“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
Today’s message will be centered on this Scripture passage, and I would like to speak to you about the theme, “Let us fully know Satan’s attributes and defeat him by our faith of believing in God.” In today’s Scripture passage, the Lord tells the Pharisees, “You are of your father the devil” (John 8:44). So, step by step, we will try to find out what the true meaning of these Words of the Lord really is and also what Truth He is trying to tell us through them.
The Jew back then did not recognize who Jesus was, who was spreading the Word of God, but instead they tried to kill Him. Jesus told them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father.” Then, they answered, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father – God.” To this, Jesus says, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of myself, but He sent me. Why do you not understand my speech? Because you are not able to listen to my word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:39-44).
By this Jesus quickened the Jews, who were trying to kill Him instead of recognizing Him properly, by telling them, “Your father is not God but the Devil. You are of your father the Devil.” However, even though Jesus had spoken like this about the Truth of salvation, the Jews at the time did not believe in it to the very end. And they actually executed Jesus on the Cross. Jesus knew all about this, and pointing the evil spirit out that dominating their hearts by saying to them, “You are of the Devil.”
Today, we will firstly look at the Devil’s attributes that rules over people’s hearts, just like Satan who was lurking inside the hearts of these Jews, and then I will speak to you about the way in which we can defeat the Devil.
How Did Satan Come to Exist in This World?
First of all, through the Scripture passages, we will try to find out how came to exist in this world. The following are passages in the Book of Isaiah chapter 14, verses 12 to 15.
“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.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.”
In these passages when God called out, “O Lucifer, son of the morning,” He was speaking about a particular angel. God had created the physical world in which we live now, and He also created a world for spiritual beings, that is, for angels as well. Amongst these angels, the angel Gabriel, whom we know very well, is an angel that delivers good news from God, and the angel Michael mentioned in the Book of Daniel is an angel that manages wars. God tells us besides these angels, He has set a guardian angle over each and every one of us who had received the remission of their sins.
Then how did Satan whose attributes are opposite to these angels come into existence? Did God create him from the very beginning? I would like to thus speak to you about how Satan came into existence.
Long ago amongst the angels God had created, there was a certain angel who challenged God his Creator. But the Omniscient God knew his rebellion beforehand and cast out that arrogant angel from the Kingdom of Heaven and thus defeated him. That certain angel, who was cast down to the earth from Heaven, is the one who had become the Devil.
To punish that Devil, God created a special place, and that place is none other than hell or Sheol. God created hell to have him suffer pain for all eternity. Amongst the numerous angels God created, the one who had revolted the most against God was none other than a certain angel with a name of Lucifer, the highest-ranking angel amongst all of the angels. He combined forces with his followers and challenged God. There is an account of this in the Book of Isaiah chapter 14 verses 13 and 14, “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.” This shows us clearly that Satan challenged God and tried to reign over the heavenly world by placing himself on the Throne of God. It was the evil scheme of Satan to have at least the same authority as that of God his creator, and it appeared to him that he could surpass God. Like this, Satan has tried to act as the king of the world by reigning on top of all things.
Each and every creation that exists in this world has a duty bestowed on by God to fulfill. God bestowed definite roles upon God’s servants, the angels, including all creatures that we might think of as really trivial. He has given a particular reason for its existence to every creature. For example, flowers have a role of displaying God’s mysterious workmanship by showing off its beauty. God had bestowed such a role on each and every creature existing in the world. Of course, Lucifer the highest-ranking angel was given the duty of praising the righteousness of God.
But rather than being faithful to his role, he challenged the very authority of God, and tried to usurp the throne of God to become the same one God all on his own. He by doing this committed the sin of arrogance. All creations are beings that were born solely for the glory of God. All things in the universe exist for the glory of God. Therefore, all things just have to carry out their duties at their respective places and be loyal to God. But the archangel called Lucifer had coveted the throne of God and committed a sin before God by standing against Him. Amongst those sins committed against God, there is one sin that cannot be atoned for, and that is none other than the desire to become higher than God. This is a great sin, which is similar to that of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. All sins committed due to human’s innate weakness can be atoned for, but the sin of opposing and challenging the gospel of the water and the Spirit set up by God can never be atoned for. God had created hell in order to punish those who have committed sins that cannot be forgiven.
God created people in His image, and by clothing them with the grace of His salvation through the gospel of the water and the Spirit, His desire was for them to come inside His glory. Therefore, a human being becoming glorious like God is only possible by the God-given grace of salvation, and not by one’s own abilities. God wanted to bear witness to us humans of this great fact. Thus God had saved us from the sins of the world through the gospel of the water and the Spirit by sending His Son, Jesus Christ. By believing in the Lord-given gospel of the water and the Spirit, we as human beings are able to become the blessed ones who can live together with God forever. By faith, we get to receive the remission of sins and to praise the glory of God with joy.
