The Devil Is In Charge!

by Bryant Evans on April 13, 2014

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Devil_Goat.pngA provocative title wouldn’t you say? But it is very true. Christians often respond with shock and surprise at the wickedness that runs rampant in our world. We shouldn’t be. It is expected that any environment under the influence of evil will, itself, be evil. Our world, our society, our culture, and sometimes even our homes and churches, are in the grip of the evil one.

It’s time we revolt.

When Adam and Eve committed the very first sin () God brought punishments immediately (). Mankind died that day. He became separated, by his own sin, from God. Hard physical labor and the pain of childbirth are evident too. But the immediate impact of sin was seen in the very next generation when the first child Cain killed the second child, Abel. The murder was in response to Cain’s faithless worship.

The world has been going downhill ever since.

Today, sin has spread like a stain throughout our world. Not one person has remained unscathed by its relentless march against righteousness. The beauty and calm of the Garden of Eden has been replaced by ugly chaos and sin. It is all around us.

Paul speaks of the “power of the prince of the air” () which is surely Satan, and notes that he works in and through the unrighteous. There is no doubt that Satan has control of the wicked. Later, Paul speaks of our warfare against the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” ().

Three times John speaks of the ruler of this world () who is clearly a reference to the devil. There is also the third temptation of Jesus in when Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world in exchange for Jesus bowing down and worshipping him. Many argue that Satan did not have the power to deliver on this temptation. They say Satan was bluffing. I disagree. If Satan were lying would it not be evident that Jesus would know he was lying? Such a transparent lie would be no temptation at all to Jesus. It is clear from the John passages above that Jesus viewed Satan as the ruler of the world. Satan’s power was extreme. His influence over the world was so great that he could have delivered entire kingdoms to anyone he wished.

But we are immeasurably blessed that the prince of the power of the air was stopped by the Prince of Peace. Consider the Father’s work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and placed him “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and above every name that is named” (). In Satan is seen as bound and cast into a pit for a thousand years. He is not destroyed but imprisoned. His eternal punishment comes later (). Satan is now bound but still wields great influence in our world. While Jesus has triumphed over evil (; ) there are multitudes that reject Him and are still governed by the evil one.

But for the Christian, there is victory and there is protection from Satan. We are not ignorant of his work () and have been well warned (). God protects us from Satan’s power (). We are children of the King and look forward to a home where nothing evil can approach (). The devil may be in charge for some people – but not us!

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.
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So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (ESV)

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”

17 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.” (ESV)

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— (ESV)

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (ESV)

31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.

John 14:30

30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,

John 16:11

11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (ESV)

And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. (ESV)

21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (ESV)

20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. (ESV)

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (ESV)

15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. (ESV)

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)

11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. (ESV)

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (ESV)

13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (ESV)

27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (ESV)

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