“Satan trembled as he viewed his work. He was alone in meditation upon the past, the present, and his future plans. His mighty frame shook as with a tempest. An angel from Heaven was passing. He called him, and entreated an interview with Christ. This was granted him. He then related to the Son of God that he repented of his rebellion, and wished again the favor of God. He was willing to take the place God had previously assigned him, and be under his wise command. Christ wept at Satan’s woe, but told him, as the mind of God, that he could never be received into Heaven.”
The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 1, 29
Multitudes believe they are acting out their own desires while they are really only following the promptings and ideas that Satan has given them and they are held captive by him. The apostle Paul instructs the servants of God how to offer them hope to breaking free. “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Timothy 2:25, 26).
Parents today are unwittingly killing their own children. The Bible says, “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee” (Isaiah 49:15). The generation we live in today is one where, indeed, a mother will abandon her baby. Because of this can we not see that the Spirit of God is leaving this earth? People are not so easily impressed by the Spirit of God as in past times. We are living in perilous times.
Many people are captives of the enemy of souls. The Bible says that Jesus came not only to set the captives free but to preach the acceptable year of deliverance (Isaiah 61).
Under this idea of captivity, the following are seven fears that Satan has, as outlined in the Spirit of Prophecy.
Satan fears that he will lose a captive
In the book, In Heavenly Places, three of Satan’s fears are revealed, but we will take them one by one.
“If Satan sees that he is in danger of losing one soul, he will exert himself to the utmost to keep that one. And when the individual is aroused to his danger, and, with distress and fervor, looks to Jesus for strength, Satan fears that he will lose a captive and he calls a reinforcement of his angels to hedge in the poor soul, and form a wall of darkness around him, that heaven’s light may not reach him.” Ibid., 253.
This is why prayer is so important—praying for family and for those who are despitefully using us. Many people are captive in their thoughts and speaking the words of Satan. We must pray that individuals receive gospel light.
There is a promise in Isaiah for those who are trusting in Jesus. In Isaiah 49:25 we are told: “Even the captives of the mighty [devil] shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.”
Continuing, In Heavenly Places, Ellen White wrote: “Around every tempted soul there are angels of God, ready to lift up the standard of righteousness, if the tempted one will only show a spirit of resistance to evil. Each may be an overcomer. Christ has in our behalf withstood the fiercest temptations of the enemy.” Ibid.
We can take courage that Jesus has power to deliver the captives. We must pray that heavenly light will be shed upon the captives so that they may make a decision for gospel truth. Pray that they may have the opportunity to hear evidences of the gospel that they may be free from the captivity of Satan.
Satan fears the strength and power of Christ
“But if the one in danger perseveres, and in his helplessness casts himself upon the merits of the blood of Christ, our Saviour listens to the earnest prayer of faith, and sends a reinforcement of those angels that excel in strength to deliver him. Satan cannot endure to have his powerful rival appealed to, for he fears and trembles before His strength and majesty.” Ibid.
This does not say this person feels strong in himself, but in his helplessness he calls out for help to the One who has trod this path before us. The Bible tells us in James 2:19 that the devil fears and trembles at His power. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” Satan fears Christ—he is no match for the Godhead.
Satan fears the sound of fervent prayer
“At the sound of fervent prayer, Satan’s whole host trembles. … And when angels, all-powerful, clothed with the armory of heaven, come to the help of the fainting, pursued soul, Satan and his host fall back. … The great Commander in heaven and earth has limited Satan’s power.” Ibid.
Satan knows that fervent prayer and the power of God can cause powerful angels to come in and protect those that fear the Lord. Oh, how we need that protection. Remember that when one angel came from heaven, the earth shook and the evil angels fell back. We can claim this power. In Acts 16:25, 26 it says, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.”
These men were tortured and chained but they were praying and singing praises “… and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” Satan’s power was checked.
