Only God is omnipresent. If this is so, how can Satan contaminate the entire world? How can he tempt each one of us to sin? If, indeed, Satan and Adam are one and the same creature (see “The Devil, Called Satan, Unveiled“), then it is possible to see how Satan could infect our entire race, because all human life has sprung from Adam/Satan. Pollute the source and the whole becomes unclean. On the other hand, if Satan and Adam are two different beings, then how could Satan get around to billions of people to insure that all rebel against God?
We have three enemies: the world, the flesh and the devil. Our first enemy is this world’s system, this highly sophisticated and overly organized culture or way of life. It is a place where only a few have a kind of peace. Even they must guard against losing what they have, because it is totally dependent upon others not having what they treasure! It is an alluring way of life that decays with use. The best is given first, like that commercial that says: “It doesn’t get any better than this!” That’s true. It is all downhill from there! The tantalizing, alluring part is always given up front, but once I’ve grasped it, the surprise is that it has captured me! Now I must give all my energy to keep the good life. Life is lived to hold onto a few precious days a year on the one hand or one more mind dulling moment of shooting up on the other. The world advertises its way of life, its styles, its positions of glory, and places it all out before everyone, so as to entice each one of us into its labyrinth of goodies, out of which there is no escape. Its joy and pleasure are only for a season.
The flesh is our second enemy, and it craves satisfaction. It battles against the spirit for control of the body (Galatians 5:16-17). Its fruits are manifestly contrary to that of the spirit (cp. Galatians 5:19-21 with 22-24). One cannot enjoy the peace of the spirit and at the same time be filled with hatred. One cannot manifest the temperance of the spirit and also the excess of drunkenness. How can one love and at the same time separate brethren (sedition). The power of the flesh supports the life in the world, which creates a market for its goods by communicating to the excesses of the flesh. It exploits the weaknesses of the flesh, so it may influence the body to inordinately desire its goods or way of life.
For example, the political systems of this world thrive on the flesh’s propensity to separate into parties, even to the point of hatred of the other. Our educational systems and sports organizations create a market through man’s desire for strife, heresy and variance. The world system as we know it would not exist in a society overflowing with people who are filled with the Spirit of God. Neither could the Kingdom of God continue in a society void of the Spirit of God and filled with people occupied with the excesses of the flesh. The Spirit manifests the Kingdom of God and the flesh produces and maintains this world’s system for its own perverted satisfaction.
Satan, our third enemy, is the leader or god of this world’s system (2Corinthians 4:4 – see “Is Satan an Archangel or Even an Angel?“). He is responsible for the fruits of the flesh (John 8:42-44), and his people (children) cannot understand the word of God, because they are deaf to it (John 8:42; cp. 1Corinthians 2:9-16). The Scripture (John 8:44) claims that Satan or the devil has children. It is his desire that those children spend their life’s energy bringing into being a system of influence that draws mankind away from God (John 8:43-44; James 3:15; 1John 2:16, 5:18b). The truth is not in him. Therefore, his children will manifest the lie and not the truth. He is a murderer and therefore his offspring will produce strife, envy, hatred etc. (sounds like Galatians 5:19-21). He is a liar (Matthew 15:18-19; Mark 7:20-23; cp. Galatians 5:19-21) and that which is not true is produced in those who are his. What Scripture calls the fruits or works of the flesh is manifest in Satan. The very power that keeps this world’s system in existence, is the power inherent in our flesh. It is a power we have inherited from our father, Adam, the Satan (enemy) of God, who rules it (2Corinthians 4:4; cp. John 8:42-44).
The power of Satan in this world is power produced by corrupt flesh (Ephesians 2:2). Notice the three statements in this verse: according to 1) the course of this world; 2) the prince of the power of the air; 3) the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. Herein are our three enemies mentioned: 1) the world; 2) the devil; and 3) the flesh. The three thrive on and give life and power to the other.
