The Dark Kingdom


The Prince of Darkness & His Domain

September 2, 2012: The Dark Kingdom – A 2009 survey by the Barna Research Group revealed that only 35% of professed Christians in America believe that Satan is real! It is hard to fear, respect or fight against that which you do not believe in! We are not of that number. Today we begin a study of what the Bible reveals about the "Prince of Darkness" and his reign in this present order. This will not be study of the sensational, fictional, imaginary ideas and concepts of Hollywood and superstition. We want to know the truth about our enemy, his schemes, purposes and power, for we are engaged in a war with consequences far greater than control of land or resources. This is about the Battle of the Ages!

September 9, 2012: Our Enemy, the Devil – When a nation is on a "war footing," everything is different than in peace time. Clearly, most people are living as if we are at peace with the Dark Kingdom. Perhaps that is because most are, ignorantly, already under its power! In the service of our Lord and Commander we need "military intelligence" about this enemy with which we are battling. So we begin with who the Prince of Darkness really is. Called "Satan," his name really means accuser, opposer, slanderer, enemy. Let’s meet him first in the Old Testament.

September 16, 2012: That Ancient Serpent… the Devil ‒ Today we continue to explore what the Bible tells us about the being called Satan (hebrew for "Accuser, Opposer, Slanderer, Enemy"). We met him in the oldest book in the Bible, Job. Now we will see him again in the first book (Genesis) and one of the last books (Zechariah) of the Old Testament. Both of these events will reveal more about him, but leave us wanting to understand the bigger picture of where he came from and why God allows him to exist. Click on our lesson title to listen.

September 23, 2012: The Father of Lies ‒ In the Old Testament we could not see clearly what Satan’s plan was, nor find an explanation of why God allowed him so much power on earth. Those questions are about to have some answers. When the Son of God is born of Mary in Bethlehem, we hear no overt references to Satan’s presence. But he was there. Slanderous rumors about Mary’s unfaithfulness… the murderous actions of Herod the King… the apathy of the Jewish leaders toward the Magi ‒ all the work of the devil! Now he makes a personal appearance after Jesus’ baptism. Jesus meets a familiar enemy of all good. And Satan knows God has limited the power of His Son through His becoming a man. The conflict of the ages has begun!

September 30, 2012: Casting Out Demons ‒ When Satan came to Jesus in the Wilderness of Judea, these were not two strangers meeting for the first time. The conflict between them stretched back to the beginning of mankind. But now something new has happened. God clothed in human flesh with all its weaknesses (thus, the "incarnation") has invaded Satan’s Dark Kingdom to defeat him on his own turf. After the Temptation Jesus began His ministry. And immediately he begins to destroy the Devil’s influence in people’s lives, something no one else had the power to do. Satan is thrown into fighting a defensive war, trying to slow the advance to the Kingdom of Heaven.

October 7, 2012: What Satan Didn’t Know ‒ Satan directly confronted Jesus immediately after His baptism and before He began His ministry. Three and half years later, Satan had carefully orchestrated the betrayal by Judas, hatred by the Jewish leaders sufficient to plot murder, and cowardice by the Roman governor allowing the crucifixion. It seems Satan believed he had found a way to thwart God’s purposes for bringing the Son of God to earth. But we now know death was really what the prophets had predicted (Isaiah 53) and Jesus had foretold (Matthew 16:21). I believe Satan had fallen into the same error as the Jews, believing Jesus came to be an earthly king. God ‘s secret was well-kept! Even Satan, it seems, unwittingly helped carry out God’s plan.

October 14, 2012: The Roaring Lion"Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour!" said Peter in his first epistle to suffering Christians. Satan did not concede defeat when Jesus rose from the dead and ascended back to heaven. He knows now his time is short so he is filled with fury (Revelation 12:12). He works with his angels to prevent the spread of the gospel, deafen those who would hear, and snatch the word of God out of hearts where it is at first received.

October 21, 2012: "The Devil Goes to Church!" ‒ Satan did all within his power to stop the Son of God from accomplishing God’s plan. He did, and does, work with all his might to prevent the reception of the gospel and the spread of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, we should not doubt that he is doing all within his power to destroy the church of Christ and the faith and influence of the members of Christ’s body. His work AGAINST and WITHIN the church is today’s topic.

October 28, 2012: Satan’s Sin ‒ As powerful and fearful as Satan is, the Scriptures do not fully satisfy our curiosity about where he came from and what happened at some time in the past for him to become the "prince of this world." Today we will try to explore what the Bible does say, as well as make some (hopefully) intelligent deductions to fill in the blanks.

November 4, 2012: Satan’s Schemes, Part I"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes." (Ephesians 6:11) The schemes ("wiles" – KJV) translates the Greek word, methodeia. Strong defines methodeia as "cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery." Satan’s schemes are in line with his nature; he is the Deceiver, the Accuser, the Liar! How many of us are only dimly aware of his many tricks and deceitful lies so often brought into play even in our own lives. Today we start looking at his schemes by returning to the Garden of Eden.

November 11, 2012: Satan’s Schemes, Part II ‒ Last week we talked about two of Satan’s primary schemes or strategies for destroying our relationship with God. However, there are other wiles he uses as well. Today we see how he worked to bring about a separation between two good men and God. With one he used pride, with the other he used guilt! His strategies have not changed; we may well be attacked by him in the same way.

November 25, 2012: Satan’s Schemes, Part III ‒ As we continue to expose the strategies and schemes Satan uses to lead us astray, we note today three examples from the New Testament. Satan’s target is our heart; his goal is to cause us to turn away from Almighty God and not give Him the worship and obedience He should have. Click on the message title to listen.

December 2, 2012: Equipped for War  ‒ An often-sung hymn says, "Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war." But going to war without the equipment, protection and weaponry to assure victory is the ultimate in foolishness! After learning so much about Satan’s strategies, schemes, and targets, we need to know what God has prescribed as our defensive armor and offensive weaponry. Click our message title to listen.

December 9, 2012: Satan’s End ‒ Since God has allowed Satan to continue to exist up until now, what does the future hold for him and his angels? Our primary source of information will be the book of Revelation, a source of much symbolism and controversy. Join us by listening as we try to discern what God’s Word has predicted the end of Satan will be.

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About Richard Cravy

Richard Cravy is the minister and one of the elders for the Tanglewood congregation. He is also on the staff and faculty of the Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock, Texas. He and his wife, Jeannette, have three grown children and ten grandchildren.

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