Martin Luther Collection: Luther, Martin - A Mighty Fortress Is Our God: CHAPTER III: SATANâ€OS KINGDOM

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Martin Luther Collection: Luther, Martin - A Mighty Fortress Is Our God: CHAPTER III: SATANâ€OS KINGDOM



TOPIC: Luther, Martin - A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: CHAPTER III: SATANâ€OS KINGDOM

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CHAPTER THREE

SATAN’S KINGDOM



Its Reality

The reality of Satan’s kingdom is seen in Mat_12:25-26, “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?” Our Lord makes clear reference here to the kingdom of Satan. Additionally, Luk_4:5-7 reveals the assertion of Satan concerning his dominion over “all the kingdoms of the world”. “And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” All the kingdoms of the world and the power and glory of them have been delivered to Satan, but not by God; they are his by right of conquest over Adam. Jesus did not contest Satan’s dominion, but rebuked him for asking for worship. Certainly, if all the kingdoms of the world and the power and the glory of them were not Satan’s, the temptation would not have been real because based on a falsehood and Jesus would have pointed this out.



The Demons

Satan’s kingdom includes not only this world, but also the spirit realm-Satan’s angels, the demons. There are two important passages that must be considered in order to form a proper understanding of the Devil’s kingdom of darkness in the spirit realm.



Satanic Army Highly Organized

         By Evil

Eph_6:12 - “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Here (and in the parallel passages: Eph_1:21; Eph_3:10; Rom_8:38; Col_2:15; and 1Pe_3:22) we find that Satan has an army of evil spirits who are organized into ranks or levels of power and evil. Jesus mentioned a difference in evil in the demons in Mat_12:43-45 a. “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” Here we see that some demons (unclean spirits) are more evil than others. Just what this evil ranking entails is not revealed. Satan is, however, without doubt, the Most Evil and, therefore, of the highest rank among the fallen angels. Demons are not only ranked according to evil, but also by power.



         By Power

Dan_10:12-14 - “Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.” This is an amazing insight into the spirit realm. There are many important truths revealed here: (1) There are demons (and holy angels) who are more powerful than others. We find this in the fact that both the demon, called the prince of the kingdom of Persia, and Michael, said to be one of the chief princes, were stronger than the angel who was delivering the divine message to Daniel. (2) There is conflict between the holy angels and the fallen angels that mankind is generally unaware of because it is unseen. (3) Satan has demons set up over countries and kingdoms. It is also intimated that there are holy angels (see “the kings of Persia” verse 13b) assigned to geographical areas and nations.



The Cosmos

Definition

The biblical word used to describe Satan’s entire evil system (both physical and spiritual realms) is the cosmos, translated world, in the King James Version. (It should be noted that three other Greek words are also rendered world in the KJV. If the student is unfamiliar with biblical Greek, a concordance should be consulted to determine which word is used in the original language.) The Greek word, kosmo" (cosmos), means literally “ornament, arrangement, order.” (Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 2, pg. 45) It is the opposite of chaos. The cosmos is the satanic system that has been developed, instituted and directed by Satan. It is characterized by independence of and autonomy from God. It includes everything that Satan has authority over. Lewis Sperry Chafer has well said,



“The cosmos is a vast order or system that Satan has promoted, which conforms to his ideals, aims, and methods. It is civilization now functioning apart from God-a civilization in which none of its promoters really expect God to share, who assign to God no consideration in respect to their projects; nor do they ascribe any causativity to Him. This system embraces its godless governments, conflicts, armaments, jealousies, its education, culture, religions of morality, and pride. It is that sphere in which man lives. It is what he sees, what he employs. To the uncounted multitude it is all they ever know so long as they live on this earth. It is properly styled the satanic system, which phrase is in many instances a justified interpretation of the so-meaningful word, cosmos. It is literally a cosmos diabolicus . . . [which] should appear in its essential, evil character to be the outworking of that lie which moves in independence of God and is opposed to the purposes of God.”(Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 2, pp. 77-79)



Love the World or Hate the World?

