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07-01-2006, 02:50 AM
The Origin and Kingdom of the Tempter

The Tempter is a created being who was fashioned with beauty and wisdom, perfect and powerful. Due to his desire to be equal with God, he sinned and fell: "thou saidst in thy heart, I . . ." (Is. 14.12-14). Having lifted up his "I," he was cast out of the paradise of God, and the Scriptures tell us of his ultimate destiny: "yet thou shalt be brought down to Sheol, to the uttermost parts of the pit" (v.15). Some of his followers were "cast . . . down to hell, and committed . . . to pits of darkness" (2 Peter 2.4). Since this Tempter fell through the sin of aspiring to be equal with God, he tempts people with the same ambition of being equal with God—which serves as his bait (Gen. 3.5-7). Let us therefore be watchful "lest being puffed up [we] fall into the condemnation of the devil" (1 Tim. 3.6). We Christians ought to take Christ as our personality, which means we exercise our will to join with Christ. If we still let the old man be "I," we will be divided from Christ. The more we are in Christ the more we must understand things about the Tempter. And hence, the reason for this study.

1. His names. According to Revelation 12.9, he has four different names: The Great Dragon indicates his cruelty; the Old Serpent discloses his deception; the Devil speaks of his temptation; and Satan tells of his hatred. "The god of this world" in 2 Corinthians 4.4 refers to his being the head of the religions of the world. "The prince of the world" in John 14.30 alludes to his being the chief of world politics. "The prince of the powers of the air" in Ephesians 2.2 adverts to his being the king of evil powers. Revelation 12.10 says he is "the accuser of our brethren," and 9.11 states he is "the angel of the abyss." To the unwatchful and careless he is "as a roaring lion" (1 Peter 5.8). And to the watchful believers, he "fashioneth himself into an angel of light" (2 Cor. 11.13-15).

2. His kingdom. "The whole world lieth in the evil one" (1 John 5.19). This confirms that the Devil was not speaking empty words when he declared to Jesus while tempting Him, "To thee will I give all this authority ["all the kingdoms of the world" —v.5], and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered unto me" (Luke 4.6). By reading Luke 11.14-18, 20-24, we know that men are also included in the scope of the Devil’s kingdom.

3. His government and subordinates. By reading Revelation 2.13 we know where the Tempter’s dwelling place is. From reading Ephesians 6.12 we know all those who are in his army. Through reading Daniel 10.13,20 we learn about his subordinates. And as we read 2 Corinthians 12.7 we know something about his messengers.

4. His religion. Satan also has his religion, a worshipping with the spirit of confusion: "the blasphemy of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but are a synagogue of Satan" (Rev. 2.9). This indicates that the words spoken in the synagogue of Satan are but words of blasphemy and of distortion! How many are the synagogues of Satan today! Full of criticism and doubt, mocking and slandering—this is the religion of Satan. 1 Corinthians 10.20-21 mentions about "sacrifice to demons" and "the cup of demons," thus revealing that Satanic religion also has sacrifice and communion. 1 Timothy 4.1-4 speaks of the "doctrines of demons." By studying carefully these four verses we come to know how the present-day apostasy concurs with the Scriptures. We thereby also discern that this present time is really the end time. How very pitiful that those who believe in the doctrines of demons do not realize they are of the demons. They not only follow but also propagate them.

5. His people. (a) Satan works in the hearts of men without their knowing it: "according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience" (Eph. 2.2). (b) Satan blinds the eyes of men: "the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving" (2 Cor. 4.4). (c) Satan gives false peace: "When the strong man fully armed guardeth his own court, his goods are in peace" (Luke 11.21). Those who are under the power of Satan think they have great peace, not realizing that such peace is unreal and is available only when everything goes smoothly. It is not the true peace and blessing which the Christians have. (d) Satan secretly stirs people to oppose the truth: "in meekness correcting them that oppose themselves; if peradventure God may give them repentance unto the knowledge of the truth, and they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him unto his will" (2 Tim. 2.25-26). Many are those who rebel and oppose the truth today. Actually, they have been taken captive by the Devil and have fallen into his snare.