Authority and Abuse
Rulership without authority. How can that be?
Adam was given authority over this world. Dominion. Power. Authority.
So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." (Genesis 1:27-28 NRSV)
Satan usurped Adam's dominion/authority position and replaced the beneficial kind of authority God had instituted with a ruthless dictatorship utilizing the techniques of an abuser. A highly skilled abuser does not only exploit and bring harm, fear and pain to their victim, but they also lavish affection, gifts and benefits on them without rational explanations based on reality. This keeps the victim continually confused and feeling ashamed, guilty and even responsible for the abuse they receive. They often blame themselves as being not good enough which they come to believe is why they deserve the bad things that happen to them from their abuser. It is a brainwashing technique that is very effective in preventing victims from escaping their emotional darkness and logical blindness and maintains effective control over their life by the diabolical misinformation of their oppressor.
Parallel to this, an abuser will also instill into their mind fearful beliefs about anyone outside who might attempt to deliver the victim and bring them into freedom with the truth. A highly efficient abuser will work diligently to keep the victim terrified of any outsider, believing they cannot understand the unique and codependent relationship that the abuse and the victim 'enjoy' with each other. Thus misapprehensions, distortions of reality and deeply ingrained fear blocks all access to any truth and light that might in any way expose the weaknesses of the abuser's character or threaten his control over the victim's mind.
In addition, an abuser will project onto a victim the perception that the victim is responsible for their condition. They are led to think that any potential rescuer has ill-intent and that they actually are the ones with the characteristics of the abuser. An effective abuser will paint good as evil and evil as good. They rely heavily on the power inherent in the reward/punishment system to keep their victims firmly locked in deception as to what is really taking place and where the problems really lie. Their whole relationship is marked with constant reinforcement of these carefully arranged lies that work in concert to keep confusion in place and keep the victim from seeing who is the true villain. As long as an abuser can keep out the light of truth and can maintain their means of domination over the decision-making part of the victim's brain, they can effectively control the victim's life and exploit them for the pleasure of the abuser at will.
This extreme level of control by an abuser requires that they gain access to the victim at a very young age before they have developed much level of reason and awareness of conscience for themselves. The older a child gets before an abuser gains access to them the more difficult it is to achieve this level of control over their minds. This kind of abuse is called SRA and is so diabolical and complex that very few people are emotionally and spiritually mature and skilled enough to even address it. SRA stands for Satanic Ritual Abuse and is the most extreme form of abuse known. But it is also very telling in revealing the kind of techniques that Satan himself invented and utilizes with all of us as much as he can.
Understanding the techniques of SRA mind control exposes the character of Satan himself. Thus we can begin to see the real truth about who is really our problem. The great abuser always gets the victim to blame someone else or even themselves for everything that is actually the responsibility of the abuser himself. Now it might be easy to try to discount this idea by saying it is a cop-out for anyone to use the excuse 'the devil made me do it'. But this too is actually part of the scheme ironically. Under the delusions created by the abusive mind controling a victim, the 'responsibility' felt by the victim is a false guilt, not a true perception of reality. The victim is led to blame themselves for the evil being imposed on them precisely because they also accept the responsibility for the good things that are lavished on them. Thus their context of the reward/punishment system bases their view of what is real or right on what happens to them rather than what is actually true. Their self-identity, their perception of their own value and worth is totally dependent on what happens to them and their perceptions and beliefs about the character of others is so distorted that they live in a maze of lies about reality designed to keep them firmly in a victim mindset. This mindset of misplaced blame not only their ability to trust anyone besides their abuser for determining what is true, but it switches off their own conscience and suppresses the logical circuits in their brain that could alert them to the many inconsistencies in the beliefs they live under as taught them by their abuser.
In a way, it is true that the devil made them do it. The powerful elements that are needed to maintain this control over the mind and body are deception, fear and total belief in the reward/punishment system that is manipulated to form a perception of reality that is actually inverted from what is true reality. Thus they view with extreme suspicion anyone who does not embrace their own view of reality that they have relied on for so long. Instead, they stay locked in their closed world of dependence on a situation that is familiar to them even though it doesn't make a lot of good sense.
These techniques and evil practices are what keeps the whole system of our enemy Satan so firmly entrenched on this planet. All of us have been subjected to this system of mind-control and abuse since birth and have been exploited to some extent or another. And while not everyone has been as exploited to the extremes as seen in a full-out SRA victim, the system of evil in this world depends on these basic principles to maintain Satan's control over the minds of the vast majority. He enjoys rulership over this world to the extent that we embrace and depend on his counterfeit system of rewards and punishments as our definition of reality.
