Seven Satanic Strategies
- Wormwood (8:11). He poisons, so that the gifts God has given to edify and refresh us (especially the water that flows from the temple) become sources of pain and death.
- Abaddon and Apollyon (9:11). He destroys, by causing physical harm through his demonic agents, in this case the sinister and bizarre scorpion/locust creatures that sting people.
- Dragon (12:3). He devours, or at least tries to, in the case both of the child of the woman (12:4) and the rest of her offspring (12:17); he seeks to consume God’s people and incorporate their worship into himself.
- Serpent (12:9). He seduces, by luring God’s people away from his Word, and convincing them that no consequences will follow from turning their back on it (and him) in favour of a new lover.
- Satan (12:9 etc). He accuses, highlighting weaknesses and sins relentlessly, to erode the Church’s confidence in God, and to challenge their unimpeachable status as those clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
- Devil (12:9 etc). He slanders, lying about the Church and to the Church, in ways that can seem convincing to those who do not know the truth.
Looking around the world today, it’s not difficult to see how these different approaches cash out in practice. Virtually any news story in which you see the Church taking a pounding will, in all likelihood, be a result of some combination of these, whether explicit and direct confrontation (the primary implication of Abaddon, Apollyon and Dragon), or more subtle manipulation (as per Wormwood, Serpent, Satan and Devil). The latter is more common in the West, the former in many other places. But all seven are aimed at the same goal: the destruction of the Church.
That’s his gameplan, of course. The reality, when seen from heaven’s perspective, is somewhat different:
The accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God! And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony ... He knows that his time is short! (Rev 12:11-12)