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An interesting article from Dr Peter Masters, Pastor for over 30 years at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London.

What Satan Can and Cannot Do

From The Sword & Trowel 2003, issue 3 by Dr Peter Masters
How can such a powerful enemy be resisted? Here are the purposes and limitations of Satan, and why we must never ascribe to the Devil powers which belong exclusively to Almighty God.

With Calvary before Him, the Lord spoke these remarkable words – ‘Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.’ He was referring to His imminent suffering on Calvary’s cross, which would immediately accomplish salvation for His people, and judgement for Satan. From the time of Calvary Satan would be curbed in his power, a defeated enemy, still able to work much wickedness until the final day, but severely limited.

But how exactly was Satan cast out by Christ’s death? We know that Christ’s death saved vast numbers of people from eternal death, and by so doing, saved the human race from becoming extinct. Since the Fall of man in the garden of Eden not one person would live a perfect life, nor anything like it. The entire human race would therefore be condemned, leaving Satan triumphant and victorious. By tempting Adam and Eve he had utterly thwarted the purpose of God in making the human race, and God appeared to have failed in His design. Satan could flaunt himself throughout time as the murderer and conqueror of the human race, and, in a sense, the conqueror of its Creator.

But Christ came as the representative of His people, and in every conceivable way obeyed His Father, even to the death of the cross. And through that perfect obedience culminating in Calvary, His people (and therefore the race) were saved from condemnation. By His righteousness and atonement, a continuing human race was purchased, so that a glorified earth could be thronged by ransomed people. The human race would no longer be a failed concept, and God’s design would be restored and redeemed.

Satan’s apparent triumph was crushed, leaving him susceptible to judgement and curbing. No longer would he be able to keep people from the Truth.

The curbing of Satan’s power after Calvary is clearly revealed in the New Testament. The Saviour spoke, for example, of how ‘with the finger of God’ He cast out devils, to mark that the kingdom had arrived (Luke 11.20). This was judgement language, referring to a limitation of satanic power operating from that time.

Read the rest of the article here.