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z Doctrine of Satan 1

August 8, 2017

Doctrine of Satan

  1. Introduction.
  1. While the Word of God clearly sets forth the existence of a created being called Satan, the beliefs about Satan are nearly as numerous as the various sects and religions that advance these beliefs.
  1. Some suggest that Satan and God (and various other deities outside the Judeo-Christian heritage) are merely finite intelligent entities, with neither being omnipotent, omnipresent, etc.
  2. Some believe that Satan is not a personal, living, created being but merely a symbol for evil, or some impersonal evil force operating in this world.
  3. Many advocate the principle of dualism, which states that there are simply two opposing forces of good and evil, both of which are eternal.
  4. Others regard Satan as “the God of this world, God of our flesh, God of our mind, and God of our innermost Will, immanent in both the world and our own nature.”
  5. There are those that use the term Satanist to describe themselves as those that follow a cogent philosophy of life modeled upon the mythical literary character known as Satan, honoring his qualities, his rebellion, and applying his name to the forces of nature.
  6. Those involved in the actual worship of Lucifer do not accept the biblical revelation; instead, they teach that Lucifer, Satan, and the Devil are not the same individual.
  1. Some have suggested that Satan is merely the invention of mankind, fabricated in order to account for the sinfulness and malevolent behavior of the human race.
  2. However, references to a personal Devil are found throughout both the Old Testament and New Testament. Job 1:6ff; Zech. 3:1; Mk. 1:13; Acts 26:18; IICor. 2:11; Rev. 12:9
  3. These references to Satan cannot be explained figuratively or treated as myths without doing serious violence to historicity and veracity of the Bible.
  4. The reality is that seven Old Testament writers and all New Testament writers make reference to Him.
  5. Jesus Christ acknowledged the existence of Satan, which some have attempted to explain on the basis that it was simply the prevailing view of the religious establishment of His day.
  6. However, Jesus Christ never accomodated error by conforming to the prevailing views of His time; in fact, He did not hesitate to expose erroneous views when He encountered them. Matt. 22:29
  7. As we will document, God created Lucifer in a state of perfection; he then manufactured the first sin, became entrenched in his opposition to God and His plan, and became the ultimate source of evil in the universe.
  1. Vocabulary.
  1. !j’f’ (satan), 26X, m.noun, an adversary, one who opposes or withstands another; used as a proper name for the fallen angel Lucifer.
  2. Satana/j (Satanas), 36X, m.s.noun, like the Hebrew term means an adversary; only used of Satan in the New Testament.
  3. dia.boloj (diabolos), 37X, m.s.adj., slandering, backbiting; the term Devil is an alternate name for Satan.
  1. The creation of Satan.
  1. The timing of his creation.
  1. Satan, like all other angels, was created by God at some point in eternity past, prior to the original creation of the universe. Ezek. 28:13
  2. He, along with all the other angels, was a worshiping spectator, observing the creation of the heavens and the earth. Job 38:4-7
  1. The nature of His creation.
  1. Like all moral creatures, Lucifer was created with volition, which is clearly expressed in the statements of Isaiah 14:13-14.
  2. Like all other angels, he was created in a state of perfection, perfectly righteous and sinless in every way. Ezek. 28:15
  3. God created all the angelic hosts in a particular hierarchy; Satan was the most beautiful, intelligent, and powerful of all the angels, belonging to the cherub class. Ezek. 28:12,14
  4. In that regard, he was appointed by God to the place of highest responsibility, privilege, and honor, stationed within the very throne room of God. Ezek. 28:14
  1. His personality.
  1. Satan is not merely the personification of evil, or an evil force that somehow came into being.
  2. He is a real, personal fallen angel, manifesting the following abilities, traits, and characteristics.
  1. Volition. Isa. 14:12-14
  2. Intelligence. Ezek. 28:12
  3. Sight. Ezek. 28:17
  4. Speech. Matt. 4:3,6,9
  5. Emotion. Rev. 12:12
  6. Travel. Job 1:6-7; IPet. 5:8
  7. Schemes/strategies. IICor. 2:11; Eph. 6:11
  1. His limitations.
  1. Although he has a long history, he is not eternal. Ezek. 28:13
  2. He is not omnipresent; however, he has an army of fallen angels in his service, which allows him to rapidly gather information from every portion of the planet. Job 1:7; Eph. 6:12
  3. His extended history has allowed him to accumulate a tremendous amount of knowledge over the centuries, but he is not omniscient.
