The special identity of Satan has caused many people to exhibit a strong interest in its manifestations of various aspects. There are even many foolish people who believe that, as well as God, Satan is also possessed of authority, for Satan is capable of showing miracles, and is capable of doing things that are impossible to mankind. And so, in addition to worshiping God, mankind also reserves a place for Satan in his heart, and even worships Satan as God. These people are both pitiable and detestable. They are pitiable because of their ignorance, and detestable because of their heresy and inherently evil essence. At this point, I feel that it is necessary to inform you of what authority is, what it symbolizes, and what it represents. Broadly speaking, God Himself is authority, His authority symbolizes the supremacy and substance of God, and the authority of God Himself represents the status and identity of God. In which case, does Satan dare to say that it itself is God? Does Satan dare to say that it created all things, and holds sovereignty over all things? Of course it doesn’t! For it is incapable of creating all things; to date, it has never made anything created by God, and has never created anything that has life. Because it does not have God’s authority, it will never possibly possess the status and identity of God, and this is determined by its substance. Does it have the same power as God? Of course it doesn’t! What do we call the acts of Satan, and the miracles exhibited by Satan? Is it power? Could it be called authority? Of course not! Satan directs the tide of evil, and upsets, impairs, and interrupts every aspect of God’s work. For the last several thousand years, apart from corrupting and abusing mankind, and luring and deceiving man to depravity, and to the rejection of God, so man walks toward the valley of the shadow of death, has Satan done anything that deserves even the slightest commemoration, commendation, or cherishment by man? If Satan possessed authority and power, would mankind have been corrupted by it? If Satan possessed authority and power, would mankind have been harmed by it? If Satan possessed power and authority, would mankind have forsaken God and turned to death? Since Satan has no authority or power, what should we conclude about the substance of all that it does? There are those who define all that Satan does as mere trickery, yet I believe that such definition is not so appropriate. Are the evil deeds of its corruption of mankind mere trickery? The evil force with which Satan abused Job, and its fierce desire to abuse and devour him, could not possibly be achieved by mere trickery. Looking back, in an instant, the flocks and herds of Job, scattered far and wide across hills and mountains, were gone; in an instant, Job’s great fortune disappeared. Could that have been achieved by mere trickery? The nature of all that Satan does corresponds to and fits with negative terms such as to impair, to interrupt, to destroy, to harm, evil, maliciousness, and darkness, and so the occurrence of all that is unrighteous and evil is inextricably linked to the acts of Satan, and is inseparable from the evil substance of Satan. Regardless of how “powerful” Satan is, regardless of how audacious and ambitious it is, regardless of how great is its ability to inflict damage, regardless of how wide-ranging are the techniques with which it corrupts and lures man, regardless of how clever are the tricks and schemes with which it intimidates man, regardless of how changeable is the form in which it exists, it has never been able to create a single living thing, has never been able to set down laws or rules for the existence of all things, and has never been able to rule and control any object, whether animate or inanimate. Throughout the vast expanse of the universe, there is not a single person or object that was born from it, or exists because of it; there is not a single person or object that is ruled by it, or controlled by it. On the contrary, it not only has to live under the dominion of God, but, moreover, must obey all of God’s orders and commands. Without God’s permission, it is difficult for Satan to touch even a drop of water or grain of sand upon the land; without God’s permission, Satan is not even free to move the ants about upon the land—let alone mankind, who was created by God. In the eyes of God, Satan is inferior to the lilies on the mountain, to the birds flying in the air, to the fish in the sea, and to the maggots on the earth. Its role among all things is to serve all things, and work for mankind, and serve God’s work and His plan of management. Regardless of how malicious its nature, and how evil its substance, the only thing it can do is to dutifully abide by its function: being of service to God, and providing a counterpoint to God. Such is the essence and position of Satan. Its substance is unconnected to life, unconnected to power, unconnected to authority; it is merely a plaything in God’s hands, just a machine in service to God!
