Satanic Authority

…or, “politics in our temporary, dying Secularist Age.”

Systematic Theology – Authority
Satanic Authority
Professor: Rushdoony Dr. R.J.R.

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[Rushdoony] Let us worship God. Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing, enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name, for the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endureth to all generations. Let us pray.

Oh Lord our God unto whom all things shall render praise in due time. Life up our hearts now unto Thee in love and adoration, give us grace to justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Thee all the days of our life. We thank thee for the glory of this creation, and for the greater glory of Thy promises unto us in Jesus Christ. Give us grace so to walk day by day that we might show forth unto all men that we are heirs of salvation, and children of Thy kingdom. In Jesus name, amen.

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Satan doesn’t really care for your thanks or not. He is not so interested in your prayers.

Just as you don’t recognize Jesus as Lord and God, as Saviour, as the One whose Word is Law. As long as you don’t admit that there is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ, and obedience to His teachings.

Just so long as you cut yourself off from life, and so die eternally, Satan is satisfied.

Don’t follow the advice of Satan.

Follow the Commands of Jesus Christ, and live.

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Our scripture is from the twenty-second chapter of Luke, Luke 22 verses 50-53. Our subject is satanic authority, satanic authority. Luke 22:50-53

“50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.

51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?

53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

The word translated in the last sentence as power is the word we’ve considered again and again in the past few months, exousia, which means power and authority. What our Lord here says is that Satan has legitimate authority for his action against Jesus Christ, and he tells those who came to arrest Him “this is your hour, and the hour of the power, of the authority, of the realm, the kingdom, of darkness.” Repeatedly this expression is used, the expression concerning the exousia, the authority of darkness, of Satan.

For example Paul in Colossians 1:13 & 14 gives thanks to God the Father who delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son; in whom we have redemption, through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Again we have that same word and we have it repeatedly and yet our Lord says before His ascension, all power all authority in heaven and earth is given unto me so that Christ with His resurrection was King of kings and Lord of lords, and yet under Him by His permission Satan has legitimate authority.

On the other hand we are told by Paul, in these words in Colossians 1:13 & 14 that we who are believers have been delivered from the authority of darkness, the realm, the rule, the kingdom of darkness. We have been translated by God into kingdom of His dear son. The word translated is a word in the Greek which means changed or removed from one standing to another, from one legal status to another, so that now we have a new citizenship and we are under another king. No longer citizens of the kingdom of Satan but members and citizens of the kingdom of Christ. Christ by His atonement has translated, has changed us, to a new standing before God.

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Believing Christians move from death to life.

But, we are still sinners, so we must fight the dead old man, and leave that agent of sin on a cross. For Jesus came to bear all of our sins.

 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4:17-24, English Standard version

and again,

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:5-11, English Standard version

But, even as we increasingly deny Satan’s authority in our lives – and so, by necessity, increasingly recognize Christ’s authority – we still have to pay taxes, and respect to some extent, the authority of the wicked government over the righteous… temporarily.

For Christ progressively works to break apart all that stands against Him. Including every throne, every judicial bench, and every Government House, every Congress and Parliament and Duma and Diet, and every Presidential and Regal Palace.

But this breaking apart is by the hand of God, and not by violent revolution.

And it happens according to God’s schedule, not ours.

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Now we have here a fact of very great importance. First we have the clearly legitimate authority of Satan and his kingdom. We live in it, it is all around us and we need to understand its authority. Any authority that denies Jesus Christ is a part of the kingdom of darkness, of the kingdom of Satan; so you know what you’re looking at when you look at the politics of our day, of party after party around the world. Some are more bold and brazen about their membership in that kingdom, but they are a part of it. Yet we are told by Peter and the apostles in Acts 5:29 we ought to obey God rather than men. Yet at the critical points they were also respectful of evil authorities, while standing firmly on their God-given ground. Thus we live in two realms, not an easy thing to do. We’re in the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of Satan, and I submit in every county and in every state in this country and the world over, whatever their particular governmental divisions are, you will see an organized, and vicious murderous form. This evil kingdom with legitimate authority; I know that I have not lived anywhere were I did not see it.

