The Two Rulers
TWO RULERS: SATAN AND THE OLD SIN NATURE
Paul illustrates a Principle that applies equally to all ages: Spiritual death rules in every generation of human history.
Nevertheless, the [Spiritual] death ruled from Adam to Moses even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam’s transgression, who is a type [A representation] of Him [Christ] who was destined to come. [Christ’s First Advent] (Rom 5:14)
Actually we are born under two rulers who came to power when Adam sinned. Satan is the “god of this world,” ruling through a policy of moral and immoral degeneracy, this is “Satan’s thinking, of evil,” (2Co 11:13-15; (1Ti 4:1-3; (2Ti 3:5) the old sin nature is the sovereign of human life, ruling through Spiritual death and carnality. (Isa 29:13; Mark 10:18; Rom 10:2-3) Under both of these tyrannies we live, “moral and immoral degeneracy” and this is the order of the day. (Normal everyday human life) It is the policy of Satan; it is the function of the old sin nature!
We have already been introduced to Satan. (In the book Satan and demonism) Since his powerful, multifaceted strategy has been detailed elsewhere, we need draw only a thumbnail sketch of his plan. His arrogant ambition is to become, by his own efforts and great intellect, like the most high God. (Isa 14:12-14) He promotes the improvement of his kingdom, the world. He seeks to displace God and to create a counterfeit “one world order; named in the Bible; Babylon,” this will happen before Christ returns at the Second Advent! (Isa 47:7-15; Rev 18:1-24) We are not surprised to discover in the Bible that a revolutionist such as Satan, whose world policy is both moral and immoral, (Evil) talks out of both sides of his mouth. Satan is a brilliant chameleon, an ingenious counterfeiter, able to present himself as all things to all men. On one hand, he favors sweetness and light — prosperity for all; a chicken in every pot. Personally, he is the most beautiful creature ever created; he is eloquent, smart, entertaining, personable, persuasive — just the kind of company you would enjoy. His attacks often come in the guise of this calm, engaging, drawing-room type of attractiveness. (Neh 6:2) He knows that life depends on how people think, and he sponsors “good” anti-God thought.
You felt secure in your wickedness and said, No one sees me, Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; For you have said in your heart, I am, and there is no one besides me. (Isa 47:10)
For he sees that even wise men die; The stupid and the senseless alike perish And leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses are forever And their dwelling places to all generations; They have called their lands after their own names. (Psa 49:10-11)
For when he dies he will carry nothing away; His glory will not descend after him. Though while he lives he congratulates himself--And though men praise you when you do well for yourself-- He shall go to the generation of his father’s; They will never see the light. Man in his pomp, yet without Understanding, [Truth] Is like the beasts that perish. (Psa 49:17-20)
And he began reasoning to himself, saying, What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops? Then he said, This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry. (Luk 12:17-19)
Instead, there is gaiety and gladness, Killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep, Eating of meat and drinking of wine: Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die. (Isa 22:13)
Perhaps, you have never before understood this point; God is interested in what we Think. (Rom 2:15-16) But many categories of sin (Mental, verbal and overt) only set back Satan's Utopian objectives. The system which Satan has constructed includes all the “good” which he can incorporate into it and be consistent with the thing he aims to accomplish. A serious question arises whether the presence of gross degeneracy in the world is due to Satan’s intention to have it so, or whether it indicates Satan’s inability to execute all he has designed. The probability is great that Satan’s ambition has led him to undertake more than any creature could ever administer. (Job 2:1-10; Zec 3:1-7; Rev 3:9-10) Man is truly a free agent; human volition (Free will) and the old sin nature can prove to be just as unruly to Satan! (Dan 2:41) But Satan does not appear always as an angel of light. The dark side of his strategy calls for terror, violence and confusion. (Neh 4:11) If he cannot control mankind by one tactic, he always has another. (Acts 16:16-17) No depravity or treachery is beneath him. (Jdg 16:15; Jdg 16:21) The rules of the angelic conflict call for each man to exercise his self-determination on the earth until God removes him! (2Ti 2:4) But Satan never plays by the rules unless doing so happens to further his own ends. He is the original murderer, determined to destroy man’s volition if unable to control it. (John 8:44) periodically God judges the accumulated results of all his varied activities. (Gen 6:1-7; Gen 15:16; Lev 26:14-30) Satan’s antithetical methods of