The rebellion of man affected his rule on the earth. Adam’s choice opened the door for a new ruler of the world and allowed demonic forces to impact the world in which we live.
Satan Becomes Ruler of this World
Something monumental took place the day that Eve and Adam ate of the fruit. The Old Testament does not give us much insight into the shift that took place. We have to go to the New Testament to get some better understanding of what happened.
God gave Adam authority over the Earth. He was to rule and subdue it under the leading and direction of God. When Adam rebelled against God’s command to not eat of the tree, sin entered the world and Satan became the ruler of the world.
We know this exchange took place because many New Testament passages reveal it. Look at how the following Scriptures describe the devil:
- The god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)
- The ruler of this world (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11)
- The ruler of demons (Luke 11:15)
- The prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2)
The question arises, If God is sovereign over all of creation, how can Satan be the ruler or god of this world? The simple answer is that God gave man authority over the earth. He lost it through disobedience. We can see the reality of Satan’s rule over the world in the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.
Satan Offers Jesus the World
Let’s set the stage. The first thing we should know is that God is not the least bit intimidated by the devil. He sent Jesus to the earth as a human being so He that He could face every lie and temptation of the devil and win.
I want you to notice that it’s the Holy Spirit that leads Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1). God sent Jesus into the world to reestablish His rule and reign upon the earth. Whereas one man, Adam, gave place to the devil and death through his disobedience, God sent one man, Jesus, to break the devil’s power and bring life and freedom (Romans 5:12-21).
Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (Acts 10:38) and break his hold over this world. In order to do that He must face the temptations of the devil and, unlike Adam, overcome them through obeying God.
We are only going to look at the temptation that deals with the devil’s authority over the world. I want you to see that Jesus understood that he did have this place of authority.
After forty days of fasting, the devil came and tempted Jesus. Matthew 4:8-10 describes the encounter:
8 Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give
Jesus never disputed the devil’s claim of being able to give Him all the kingdoms of the earth and their glory. If he did not posses this ability, how could it be a temptation for Jesus? All Jesus would have had to say is, “Liar, you don’t have the right to give them to me,” and the issue would be settled.
The devil did rule over the world. He would give it all to Jesus if he would worship Him. This Jesus could not do. He reminded the devil that He is to worship and serve God alone.
Satan is the Ruler of Demons
Satan is called the ruler of this world. He is also the ruler over the realm of demons. Paul gives us a glimpse into this realm in Ephesians Chapter 6. He says,
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:10-12)
This verse describes structure within the kingdom of darkness. Satan is the head of ranks of demonic forces that are at battle against this world. Paul reminds us that the battle we fight is not against people, but these demonic forces.
I don’t want to go into great detail about the demonic realm, but I don’t want you to be ignorant of it either. There is a well-organized enemy arrayed against you that hates you and is intent on destroying you. You don’t need to be fearful of the enemy, You need to stand against him in the power of God.
Satan Has a Plan for this World
Satan has a plan for this world. It includes stealing, killing, and destroying (John 10:10). Paul tells us that we are not ignorant of his schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11) and that we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).
Below is a partial list of ways that the enemy attacks you. It is in no way close to complete, but gives you some understanding of how the enemy operates.
- He is your adversary. He goes around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). The enemy is relentless. He is always pursuing. He is always trying different ways to bring death and destruction into your life.
- He is your accuser (Revelation 12:10). He will constantly remind you of the things that you have done. He will tell you how unworthy you are to call yourself a Christian. He will constantly condemn you and stir up feelings of guilt and shame. He will accuse you of being a hypocrite every time you try to live for God.
- He is a deceiver (Revelation 12:9). He deceived Adam and Eve in the garden and He will do the same to you. He will call into question the word of God in a way that will make God look evil. He will try to lead you astray through telling half-truths or outright lies. He wants to trick you into believing that his lie is the truth.
- He is a thief (John 10:10). The devil wants to rob you of the incredible blessing God has provided. He wants to steal your peace and joy. He wants to rob you of your identity. He wants you in physical and spiritual poverty. He will take whatever he can in anyway he can from your life.
- He is an oppressor (Acts 10:38). He wants you under his thumb. He wants you weighed down by sin and fear. He wants you addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, or gambling. He wants you weighed down by the worries of this world. He wants to crush the life right out of you.
- He is a destroyer (John 10:10). He wants to destroy your marriage, your family, and any other important relationships you might have. He wants to destroy the church and separate you from other believes. He wants to destroy your faith and trust in God. He wants your life to be a shambles.
- He is a murderer (John 8:44, 10:10). The enemy wants to kill your hopes and dreams. He wants to kill and silence your call from God. He wants to kill you physically through sickness and disease, emotionally through hopelessness and despair, and spiritually through doubt and unbelief.
This list is intimidating and very depressing, but we cannot forget that God has a plan for this world and for your life.
God Has a Plan for this World
We’ve seen the plans of the enemy now let’s look at the plans of God. God sent Jesus into the world with a purpose. I would like to let Jesus describe the reasons for His coming. Through His words we get insight into what God is up to. Jesus said:
- “For I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent me.” (John 6:38)
- “For this I have come into the world to testify to the truth.” (John 18:37)
- “I have come as Light into the world, so that anyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.” (John 12:46)
- “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets, I did come to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)
- “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” (John 9:39)
- “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
- “For the Son of Man is come to seek and save that which was lost.” (Luke 9:10)
- “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Mark 2:17)
- “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” (Mark 1:38)
- “Just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)
- “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, "Father, save Me from this hour"? But for this purpose I came to this hour.” (John 12:27)
Jesus came to this world in obedience to the Father. He came to be a light and share the truth of God’s word to a lost and dying world. He came seeking the lost and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God. He came a servant and laid down His life to minister God’s truth.
Jesus willingly went to the cross to die for me and you. He paid the price to save us and redeem us. Jesus died so we could be forgiven, reconciled to God, and live the abundant life that God desires. Which brings us back to the purpose of this post.
Invisible Barriers that Block Your Spiritual Growth
Jesus came so that we might live an abundant life. So often that seems to elude us. The purpose for this long introduction is to lay a foundation in understanding why there are invisible barriers to your spiritual growth.
I am only covering seven barriers in this series of posts. There are many more, but I believe the following seven are the most common. Understanding how these barriers work will give you further insight into how others may affect your life.
I pray as you read through each of the barriers God will give you insight into any way they may be affecting you. Identifying the barrier is the most important part of the proces. Once you know what is affecting you, you can deal with it in the power of Jesus’s name. Jesus has an answer for every barrier in your life.
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