How much power does Satan really have?

By Mark Altrogge

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.
(Job 1:12)

Satan afflicts believers. Don’t underestimate him. He’s not an imp in red tights with a pitchfork. But don’t give him more credit than he’s due.

In 2 Corinthians 12:7 Paul said a messenger of Satan was given him to afflict him. Satan was behind Jobs’ suffering. The enemy can afflict us physically. He tempts us to sin. But his greatest weapons are his fiery darts – his lies about God that he launches against our faith. We are in a serious conflict with the powers of darkness.

Yet sometimes I hear Christians talk as if Satan were all-powerful. “The devil has really been having a field day in my life lately.” “Satan’s really been kicking me around this week.”

When I first became a Christian I thought demons were everywhere. (I’d definitely watched too many episodes of Twilight Zone and Outer Limits). In my early Christian years I spent lots of time rebuking and binding demons of lust, demons of fear, and demons of unbelief, anger, self-pity, and sickness. Pretty much everything bad in life was caused by a demon. I probably rebuked demons of bad coffee.

Then I found out just how limited Satan’s power really is.

He’s powerful, but not all-powerful. He is the god of this world. Unbelievers are significantly under his power, though they don’t realize it. He has blinded their eyes. But once Jesus opens our eyes to his glory and saves us, we come under his ownership. We’re no longer slaves of Satan. We’re new creations in Christ and share his victory over the enemy that he won on the cross.

When Satan afflicts believers he must get permission to do so, even as he did with Job. God determined the parameters of what Satan could do to Job. Each time Satan requested, God said you may do this and this but not this. He could only do what God allowed.

Lots of people seem to think the devil is the equal and opposite of God, like the dark side of The Force. But Satan is a created being. God is infinite. Satan is less than a speck compared to the infinite One.

If anything, Satan might be compared to Michael the Archangel, another created being. A.W. Tozer said we tend to think of created beings in a hierarchy, for example on the bottom are amoebas, then above them garden slugs and above them fish, then dogs. Above dogs are monkeys, then humans, and slightly above them are angels and then slightly above angels is God. But God is infinitely exalted over his creation. The most glorious Seraphim in heaven is closer to a caterpillar in it’s being than it is to God.

Satan is a tool of God, and when he allows him to afflict a believer it’s for God’s glorious purposes – to make that believer rely on Christ, become like Christ and display the power of Christ in him (see Stephen’s post yesterday).

So remember you have an enemy, but fix your gaze on Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords.

The painting at the top of this article shows Satan pouring plagues onto Job. It is by William Blake.

Fighting demons with God’s love

Dear friends,

It’s been a long time since I made a post online but today’s article was too important not to share. There are many followers of Jesus who are engaged in spiritual struggle with the enemies of their souls, Satan and his evil hordes. Whether this struggle is unconscious or rather more blatant (and it’s the latter that really concerns me), I wanted to share some beautiful insights from God that have helped me.

I am a sincere follower of Jesus of Nazareth yet I suffer from demonic attacks. I wrote about these first on the “About” page of this blog, yet recently the intensity of the attacks has increased as I’ve come to faith in Jesus again, rather than decreased. I now not only feel invisible hands attacking my body, but hear evil male voices telling my mind negative things such as that I am not saved and God has finished with me. Last night they said that they could take my soul if I didn’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God and had saved me. They then induced a spirit of unbelief over my mind and heart such that – after I fell under it due to weakness and sin – I could no longer feel the conviction of my saving faith in Christ. The results were very frightening: I kept clinging to my belief in Jesus as “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6), and the only way for sinful humanity to be reconciled to God the Father. Yet the demons insisted that God the Father, the Holy Ghost, and Jesus of Nazareth in particular do not exist, that sin is a myth, and that practically everyone I knew was headed to a heaven different from mine because they had learned to love better than I had.

I fought for hours praying to Jesus of Nazareth, clinging to Him tenaciously as much as I could (which the demons interpreted, correctly I believe, as Him refusing to let me go), until my faith returned and I felt in my heart that Jesus was once again my Lord. I felt in my heart that I knew Him once more as the Son of God and my Saviour. At this point I was lying in bed trying to sleep when the demons told me I was “blessed” because most times people who were in unbelief such as I had been were not allowed to continue having faith. The demons then told me that they were sick of me and my faith and had petitioned God to send me to heaven early, within the next few weeks, by tormenting me so grievously that my husband and family would call the CAT team and get rid of me.

From the above we can learn that demons are merciless persecutors and they can quite literally cause a person to fear so much for their soul (and the souls of their loved ones) that it drives out love for God and others. As it is written, demons do not come to sincere Christians to entertain them or befriend them, they come to destroy them spiritually and must be resisted with everything we’ve got:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

I thought this morning that what my demons are trying to do is to make me lose hope in God, to stop me praying in faith to Him. And our faith in God is strengthened by our love and trust in Him. Again, as it is written:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)

The demons really fear faithful prayer from believers because it brings God’s power to earth, where they reside. So we must do all we can to shore up our love and trust for God, which then overflows to others, when we feel that we are under attack from evil spirits.

