In Luke 4:1-7 the Lord tells us that Satan owns the world, how it came to be his and what he can do with it: “… and the devil took Him (Jesus) up into a high mountain and showed to Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. Kingdoms are composed of people. Then the devil said to Him, ‘All this power I will give to you, and the glory of it, for it has been given unto me. And to whomsoever I will, I give it. If You will worship me, all of it–the people and their kingdoms–will be yours.'” The first seven verses of Luke four is filled with information that every true saint must know, believe and obey in order to qualify for salvation at Christ’s return to earth. Let us study the Truths that the Apostle Luke, writing under the direction of the Holy Spirit, makes available to us.
In verse one we find that Jesus, having received the Holy Spirit while being baptized by John, left the Jordan River and was “led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness.” Verse two picks up 40 days later after He has returned from the barren area of dirt, rocks and wild animals. He has not eaten for almost six weeks. Only those who have fasted over an extended period of time can understand the physical condition Jesus was in when He returned to civilization. I once fasted 34 days during which I lost 40 pounds of body weight. The effect on the body is extreme.
After 40 days without food the body has used up all of its fat and is now beginning to consume muscle–its only remaining source of energy. Death is at the door. During those 40 days Jesus had been repeatedly attacked by the devil. Following this extended ordeal, Satan added to His misery by delivering the ultimate insult by questioning His relationship with God. He said: “IF You are the Son of God ….” Following this insult he challenged Jesus to prove His Sonship by doing what was totally natural when on the verge of starvation–eating. There would have been nothing wrong with Jesus eating bread at that point. The fast had been completed; He was free to eat whatever He chose. He would prove His Sonship three and 1/2 years later by rising from the dead. Food miracles are not sins. But God must be the One who determines what, when, where, why, etc.
In verse four we find the Lord using the situation to teach us a life or death lesson. In order to join Him in the kingdom, the believer must consume, believe and obey “EVERY WORD OF GOD”–the Holy Bible from Genesis to Revelation. This ministry reveals that the so-called “church” fails on many levels to do that. Therefore, “the church” is the church in name only.
Beginning with verse five we come to the focus of this series–WHO NOW OWNS THE WORLD AND ITS RELIGIOUS, SOCIAL, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC SYSTEMS, and most important of all, its PEOPLE? Satan owns and operates everything and every one on earth. Only God’s tiny “little flock,” His “remnant,” His “Very Elect” continue to exercise their power over Satan by warding off his temptations to defy God. The fact that God’s tiny army has power over Satan comes as a shock to everyone not counted among the saints. The Truth concerning the saint’s power over God’s enemy was stated by Jesus Himself as recorded in Luke 10:19 where we find that His disciples have returned from a ministry mission in which they have performed miracles. Jesus assures them that miracles are to be commonplace in their lives by saying to them, and us, “Behold … I give you POWER OVER ALL THE POWER OF HE ENEMY ….” We are to exercise that power over Satan just as did Jesus when tempted by him. Jesus won every battle, and so must we if we are to rule and reign with Him in the Kingdom of God. We do this by living “… by every Word of God.”
In verse five we learn how the world, its people and their human systems came into Satan’s possession. Here he reminds the Lord that the world had been given to him. Who gave it to him? Adam, to whom the Lord had given it following his creation. The earth and everything on it was Adam’s and his descendants to own, provided they could keep it by obeying their Creator. By disobeying God and embracing a new Master, Adam turned over to Satan everything God had given him. His descendants, with extremely rare exception, have kept the devil in power by obeying him just as their original ancestor had. Adam had exercised his freedom of choice. Every human being who has ever been born has been given the power of choice. Sin is a choice. Satan cannot force anyone to sin. God will not force anyone to obey Him. Life and death are in the hands of man. May we all choose life.
Note in verse six that Satan has offered to give the earth and everything on it to the Lord. One cannot give to another what one does not own. Note that Jesus did not deny the devil’s ownership of the earth and the kingdoms that covered it. Note also that Satan could give the power and glory of it to whomsoever he wanted to have it. This explains why the most wicked of men are so blessed. Look at those in the news–evil, God-rejecting reprobates who have incredible fame and fortune. Their god–Satan–has given it to them for worshiping him and obeying him. The same holds true for the world-wide fame and fortune enjoyed by the devil’s “ministers of righteousness”–his false prophets who hold sway over the Catholic and Protestant church system. They worship and serve him and he in turn gives them the power and glory of the world.
In verse eight Jesus tells us how to overcome Satan’s lure to follow him. We must “… worship the Lord your God and serve (obey) Him only.” The true saint’s eyes are not looking on the world that surrounds them. Theirs is a future vision. They know that this life is but a blink in time during which they must qualify for that future life when the entire universe will be theirs forever. L.J.