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Satan - Authority Given By God

Authority is a very important issue for God. His is the ultimate authority, but He also puts others in authority over us in the forms of all areas of government, our parents, teachers, husbands etc. And all "authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves." Romans 13:1-2 And we're told in Daniel that it's God alone who "sets up kings and deposes them." Daniel 2:21.

Even after God took the Kingdom from Saul and his line and gave it to David and even though Saul repeatedly tried to kill him, David refused to take any action against Saul or even to say anything evil against him. Saul was still on the throne and was put there by God. David understood since God put Saul on the throne it was up to God alone to remove Saul. Until then, David could only wait to be crowned. Even after Saul was dead, any disrespect against the former king, which was ultimately disrespectful to God's authority, was punished severely ( 2 Samuel 1:4-10).

Authority and authority figures are not something to take lightly. The only time we are to disobey those who have authority over us are when their laws go against God's. Otherwise, we must be respectful to all in authority, honor their position and be obedient. Doing so is highly honoring to God. If we're wronged, we're to take it to God only, trusting Him and waiting for Him to act.

Without naming names, it's common to see and hear mainstream Christianity railing against Satan and his demons. Everything from "we bind you devil!" and "I'm stomping on you Satan!" to outright slander. It's so common that it's accepted as the norm. But is this condoned in the Bible?

First, we need to understand a few things about Satan. He was and still is an angel. Ezekiel 28 explains the origins of Satan and his fall. From it we learn Lucifer was the most beautiful and wisest of created beings. He was perfect in every way (Ezekiel 28:15) He was the most powerful of God's created beings and he had to be because he dwelt in the presence of God constantly. Lucifer was the worship leader in Heaven (Ezekiel 28:16). The chapter then goes on to describe Lucifer's fall and what caused it. Verse 15 says "iniquity" was found in him. Iniquity in the Hebrew is evel and it means perversion and wickedness. Verse 17 goes on to say "Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth".

Isaiah also described the scene of Lucifer's fall and being thrown out of Heaven, "How you have fallen from heaven,O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth," Isaiah 14:12. Isaiah then tells us exactly what kind of perversion was found in Lucifer's heart, Isaiah 14: 13-14 "You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' "

He wanted to be God and he thought he was qualified. He wanted to be worshiped and he still does. He prefers direct worship, but will take proxy worship as well.

Genesis 3:4 Satan deceived Eve by taking what God said...the truth and twisting it. He first questioned her about what God said. Then he made it seem she hadn't really heard Adam right and got it wrong. Then he said God didn't really mean what He said. He distorted the truth, lied to her and manipulated her until she believed him. Once she disobeyed God he had Adam too.

Notice that he went after Eve and not Adam. Adam was the head, the leader, so he went after weaker Eve knowing she would be easier to deceive and he'd get Adam through her. Ultimately, Adam was held responsible as the authority figure. Instead of obeying God he rebelled.

Didn't Satan realize he was a creature and not the Creator? Didn't he realize that God is Almighty and he could never win against Him? Who knows? But Satan's character is an example of what excessive pride does to a person. He thought he was smarter, stronger, better looking and more capable than God and in Ezekiel 28:17 it says his heart became proud. He became the very first Narcissist.

According to Revelation 12:4, Lucifer was not the only one thrown out of Heaven. A third of the angels were thrown out too. Lucifer was causing a rebellion in Heaven. Following their mutiny they were all tossed out. That's a lot of angels! There are billions of angelic hosts so we can gather hundreds of millions were kicked out. This isn't describing being escorted out of heaven, it's more along the lines of being picked up an literally thrown out and this great eviction took place not long after the earth was created.

Lucifer lost his place and position in Heaven. He lost his authority as the guardian cherub and worship leader and was stripped of his glory, but he's not gone yet. His day hasn't come for destruction.

God could have wiped out Adam and Eve, destroyed Satan and started over, but He chose not to. This could be for a number of reasons. Instead He allowed Satan and man to continue in this state until His own appointed time. In John 14:30 Satan is referred to by Jesus as the Prince of this world. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 he's also called the god of this age. Prince and god, even with a lower case 'g' are titles of authority and are used by Christ Himself and backed up by Scripture.

"'The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, 'I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.'" Luke 4:5-6 

Satan made a stunning declaration here to Christ and Christ did not dispute his claim. Not only does Satan have power and authority over the entire world, but it's also been given to him by God. His rule is limited and has an expiration date, but nevertheless, he is the ruler of this world and all things in the world are under his dominion and jurisdiction. From mankind to the world's philosophy. When the time comes to remove him, God alone will do it.

Lucifer is far more powerful than man could ever be, but he's not all powerful. He's far more intelligent than man could ever be, but he's not all knowing. He's faster then man will ever be, but he can't be everywhere at once. Lucifer is still only a created angel with delusions of grandeur. Once again, his position in the earth is at God's good pleasure. So how are we supposed to deal with Satan? We're not. 1 John 4:4 makes the distinction that it is the Holy Spirit in us that is greater than he that's in the world. We are not to engage him in any way. "For the battle is not yours, but God's." 2 Chronicles 20:15 

Ephesians 6:10 tells us to be strong not in ourselves, but in God alone and His power and strength when we're attacked by him because only God can handle Satan. We are simply to resist him by standing firm in the faith Ephesian 6:13-14 and putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11) not to fight, but to "take your stand against the devil’s schemes". No where in Scripture are we ever told to do "battle" with Satan. Studying what the armor itself means and is used for is valuable. We are to resist him (James 4:7) by standing firm whenever and where ever he assembles an attack against us. His attacks are for the purpose to bring us down so we are ineffective for God. When he attacks we're not to slander him, stomp around yelling at him. Stand firm and keep our eyes focused on God who does the fighting for us.