The spiritual application here is that you can open the prison house through the medium of prayer and belief in God. Singing these praises will find that in these seasons of refreshing, we may be set free from the prison house. Paul and Silas, upon praying and singing, were released and they are able to go at liberty. The power of the Holy Spirit will come in and do the work petitioned for in prayer. Evil angels fall back because they are fearful at the sound of fervent prayer.
Satan fears the name of Jesus
“We cannot save ourselves from the tempter’s power; he has conquered humanity, and when we try to stand in our own strength, we shall become a prey to his devices; but ‘the name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe’ (Proverbs 18:19).” The Desire of Ages, 131.
“Satan trembles and flees before the weakest soul who finds refuge in that mighty name.” Christ Triumphant, 219.
Remember, the name of the Lord is not just the name Jesus, but it is the character of God. We must pray in the name of Jesus and in the character of Jesus. We must do His will. He says, why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not My will. Some do seemingly good things but do not have the character of or a relationship with Jesus. It is imperative that we have faith and works combined.
Satan fears the messages spoken by faithful preachers
Mark 16:17, 18 NKJV states: “And these signs shall follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Paul was not harmed when bitten by a serpent because he was doing the will of God. In Bible lands serpents were everywhere and always a danger. The Bible says that Satan fears the name of Jesus. When the word is spoken by faithful preachers, Satan tries to corrupt them morally and socially so their messages will become ineffective.
Satan is also fearful of the faithful preaching of the Word
“Satan trembles when the voice of God speaks through His instruments, giving cautions and warnings, and rebuking sin.” The Review and Herald, June 20, 1882. How often do we hear messages of warnings today? Satan does not want messages of caution and warnings to be preached.
“As the birds are ready to catch up the seed from the wayside, so Satan is ready to catch away the seeds of divine truth from the soul. He fears that the word of God may awaken the careless, and take effect upon the hardened heart. Satan and his angels are in the assemblies where the gospel is preached. While angels of heaven endeavor to impress hearts with the word of God, the enemy is on the alert to make the Word of no effect.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 44.
The dilemma of distraction makes the word of God of no effect. People are often seen text messaging in church or in the middle of a study or their phone will ring. Some will distract individuals as the word is going forth and possibly the word which that person may verily need falls on inattentive ears.
Just as in the days of Noah, the word was there, but the people were distracted—they were eating and drinking, and being merry. In the present day it is the distractions of Facebook, Amazon Prime, Instagram, or the like. As in the days of Noah, these things keep the mind thinking of evil continually, leaving no time to think about God’s word. The people were busy then and they are also busy now. The dilemma of distraction is one of Satan’s means of trying to turn away the attention of the one who is moved to seek the Saviour.
“With an earnestness equaled only by his malice, he tries to thwart the work of the Spirit of God. While Christ is drawing the soul by His love, Satan tries to turn away the attention of the one who is moved to seek the Saviour. He engages the mind with worldly schemes. He excites criticism, or insinuates doubt and unbelief. The speaker’s choice of language or his manner may not please the hearers, and they dwell upon these defects. Thus the truth they need, and which God has graciously sent them, makes no lasting impression.” Ibid., 44, 45.
Satan fears the true work of repentance, of revival and reformation among Seventh-day Adventists
The book The Great Controversy, must be distributed. We have been counseled to distribute this book widely so that people would understand the events coming upon the world. Unfortunately, it has been condensed into a booklet called The Great Hope. Every reference to the man of sin being the pope has been removed. Every reference to the reformers is gone. Every identifying mark of the beast has been removed. Every idea of the Sunday laws has been removed. All these identifying marks have been expunged, and this is called “the great hope!”
Has not the sin and the widening gap of apostasy become even greater under this error of revival and reformation? Satan loves a counterfeit. Even under the guise of revival and reformation, Satan can be working stealthily to cause us to compromise the preaching of the gospel and allow him to pluck away the power and impressions of the Holy Spirit that rest upon our heart. To allow even the idea of asking God for repentance, asking God to create in us a clean heart, seems a thing of the past. It seems like people do not want to do this anymore. Why? Because they would be out of harmony with the world and with the church.
