Know Your Enemy

Should we know the attributes of our enemy and the manner in which he fights in order to know how to fight him?

What are the attributes of the devil?

How does he fight against us?

Does he have a constant manner of fighting, or does he change his methods according to the circumstances?

Many may say no, all we should do is focus on the scriptures and God, yet the scriptures themselves say,

“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” 2 Corinthians 2:11

According to the Holy Bible, we know the following about the devil and those that follow him:

1. He loves to fight against God:

Since his fall, the devil's main concern has been to fight and combat against all that is good. He has always been a fighter, even before overthrowing Adam and Eve he overthrew multitudes of heavenly angels who followed him and became his various powers.

He began to fight all, and as he overthrew some of the angelical Cherubim, principalities, dominions, and powers, we saw him fight God's prophets, apostles, and anointed and anyone who loves God. He fights whomever he knows to be seeking to find or serve God through a sincere heart.

He is called the opponent and enemy because he always resists God's kingdom and opposes His will. He is also called the dragon, the old serpent, Satan and the devil;

“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.” Revelations 12:9

Before the crucifixion Christ Himself referred to him as “the prince of the world”,

“Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” John 14:30

He never stops fighting, never tires nor takes a rest, He always, "walks about like a roaring lion ".

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” I Peter 5:8

In the story of Job, he told God twice that he was busy, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it." Job 1:7 and Job 2:2.

“And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” Job 1:7

He watches his victims continuously and throws his seeds everywhere. Wherever the Lord plants wheat, he comes and plants tares,

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” Matthew 13:24-25

Not only does he fight men, but he even fights even angels such as the Archangel Michael when they disputed over the body of Moses,

‘Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” Jude 9

Even in heaven, the devil could not contain his desire to fight against God,

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

We often see this in people today, even when they are shown indisputable facts, many still continue to fight against the Truth.

2. He is powerful:

Although the devil lost his purity, he did not lose his powerful angelic nature.

“So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.” Job 2:7

He was able to mislead the whole world in the days of the flood and only the family of Noah was saved (Gen. 6). The corruption had become so bad that God found that the only solution to cleanse the earth was to destroy every living being from the face of the planet.

Even after this, in Sodom, the Lord did not find even 10 righteous persons for whose sake he would have had mercy on that city (Gen.18:32). He found only the family of Lot (4 people), one of whom was Lot's wife who perished outside the city. Then even after this, Lot's two daughters were corrupted after leaving Sodom,

“And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;” 2 Pet 2:8

Examples of Satan’s corruptive power is throughout the scriptures, such as when Moses was on the mountain, and the people even after witnessing the greatness of God made idols for themselves. Exodus 32:1-6

Solomon, the wisest man on earth, who was granted wisdom from God Himself (1 Kin. 3:12), to whom God appeared twice (1 Kin. 3:5, 9:2) is said in the Holy Bible to have become a worshipper of idols,

“For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.” 1 Kings 11:5

This is not limited to the Old Testament era as we read in the following,

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,” 2 Thessalonians 2:9

He even managed to speak through a great apostle like Peter, requiring the Lord Himself to rebuke him,

“Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Matthew 16:22-23

Again, this is common amongst Satan’s deceived victims; they often have a strong influence over others, but through their manipulations and trickery, rather than simple Truth and humility.

3. He is experienced in fighting and knows our nature:

The devil has been fighting man since Adam… imagine what experience he has gained from his fight with humanity. Undoubtedly, he is the creature most capable of understanding the human soul and how to fight it. He has examined the human soul very well and knows the strong and weak points in it, as well as the way to fight it.

Consider that psychology to him is not mere theories, but an experience on the practical and scientific levels and on a great scale, which includes humanity as a whole. Thus, he knows when he should fight, how to fight, and when to wait. He knows the gates to the mind and to the heart.

Satan’s false ministers often employ this method. They use psychology to manipulate others to their way of thinking. They may offer the things that a person likes or wants or use “guilt trips”.

They may tear down another’s opinion to re-inforce their own as opposed to Christ’s manner who always gave glory to the Father in heaven. In today’s churches, this is becoming more and more common. Many reject the apostolic teachings and replace them with their own, calling what the apostles ordained as the “traditions of men" while all along they themselves are introducing their own “traditions”, disguising their own teachings through their lies and manipulations.

4. He is intelligent and resourceful:

The Word of God says,

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made…” Genesis 3:1

He is intelligent and cunning in his evil, and so the Word tells us,

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16

The wisdom of the devil is all mischief, malice and subtlety. The devil's intelligence appears in that he changes his plans and methods according to the circumstances. Among his dangerous wiles are lying, deceit, and beguilement, which he weaves so intelligently that the person usually is not aware of it. He often introduces sin disguised as virtue, such as when a person is deceived into believing his lies, but then unwittingly spreads those lies, through the counterfeit faith they have received.

