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Satan's Kingdom - The World & the Soul
The soul is the conduit to the World
The World & The Soul
In our discussion of the rise of Satan’s kingdom, it is necessary for us to explore how Satan’s kingdom in fact appeals to people. And to set this up I would like for us to take a look at I John 2:15, and following. There, John says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world.” There is a thing called “the world” and there are things in it. So there is the “form” and the “substance.” “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” So if you love the world it is not possible at the same time to love God. Note the emphasis on “love.” If you love the world it’s not possible at the same time to love God. This doesn’t just mean that you have a casual dalliance with the world, but you come to rely on the world. If you do so, the love of the Father is not in you.
I mentioned that he said that there is the world—the framework—and there are the things in it. Now he gives us some of the substance of what is in the world. “For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.” (Inserted – I John 2:16) So what are the things in the world? “The cravings of the sinful man, the lust of his eyes and his boasting of what he has and does.” What are these things: his cravings, the lust of his eyes and his boastfulness? This sounds frighteningly parallel to another Scripture that says, “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.”
Boasting is easily associated with pride, is it not? The boasting about what he has and does… that’s the essence, that’s the description of the pride of life. The second thing that is spoken of here is the lust of the eyes and that’s one to one: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. So the description of the lust of the flesh is: the cravings of the sinful man. Every lust is, in fact, the thing you would exalt above even good sense, even reasonable thought. So the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life have also been variously described as the “cravings of the sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boastings about what he has and does.” Now this is very helpful to us by giving us definitions to these three basic Biblical things because we are told that whereas the human is drawn by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life—that’s what draws the human.
What are the things in the world? We have described the “world” as: an orderly arrangement of systems under the sway or rule of the “kosmokrator,” who is the god of this world, Satan. And we saw that this was Satan’s scheme to draw man into reliance upon his systems in lieu of relying upon God. We gave an example of one of these systems before: the adversarial system for the adjudication of disputes creates adversaries as opposed to reconciling people. The kingdom has its ways of doing things and the kosmos has its ways of doing things. The kingdom’s ways have and promote the kingdom’s value and the King’s value. So in the example given before, the King’s value is to die for the person. The person is important to the King; therefore the kingdom’s value in the adjudication of disputes is to save the relationships.
The kosmos’ value is that the person has no value because the enemy comes “to rob, to steal, to kill and to destroy.” (Inserted – actual verse—“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10) He goes about as “a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” (Inserted – actual verse—“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” – I Peter 5:8) His systems devour the things that are valuable and leave in their places the things that are barren and bankrupt. So people will fight and destroy each other over a thing when the thing itself doesn’t benefit them in the end, whereas the relationship would have.
In the kingdom, the relationship is valuable and if you can save the relationship then you may order any form of resolution that comes out of a relationship that is saved. The kingdom has in it—in its matters relating to the saving of relationships—opportunities for repentance, forgiveness, for confession, for reconciliation, for restoration, for renewal. The world has in it: apportioning blame, fault and guilt and distributing “goods” and compelling results that fracture and damage relationships. So these systems are in the kosmos and the kingdom has its parallels but the world, or the kosmos, reflects the value of the kosmokrator. The kingdom reflects the values of the King. The King is a healer, a reconciler, one who is loving and kind. The kosmokrator is a devourer, an accuser, a prosecutor. So the relative values are displayed in the systems that reflect the rule of both rulers.
Now here is the secret: in the kosmos there is an absolute draw to the things that will appeal to the human soul. What appeals to the human soul? What is in the human soul that desires to be drawn? His sinful nature: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. What is in the kosmos that draws him like a magnet? The appeal to the sinful nature, the appeal to the lust of the eyes and the boasting about what a man has and does. How do we understand these things? In the world man is lead to believe that he and he alone is responsible for his provision and his protection. Since the fall of man, when the soul of man was exposed, what was exposed alongside of the soul of man is the attitude of the soul.