A person who has received the remission of sins with faith like this becomes a perfect child of God. Therefore, Satan cannot but hate and fear the children of God who have received the remission of their sins. It is therefore written in the Book of James chapter 4 verses 7 & 8, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Also in 1 Peter 5:8-9 it says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.”
We Must Stand against Satan with Faith of Believing in the Word of God
In the above passage it is written that Satan the Devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking out whom he may devour. It is said that he seeks out those whom he can deceive, tempt and threaten. However, because we as human beings do not know much about the Devil and really do not want to know about him, we don’t pay much attention to him and his vices. But the Bible tells us to strongly resist the Devil.
Then how are we supposed to resist the Devil if we don’t know about him? To speak to you about the attributes of the Devil, I can tell you that he is someone who resists God and is heading straight for hell, and fundamentally he is a liar. All the things that he says are utter lies. There is only one way for us to resist him, the cunning and the wicked: It is for us to resist him with faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Even though we don’t actually put that much interest on the Devil and his attributes, God tells us to stoutly resist him. He said that if we boldly fight against him, he will go away. But if were to just flee from Satan, instead of resisting him he will for sure chase after us. Dear fellow believers, we must clothe ourselves with the whole armor of God. We must wholeheartedly believe in the Lord-given gospel Word of the water and the Spirit and resist Satan with faith of believing in Jesus Christ. Satan is cunning and he tempts us incessantly. We must realize that the chaos and emptiness of the heart that we suffer is all due to Satan. When he pesters us we must command him in the name of the Lord, “Satan be gone with you!” With this roaring strong command, we must fight against him. To do this we must have the thorough faith in our hearts in the fact that “The Lord is our Christ.”
Our Lord is the God of creation who had created all things in the universe, and He is the Savior and the only God who has saved us from sin. Jesus Christ is the King of kings, the High Priest of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Savior and the Prophet. We must realize and believe that Jesus Christ is without a doubt much more powerful than Satan, and that His authority is much higher than that of him. We must possess that faith of believing in the name of Jesus Christ in order to resist the Devil. Only in the name of Jesus Christ are we able to command the Devil.
Actually Satan is strong enough to cut off a steel chain in an instant. We often witness those whose hearts are weak becoming the children of the Devil all too easily, especially those possessed by demons. Just as God said that Satan is the father of lies, his servants are all complete liars. You might think not much of lies, but I hope that you realize that lies of the servants of Satan can very easily kill a human being. Satan searches out for a prey, and when he concludes that he can defeat it easily, he springs his attack and then threatens it. And should he find out that his prey seems to be stronger than him, he then tries to confuse the prey by seducing it with temptations filled with lies. The powers of those lies are greater than what we may ever think of. We need to know that we can never overcome him solely with our strengths. That is why the Lord said, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you,” (James 4:7). We must fully understand the attributes of the Devil’s the deceiver, and we should also not get deceived by such lies with our faith in the Lord. If we don’t have faith, we as human beings will not have the strength to resist and fight against the Devil.
In order to save the demon-possessed and for us not to be deceived by these demons, what we must know is the fact that all the words that proceed from these demon-possessed are all lies. We should always have this fact engraved in our hearts. Words that fortunetellers and shamans speak are all false. Even if the words they speak seem so accurate, but when we examine them with the Word of God, they turn out to be lies. In Korea, where shamanism grew profusely at one time, people as a custom have a tendency to believe in the words of these fortunetellers. It is high time that we break down this absurd belief. We should believe in the Word of God which tells us that the words of the Devil are all false; and by resisting the Devil, we should be waging a fierce spiritual war. We should be assured that everything he utters is a lie. And we should believe that Jesus Christ is the omniscient and omnipotent God and the Savior who has come to save us from sins. Our Lord has saved you and me from sin by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and through this faith, He has made us the children of God and has instilled the Holy Spirit in our hearts. By believing in this Word and in the fact that all authority exists only in the name of Jesus Christ, we must resist the Devil and defeat him courageously.
In the Gospel of Luke chapter 10 verses 17 through 20, we find the following. “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
We can defeat the Devil only in the name of Jesus and not in our strength. It is because the name of the Lord has the gift and the power. This has the same meaning as emperors of the past wielding great authority. With an emperor’s word, “Increase the size of the road,” all the citizens of that country had no other choice but to toil to expand the road. Of course, it is ridiculous trying to compare the authority of Jesus with that of a worldly emperor, but nevertheless we can see that this has the authority of His word.
The authority of an omnipotent king is through the name of Jesus Christ. It is because Jesus is not only our Savior but also the omniscient and omnipotent God. The Devil will throw away his false authority and flee from us as we command him by saying, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you! Be gone, Satan.”