What would Satan rule over, if all mankind lived in the Spirit of God? There would be no world system to control, no flesh to tempt away from God. In essence, he would be alone in the darkness, outside the Kingdom of God, in a void, a vacuum, a nothingness that does not exist. He would exist in a lonely self-hatred, murdering the universe in his own mind and doubting that there ever was anything else. He would be schizophrenic, because his flesh would have to produce sedition in himself. His own power would become a murderous cancer that destroys the destroyer. His power is the same as that of the flesh, not independent of it. He is overcome by the same power with which he rules others (2Peter 2:19).
God commanded kind to produce kind (Genesis chapter 1). Jesus implied this in John 3:6 when He distinguished between the flesh and the spirit. That which is flesh is flesh, and that which is spirit is spirit. If Satan works the works of the flesh and is overcome by the same, can he be anything but flesh? While it is true that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but… against spiritual wickedness in high places,” we have to understand that the spiritual wickedness with which we wrestle is the evil use of authority. This is not speaking of spirit beings but the evil use of the spiritual gift, which God gave to Adam and man in general to govern himself. We wrestle with legitimate authority, which on the one hand we must respect, because all authority is God given, and on the other is often used in a wicked, self-serving manner.
Do we persist with the idea that Satan is an invincible being, having God’s powers such as omnipresence? Oh we wouldn’t come right out and say that Satan is omnipresent. Nevertheless, what are we really saying, when we claim that it was he who tried to trip us up today? Can’t we see that he is a being that is in deep trouble? Why do we magnify his power? He suffers from being in rebellion against God. Which of us does not suffer unspeakable pain from lack of peace in our spirit, when we are consumed with anger or hatred toward others? Don’t we miss the joy and love of God when we are involved with unfaithfulness, such as adultery, sedition, or heresy, whose fruit separates brethren? Haven’t we known the terrible pain in our spirits, when we have spoken a word that did not have to be said; yet we spoke anyway and hurt others, perhaps even separating them from ourselves? How can we not believe that Satan somehow experiences all this but escapes the consequences?
When I am in rebellion, I become focused in my hatred, my wrath becomes worse and worse, unless checked by the spirit of God. I am no longer in control. I am possessed or used by the same power that was once my tool for good purposes. My strength becomes more and more perverted as I lash out, finally giving vent to my inner rebellion. I never take thought of what I do or say until afterward, when I see the trouble I’ve caused and the people I have hurt. Only then am I able to visualize the magnitude of my sin and the gross separation I put between my God and me. How can Satan, driven by this perverted strength (weakness of the flesh), escape the horror of the crippled and destroyed lives, which he has left in the path of his own rebellion? Can we believe that he is happy with his life? Can we believe that he is not affected by his own sins, as mankind is affected and tortured mentally and emotionally with ours?
Consider the insane asylums that are filled with people who have destroyed their own lives, through murder, hatred, anxiety resulting from business, sports, arts etc., or the abnormal suspicion of others. They are men and women who were driven and finally overcome by the perversion of the extremities of the pendulum, people who just could not cope with life and its abuses any longer. Emotional wrecks! Can Satan escape this? Look at what happened to Hitler. In recent times, who was more evil than he? Who more perfectly represented that evil, satanic life more than Hitler? Consider what his excesses did to his own human body. If the Nazis won the war, he would not have lived long to enjoy the fruits of such perverted power. He would have died without the aid of any enemy other than his own experience with the depths of his perverted lifestyle, which was eating away at his own body. He killed himself, unable to face defeat, but even an evil victory would have destroyed him. God never intended that our bodies endure the horrible consequences of sin. Imagine what it does to our spirits or soul! Can Satan escape? Don’t ever believe that God’s judgment awaits the sinner at the end of his life only. God judges sin now! Praise His Name forever! The path away from God is filled with snares and curses. There is no joy in sin, except the passing thrill that demands repetition of the act. The perverted joy must be experienced again and again, until its repetition dulls the thrill and the habit formed consumes the sinner’s life, mind and emotions. There is no joy in sin. Can Satan escape this present judgment?
My point is not to dredge up sympathy for our pathetic enemy, but to expose him for what he is; and in doing so, to help destroy the pedestals of evil power upon which we love to place him. He is a defeated foe, and we need to behave ourselves as though we believed this to be true. The bare fact is Satan is dead at the writing of this study and has been dead for nearly 2000 years (Revelation 20:1-2).