He that committeth sin is of the Devil; for the Devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devil (1 John 3:8 KJV)
There are works of God and works of the Devil, so not everything that happens in our world or environment is a work of God. Besides, John states in explicit terms the purpose for which the Son of God came to earth: to destroy the works of the Devil. What are these works of the Devil, and how does Jesus destroy them?
Satan works in different ways. In a prior Deshen Daily, I described the differences between demonic influence, oppression, and possession. Furthermore, I would superficially divide Satan’s works into two distinct but intimately related categories: overt and hidden. The overt works of Satan are clearly demonic: witchcraft, sorceries, occultism, magic, etc. These practices use demonic powers in supernatural manners to inflict pain and sorrow on people.
However, these overt works of Satan are the minority of Satan’s works in human beings. The hidden works of Satan are those activities wherein Satan or demons influence human beings in ways that look natural. Think of Peter telling Jesus not to go to the cross—a hidden work of Satan! ( Matt. 16:23). Within this category is Satan’s most important work on earth, and that is, influencing human beings to sin—he is the tempter. He can influence emotions, thoughts, or human behaviors to induce us to do things that open the doors for him.
But why does Satan have a vested interest in sin? Sin brings death, and death is Satan’s realm of control, power, and authority. Wherever sin is present, death reigns, and where death reigns, Satan is lord! ( Heb. 2:14). As I challenged you in the devotional mentioned above, I encourage you to look at every instance of Satan mentioned in the scripture and study what he was doing in each passage. You will be surprised to find out that Satan’s most important work is hidden. At the same time, most of what we call “spiritual warfare,” binding and casting, fighting witches and wizards, or waiting for those possessed is only a tiny portion of his activities.
John says Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil in 1 John 3:8. This verse is often applied out of context. Yes, it could be used for any work of Satan, whether overt or hidden, but it is crucial to understand and apply the Word of God in context. John was not referring to witches or wizards in this verse or some form of occultism. The work of Satan in this verse is explicitly stated as the inducing people to commit sin. When Jesus died on the cross, His blood was a decisive blow to Satan because, for the first time, the sins of human beings could be completely forgiven and washed away. Satan’s hold on humans gets broken once sin is forgiven and removed. This is how Jesus destroyed the work of Satan in this verse. This is how the Saints overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb( Rev. 12:11).
Living in Sin or hiding unconfessed Sin is the best door any of us can open for Satan. Living in Sin and binding, Satan is looking for problems for ourselves; I suspect Satan probably mocks us when we bind and cast him but continues with strife, anger, bitterness, sexual Sin, lying, and idolatry( see the works of the flesh in Gal. 5:19-21). If a husband lives in adultery, pornography, addiction, etc., he invites Satan into his home to wreak havoc in his relationship with the wife or the children’s lives. When there is strife, jealousy, bitterness, or discord in a congregation, Satan will have a party in that Church. Or, when a young man or woman engages in sexual relationships outside of marriage, they are creating a highway for a long ride with demonic activities in their lives.
We begin destroying Satan’s works in our life the day we receive Jesus. Our sins were washed away, and we put a helmet of salvation to protect our head from Satan’s blows. As we live on earth and continue to live in righteousness, we put a breastplate on our chest. Also, when we sin—you can be sure you will still sin sometimes— we confess and ask God for forgiveness so that sin is washed away immediately. But as I mentioned above, we are also aware that Satan works in overt ways such as witchcraft, and when we encounter these, we use the authority we have in Christ and the sword of the Spirit to destroy these works.
Jesus came to destroy all the works of the Devil. We should cooperate with Him to destroy Satan’s works in our lives and our environment.
What are the two broad categories of the works of Satan mentioned above? What category has been most important in your life lately?
Apply the Word
Destroy all the works of the Devil in your life. Overcome Satan by the blood! Quickly acknowledge Sin and ask Jesus for forgiveness and cleansing. Also, use the sword of the Spirit to destroy occultism, witchcraft, or any other overt manifestations.
Ask the Father to help us understand how the enemy operates.
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