operation are employed not only by his human world leaders, (Luk 6:26; Rom 16:18; (2Pe 2:1-3; Jud 1:16) but also by his vast, highly organized, well-led army of angelic subordinates, known as demons. (Eph 6:10-12) Satan does not lead a mob. He understands authority; in fact, he is a tyrant who wants to superimpose his authority over God’s. Satan orders some of his demons operating on the earth to be eloquent and magnetic in order to deceive people of culture and enlightenment. (Col 2:8) Many smart Germans who were not impressed — who were even repulsed — by the emotionalism of Hitler’s National Socialist Party were nonetheless drawn in by his demonic charisma. Other demon organizations are appointed with confusing and enslaving the simple, the emotional, and the ignorant. (Acts 14:11-13) Such people are impressed by the weird, extranatural phenomena of telepathy, mind-reading, and disembodied spirits associated with certain Hindu sects; by the voodoo victim’s ritual sacrifice of himself without any symptoms of pain; by the Sudanese dervishes who with bullets in their heads and hearts continued to charge the British formations; by the human sacrifice of children in the phallic cult; by the ecstatic manipulation of the vocal cords among the modern day holy rollers. Demons can unlawfully isolate the dormant faculties of unbelievers, and of believers in carnality, who permit the mentality to lapse into disuse and who are therefore ruled by the old sin nature. (John 8:37-38; John 8:44; Acts 19:26-28; (1Jn 3:10) We are all born into Satan's world system.
And you were [Spiritually] dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course [Thinking] of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit [Satan's false spirit] that is now working in the sons of disobedience. [Unbelievers and carnal believers] Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. (Eph 2:1-3)
In order to get out; as unbelievers we start by faith in Christ. (John 3:18)
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that [Salvation] not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:8-9)
All believers in carnality are under demon influence, and or demon obsession in which the demon controls the soul. We are born again, but still think according to the false spirit and the old sin nature's thoughts we were born with. In order for us to change into the new self God wants us to be, (Eph 4:24) we must be transformed!
And do not be [A Command] conformed to this worlds, [Way of thinking; moral and immoral degeneracy] but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12:2)
Satan has ruled the world since the Fall of man, but he has never yet succeeded in controlling his own domain. Whether through the drawing-room type of demon activity or through the more startling types, Satan’s ultimate objective is to conquer, to control. Believers are at a great advantage if they understand the strategy and tactics of the enemy. (2Co 2:11) Unfortunately, many Christians seem to gravitate to the strange, to the weird. Any mention of the devil and demon activity risks bringing such impressionable people out of their cracks and holes. It is not wise to delve into the realm of demonism; The Bible warns us not to get involved. (Lev 19:31; Lev 20:6; Deut 18:10-12) We should be curious about Truth, not about demons. The point here is that we are born enslaved to a system of satanic moral and immoral degeneracy, more brilliant, complex, and powerful than we can possibly resist in our own energy! Our one defense is the Spiritual life in fellowship with God, (1Jn 1:9) Thinking with the Mind of Christ, Truth resident in our souls; this is God's power, (1Co 2:12-16) we learn God's system, (John 4:23-24) and this is the solution! We submit to God's will, Thoughts and desires or to our own. (John 12:24-26)
The LORD knows the thoughts of man, That they are a mere breath. (Psa 94:11)
For My people are foolish, They know Me not; They are stupid children And have no Understanding. [Spiritual Thinking] They are shrewd to do evil, But to do good they do not know. (Jer 4:22)
Our confidence lies in knowing that Jesus Christ controls history. (Rev 1:5) Satan does not control the kingdom he rules; he cannot produce perfect environment; never will he be like God. Satan and his demons are doomed to ultimate failure. The plan of God, executed by perfect Divine justice, will inevitably prevail. The great demon conflict that has so ravaged human history will be won by the Lord Jesus Christ at the Second Advent. (Rev 20:2-3) We might as well get on the winning side! Either we adjust to the justice of God, or the justice of God will adjust to us — by rolling right over us! Not even the greatest intellect of the greatest creature, Satan, can compete with the integrity of the Creator. If we try it, we haven’t a chance. While the sin nature’s trend toward sin does not always fit in with the main thrust of Satan’s scheme, its trends toward morality and immorality are readily pressed into the devil’s service. While still in the Garden after the Fall, Adam’s slavery to