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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, November 02 2023

Why man rejects the knowledge of God

Most people assume the world is a pretty good place, or at least neutral in its influence, but the Bible reveals Satan is the god of this age, and “deceives the whole world" (Revelation 12:9). He is the ultimate source of all misinformation and disinformation pertaining to both scriptural and secular knowledge.

Tragically, his deception is so widespread that few realize the extent to which the world has accepted his disinformation and distorted knowledge. Paul explains that "the god of this age" has blinded those "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" (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Satan is a fallen archangel. As the righteous Lucifer (meaning "Light-bringer") he had been present at the very throne of God, but he turned from God's way to a diametrically different way of life, and he was eventually consumed with vanity, jealousy and greed. Two chapters in the Bible deal with the devil's origin and his subsequent rebellion against God (Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:11-16).

As a result of his rebellion Satan was banished from the throne of God and cast down to earth: "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world…." (Revelation 12:9). Jesus Christ stated in Luke 10:18: "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven."

After Satan was cast down to earth, he immediately began trying to destroy God's relationship with the first human beings. God revealed true spiritual knowledge to Adam and Eve, but Satan, in the guise of a serpent, caused Eve to doubt their Creator's truthfulness. He subtly asked Eve, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" (Genesis 3:1). He cleverly avoided mentioning all God had given them, and got Eve to concentrate on the fruit of the tree God had forbidden them to eat. Satan misrepresented God, and lied to Eve about her ultimate fate, telling her "you will not surely die" (Genesis 3:4). She believed Satan, instead of God and persuaded her husband to join her in eating the forbidden fruit.

This unfortunate trend of rejecting God's instruction has continued unabated to the present day. The devil cunningly mixes right and wrong. The world is filled with both truth and error, good and evil, and people can only discern the difference if they turn to God’s Word as the foundation of all true knowledge.

Satan’s immediate goal is to keep mankind separate from God. In one of His parables Jesus explains that, as soon as some people hear God's truth, "...the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved" (Luke 8:12). Satan will stop at nothing to keep people blinded to the fullness of God's truth. The result, as Jesus explained, is that "...the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it," and "... the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).

But although the god of this world has blinded its inhabitants through his many deceptions (1 John 5:19), we are promised that divine deliverance is available to us: "... Jesus Christ… gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age.…" (Galatians 1:3-4). Hebrews 2:14 tells us: "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself [Jesus] likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy [render powerless, New American Standard Bible] him who had the power of death, that is, the devil" (Hebrews 2:14). Jesus Christ's death provided the perfect sacrifice for the sins of humanity. He paid the death penalty for us, defeating Satan’s purposes, and offering humankind the gift of eternal life.