  4. He possesses great power, but he is not omnipotent; full exercise of his power is limited by God in order to protect the free function of volition. Rev. 12:8,13
  5. Therefore, he is inferior to God in every way.
  6. The Word of God clearly indicates that Stan and his kingdom of darkness have a beginning and an end. Ezek. 28:13; Rev. 20:10
  7. Although he continues to operate under the permissive will of God, his activities are limited by the very God against whom he rebelled. Job 1:12, 2:6
  1. The falls of Satan.
  1. While theologians speak of the fall of Satan as a single event, the Word of God describes a series of five falls that characterize his fallen status. Isa. 14:12
  2. Satan was created in absolute perfection, which he maintained for an unspecified period of time, serving God in sinless glory. Ezek. 28:15
  3. At an undisclosed point, he became infatuated with his beauty and dazzling appearance, which eventuated in the mental attitude sin of pride. Ezek. 28:17
  4. Although he was granted the highest place of glory and honor by God, Satan lost his perspective and came to believe that his radiant beauty made him equal to the God who created Him. Ezek. 28:17
  5. This resulted in his wisdom (Divine viewpoint) becoming corrupted, leading to the delusion that he was God’s equal and worthy of the worship that is reserved for God alone. Ezek. 28:17
  6. Following his sin of pride, Satan adopted the following manifesto that sets forth his corrupted plans and goals. Isa. 14:12-13-14
  1. I will ascend into Heaven sets forth his plan to capture the very throne room of God and use it for himself.
  2. I will raise my throne above the stars of God details his goal of exalting himself above all the other angels and demanding they worship him as king.
  3. I will sit on the mount of assembly indicates that Satan would take an exalted position on planet earth.
  4. I will ascent above the heights of the clouds explains his plan to exercise supreme rule over planet earth.
  5. I will make myself like the Most High sets forth the great delusion (the lie) that created beings can become God.
  1. It sould be apparent that these statements were spoken from a position on planet earth, where Satan apparently served God prior to his rebellion.
  2. These five I will statements each correspond to a series of falls or demotions, which begin with his loss of righteousness and end with his permanent incarceration in the lake of fire.
  1. His first fall was his fall from absolute righteousness and perfection at the time he manufactured his mental attitude sin of pride. Ezek. 28:15c
  2. His second fall involved God’s judgment and resulted in his demotion as the anointed cherub. Ezek. 28:14a
  3. These two falls occurred at an unspecified time and resulted in Satan’s expulsion from planet earth and judgment on the earth by virtue of association. Gen. 1:2 cf. Isa. 45:18
  4. His third fall will come at the middle of Daniel’s 70th week when Michael will instigate an attack on Satan and banish him from Heaven. Rev. 12:7-9
  5. His fourth fall will occur just after the Second Advent when a powerful angel will bind Satan and lock him in the abyss. Rev. 20:1-3
  6. His fifth and final fall will occur at the end of the Millennium when he will be permanently confined to the lake of fire. Rev. 20:10
  1. Any suggestion that Satan somehow occupies an exalted position of rulership in the lake of fire is erroneous; he will become the most despised and abased of all creatures for eternity. Isa. 14:9-11, 15-17
