How powerful is Satan?
Let us see this question today from David. Welcome to Defender’s Voice. This is Dr.Paul. Thank you for joining us today. Please send me your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit my website www.doctorpaul.org
Let us see David’s question. I have a problem interpreting what the Bible tells us about protection from Satan and evil.
We read that we can ask for, and receive protection, based on the LORD’S Prayer (deliver us from evil), Psalm 101, Jabez’ prayer and experience (2 Chron 4:10), Luke 10:19 (nothing shall by any means harm you), but then we read Luke 21:16 compared with verse 18: some will be put to death but not a hair of your head will be taken). An apparent anomaly.
According to Luke 9:1 Jesus gives his disciples (us) authority and power over all demons (Luke 9:1) and this must include Satan.
My question is, can we expect God to protect us and our loved ones from evil. Can we expect God to protect our houses and families? Can I pray that God will protect my extended family from ever-present evil in the Philippines?
He says, ‘Luke 10:19 (nothing shall by any means harm you), but then we read Luke 21:16 compared with verse 18: some will be put to death but not a hair of your head will be taken). An apparent anomaly.
There is no anomaly here if you understand those verses in their context. In Luke 10, Lord Jesus Christ was talking to his disciples regarding their ministry under him. Jesus chose seventy disciples and gave them a ministry of preaching about the kingdom of God. He told them that nothing shall harm them during their ministry. They could heal sick people. They could safely walk over poisonous snakes. They could cast out demons. Nothing would harm them.
God kept his promise. Everyone of those 70 disciples was preserved. Everyone of the 12 disciples of Christ was preserved. They were all apostles.
Today we don’t have any apostles. Anyone who thinks he is an apostle is kidding himself. ‘I am an apostle. God told them Donald Trump will be re-elected’. You know how it all ended. They all made fools of themselves and brought dishonor to our Lord’s name. Can you cast out the demons? Can you go to a hospital and heal the sick? Can you go to an operation theater and heal someone without a surgery? Can you rise someone who died due to Covid this afternoon? Can you predict the next US President? You can’t. You can’t. So, you are not an apostle. Stop fooling yourself and people around you.
So, David, there are no apostles today. So, we should not apply those words from Luke chapter 10 to us. Then you asked about Luke chapter 21. Verses 16 and 18. In verse 16, Jesus said some of you will be put to death. In verse 18, he says, ‘not one hair will perish’.
First, let us see the context of this passage. Lord Jesus Christ was describing the end times to his disciples. He was informing them of the great trials which would happen during the tribulation years. You would be killed but still preserved. Not a hair of your head will be taken. That is not about our physical safety. It is about our spiritual security. All believers are secured in Christ.
Look at Afghanistan. The Taliban put some Christians to death. They could destroy their bodies. But their souls will go to heaven to be with Jesus.
We should and we can pray about our physical safety. You can pray for the safety of your family in the Philippines. We are commanded to pray for all things at all times. God controls all outcomes. Satan has the power to destroy our bodies. But he and his demons are under God’s control.
Satan tried to kill Jesus many times during his earthly life. He inspired King Herod to kill baby Jesus. He inspired people in the synagogue to kill Jesus after his preaching. He tempted Jesus to jump off the cliff with the hopes of seeing him dead. He inspired pharisees, sadducees and the high priests to kill Jesus. He failed every time. When Jesus observed the final Passover with his disciples, he broke bread and gave them. We read in John 13:27, as soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. John 13:27That was so horrible. When Judas took the bread from the Savior, Satan entered into him to plan the murder of Jesus. God allowed Satan to possess Judas at that time because it was the time God appointed the death of his Son.
We can also see this in the lives of disciples. Satan tried to kill the Apostle Peter many times. He tried to kill the Apostle Paul many times. Both were put to death by Nero in Rome. God prevented Satan from killing them physically until their day under Emperor Nero. The same is true for all believers.
Our eternal security is firmly preserved in Christ. We don’t have to worry about it. That is guaranteed. Our physical security is guaranteed in the sense that God preserves us from the dead until He is done with us. Satan and all his demons might try to kill us in many ways. People who hate us might try to kill us in many ways. They will only succeed when God allows them to hurt us. We don’t have to be terrified of that day. In fact, we can praise God because he is done with us and wants us to be with him in heaven.
So, David, you can be confident of God’s protection over you and your loved ones in the Philippines. You can always rejoice in Christ and you can always pray that God’s will be done in your life. Jesus saw death coming his way. He was under so much stress and anxiety due to the impending death. His sweat became drops of blood. You can imagine how much anxiety he went through. He prayed to the Father, ‘Father, take this cup away from me, but not my will but thy will be done’. God did not take away the cup, and Jesus was killed the next day. Yet, God’s will was perfectly done and our salvation came from his death. God brought good out of that evil.
The same is true about us. We may pray to God, ‘God, take this cup away from me’. God may or may not take away the cup from our hands. Either way, we can be assured that God’s will is done in our lives and God’s name is glorified in all circumstances.