Satan constantly tests us with his lies. He questions us, “Do you truly have the right faith?” If you are the righteous who has been born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, then as you fall into that kind of situation, you must put your back to the wall of faith and fight against the Devil stoutly. A righteous person has the authority in the name of Jesus Christ. One of the disciples of Jesus also said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name” (Luke 10:17). The fact is there is the power in that name to defeat the Devil.
Although he was once an angel in God presence, he (Satan) resisted God and as a result was cast out from the Kingdom of Heaven. And then he received a curse from God, the Bible says, “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.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit” (Isaiah 14:13-15). Using the authority in the name of Jesus Christ and with faith of believing in that name let us all resist the Devil. Jesus Christ will soon throw him down into the burning hell.
People Today Say There Is No Hell
We must have heard this claim at least once or twice. If the Bible says there is a hell, then there is for sure a hell. Whose Words are in the Bible? Yes, they are the Words of the Omnipotent God. The One who created all things in the universe had the disciples record all His providence. Therefore the Bible is undeniable the Word of the perfect God. That is why we humans who have been created by God are not qualified to analyze these Words of the omnipotent God or add things to it. We could take all creation and natural phenomena as objects for our research, but God who created us and has unlimited power, can never be an object for study by us. Therefore you have to know that the activity of a higher criticism has destroyed the sane faith of many believers. There is only one thing that we can do with the Word: Simply believe in the Truth about Jesus Christ and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that is written in the Bible.
Based on the notion of textual criticism, some theologians insist that there is no hell recorded in the Bible. They try to explain the words like “Sheol” and “Gehenna” as an actual place where landfill and rubbish are burnt up. But it is written clearly in the Bible, hell exists for sure. And Jesus Christ will surely throw the Devil and all his followers into that burning pit of hell. We who have strong faith in the authority in the name of Jesus Christ must believe that hell exist for Satan and his followers. Therefore, when someone possessed by a demon should attack you, do not be afraid.
I also was once tempted by the Devil. Prior to being born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, when there were still sins inside my heart, I often heard sounds of accusation whispered into my ears by demons saying, “You have sinned, didn’t you?” Whenever I heard it, I felt ashamed, so I ran before God and prayed, “Dear Lord, please forgive me.” Despite all my efforts of repentance prayers, these accusations from the Devil did not go away. When I tried to flee from him, the Devil just continued to chased me and continued to accuse me, saying, “You have sins, don’t you?”
Referring to demons, the Bible tells us that they are the accusers (Revelations 12:10). Accusation is to slander others and to charge them with sins by fabricating things as if they have sins even though they don’t. “Back then, didn’t you do that? You did commit a sin!” The fact is that thoughts like these are all accusation originating from the Devil. But what did Jesus tell us? “I have also blotted out that sin too. I have solved everything for you, so live out your life with peace on your heart.” This is what Jesus is telling us.
Those who have had experiences similar to mine must know it all, but when one gets accused by the Devil, it becomes very unbearable. But there is a way to overcome such temptation, and that is none other than faith of believing in the fact that all authority lies in the name of Jesus Christ. Although it was before I had received the remission of my sins, when I resisted Satan in the name of Jesus with such faith, Satan the fled away from me to my surprise. Only those who have demons know this pain. Also those who have demons cannot readily speak about their sins to others. Who can readily speak about their sins? If I told someone about my sins, and if they were able to solve my sins, it might have been different, but the fact of the matter is that no single person has the ability to solve the problem of sin. So when I was suffering from the agony of this temptation by the Devil, I resisted him in the name of Jesus Christ, believing only in the authority in that name. When I did so, he fled.
Dear fellow believers, we have now become the truly born-again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. As we read the Book of Acts, we read of a certain man who had been a cripple all his life stood up and walked when Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). All of this was possible because there was authority in the name of Jesus Christ. In order to resist the Devil, we must believe in the authority in the name of Jesus Christ shown in these Words. We should have a clear fellowship with the Lord in our hearts, and also get the problem that concerns our hearts solved before Him. Even if we have many wrongdoings, our Lord will cleanse all our sins as white as snow. As we willingly confess our sins and acknowledge the fact that we are those who cannot but go to hell because of those sin, and as we believe in our hearts the fact that the Lord has blotted out all our sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, all our sins will be atoned for, and we will become the perfect righteous people of God, as if we were people who have never ever committed any sin.
We must believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior who has blotted out all our sins, and we must resist the Devil by believing that no matter how lacking we are, we will walk with the Lord until the end of the world, and by believing that this authority lies in the name of Jesus Christ. We must realize that the Devil is a liar and that he is the enemy of God who resists Him, the true gospel and the very Truth. When we cry out, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ! Be gone, Satan!” Satan, who has tried to reside inside our hearts, will flee.
