew where Jesus’ weakness was this day after an extended fast in the desert. Matthew relates  “he was hungry…” Matthew 4:1  Knowing Jesus’ humanity, Satan already had two more attempts framed for that day. He knows just exactly how to tempt you.

Satan is a tactician. One of the most malevolent tools of the Devil in the Bible is Jezebel, the wife of Ahab the King of Israel. Naboth was a vinedresser who had a beautiful vineyard coveted by Ahab. The king wanted the vineyard for his own and went to Naboth to purchase it, but the field was forbidden by the Law of Moses to be sold because it was dedicated by law. When Jezebel found out that Ahab was fitful over it, she told the king, “You are the king! Cheer up. I will get it for you!” She then concocted a murder plot against Naboth and seized the property for her husband. What a treacherous tactician of evil! I Kings 21:1-16  Would you like to guess who taught her?  

The Devil is a patient tempter.  “One swallow does not a summer make.” The summer in Capistrano is not complete with the arrival of the first migration of the year. There remains a stream of arrivals. Do you think that Satan was finished tempting Jesus after the incident above (just three attempts). Think again. Luke shows that Satan must have made many other assaults upon Jesus’ will to obey God.  And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.” Luke 4:13 The Devil’s attempts this day were thwarted, but Luke asserts that he was always on the alert for other opportunities, and he took them! Consider the incident following Peter’s great confession of Jesus as the Christ, the group of teacher and disciples  turned toward Jerusalem. Jesus’ tone changes and he reveals his death on the cross to this stunned group. Peter takes Jesus apart and counsels the Master, “No, this is impossible for you to suffer.” “But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:23 Satan has waited to the perfect time and adviser to Jesus to dissuade Him to halt the plan of salvation just before it is to be culminated. Oh, the clever Satan! We know not how many temptations the Devil had proffered to Jesus between the desert and this day, but here is implication that Satan had the persistence to have made many attempts. The Lord, however, proved unassailable to these testings.

The Devil is a planner for the future.  In the old film noir mystery movie serials the cast included a master criminal, sometimes with some  fantastic title as “The Black Tiger”, or sometimes the gang just called him “Boss”. This boss always had an intricate plan to take over the city or steal an enormous fortune, etc. There were a lot of twists and turns, but the boss always had a back-up plot. To get someone else  to be punished for the crime they usually “framed” some innocent person with a well-thought-out trick.  To be sure, the Devil is enormously devious in using long-range schemes…schemes whose final outcome is ages in the future. Perhaps fates of evil men in the treachery against Jesus had through long ages been prepared by Satan: men like Judas Iscariot and even Caiaphas. It may well be that many of the seeds of the horrid political events taking place today were planted long ago. Certainly  much of the  political turmoil, moral grossness, and severe hostility in our world today have their genesis in the last century.

As an inchworm creeps slowly to its destination, so does the convoluted and complex unrighteousness of Satan and his nefarious work. Plodding, oozing, and slogging have been the ways of the advance of the present corruption. Until I was over 50 years of I never considered that there was so much evil in the world. Now has come the real evil without any shame, deception, nor excuse.  Evil has inched its way over the centuries to the hideous reality that it is. We Christians must rise up and fight it.

 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:10-13


READERS: In the past I have never asked you to forward any of my articles. I have decided to ask you now please to forward this one (only) to your friends. I think it is an important to help us understand our times. I fear that we Christians are being overwhelmed by terrible forces of evil. We must see it for what it truly is. Please do so right after you read it.

Also, I would recommend for your reading a book entitled “The Death of Satan: How Americans Have  Lost The Sense of  EVIL”, by Andrew Delblanco. You may find it on Amazon, or on the internet at:


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