The Voice of the Devil
The devil wants to get in your head. Who is the devil, what does he want, and how do we get rid of him? Join Patrick Morley and get clear biblical answers to these and other questions about the power, tools, and limitations of the devil. You’ll learn or be reminded that God also has tools that will empower you to stand firm and resist the voice of the devil.
Scripture included in this study:
Revelation 12:7-12, Matthew 4:1-11, Ephesians 6:10-18
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The Four Voices: How to Think Like a Christian
The Voice of the Devil
Good morning, men. Please turn in your Bibles to Revelation chapter 12, verse 7. On October 1, 1939, Winston Churchill gave his first war time radio broadcast to update the British people on the events of the first month of World War II. He said, “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.” Isn’t it true that we can predict all behavior based on what people want, what their interests are, what their goals are, their purposes, what they’re trying to accomplish. The devil is no different. We’re going to talk about the devil today. The title of the talk, The Voice of the Devil.
Just to review, we’re in a series called The Four Voices. The premise is very simple. We all have a running conversation going on inside our head. We call it self talk, but we’re not the only voice that’s trying to influence what we think, say and do. The premise, the four voices in your head are the world, the flesh, the devil, and the Holy spirit. Your job is to figure out which one is speaking and make the adjustment.
WHO IS THE DEVIL?
The first thing we want to talk about today is who is the devil. Who is the devil? What does he want? Then of course, how can we defeat him? Who is the devil? The Bible doesn’t say that much about the devil, but what it does say gives us a very clear picture. There are about 90 references to either the word Satan or devil in the Bible. One-fourth of all of those references are spoken by Jesus Christ. So Jesus Christ was of the considered opinion that Satan is a real person, a real being, not a social construct, not a figurative symbolic character, but a real person, a real entity.
Revelation chapter 12 verse 7 helps clarify so much about the devil, “Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled down to the earth and his angels with him.” So we learn from this text that Satan is an angel. He is the fallen angel. He has different names and nicknames. He’s called here variously the dragon, the ancient serpent, the devil, Satan. It says that he leads the whole world astray. Not all evil is the direct result of direct actions by Satan, but ultimately there would not be any evil in the world if it was not for Satan. So ultimately, he is the cause of all evil.
Verse 10, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say, ‘Now, have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Messiah for the accuser of our brothers and sisters.’” There’s another role and name, accuser. “For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night has been hurled down.” Then a key verse, and this is referring to the brothers and sisters, you and me.” They triumphed over him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony. We’re going to come back to that. They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore, rejoice you heavens and you who dwell in them, but woe to the earth and the sea because the devil has gone down to you. He is filled with fury because he knows that his time is short.”
The devil understands, we’re talking about what is the Russian national interest, here’s the devil’s interest, the devil understands that there’s no way that he can keep you out of heaven. So his single pleasure is to figure out how to make your life on earth as miserable as possible. The devil is a voice that’s trying to get inside your head, and today we’re going to talk about how you can keep him out or kick out if he happens to get in there. Jesus said to Peter, he said, “Simon, Simon. Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.” All of us at some point or another have had some oppressive spirit that we feel like must be the devil himself. It’s interesting that most of the time we think about Peter being sifted like wheat, but it actually is all of the 12 disciples that Satan wanted to sift like wheat. So all of us at some time or another feel like we have been sifted, like there’s just this oppressive spirit that is on us.
On the subject of who is the devil, we see a number of appearances by him in scripture, just a few of them, three in which he speaks the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, the exchange in Job, the exchange between God and Satan, where he has been roaming around throughout the earth. God says, “If you considered my servant Job,” and then the temptations of Jesus, which we’ll take a look at a little bit here in a moment as well. The biggest accomplishment perhaps of the devil is to have exaggerated his power. He really does not have that much power. As you can see, he’s been hurled out of heaven. Jesus says he now stands condemned. The prince of the world now stands condemned. 1st John chapter 4 verse 4 says greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.
I want to give you today a practical tool that you can use to turn back the devil or kick him out when this voice is of the devil is trying to get inside your head. I learned this from, I think Billy Graham, I’ve not been able to find it back in Google searches and so forth, but this is a sentence that I’ve said for decades now, every time I sense an oppressive spirit like the devil is trying to get inside my head, this is a sentence that I repeat and I can tell you that that coupled with my understanding of what the scripture says, that greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world. Every time I have used this, I have felt whatever cloud of oppression just lift immediately.
This is the Big Idea. This is what I think I heard from Billy Graham. Satan, I rebuke you in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Satan, I rebuke you in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ. It goes back to the verse I said, we’d mentioned again in Revelation chapter 12, verse 11. It says they triumphed over him, talking about the brothers and sisters, they triumphed over him, that is the devil, by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony. So by believing in Jesus and the word of their testimony, they were able to triumph over the devil. Zachariah chapter 3, verse 2 gives us a form of how that testimony could be expressed. Zechariah chapter 3, verse 2 says the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan.” So putting that all together, the Big Idea today, Satan, I rebuke you in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
The idea of faith is so important to this. Martin Luther is said to have had great struggles with Satan. One time it’s reported that he took an inkwell and literally threw it, hurled it across the room at Satan and he said, “I am baptized. I am baptized.” This was claiming the blood of the lamb and giving his word of testimony against the devil.