his newly acquired sin nature was first manifested, not in an act of sin, but in a program of satanic morality — Operation Fig Leaves. The nakedness that had been a wonderful part of Adam’s relationship with his wife was suddenly denounced by Satan as being a social problem. (Gen 3:11) The new ruler of the world insinuated that nakedness between husband and wife was wrong, that clothing was “good,” that no one was going to run around naked in his kingdom! Adam’s trend picked up the innuendo right away, and he and the woman got busy making “loin coverings” out of fig leaves. (Gen 3:7) Behind their social action, their “betterment” of mankind, their work to make everyone equal; is the thinking of Satan! They were vainly attempting to improve the devil’s world, and, once clothed, they had more “moral thoughts.” “If we are right with each other, we must be right with God.” If only we adjust to our fellow man and do well by one another, certainly God will not condemn us.” This satanic lie still carries a deadly venom. It has poisoned Christianity in our day and is on the verge of destroying our nation. It represents a thorough maladjustment to the justice of God. Man’s good deeds cannot come close to earning the approbation of God; (Psa 39:5; Isa 64:6) to assume that they do is to insult His infinitely perfect character. (Rev 4:8) Even toward man, we are required by the laws of Divine establishment to respect each other’s freedom, privacy and property, but not to remold society, to lift up the downtrodden, to make people equal, or to enforce the ideas of a satanic socialist. The many applications and examples of the “social gospel” being broadcast into the world today are merely repeated evidence of our slavery under Satan’s evil system. By following human moral degeneracy as national policy, both foreign and domestic, the United States is setting herself up for overt slavery to another form of evil, a more predatory form known as communism. And even communism has a “good” goal — a “new vast world order” of universal prosperity! This was the same goal in Nimrod's Babel, as well as in Babylon, Tyre, the United Nations, and Hitler’s Berlin, and in our modern day, a one world system named Babylon, (Rev 17:18; Rev 18:10) it represents the best that Satan and man can do apart from God, and the Bible gives many descriptions of what this system has looked like in the past, (Eze 27:1-36) and in the future. (Rev 18:11-24) And the judgment of the “city” (Eze 27:33-36) and its ruler, (Eze 28:1-10) as well as the judgment of Satan. (Eze 28:11-19) And what will happen to them in the future, the city, (Rev 19:3) the ruler (Rev 17:12; Rev 17:16-18; Rev 19:20) and Satan. (Rev 20:1-3; Rev 20:10) In this “one world order” there is a description of what evil thinking is, and what the rulers and citizens will be thinking evil about. This is just an example of what the Great City of the “one world order” might look like;
Do not love the world [A Command] nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. (1Jn 2:15-17)
For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, [Or “the world project”] and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36)
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The distinguishing mark in Tyre was a sail. (Eze 27:7) So it is with this city, so if this is not the city, it looks just like it! And this is due to the grace, and kindness of God to make Truth, and what is false so clear for us! (John 7:17)
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Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Gen 6:5)
The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. (Gen 8:21)
And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. (Luk 17:26-30)
These are human moral thoughts, and activities and this is man putting his thoughts, will and desires before God's. Unbelievers are moral, nice, giving, serve their country, take care of their family, Etc. But they are going to the Lake of fire, for not believing in Jesus Christ the Lord. (John 3:18) This passage is directed to believers. (Luk 17:32-33) Anything an unbeliever can do is not the Christian way life! (Matt 22:32; Luk 14:16-35)
Even in Satan’s kingdom, (Prison) the volition of our souls are truly free to make one choice over another, but we are not free from the influence of the old sin nature resident in our bodies. (Isa 25:7; Isa 42:7; Matt 4:16; Luk 1:77-79) This second slavery is much more intimate and hence much more dangerous than even our slavery as citizens of Satan’s domain. Although Satan is brilliant and powerful as the archenemy of both God and man, he is still only a creature. He can be in only one place at a time, and he does not have time to waste on us personally, his demons are used. (Eph 6:12) In contrast, the old sin nature resides in every cell in your body, including every cell in your brain. More often than not, therefore, you are your own worst enemy. When you run into pressure or difficulty in life, it is not the devil after you; he does not need to intervene when you do such a nice job all by