Only a few days after the Boston Bombings, the media has evoked a virtual cornucopia of characterizations of the tragic event perpetrated on Patriots Day during the annual Boston Marathon with its record 26,000+ participants. The one word that you will not hear them ascribe to the catastrophe, however, is the one word that is the most appropriate of all, and which identifies the true mastermind behind it. That word is: SATANIC.
The media pundits and commentators won’t evoke that word for two basic, related reasons. One, they don’t believe in a real, living, and operating devil. And, two, because such a belief is insulting to their self-purported intelligence.
God Himself assigns a descriptor to all persons who allege disbelief in Him—“FOOL!”:
“The FOOL has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.” (Psa. 14:1; 53:1)
Inherent in that divine statement also is another truism: The FOOL has said in his heart, “There is no devil.” The two “un-beliefs” go hand in hand. If your belief is that there is no God, then your belief must also be there is no devil. Both beliefs automatically self-identify you as a “FOOL!,” because God Himself identifies, names, describes, characterizes, prophesies about, reveals the future of, and even speaks directly to the devil, whose primary name now is “Satan.” Not believing in God or the devil makes you a veritable FOOL! And, that’s not my assignation, but God’s. Moreover, if the spiritual shoe fits, like it or not, insulted or not, you DO wear it!
There are at least 53 names—more than for anyone except God Himself—assigned to the devil in the Word of God. Just a few of those names, each of which is a descriptor describing his works, are: Abaddon (Hebrew) or Apollyon (Greek), both of which mean, “Destroyer” or “Destructive One”; accuser; adversary; angel of light; antichrist; beast; beezelbul (beezelbub); belial; deceiver; devil; dragon; enemy; evil one; father of lies; god of this world; king of Babylon; lawless one; leviathan; liar; lucifer.
So vital is the existence of the devil to the spiritual landscape that God specifically states in His-Story, the Word of God, that a primary purpose for the Son of God’s first coming to the world was: “to destroy the works of the DEVIL” (1 Jn. 3:8). So, we know from this, and a plethora of other Scripture passages, that the devil not only exists, but he has certain “works” that God identifies and warns believers about in His Word. Thus, God’s “intelligence”—which is so far above humanity’s that He likens the separation to the immeasurable distance between the heavens and the earth (Isa. 55:9)—is in no way “insulted” by the acknowledgement of the existence of His archenemy, the devil.
Obviously, space here will not allow an exhaustive dissertation regarding the devil and his works, but what should inform the intelligence of any reasoning person is the fact that God Himself not only acknowledges and affirms the existence and operations of the devil on this planet, but, as stated previously, identifies, names, describes, characterizes, prophesies about, reveals the future of, and even speaks directly to the devil. For the genuine “believer” that settles the matter.
Indeed, a working knowledge of the existence and modus operandi of the devil is vital to every believer’s spiritual understanding and life. God actually indicates that ignorance of Satan’s schemes, or “strategic battle plans”—the literal meaning of the Greek word so rendered in the New Testament—results in a distinct and potentially deadly disadvantage (cf., 2 Cor. 2:11). The stark and sad reality, unfortunately, is that all but only a few percent of professing believers are indeed totally IGNORANT of the schemes (strategic battle plans) of the devil, and therefore ARE at a decided DISADVANTAGE in terms of engaging in spiritual warfare against the one who God Himself identifies as our “adversary”: “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8)!
Knowing everything possible about one’s enemy—his warfare methods, modus operandi, philosophies, ideologies, motives and motivations, etc.—is a priority of any soldier’s training, and an aspect to which any prudent soldier who desires to avert being a casualty wants to pay especial attention. Ignoring that portion of training is nothing short of suicidal ideation. Yet, that is exactly what the vast majority of the masses of the world are doing by refusing to accept what God categorically states and elucidates in His Word about the ultimate author and perpetrator of all evil extant on planet Earth. Just as denials of God do not negate Him, so also, denials of the devil do not negate his existence, and certainly not his innumerable diabolical workings in the world system. God unambiguously identifies such wholesale ignorance as the main reason why so many purporting believers live such defeated and destroyed lives: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6). Lack of knowledge is not only not bliss, but is often deadly.
My point here, however, is by no means neither to spiritualize the natural nor to naturalize the spiritual. The subject of Satan and the satanic is in no way super-spiritualization, mythology, or ethereal religious theorization. Nor am I implying that such real-world natural cataclysm can be either eliminated or averted by some sort of spiritual means. In fact, I am grieved by the strong prospect that many more-and-more destructive terrorist atrocities are likely to occur in the future. It is absolutely imperative that all law enforcement and governmental agencies tasked with doing everything possible in the natural realm to keep America and Americans as safe as possible from such diabolical terrorist attacks do their jobs to the utmost of their individual and collective capabilities. These cowardly, depraved, demon-possessed radicalized Muslim—foreign or home-grown—terrorists, who vehemently despise everything America consists of, especially belief in the One, True God who the phrase “one nation under God” refers to, as well as all those who believe in and therefore are spiritually related to Him, must be deterred in their plans of destruction and brought to swift justice for their vile and inhumane actions when successfully carried out. Nevertheless, for everyone who is deeply troubled and traumatized by, and trying to assimilate the ostensible reasoning and meaning of such horrific, reprehensible, and barbaric acts, it is equally imperative to understand that the ultimate author of all such diabolical evil is the master-terrorist, Satan. Making that mental attribution, if nothing else, will avert loss of mental and emotional equilibrium in the face of such an overwhelmingly disturbing and senseless tragedy.
In an article I wrote along these lines on 9-11, I reminded readers that Satan is the master-terrorist, who is eternally possessed with an immeasurable abhorrence of God and God’s Mankind Creation that is far beyond all expression and comprehension. His name is Destroyer, an entirely earned and deserved assignation of perpetual divine derision, in that he is maniacally intent on destruction of everything in any way connected to God as part of his completely crazed and unattainable desire to defeat, destroy, and replace God. The people he inhabits with his wicked evil-spirits are his human agents to carry out his diabolical plots of disruption, decimation, confusion, and chaos. A major part of his overall strategy is to cast into disorder and disarray the order God intended and intends for the world He created, and being “the god of this world,” he has been and will continue to be quite successful in achieving those goals…until…the triumphant return of Christ.
In the meantime (which very probably will not be much longer), it is incredibly calming, comforting, and encouraging for the believer to know that: “Greater is He that is in (us) [i.e., the Holy Spirit] than he that is in the world (Satan)” (1 Jn. 4:4); and that in all his insane vibrato and inane scheming, in the end, when the time for his judgment has come, (which is very close at hand), Jesus Himself will single-handedly and effortlessly slay this impish, vacuous, insolent, fallen angel merely by breathing on him and utterly annihilating him with the mere appearance of His second coming:
“Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming” (2 Thes. 2:8 ).
Dr. Steven Lambert was ordained in 1977 and holds several earned graduate/post-graduate degrees. Over more than four decades in ministry, he has served as a pastor, radio/TV host, adjunct-professor, Board Certified Doctoral Diplomate Christian Therapist/Counselor, and a speaker/commentator on a range of social, political, and theological issues, particularly as a recognized authority on the matter of ecclesiastical authoritarian abuse. He is the founder/Overseer of Ephesians Four Network (ephesiansfour.net) and its subsidiary, Ephesians Four Network of Deliverance Counselors (efndc.ephesiansfour.net). Dr. Lambert authored several books (catalog at realtruthpublications.com), many published articles, and is the founder/editor of Spirit Life Magazine (spiritlifemag.com). His bio, extensive blog, and scheduling information are available on his ministry website at: http://www.slm.org. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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