My brothers and sisters.
I would like to share my Bible study notes with you on a topic that we all must have an awareness of.
Who truly runs the world? The politicians? The financiers? The lawyers? The media? The entertainment industry?
No. The one who runs the world is Satan.
THE FALL OF SATAN
Isaiah 14: 12 – 15 (KJV) provides insight around what I call the Event before Creation and explains how and why Satan, previously known as Lucifer, fell from Heaven (Emphasis added).
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Satan wanted to exalt himself above God, a divine crime. God, being all-knowing, sussed out his plan, and cast him out of heaven.
Jesus, being present in the beginning (1 John 1:1), saw this. In fact, he even told the seventy-two disciples he sent out in Luke 10:18 (ESV):
And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
Satan fell and ended up in the garden of Eden, to tempt Eve, (Genesis 3: 1-5) an act which caused reverberations across the earth, the effects we are seeing today. It is often said that Adam and Eve gave up their title of dominion of the world the moment they sinned against God. In fact, it is probably right to say that Satan still wanted to have dominion over something. If he couldn’t have heaven, then he would take the world.
SATAN’S CHARACTER AND ENDGAME
There are many instances where Jesus Himself and Paul talks about the “status” of Satan (as established above) as a result of his fall, as well as his character and his ultimate goal. Below are a few scriptures to illustrate:
Ephesians 2: 2 (ESV) – and you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.
2 Corinthians 4: 4 (ESV) – In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
John 8: 43-44 (ESV) – Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do what he desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 10: 10 (ESV) – The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Please take heed of the weight behind these scriptures.
THE 1 JOHN 2: 15-17 WARNING
We have all been warned about the influence of the world; practices, viewpoints, improper standards and self-seeking behaviours. In fact, scripture has said that being a friend of the world equates with being an enemy of God. (James 4: 4).
With the knowledge of Satan’s character and his link to the world, 1 John 2: 15-16 (ESV) warns us even further (emphasis added; Also, note 2 Corinthians 4:4):
Do not love the world or the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes and the pride of life – is not from the Father but is of the world.
This is the battle plan of Satan, he will tempt you with these worldly tools. He used them with Eve in Genesis 3:6-7 (NIV):
You will not certainly die, the snake said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her and he ate it.
Eve had no desire to eat the fruit until Satan came to speak to her. Eve saw that the fruit was good for food, a thought that never came to mind before her encounter with Satan. The pride to become like God and the desire to gain wisdom? Again, that was not present or apparent before her encounter with Satan.
Sidenote: I find it incredibly cheeky considering the circumstances here as Satan said: “For God knows that when you eat from it…”. If this was true, then wouldn’t have God made it clear from the get-go? And look at how he phrased himself, (when you eat from it) as if he had almost anticipated the First Beings eating the fruit, a thought that did not even cross their own mind’s, to begin with!
Also, please remember that this happened before sin entered into the world.
In other words, Satan’s influence can awaken or identify the desire to. I believe that the “desire to” can be awakened when exposed to external influences. Rick Warren explains the same point well in his book The Purpose Driven Life:
“…Satan identifies a desire inside of you. It may be a sinful desire, like the desire to get revenge or to control others, or it may be a legitimate, normal desire, like the desire to be loved and valued or to feel pleasure. Temptation starts when Satan suggests (with a thought) that you give in to an evil desire, or that you fulfil a legitimate desire in a wrong way or at the wrong time. Always be aware of shortcuts. They are often temptations!”
It is the same when we spend time reading and studying the Bible. The desire to know Him awakens.
We have to pay close attention and be wary of the many sources of influence. Is it satanic/worldly or is it godly/righteous?
Once we recognise that the desires of the flesh, eyes, and life are knocking at our door, we have to respond accordingly. Jesus did it, and so can you!
To find out how, please keep your eyes out for part two.
Tunde T. Amao