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Who is the boss, God or the devil?
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Bible related
When one looks at the world around one, reads newspapers and watches television news, you see fraud, violence, robbery, rape, murder, natural destructions and wonder who is in control of this troubled planet?
We know from the Word of God that Adam was given rule over the earth (Genesis 1:28). God's word placed all things under man's dominion. His rule was unlawfully stolen from him by the devil's deception. In discourse with the devil (disguised as a snake), Eve believed the devil's lies. God had said that they would certainly die if they disobeyed Him, but the devil declared that they certainly would not die [Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-5]). The unrighteous serpent/devil/Satan (Revelation 12:9) became the spiritual ruler of the world and Adam lost his authority.
Jesus implicitly acknowledged the devil’s rule in the desert temptation (or rather power struggle, which Jesus decisively won). The devil promised Him all the authority and splendor of the kingdoms of the world if He would worship him, “for it has been given to me (Luke 4:5-7). Jesus did not rebuke him for it. He only declared that He would worship God alone. (Jesus knew that the world system of which the devil was so proud, will be destroyed in future - Revelation 17,18). In John 12:11;14:30 and 16:11 the devil is described as “the prince of this world”. Ephesians 2:2 talks about “the ruler of the kingdom of the air”. “The whole world is under the control of the evil one” is written in 1 John 5:19.
Does this mean that God relinquished His rightful ownership over creation? Not at all!
1) In Genesis 4 where we have the saga of Cain who was influenced by the devil to murder his brother Abel (1 John 3:12), God is still in control. He calls Cain to account, and sentences him (Genesis 4:9-15).
2) The same thing took place in the case of the evil of men who were judged by the Flood. They all drowned, but God called Noah, and saved him (Genesis 6-8).
3) With the attempt to build a godless city at Babel (Genesis 11: 1-9), God confused the people’s language and scattered them throughout the earth, despite the devil's control over society.
4) In Isaiah 13-24; Jeremiah 46-51; Ezekial 25-32 God prophesies what will happen to the godless society of the Israelites. It all came to pass. This can only be because God is in control of the world.
The devil rules the world system, but God controls the destiny of men, time and eternity. Satan can only do what God allows him to. God uses him to test people to see if they love and obey the Lord or not? Why did God allow the devil to obtain rulership of society in the first place? Logically, if God Himself ruled, He wouldn't allow sin, as He is too holy. Men would then not have the chance to decide their life's course and eternal destination by either accepting or rejecting God. God is not visible in the present age, therefore faith is necessary to believe what He says in the Bible. One day, on the sterilized (from sin) earth, we will see His face (Revelation 22:3). But at present we are all born into the kingdom of darkness. Only if we believe God’s Word are we saved by Jesus, from the same fate as the devil in the eternal lake of fire (Colossians 1:13,14). We see the devil's character by how he rules the world system - he is incapable of allowing mankind to live in peace. If God did not restrain him, he would try to kill off all humans to prevent them from being saved out of his kingdom.
Conclusion: The devil has a restricted domain in which he can seduce and enslave. He cannot kill at random, and God uses him mainly as the means of testing man. When this age is terminated, and God has gathered the required number of loyal followers for the Bridegroom, the devil will start paying for all his atrocities - the bloodshed, pain, tears, tortures, et cetera (Revelation 20:10). His eternal punishment in the lake of burning sulphur will be the most just punishment ever meted out. The redeemed will be with the Lord for ever and ever - no more pain, sorrow, or tears. Glory!