Thursday, July 1, 2021

Supreme Court and Jesus, the True Judge

 

We must acknowledge an important spiritual reality of the world that we live in: it is the reality that Satan is the ruler of this world’s fleshly-driven affairs. Such a statement need not catch us off guard, for 2 Corinthians 4:4 informs us of this, explaining that “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God”, NIV). While the book of Revelation gives us the perspective of the eternal and informs us of the defeat of Satan before the forces of God, one of the biggest mistakes we Christians can make on the topic of spiritual warfare is to underestimate the evil one and forget that the battle is still ongoing here in the physical realm (a fight in which we find ourselves caught in the middle). Rather than ending up as collateral damage from the continuous onslaught that Satan hurls upon this earth, let us refresh our understanding of his limitations so that we are more properly equipped for the spiritual confrontations that lay ahead of us.

As much as he might try, we know from Scripture that the devil can never obtain the ability to judge as justly or as righteously as God. After all, Jesus is the one true judge, as seen in our previous article on this series which covered Revelation 19:11. In addition, we can revisit the words of Jesus Himself, who in John 8:15-16 said, “You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me”; and in John 5:30, where He said, “My judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”

Even with the lordship of Jesus established, it won’t stop the devil from trying to become a judge with the same kind of power. But according to 2 Corinthians 4:4 and Revelation 19:11, Satan’s reach and jurisdiction is only within this earthly realm. He doesn’t have authority in the eternal, and if you and I are claimed by the Lord, then the devil has no chance of being able to snatch you or me out from the hand of Jesus (John 10:28). Thus, his attempt to judge you and me from his ramshackle, pitiful throne can only be done on earthly, temporal terms. In other words, his actions are unable to touch eternity and his jurisdiction stops at the edge of time. Yet while he may be the ruler of this world, Matthew 24:35 reminds us that “this earth will pass away, but [the words of Jesus] will never pass away.” When this earth passes away, Satan's throne will be destroyed with it.

In the end, Satan may try to gather all the material he can to try and judge us. However, even if he recorded all of our actions and all of our sins, the spiritual reality is that he still has absolutely no power over God in the eternal. Even on this earth, he struggles to gain a foothold in the lives of the alert Christians who understand Luke 10:19, where Jesus says, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Indeed, once we believe that Jesus has given His disciples this authority, the snake may bite but it has been de-venomized. For us, we walk in confidence, knowing that the sting of eternal death has been removed.

It is similar to the difference between a circuit court judge and a Supreme Court judge. If you don’t like the ruling of a circuit court, you can continue to appeal until eventually it can make its way to the Supreme Court. The devil is like a circuit court judge. He has some level of power and he can make a ruling in one direction or another. Should we accept the ruling of the circuit judge, we must live with the changes that such a ruling may bring upon our lives. However, if we feel that we are still in the right and that our case has not been properly heard, then we can appeal. For us Christians, this means that we have the ability to appeal to a higher authority: A higher judge, THE Supreme Court judge: Jesus Christ.

Nevertheless, it is not enough to merely claim that the devil circuit court judge was wrong. From the legal perspective, a higher court will not make a ruling to overturn the lesser circuit court until the case is brought forward to the higher court. In other words, the case must be filed before any action is taken by the higher court. In the Christian circumstance, our method and our vehicle through which an appeal is made is prayer. In our final article remaining in the series, we will explore this concept further on what our prayer “appeals” can look like and how we can put our previous knowledge in this series to use.

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