PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

 

"An enemy already vanquished"


(I am posting without permission this microarticle from the Oct. 2005 edition of Word Among Us (p. 9) because I wish as many people as possible to read it.)

How does the New Testament talk about the devil?

If the resurrection of Christ marks the defeat of Satan, the struggle will only be concluded according to Paul, with the last act of "the history of salvation" on the "day of the Lord," when "the Son, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power, will render the kingdom to his Father, so that God may be all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

Thus the Christian -- and this is the tragedy of his destiny (bold formatting mine-R.) -- must choose between God and Satan, between Christ and Belial (2 Corinthians 6:14), between the "evil one" and the "true one" (1 John 5:18-19). On the last day, he will be forever with one or the other.

A spirit who is formidable by reason of his "wiles," his "deceits," his "traps," his "maneuvers" (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:11, 1 Timothy 3:7;6:9), loving to "disguise himself as an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14), Satan, despite all this, remains an enemy already vanquished. United to Christ by faith (Ephesians 6:10) and by prayer (Matthew 6;13;26:41), the Christian is certain of conquering: Only he will be conquered who so consents (James 4:7; Ephesians 4:27).

At the end of Scripture, the Book of Revelation offers, notably from Chapter 12 on, a sort of synthesis of the biblical teaching on this adversary against whom mankind must struggle from the beginning (Revelation 12:9), Satan has turned against "the remainder of her offspring" (12:17). But the apparent triumph which the deceptions of the Antichrist win for him (13-17) will be terminated by the definitive victory of the Lamb and of the church, his bride (18-22). WIth the beast and the false prophet, with death and hell, with all the men who will have succumbed to his wiles, Satan "will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur," which is the "second death" (Reveleatin 20:10, 14-15).

Excerpted from the Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Xavier L. Dufour, editor.

**

"Yes, evil spirits exist, but they have been defeated."


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