Of course as part of this effective system of deception, Satan does everything he can to convince us that God is the one who is the abuser, the one we need to be afraid of who is waiting to punish those who mess up and reward the good guys. This sounds perfectly normal since it is all we have known since birth. But Satan knows that as soon as our mind begins to grasp the true system and the principles of God's government that his deceptions will start to lose their effectiveness. He wants us to remain afraid and suspicious of the very One who can deliver us from the intense darkness of our confusion about what is real and what is truly good. As long as we cling to suspicions about God implanted in our psyche from our earliest memory, he can keep from us from the light that will expose his house of cards. But as soon as the real truth about God's character begins to seep into our hearts and minds that were designed to thrive, heal and grow in God's true system of freedom and love, Satan knows he is in danger of losing his victims. He will then re-double his efforts to make us fearful and suspicious of anything outside our zone of familiarity.
This is why an abuser does not want a victim to have too much contact with others who think too far outside the box of what is familiar to them. Anyone who begins to challenge the validity of living under the reward/punishment system nay receive threats of punishment to prove that indeed this is the system that defines reality and that any system of freedom and agape love is an illusion designed to entice us away from what we know by experience. Thus we see that our measurement of what is true, real and authentic is based on what we have experienced as victims of Satan's system rather than the unfamiliar principles of the Word of God that can undermine and finally dismantle the lies of the enemy of truth.
So how can a person who is so deceived and suspicious of anything outside their zone of familiarity be reached with the truth that they have never experienced and can hardly believe exists? Thankfully we do not have to know all the answers for that is the work of the Holy Spirit who has access to deep inside of us and has the wisdom of God to coordinate ways and means of bringing the light of truth to us in unexpected ways and times. But still, truth many times fails to win many people's hearts because they are so used to living in lies that feel so true and familiar that they choose to remain in their 'comfort' zone rather than take the risk of moving away from their abuser. The master abuser has brainwashed all of us to believe it is dangerous to step outside what we have been raised to believe or even what we may have compiled with our own powers of intellect apart from God.
A victim can also be a person who is so invested in the reward/punishment system that their pride and self-dependence can be used by the abuser to keep them secure in his delusions while they appear to live in freedom. They do not realize the secret reins of selfishness controlled by the abuser beneath their conscious awareness. But the selfishness that underlies their logic and reasoning seems so natural to them that they do not realize that all of their thinking and even religiously 'correct' beliefs are actually a house of cards, an edifice built on a foundation of sand.
It matters not how carefully a 'house' is constructed, how accurate and truthful one's beliefs and doctrines may be if the underlying foundation upon which it is based is filled with the principle of selfishness. Pride and selfishness are the deceptive elements that keep us blinded to the fact that the sand we rely on is not held together with a reliable adhesive. Concrete that contains the right kind of cement designed to bind together the sand and rocks in it is like bedrock which is also composed of grains of sand bound together. Both are secure and safe to build upon. But when the adhesive is missing or is unreliable, then building a house or a skyscraper on such a foundation will prove to be catastrophic when the pressures and strains are later experienced. Both foundations can be filled with sand, but only one of them is firm enough so that it will not shift and cause the collapse of the structure that is built on it.
Is it possible that we can build our lives and theories and belief systems on grains of truth like the small rocks found in sand? But unless the various aspects of truth are bound together securely with the proper adhesive of agape love, the stress of storms will cause irreparable damage to our lives no matter how carefully we may have constructed according to the rules in the building code.
This is the missing ingredient in Satan's foundation. But because his entire system is a denial that agape love even exists, it is impossible to invent an alternative foundation that will last through the stresses brought to bear on it over time. Satan's counterfeit adhesives that he uses to bond the sands of truth and/or error together are powerful, but at the same time highly unreliable and unpredictable. Satan's primary adhesive is fear along with deception. Both fear and deception are very effective in holding people or facts or systems together as long as the status quo is maintained. But though fear may maintain compliance to demands for awhile, it only takes a more powerful source with even greater threats to switch someone's allegiance.
Fear is designed to bring about compliance and cooperation through a counterfeit version of authority that is perceived and practiced differently than God's type of authority. Authority based on fear, threats and power does not cause the heart to trust. In addition, fear cannot produce true worship, not the spontaneous kind of adoring, loving worship that only God can attract. The counterfeit worship that Satan produces is based on a fear which is produced by his reward/punishment system represented by his tree in the garden. And although he is jealous of the worship and admiration that Jesus enjoyed in heaven, the only worship that he has managed to elicit for himself is a very different kind than what flows around the throne of God.
