GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 06/19/05
What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 17.
The deception of the ruler of the world.
We need to note a few more passages and principles concerning Satan, the ruler of the world, before we continue with our study of the mystery doctrine that our Lord initiated the night before His death.
Remember, Satan, the ruler of the world, was around before the creation of the human race and the restoration of the earth. We know this by comparing scripture with scripture, GEN 1:1 says, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. This is not the beginning of God because God has no beginning; He is eternal. Nor is this the beginning of Satan and the angels because the angels were already around before God created the heavens and the earth, and therefore before GEN 1:1. We know that from JOB 38:4-7 where the Lord said to Job, "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements, since you know? Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars [angels] sang together, And all the sons of God [the angels] shouted for joy?"
Some time in eternity past, before the creation of the world, God created Satan and the angelic host. That gives us an idea as to how long our enemies have been around. Notice also in JOB 38:7, when God laid the foundation of the earth, all the sons of God, the angels, shouted for joy. Notice that all the angels shouted for joy, this tells us that Satan and one-third of the angels had not yet rebelled in their arrogance. In GEN 1:1, the universe, the heavens and the earth, were originally created as the domain of the angels. Here they ruled and performed whatever responsibilities and tasks God had for them. It was between GEN 1:1 and 1:2 that Satan rebelled against God and enticed one third of the angels to follow him, Rev 12:4, And his tail swept away a third of the stars [angels] of heaven,
Along with sin and evil, Satan's rebellion brought chaos upon the earth, so as part of God's judgment against Satan and the rebellious angels, the planet was shrouded in darkness. Without light or heat, the raging waters of the deep froze into an ice pack, and before the earth could be inhabited again, restoration would be necessary. Because of the one who is now the ruler of the world, God shut down the entire planet. That gives you some idea as to the power of this super-creature who is our enemy.
GEN 1:2 actually says, And the earth became [not was] formless and void [tohuw waabohuw], the Hebrew verb translated was is the Qal imperfect of hayah which should be translated became, therefore, the earth became formless and void.
God is perfect and His work is perfect, so we know the earth was not created imperfect. Isaiah tells us about a time like this in Isa 24:1, Behold, the Lord lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface, and scatters its inhabitants.
In JER 4:23-26, I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void [tohuw waabohuw]. I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, And all the hills moved to and fro. I looked, and behold, there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were pulled down Before the Lord, before His fierce anger.
Something made the Lord angry and caused Him to do this to planet earth. It was Satan, the one who is now the ruler of the world, and the angels that he influenced. This all took place during the pre-historic angelic conflict. GEN 1:2goes on to say, and the Spirit of God began to move over the surface of the waters.
This was actually the beginning of God granting Satan's appeal trial. The earth had to be restored for man's occupancy. However, man's occupancy on planet earth didn't last very long before Adam and the woman fell, and Satan again became the ruler of the world.
In Eze 28, we meet the devil in all of his glamour, beauty, and glory. We need to remember that Satan is the most attractive, the most beautiful and personable creature that has ever lived. We also need to remember that Satan is our enemy and therefore we must understand his goals and objectives regarding our life. We need to understand that in spite of the fact that he claims to be only at war against God, in reality he is also at war against us, God's people. Satan is the enemy of Israel which makes all anti Semitism satanic. Satan is the enemy of all unbelievers (2CO 4:34). Satan is specifically the enemy of the Church, the Royal Family of God, the new spiritual species, the body of Christ, because God has done more for the individual believer in the Church-age than ever before, (2Co 2:11, EPH 6:10 12; 1PE 5:6 9). Satan is also opposed to Bible doctrine and is always trying to distort it or distract us from it (MAT 13:9,39). Satan was the enemy of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union (Rev 12:4). Satan is the chief antagonist in the extension of the angelic conflict into human history (Heb 1 2). Satan is the enemy of nationalism (divine institution #4), which he often opposes with internationalism. Divine institutions are designed to keep the human race, believer and unbeliever alike, from destroying itself.
The point is that Satan, the ruler of the world, is at war, and his warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when he is able to attack, he may appear to be unable, especially when things are going right and we are being blessed by God. This falls under the principle that when we are being blessed by God, it's not time to sit back and relax but to build and prosper, 2CH 14:7, Asa said to his people, "While we have the chance and the land is quiet, let's build a solid defense system, fortifying our cities with walls, towers, gates, and bars. We have this peaceful land because we sought GOD; he has given us rest from all troubles." So they built and enjoyed prosperity.
Satan, as the ruler of the world, is also the ruler of a large angelic host as found in EPH 6:12, Because our struggle is not against blood [people's souls] and flesh [their old sin nature], but against the rulers [these are the archons like Abaddon and Beelzebub], against the powers [demon officers who have phenomenal authority], against the world forces of this darkness [kosmokratoras meaning demons who specialize in possessing or influencing the cosmos or world rulers] against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places [or against the spiritual forces of evil in the atmosphere around the earth, the stellar universe and in the presence of God].
