Satan is under God’s authority

Published 8:11 am Wednesday, November 11, 2020

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: Are God and Satan equals as far as power? — G.S.

Dear G.S.: Satan is not omnipotent. He is not God’s equal in power, in presence, or in any other way. He is a fallen angel, not a fallen god. Nothing can come into our lives without God’s knowledge and permission. Satan is actually under God’s authority. He had to receive God’s permission to test Job, and the Lord’s purpose is to produce good out of the trials and afflictions that Satan tries to put in the Christian’s path.
The Gospels record an episode in Jesus’ life in which He was in the midst of reading Scripture in a synagogue. Unexpectedly, a demon-possessed man jumped to his feet and began yelling. You see, Satan was trying to disrupt the session, for he did not want Jesus’ audience to learn about the kingdom of God and the truths of eternal life. Immediately Jesus cast out the demon, thus demonstrating His complete authority over the spiritual world. Those watching who had already been touched by Jesus’ teaching, were completely overcome by His power (Mark 1:21-27). What Satan tried to do to hinder Jesus, actually served God’s own purpose.
Satan must be the most frustrated personality in the universe! His army of demons is compelled to obey Jesus, and whatever the devil does to discourage a Christian, God can use for the Christian’s benefit. Sometimes He allows us to suffer so that we may grow spiritually.
Satan attempts to lure us from the path of spiritual progress, and He seeks to destroy our Christian witness. This is why the Bible warns us to not be ignorant of Satan’s methods (2 Corinthians 2:11). Scripture goes on to encourage us with these words: “Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ” (2:14). Therefore, we must pray that we will desire to be in the center of His perfect will.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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