Today, Satan’s servants do the same. They go out, spreading their false faith gathering to themselves and their “lord”, while hiding behind the name of Jesus Christ. They hide their deception through good works and openly praising the name of the Lord, but always there is a twist or a lie to keep their victims from the Truth and the faith that the scriptures testify offers salvation through Jesus Christ.

5. He is a liar:

Lying is a distinctive characteristic of the devil; from his first lies to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, to each of us today. The following are the Words of Jesus to some, who accepted the lies of Satan,

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44

He lies through his false prophets, false teachers and so on, sometimes even accompanied through counterfeit signs and wonders.

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,” 2 Thessalonians 2:9

Satan even takes advantage of the scriptures, such as the following,

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:” Acts 2:17

He does this by also giving his false dreams and visions by which the devil misleads people, making them think that the dreams are from God. Paul the apostle warns us of these false visions of the devil when he said how the devil hides his true identity,

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14

Satan also makes sin appear good or as an act that would serve God, he adorns the way of sin, and gives it beautiful qualities to tempt whoever falls in his wiles. Yet, all his ornaments are falsehoods through which he hides the ugliness of sin and its evil results.

Almost all sins are hidden behind one of the devil's lies, he may suggest to a thief that no one will see him or discover his theft. He may convince a murderer that the victim deserved to be killed or to his false teachers that what he has inspired within them is God’s truth and through this false faith, they are saved in the name of Christ. This they then pass on, further entrapping others while all along keeping them entrapped in Satan’s deceits.

“Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” Matthew 15:14

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” Matthew 23:15

How many gatherings today say theirs is the true faith and their practices are the way in which the Lord would have us do things? How many claim they hold services as did the early Church or it is they that are inspired by the Holy Spirit?

The answer is almost all at varying levels, but how many can prove their claims, how many pass the test when we examine the multitude of verifiable writings by those of the early Church that testify to what the Holy Spirit inspired them or how they were taught to worship the Lord.

How many when shown these evidences, reject them as writings of men, forgetting they too are just men and that these were those anointed to keep the faith because they were proven to be sound teachers of that faith?

6. He is insistent:

He is very insistent, never getting weary. He may plant a certain thought in our minds many, many times and continues to offer it even when we do not act on it.

Even when he was fighting the Lord Jesus Christ, he did not cease after his failure in the first, second, and third temptation. Though the Lord rebuked him and he departed, it was not forever, as Luke says,

“And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.” Luke 4:13

The devil never gets desperate due to any failure, and never gets ashamed or disheartened, he always returns! When he failed in the first temptation of Job, he demanded again to tempt him harder; and even when he failed in all his temptations to the Lord Jesus Christ, he came to Him when He was on the cross and said through one of his deceived servants,

“And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” Matthew 27:40

The devil desires to overthrow people and does not acknowledge any obstacles. He did not care that Adam and Eve are created after the image and likeness of God. He did not care that David is the anointed of the Lord, that Solomon is the wisest man on all earth, or that Peter was an apostle of Jesus Christ.

He does not care about the positions or spirituality of people, but strikes whatever the result may be. Since he dared to tempt Christ the Lord of Glory, would he not dare to tempt mortals?

He feeds us his lies like a poison so that even if we do not perish by it today or the next day, these deceptive seeds grow into the deadly fruit, which he uses to steal from us our eternal life.

He is not disheartened by failure nor does he get desperate due to the high spirituality of people. He proceeds in his plan to destroy God's kingdom, and to mislead even the elect. If he cannot defile someone's body, he attempts to at least defile his thoughts.

This too is common amongst false teachers of the faith; they always persist in maintaining their deceit. They have no respect for the Word of God, except when the appearance of respect serves their purpose. They take the scriptures as it suits them to justify themselves before others and have no respect for what conflicts with their false claims.

The same can be said for those whom the Lord placed in positions of authority or in teaching roles. These have no respect for the Bishops and others appointed by the apostles, while all along insisting it is they that should be respected and it is their teachings that we should accept as Truth.

7. The accuser:

In Revelation, it is said,

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Revelations 12;10

If he cannot overthrow God's children, he at least accuses them, just as he brought accusations against Jesus Himself. In the Old Testament, we read of how Satan accused Job, but today we witness these ourselves through those deceived into being the children of the devil.

One example is when someone speaks the Truth of God. When we do this, the opponents of truth rise up to combat against them. They manipulate the scriptures, twisting them to conform to their corrupted understanding, if they should fail; they resort to drawing attention to the Christian’s faults in an attempt to incite them to sin. Finally, if they still fail, they begin to bring false accusations against them, just as false witnesses were brought against Jesus Christ in Satan’s attack on the Lord.

