September 8, 2014
I John 3:8; John 10:10
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
In blogs over the last year and a half, we have seen the purpose of the devil plainly spelled out in the Word of God. The longest series on this website – a 21 part series between May 6th and June 21st, 2013 – was entitled, Know Your Enemy! And perhaps you should review that. But I believe the best summary of Satan’s purpose is found in John 10:10, where Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”
Just look around this old world – a world which Satan controls, according to Matthew 4:8 and 9; and Luke 4:5 through 7. He pulls society’s strings in all the kingdoms that are (or have been) upon the earth! Yes, God rules over all. But He is allowing the devil to have command in this temporal realm – for the Triune God’s own glory, and until He says, “That’s enough! ” And then, as it is written in Revelation 11:15, “The kingdoms of this world [will] have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever.” Until then there will be “…wars and rumors of wars…famines, pestilences and earthquakes…” (Matthew 24:6 and 7), as well as persecution against God’s people (II Timothy 3:12).
But the last part of the I John 3:8 presents a great promise – an encouragement to Christians: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” Since the works of the devil are characterized by destruction, Jesus Christ came to Destroy Destruction!
What are the works of the devil? They include…
• “…oppos[ing] and exalt[ing] himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped…” (II Thessalonians 2:4).
• …blinding the minds of those “…who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them..,” (II Corinthians 4:4), and they would then be saved!
• …keeping unsaved people in slavery to sin (John 8:34; Romans 6:20) and headed for eternal hell (Revelation 21:8).
• …preventing Christians from maturing in Christ lest He be manifested in and through them (II Corinthians 4:10 and 11).
• …lying, “…for he is a liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44).
• …being “…the accuser of our brethren…who accused them before our God day and night…” (Revelation 12:10).
• …leading his legions of demons – “…principalities…powers…the rulers of the darkness of this age…spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places…” (Ephesians 6:12).
• …preparing mankind to receive the antichrist and to participate in the final assault against God Almighty (Revelation 19:19).
Now this is the negative side of Jesus’ work – Destroying Destruction! The positive is concisely put forth in the second half of John 10:10: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” This abundant life comes by means of the Holy Spirit, and includes…
• …redeeming people from Satan’s grasp, sin, death and hell. For it is written in Hebrews 2:14:
Isasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself
likewise shared in the same; that through death He might destroy him who
had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear
of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
• …giving “…them eternal life…” (John 10:28), to dwell with God forever (Revelation 21:3).
• …providing for “…all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 4:19).
• …making available “…the fruit of the Spirit…love, joy peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control…” (Galatians 5:22 and 23).
• …bestowing on His people “…spiritual gifts…given to each one for the profit of all…” (I Corinthians 12:1 through 10).
• …inspiring and interpreting the Bible, the Word of God (II Peter 1:21; I John 2:27), “…which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified…” (Acts 20:32).
So you can easily see the contrast between Jesus Christ and the devil. Both have come to destroy, but Satan causes rampant destruction against God everywhere he can! And Jesus came to Destroy Destruction – both Satan’s work and the devil himself!