RT Kendall: The Best Kept Secret Since the Creation of the World

(Charisma News archives)

Satan's chief enemy is Jesus Christ. Oh, how he hates the Son of God.

No vocabulary in any language would come close to demonstrating how much Satan hates the Lord Jesus Christ. He hates any mention of the cross. He despises the blood that Jesus shed on the cross.

After all, the cross—which cannot be stated too often—is what guaranteed his downfall. Until Easter morning the devil thought he had conquered the greatest victory of all time. He regarded himself as the architect of the crucifixion. He was sure he orchestrated all the events that led to Jesus' death: the chief priests' plan to kill Him (John 11:49-53); the betrayal by Judas Iscariot (John 13:2); the anger of Herod toward Jesus (Luke 23:11); the unanimous request of the Jews to set Barabbas free and crucify Jesus (Matt. 27:20-23); the decision of Pontius Pilate to have Jesus crucified (Matt. 27:24-26); the Roman soldiers glee in physically crucifying Jesus (Matt. 27:27-31); and joined by the priests saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself" (Matt. 27:42).

But on the day Jesus was raised from the dead, Satan suddenly discovered that he not only failed; it is what sealed his everlasting doom. This is described in the book of Revelation. This then is why he hates the blood of Jesus. Had the "princes of this world" known what they were doing, "they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Cor. 2:8). The cross was the weapon of God to defeat Satan, sin and death—the best kept secret since the creation of the world!

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"For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rules or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Col. 1:16-17, ESV).

At some stage, the issue of the origin of evil emerges. I may say categorically: how and why evil emerged is unknowable. We can deduce some things that seem fairly clear. For one thing, there was a revolt in the heavenlies, probably before the creation of man. Satan was a creation of God (Col.1:16-17). God did not create fallen angels. They, as all creation, were created without sin. Before the Fall, Satan may have been called "Lucifer, son of the morning" (Isa.14:12, KJV).

Apparently, this was an angel of very high intelligence, although I am speculating. It is clear he was jealous of God. He apparently recruited every angel in the heavenlies to join in his revolt. How many? Who knows? Possibly a third of the angels, if that is what Revelation is referring to (Rev.12:4). We don't know for sure, nor do we need to know. It is safe to assume however that all of the redeemed by the blood of Jesus have an angel who guards them day and night (Heb.1:14; Ps.34:7).

When Paul says, "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood" but against "the authorities" and "spiritual forces" in the heavenlies (Eph.6:12), two questions can be asked. First, does Paul speak for all Christians? In other words, can you and I assume that we too automatically have this battle because we are saved? Or is this something Paul came into and shares with us? I am inclined to think that not all Christians know about this. Some discover it, some don't.

The second question: does Paul mean that he does not regard people—"flesh and blood"—as the enemy but rather the devil? In other words, has he learned not to take opposition personally, but sees the devil being behind it?

If so, it suggests that you and I should not see a person who opposes us or doesn't like us as being the origin of opposition, but that he or she is being coerced by Satan. This would be why Jesus would say to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan!" (Matt.16:23). He did not accuse Peter of not being saved. He did not get angry with Peter himself. He saw that Peter was saying something that Satan originated.

The preceding was excerpted from Chapter 7 of R.T. Kendall's book, Fear (Charisma House, 2022). For more information or to order the book, please visit mycharismashop.com. R.T. Kendall was the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London for 25 years. Born in Ashland, Kentucky, he was educated at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv) and Oxford University (DPhil). Kendall is the author of numerous books, including Total Forgiveness, More of God, Word and Spirit, and We've Never Been This Way Before.

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