The Six Powers of Satan and How to Overcome Them: Part 6
March 25, 2021 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

The Power of Death

In this six-part series, we are exploring the six powers of Satan and how to overcome them. The six powers of Satan are:

  • Lies—he is the father of lies
  • The kingdoms of the world with their imposed law with coercive enforcement—he is the prince of this world
  • Worldly economics—mammon, the false god of money, buying, selling, and owning
  • Accusations—he is the “satan,” the accuser
  • Temptation and division—he is the devil, the ancient serpent who tempts and divides
  • Death and destruction—he is the destroyer whose powers result in death

In part one, we examined the power of lies—how lies that are believed break the circle of love and trust and result in fear and selfishness, and how every human born after Adam’s sin is born infected with fear and selfishness.

This fear-driven, me-first survival instinct is the energizing motivator of the dark-side, and all of Satan’s various powers are used to increase fear and inflame selfishness, which gives him greater control over people—ultimately destroying love and the fruits of the Spirit out of the hearts of those who, in some way, turn to self and practice selfish methods to cope with the fear.

In part two, we examined Satan’s power of worldly governments, of using the rule of law, made-up rules, outward force, and inflicted punishments to coerce people, in contrast to Jesus’ inward-focused kingdom of heart change.

In part three, we explored how fear and selfishness are the basis of all human economics—which operate on buying, selling, ownership, and arbitrary realities—and work exactly opposite of God’s economy, which operates on freedom, love, objective reality, and free giving.

In part four, we examined Satan’s fourth power, which is what the name “Satan” literally means: accuser. He uses the power of accusation against us both internally and externally in order to create the fear of humiliation and rejection and cause us to adopt his very method of accusations against others to save self.

In part five, we examined Satan’s fifth power of temptation and division. He tempts us to sin, and when we choose the sin, either in heart or deed, the natural result is internal fear, guilt, and shame, which cause our relationships to fracture. Our fear and desire to protect self leads us to seek safety, security, and the reduction of fear, guilt, and shame by using Satan’s methods.

In our sixth and final blog of this series, we explore Satan’s sixth power, the power of death.

The Power of Death

Even though the Scripture plainly attributes the power of death to the devil (Hebrews 2:14), his use of the power of lies has been so successful that most of the world, including the Christian world, falsely believes that God is the inflictor of death as the punishment for sin; or in Eastern philosophies, that death is just the universe’s way of balancing out the force of life—the yin and yang; or in the godless evolutionary worldview, the lie that death is the means to advance and evolve the species as the strong kill the weak passing along their genes.

Yes—Satan has masterfully used his power of lies to deceive the world, hiding the reality that death comes out from him. But why does death come out from our enemy and not God?

God is the source of life. He is the Creator, and as Creator, He built life to operate upon certain design protocols, His laws. These are laws such as gravity, the laws of physics, the laws of health, and God’s moral laws.

The supreme law of God is the law of love, the principle of giving that all life is built to operate upon. We see this every time we breathe, as we give CO2 to the plants and the plants give oxygen back to us. But if we transgress the law of respiration by tying a plastic bag around our heads, the wages of that transgression is death. Why? Because we have taken ourselves outside the very design parameters that life operates upon—not because of a judicial ruling or inflicted punishment.

Deviations from God’s design laws always damage those who break them and will result in death, unless the Designer intervenes to heal and restore. Thus, the Bible teaches:

  • The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
  • Sin grows and brings death (James 1:15 NCV).
  • The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction (Galatians 6:8).

As the deceiver and tempter, Satan led Adam and Eve to take themselves out of harmony with God’s design for life and, thus, their condition became sinful—or terminally “dead in trespasses and sin” (Ephesians 2:1 NKJV). When Adam and Eve reproduced, they could only share what they possessed—a terminal condition. Thus, we are all born with this condition (Psalm 51:5), but God sent Jesus to be our Savior, our Remedy, to provide the solution that wins us to trust and restores His perfect design for life back into us. If we choose to embrace God’s plan, we are reborn with new hearts in harmony with God’s design for life—the law of love restored within us. Thus, we receive eternal life the gift of God (Romans 6:23). But if we refuse God’s healing remedy, then we remain terminal, dying in fear and selfishness.

Satan holds the power of death through his various methods of getting people to violate God’s design laws for life and refusing to allow God to write His law on their hearts and minds—in other words, to restore them to how He built life to operate.

Satan, who brought death by deceiving our first parents in Eden, continues to promote death by deceiving people today into believe his lie that God is the source of death as legal punishment for sin. This is why Jesus said Satan is a murderer from the beginning, because all death started with him (John 8:44).

Understanding these truths about God’s design law and why sin results in death if not remedied by God, we can now understand what the Bible means by:

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law (1 Corinthians 15:56 NIV84).

Or as the New Living Translation renders it:

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.

Sin stings us by taking us out of harmony with God’s design protocols for life, causing all the pain and suffering in the history of the world and without remedy results in death—eternal death. The power to cause eternal death comes from the law—God’s design protocols built into reality.

For example, if a person jumps into a lake with weights tied to their legs, they transgress or break the law of respiration. The power that kills them comes from the law of respiration. The law cannot be changed, adjusted, modified, abridged, amended, or altered to prevent death as long as the individual won’t or can’t breathe. The only option to prevent death is to deliver the person from drowning, to restore them back into harmony with the law of respiration.