Satan has taught his angels that when using their forces, they must seem to be inactive. When they are near, they must make the enemy believe they are far away. When they are far away, they must make the enemy believe they are near. Satan is constantly seeking to gain his own objectives by means of hatred and by means of enmity using his great expertise of deception. Satan and fallen angels are again revealed as the enemies of the believer in 1TI 5:14-15, Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan.
And in 1PE 5:8, Be stabilized, be on the alert, your enemy the Devil, prowls about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, this adversary is revealed not just as an enemy but also as a hunter and one with a vengeance. Satan has knowledge of all those believers who have lived before us, the ones who have failed as well as the ones who have succeeded. Satan, as the ruler of the world, knows how to wear down the saints, distract them, and tire them out, until emotion supersedes thought (DAN 7:25).
Even the believers that Satan uses for his warfare are still his personal enemies. The reversionist, though used by Satan, becomes the enemy of both Satan and the advancing believer. However, the advancing believer is responsible to put into operation the plan which the Lord has made available to every Church-age believer. Remember, never has so much been given to so many as in the Church-age. This of course is a part of the uniqueness of the Church-age.
So, Satan knows that to be successful in warfare it must be based on deception. That's why the Bible prepares us for deception in many passages. In fact, one of Satan's most successful tactics is to defeat the enemy without even fighting. He is not concerned with the majority of believers, because the majority could care less about the plan of God and living the spiritual life; they are passive, apathetic, lifeless, indifferent, superficial, shallow, unconcerned, and uninterested. We are told by God what to do concerning our enemy; we are to hold our ground and resist him.
EPH 6:11, Hold your ground against the strategies of the devil.
Or EPH 6:13, Hold your ground in the day that evil attacks you.
JAM 4:7 says, Submit therefore to God [execute the PPOG]. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
1PE 5:9, But resist the devil by being firm in your doctrine.
In war, to fight and conquer all your battles is not the ultimate victory. The ultimate victory consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without even fighting; that is why war is based on deception. Deceive them without them knowing that they are being deceived. If your enemy makes you believe that he is not your enemy or that he does not exist, then he already has a tremendous advantage over you. The enemy we face has one goal in mind: to lead all believers astray. Any area that you are not stable in doctrinally, is an area open to deception. Anything we think or do, that is not oriented to God's thinking, is open to deception, 1PE 5:5-10, You younger men, likewise, be subject [or submit] to your elders [those who have been trained in the spiritual realm]; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt [or promote] you at the proper time, [exalts or promotes those who are humble and grace oriented, not those who achieve]. Casting all your anxiety [or your worries] upon him, because he cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary [or your enemy], the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, by being firm in your faith [your doctrine], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
As the ruler of this world, Satan is constantly seeking to gain his own objectives by means of his great expertise in the art of deception, and there are degrees of deception. For the believer, the magnitude of deception depends on how long he resides in the cosmic system without the use of rebound and recovery. This deception is thought transference of demon doctrine to the believer or unbeliever in the cosmic system. All believers and unbelievers in the cosmic system are under some form of satanic deception. The apostle Paul said in COL 2:4, I keep on communicating these things in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument.
Many individuals think they are intelligent and wise, when in reality they are under extreme deception and delusion. This type of deception is the worst kind; it is the deception of self. In 1Co 3:18, Paul said, Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish [realize that he is a fool]that he may become wise.
Deception in warfare therefore means that when able to attack, the enemy will seem to be unable. You may think that nothing is really happening in your life, when in reality, something is. 1JO 4:4 is true, Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world, however, that does not mean that we do not need to be warned and be alert. In 1CO 16:13, Paul warned us to, Be on the alert, stand firm in doctrine, act like men [spiritual adults], be strong. In Eph 6:18, With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.
The protection that we need is only given by God inside the PPOG or inside the wall of fire, ZEC 2:5. This is why the apostle Paul said in COL 2:4, I keep on communicating these things in order that no one may delude you with persuasive argument.
2CO 11:3, But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray [or deceived] from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
The Greek word panourgia means trickery, subtlety, crafty, cunning, treacherous, deceitful, sly, one who is ready to do anything to accomplish his goals including lying.
Satan, the ruler of the world, has been dealing with members of the human race for over 6,000 years. Satan knows the types of human personalities that exist and how to lure them away from the plan of God. This is why John commanded us in 1JO 2:15, Do not love the world, nor the things in the world.
As the ruler of the world, Satan uses the things of the world to lure God's people away from the plan of God. By holding out bait, the ruler of the world keeps believers marching along in the cosmic system; then at the proper time, he lies in wait to ultimately deceive them. Very few believers recognize that the details of life or the everyday affairs of this life are the situations used by the ruler of the world as part of his plans laid out for victory. Paul said in 2TI 2:1-4, You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
By bringing in situations of pressure and suffering and inflicting damage, the ruler of the world can make it possible for the believer to draw near to him rather than draw near to God.
