Getting an Upper Hand on the Underworld
taken from a message given by Adrian Rogers
When Adrian Rogers addressed the life-changing concept of Kingdom Authority, he believed these truths were so transformational and motivating he stated the devil worked against him as he dealt with compiling the messages addressing this subject. These issues are even more pertinent today, and we thought you would want to read an interview he did related to one issue—the age-old matter of the devil and evil.
Q: Dr. Rogers, I have heard over the years that there are still believers that don’t even really believe there’s a devil. Talk to us about that.
AR: Well, the devil’s pretty slick. He’s done a good job. But he is a counterfeiter, a deceiver, and a liar. And one of his cleverest ruses, I think, is to make people believe he doesn’t exist at all—that he is some sort of a medieval superstition.
Q: How should Christians respond to that? Should we jump into the Word and become familiar with the character of the enemy?
AR: Well, I think definitely it all comes from the Word of God. The Bible teaches a personal devil. Now I am not speaking of each person having their own personal devil, but that the devil is real. When I was in college, I went to a liberal denominational school and was taught that there’s no real devil, that he is just the personification of evil.
Even as a college student who did not know a lot of theology, I considered the account in Mark 5 and wondered, now was it a “personification of evil” that went into those swine and drove them to distraction and to death over a cliff when Jesus cast the demons out of that demonic from Gadarena? No … this is more than some physiological manifestation or some, analogous description of evil. There is a real devil.
Q: Well, while we’re talking about the devil, why does God allow evil in the earth?
AR: That’s a great question, and so many people are perplexed with that question. People often say, “If there is a God, how could He allow evil and the atrocities and devastation we have in the world today?”
Some people even have a little discourse that they believe—before God there was nothing; God created everything; Evil is something; So God created evil; So God must be evil. But that’s a faulty logic.
Remember, the Bible says God created the devil. The devil is not self-existent as God is. When God created Satan, He created him in perfection. In Ezekiel, God said that Satan was perfect in beauty in the day that he was created.
But now, listen. He gave that perfect being perfect freedom. Now, why does God give freedom? Because God desires worship and love. If God made me where I were not free, where I could not choose to do evil, then likewise, I couldn’t choose to do good.
If I can’t choose to be loyal to God, I cannot choose to be disloyal. I would only be an inanimate object or a robot! So God created a being perfect in wisdom and perfect in beauty. And that being chose to sin.
In order to love God, I have to have a choice, and so God gave us the choice that we might attain the highest good—the love of God. And Satan had that choice, and he blew it through pride.
Q: You alluded to the inclination or bent toward sin that we’re born with. How does the enemy come to play on that part of our life?
AR: Satan, of course, tempted Eve because he knew the power of pride. And the temptation in the Garden of Eden was precisely the same temptation that made Lucifer, the son of the morning—Satan, the father of the night. When he said, “Look, if you’ll do this, you will be as God.” He didn’t say like God. We’re all to be god-like. He said, “as God.” You’ll be your own little cheap, tin god. And that was pride. It was pride that made the devil the devil. God says, “You were perfect in all your ways, Satan, until iniquity was found in you.” Well, what was that iniquity? In Isaiah 14, he says, “I will be like the Most High; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” So, Satan wanted to be his own god. And he infected Eve with that, and she took the bait and sinned, and then Adam fell into sin. There’s something about sin that makes people want to spread it.
Here then man gets a fallen nature. What happened is this: Adam was a temple of God, a fire with a presence of God. When the Bible says, “God walked with Adam” in the Garden of Eden, God did not walk with Adam by taking him by his hand. God is Spirit. God dwelt in Adam. He lived in Adam. Adam was a fire with the presence of God. But when Adam sinned, then God will not live in a dirty house. And God moved out. And now, Adam is minus God in his spirit. And that’s what it means to be lost.
A person doesn’t have to be a bank robber, a rapist, a murderer to be lost. He’s just minus God. And so, now Adam is minus God, and rather than being God-centered, he is now self-centered. And that self-centeredness is called in the Bible “the flesh.” It’s called the old nature. We call it the Adamic nature.
By the way, people say, “Well, we’re made in the image of God.” Hey, don’t kid yourself. We’re not in the image of God. We’re in the image of Adam. Adam brought forth the son in his likeness and in his image. That’s what the Scripture says in Genesis 5:3.
So he has this Adamic nature, which we call that the internal foe. And then he has this world system, which we call that the external foe. And that’s the anatomy of a temptation.
If the devil fought so hard to keep us from hearing about this subject, then it must be important for us to know. This article is only a dropper-full from an ocean of information. You will want to tune in for the entire series of “Kingdom Authority” in October and see the reply slip to order your copy of The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority book by Adrian Rogers.
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