  1. Satan’s current legal status.
  1. After instigating his open revolt against God, one-third of the angels accepted Satan’s viewpoint and joined him in his rebellion. Rev. 12:4
  2. Satan’s domain at that time was planet earth, where he exercised authority over a paradise or exotic garden of minerals, which he used to enhance his own glory. Ezek. 28:13-14
  3. All those that accepted his viewpoint were judged along with him, as was his base of operations; this resulted in the earth becoming a frozen, uninhabitable wasteland. Gen. 1:2
  4. The Eternal Judge condemned their actions and pronounced a guilty verdict, sentencing them to an eternal future in the lake of fire. Matt.25:41
  5. What is quite clear from the Word of God is that the sentence that was passed has not been carried out; Satan is still free and operating in the angelic conflict. Job 1:6-7; IPet. 5:8
  6. When one considers the fact that judgment has been passed and a sentence decreed but not executed, it becomes apparent that an appeal has been lodged.
  7. Satan’s appeal no doubt has a number of facets, beginning with the qualifications of the Judge, His impartiality, and His personal involvement in the case.
  8. His attack on the qualifications of the Judge would involve an attack on His very essence.
  1. Satan could attack the attribute of righteousness by claiming that God had created him evil in the first place; thus, God is the author of evil and Satan is not responsible.
  2. He could attack the attribute of love based on the harsh and everlasting nature of the sentence.
  3. Satan could attack the attribute of sovereignty by suggesting that no one, especially him, actually had free will; this argument suggests that his sin was not his fault and he is not responsible for his volitional decision.
  4. Obviously, Satan would want to attack the veracity of God by suggesting that His testimony in the case was incorrect.
  5. He might even attempt to attack omniscience by suggesting that God knew in advance about his sin and did nothing to prevent it, which would also be an attack on righteousness.
  1. His attack on God’s impartiality and personal involvement would again attack the attribute of veracity, suggesting that God must want to save face and cannot admit that this is all His fault.
  2. Therefore, God has answered the appeal of Satan by allowing 7000 years of human history; this permits each side to present witnesses and document the truth of their contentions.
  3. During the time, Satan has reasserted his right to rule planet earth by attacking the new human inhabitants, deceiving them, engineering the fall, and taking control of the world once again. Gen. 3; Lk. 4:5-6
  4. Currently, he rules over the kingdom of demons and over negative, unregenerate humanity as he seeks to prove God wrong. Jn. 8:44; IICor. 4:3-4; IJn. 5:19
  1. The strategies of Satan.
  1. Toward Jesus Christ.
  1. Satan sought to prevent the appearance of the Messiah in human history by attacking the promised seed of the woman. Gen. 3:15
  1. His first attempt was sponsoring the murder of the believer Abel by his brother Cain. Gen. 4:1ff; IJn. 3:12
  2. The next major attempt to thwart the appearance of Messiah occurred with the demonic infiltration of the human race, as he attempted to destroy true humanity. Gen. 6:1ff
  3. Satan attempted to destroy the seed of Abraham through the Egyptian bondage and genocide. Ex. 1:11,15ff
  4. He attempted to destroy the Jewish race through the conspiracy of Haman. Est. 3:6ff
  5. Satan attempted to murder the newly born Messiah when Herod ordered the slaughter of the infants. Matt. 2:16-18
  6. In each case, it should be apparent that Satan uses demons and evil men under their sin natures to do his will and prevent the Messiah from fulfilling His mission.
  1. During the incarnation, Satan’s temptations were directed toward the Messiah personally in order to get Christ to sin and defeat His mission as the Lamb of God. Matt. 4:1-11
  1. The first temptation was designed to get Jesus to use His deity to provide living grace for His humanity in a way that violated God’s plan for Messiah.
  2. The second temptation was designed to tempt Him to misapply a promise of Scripture in order to gain the approbation and following of the Jews.
  3. The third temptation was designed to induce Christ to bypass the cross (the purpose of the First Advent) by accepting a promotion from Satan and regaining control of the world apart from the Father’s plan.
