The recent murder of 11 people worshiping in a Pittsburgh synagogue has resulted in the usual blame game ranging from guns to Trump. And like previous shootings and horrific acts of violence, everyone is arguing over the wrong points and missing the true cause of these acts.

My friends, there is a war going on. It’s been raging since the beginning of time. There is good and there is evil. There is God and there is Satan. And there are those of us who have chosen to follow God’s ways and there are those who choose to follow Satan’s ways.

Most Americans would say these violent acts are evil, but when they do it’s not really within the spiritual context of God and Satan. It’s more in the context of evil as morally wrong or even immoral, as well as socially unacceptable behavior.

One of the things Satan is known for is blinding people to the truth. He’s done a remarkable job when it comes to hiding his hand behind these evil deeds. Instead of people clearly seeing evil for what it is – Satan and his demons tempting and causing these heinous crimes that man commits against each other – Satan convinced us to reject that idea in a very clever way.

You see, if people were to admit that evil is a God vs Satan thing, they also then would have to admit that these things they see as immoral actually violate a moral law. And if there is a moral law there must be a moral law giver! Of course, we Christians know there is, indeed, a moral law giver – God Himself! But Satan has convinced people that there really is no absolute moral law, just societal norms we should follow. And because there is no real moral law, there is no need for a moral law giver. Thus, God is out of the picture and when God is out of the picture Satan is free to work behind the scenes undetected as well. Evil, then, becomes bad behavior and heinous acts by men instead of a spiritual power that overwhelms some to act in rebellion to God’s ways and commands.

Think of all the various shooting – Columbine, Sandy Hook, Pulse night club in Orlando, San Bernardino, CA, Colorado movie theater (Dark Knight movie shooting), Umpqua Community College in Oregon, Virginia Tech University, Las Vegas, Texas Baptist Church, Pittsburgh Synagogue and all the rest – do you remember anyone coming out afterwards and rebuking Satan in the name of Jesus as we are told we can do in scripture? I don’t, just prayers for the families and calls for more legislation.

My friends, that is not how scripture tells us to fight evil!

But when I think about it, we stopped actually fighting evil long ago when we took God out of his exalted position in our lives and society and regulated Him someone who can’t be in our schools, public houses or even public square. Instead of following God, people try to find their own “truth” and practice either a subtle or not-so subtle form of moral relativism.

And Satan laughs.

The reason he laughs is simple: Only the power of Jesus overcomes evil. And when we rely on our own power Satan crushes us.

Look, here is what we know about Satan:

·       He is a liar and murderer (John 8:44)

·       The one who does what is sinful is of the devil (1 John 3:8)

·       He prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour! (1 Peter 5:8-9)

·       He is the most crafty and cunning (Genesis 3:1-5; 2 Corinthians 11:3)

·       He tempts us (Matthew 4:1-11; 1 Corinthians 7:5)

·       He tests us (Revelation 2:8-17)

·       He can give us a “thorn” in our flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

·       He accuses us of unholiness before God (Zechariah 3;1-2; Job 1:6-12)

·       We can be deceived by Satan (2 Corinthians 11:3)

·       Our hearts can be influenced by Satan (Acts 5:3)

·       Satan can “enter” us as he did Judas (Luke 22:1-6)

·       We can belong to Satan (John 8:4)

·       Satan knows scripture (Matthew 4:1-11)

·       Satan is the prince of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)

·       We can resist him (1 Peter 5:8-9)

·       We can rebuke him and tell him to flee (James 4:7)

·       We have spiritual armor to defend against Satan (Ephesians 6:11-16)

·       We are not unaware of Satan’s schemes (2 Corinthians 2:5-11)

·       Satan can only do what God allows (Job 1:12)

·       Jesus has defeated Satan (1 John 3:8)

As a man of God, it is so hard to know that we win the war but watch as we continue to lose battles to Satan every day. I always liken it to the end of World War II. After D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans knew they were finished. The Russians had broken through in the east and the allies were advancing in the west. Yet, they fought on. They knew the war was lost but they were going to take as many of us with them as they could and fight until the bitter end. That is Satan. He knows he’s a defeated foe, but he’s going to take as many of us with him as he can while he fights God to the bitter end.

For us it means watching Satan tempt, test, influence, deceive, and even enter and own godless men, causing them to commit horrible atrocities against their fellow-man. Meanwhile, society looks upon this evil and attributes it to worldly and secular reasons instead of understanding our true enemy – Satan.

Brothers and Sisters, we must act! Yes, prayer works, but not just prayer for comfort and healing. We need prayer warriors who will rebuke Satan, stand firm in the faith, put on the armor and fight against principalities and dark forces, resist Satan’s advances, and loudly proclaim the name of Jesus as victor over Satan!

And yes, people will think you’re a nutjob! I get the strangest looks sometimes when I am rebuking Satan while praying in a public place, such as a restaurant. But I am not unaware of Satan’s schemes. He would love for the disciples of Jesus to stay quiet and does whatever he can to marginalize us. But I will not stay quiet no matter what ridicule I receive. Satan is real and the evil we see in our world today is of him. The only weapon we have that can defeat him is the sword of truth which is the word of God, which Jesus has given us to wield against Satan at any time!

No, the shooter in Pittsburgh is not just some crazy. He’s an agent of Satan. Evil incarnate! Church, we must stand up to this but in the only way that will truly make a difference. We must rebuke Satan and make him flee in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!