IS THERE SATANIC OPPRESSION AGAINST GOD’S PEOPLE?
by DR. EUSEBIO A. TANICALA
Let us talk about Satanic or Demonic oppression. Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary defines “oppression” this way: “1. The act of oppressing. 2. Subjection to unjust hardships, tyranny. 3. Mental depression; languor, dullness of spirit. 4. A sense of weight or of constriction. 5. That which oppresses or is hard to bear; deprivation, hardship; cruelty.”
Somebody you have interacted with defines oppression something like this: “when a disciple is unable to tame his fleshly desire/s like one or more of the following: pornography, getting drunk, illicit sex, gambling, and this led him to repetitive or enjoyment of sins.”
- Are there unjust hardships and tyranny suffered by God’s people? Yes.
- Is it possible for some of God’s people to have dullness of spirit when they slide back into sin? Yes. Do some who have initially found Jesus Christ as the Savior suffer cruelty or persecution? Yes.
- Do disciples of Christ bear heavy burdens and undergo struggles in deciding when confronted between yielding to Satanic temptations on one hand and the call to Spirit-induced holy living? Yes.
- Do some of God’s people undergo just hardships and tyranny? Yes.
- Do some of God’s people carry burdens that are hard to bear? Yes?
My conclusion: Many of God’s people suffer much Satanic or demonic oppression. That is why Christ and Christ’s apostles used the words “free, freedom, liberty” many times during His earthly ministry. Please see Luke 4:18; John 8:32, 33, 36; Romans 3:24; 6: 7, 18, 20, 22; 7:3; 8:2, 21; 2Cor.3:17; 7:21, 22; Gal. 4:26, 31; 5:1; 5:13; James 1:25; 2:12; 1Peter 2:16; 2Peter 2:19.
Oppression is not always accomplished with the personal presence of the enemy within a disciple. Oppression could be physical, mental, and emotional.
Let us notice some biblical proofs that support my conclusion.
The Origin of Satan and Demons
Having a background on the origin of sin and the origin of Satan helps us understand demonic oppression.
There was a period in the distant past when Satan (Adversary) was not. No demons or evil spirits existed. Then a moment came when Christ, the Second Person in the Trinity, created the invisible, the angelic hosts (John 1:1-3 & Col. 1:15-16) who were perfect and holy. These angelic hosts had free will or the ability to decide. Everything was wonderful. A certain moment came in the heavenly realm when one of the chief angels produced in his mind the attitude of envy and wanted to be at the same level as the Eternal God, to be in the council of the Godhead. This instigator is called the “greatest of fallen angels” in Revelation 12:709. But there is an eternal truth that there is only one God, the Trinity. Deut. 6:4 declares this: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD, our God, the LORD is one.” Thus, the envious ambition of this one chief angel was illegal and sinful. He could convince a host of angels to follow his plan, which approximates what today we may call a coup d’état which, of course, failed against an omnipotent, omniscient, holy, and righteous Divinity. See the story in a historical allusion pointing to the Fall of the angelic host in Isaiah 14:12-17 and Ezekiel 28:11-19. See also 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6.
Having become ambitious to become a rival of the True God, he became God’s adversary. The Hebrew name Satan means “Adversary.” His nature has hardened as to oppose all and everything good that the true God is and wants to accomplish.
Christ Himself confirms this account of the Fall of angels in John 8:44, “You are of your father, the devil, and you will do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he does not stand in the truth, because the truth is not in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it.” (McCord’s NT)
Names, Character, Activities of Satan
- Serpent – Gen. 3:4; Rev. 20:2;
- Angel of the bottomless pit – Rev. 9:11;
- God of this age – 2 Cor. 4:4;
- Prince of demons – Matt.12:24; Eph. 2:2;
- Ruler of this world – John 14:30; Eph. 6:12.
- Father of lies – John 8:44;
- Clever strategist–Gen. 3:1; 2Cor. 4:4;
- Powerful – Eph. 2:2;
- Fierce Enemy – 1 Peter 5:7-8; Luke 8:29;
- Slanderous accuser – Job 1:9; Zech. 3:1-4; Jude 9;
- Proud – 1 Tim. 3:6.
c. Activities with the unbelievers:
- Satan causes harm, death, diseases – Job 1 & 2;
- He deceives – Rev. 20:7,8;
- Ensnares – 1Tim. 3:7.
d. Activities with God’s people:
- Satan tempts and deceives – Gen. 3:1-19;
- He tempts and afflict people – 1 Chron. 21:1-17;
- He causes people to be spiritually blind – 2Cor. 4:4;
- He accuses & opposes spiritual leaders- Zech. 3:1-4;
- He confuses and sift disciples – Luke 22:31-34; Mk. 14:26-41;
- He promoted greed for money - on Judas (John 13:2, 27), also with Ananias and Sapphira- Acts 5:1-11;
- He deceives disguises as an angel of light – 2Cor. 11:1-15.
NOTE: Since Satan is the prince of demons, his followers, the evil spirits, do Satan’s biddings and all his desires. Evil spirits are Satan’s agents in opposing the Trinity.
The Case of Adam and Eve
Our first parents, Adam, and Eve, were created good and innocent individuals and were placed in the Garden of Eden, where they enjoyed a blissful life with available trees bearing edible fruits for their daily sustenance free from laborious work. The land animals were friendly. Bacteria, viruses, plants were eaten well, all attuned to the wellbeing of humankind to live biologically for at least about nine hundred satisfying years. However, the entry of and deception of the rebellious cherub who became Satan into the Garden of Eden changed the state of humankind.
Genesis 3 reveals the beginning of oppression, hardship, depression, a privation of humanity caused by the deception of Satan. There is the continuous toil and labor of humanity to produce food. There is the continuing pain of childbirth cited by Apostle Paul in 1 Tim. 2:13-15. The curse and groaning of the material world started in Genesis 3 and will continue until the end of time, says Romans 8:18-30. A section of this passage reads, “For the creation was subjected to futility, into willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope, because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” (8:20-22) Are Christians oppressed today because of Satan’s activity? Yes.
NOTE: Satan and his cohorts of evil spirits use as entry points the following human desires:
(a) Adam & Eve: “Good for food, was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” Genesis 3:6.
(b) Jesus Christ: “stones turn to bread”–hunger for food, Matt. 4:4; “throw yourself down” from the pinnacle of the temple”–doubt about relationship with the Father & pride, Matt. 4:5-7; “showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory”,–social honor and material riches, Matt. 4:8-9 (c) Among Christians: “Lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.”
*The Case of Job and His Children–physical health, wealth, family. Was there oppression? There was. Analyze:
- The Case of King Saul–military success and political dynasty
- The Case of King David–military strength, personal pride. Was there oppression? Yes, certainly there was.
- The Case of King Solomon–sexual desire, political success
- The Case of the High Priest Joshua–fear of spiritual uncleanness. Satan accused him.
- The Case of Christ–food to sustain physical life, doubt, social honor, and wealth.
- The Case of Apostle Peter–fear of death. Satan sifted through him.
- The Case of Apostle Judas–love of money. Satan entered him.
- The Case of the Ephesian Christians–darts of the devil directed against disciples (Ephesians 6)
- The Colossian Christians – philosophies that create doubts about God poised upon Christians.
- Book of Revelation tells the story of the Individual’s struggle and/or the Church’s battle against the Devil from A.D. 33 to the end of the Ages. Ephesians 3:16 & James 4:5–The Holy Spirit is our Helper, Comforter. Let us accept Him. James 4:7, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” One’s free will should accept the help of the Holy Spirit so that one can become victorious.