True worship can only take place in an atmosphere of freedom, complete trust and in response to selfless love that elicits the appreciation and respect of those who appreciate the underlying principles of reality that God created. This kind of worship is associated with a different kind of authority, an authentic authority that is derived from loving hearts readily surrendering their sovereignty to the superior wisdom of the One they adore and worship. True authority is that which comes from a free choice by those being governed, not an authority that is imposed against their will. Authentic authority is based on the glad cooperation of those who believe in the integrity and beneficence of the one they chose to have in authority over them. In this system those with the greatest authority are the ones who demonstrate the greatest humility in their lives. They are filled with the selfless, servant spirit that is completely focused on blessing others, not on enriching themselves. This is the true kind of authority that was given to Adam and that this earth was designed to operate under.
When Satan introduced his counterfeit system through his Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he used deception on Eve and fear in Adam to compel them to come under his counterfeit kind of authority. As soon as they confirmed their switch of allegiance to his system and away from God by eating of the fruit of his tree, he instantly began to install his principles into their psyche and to instill his methods and counterfeit principles everywhere on this planet. Since that day this twisted nature has been like a virus passed down through every generation of humans who are born. There is no escaping the reality that our fallen nature predisposes us to see God with fear and to relate to everything with the natural cravings of selfishness, self-interest and self-preservation.
When Darwin formulated his theory of evolution, it became compelling for the very reason that its underlying premise of self-preservation is indeed the reality of the human heart and can also be seen reflected in the lower kingdoms as well. Because this theory is so provable in this aspect and seems so logical to our natural way of thinking, this theory has gained massive popularity and credibility. But Darwin's mistake was in assuming that what he observed about selfishness and self-survival was the norm that defines reality. What he didn't take into account was that it is only on this planet; the rest of the unfallen universe operates on completely different principles of thinking and life.
But what about the issue of who is in authority over this planet? It seems clear that there was a transition of authority: from God to Adam at the end of creation and then from Adam to Satan when he was induced to relinquish it to the deceiver. But is it true that Satan is still the ruler of this world as mentioned in the New Testament? Did Jesus' coming to this earth have any affect on the authority of Satan over this earth? If it is true that Jesus now has all authority on heaven and on earth as He said He did before going back to heaven, how can Satan continue to operate so freely on this planet without authority and still control of the vast majority of humanity if he has no legitimacy? Did Jesus really take away Satan's authority by His death on the cross and His resurrection? Did Jesus become the new ruler of this world or something similar? If Jesus has all the authority and Satan is still the ruler of this world, then how does that arrangement work? Are they now working together in collusion or is there something else going on that we have not taken into account?
I find this subject extremely compelling, fascinating and full of potential to dramatically affect our lives if we come to fully appreciate the power available to us in the authority of Christ. Obviously there is not room here to explore this fully at this time, but this is something I want to not only understand much better for myself but I want to experience it more fully in my own life. I want to know more clearly how to live under the authority of Christ and be a better agent of His government in this enemy land under dispute. We live in a period where there is severe contention over who is really in control, who's authority is actually to be acknowledged, which system is to be respected and obeyed and who has the right to our allegiance. All of these things revolve around a correct understanding of the issue of authority. And which system we embrace makes a difference in which authority will guide our destiny.
Is the system of reward and punishment the valid one? If so, is this the system that God uses to threaten and entice us into obedience? If this is actually true, then God must have adopted some of Satan's suggestions for improving His way of governing the universe. But if not, then why is our thinking about God so saturated with ideas based on this principle? These are tough questions but ones that we must be willing to face and explore if we are serious about being saved from the abuse and mind-control of the dictator that has plundered this planet and exploited his victims for 6,000 years now.
Not until we are willing to think outside our familiar box and take the risk of considering new ideas that might sound dangerous from our victim viewpoint, will we begin to find that our bondage and slavery to the fear of death is a mirage that has no legitimate power or authority over us. We must be willing to challenge every assumption, expose and expel every lie, defy every counterfeit and embrace a completely different mindset if we are to live in the glorious freedom of the children of God. Every one of us are in a real battle for our souls whether we are aware of it or not.
The battle is intense over our perceptions of what is real and true as well as our allegiance and affections. We forget that each one of us holds the unique key that can release us into true freedom or that will keep us locked in the familiar surroundings of our prison of darkness that sometimes feels so comfortable. Comfort itself can be a large part of what keeps some in the darkness and lies.
Since we are God's offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:29-31 NRSV)