Having understood the true face of Satan, many people still don’t understand what authority is, so let Me tell you! The authority itself can be explained as the power of God. Firstly, it can be said with certainty that both authority and power are positive. They have no connection to anything negative, and are unrelated to any created or non-created beings. The power of God is able to create things of any form that have life and vitality, and this is determined by the life of God. God is life, so He is the source of all living beings. Furthermore, the authority of God can make all living beings obey every word of God, that is, come into being according to the words from God’s mouth, and live and reproduce by God’s command, after which God rules and commands all living beings, and there shall never be a deviation, forever and ever. No person or object has these things; only the Creator possesses and bears such power, and so it is called authority. This is the uniqueness of the Creator. As such, regardless of whether it is the word “authority” itself or the substance of this authority, each can only be associated with the Creator, because it is a symbol of the unique identity and substance of the Creator, and it represents the identity and status of the Creator; apart from the Creator, no person or object can be associated with the word “authority.” This is an interpretation of the unique authority of the Creator.
Though Satan looked upon Job with covetous eyes, without God’s permission it did not dare to touch a single hair on Job’s body. Though it is inherently evil and cruel, after God issued His order to it, Satan had no choice but to abide by God’s command. And so, even though Satan was as frenzied as a wolf among sheep when it came upon Job, it did not dare to forget the limits set for it by God, did not dare to violate the orders of God, and in all that it did, Satan did not dare to deviate from the principles and limits of God’s words—is this not a fact? From this it can be seen that Satan does not dare to contravene any of the words of Jehovah God. For Satan, every word from the mouth of God is an order, and a heavenly law, and an expression of God’s authority—for behind every word of God is implied God’s punishment of those who violate the orders of God, and those who disobey and oppose the heavenly laws. Satan clearly knows that if it violates God’s orders, then it must accept the consequences of transgressing the authority of God, and opposing the heavenly laws. And just what are these consequences? Needless to say, they are, of course, its punishment by God. Satan’s actions toward Job were merely a microcosm of its corruption of man, and when Satan was carrying out these actions, the limits that God set and the orders that He issued to Satan were merely a microcosm of the principles behind everything that it does. In addition, the role and position of Satan in this matter was merely a microcosm of its role and position in the work of God’s management, and Satan’s complete obedience to God in its temptation of Job was merely a microcosm of how Satan did not dare to put up the slightest opposition to God in the work of God’s management. What warning do these microcosms give you? Among all things, including Satan, there is no person or thing that can transgress the heavenly laws and edicts set out by the Creator, and no person or thing that dares to violate these heavenly laws and edicts, for no person or object can alter or escape from the punishment that the Creator inflicts upon those who disobey them. Only the Creator can establish heavenly laws and edicts, only the Creator has the power to put them into effect, and only the power of the Creator cannot be transgressed by any person or thing. This is the unique authority of the Creator, this authority is supreme among all things, and so, it is impossible to say that “God is the greatest and Satan is number two.” Except for the Creator who is possessed of the unique authority, there is no other God!
Do you now have a new knowledge of God’s authority? Firstly, is there a difference between the authority of God just mentioned, and the power of man? And what is the difference? Some people say that there’s no comparison between the two. That’s right! Though people say there’s no comparison between the two, in the thoughts and conceptions of man, the power of man is often confused with the authority, with the two often being compared side by side. What is going on here? Aren’t people making the mistake of inadvertently substituting one with the other? The two are unconnected, and there is no comparison between them, yet people still can’t help themselves. How should this be resolved? If you truly wish to find a resolution, the only way is to understand and know the unique authority of God. After understanding and knowing the authority of the Creator, you will not mention the power of man and the authority of God in the same breath.
What does the power of man refer to? Simply put, it is an ability or skill which enables the corrupt disposition, desires and ambitions of man to be expanded or accomplished to the greatest extent. Does this count as authority? Regardless of how swollen or lucrative the ambitions and desires of man, that person cannot be said to possess authority; at most, this puffing up and success is merely a demonstration of Satan’s buffoonery among man, at most it is a farce in which Satan acts as its own ancestor in order to fulfill its ambition to be God.
