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THE WORLD IS UNDER SATAN, AND THAT’S OK

Scripture is very clear that the world is under Satan.

At the same time, we are told by Paul not to resist worldly authorities, as all authorities have been designated by God.

Does this mean we are to put ourselves under the authority of Satan?

Of course not. We live in the Kingdom and are under the authority of God as followers of Jesus. When Paul tells us not to resist worldly authorities, he means not to protest them and their laws or try to remove them from power. In other words, we are to just let them be. The world is under Satan, but Satan is under the authority of God (all things are ultimately under the authority of God) and so can do nothing that is not permitted by God. If we protest the authorities put in place by God, we are protesting against God.

God’s justice is perfect and plays out every day in every way, including in how worldly authorities govern us. At the same time, as followers of Jesus, we are to be in the world but not of the world.

Jesus set the ideal example of how to live in a world that is under the authority of Satan. He never protested the Roman occupation; he let the Roman authorities be. He also never protested against the many arrest warrants that were issued for him; he just went somewhere else. And when his time came, he permitted himself to be arrested without resisting, and he refused to defend himself in court (that is, he refused to oppose the authorities that had him arrested). This is how you live in the world: you don’t get involved in it, and if it tries to get involved in you, you find workarounds (like Jesus did by leaving places where he was under threat of arrest). God will always make a workaround for you so that you don’t have to submit to worldly authorities until it’s your time.

And you’ll know when it’s your time; God will tell you.

The world is under Satan because it is the realm of death and decay. The Kingdom, on the other hand, is indestructible. Satan has no jurisdiction there. So physically, we move through the realm of time and space, death and decay, which is the temporary jurisdiction of Satan, while spiritually we dwell in the realm of the Kingdom, which is eternal realm of God where no death and decay can enter in.

The world is the way it is because of the people in it. If people made better choices, we would have a better world with better leaders. The way the world is today is the end result of all the choices people have made since the dawn of free will (that is, knowledge of good and evil). As well as being very clear in stating that the world is under Satan, Jesus is also very clear in stating that the measure we mete out is the measure we receive in return, mitigated by God’s mercy. In this way, we create our own lives, choice by choice. Make good choices, have a good life; make bad choices, have a bad life. This concept is so simple that even a young child can grasp it, and yet billions of miserable souls that have come and gone on Earth were unable (or unwilling) to make the connection between their lousy lives and their lousy choices.

Taking personal responsibility for our bad choices can be hard. It means humbling ourselves, and most people don’t want to do that. They would rather blame someone else for their mistakes. Pride prevents them from accepting their own culpability in their self-made misery.

Pride is also the major obstacle separating people from God. Pride is a position of obstinacy and rebellion that is directly opposed to Truth, which is why it is elevated to the worst of sins. Satan fell through pride. He is still proud. He did not repent of his pride before his fall and now never can.

Opposing worldly authorities because they institute ungodly laws is a position of pride for those who know better than to oppose such laws. All Christians should know scripture and therefore should know better than to oppose worldly authorities, even when those authorities pass ungodly laws. If, though knowing they’re not to oppose worldly authorities they yet take it upon themselves to do just that, Christians are no better than Satan: They are standing in opposition to God. They are standing in a position of pride.

The world is under Satan, but Satan is under God. If God’s justice is perfect, then the way the world is must be. It cannot be any other way. It is, as a philosopher once put it, “the best of all possible worlds”.

We need to let the world be, regardless of the ungodly laws it institutes. If born-again, we are citizens of the Kingdom, not of the world, so the world is not our concern. The world is under Satan, who himself is under the authority of God. You mess with the world, you mess with God.

Don’t do that.

Follow Jesus’ example instead: The only tables he overturned were those that had no place in God’s house. He let the rest be.


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