As you know, every human being has three parts to him or to her. We have a body, a soul and a spirit. This is I Thessalonians, chapter 5, verse 23. Paul said, “I pray that you be sanctified through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be presented blameless at the coming of our Lord. And the one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” (Inserted – actual verse—“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” – I Thessalonians 5:23,24) You have a spirit, a soul and a body. Pray that you be sanctified through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body…
Now when man walked with God the Scriptures say in the book of Genesis that, “God said to man, if you eat of this tree,”—the tree describes the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil—“If you eat of this tree God said, your eyes will be opened and you will know good and evil. But,” God gave as the conclusion of that matter, “you will surely die.” (Inserted – actual verse—“And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’” – Genesis 2:16,17) When the serpent came along… Who is the serpent again? That ancient serpent called the dragon, the devil or Satan—HaSatan, the accuser of the brethren—same one who has been around since the Garden, been in time since the Garden, been in existence before the Garden.
When he came along, he said, “Well you will not surely die. God knows when you eat of the tree your eyes will be opened, you will know good and evil and you will live forever.” (Inserted – actual verse—“ ‘You will not surely die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” – Genesis 3:4,5) Now humans had a choice. Here is a bit of a dilemma. It says that the woman, “saw that the tree was pleasing to the eye and good for food.” (Inserted – actual verse—“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” – Genesis 3:6)
How could she “see” if it says, “if you eat of the tree your eyes will be opened”? Simple, it is referring to different ways of seeing and when it says, “she saw that the tree was desirable to the eyes, to the senses and to the passions (desirable to make one wise) she ate of it.” That’s simply a reference to physical sight. She could walk around the Garden; she could see the tree. So the eyes of the human body were opened. Now man fellowshipped with God before the Fall. God would come in the cool of the day and in the day he sinned God still came—that’s how he knew that it was God. He acknowledged he heard the Lord walking in the Garden, knew that was the time when the Lord would come. So it was his habit to commune with God.
How do we commune with God? We commune, according to Romans 8:14, “Spirit to spirit.” Romans 8:11-14 tells us that, “the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirits.” (Inserted – actual verse—“Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘’Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” – Romans 8:14-16) We have a body, a soul and a spirit. So the eyes of the spirit of Adam and Eve were opened while they were in the Garden because they were fellowshipping with God. Their natural eyes were open because they could see the fruit on the tree. The eyes that were closedwere the eyes of the soul. When they ate of the tree the eyes of their soul were opened and immediately they responded out of the need to preserve themselves, protect themselves and the need to provide for themselves.
What was activated in them? What was activated was the soul… and the response of the soul tells us how they saw reality. Before—when God would come into the Garden—His presence was welcomed. God was not the enemy. That’s when you are lead by the spirit. When the human is lead by the human spirit in fellowship with the Spirit of God, God is not the enemy. The appearance of God is welcomed. But when the soul is ruling, the soul is in competition with the will of God and so the soul sees God as an enemy. All the facts were the same. God still came into the Garden, they were still naked, but this time when the soul viewed reality the soul wanted to change the way reality was. So when God came into the Garden and the Spirit saw God come, it was a time for fellowship and gladness. When the soul now sees God coming, the soul wants to hide. That tells us that the soul sees things differently from the spirit.
Furthermore—as between God and man—nakedness was the norm and man was not vulnerable in his nakedness. He was naked; he was not ashamed. When man walks with God, God fellowships with man in the nakedness of intimacy… that is, there is nothing hidden from the eyes of the Lord and the nakedness of man was a metaphor for the all-seeing vision of God and the fellowship that God would have when He sees us as we are. Oddly enough, when fellowship to God is restored we shall know Him and we shall be known fully. We shall know fully even as we are fully known. (Inserted – actual verse—“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” – I Corinthians 13:12) We shall see Him and we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. (Inserted – actual verse—“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” – I John 3:2)
Now when the soul rules however, hiding yourself is very important. Clothing is a metaphor for disguise. As between God and man, Adam and Eve wanted to be seen differently. The way the soul sees is to present an image that it hopes to be consumed by the person viewing you. In that annex, man began to hide from God while he saw that his own need was to provide for himself. God saw the inadequacy of his provisions and still had mercy on him—clothed him with skins and continued to give him instructions about how he should take care of himself. But out of all of that very valuable information as to both the nature of man and the craft of Satan—how he traps man—he merges.