How exactly do you view the authority of God now? Now that these words have been fellowshiped, you should have a new knowledge of God’s authority. And so I ask you: What does God’s authority symbolize? Does it symbolize the identity of God Himself? Does it symbolize the power of God Himself? Does it symbolize the unique status of God Himself? Amongst all things, in what have you seen the authority of God? How did you see it? In terms of the four seasons experienced by man, can anyone change the law of the interchange between spring, summer, autumn and winter? In spring, the trees bud and bloom; in summer they are covered with leaves; in autumn they bear fruit, and in winter the leaves fall. Is anyone able to alter this law? Does this reflect one aspect of God’s authority? God said “Let there be light,” and there was light. Does this light still exist? What does it exist because of? It exists because of the words of God, of course, and because of the authority of God. Does the air created by God still exist? Does the air that man breathes come from God? Can anyone take away the things that come from God? Can anyone alter their substance and function? Is anyone able to discomfit the night and day allocated by God, and the law of night and day ordered by God? Can Satan do such a thing? Even if you don’t sleep at night, and take night as day, then it is still nighttime; you may change your daily routine, but you are incapable of changing the law of the interchange between night and day—and this fact is unalterable by any person, is it not? Is anyone capable of making a lion plough the land like an ox? Is anyone capable of changing an elephant into a donkey? Is anyone capable of making a chicken soar through the air like an eagle? Is anyone capable of making a wolf eat grass like a sheep? (No.) Is anyone capable of making the fish in the water live on dry land? That cannot be done by humans. And why not? Because God commanded the fish to live in water, and so they live in water. On land they wouldn’t be able to survive, and would die; they are unable to transgress the limits of God’s command. All things have a law and limit to their existence, and they each have their own instincts. These are ordained by the Creator, and are unalterable and unsurpassable by any man. For example, the lion will always live in the wild, at a distance from the communities of man, and could never be as docile and faithful as the ox that lives together with, and works for man. Although elephants and donkeys are both animals, and both have four legs, and are creatures that breathe air, they are different species, for they were divided into different types by God, they each have their own instincts, and so they will never be interchangeable. Although the chicken has two legs, and wings just like an eagle, it will never be able to fly in the air; at most it can only fly into a tree—and this is determined by its instinct. Needless to say, this is all because of the commands of the authority of God.
In the development of mankind today, the science of mankind can be said to be flourishing, and the achievements of man’s scientific exploration can be described as impressive. Man’s ability, it must be said, is growing ever greater, but there is one scientific breakthrough that mankind has been unable to make: Mankind has made airplanes, aircraft carriers, and the atomic bomb, mankind has gone into space, walked on the moon, invented the Internet, and lived the hi-tech lifestyle, yet mankind is incapable of creating a living, breathing thing. The instincts of every living creature and the laws by which they live, and the cycle of life and death of every kind of living thing—all these are impossible and uncontrollable by the science of mankind. At this point, it must be said that no matter what great heights are attained by the science of man, it is incomparable to any of the thoughts of the Creator, and is incapable of discerning the miraculousness of the Creator’s creation, and the might of His authority. There are so many oceans upon the earth, yet they have never transgressed their limits and come upon land at will, and that is because God set boundaries for each of them; they stayed wherever He commanded them, and without God’s permission they cannot move around freely. Without God’s permission, they may not infringe upon each other, and can only move when God says so, and where they go and stay is determined by the authority of God.
To put it plainly, “the authority of God” means that it is up to God. God has the right to decide how to do something, and it is done in whatever way He wishes. The law of all things is up to God, and not up to man; neither can it be altered by man. It cannot be moved by the will of man, but is instead changed by the thoughts of God, and the wisdom of God, and the orders of God, and this is a fact that is undeniable to any man. The heavens and earth and all things, the universe, the starry sky, the four seasons of the year, that which is visible and invisible to man—they all exist, function, and change, without the slightest error, under the authority of God, according to the orders of God, according to the commandments of God, and according to the laws of the beginning of creation. Not a single person or object can change their laws, or change the inherent course by which they function; they came into being because of the authority of God, and perish because of the authority of God. This is the very authority of God. Now that this much has been said, can you feel that the authority of God is a symbol of the identity and status of God? Can the authority of God be possessed by any created or non-created being? Can it be imitated, impersonated, or replaced by any person, thing, or object?
» Further reading on Sovereignty of God.