Today I prayed for God to send me love in my heart and uplifting scripture passages or encouragements from the Spirit of Truth to ensure that I know I am a child of God. He mercifully sent the following three passages that I wanted to share with you today:

  1. God is true
  2. God is love
  3. God is faith

So we see that once our first step of faith is taken (a supernatural knowing that God is true), we can then ponder the fact that God is perfect love, the most perfect kind of sacrificial love we can imagine. The life of Jesus of Nazareth, who left His glory and came to earth as an ordinary man to die on a cross and save us, exemplifies the latter. Thankfully, because Jesus was also God, as well as an ordinary man, we can move to the third step, that of putting our complete trust and faith in Him. So the truth about God leads to loving Him and putting our faith in Him to catch us when we fall spiritually, and save to the uttermost those who come unto God by Him. As it is written:

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

It is also encouraging to remember that the reason we know all of the three points above (God being true, God being love and God bringing us to faith) is because He is always the initiator in our relationship with Him. He never waits for us to “get it right” and approach Him first, He makes sure we are safe with Him by doing this for us. Again, scripture bears out this truth:

We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

I hope this helps others who may be suffering from demonic attacks and are unsure how to combat them. We know also that demons can be cast out in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, as per the below:

And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. (Acts 16:18)

Yet sometimes faith alone in Jesus of Nazareth needs to be strengthened for demonic deliverance to be successful. Prayer and fasting are the keys, as per the below:

But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. (Psalm 35:13)

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: (Daniel 9:3)

And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:29)

If your church does not genuinely deliver people from demons, if they do not regularly fast and pray to combat evil spirits with strong faith in the Lord, you must do all in your power to move them to do so. Zeal is catching: be the kind of spiritual change you want to see in your church and in the world. Start with yourself first and reach out to other believers. Love your church, pray for them, and pray especially for those in the church who have the rule over you, they need your assistance in every way spiritually. And we know that most every Christian church will have at least “two or three” true believers in Jesus (oftentimes more – as per Matthew 18:20) meaning that it is part of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12, Colossians 1:24).

I wait to stand corrected on this but I have not seen one scriptural example of a person doing self-deliverance. So I have come to the conclusion that other believers must deliver, in Jesus’ name, those who are vexed or possessed with devils. I continue to pray that someone will be sent into my life who can do this for me. A true believer in Christ who is strong in faith and power, as Stephen was. Or that God will bless a follower of Jesus who maybe isn’t that strong in faith but wants to help the demon-afflicted from their heart.

Never feel that you are alone if you are reading this and suffering from evil entities. You can always talk here, in the comments below, and we can pray for each other to be upheld by God’s great mercy, love and grace until we are delivered.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Love your friend in Christ,
Naomi

I asked the Lord that I might grow

I recently read a beautiful poem that I found uplifting and encouraging, as I’ve been going through a time of real tribulation over the past three months.

I thought I’d include it on this site as it may comfort others going through similar times of trial and testing.

Psalm 34:19
Many are the afflictions of the righteous:
but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.

Here is the poem:

I ASKED THE LORD THAT I MIGHT GROW

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”

My testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, who has the power and wisdom of God

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I have testified on this website that I have suffered from demonic attacks since 2004. Shortly after the attacks began, I had two strange experiences, on two separate occasions, that I wanted to recount here for the edification and comfort of others. I am certain I am not the only person on earth who has been afflicted with demons, so wanted to offer what hope and consolation I can at this point in time to others. At any rate, the experiences both occurred during dreams.

In the first, I partially awoke to a demon attempting to pull something invisible out of the centre of my chest, right over my heart. Though there was a pleasant sensation to what he was doing, I knew that it was wrong spiritually so spoke up immediately. I said, “No, stop!” The fallen one asked, “Why?” To which I replied, steadfastly, “Because I don’t want to be open to ANYTHING.”

At this moment the demon was blown back away from me, as though by a mighty wind. I was astonished to witness this in my dream and knew without a doubt that God had honoured my decision to keep protecting my heart spiritually. This was what I wanted to make people understand and be comforted by: that God is merciful, has unlimited power over demons, and will honour our spiritual decisions.

The second incident I wanted to talk about occurred a few months later (to the best of my recollection), while I was struggling to find my childhood faith in the Lord Jesus Christ again. I was, again, being harassed by demons in my dreams when, suddenly, a calm and familiar male voice spoke from behind me. I couldn’t see who spoke but I remember his words. He simply said, “Make the sign of the cross.” I suddenly felt empowered or inspired spiritually within my dream and found myself saying, “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost” while crossing myself.

Again, to my awestruck eyes, I saw ALL the demons blown backwards into the distance as though struck by a tornado. I am 100% convinced the Person who spoke was the Lord Jesus, who saves to the uttermost those who call upon Him in faith (Hebrews 7:25).

Some Holy Scripture passages glorifying Christ and His power that seem pertinent to the above testimony:

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:24
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.