Christian Resource Centre

 

| Author: Dele Oke

Two Kingdoms

The serpent in the garden

The serpent in the garden


Genesis 3 opens with satan already getting up to mischief in the garden, and that is putting it lightly.

How did he get there?
We read much about the kingdom of God and the power of satan.
Are there two kingdoms?
How did satan get his power?

Lets explore these interesting questions that Genesis presents to us.

What is a kingdom?


Matthew 4:23
23. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

Shortly after His ordination into the ministry - read the whole of Matthew chapter 4, Jesus began to proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom. The Gospel we preach is called the gospel of the kingdom - Luke 9: 1-2, Matthew 10: 7-8.

Naturally speaking, a kingdom is a place or area where a King or Queen has a domain and exercises authority. In the United Kingdom of Great Britain the Queen; Elizabeth Windsor, has authority. Her face appears on all the currency.

In ancient days, Kings had a lot of authority within their Kingdoms. They owned the people, land and establishments located within them. They could do what they liked with anything situated within their Kingdom when they liked. Their authority was without question.

The Kingdom of God


The gospels mention the gospel of the Kingdom numerous times - Matthew 9:35, Matthew 24:14, Mark 1: 14. This Kingdom is sometimes referred to as the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of heaven.

God has a Kingdom and we are to preach about the gospel of the kingdom.

Most of us have some understanding of what the Church is. Others can also relate to the body of Christ as a whole. But what about the Kingdom of God? And what is its gospel?

Hebrews gives us a beautiful picture of the Kingdom of God.


Hebrews 12:22-24 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn [who are] registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than [that of] Abel. (NKJV)

Let us try and list some of the things mentioned above.

1. Innumerable company of angels

2. The general assembly - these are those in the city of the living God in the heavenly Jerusalem. Some of the wonderful beings of God that we on earth do not yet know about. This assemble no doubt also includes those men and women of God who were faithful to Him and died before the birth and death of Christ.

3. The Church of the first born who are registered in heaven. This is the body of Christ, as God knows her. The true church. Those who are born again and are presently living on earth.

4. God the judge of all - He needs no introduction!

5. The Spirits of just men made perfect - on earth we are justified before God because of the shed blood of Christ on the cross. When we die and go to be with him we become perfect - 1 John 3:2. In heaven all the saints are now perfect. They are totally immersed in the Kingdom of God. They are a step higher than those of us believers on earth.

6. Jesus the mediator of the new covenant - Here we see the one sinless man who gave us access into the kingdom of God.

7. The blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel

We could do a whole series on each of the above things. But let this suffice for now.
The kingdom of God is much larger and has more influence than the body of Christ, the church on earth.

The church is just part of the kingdom of God. God?s kingdom is everywhere God rules and reigns. God?s domain spreads from the hearts of men to the heights of heaven.

It includes the imperfect Christians on earth as well as the perfect men and women already in heaven. God?s empire embraces spiritual beings that have no physical bodies, as we know them, to frail men and women with earthly bodies.

The kingdom of satan


The devil otherwise known as satan has his own kingdom and he is the head of it.


John 12:31 "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. (NKJV)

2 Corinthians 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (NKJV)

Bringing people under the bondage of sin, sickness and demonic activity enforce Satan?s kingdom.

In Luke 13: 11-16 we see a women held under the bondage and domain of satan for 18 years. God set her free to come into His kingdom.

It is probably essential to note at this point that not all sickness is caused by demonic activity. Nevertheless, since sickness is a result of sin that came into the world, all sick can eventually be traced back to the devil.

A far greater tool that the enemy uses to keep people under his bondage is closing their hearts to the beauty and mercy of the gospel - 2 Corinthians 4:4.

Jesus came to deliver us from the bondage of the devil.

Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed [us] into the kingdom of the Son of His love, (NKJV)

In order to understand this better let us look at the origin of satan?s kingdom, the defeat he suffered from Jesus when Jesus paid the price of redeeming us from the power of darkness and the role that we play as part of the church in demolishing the kingdom of satan.

How satan got his kingdom

Some believers think that we are fighting to get free from the power of satan. This kind of misconception only gives the devil a stronger hold over our lives.

In order to understand the nature of our warfare more clearly we need to understand the kingdom of satan and how he got it.

We start by looking at the first appearance of the devil to man.


Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" (NKJV)

The devil came to mankind in the form of a serpent. The following scriptures should reveal the personality of the serpent.


2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (NKJV)

Revelation 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (NKJV)

Well, the above scriptures show clearly who the serpent really was.

Satan was in the garden before man

Satan turns up in the garden and deceives Eve. How did he get there?
The Bible does not waste too much space in giving us all the details but as much as we need to know is in the Bible.


Ezekiel 28:14-18 "You [were] the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. 15 You [were] perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. 16 "By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned;

Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. 17 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you.