yourself. Remember that your brain is not the same as your soul. While the soul is immaterial, the brain is part of your body, and as such, it is corrupted by the old sin nature. In other words, the sin nature resides in the brain but not in the soul. The brain, however, influences the soul. Indeed, under Spiritual death, and carnality the brain rules the soul since the old sin nature has its headquarters in the physical body and controls the brain as part of the body of corruption. The brain is the mechanical expression of the soul’s consciousness. Note that I said mechanical; there is no consciousness in the brain as a physical organ. Self-consciousness is a facet of the soul. The self-consciousness of the soul acts as the go-between; it is where the immaterial links up to the material. But having resided in every neuron since the moment of physical birth, the sin nature uses all the brain’s mechanical functions to control the soul. In particular, the old sin nature programs the brain with human reality; thus, the brain naturally prints moral and immoral tendencies into the soul. (Matt 16:22-23) Garbage in, garbage out. The mentality operates on human reality; the volition makes decisions, the emotion is stimulated by the old sin nature. In contrast to the “newness of life” commanded of every believer, (Rom 6:4) the “oldness” of life is the computer program of moral and immoral “human reality” which enslaves us to the old sin nature. Satan’s plan also has a part in this programming. From birth, we live in the devil’s world, and his ruling policy inevitably works its way into the computer. In spite of Christ’s work in freeing us from the power of the old sin nature, many believers continue to operate on the old program. They are full of human morality as they serve their sin natures and sincerely advocate the various programs for making Satan’s kingdom “a better place to live.” They talk about equality, brotherhood, health and prosperity, education, removing poverty, abortion, world peace and using the Bible as a “moral system,” (2Ti 3:5) without the filling of God the Holy Spirit. (Rom 8:4) Although determined to “do great things for God,” they fall right into line behind Satan, the greatest genius and deceiver of the whole world. (Rev 12:9) The motto of this “new world system” of unbelievers, believers, moral, immoral, religious, and non religious is: Treat others as you would have them treat you! WITHOUT THE SPIRITUAL LIFE!
But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit [The filling of God the Holy Spirit] and Truth; [The Word of God] for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and Truth. (John 4:23-24)
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the Words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (John 6:63)
Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the Law of God, [Spirit and Truth] for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh [Carnality] cannot please God. (Rom 8:7-8)
As the only solution to this tyrannical dilemma, we are Commanded to reprogram the computer.
Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, [The sin nature] but alive to God in Christ Jesus. [The Spiritual life] Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, And do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; [Staying out of the Spiritual life] but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, [Alive from Spiritual death and or carnality] and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Rom 6:11-13)
Placing the members of your physical body under orders to God includes reprogramming your brain. At the new birth, the power of your old sin nature was positionally broken through the imputation of God’s righteousness and eternal life. (Eph 2:6) Add to this the simultaneous baptism of God the Holy Spirit, and for the first time your soul is in a position to break free from the influence of the corrupted physical computer. By the intake of Spiritual Thoughts, new information is fed into your Spiritual life, so that it is programmed in accordance with the plan of God for your life. Only Truth in the soul can fulfill experientially, (Rom 6:17-18) what was accomplished positionally at the moment of Salvation. Through perception of Truth, we can be free from both rulers, under which we were born!
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free. (John 8:31-32)
Truth makes all the difference! Works will not reprogram the old sin nature. Witnessing, quoting verses, memorizing Scripture, prayer, giving — in carnality, will not do the job. They are legitimate — under the filling of God the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18) with the proper motivation, at the right time. But they do not change the old sin nature. There is only one way to change the computer (Our mind) so that it becomes a weapon of righteousness to God; feeding it something greater and smarter than Satan; and the old sin nature! We must consistently feed it the Spiritual Thinking of Christ, in the filling of God the Holy Spirit — The Living Word! (John 3:34)