January 10, 2012

Hard Sayings XLII: A Spineless Sniveling Bottom-Feeder

“One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. “ Job 1:6

Among other things it is assumed by many that Satan is in Hell as we speak. This is a false assumption as he is currently free to roam in this world. The Bible is clear on this fact if people take the time to read it. The following verse states that Satan was, roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it."

This present world is based on a system that is at war with God. The kingdom belongs to God but only a handful of His subjects are faithful to Him, the rest are in rebellion against God with Satan as the leader of the rebellion. We are not talking about the physical earth when we say that Satan is the god of this world. The physical world is identified by a completely different word. This world is a limited time of rebellion against God. Satan may be the god of this world, but not the god of this earth. Satan isn’t a god. When the Bible says that the system of the world belongs to Satan it means that he is worshipped by the world as a god. Most of the world does not knowingly worship Satan, they are deceived.

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

The “god of this age/world” indicates that Satan is the major influence on the mind-set expressed by the ideals and opinions of the majority of people. In other words: The culture. This mindset influences philosophies and education. This is why we must tentatively deal with the culture in our churches not allow it into the church unchecked to take over the church in the form of blaring rock music from the stage, cafĂ© latte machines or Starbucks franchise in the lobby, homosexual leaders in the pulpit and “feel good” New Age self-esteem psychology in the teaching. We are losing the battle on this front wholesale and just mentioning this I will often be accuse do being legalistic.

Similar titles are found in Scripture concerning Satan. He is the “prince of the power of the air" in Ephesians 2:2 and he’s also called the "ruler of this world" in John 12:31.

These titles though are not absolute attributes of Satan but rather signify his capabilities. To say that Satan is the "prince of the power of the air" is to give the slug way more credit than he actually has. He only has as much power over us as we allow him to have. The farther afield we go from God the more power Satan has over us.

This is why everyone born anew of God is not of the world system and everyone born of God can overcome the world which is fallen in sin.

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 John 5:1-5

Having said this, the Devil is currently permitted to roam free and he is wreaking havoc. Having said all this…how is it that he is still allowed to approach God here? The idea is that Satan as access to God’s throne in the Job passage.

The truth is simple. Satan has no “membership” in heaven but at God’s behest he can still enter. If the Sovereign God of heaven and earth tells you to “get here now”, you get there and no have choice but to obey. It is like inviting a former vice president of a company back into a building after being stripped of his position. An even better analogy is that of Charlton Heston as Moses in the movie the Ten Commandments being allowed back in the presence of Pharaoh as a slave in yoke and chains. He could still enter the palace of the Pharaoh but he is an eyesore and abomination to all that view him. Satan is no longer and archangel but Satan and also the rest of the angels report to Him just as the topic verse states and so does this one:

“On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him…” Job 2:1

As the accuser we see Joshua the High Priest being hammered by Satan here:

“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.” Zechariah 3:1

This is because Satan is the accuser of the brethren.

“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. Revelation 12:10

The image we get of Satan here is not a glorious and powerful entity that many disillusioned in this world see him as but rather a weasel that knows where his place is but in rebellion refuses to acknowledge it and pushes against it. He also comes off as a sniveling whining malcontent that constantly points the finger at the flaws and foibles of humanity because he knows he himself is lost and attacks the waek and the strays of the herd to bring them down. He's an opportunist that waits in darkness to attack his unsuspecting prey.

Does this sound like people you know? Did you ever wonder why it sounds like people you know?

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you…it is because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” John 8:42-47

Instead of offering a helping hand and serving as Christ did, Satan instead adds to the sinners burden which is the polar opposite of what Jesus does. The Devil adds burden and Jesus offers a totally different load to carry altogether that relieves humanity of its sin.

Frankly, I do not see this as a hard choice but there will be some who chose to carry an unbearable load by choice...and there will be some who continue to add to that load and make it worse by accusation and ridicule. Which choice would you make? Are you the kind of  person that adds to someone elses load or do you help take it away? Are you a miserible wretch that wishes only to see others in misery with you or do you strive to lift others out of the mire even if it means you staying in it to help them out of it?

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