Through the action of the masses, Satan attempted to provoke Jesus, through the mob, to lose the image of God. He continues using the same methods today hoping to destroy the image of God in Christ’s followers, thus causing them to be lost as he is.
“Satan instigated [provoked] the cruel abuse of the debased mob led on by the priests and rulers,
- to provoke, if possible, retaliation from the world’s Redeemer, or
- to drive Him to deliver Himself by a miracle from the hands of His persecutors, and
- thus break up the plan of salvation.
- one stain upon His human life,
- one failure of His humanity to bear the terrible test imposed upon it,
- would make the Lamb of God an imperfect offering, and the redemption of man would be a failure.” The Present Truth, January 7, 1886.
Is Satan provoking you? Be strong dear Christian! Do not join under the black banner! “I saw Satan planting his banner in the households of those who profess to be God’s chosen ones, but those who are walking in the light should be able to discern the difference between the black banner of the adversary and the bloodstained standard of Christ.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 200.
Are your eyes open to any provocations of Satan? Ask for spiritual discernment! Look or lose!
“Each son and daughter of Adam chooses either Christ or Barabbas as his general. And all who place themselves on the side of the disloyal are standing under Satan’s black banner, and are charged with rejecting and despitefully using Christ. They are charged with deliberately crucifying the Lord of life and glory.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1107.
“The Holy Spirit is an effective helper in restoring the image of God in the human soul.” The Faith I Live By, 52.
On the other hand, Satan’s spirit is a destructive force and will do anything to place us under his black banner. “Satan had declared to his synagogue that not a single human soul would maintain his loyalty to God’s commandments. One soul saved would prove this statement to be false. One soul saved would demonstrate the righteousness of God’s government. Created in the image of God, man must not be left for Satan to rule and ruin.” The Upward Look, 223.
Here are just a few of Satan’s tricks of provocation. He provokes jealousy, opposition, a hasty reply, anger, children and adults to wrath, tempers, opposition, the divine displeasure, controversies, debate, the wrath of God, and much more. Is there anything in your character that responds to Satan’s provocation causing you to reflect his character and to enlist you under his banner?
Watch and pray! Learn to identify which spirit is working with you and around you by watching carefully. Learn to identify and distinguish the fruits of the Holy Spirit in your life from the fruits of Satan.
Father: Thank you for sending Thine only begotten Son to fight the battle with Satan. Thank you Jesus for remaining faithful through all of the provocations and attacks of Satan. Give me peace of mind and heart that I may remain focused on heavenly things and not be drawn away from Your presence by any attempt by Satan to enlist me under his black banner. Amen!