The premise of that realm, Satan’s realm, is Genesis 3:5 – ye shall be as God, every man his own God, knowing, determining for yourself, what constitutes good and evil; every man his own source of law, every unit its own lawmaker with full contempt for God’s law. The essence of sin is that it is anti-God, and John tells us in 1 John 3:4 that sin is the transgression of the law, God’s law, that’s what sin is about. If you deny God’s law you’ve denied ultimately sin, and then you begin to substitute wishy-washy sentimental clichés for the law of God and for the doctrine of sin, and you begin to soft-pedal the significance of sin, and you detach it (by the way) from the sinner; that you should hate the sin and love the sinner. Well sin isn’t something in the abstract, it’s what a person is and does, so how can you take and detach the sin from the sinner and say “well there was stealing, but there was no thief?” Now of course Islam does that, they do not say that “I lost my watch” that is a doctrine of responsibility they do not adhere to, “the watch of Mohammed Ali has lost itself” and that’s the kind of thinking we get all around us now. Love the sinner and hate the sin, as though there’s a difference, there is none. Sin is the transgression of the law, God’s law, by an individual who is a sinner, who wants to move against God’s law. That’s the appeal of the sin; it is the defiance of God’s law. The appeal of illicit sexuality is its sinfulness, the prevalence of homosexuality and of [incest] and the growing emphasis, as in San Francisco in some circles, on bestiality indicates how far men are ready to go in their defiance of God.

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A shame about Islam, but not unexpected.

And people – pastor or layman – who “substitute wishy-washy sentimental clichés for the law of God and for the doctrine of sin” are well on their way to Hell and the Lake of Fire. But you knew that already.

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On the other hand the premise of the kingdom of Christ is our change and our removal to that realm by Christ redeeming blood atonement, by the forgiveness of sins. To be in that realm is to be a member of Jesus Christ and even as in the first temptation we have the premise of the kingdom of darkness. “Ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.” So in the great temptation of Christ in the wilderness, from the paradise now the world has been turned into wilderness, and Satan says “justify me, agree that I was right” and our Lord gives three answers, one to each of the temptations, each premised with the authority of the Bible, the word of God; it is written, it is written, it is written. And what He tells him is “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” And second “thou shalt not tempt the Lord Thy God.” You shall not put God to the test; you will not demand that God prove something to you. God can put you to the test; you cannot put God to the test. And thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.

Now here we have the three premises of the kingdom of Christ. Just as in Genesis 3:5 we have the great humanist manifesto out of which all other humanist manifesto’s proceeded. So we have here the two great realms, and our Lord said in the third premise of His kingdom “thou shalt worship the Lord Thy God, and Him only shalt Thou serve. It’s important to understand what worship means. The word that is used here for worship is literally “to kiss towards, to do homage, to submit, to obey.” We have an example what that means in the last three verses of Psalm 2 verse 10-12 when the rebellious nations are told “kiss the Son lest He be angry and ye perish in your way. This was to kiss, to do homage, to submit in the fashion that was then common place. You stretched yourself out prostrate before the figure of the king or emperor and kissed his feet; and he could, if you were a rebel or a conquered person, do what was commonly done, take and put his foot on your head to indicate that you were now under him. Now worship is that precisely that, it means total submission, not to any man, this is why we are forbidden to worship anything that is human, or to yield that kind of obedience to anything that is human.

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Note the three premises of Christ’s Kingdom:

  • “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
  • “thou shalt not tempt the Lord Thy God.”
  • “thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”

If we do this, we do well.

If we fail, but repent, God will give us the strength to stand up straight, and walk with surer steps.

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These two realms are in history, the fallen humanity and the redeemed humanity of Jesus Christ. God gives authority to the realm of Satan. We must obey God, but we must not at the same time be revolutionary. We are warned by this in scripture, especially by Paul, when I Corinthians, the seventh chapter in the 20th the 23 and the 24th verse, and again in Colossians 1:13 & 14, makes it clear that we are called, not to be revolutionaries, but we have been regenerated and regeneration is the way the world is to be changed, and then by the obedience, the worship we give to God. You don’t worship God if you do not serve Him, Him only shalt Thou serve. We must not be the servants of men, this Paul tells us specifically.

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We must fight the enemy wisely and well, and not as some kind of suicidal kamikaze. We are not Marxist revolutionaries, here to punish people with slavery and death and poverty (after promising plenty and freedom and life, of course). God called us to a higher goal, and to do better works than that!

