Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why All Non-Christians Are Possessed by Satan

I thought that title might get your attention. Of course, when one thinks of possession by the devil, he immediately conjures up images of some person with a scary voice climbing up the wall and levitating. One then thinks that he is surely not possessed by Satan because he would be exhibiting some of those same things. But apart from the sensationalism of movies like "The Exorcist," there is a far more important conversation to have about what it means to be possessed by the devil; because if it is true that the devil owns someone, he or she will likely share the devil's fate. This is because, according to the principle I've discussed many times before, what one owns is identified with him. Hence, whatever fate belongs to one's owner, belongs also to him.

But what is even more sobering than this is that everyone in the world, all of humanity, either once belonged, or still does belong, to the devil as his possession. Hence, all of humanity once, or still does, share his fate.

"But how can this be?" you might ask, "I never felt like the devil's playground." "I'm in control of myself and don't worship the devil." Well, of course, as I've noted before, worship is an act where we seek to exalt and even emulate what we consider noble. We consider the devil's path a noble one because he acts as the lord of himself. Hence, our exaltation of ourselves is but the chiming of his church bells and the bowing at his altars. We have no need of a goat's head and the drawing of pentagrams, since devil worship is self exaltation in the world (e.g., exalting personal experience as our primary interpretive grid to evaluate all things in life is a major act of self worship in conflict with worshiping God by being humble toward his revelation).

"But I thought we all belonged to God," you might say. But that's the problem with even modern evangelicals. There is little understanding of what occurred at the Fall. In the Fall, what belonged to God was transferred to the devil. Man made his choice to follow the instruction of the devil ("to become a god) rather than the instruction of God ("do not eat of it, for when you do, you will die"). What happened when man did this was the giving over of humanity to his chosen lord. The man, and all that the man owned (i.e., the entire world that was made for him) became the property of the devil.

Hence, the devil became the lord of all humanity and the domain over which he ruled. Again, it was possible for the devil to acquire the world this way because of the principle that whatever one owns is identified with him. Hence, Adam owned all of humanity (i.e., his literal or figurative children) and the world. Hence, when the devil came into possession of him, he also acquired all that he owned.

This is why the Scripture says that the whole world is subjugated by and lies under the authority of the devil (1 John 5:19, noting the connotations of the word keitai). ; that the spirit of the Antichrist and the devil is "in the world" (1 John 4:4--referring to the world of people). The devil is the god of this world/age (2 Cor 4:4) and the invisible prince who rules the world and is at work in fallen humanity (Eph 2:2). It thus walks as he walks, viewing all things in terms of his own desires.

This possession was something to which God handed him over as a result of the man's choice in the beginning to follow his pattern of life rather than God's. Hence, all of humanity, and all that humanity owns, belongs to the devil, and is therefore, possessed by Satan.

What is needed is a ransom, a redeemer, one who buys back mankind for God, and makes man acceptable to God as something God will take back. When the devil sought to take Christ as the sinners He represented on the cross, he traded them for the chance to condemn Christ; but Christ is the Lord over death too, and could not be held by the grave. So all of the devil's work to that end was ruined. He had inadvertently traded many that he owned, and all that they own, to put Christ to death. In the act, he transferred lordship of these people and their possessions back to Christ. Having accepted his identification with them as sinners in death in order to kill Him, he now had to accept his identification with them in life. He no longer owned them. They, and all that they own (including their children) belong now to Christ.

And Christ now gives them to the Father, who now accepts them because He accepts Christ with whom they are now identified. But this can only be for those who have placed themselves "in Him" (Eph 1:3-14). The darkness of the devil's possession and his world is now passing away for these; but the fact of the matter is, the world of unbelievers is still in the possession of the devil and runs quickly with him to his fate. They think the zeitgeist is the Holy Spirit, precisely, because, to them, the devil's thinking is holy, and God's thinking is corrupt. They cannot submit themselves to God's revelation because their lord does not submit himself to it. They emulate their god with whom they are identified, by whom they are owned, in whom they will perish.

Christ alone is the Savior of mankind. Christ alone can transfer ownership from the devil to Himself, but one must come to Him in order for this to be accomplished, and the Holy Spirit must pull them to Christ through His Word. And when we have come to love God and others through the direction of our Lord's Word, then we know that we have passed out of the death of the devil's grip and into life under the Lordship of Christ. No levitating required.

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