Man’s nature when he is not in fellowship with God is to protect himself and to provide for himself. He is impulsively drawn to that and so the enemy observes that man gives in to these three basic impulses which supply him, or which pretend to supply him, with his needs for provision and for protection. These three basic impulses are: the lust of the flesh (the cravings of the sinful nature if you like), the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. What are these things when you look at them apart from the language? What are they in reality? Well when you are trying to provide for yourself and protect yourself you ask basic questions: who is my enemy, how might I prevail against him and do I have the necessary means? Who is my enemy, how might I prevail against him (what is my plan) and do I have the necessary means?
The lust of the flesh allows you to define others as your enemy because the lust of the flesh compels you to subjugate other people –to manipulate them, to control them, to subjugate them—you think nothing of controlling others when you are ruled by the lust of the flesh, the cravings of the sinful nature—“Me” above all. I will survive no matter who I have to step on: that’s the craving of the sinful nature. The craving of the sinful nature establishes man as the only god he could possibly serve and that’s why Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was so appealing. It legitimized the “killer ape” so to speak, the one who survived above all else, the “survival of the fittest.” The philosophy that embraces the concept of the “survival of the fittest” is the most perfect framing of the Biblical notion of the lust of the flesh.
The lust of the eyes is your vision for accomplishing your survival and your dominance. How might I prevail? What is my plan to survive over the opposition? The lust of the eyes is appropriately called the lust of the eyes because it speaks of your vision or your plan. It’s funny; we’ve thought that the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes have to do with sexual lust. No, sexual lust may be a manifestation of one or the other of these things but it is not the compendium of its description. It’s a much more sinister thing than that. What is my vision for surviving and for thriving over those who oppose my existence in the form that I deem appropriate?
And finally, the pride of life: the boasting about what he has and does is the Biblical description of the pride of life. Well pride of life is, “Can I accomplish? Do I have within my means that which is necessary to accomplish my plan”—the boasting about what you have and what you can do. Well the kosmos offers you exactly that attraction. It offers you first a philosophical legitimacy of surviving above all else. It offers you secondly a plan, a perspective on how you might accomplish this—through manipulation, through control and systems that further that. And finally, it offers you the hope and the promise that you have within you and within your reach—within your allied reaches—the way of accomplishing this… if you will trust in the kosmos. That is why when you become a believer, God spends so much of His time working with you to discipline your responses away from the responses of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
Seeing others as your enemies, God changes your perspective to allow you to see them the way God sees them. Having a plan to dominate them, God gives you a ministry to help them, to encourage them, to strengthen them. That’s from one who will die on a cross for the well-being of others. And instead of seeing yourself as “all-powerful” in accomplishing anything, you see, as Paul sees, “that in your weakness He is made strong because when you are weak, His mighty strength works in you,” because His mighty strength is not opposed by your desires to show “your stuff.” (Inserted – actual verse—“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – II Corinthians 12:9,10)
So God spends most of your time after you’ve become a believer, weaning you from dependence on the world. If you are not weaned from your dependence on the world you will assuredly be entrapped in it and the nature of this entrapment is such that the more that you think that you’ve escaped its entrapment, the deeper in the coils of this serpentine entrapment you come to be. So that’s why the Scriptures say that you could use the world, you could use the systems of the world, but don’t make full use of them, don’t rely on them. Yes, they may be the appropriate court engagement but don’t rely on it. These systems of the kosmos have been raised up as an alternative to putting your trust in God and if you put your trust in them, they will surely entrap you and pull you down into the dark recesses of this global kingdom which Satan has prepared in advance of his coming into the earth.
He will be thrown out into the earth and his angels with him. His last stand is the global kingdom that he has made with which to wage war against the saints. His plan is to annihilate the saints by a relentless persecution, that if possible would destroy even the very elect. Now, in further discussions then we will look more intently into the plan of Satan for his global kingdom. First we’ll look at the fact that he is going to be thrown out of the heavens and he will come to the earth. Then we will look intently at the seven systems of the kosmos and we will look particularly at the religious system of the kosmos because this is the one he intends to use most effectively against the saints. This discussion is necessary for the believer in this hour, in this day. God is opening the heavens and unveiling things that have been hidden from the beginning of time and we have been given access into the understandings of the mind of the Lord. These are precious times and important messages. I hope you will join me as we continue to study about the kingdoms of this world. God bless you.
I John 2:15,16
I Peter 5:8
I Thessalonians 5:23,24
I Corinthians 13:12
I John 3:2
II Corinthians 12:9,10