God cannot change His law to meet the sinner in sin because His law is perfect and is how life is constructed to operate. To change the law would be to: first admit that God’s original design law and creation were imperfect or could be improved upon, which is completely false; second, it would destroy all life as we know it because it would be changing the laws upon which reality operates. This is why Jesus said that not one part of the law would be changed or everything would pass away (Matthew 5:18).

God cannot save sinners by adjusting a legal registry, by making an accounting notation in a book, or by proclaiming a judicial pardon any more than a drowning person can be saved by such mechanics. No! The only way to save sinners is to deliver them from sin, to remove sinfulness from their hearts and minds, to create a new heart and right spirit within each person. Or as Hebrews says, to write His law into our hearts and minds (Hebrews 8:10), to put us back into harmony with the laws upon which life is built.

Satan exploits us with the fear of death; throughout the history of the world, the fear of eternal death and suffering in hell was used by religions to manipulate people to practice all kinds of rituals and superstitions and to empower shamans, imams, priests, and popes. The fear of eternal death led people to sacrifice their mortal lives in pursuit of eternal life, and people went to the Crusades to garner forgiveness of sins or to earn a better place in paradise.

This same fear of death led Gautama Buddha to develop the practice of Eastern meditation as a way of coping with this fear. But Eastern meditation practices obstruct God’s healing plan and are diametrically opposed to Biblical meditation. To learn more on Biblical versus Eastern meditation, please read our Meditation Guide

Today, with the rise of evolutionism and godlessness, the fear of eternal death has been replaced with the fear of temporal death, and people are being manipulated by the thought leaders of today who continue to send fear-based messaging:

  • Fear of global warming
  • Fear of oceans rising and coastal flooding
  • Fear of worsening storms and natural disasters
  • Fear of famines and food shortages
  • Fear of over-population
  • Fear of pollution from overpopulation and use of fossil fuels, which triggers more fear of global warming and the rest of the subsequent fears
  • Fear of COVID-19
  • Fear of poverty
  • Fear of Socialism
  • Fear of racism
  • Fear of sexism
  • Fear of totalitarianism

All of these fears are rooted in the fear of death—the death of this life with no thought of eternal life. And it is this fear of death that incites ever-increasing selfishness, the me-first survival-driven actions to protect self and the actions of people to gain power to force changes to protect themselves—to save themselves.

Over the past year, with the daily media bombardment of COVID, what have you observed in society? Have people become more kind, patient, understanding, supportive, and loving? Or has fear caused people to become more controlling, more demanding, more critical?

People don’t like to be afraid. We want to feel safe. In order to make themselves feel safe, people seek to exert control over others. It doesn’t matter whether the control is rational or irrational—that is what fear does. In fact, as fear increases, reasoning ability decreases and the actions typically become more irrational. This is evidenced in society today as well.

Love only grows in an atmosphere of freedom; when freedoms are taken away, love is damaged—and if freedom isn’t restored, over time people lose individuality and become passive, surrendering their thinking to whomever they perceive to be in power.

Yes—Satan exploits us with his power of death, inciting fear, which leads to greater desire to control and greater authoritarian imposed rules with the erosion of freedom and the destruction of love. We need to realize what is happening, but we must also admit that we cannot win this battle in our own strength. We cannot achieve victory over death, but Jesus has overcome all the powers of the enemy:

Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Colossians 2:15 NIV84).

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37–39 NIV84).

The most critical point, the central issue, is to remember that all of Satan’s powers exploit or magnify fear, but what is it that casts out all fear? Love! It is God’s love in our hearts that is the key, being loved and loving others. Satan wants to separate us from God’s love and truth, and all of his powers are designed to do that—but if we remain in God’s love, we are more than conquerors. But without love, real love, we will be destroyed by fear as we try to cope with fear by using Satan’s methods.

But God’s agents through history have always overcome the fear of death. They have stared death in the face and, through their trust in God, stood for what is right. Just consider:

  • Moses confronting Pharaoh
  • Daniel and the lion’s den
  • Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego and the fiery furnace
  • Esther and the king
  • David and Goliath
  • Jesus at the cross
  • Paul, who was beheaded
  • Peter, who was crucified upside down
  • John, who was thrown in boiling oil

And as we approach the second coming of Christ, Satan will employ all his weapons, ultimately wielding the threat of death to incite the fear of death in us. But the Bible describes those who are victorious in Christ with these words:

They [the righteous] overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death (Revelation 12:11 NIV84).

In our love and trust relationship with Jesus, His promises have power; His word becomes our reality and we know:

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death (Hebrews 2:14, 15 NIV84).

We know that this temporal life is not the end, for Jesus “has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light” (2 Timothy 1:10 NIV984). And we know that when we trust Him, we receive the infusion of His divine nature and are recipients of eternal life!

So don’t listen to the lies, don’t give in to the fear, don’t reach for the tools of Satan, don’t seek to control others. Instead, fix your eyes on Christ, trust Him with your life, both mortal and eternal, trust Him with your future, and let His love flow through you to the world around you. For nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, and in that love, we are more than conquerors!

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.