Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Angelic Conflict. Part 45. The Serpent leads man away from God, but he also leads himself into a trap.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
In the creation of mankind, there was a new individual created around whom the greatest battles of the invisible war would be fought.
Everything that has ever come out of mankind for good since the origin of the human race was contained in Adam and his bride.
They were perfect in beauty, perfect in wisdom, perfect genius, but still no match for Satan.
DEU 14:26 And you may spend the money for whatever your heart desires, for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.
It was the tangible symbol which God placed in the garden as the sign of man’s creature-hood. It was something to impose a restraint upon him, something to remind him of his dependence upon God.
He had detached the woman from the Word of God, and he had detached her, by deception, from the belief in the goodness of God.
It was man’s will that made it possible for him to depart from the plan of God, and it was against this will that Satan launched his attack.
Satan’s primary strategy was dictated by his hatred of God, and not by hatred of the creature whom he saw in the garden.
He would seek to detach man from the will of God, and he would seek to increase the number of his own worshipers by attaching man to himself.
The original sin in the garden of Eden resulted in the spiritual death of Adam which was passed down to the entire human race,
JOH 12:31 “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out.”
2CO 4:4 The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
EPH 2:2 In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air
Once Satan convinced Adam and the woman to rebel against God’s command and eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he thought he had defeated God.
At this time, there were still only two wills in the universe, God’s will and the devil’s will.
The plan of Satan indwelling the serpent in the temptation was to get man to change sides in the conflict.
He wished to detach man from God, but he also wished to attach man to himself.
Man is dependent upon God, and if that dependence is destroyed something must take its place; the devil hoped that it would be a dependence upon himself.
The last thing that Satan anticipated is the fact that man would not only desire independence of God, but that he would aspire to be self-sufficient like Satan.
Satan had underestimated the arrogance of independence and willfulness even though he himself possessed it in its highest degree.
MAT 7:1-2 Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
They try to promote themselves and destroy others; they end up destroying themselves and promoting others - operation boomerang.
LUK 6:37 “And do not judge and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.”
Satan’s primary strategy was dictated by his hatred of God, and not by hatred of the creature whom he saw in the garden, man.
The Serpent led man away from God, but he also led himself into a trap.
“Another such victory and Pyrrhus will be destroyed.”
The fact that man sinned was not a victory for Satan.
While Satan gained control of the world through the fall of man, he did not necessarily gain control over the volition of mankind.
When we say there are only two wills to follow, God’s will and Satan’s will, we are not saying that to follow Satan’s will means to do what he wants us to do - we are saying that like Satan, we choose to be independent from God.
Independence from God does not mean dependence on Satan.
In the world today, men seek not the will of Satan but their own will.
Lewis Sperry Chafer - “A serious question arises whether the presence of gross evil in the world is due to Satan’s intention to have it so, or whether it indicates Satan’s inability to execute all he has designed. The probability is great that Satan’s ambition has led him to undertake more than any creature could ever administer.”
Satan would like man to believe that he succeeded in the second also, and that man is now dependent on Satan as his master.
Spiritual death does not hinder the power of positive decision toward God aided by the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in common and efficacious grace.
In the sin of Adam, where Satan seemed to win a decisive victory, there was a profound defeat for Satan which is the key to much of the rest of human history.
Satan succeeded in detaching man from obedience to the Word of God.
Satan also succeeded in detaching man from a belief in the goodness of God.
Satan won man away from confidence in God and dependence upon God.
Though Satan won all of these victories, he lost the whole battle in the fact that he did not succeed in attaching man to himself.
In the beginning there had been one will, the will of God, the Creator.
After the rebellion of Lucifer there had been two wills, that of God and the rebel.
But today, there are literally billions of wills.
ISA 53:6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
The sin of Adam was, in the final analysis, the echo of Satan’s own declaration of independence.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll;
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,” PSA 14:1.
How does this revelation of the nature of the fall of Adam affect Satan in the invisible war and the angelic conflict?
Before the creation of the human race, God put a curse upon the earth when Lucifer rebelled; it became a ruin, a waste and desolate earth, and darkness covered the face of the deep or the seas.
Then God withdrew into the majestic silence of His infinite heaven, and left Satan to grieve over the chaotic mass of earth.
He was utterly powerless before the chaos which had come from a simple word of judgment from the Almighty God.
Two separate battles are now being carried on: Satan against God in the invisible warfare, and man against God in human history.
Will Satan be able to organize mankind into a kingdom for himself?
Will man be able to organize himself, humanity, civilization, so that he can bring peace and order into his realm?
Man is a rebel. He has an active will in rebellion against God; and, in many instances, it is in rebellion both against Satan and against other members of the human race!
Augustine - “Oh, God, Thou hast formed us for Thyself; and our souls can know no rest until they rest in Thee.”
How far did man fall by his disobedience?
How far did man go astray when he took the path of his own will?
Is it possible for him to climb back by himself to the heights which Adam knew before the rebellion?
Can man find his way back to God through his own personal effort?
Humanism says that man did not fall, he is on his way up.
Some branches of Protestantism hold that though man fell, he still has the will to choose to go back up if he wishes to exercise it.
Others believe, as we do, that man fell all the way into a pit described in the Scriptures as “death.”
1CO 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
JER 17:9 The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
ISA 1:5-6 The whole head is sick, And the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head There is nothing sound in it.
God’s plan is for both creatures, angels and humans, to realize how helpless they are without Him!
Bible doctrine is the least publicized of priorities in this world because this is the devil’s world.
2CO 4:4 the god of this world has blinded the minds of the [apistos - those without doctrine], that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ
REV 12:9 “Satan deceives the whole world;”
Paul said he was a preacher [kerux], 1TI 2:7, 2TI 1:11. "A kerux was someone who had important news to bring. He often announced an athletic event or a religious festival, or functioned as a political messenger, as a bringer of some good news or command from the king’s court."
"He was to have a strong voice and proclaim his message with vigor without lingering to discuss it. The kerux’s most important qualification was that he faithfully represent or report the word of the one by whom he had been sent. He was not to be ‘original’ but his message was to be that of another."
Point 11. How God is Glorified in the Angelic Conflict.