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Well we have a problem do we not? We are members of a kingdom, but live also in another which has legitimate authority from God. Why did God do it that way? Well there is an interesting sentence that sums up a great deal in scripture in a rather unorthodox source, the poet William Blake. William Blake was a repository of every idea that ever went around, he never discarded anything. He had a grape arbor near his house and he refused ever to prune anything in it, he didn’t believe in pruning, either his grapes or his mind. But in this one sentence he summed up something very, very, important; he said “I saw the finger of God go forth giving a body to falsehood, that it might be cast-off forever. Now that’s what Hebrews 12 is talking about when in verses 18 following Hebrews 12 tells us that God in the Old Testament era put the nations through a great shaking, and now with the coming of Christ and the world-wide expansion off His realm, His kingdom, the things which are, are being shaken all over again. Why? So that only those things which are unshakable might remain, so we live in a world of great shaking; and God has a purpose in it. He lets men have the freedom, He allows falsehood to have a body as it were, so that all the evil imaginations of man’s heart can take form and haunt him, and destroy him so that he is driven to the recognition that his way is the way of death. And men again and again and nations again and again have worked with all their heart, mind, and being to give a body to the falsehood they worship, and then in horror work to cast it off.

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The weak horrors of oppressive blood-aristocracies are dead and gone, and the stronger horrors of oppressive bureaucratic-aristocracies (from Stalin’s mass murderers to our own secularist clerisy) will fall apart as well.

The future does not ride with them.

I am confident that even atheism – and the Darwinism that makes it look plausible – will be relics for history books in a few centuries, maybe even before 2100.

Now, there may well be new horrors after the old ones die off. But they will also be forced back.

This world is a wheat field, not a tare field. The future – in time and on earth – belongs to Christ, not Satan.

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So the authority of the power of darkness is allowed to have its sway in history. It does have a widespread scope. Look at our economics, our politics, our education, our law and our law enforcement, our churches, our arts, our sciences, and more. In all these realms men are exercising exousia, power and authority as ordained by God, by God’s permission; and they’re going to be responsible for the results. And as God tells the nations through Isaiah, when He speaks of the great shaking He will bring on all nations, when the consequences of their own lives and faiths works out its implications “they shall know that I am the Lord.”

Paul tells us in Romans 13 the powers that be are ordained of God. He also tells us that they must be a terror to evil-doers. If they become a terror instead to the Godly they are moving towards death.

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The Ruling Class does not believe this. And they never will.

But the current Ruling Class is a fading and failing group, stuck in sterility and delusions. The future does not ride with them.

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Psalm 1 draws the parallel between the counsel of the ungodly and the way of the Lord and His law. Those who delight in the law of the Lord, of all such we are told that whatsoever they do shall prosper, but the way of the ungodly shall perish. And Psalm 2 applies the same premise to all the nations who say “let us break the bands, the cords, the restraints, of God’s law asunder.” And they take counsel (or it can be translated they conspire) together against the Lord and His anointed. And God just sits back and laughs. In due time, judgment falls upon them. Satanic authority therefore is real, it is legitimate, but its end is death. The authorities of our time therefore insofar as they depart from God’s law have adopted a course whose end is death, and we can say of men and of political parties, and political platforms and of individuals “except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.”

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“Satanic authority therefore is real, it is legitimate, but its end is death.”

It would have been better if Adam and Eve had never obeyed the snake – and, with obedience to the snake, placed themselves under the rule of the snake.

Christ has laid down a better way, and His way will push the way of the snake into the dustbin of history (well, the incinerator of history, but you know what I mean.)

But it will not be done instantaneously. Little by little, the Kingdom f God grows to fill the earth.

Leaving nothing for Satan.

So we Christians must fear and obey God, exalt Christ above every name, and so have a future stretching to thousands of generations, long after the authority of wicked men has come to an end after two, three, maybe four generations.

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Let us pray.

Thy word is truth oh Lord and Thy word has power and authority. Give us grace oh Lord to walk every day as members of no mean city, as citizens of Thy kingdom commission to power and authority over the nations; to go forth and to conquer in Thy name and to bring all things into captivity to Jesus Christ. Thy word is truth oh Lord, and the nations are crumbling the world over as they pursue the way of the powers and authorities of darkness. And we see indeed in our time the flood waters rising high, and the earthquake shaking the mountains, but we can rejoice for the Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge, our God we thank Thee in Jesus name, amen.

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God’s people pray, in humility and faith, to the Father in Jesus’ Name. And their earnest prayer is heard, and holy instruction is given to us, from the Bible and from the Holy Spirit.

This is how we win.

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