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What Is the Extent of Satan’s Power?

Don Stewart

It is very important to understand who our adversary the Devil is, and what he is able to do. We must be careful not to attribute to him abilities and honors that belong to God and Him alone. The Bible says the following about the limitations of the Devil.

1. Not Opposite Of God

Though he would like people to think so, he is not the opposite of God. God is all-powerful, everywhere present, and all-knowing. Satan is none of these. He does not have unlimited power, he cannot be everywhere at once, and he does not know everything. He is a created, limited being. He depends upon God for his existence.

2. Approaches As A Subordinate

When Satan approached God, he did not come as an equal, but rather as a subordinate.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them (Job 1:6).

3. Cannot Tempt Without God’s Permission

Satan was unable to tempt Jesus without the permission of the Holy Spirit.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Matthew 4:1).

He also could not tempt Job without God’s permission.

And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD (Job 1:12).

4. Cannot Influence Nature Without God’s Permission

When it came to influencing nature, Satan was not able to do it without God’s permission.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord. . . . While he [a servant] was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and has burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell you. and, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell you (Job 1:12,16,19).

5. Cannot Physically Harm Without God’s Permission

When Satan wanted to physically harm Job, he had to first ask God’s permission.

The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil. He still persists in his integrity, although you incited me against him, to destroy him for no reason.” Then Satan answered the LORD, “Skin for skin! All that people have they will give to save their lives. But stretch out your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, he is in your power” (Job 2:2-6).

P

Don Stewart


6. Kill Without God’s Permission

Satan cannot take a human life without first getting God’s permission.

The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life” (Job 2:6).

The Bible does say that Satan has the power of de

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