Lesson #2 – Why Does Satan Need to Work Through People
A Summary of the video teaching
The problem is, how does a spiritual entity such as God or the Devil, the Holy Spirit or evil spirits actually work in the world?
This is really the question of how does “mind” have actual impact in the time/space realm. Or how “mind” interfaces with “brain”.
For an example, see the video here for the full story of an encounter with the “King of Darkness”. This is a report of how the Devil used Charity Chen to work his evil intentions of seeking to destroy the movement of the Holy Spirit taking place in Taiwan in the 1980’s through the Presbyterian Bible College.
After being set free from the evil spirits, experiencing deep inner healing, The Rev. Charity Chen has served as a pastor of congregations in Taiwan.
It was through the encounter with demonic spirits working through her that I first saw clearly how spirits must work through people in order to accomplish their purposes.
To understand these dynamics let’s start with God and the way He works on earth primarily through the means of human beings.
God is Spirit and works through the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, whose sphere of activity is on the earth:
The Holy Spirit is both in heaven …
Rev 4:5 – “From the throne came out flashes of lightning and roaring and crashes of thunder. Seven flaming torches, which are the seven spirits of God, were burning in front of the throne.”
… and on earth.
• Rev 5:6 – “…He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.”
While the sphere of the Holy Spirit’s work is on earth, He usually works through born-again people who are the “living stones” formed into the corporate organization of the Church of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit also works through individuals who are filled with the Holy Spirit and become Jesus’ witnesses.
In the organization of the Church as well as the spirit-empowered individuals, God, who is spirit, has the means for working in time/space reality among human beings. We become Jesus’ hands and feed, as well as His voice. An obvious example of this is that today the Holy Spirit continues to send missionaries, but how are they sent? It must be through the whole organization of mission boards and agencies, etc.
Why do we need to understand this need of God and Satan for human means for working on earth?
- It provides a profound understanding of how and why Jesus has called us to cooperate with Him in advancing the Kingdom of God. Note: In God’s case, He has chosen to work with these means of our faith, obedience, etc. But He also can, and does, work outside of all these means as demonstrated in creation itself, and in direct giving of visions of Jesus to Muslims where there is no possibility of human witnesses.
- It also helps us understand how God will answer prayers. (Often it is through the means of those who listen and obey.)
Now, how does Satan accomplish his purposes on earth? What are the means that are employed?
- Directly, unmediated through human beings, such as an attack coming through the air
- Through interface with nature, including animals
Human beings, made in the image of God, are bridges between the material and spiritual realms. However, this capacity is exploited by Satan:
- Through individuals who through their own sin open the doors. Faith, vision, and reason can all used in the service of evil rather than for the good of humanity and God’s Kingdom.
- Through human beings collectively in exousia (organized human/divine expressions of the Kingdom of God) or strongholds (organized human/demonic expressions of the kingdom of Satan)
It is on this reality of demonic strongholds that we focus our attention.
Strongholds are the primary means on earth that Satan uses to block the advancement of the Kingdom of God and to accomplish his purposes on earth.
- The devil, in cooperation with King Herod, tries to kill the baby Jesus (see Matthew 2:13-19). For Satan’s intention of killing the baby Jesus to be accomplished he had to build a stronghold which provided the means to fulfill his goal.
- When Satan launched his assault against the Jewish people in the 1930’s he built the stronghold of Nazism with the technical military and means to kill vast numbers of people.
- When Satan intended to deceive a significant portion of human kind with an ideology he built the stronghold of Islam which has the political, cultural, and military means to block the truth of the Gospel from even being heard by those in the thrall of this stronghold.
Consistently, using the means of individuals and strongholds is the way that Satan, being a spiritual entity, must work on earth.
In your congregation Satan will need to use the same means!
Now, what we have described on the macro scale is also applied on the micro scale of your church , fellowship, prayer group, or ministry. Satan will work through people and strongholds. He may also attack through others means as well, such as the powers of nature.
But the point is that the stronghold provides the human means needed to accomplish his work.
- Satan is not sovereign creator; he cannot work through anything except the structure of reality created by God.
- We must appreciate why while our battle is not with flesh and blood but with spiritual entities, it will none the less involve very real, very flesh and blood people, and people working collectively.
- This will make us discerning and alert to the means that Satan must use and also will have many practical tactical implications for how we will have to, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, defeat the works of the Devil.
Application to a particular situation
- Reflect on your situation. Through looking at your history, observation, and spiritual discernment seek answers to the following questions:
- What is God’s purpose for your Church or fellowship? What may be the unique role or contribution that you are called to make in advancing the Kingdom of God on earth?
- What do you think may be Satan’s short term and long term plans or goals for blocking the fulfillment of your God-given calling?
- We will spend more time on discernment in a later lesson but a good start is to write this down and share it with someone you trust to help you sort out what may be actually there or just your subjective impressions or projections on to others.
- You will also need to spend time in prayer asking the Lord to reveal to you Satan’s means as well as God’s means.
Learn More: Presbyterian-Reformed Ministries International