The practice of drawing attention to another’s weakness is one of the false teacher’s greatest weapons and when they fail in this or cannot find any, they simple fabricate lies to discredit whoever challenges them. When asked to produce evidence, the false teacher will avoid it, change the subject, or do whatever it takes to conceal their deceit.

8. He has numerous talents:

He has numerous far-extending abilities. He knows and masters many things. His knowledge is very wide, in every field. He even knows the verses of the Bible very well and uses them, although usually in a perverted context.

In the temptation on the mount, he used the Holy Bible in his own way (Matt. 4:6). He is the author of all heresies and heterodoxies. He put them in the minds of heretics and offers them wrong interpretations for the verses of the Bible. Understandings that conflict with what the Holy Spirit inspired within the anointed of the original apostolic Church.

The devil knows poetry, music, art, carving, drawing and songs. He inspires those who are concerned with amusement with whatever they need in their arts to entice people, overthrow them or lead them astray from their spiritual course.

However, the knowledge of the devil serves his own purposes being to resist God and His Kingdom. Therefore, he uses all his knowledge to realize this diabolic aim, puffed up in his own pride.

“Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” 1 Corinthians 8:1

False teachers are like this. They often come across as very knowledgeable, they brag of their degrees or years of study to establish their credibility. They utilize whatever resource they can to attract and win over their victims.

9. He is cruel:

He works with all cruelty, and without mercy. He leads many to perdition and loss, such as those who were destroyed by the flood, and by the fires of Sodom, and those who were swallowed up alive by the earth (Num. 16).

His cruelty is also evident in the cases of those who became lunatic and insane on his account, such as the mad man of the country of Gadarenes, Luke 8:26-29 and Mark 5:5. As well as his attacks on the servants of God, such as the many who have been martyred, often through torture, in the name of Jesus Christ.

He is cruel in the wars, calamities and crimes, which he instigates in the world. Besides destroying souls and minds, spreading contentions, causing disruption and dispersion, he is a destructive factor that destroys unceasingly and violently and is happy about the destruction he spreads.

The false teachers are also cruel, they would rather see us all suffer in the pits of hell then lose anything or anyone they have gained. Unless of cause that person threatens them, then they will show their false feelings for their loss, while feeling relieved that the threat to them has been removed.

10 . He is malicious in his pretended kindness:

His kind words are a malignant means to overthrow people. He fraudulently shows “sympathy" for you, such as if you should choose to “fast” he calls you to eat, for your own health and convince you this has no benefit or it is not for today's Christians.

If you wish to serve God in a potentially threatening way such as disciple in a dangerous place, he may say to you, "Beware, lest you should kill your body which is given to you with which you may glorify God, perhaps using a verse such as the following to justify his claim and convince us it is God who inspires us not to do these things,

“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:” Ephesians 5:29

He falsely "sympathizes" with you when you become spiritually active and when you keep awake in prayers, reading and bowing down in worship and calls you to go to sleep and have rest.

He falsifies his 'kindness' through his servants by having them say not to try so hard or asks you to limit your endeavors to serve God. They may say patronizing words like “calm down”, “take it easy”, or maybe they may ask you to “settle down”, knowing you are quite under control.

He may turn you against too much study or meditation on the Word of God or by speaking out to thers by using verses such as the following

“Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?” Ecclesiastes 7:16

He gives the impression he is 'kind-hearted' and pities you when you weep for your sins that he may appear to be compassionate and all things opposite to what and who he really is. He or one of his agents may say something like,

“Did not God forgive your sins and wipe them out with His Blood? Why then are you so sad for doing them? Did not the Holy Bible say, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Phil. 4:4)

He goes on pressing until you lose the humility of heart, lose the tears of repentance and cool down. Thus, it becomes easy for you to sin and perhaps you return to sinning. Of course, he makes you forget or distracts you from the many other Words of the Bible, such as

“Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” Ecclesiastes 7:3

Even in Church, he would have you laugh rather than feel sorrow for your sins when you stand before your creator, worshipping His mighty name.

The devil justifies your mistakes for you so that your conscience may not be weary. He prevents you from rebuking yourself, having regard for your feelings! He feigns 'compassionate' for you lest you should fall into sorrow and despair! Thus, in all your mistakes he offers you various excuses and justifications

He will convince you that although your sins are wrong, you did not mean it. Your intentions are good and God judges by your intentions… It may have been wrong, but what could you have done?

Then he adds that it is all right because we have grace, ignoring the scripture that says,

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:1

By justifying our mistakes, he puts our conscience at ease, he allures us away from repentance, from caution and from being on guard and from honesty in the little things.

This is another practice of those who have been deceived into being ministers of Satan. Rather than correcting or guiding people to repentance, many sympathize or justify our wrongs, finding excuses and teaching us to do the same.