HOW DID JESUS RESIST THE DEVIL?
I think it would be important and valuable for us to look at how Jesus handled his temptations. So that will be the next thing we take a look at in Mark, Matthew rather, chapter 4, verse 1, if you’d turn to Matthew chapter 4, verse 1. These are the three wilderness temptations, and so how did Jesus resist the devil? It says that the spirit led Jesus into the wilderness where he fasted for 40 days and nights. Because he was hungry, and then the tempter, the devil came to him and said three things. He said, number one, “If you are the son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” What did Jesus do? He said, “It is written, man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” So the first principle that Jesus gives us is that we live by the word of God. When Satan tempted him, he referred to the word of God and said it is written.
Then in the second temptation, takes him to the highest point of the temple and he says, “If you are the son of God, throw yourself down for it is written he will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against the stone.” The devil is very clever. Notice here, Jesus responded to the first temptation, it is written, and Satan turned that around in the second temptation and says to Jesus, “For it is written that he will command the angels.” Jesus answered him, it is also written in verse 7, “Do not put the Lord your God to a test. Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” So we see a second principle. The first is to live by the word of God. The second principle is to not put the Lord, your God to test.
Then the devil took him up for a third temptation to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and he said that, “If you would bow down, I will give you all of this. If you will bow down and worship me.” Then in verse 10, Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan. For it is written worship the Lord, your God, and serve him only.” Away from me, Satan. It sounds a lot like our Big Idea, doesn’t it? Again, from Zechariah chapter 3, verse 2, the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan.” Jesus says, “Away from me, Satan. For it is written, worship the Lord, your God, and serve him only.” There’s the third principle. But the overarching principle here in all of these temptations is Jesus makes his appeal to the word of God and so can we. The word of God tells us what the Big Idea tells us, that we can say, “Satan, I rebuke you in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.”
SPIRITUAL WARFARE: TOOLS TO RESIST THE VOICE OF THE DEVIL
The final thing I want us to look at today, spiritual warfare. Tools to resist the voice of the devil. Turn with me to Ephesians chapter 6, verse 10. It is a spiritual warfare. Satan has certain weapons that he uses and we need to have weapons with which we can fight back. Part of what I would like to accomplish in this message is for you to feel the confidence of a field general, not the lack of confidence of a new boot who doesn’t understand what’s going on yet in this warfare.
In the questions that you’ll look at later, I’ve created a partial list of some of the different weapons that the devil uses. I’ll mention a few of them, anxiety, anger, doubt, fear. Now I want to be careful to mention and say that not every time you experience anxiety, anger, doubt, and fear, is it a direct attack from the devil, that it’s the voice of the devil himself. There is a systemic evil in the world because of the fall, and so not everything is the direct result of the devil’s voice, specifically, but ultimately it is because without the devil, there would not be any evil in the world. So ultimately all evil does come from him.
The back to the list. These are some of the weapons that he uses, anxiety, anger, doubt, fear, worry, self-loathing, deceit, greed, pride, jealousy, envy, worldly desires or behaviors, sinful desires or behaviors, shame, depression, rejection. These are all weapons that Satan uses. Well, God has weapons too with which we can fight back. We see them here in Ephesians chapter 6. Let’s start at verse 10 to give the background. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
“Therefore put on the full armor of God,” – all of the weaponry, all of the tools that are available – “so that when the day of evil comes”, – when that oppressive spirit comes, when the voice of the devil is trying to get into your head – “you may be able to stand your ground, and after you’ve done everything, to stand.” So let’s take a look then at what are these different tools that we have. Abraham Maslow, the psychologist said, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem is a nail.” God has not left us with only one tool. He’s given us multiple pieces of armor. Seven are mentioned in this passage alone.
Verse 14, “stand firm then with the belt of truth around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness”. So the truth of God’s word, the righteousness of our behavior. Verse 15, “and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace”. So for example, the scriptures tell us, don’t go to bed angry and give the devil a foothold, the gospel of peace. In addition to all this in verse 16, take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one, the shield of faith. This is much like what Martin Luther did when he says, “I am baptized. I am baptized.”
Verse 17, “take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God”, our principle offensive weapon and our second offense of weapon. Verse 18, “and pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying with all the Lord’s people”. So God has given you tools with which you can equip yourself so that when you do hear that voice of the devil trying to get into your head, you can say with confidence, “Satan, I rebuke you in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Let’s pray. Our dearest father, Lord, thank you that while there’s not a lot about the devil in the scripture, what you have given us is more than enough to understand that he is extremely limited in power and that his time is short, that greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world, and that by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony, we can drive out the voice of the devil. We can say, “Satan, I rebuke you in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ.” I pray, God, that this would be a help to all the men who hear or watch this message or ever will, and that you might give them the confidence that the devil has no power over us, that we cannot thwart with the simple name of Jesus Christ. In his name we now pray. Amen. Thank you, men.