Sunday, September 23, 2012

Back to Basics: Who is Satan?

Satan is real.

He was God's covering cherub, the highest of the high, and the most beautiful. (Ezekiel 28:14-17). This means he is an angel and therefore a created being under God's sovereignty. The eternal clash between good and evil is not one of equal opposites, but one of rebellion of a created being against an uncreated, holy God. (Isaiah 14:13-14)

We hear satan's actual voice three times in the bible. Once in Genesis 3:1-5 when he is talking with Eve in the Garden of Eden. There, he insinuated to Eve that God is not good enough to her by not letting her have all the fruit of the Garden. The second time we hear him speak, it's in heaven to God about Job. (Job 1:7-11). There, he told God that God was being too good to Job. The third time is when satan tempts Jesus. (Luke 4:1-12). In that scene, he used several the schemes in his arsenal (temptation of the body, temptation of power, temptation of testing God) and when he failed, he went away until another opportune time. (Luke 4:13).

These scenes tell us that satan has many schemes in his bag of tricks, he is not hesitant to use them against people, or Jesus or even GOD, and that he never quits.

Satan is mentioned in the Gospels twenty-nine times. And twenty-five of those times, Jesus is the one talking about Satan. Satan is mentioned in seven Old Testament books and every New Testament book.

Satan is a real person. He is not allegory, a metaphor or a figment. If you believe he is an allegory or figment or just an evil force, then you destroy the integrity and truthfulness of every NT book, each Gospel, a quarter of the Old Testament, and the character of Jesus. It is not possible to disbelieve satan is real but also believe the rest of the bible is truthful, historical, prophetic, and the word of God.

Satan is not in hell. He is not the ruler of hell. So where is he? He is roaming up and down upon the earth. (Job 1:7, Job 2:2; 1 Peter 5:8). Satan is the prince of the air. (Ephesians 2:2). Satan is in heaven accusing the brethren. (Revelation 12:10; Job 1:6). God has granted limited and temporary sovereignty to satan, for he is the god of this world. (2 Corinthians 4:4). From this we see that satan has been granted much latitude by God on earth, the air and in heaven.

Satan is busy! He is accusing the brethren, roaming the earth, fighting the holy angels, sowing tares among the wheat, polluting the doctrine. He is wreaking devastation and destruction. (John 10:10). And much more!

What is satan's destiny? When satan rebelled in the primordial past, God prepared hell for satan and his angels. (Matthew 25:41). There will be no offer to repent and no opportunity to come to salvation. The devil and his angels' futures are fixed. (John 16:11). Meanwhile, God uses their evil for His good and glory.

During the time since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden, satan has been allowed latitude in each of the three spheres of earth, air and heaven. However, midway through the Tribulation, he will be thrown out of heaven and access will no longer be granted to him or his angels. Perhaps satan thought he would be able to go on like this forever. God's patience is longsuffering, but it does have an end, and satan gets tossed. He and his angels will be furious and will wreak that fury on the population of the earth. Woe to them! (Revelation 12:7-17).

At the conclusion of the Tribulation, satan will be thrown into the abyss and locked up for 1000 years. When 1000 years is over, he will be let out for a little while to foment one last, short, rebellion. (Revelation 20:3; 8). After that time he will be thrown into the lake of fire, the place prepared for him in the primordial past. His angels will be thrown there too, (Revelation 20:10) along with every person who followed him. (Revelation 20:15).

To all the precious brethren, fighting and strong or struggling and weak: he who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. We need not fear satan, but we do need to appreciate his capabilities and thus rely on the Holy Spirit more than ever. And to the lost: make no mistake, satan is real.

Rob Bell casts aspersions on the Holy Word. In his infamous book, "Love Wins", Bell wrote about hell and by definition, satan,

"‘A staggering number of people have been taught that a few select Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spends forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything better. It’s been clearly communicated to many that this belief is a central truth of the Christian faith and to reject it is, in essence, to reject Jesus. This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus’ message of love, peace, forgiveness, and joy that our world desperately needs to hear.’ "

Oh, woe to those who disbelieve Jesus's words about future judgment for sin and His word to John in Revelation about the Book of Life. If your name is not written in it, you will be thrown into the Lake of Fire to be tormented forever.

Mr Bell believes love wins: and he is right, it does. Look at the cross! God's love of humanity- expressed through Jesus-  triumphed over evil and sin and death! (Colossians 2:13-15). However, Mr Bell believes love and holiness are mutually exclusive. They are not. Holiness wins too. (John 9:39). All one needs to do is look at the lake of fire- the place prepared for the devil and his angels, and all those who follow satan. (Matthew 12:30-32). Unless you believe in Jesus, you are actually following satan by default. When you die, you will follow satan right into the Lake of Fire.

Now for some encouragement to the brethren:

"Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)

"Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out." (John 12:31).

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Thanks be to God for Jesus!

Those are a few facts about satan. As always, read the word for yourselves to see if these things are true.

2 comments:

  1. Why does God give the devil another opportunity to destroy things and to ruin people? I mean after those 1000 years. God does not tempt us but when He frees the devil for a short time it is sort of the same. What is the point of this?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Good question. It would seem by then that enough is enough!

      In the Millennium Kingdom on earth, which Jesus institutes after the Tribulation, people enter the kingdom alive. Though the Tribulation is terrible, the worst time ever, there are some believers who make it through alive.

      These people are given entry into the kingdom and they repopulate the earth. Their children have children, etc, and soon the world is full again of people doing what people do. They are not glorified so...they are sinners.

      Now, it is a time of peace and prosperity because Jesus personally rules (with a rod of iron, Rev 2:27). However, at the end of the 1000 years, He allows satan to emerge once again. His brand of evil and poison will draw out those who SEEMED to be peaceful believers, and they will join with satan.

      Though the bible doesn't specifically say, so my guess is just that, but at root it is because God magnifies His holy name. Having just personally ruled in the flesh, on earth, the last battle may be to show that no matter what, the sin nature wins out. See, those born-into-the-millennium people have not been judged yet.

      There will always be some who reject Jesus. The battle at the end of the 1000 years shows us this. Those who had joined satan are judged at the final judgment (Great White Throne, Revelation 20:11-15) along with everyone else who ever lived. In effect, God is giving them *their* choice to worship him or accept evil. Sadly so many side with satan, that "In number they are like the sand on the seashore." Rev 20:8)

      So humans sinned in the perfect, sinless earth (Adam and Eve) they sinned with God on earth (Age of Law) they sinned with Jesus on earth, (the incarnation) they sinned with the Spirit on earth dwelling in believers, (Age of Grace) they sinned once again in the Millennium...God is showing us how holy he is and how hopeless we are in our sin-nature.

      Here is a scholar answering your question
      "Why is God going to release Satan after the 1000 years?"
      http://www.gotquestions.org/release-Satan.html

      thanks for asking.

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