A Bible Devotion

Friday, August 09, 2024

What Is The Devil's Authority?

The devil obviously had access to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Scripture does not tell us why God allowed this. One theory that makes sense involves mankind being allowed to judge the devil, possibly after the devil complained that God was not just or fair in condemning him. First Corinthians 6:3 does say that Christians will judge angels — and the devil is a fallen angel. If this theory is correct, God would have to allow the devil access to influence mankind, or be seen as unfair by all.

The devil gained a certain amount of control over mankind by Adam's disobedience, which plunged Adam and all his descendants into spiritual death.

At the time of the temptation of Christ, recorded in Luke 4, the devil obviously had a great amount of authority in the world system.

LUKE 4:4-7 NKJ 4 But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.' " 5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 "Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours."

Through His death and resurrection, Jesus defeated the devil and stripped him of his authority (Colossians 2:15, Hebrews 2:14-15).

Because Jesus announced that He had all authority after His resurrection (Matthew 28:18), the devil evidently retained no authority.

However, in the Epistles, the devil is still called the god of this world, or age (2 Corinthians 4:4). This does not mean that the devil is the god of the earth, but of the ungodly world system. He has this control through the yielding of ungodly people to speak his words and do his deeds.

The devil gains a measure of authority through any human being who will yield to his ideas and speak them, or act on them. Even Christians can, like Peter in Matthew 16:23, fall into this trap.

A perverted use of this authority is exercised when people "curse" or "damn" things or people. We should use our authority to bless — not curse.

All authority the devil may be using now is illegitimate. Only through deception and ignorance is he able to carry out his evil plans in the earth.

If the Church of Jesus Christ fails to exercise its God-given authority against the devil, he will operate virtually unhindered. This is because unsaved people are already under his dominion, and find it hard to resist him (John 8:44, 1 John 5:19).

As members of the body of Christ, we have been delegated the use of His authority on earth to see that God's will is carried out (Matthew 16:19, Luke 10:19, Philippians 2:10). We must exercise that authority.

SAY THIS: My Lord Jesus defeated the devil, stripped him of his authority, and gave authority to me over all the power of the enemy as a member of the Body of Christ on earth.


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