A question arises concerning two apparently contradictory statements about the cosmos world. In Joh_3:16 we are told that God loves the cosmos, but in 1Jn_2:15-16, we are instructed to not love the cosmos. The passages are as follows. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” The problem is solved when we realize that the world of men is meant in Joh_3:16 and the satanic system is in view in 1Jn_2:15-16. Because God loves the former and hates the latter, we should do so as well. The careful student of the Word of God will determine the correct meaning of each passage containing the word cosmos.



Satan’s Authority

Some additional attention must be given to Satan’s authority over the cosmos. Isa_14:12-17 details Satan’s ambitions which culminate in his goal of becoming like God. Notice what he said he wanted to do in order to become like God: “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.” The Wicked One is not satisfied with his current dominion of the earth. We see this in his desire to (1) ascend into Heaven, (2) have a throne above the stars, (3) place his throne in the very place of God’s throne, and (4) ascend above the clouds. From these statements we learn that the Devil’s throne is on the earth and he wants it to be where God’s throne is, i.e., above the clouds and stars, in Heaven.



He Is a Prince

In three verses in the gospel of John, Satan is called the prince of this world. (Joh_12:31) “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” (Joh_14:30) “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” (Joh_16:11 b) “The prince of this world is judged.” In each case, the word prince is a translation of the Greek word arcwn (archōn) which means, according to Thayer’s Greek Definitions, “a ruler, commander, chief, leader.” Satan is the ruler, commander, chief, and leader of this world system. Similarly, in Eph_2:2 we are told that the Devil is “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” There are three explanations for the designation “prince of the power of the air.” (1) As the commander of the air, Satan has control of and is responsible for the weather. God is blamed for much that Satan does. Certainly, God can and does exercise His supreme authority over the weather, but much bad (evil) weather is Satan’s doing, not God’s. (2) The “air” refers to the place of abode of the evil and unclean spirits (demons). Satan is their supreme commander and leader. (3) Recent human “advancement” has seen great strides in the air. (a) Aviation has given rise to space exploration and the development of the International Space Station. (b) Over the airwaves travel radio and television signals, delivering (for the most part) sin and filth into the homes of millions every day. (c) Wireless technology has brought the cellular telephone and wireless internet access into our homes. The extent to which Satan uses these “advancements” to his advantage cannot be measured. The child of God, however, should proceed with caution in regard to riding the technological airwaves that prove often to be a greater hindrance to righteousness and true holiness than a help to it. Let us heed the admonition of the apostles in that we be as “they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.” (1Co_7:31) “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” (1Jn_2:17)




He Is a god

2Co_4:4 refers to this evil prince as “the god of this world.” The word “god” is the same word that is translated “God.” As god of this world (age), he demands worship. This is given willingly by his subjects, most of which have been duped into his service through his wiles and devices. More will be discussed on this important subject in Chapter Five, Satan’s People.



His Throne Is On the Earth

Let it be restated that the Evil One’s throne is on the earth. He is the prince, ruler, commander, chief, and leader, even the god of this world. Where is this great king’s throne located? Not in Heaven or in Hell (as many ignorantly believe), but on this earth. Rev_2:13 plainly says: “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is . . . where Satan dwelleth.” The Greek word for seat is “throne.” Satan’s throne is in the same place that the church of Pergamos dwelt, which is, of course is on the earth.



The Christian Is Not Part of Satan’s Kingdom

Satan rules here. Satan dwells here. Satan is worshiped here. The cosmos is his domain. The cosmos has nothing for the Christian. The Bible is clear; it says: “Love not the (cosmos) world, neither the things that are in the (cosmos) world. If any man love the (cosmos) world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the (cosmos) world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the (cosmos) world. (1Jn_2:15-16) But we have been saved out of the cosmos, never to return. We must “give thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Col_1:12-17) Praise our God and His dear Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.