18 "You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you. (NKJV)

Lucifer; another name for the devil, rebelled against God and attempted to overcome God?s authority and power. He wanted to take the throne of God. Read Isaiah 14: 12-17. Notice the amount of times ?I? appears in these verses. Also see Revelation 14: 12-17.

Satan?s attempt to rebel against God backfired and he was cut down to the ground. All those angels that rebelled with him were also cast down. We know all this happened before the creation of mankind because the devil was in the garden before man.

A close look at Genesis 1: 1-2 indicates some chaos had occurred. Why else was the earth void and without form? Could this have been the result of the fall of satan?

What we do know is that mankind was created to have dominion over the earth.


Psalm 8:3-9 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,

4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all [things] under his feet,

7 All sheep and oxen -- Even the beasts of the field, 8 The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD, our Lord, How excellent [is] Your name in all the earth! (NKJV)

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." (NKJV)

The fall of man gave that dominion to satan


Luke 4:5-7 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for [this] has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 "Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." (NKJV)

Ephesians 2:1-4 And you [He made alive,] who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (NKJV)

Satan became the God of this world and had power over everything in it. He is the prince of the power of the air. Boasting to Jesus during the temptation that the kingdoms of the earth had been delivered to him. He became the god of the world when Adam and Eve fell to his temptation in the garden.


2 Corinthians 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (NKJV)

1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies [under the sway of] the wicked one. (NKJV)

Satan set up his kingdom and structure


Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places.] (NKJV)

Notice the structure of satan?s kingdom in the above verses.

1. Principalities and powers
2. Rulers of the darkness
3. Spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places

The first ones are what give individuals so much trouble. They are the ones Jesus was always casting out of people - Luke 8:26-33, Matthew 17:14-21, Mark 7: 24-30.

The next group create evil mindsets, strange doctrines and are seen behind all false religions, and occult powers - 1 Timothy 4: 1-2, James 3: 13-15.

The last group rule over nations and government, attempting to dictate the cause of the world and create chaos - Daniel 10: 10-14.

But thanks be to God that Jesus came to deliver us from the power of satan.


Colossians 1:12-13 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed [us] into the kingdom of the Son of His love, (NKJV)

As many of us that receive Jesus as our Lord and saviour are delivered from the power of satan.
Since God?s kingdom transcends heaven and earth it can be established everywhere Jesus is received as Lord. Satan is the ?god of this world? in the realms that we allow him.

The victory of Jesus over the devil means that we no longer have to allow him to influence us. We are in the world but not of this world?s ruler - John 17:14

Jointly, as the church; the body of Christ, God has ordained that we should go and establish His kingdom in the hearts and minds of other people. We act as Ambassadors proclaiming the Kingdom of God - Luke 11:2.


Ephesians 3:9-13 and to make all see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;
10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly [places,] 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. (NKJV)

We are to tell people that they no longer have to live under the deception and manipulation of satan. As many as receive this gospel are set free from the power of satan. The church is demolishing Satan kingdom. This is God?s purpose.

The good news is that the purpose of God for the church has already been accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. We fight a battle where the outcome has already been achieved.

God has ordained that we, His body, are to enforce His victory over the powers of darkness. God is using the very people satan stole the Kingdom from to take it back again. That is why He defeated satan as a man. This is the mystery of the Kingdom.


16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory.
NKJV

The last words Jesus said to us in the gospel of Mark take on a greater meaning when we understand the difference between the two kingdoms.

Mark 16:15-18
15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
NKJV


Some of the names satan is called in the scriptures

1. Abaddon (Apollyon)

Revelation 9:11 "And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon."

2. Accuser of the Brethren

Revelation 12:10 "Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, 'Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.'"

3. Adversary

1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."

4. Angel of Light

2 Corinthians 11:14 "And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light."

5. Anointed Cherub

Ezekiel 28:14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones."

6. Beelzebub

Matthew 12:24 "Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, 'This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.'"


7. Belial

2 Corinthians 6:15 "And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?"

8. Corrupter of Minds

2 Corinthians 11:3 "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."

9. Devil

Revelation 12:9 "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

10. Dragon

Revelation 12:3 "And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads."

11. Enemy

Matthew 13:39 "The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels."

12. (The) god of this World

2 Corinthians 4:4 "whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them."

13. King

Revelation 9:11 "And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon." (See also Ephesians 6:12)

14. Liar

John 8:44 "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it."

15. Lucifer

Isaiah 14:12 "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!"

16. Murderer

John 8:44 "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it."

17. Oppressor

Acts 10:38 "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."

18. Prince of the Air

Ephesians 2:2 "in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,"

19. Prince of Darkness

Ephesians 6:12 "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

20. Ruler of this World

John 12:31 "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out."

21. Roaring Lion

1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."

22. Satan

Job 1:6 "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them."

23. Serpent

2 Corinthians 11:3 "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (Also see Genesis 3:1, Revelation 12:9 and Genesis 3:14)

24. Temper

Matthew 4:3 "Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, 'If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.'"

25. Thief

John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."

26. Wicked One

Matthew 13:19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside."


Get email copy