The Lord gave his disciples including us, the authority to defeat Satan. The Lord said to His disciples, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. --- Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:18-19). We all must have faith in this Word. Dear fellow believers, if you do not have faith, pray to the Lord. “Dear Lord, I lack faith. Please grant me strong faith.” If you pray like this and ask in earnest, you will receive faith from the Lord. If we believe that Jesus Christ is higher than Satan and also if we resist the Devil with Jesus Christ’s name, we will be able to defeat the Devil with our faith.
Therefore we must know the attributes of the Devil who attacks us incessantly. We must realize the fact that what he does best is to lie and that he tries to bewilders us with false power. This current era is an age in which Satan swaggers about. He enters people and at other times, he is inside an animal or a certain place. Just as human beings live inside a house, demons also live in certain places, inside people or living creatures. He patrols around with a roving eye, “Is there anyone who is without faith?” And just as he sees people without faith, he appears before them and threatens them.
However, the Devil can never appear before those who share a sincere communion with God. He appears only to those whose relationship with God has grown afar and tries to ‘Knock them out’. Dear fellow believers, for this very reason, we must always be sober and vigilant. God has given us the name of Jesus Christ with which we can defeat Satan. When Satan tries to attacks us as if he was going to kill us, and if we were to give the command, yelling out, “In the name of Jesus Christ, be gone, Satan,” and praise the Lord, he will no longer be able to attack us, and will flee away. Jesus Christ has saved us. He is full of power, and He is the omnipotent God. Do you believe this?
Once in a while, the Devil will try and confuse our faith by displaying a false miracle before us. We should realize that these miracles displayed by him are all deceitful wonders. Let us read the Second Book of Thessalonians chapter 2 verses 9 through 12. “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
The Devil can have the lame stand up and the blind to see. But we must know that all of these are fake wonders and the nothing more than a person possessed by a large demon displaying powers in front of others who are possessed by smaller demons. No matter how much false power they may have, demons can never kill the righteous. Although they can threaten the born-again righteous, they cannot twist and turn the faith of the righteous. When we the righteous unite and resist Satan, he will surely flee from us. I hope for you to realize this fact and to resist the Devil stoutly.
Of course, the Devil isn’t someone who we would welcome. But dear fellow believers, you must not be afraid of him. Do we flee from dung because it is scary? We flee from dung because it is filthy. The Devil is the same. We avoid him because he is someone, we should try to avoid if at all possible. But if it comes down to a situation where we cannot avoid him, then we must resist him resolutely. By faith, we must cast out demons that hinder the gospel work and who resist God.
But there is an important point here for us to keep in mind. All problems do not get solved just by casting away demons. As we cast out demons, we can neglect and abuse the demon-possessed. People like this can suffer an internal wound when they get neglected. And so when a person possessed by demons becomes sane, we should preach the gospel to that person and pray for that person’s soul. But should that person resists us and inflicts harm on us, we should stand against that person; but if that is not the case, it is right that we preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit such people so that their spirits may be truly born again.
In the Book of Ephesians chapter 6, verse 11 we read, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Dear fellow believers, we must believe in the Word of God. Only those who believe in the Word of God can resist and defeat the Devil. When we defeat the Devil like this, we will not be conquered by him, and we can go on spreading the gospel of the water and the Spirit until we stand before God. If we don’t wear the whole armor of God, we can easily be conquered by the Devil. People who are weak have a tendency to think, “I think he knows all the things I have done,” and therefore fear the Devil. Dear fellow believers, the Bible tells us that the Devil is a complete liar and the father of lies. Therefore we must ignore him completely. It is because even if the Devil was telling the truth, the truth will in fact be a complete lie, and even if he tells us a lie, it is also a complete lie.
Dear fellow believers, in order to resist the Devil, we must put on the whole armor of God, which is the Word of God through faith. Why? The Bible tells us, “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” (Ephesians 6:13). ‘The whole armor’ mentioned above refers to an armor made up of breastplate and a helmet, showing only the eyes and covering up a person from head to toe, similar to that worn by the European knights during the Middle Ages. Wearing strong body armor like this, the knights of the Middle Ages fought against their enemies. When the Lord tells us to put on the whole armor He means that we must shield our hearts with the faith of holding onto and believing in the Word of God. It is telling us to cover our weak hearts with the Word. He is telling us to use our hearts as a warehouse for the storage of the Word of God. He tells us that if we do this, we will easily be able to resist and defeat the Devil and stand firm before God.
Dear fellow believers, it is important to listen to the Word, but more important than that is for us to have faith in His Word. Do you believe this? This is God’s Church. God’s Church is a wonderful place. God has saved us by blotting out all our sins in His Church. He has adopted us as His children and has made us the workers of God. He has also given us the power and the authority to restrain demons through our faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We can live out our faith, offering thanks before the Lord with faith like this.