  1. Satan also attempted to frustrate the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies respecting the how, when, and where of the death of Jesus. Lk. 4:28-29; Jn. 5:18, 10:31-39
  2. In general, Satan sought to cause Jesus to commit sin by tempting Him in every possible way. Heb. 2:17-18, 4:15
  3. During Daniel’s 70th week, Satan will actively oppose Christ and fight against Him through the person of the Antichrist. Rev. 19:19
  4. Following the Millennium, Satan will instigate one final revolt against the Son of God by means of an international conspiracy. Rev. 20:7-9
  1. Toward believers.
  1. In Heaven, Satan accuses believers before God (Zech. 3:1; Rev. 12:9-10) and seeks permission from God to afflict believers. Job 1:6-11; Lk. 22:31-33
  2. On earth, Satan:
  1. Seeks to frustrate the intake and application of doctrine (MPR) through persecution, worry about everyday life, or by convincing the believer to pursue wealth or the details of life. Mk 4:16-19; ITim. 6:9-10
  2. Seeks to plant or encourage the root of bitterness by working on believers to retain their anger and malice and refuse to forgive others. IICor. 2:10-11; Eph. 4:26-27; Heb. 12:14-15
  3. Seeks to get believers to maladjust to their niches by means of various factors, including boredom, discouragement, depression, or the frantic search for happiness. ITim. 5:11-15
  4. Seeks to entrap the believer in the same sin of pride/arrogance to which he succumbed. Prov. 8:13; Jere. 49:16; ITim. 3:6
  5. Works on communicators (as well as other believers) to forfeit their witness toward those outside the plan of God. ITim. 3:7
  6. Seeks to get believers to reject, contradict, or rationalize certain doctrines, which they find unpleasant, or with which they may not agree. Mk. 8:33; IITim. 2:25-26
  7. Seeks to attack the sexual aspect of RM/RW in order to destroy marriages through infidelity. ICor. 7:5
  8. Is sometimes allowed by God to administer severe discipline on errant believers, up to and including the sin unto death. ICor. 5:5; ITim. 1:20
  1. Toward unbelievers.
  1. His primary work toward unbelievers consists of his attempts to blind men to the spiritual realities of the plan of God and specifically toward the gospel. IICor. 4:3-4, cf. Mk. 4:15
  2. He employs his demons to control men through actual possession and/or demonic oppression. Lk. 13:16, 22:3; Acts 10:38
  3. Satan employs religion (various apostate systems) and his perverted system of doctrine to deceive believers and unbelievers alike. Eph. 4:14; Rev. 17:1-2
  4. He deceives unbelievers on a national and international level by the following means.
  1. He sponsors internationalism in opposition to God’s plan of nationalism. Gen. 11:1ff; Acts 17:26; Rev. 13:2-8
  2. He continues his attacks toward the Jews by promoting international anti-Semitism. Isa. 47:6; Jer. 50:11,33; Rev. 12:13-15
  3. Satan encourages international military aggression. Isa. 2:4; Rev. 20:7-8
  1. Toward the Church.
  1. Satan would first love to persecute the Church to the point of annihilation. Rev. 2:8-11
  2. However, since the permissive will of God will not allow that, he has a number of other strategies that have proven quite effective over the centuries.
  3. His first method involves planting unbelievers among believers in a local church in order to infiltrate the church and destroy it from within. Matt. 13:24-30, 37ff
  4. He attacks the church from within by means of false teachers (who may have been orthodox at one time) using the angel of light approach. IICor. 11:14; IIPet. 2:1-3,18
  5. In that regard, Satan has an army of false apostles, ministers, teachers, and prophets, which is composed of unbelievers and reversionistic believers. Acts 20:27-31; Gal. 1:8-9; IJn. 4:1
  6. These negative teachers propagate a false gospel and an entire system of false doctrine, which is riddled with various errors and in conflict with the system of sound doctrine. Gal. 1:6-7; ITim. 4:1-3; Rev. 2:24
  7. Throughout history Satan has fought the plan of God via the mother/son cult, which began at Babel and will culminate in the ecumenical super-church. Rev. 17
  8. He has promoted false Christs through the ages, which will eventually culminate in the appearance of the Antichrist. Matt. 24:24; IIThess. 2:3-4,8-12; Rev. 13
  9. Satan has been so successful that the last days is declared to be a time in which the world and the church is saturated with evil, false teachers, and false doctrine. IITim. 3:5-8; II Pet. 2; IJn. 2:18-19; Jude