To be in harmony with God in these days, whether you be old or young, would put you out of harmony with the world and, often, the church as well.
“There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance, so that the Lord can pour out His Spirit upon a languishing church and an impenitent congregation.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 124.
Brothers and sisters, be careful of these calls to pray for the latter rain and for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, when there is no message for repentance. What power will answer the prayer for spiritual power when there is no call for repentance? Only Satan can answer that kind of prayer. And according to the book, Early Writings, 50, he will most certainly come if we do not understand the true work of repentance and enter into the Most Holy Place experience. If we do not understand that and we are asking for grace and power, even the Spirit of God, Satan will come and answer that prayer with all types of deceptions.
We have lost sight of the true gospel because the faithful ministers have become few. It is hard to find individuals who are preaching the straight truth that would save a soul. What would happen if people start reading the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy? “There is nothing that Satan fears so much as that the people of God shall clear the way by removing every hindrance.” Selected Messages, Book 1, 124.
But if those hindrances are hidden, and we are preaching peace and safety, and there is no idea how to identify those hindrances and no call to remove them, then Satan has nothing to fear … absolutely nothing.
She continues: “If Satan had his way, there would never be another awakening, great or small, to the end of time. But we are not ignorant of his devices. It is possible to resist his power. When the way is prepared for the Spirit of God, the blessing will come.” Ibid.
What others do is not the issue, but only what we are doing. If we ask God for power, if we come to Him and ask for grace, He will send all of heaven to help us, to strengthen us, to give us the means, not only to preach the gospel but to make it so that the whole world can hear.
God can use those who pray and ask God for grace that there may be some type of revival and so it can be done in His name.
“Satan can no more hinder a shower of blessing from descending upon God’s people than he can close the windows of heaven that rain cannot come upon the earth. Wicked men and devils cannot hinder the work of God, or shut out His presence from the assemblies of His people, if they will, with subdued, contrite hearts, confess and put away their sins, and in faith claim His promises. Every temptation, every opposing influence, whether open or secret, may be successfully resisted, ‘not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts’ (Zechariah 4:6).” Ibid.
There is nothing Satan fears more than that we would, through faithful preachers and faithful preaching, through trusting in the name of Jesus and His mighty power, be removed from his captivity. He trembles at the thought that we be revived and reformed, not by shielding ourselves and putting up walls against repentance, but understanding the true work of repentance and reformation, so that we don’t see the reforms of the church as legalism, but as a manifestation of the love of God. We will not look at the law of God, the Ten Commandments as a burden but as a love letter, a letter of strength and assurance to us. We want to be kept unspotted from the world. We cannot do this by our own power but only through His grace. God said, “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exodus 20:2). He says you will not have any other god but Me. You will not lie or steal and you will keep my Sabbath day (verses 3, 16, 15, 8–11). All of these things then become promises of victory.
What if we don’t see our true condition and the need of prayer? What if we don’t recognize through our Laodicean blindness the promises of God available to strengthen us on one side or show us our true condition on the other? If we pray that our eyes be opened to have a deeper understanding of our true need, and pray to understand the truth and avoid the moral darkness that surrounds us and the evil that presses in around the world and the church members, we would have the victory that Satan is so fearful that we may gain.
We need to be a group of people who come together and pray for more grace and for more power as we see the day approaching.
Do you see your need? Do you see the power that is available over Satan and how ready God is to send angels and His Spirit and faithful ministers to help us understand His Word?
God, in His great mercy for us and through His understanding of our great need, has given us the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. What shall we do with these things, especially as we see the day of His coming approaching?
John Cofer was a speaker at the Steps to Life camp meeting in 2013. He continues to serve in the Lord’s vineyard through his ministry, The Gospel of Truth (www.gospeloftruth.org).