As I stated earlier, engaging Satan and slandering him has become common especially among false teachers and false prophets who are notorious for it and encourage their followers to do the same. 2 Peter chapter 2 is dedicated to these corrupt teachers...

2 Peter 2:10-12
"He (God) is especially hard on those who follow their own twisted sexual desire, and who despise authority. These people are proud and arrogant, daring even to scoff at supernatural beings without so much as trembling. But the angels, who are far greater in power and strength, do not dare to bring from the Lord a charge of blasphemy against those supernatural beings."

Peter says they despise authority then he follows it with scoffing at angels without fear. Satan has lost his position in Heaven and his authority there, but he is still an authority figure in the earth and is being allowed  to keep it until God's appointed time. Who are they scoffing at? Supernatural beings. Who are the Supernatural beings? Satan and his angels. Peter draws the distinction between the two by stating that God's angels don't dare to do such a thing.

Jude 1:8-9
"In the same way, these people--who claim authority from their dreams--live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"

Now Jude uses the term defy authority and scoff at supernatural beings. Then he tells us even Michael would never do such a thing. In the moment Michael found himself arguing with Satan over Moses' body, he invoked the Lord's name to rebuke Satan. In Revelation 12 it was Michael and and his warring angels that threw Satan and his bunch out of Heaven. It's also Michael who will be the one to chain Satan up for a thousand years. Yet, Michael never disrespected Satan. Michael not only recognized the limited time of Satan's authority given by God, but he also still recognized Satan's previous authority when he was second in command. If Michael and the angels show restraint how much more should we? We are to recognize all authority whether it's demonic or human and never lash out against it. Instead we're to trust God.

2 Kings 24-25 records the account of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar who conquered Judah, Jerusalem it's capital, destroyed Solomon's Temple, and took the people of Judah to Babylon in 586 B.C. Jeremiah the Prophet was raised up by God long before this was to happen. In a state of constant disobedience to God's Law, God warned Judah he would exact the consequences of the Law against them for disobedience and He'd do it using the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem and take them into exile. He begged the people to repent and turn from their sin through Jeremiah. Jeremiah prophesied for 40 years regarding God's punishment if the people didn't turn back and they wouldn't listen.

For 40 years Judah accused Jeremiah of being a false prophet. For 40 years they refused to listen to him truly believing God would never use the Babylonians, a people more wicked then they were, a pagan people to punish them for their sins. The Babylonians were God's enemies. They couldn't comprehend such a thing. Suddenly the time comes and God raises up Babylon and uses them to punish Judah. It's too late for repentance. Most absolutely refused anyway.

There's no denying Jeremiah was a real prophet now. The Babylonians have arrived! Then King Zedekiah musters all fighting people and tells them they can withstand the attack from their enemies. That's not what God had in mind. Jeremiah 38 tells us Jeremiah comes on the scene and tells them they were not to fight. Instead they must give in to the Babylonians. God tells the people if they will submit to the Babylonians they would be taken in exile to Babylon for 70 years and all would be well with them. After 70 years they would be allowed to return to the land.

They think Jeremiah has completely lost his mind. Still Jeremiah kept warning them that whoever fights against the Babylonians God will fight against them and destroy them. Whoever submits will live. Was God now considering the Babylonians friends when he ordered this? Of course not. The Babylonians were still God's enemies, but submission to the Babylonians meant submission to God and His discipline against Judah for its sin. Babylon was simply the agent God used to discipline Judah.

Likewise, Satan can only do what God allows him to do (Job 1).  God is always in control. In 1 Peter 1:6-9 Peter is telling Christians who were suffering persecution to submit to God even in the harsh trials and set their hope on Him. They were not to fight back against their persecutors, but to bless them and pray for them Romans 12:14 and Matthew 5:44 and submit to God, His plans, His wisdom, His will and His Sovereignty. Their persecutors were being allowed to carry out their plans by God against the Christians for purposes of discipline, training in righteousness, teaching, purification and to bring each person closer to God in relationship. Just as with the Babylonians, God will sometimes allow Satan to succeed for a time,  using him as an agent and to fight back is fighting God. Though Satan intends evil, God will use it for our good in the long run.

Daniel 10 describes an incident where Gabriel was sent to give Daniel a message, but was opposed in Persia by a fallen angel only called the Prince of Persia. This wasn't Satan himself, but one of his co-mutiny angels. This angel was one of many "Generals" that acts as a sort of Governor for Satan over different nations. This angel opposed Gabriel for 21 days and wouldn't let him pass to deliver his message. Finally, Michael was sent to restrain the Prince of Persia so Gabriel could carry out his mission. Again, we get an example of authority figures even in the demonic.

We're not to submit to Satan and his angels. That's rebellion against God. We are to submit to God and rely on Him in faith to fight for us. We're not to fight back whether against demons or humans. If angels, by example, and Scripture tell us to show restraint with Satan and demons then we should listen. Anything other than that is disdainful, disrespectful and sinful to God and will only bring about judgment on ourselves. He has allowed these positions of authority whether good or bad, human or not. It's not esteeming Satan, it's esteeming God when we place our trust in His prerogatives and His Sovereign rule.


AGS said...

An extremely informative article. A must read for true followers of Jesus Christ! Well written, biblically sound...

Thanks for publishing it on the web!

Ariel said...

Thank you for your comment! Praise God He gave me discernment to write it and it's blessing others. God bless!

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Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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