May 8, 2013
II Corinthians 4:4; Luke 4:5-8
(All quotations are from the New King James Version)
Yes, we have an enemy – a real and personal spiritual entity who is called Satan, is referred to as the devil, and was originally Lucifer, the covering cherub. He fell from divine favor when he rebelled against God’s rule and desired to be God himself. That has been his driving purpose through the ages, and he wars against the Almighty, a war that involves us who are God’s children, who are walking in His will and allowing the Lord to work out His purpose in our lives.
I think it is very important to say that the spiritual war between the devil and the Lord is decidedly one-sided! Satan is not omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing) or omnipresent (all-present); and God is – all that and much more. Revelation 19:19-21 describes Armageddon, that great war at the end of the age where Satan, incarnate as the antichrist, incites all nations of the world to battle against God and Israel.
And I saw the beast [the antichrist], the kings of the earth, and their armies,
gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse [Jesus Christ]
and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false
prophet who worked signs in his presence…. These two were cast alive into
the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest [of antichrist’s army]
were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat
upon the horse.
Did you notice the description of the battle between the Lord and the greatest armies the world could muster? It is between the first and second sentences – and there is no description! The power, might and victory is so lopsided in favor of Jesus Christ that all it says is “Then the beast was captured…”!!! So I know how it all ends! I’ve read the last part of the book! And I am on the winning side – Praise God!!!
But we haven’t even gotten to the main point of this blog yet! Satan is called “…the god of this world…” in II Corinthians 4:4. Why? Because Satan is in charge of this world – this world-wide societal system in every nation on earth. He owns it! When the devil tempted Jesus in Luke 4, the second temptation in verses 5 through 8 is recorded thus:
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the king-
doms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this
authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me,
and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if you will worship before me,
all will be Yours. And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind me, Satan!
For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you
Satan claimed ownership of all the kingdoms of the world! And the Lord didn’t challenge him concerning that claim! You see, it all is his because he tricked our first parents into giving it all to him. According to Genesis 1:26-29, God gave Adam dominion over all the earth. But when the devil tempted Eve – and then Adam through Eve – Adam, as it were, bowed down and worshiped Satan, transferring ownership over the world to the evil one (see Genesis 3:1-6).
This is what the devil offered to Jesus – the kingdoms of this world and the glory of them – the world system. If he could get Jesus – who is called the last or second Adam in I Corinthians 15:45 and 47 – to bow down to him as did the first Adam, then Satan would permanently keep his title as the god of this world. Nay, more, he would become the God of this world!
But because Jesus obeyed His Father instead of Satan, the angel could proclaim in Revelation 11:15, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.”
Look around! The mess that this world is in is just temporary! There is coming a time, perhaps very soon, when it shall be as the prophet foresaw – “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14).
Actually, this explains a lot. When I look at the world, and the mess that the nations’ societies are in, I would have to think that, if God was in control of the kingdoms of the world, He would be a pretty poor God! But God is in ultimate control, and Satan can only go as far as God allows. And someday, when the “…kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ…” then Jesus will right the wrongs of society, and the mess will become so clean, right and holy as to reflect His glory!
The next blog will deal with the devil’s characteristics.