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Chapter 18 - Our Adversary Satan
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. - Isaiah 14:12-14
Just as Jesus is our example of selfless love, Satan is our example of consumptive selfishness. The Christian attempting to become radical and follow the path the Lord has for him needs to understand his own disinclination (the flesh) as well as the obstacles placed in his path by his enemy Satan.
And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: - Luke 22:31
We know that Satan uses his power to influence religious leaders in such a way as to frustrate Godís work.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. - John 8:44
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. - Acts 20:29-30
Satan uses those who serve him (knowingly or unknowingly) to shape the course of the world so that it will serve his purposes. One of his purposes is to collectivize the whole world so that he can leverage his influence over it. He has made use of organizational systems even to using Christians to advance them. This was not Godís plan as he even intervened in human affairs creating different languages so that we would be limited in our ability to collectivize.
And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. - Genesis 11:6-7
Probably the most significant imprint Satan has made on Christianity is to get us to collectivize ourselves in organizational systems.
We can see that Satan sets the course of history (insofar and only so long as he is allowed by God)
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: - Ephesians 2:2
Considering how extensive the cumulative influence of the world is on us, we should spend some time examining some of its construction and how it was designed to divert us from God.
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