The Anatomy of Satan

By Art Hobba

I recently learned that the most popular science fiction TV series today is Supernatural by Warner Brothers with over 3.5 million regular viewers. The story has evolved over five years from monster-ghost busters to a more classical (possibly even a bit more realistic?) good versus evil battle between two brothers and a group of Satan inspired demons. The recent addition of two angles to help the brothers and a few other characters has developed over 3 million followers.

I just left a video interview session with the producers of the show who are putting together a documentary to add to the DVD series for season five when it comes out in a few months. They asked me some great questions about the biblical Satan and the historical church. Apparently there is a good deal of interest in the origin and nature of Satan and his demonic cohorts and our discussion before, during and after the interview was positively charged with interest and fascination with how good can triumph over evil today. 

Yet much confusion remains and the section below is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of my book Called to War  It may help give an overview of some of the characteristics of the enemy of our souls, that ancient "serpent" and "dragon" referred to in Genesis and Revelation respectively.

"Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril" --Sun Tzu

To find and exploit your competitor's weakness requires a deep understanding of their executives' strategy, capabilities, thoughts and desires, as well as similar depth of knowledge of your own strengths and weaknesses.1

Far from my favorite subject, let's take a moment and examine the nature of our adversary, Satan or the devil. This list below was difficult to write...and may be difficult to read, but we cannot hope for a life with eyes wide open nor experience the semblance of a victorious lifestyle without facing directly the truth of the one who desires, "like a roaring lion"2 the destruction of you and your family. Here is what scripture tells us about our ancient foe, his system of evil, and his agenda:

1.   His power over Christians has been broken. The biblical teachings of Jesus and other New Testament writers clearly affirm that we have inherited the positional and earthly authority of Christ in the church through faith. This is both for the present and future. We are now seated with Christ in heavenly places with all powers in creation submitted under our feet.2

2.   He is an old, patient, and relentless schemer. His plans take the long view and he will patiently weave his web over the decades of our lives, chipping away at our resolve while he plans a great fall for every man and woman and child. But he is not really interested in you or me personally, except for how he can leverage your weaknesses (or sometimes your strengths) to destroy you and those you touch. Like an expert bowler, he will strike the head pin (you or me), which then is able to adversely impact those around you and even multiple future generations through the echo of sin in our lives.

3.   He is the original rebel against authority and the source of the spirit of rebellion in all of society. All of what Satan has and does, and his kingdom, is fully corrupted. Hating God's designed authority, he seeks to corrupt those who have power and then, as usurper, cultivates the lust of power in human hearts to pull down or supplant those powers he is corrupting. Though he seeks to do this at every level of society, his focal point is and will always be the church.

4.   His heart is filled with war against the church ("woman" = Christian Believers) and Christ3. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the appropriate reaction of our government was the formal declaration of war. However, much of the American church has taken a more pacifist, conciliatory approach to the enemy's attack on believers. Know this: There will be no truce, no rest, and no reprieve in this war against the Saints until he is finally cast into the Lake of Fire. Wrapped in lies and self deluded, he actually thinks he can win, and as the end of these times approaches, his wrath will escalate against the Saints and the Bride because he senses his time is short.4

5.   He is a liar and the father of all lies5. The first lies that the serpent whispers to us are voices of exaggeration, self-defense, and rationalization. If he can train a child to avoid the truth regarding their personal responsibility for their actions (often, regretfully, with the parents' cooperation), then the child will be raised with the eventual inability to perceive truth. Once lying to yourself is established, it becomes the means of operation with others. The Father of Lies relentlessly seeks to breed his lying seed in us.

6.   He is not omnipotent. The Devil is a broken shadow of what he once was. He remembers his previously powerful and lofty position as the most beautiful, and probably even favored, of heavens? angelic beings5. The first great setback was when he was cast down to earth due to his rebellion against God. Filled with new jealousy of mankind after God poured his image into Adam, he wrought great destruction upon humanity with an almost free reign over death, disease, and war. The second great breaking of his power was when he was fooled into murdering Jesus. In Jesus? post crucifixion descent into Hell's domain, much of the enemy's power was broken with a profound wound inflicted by Christ as the last Adam. This is when many believe the Lord seized the "keys to death and Hades"8 from Satan's hand, redeeming mankind through his righteous sacrifice.

7.   He is not omnipresent. As a singular created being, he must work strategically through the tactics of shoring up an evil world system that plays to erudite, high sounding proud philosophies and the basest parts of our carnal nature to get most of his work done through people. The balance of his forces are demonic entities assigned to key individuals and leaders, political arenas, or strategic organizations.

8.   He is not omniscient. But he has the benefit of many thousands of years of experience with the predictable fallen nature of the human race and knowledge of how we can predictably be manipulated, tempted, and intimidated.

9.   He is the author of Death. The apocryphal book of wisdom, written a century before Jesus? birth, aptly says, "by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession, experience it."5 Hebrews 2:14-15 also clearly states that Satan was the holder of the power of death until Christ's resurrection "destroyed death."

10. He is a murderer6 and the source of all thoughts and actions of hatred. Gangland violence, wars, socio-pathology, armed robberies, demonic possession, abortion, drunk driving, brawling, terrorism, physical abuse, sexual abuse, cancer, AIDS (and other deadly diseases) and suicides all have the spirit of murder at their core. It is the ultimate end to the means of Hell and he is busy in his planning and execution.

11. He is much smarter than a fifth grader, and thus you or me. As Eve discovered, it is dangerous to dialogue with him. Even the most powerful of angelic forces, the Archangel Michael, when God assigned him to retrieve the body of Moses, did not affront him directly, but had to employ Gods direct authority by declaring "the Lord rebuke you (Jude 1:9)!" There is no place for glibness or testosterone-induced moxey when dealing with the enemy directly. Jesus himself used the scriptures ("It is written") to combat Satan on the mountain of temptation. The spiritual weapons we have been given, along with a total dependence upon God's power, are sufficient to prevent attack, or, if need be, to protect us...and to win!

12. He hates women and has active plans to destroy their humanity, femininity, motherhood, beauty, glory and the female genders great influence for love, courage, wisdom and all that is good. (Genesis 3:15; Rev 12:13-15)

13. He hates children. The passion of his fatherhood is to make liars first and then, into disciples of Hell. Just as the great evils of the Khmer Rouge, Fascism, Nazism and Communism take the young and inoculate them with their poisonous doctrines, he knows that if he can bend them through their childhood years, they are likely to never meet nor learn to love their Creator and Savior. (Genesis 3:15; Revelations 12:17)

14. He hates men (and boys) most of all, which is, of course, one of the primary reasons for writing this book. As we have discovered, he also knows that the linchpin of society...and of the growth and health of the church, is men.

15. Lastly, we need to understand his overarching strategy. Like in the great game of chess, he seeks to take out the Queen. Like chess, the King (Jesus Christ) has empowered the Queen (the Church) as the ultimate power player on the chessboard of this earthly realm.

Buy the "Field Manual" on warfare to learn more about warfare how to win the spiritual war in the new book, Called to War.  Also, add to the mix with your comments, prayer requests or experiences at Art's blog.

Art Hobba is the founder of Core 300 a 501c3 men's ministry dedicated to helping Christian men become free men, and the author of the soon to be released book Called to War: Out of the Stands...Into the Arena by Xulon Press due out in April of 2010.


[2] I Peter 5:8

[3] Genesis 3:14:15; Revelation 12:1-17

[4] Revelations 12:12

[5] Wisdom 2:24, The New American Bible, Oxford University Press (Apocrypha)

[6] John 8:44




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