They may lighten the mood to distract or make jokes or sing or dance, rather than have you humble yourself before your Creator. However if these tactics fail, then he may say you are to hard on yourself and remind you have a merciful and gracious God, which we do, but we also have a wrathful God who would have us turn from our sin rather, than face His final judgment.

11. He is envious and prideful:

His never rests whenever he sees a successful or a righteous person and he tries his best to overthrow such a person. Because the devil envies knowledge and wisdom, envies chastity, and envies humility, He spreads ignorance, adultery and pride in the world with all the malevolence he has.

He turned Solomon from his wisdom and made him fall; and threw many a wrong knowledge into the world along with Pride which traps whoever escapes other sins and whoever falls in them also.

For when the devil envies, he fights with all power, as in the case of Job. He envied him for his integrity and accused him before God. Thus, when you do any act of righteousness, we must expect the envy of the devil and expect that he will never leave you in righteousness, but will try to make you fall by all their means.

If God has given you a gifting, expect the envy of the devil, jealous of what you have received. He will either try to make you fall into pride, or make you use that gift out of place, thus losing its spiritual aim and its benefit to you and others.

The false teacher envies someone who seeks the Truth and through his envy, he is resentful. If he sees humility, he is angered because this is not one of his virtues, and treats you as though it is a weakness. If it is wisdom, his ego is hurt and tries to tear you down through his manipulations, lies or simply his “body language”, a shrug of the shoulder or an expression on his face anything to protect his own ego and dignity.

12. He is an opportunist.

The devil tries to seize every opportunity to cast his temptations just as he tried to take advantage of the hunger of the Lord Jesus Christ after fasting forty days and tempted Him with bread.

He also benefited from the fear of Peter and led him to deny Christ.

He also took advantage of the Jews who held fast to the Sabbath and made them deny the miracles of Christ which no one ever did before, and further to accuse him of being sinful (John 9:11).

Those who are deceived by Satan also look for opportunities, perhaps not consciously, but the spirit misguiding them certainly waits for his moment to attack. If you have a moment of distraction, of fear, of concern or anything that can be used against you to trap you in a lie, at that time they will pounce, but not always as a “roaring lion” (1Peter 5:8), sometimes as an “angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)

13. The devil wants us lazy towards God and enthusiastic towards the world:

As was said before, the devil may show compassion for your health whether in respect to fasting, watchfulness or any physical weariness. He advises you to give rest to your body for the sake of your health.

However, this is only when it is for a righteous action, if you keep awake in amusement or other means of entertainment, he will not warn you against the potential harm to your spiritual health.

When you get tired because of vain worldly matters, he does not advise you to have rest. If you tire in collecting money, in seeking fame and dignity, in running after your lusts and joys, in arranging parties, in games and sports and any other worldly activities he has no care.

He advises you to take rest only when you are tired in a spiritual practice. Your spiritual struggle is the only thing that arouses his counterfeit compassion for you and your health!

The devil and his children would have us be lazy; whereas the Children of God rejoice in the labors they do in Christ and take no glory, but rather praise the name of Jesus Christ.

“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10

“Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” 2 Corinthians 11:23-27

“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” 1 Corinthians 3:8

“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hebrews 6:10

When you do what is righteous, the devil would have you be concerned for your health, through rest, food, or through the ways of the world, such as science. However, his lies do not talk about your spiritual health.

The ministers of the devil, those that he has deceived into being his servants offer you the ways of the world, the teachings of the world, the scriptural interpretations of the world, anything of the world, as long as it keeps you from one thing. That is the Truth that comes through the original uncorrupted faith in Jesus Christ, as it was first given us through His anointed apostles.

In conclusion, Satan deceives whomever he can to fight against the Truth; his lies are powerful enough to even deceive the wisest. He is experienced in dealing with humanity and knows how to manipulate our weaknesses against us, he is intelligent and resourceful, utilizing every option he can. He is a liar and the father of it.

Satan is insistent, he never gives up trying to corrupt any of us and we must be on constant guard against him. He falsely accuses to tear us down, both directly and to destroy our credibility before others that we cannot spread the Truth that reveals his corruptive works and glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is armed with many skills and does not hesitate to use any of them against us. He is cruel and deceives us into believing he has kindness towards us that we would not know it is him and be convinced he must be our loving and compassionate God.

The devil is envious and prideful, he hates us having anything that he lacks and deceives us to use these things to serve his purposes. He never misses an opportunity to corrupt us, laying in wait for us to give him even the slightest chance to attack. Satan wants us lazy toward what the Lord would have us do and presses us to place all our attention on the things of the world that we cannot serve Jesus Christ.

These are just a few of the characteristics of Satan and these are just a few of what he manifests through his children, those that he deceives into doing his bidding.

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