  1. Satan’s destiny.
  1. The plan and policy of evil that Satan has sponsored throughout history will continue to gain momentum among those that are negative (believers and especially unbelievers), culminating in a time of unprecedented evil in the last days. IITim. 3:1-5
  2. His plan will center finally in the Antichrist, who will take Satan’s evil and apostasy to new heights during Daniel’s 70th week. IIThess. 2:3ff
  3. At the middle of Daniel’s 70th week, Michael will instigate open war against Satan and will forcibly eject Satan and his demons from the third Heaven. Rev. 12:7-12
  4. Following his confinement to planet earth, Satan will personally possess the Antichrist, receiving the worship of mankind during the last half of Daniel’s 70th week. Rev. 13:4-8,15
  5. He will embark on a campaign of unparalleled anti-Semitism, which will be designed to destroy the Jews completely. Rev. 12:13-17
  6. At the Second Advent, Satan will abandon the Antichrist, who will himself be cast into the lake of fire. Rev. 19:20
  7. However, he will be quickly apprehended, bound, and placed in the prison house of the abyss where he will remain for the duration of the Millennium. Rev. 20:1-3
  8. Following the Millennium, Satan will be released by divine necessity and will immediately demonstrate his incorrigible negative volition by instigating a global rebellion against the perfect government of Christ. Rev. 20:7-8
  9. The rebellion will be summarily put down, and Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, which had been prepared for him. Rev. 20:10
  10. In that place he will experience an everlasting torment, as he will find himself to be the most debased of all God’s creatures. Isa. 14:9-11,15-17; Rev. 20:10
  1. Names and titles of Satan.
  1. Each one of the names applied to Satan is designed to provide insight into some aspect of his character or activities.
  2. Pre-fall titles of Satan.
  1. rx;v’-!B, lleyhe (heylel ben shachar), the shining one, son of the dawn. Isa. 14:12
  1. The first term denotes the splendor and glory that was characteristic of Satan in his original state.
  2. The second term refers to that which is characterized by dawn, the breaking forth of light.
  3. These two terms were translated by Jerome in Latin as Lucifer, the one that bears or carries light.
  1. The anointed cherub who covers. This title refers to the class of angel and the fact that he was selected by God for the most exalted position. Ezek. 28:14
  1. Post-fall titles of Satan.
  1. Satan. Both the Hebrew and Greek terms refer to one that takes an adversarial position, the ultimate adversary of God and man. Job. 1:6; Rev. 12:9
  2. The Devil. This term denotes one that slanders or accuses falsely; Satan spends his time maligning God, His plan, and His people. Rev. 12:9-10
  3. The evil one. Satan is the original source of all evil; this becomes the title and policy of his plan. Matt. 13:19,38; Jn. 17:15; Eph. 6:16
  4. The serpent. This term refers to his deadly and cunning nature, which can be masked by a beautiful façade. IICor. 11:3; Rev. 12:9,14,15
  5. The dragon. The exceedingly dangerous but unseen monster, who operates within the sea of humanity. Rev. 12:3-4, 13:2
  6. Leviathan. This term refers to a large, dangerous creature that dwells in the water and is used of Satan. Isa. 27:1
  7. Belial/Beliar. This term literally means lord of the forest, but comes to denote that which is worthless. IICor. 6:15
  8. Beelzebul. This word literally means lord of the flies, and is used of Satan as the ruler over the demons. Matt. 12:24,27
  9. Ruler/god of this world. These terms denote the primary extent of his kingdom, which rules over the world of negative volition. Jn. 12:31, 16:11; IICor. 4:4
  10. Prince of the power of the air. This phrase indicates that the primary area he seeks to control is immediately around planet earth. Eph. 2:2
