(Lesson 07 on Bible Doctrines)
"No individual can be victorious against the adversary of our souls unless he understands that adversary; unless he understands his philosophy, his methods of operation, his methods of temptation. We hear very little today about Satan, and consequently many who recognize Satanís existence and acknowledge that he is the enemy of their souls are ill-prepared to meet him" Ė J. Dwight Pentecost, Your Adversary the Devil.
- THE ORIGIN OF SATAN
- Many people consider Satan nothing more than the personification of evil; they do not consider him a real being. "If one accepts the Scriptures as revelation from God, rather than merely a record of manís thoughts about God, then the reality of Satan cannot be denied. Satan did not evolve as a personal being; he existed and acted from the earliest to the last books of Godís revelation. Seven books of the Old Testament teach his reality (Genesis, I Chronicles, Job, Psalms, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah). Every writer of the New Testament affirms Satanís existence and activity" Ė Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology.
- Satan is a person, that is, he is said to possess the traits of personality.
- He is intelligent (II Cor.11:3).
- He exhibits emotions.
- Anger (Rev.12:17).
- Desire (Luke 22:31).
- He has a will (Isa.14:12-15; II Tim.2:26).
- Satan was created by the Lord Jesus Christ (Ezek.28:15; cf. Col.1:16).
- Satan was "the anointed cherub" (Ezek.28:12-19).
- Satan tempted Eve in the form of a serpent (Gen.3:1-5,14,15; II Cor.11:3; Rev.12:9).
- Satan can transform himself into "an angel of light" (II Cor.11:14,15).
- Satan fell because of his pride (Isa.14:12-15; I Tim.3:6).
- THE WHEREABOUTS OF SATAN
- He has access to God (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7; Rev.12:9,10).
- He is capable of ruining believers (Luke 22:31; I Cor.5:5; 7:5; I Tim.5:15).
- He is actively waging warfare against Christians (Acts 5:3; Eph.6:11,12; I Thess.2:18).
- Some erroneously teach that Satan was "bound" at the cross. This is not taught in the Bible. If he is bound, he has a very long chain (cf. I Peter 5:8).
- He will be bound for a thousand years when Christ returns to set up his kingdom (Rev.20:2). But this is yet future.
- Satan controls this world (Luke 4:1-13; John 14:30; Acts 26:18; II Cor.4:4; Rev.2:10).
- Satan controls the lost (John 8:44; 13:2; Eph.2:2; I John 5:19), and even "entered into" Judas Iscariot (Luke 22:3).
- Satan tries to prevent people from getting saved (Luke 8:12; Acts 13:6-11).
- THE POWER OF SATAN
- He was judged at the cross (John 12:31; 16:11; Col.2:15).
- However, he still retains his power, but his power and authority are exercised only within the permissive will of God (James 4:7; I John 4:4).
- Our Lord did not deny that Satan had power over all the kingdoms of this world (Matt.4:8-11).
- Satan is said to have "weakened the nations" (Isa.14:12).
- Satan uses his demons to assist him in governing the world (cf. Dan.10:5-15).
- Michael the archangel would not bring a railing accusation against the devil, but said: "The Lord rebuke thee" (Jude 9).
- Satan is not omniscient or omnipresent (only God has these attributes), but is aided by a host of demons working throughout the world.
- Satanís unclean spirits have incredible strength (Mark 5:1-4), can cause insanity (Mark 5:5), and are great in number (Mark 5:9).
- During the coming tribulation, the antichrist will receive his power and authority from Satan (cf. II Thess.2:9; Rev.13:4).
- NOTE: Some erroneously teach (e.g. Harold Camping) that the antichrist and Satan are one and the same. The Bible does not teach this. According to the Bible, Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet are three distinct persons (cf. Rev.16:13; 20:10).
- We will study about the antichrist when we get to our lessons on eschatology.
- NAMES OF SATAN
- Satan means "adversary." Sometimes the Hebrew word satan could refer to a human or angelic adversary (Num.22:22; I Sam.29:4; I Kings 5:4; 11:14,23,25).
- Devil means "slanderer." The Greek word is diabolos, from whence we get our English word "diabolical. "Slanderers" in I Tim.3:11 and "devil" in Matt.4:1-11; 13:39; (etc.) are all the same word.
- He is also called "Lucifer, son of the morning" (Isa.14:12); "the tempter" (I Thess.3:5); "the god of this world" (II Cor.4:4); the "evil one" (John 17:15); "the great dragon" and "that old serpent" (Rev.12:9; 20:2); "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph.2:2); Beelzebub, the prince of the devils (Matt.12:24), and "the chief of the devils" (Luke 11:15); Belial (II Cor.6:15); "the angel of the bottomless pit" Ė Abaddon (Hebrew) or Apollyon (Greek), literally "the destroyer" (Rev.9:1-11).
- THE DESTINY OF SATAN
He will be cast out of heaven (Luke 10:18; Rev.12:7-12); bound for a thousand years and then loosed for a little season (Rev.20:1-3,7); and finally cast into the lake of fire to be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Rev.20:10).
Pastor James Barker