Many people don’t know the truth about Satan’s defeat.
In fact, many Christians are the very instrument the devil is using to foster the deception that he is still a powerful foe. Spiritual warfare is one of the hottest topics in the church today.
People are expending great amounts of energy constantly battling the devil in ways contrary to Scripture, but in reality, Satan has already been defeated. We don’t need to defeat him again.
We need to believe that Satan has already been completely destroyed (Heb. 2:14) and simply enforce his defeat. The only power he has is the power to deceive. Our battle should be against the wiles (trickery) of the devil (Eph. 6:11), not the devil himself. Any other approach is actually giving the devil authority and power which he doesn’t have, and he uses that to intimidate us.
The only weapon Satan has is the power we give him when we believe his lies.
Warfare only takes place between two undefeated foes. Once an enemy has been conquered, the war is over. Satan is a defeated foe. Colossians 2:15 says,
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
The archaic meaning of the word “spoiled” here is “to plunder; despoil” (American Heritage Dictionary). This means that after Jesus defeated Satan, He stripped him of everything he had, specifically the keys of death and hell (Rev. 1:18). Satan has no power to imprison anyone.
The Greek word that was translated “shew” in this verse (Col 2:15) is “deigmatizo” which means “to exhibit” (Strong). This comes from the root word “deigma” which means “a specimen (as shown)” (ibid.). Satan is like one of those bugs we had to capture for biology class. We caught it and then impaled it on a board with a little pin to exhibit it.
You need to picture the devil nailed to the cross of Jesus like a bug on display. Hallelujah! Take that, Mr. Devil!
The Greek word that was translated as “triumphing over” in Colossians 2:15 is especially significant. It means “to make an acclamatory procession” (ibid.). This is specifically referring to the way the Romans had a “triumphant procession” after they had defeated their enemies.
Upon conquering an enemy, the Romans would hold a parade. They would take the conquered king, strip him naked, and drag him through the crowd behind the conquering king or commander for all their subjects to see. He would be humiliated and insulted, but that’s not all. They would also cut off the thumbs of his hands and the big toes of both feet. This was to assure the subjects this enemy would never be a threat to any of them again. He could not hold a sword and he would never be able to run again. There was no need to fear him anymore. Any rumour about him ever challenging Rome again would be scoffed at because the citizens had seen him in the parade.
The same thing happened to the devil. That’s what this verse is referring to. Jesus not only beat the devil, but He had a triumphant procession to display the devil to the universe as a totally conquered foe. Satan should never terrify us again. Unfortunately, many Christians have missed the parade. They haven’t seen God’s triumphant procession that was pictured in God’s Word where Satan was displayed as a totally defeated foe. They are circulating rumours that Satan is a powerful foe to be reckoned with. That’s not so.
Satan is still alive, and we do have to reckon with him but only because he has so many lies circulating about his power against us. These are all lies, and therein lies Satan’s power. If we believe his lies, he then uses our own authority, which our fear grants him, to work his destruction in our lives. He has no power of his own. He’s using the power and authority that our misdirected faith gives him.