  1. The following are other terms or phrases used to describe Satan or his methods of operation.
  1. The tempter. This focuses on the reality that he is one source of direct temptation, as he actively solicits men to evil. Matt. 4:3; IThess. 3:5
  2. The strong man. This phrase recognizes his power over mankind. Matt. 12:29
  3. The enemy. In the parable of the wheat and tares, he is identified as the enemy of God, who seeks to infiltrate God’s people with counterfeit believers. Matt. 13:25,28
  4. Your father. This term denotes the fact that unbelievers are part of Satan’s family, functioning according the family characteristics. Jn. 8:44
  5. A murderer. This focuses on his spiritual murder of Adam, as he manifests overtly that mental attitude of hatred for God and man. Jn. 8:44
  6. A liar and the father of the lie. These terms reveal the method by which Satan operates, as he seeks to deceive mankind. Jn. 8:44
  7. The spirit now working in the sons of disobedience. Satan is a spirit, and is actively at work among negative unbelievers. Eph. 2:2
  8. The adversary. This term refers to one that is a legal opponent, one that is constantly hostile toward another. IPet. 5:8
  9. The deceiver. This term denotes one that actively seeks to cause another to stray from that which is right, one who misleads, one who deludes. Rev. 12:9
  10. The accuser. This is another forensic term that focuses on Satan’s tireless activity of attacking and accusing believers before God. Rev. 12:10
  1. Some approaches that Satan employs to accomplish his ends.
  1. The angel of light approach indicates that the prince of darkness and lies disguises himself as good, kind, and benevolent in order to deceive the unsuspecting. IICor. 11:14
  2. The roaring lion refers to Satan’s tactics of intimidation, causing those that are under attack to succumb to fear. IPet. 5:8
  3. His primary method of attack is through lies and deception, by which he desires to ensnare the unwary.
  1. In that regard, he has an entire host of demons at his command, who have foisted their thinking on those that were not fastidious with respect to the truth of doctrine. ITim. 4:1ff
  2. He has an army of false apostles, teachers, and unbelievers in the ministry that advance his evil toward the unsuspecting. IICor. 11:13-15; IIPet. 2:1-3; IJn. 4:1
  3. Often their teaching is filled with portions of the truth interspersed with various forms of evil, which leaves the entire product as poison.
  4. The protection from these attacks is positive volition, reprogramming the brain computer with the realities of the Divine viewpoint, and consistent discernement. Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:22-24
  5. Those that are not diligent with respect to this will become Satan’s prey, a prisoner of war that becomes a tool of the enemy. IITim. 2:25-26
  1. Conclusions.
  1. Satan was created by God in a state of sinless perfection, exalted to the highest position in God’s plan, and endowed with great authority and glory.
  2. He forfeited this position through his own negative volition, manufacturing the first sin by becoming infatuated with his magnificent appearance.
  3. His rejection of the God who created him in favor of his own arrogance and self-will led to God’s righteous judgment, his condemnation, and sentence to the lake of fire.
  4. At this time, the sentence has not been executed; Satan is free on appeal.
  5. Human history is the extension of time that God has allowed to answer the appeal of Satan and resolve the issues raised by his rebellion.
  6. Although God allows Satan to continue on his chosen course, time will demonstrate conclusively that Satan’s thinking is bankrupt, His actions are depraved, and that God’s sentence is fair, right, loving, and just.
  7. The existence of Satan and the evil he employs only serve to allow God’s attributes to be seen more clearly by contrast; further, God’s qualities of grace, patience, and mercy are manifested in ways they would not be in a perfect universe.
  8. Satan is a finite creature, whose kingdom is limited to the negative angels and humans that choose to follow him; his kingdom will ultimately be overcome and eliminated from history.
  9. He will be consigend to the powest position in the lake of fir for all eternity, and tormented day and night forever and ever as the just penalty for his actions.
  10. Those that accept his viewpoint, reject the grace of God, and manifest negative volition will ultimately share in his eternal destiny.