King Herod’s Murderous Mentor

Revelation 12:1-5; Matthew 2:13

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): A dragon the devil is called for his sharp-sightedness―as also for his mischievousness to mankind; and lastly for his serpentine subtilty, Genesis 3:1.

THOMAS ADAMS (1583-1656): Herod was a fit type of the devil. The devil is like Herod, both for his subtlety and cruelty…The cruelty of Herod was monstrous. He slew all those he could suspect to issue from the line of David―all the infants of Bethlehem under two years old, at one slaughter, Matthew 2:16.

JOHN TRAPP: By his imps and instruments―such as Herod was―Satan exerciseth his malice against the saints, lending them his seven heads to plot, and his ten horns to push; but all in vain.

GEORGE WHITEFIELD (1714-1770): Satan and his emissaries will do their utmost, though all in vain, to stop the work of God.  Thus it was in the first ages, thus it is in our days, and thus it will be till time shall be no more.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): Is the Devil a living reality, or is he nothing more than a figment of the imagination? Is the word “Satan” merely a synonym for wickedness, or does it stand for a concrete entity?

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981):  At this point we must assert our faith. We shall be regarded as fools. Any man who believes in the devil today is regarded as almost unintelligent, yet if you believe the Bible you must believe in [the existence] of this tremendous person and his awful power.

A. A. HODGE (1823-1886): How may it be proved that Satan is a personal being, and not a mere personification of evil?

A. W. PINK: No unbiased mind can read carefully the fourth chapter of Matthew without coming to the conclusion that we have recorded there a real conflict between two persons—our Lord Jesus Christ and Satan.>

EDWARD REYNOLDS (1599-1676): Satan hath three titles given in the Scripture, setting forth his malignity against the church of God; a dragon, to note his malice; a serpent, to note his subtlety; and a lion, to note his strength.

A. A. HODGE: What are the names by which Satan is distinguished, and what is their import?

A. W. PINK: Thirty-five times he is denominated “The Devil,” which means “the Accuser,” or “Slanderer,” accusing the saints before God and traducing the character of God before men. Fifty-two times he is called “Satan,” which means “Enemy” or “Adversary.” He is God’s enemy and man’s adversary.

A. A. HODGE: What do the Scriptures teach concerning the relation of Satan to other evil spirits and to our world?

A. W. PINK: He is termed “The Prince of this world,” John 14:30, which defines his position in relation to our earth. He is named “Beelzebub,” Matthew 12:27, which regards him as the head of the demons. He is spoken of as the “Wicked One,” Matthew 13:19 which refers to him as the prime mover of all wickedness. He is styled “Apollyon,” that is “Destroyer,” Revelation 9:11, which links him with the Bottomless Pit.

A. A. HODGE: Other evil spirits are called “his angels,” Matthew 25:41; and he is called “Prince of Devils,” Matthew 9:34; and “Prince of the powers of the Air,” and “Prince of Darkness,” Ephesians 6:12. This indicates that he is the master spirit of evil…Throughout all the various books of Scripture Satan is always consistently spoken of as a person, and personal attributes are predicated of him. Such passages as Matthew 4 and John 8:44, “he was a murderer from the beginning,” are decisive―He is termed a “Liar, and the father of it,” because he is the inveterate opposer of the truth; a “roaring lion,” I Peter 5:8; ” a “sinner from the beginning,” 1 John 3:8; an “accuser,” Revelation 12:10; a “deceiver,” Revelation 20:10; a “serpent,” Isaiah 27:1; and a “tormentor,”Matthew 18:34―These and other titles of Satan are meaningless unless he is a personal being.

D. L. MOODY (1837-1899): I believe Satan to exist for two reasons: first, the Bible says so; and second, I’ve done business with him.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Those of us who have passed through any spiritual conflicts know that Satan is a terribly real personage.

A. A. HODGE: He “transforms himself into an angel of light,” 2 Corinthians 11:14. If he can deceive or persuade he uses “wiles,” Ephesians 6:11; “snares,” 1 Timothy 3:7; “depths,” Revelation 2:24; he “blinds the mind,” 2 Corinthians 4:4; “leads captive the will,” 2 Timothy 2:26; and so “deceives the whole world,” Revelation 12:9. If he cannot persuade he uses “fiery darts,” Ephesians 6:16; and “buffetings,” 2 Corinthians 12:7. As examples of his influence in tempting men to sin, the Scriptures cite the case of Adam and Eve, Genesis 3; of David, 1 Chronicles 21:4; of Judas, Luke 22:3; Ananias and Sapphira, Acts 5:3, and the temptation of our blessed Lord.

THOMAS MANTON (1620-1677): Whatever power God permitteth Satan to have―yet it is limited; he cannot hurt or molest any further than God pleaseth.  He had power to set Christ on a pinnacle of the temple, but not to cast Him down. He had a power to touch Job’s skin, but a charge not to endanger his life: “Behold, he is in thine hand, but save his life,” Job 2:6. God sets bounds and limits to the malice of Satan, that he is not able to compass all his designs.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): In preserving the life of his Son, God maintained such reserve, as to give some indications of His heavenly power, and yet not to make it so manifest as to prevent it from being concealed under the appearance of weakness: for the full time of glorifying Christ openly was not yet come. The angel predicts an event which was hidden, and unknown to men. That is an evident proof of divine guidance. But the angel orders Joseph to defend the life of the child by flight and exile―we are here taught, that God has more than one way of preserving His own people. Sometimes He makes astonishing displays of His power; while at other times He employs dark coverings or shadows, from which feeble rays of it escape.

THOMAS MANTON: Remember, Satan is in God’s hand.

RICHARD SIBBES (1577-1635): Satan knows that nothing can prevail against Christ, or those that rely on His power.


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