JAM 4:7-8, Submit therefore to God [live in the PPOG]. Resist the devil [cosmic system] and he will flee from you. Draw near to God [life in the PPOG] and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands [confess your sins], you sinners; and purify your hearts [right lobes], you double minded. Purifying the right lobe is only possible through consistent, daily perception of Bible doctrine. Do not swallow the bait offered by the enemy. This is why you should know your enemy and analyze his plans and schemes so that you will know his shortcomings as strong points for yourself. Remember that Satan and the fallen angels are creatures too, and they have their own shortcomings and weaknesses as well. For example, they hate praise and prayer to God; that's why there's such an attack upon both of them. 2Co 2:11, in order that no advantage be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.
Their weakness toward us is always based upon our strength in TLJC. Aware of this, their goal is to separate us from operating in the power of God (ACT 1:8, HEB 4:12). If we are strong and secure in certain areas, our enemy is prepared to invade us in that area. If we have a quick temper, they will produce situations to irritate us. They will bring in situations of success and victory so that we may become arrogant. If we are at ease, they will do their best to give us no rest. If we are united, they will try to separate us. They will attack us where we are unprepared, and they will emerge when we don't expect them to. Remember that to capture the enemy's entire army is better than to destroy it. To take intact a regiment, a company, or a squad is better than to destroy them. Satan and his kingdom of darkness loves to capture a local assembly and a spiritual army. In other words, don't destroy the Church, just take the local assembly captive. Bring in the dog and pony show and the fundraisers. Bring in legalism and get them involved in politics and cleaning up the world. Bring in the gimmicks and the sideshow, have them meet together for fellowship rather than to learn the word of God.
In spiritual warfare to win a hundred victories in a hundred battles is not the ultimate skill. Rather to subdue and capture the enemy without fighting is the supreme victory. That is why many of those skilled in war can subdue the enemy's army without even fighting. Therefore, there are some principles concerning our enemies: 1) We must know when to fight and when not to, meaning when to be on the offensive and when to be on the defensive (EPH 6:11-13). Never rebuke the ruler of the world, Satan and the kingdom of darkness; resist Satan and the kingdom of darkness. 2) We must know our real enemy (EPH 6:12) and understand how they war against our soul and how we are to stand against them. 3) We must know the value of unity and oneness because the one whose ranks are united in purpose will be victorious (EPH 4:2-3). 4) We must know the importance of discipline and preparation because only those who are alert and prepared will be victorious.
So you know your enemy and also know yourself. If you know your enemy and know yourself, your chances of being victorious are good. If you are ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are sure to be defeated in every battle. You should examine and investigate the enemy's plans so that you will know their shortcomings and weakness as your strong points. Think about it, our spiritual enemies have been tempting members of the human race for over 6,000 years. When it comes to warfare, they master in the art of subtlety and secrecy. Our real enemy is also invisible and inaudible. The areas of our life that they intend to attack, they conceal. However, the only hope for protection against deception is doctrine resident in the soul. EPH 4:14, We are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
2PE 3:17, You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the deception of unprincipled men [men with no principles], you fall from your own steadfastness.
Only the truth can keep false thinking and false doctrine out of the soul. The enemy desires to confuse us, but 1CO 14:33 says, for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
There are five points in which victory may be predicted either for the believer or Satan, the ruler of the world: 1) He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious. 2) He who understands how to fight in accordance with the strength of his antagonistic forces will be victorious. This falls under the principle of knowing your enemy. 3) He whose ranks are united in purpose will be victorious. This is the unity of the body of Christ (PHI 2:2-5). 4) He who is well prepared and lies in wait for an enemy who is not well prepared will be victorious. Satan, the ruler of the world will either lie in wait for you or you will be prepared as you lie in wait for his attacks. 5) He whose leaders are able and not interfered with by the sovereign will be victorious.
Satan knows to avoid believers when their spirit is sharp, but to attack them when they are sluggish and divided. This is the art of studying moods, and no one is a greater master at studying moods than Satan. He and his angels are disciplined and calm and await the appearance of disorder and confusion before their attack. Realize that your enemy wants to impose his will on you but does not want you to impose your will on him. You impose your will on Satan by glorifying God in the midst of the angelic conflict. However, Satan, as the ruler of the world, realizes by holding out advantages to many believers, he can cause those believers to approach him and his cosmic system of their own accord. The point is he masters in the divine art of subtlety and secrecy. This is why the areas where Satan intends to attack must not be made known; because then we have the opportunity to prepare against any possible attacks. He doesn't care if we learn about the tactics that he uses, he just doesn't want us to see the strategy out of which victory is evolved. Satan, the ruler of the world, avoids an army when its spirit is keen, but attacks it when it is sluggish and inclined to withdraw or go AWOL.