2/3 of Americans do not believe in the devil as a living entity. • If we do not know what we are up against in our Christian lives, we are in serious trouble.
God is uniquely eternal. • “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut 33:27). • “Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy” (Is 57:15 ). • No similar claims are made for any other being in all of Scripture.
God created all that is. • “Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee” (Neh 9:6). • “By [Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Col 1:16).
God is too holy to have anything to do with evil. • “The Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness” (Is 5:16). • “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (Js 1:13-14). • “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 Jn 1:5).
Where did sin and evil originate? • Scripture does not tell us. • My opinion is that evil in the abstract has always existed, and any moral creature God made—whether man or angel—was capable of evil.
We know that some angels fell. • “The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6). • “If God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” (2 Pet 2:4). • Angels need to obey God’s will. • “Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure” (Ps 103:20-21).
Some People Have Applied Texts to Satan’s Fall Which Really Don’t Fit
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” (Is 14:12-13). • “Lucifer” only occurs here and means “light-bearer” in Latin. • But, verse 4: “That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!” • Verse 16: “They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms”
Ezekiel 28:13-19. • That sounds that we’d expect to read about Satan. • Verse 12: “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him….” • Might be that God is “mixing” metaphors here. • It could be that Satan is so closely connected with the kings of Babylon and Tyre that what applies to one applies to the other.
“Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Tim 3:6). • What does “the condemnation of the devil” mean?
Two New Testament Texts Could Refer to the Original Casting out of Satan from Heaven, but They probably Don’t.
“I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18). • If you notice the context carefully, I think you’ll see that Jesus is referring to the spiritual battle taking place in his day. • This is what I think Jesus means here: Demon-possession was a last-ditch effort on Satan’s part to undo God’s work, but Jesus gave His apostles the authority to overcome, they did overcome, and Satan lost his bid to overcome God.
Revelation 12:7-9. • If you look at the context carefully, I think you’ll see that this refers to the great battle between God and Satan that surrounded Christ’s birth.
Satan had some authority over the other angels. • “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph 2:2). • Satan wanted to have a seat of prestige and honor. • Satan, the probable ringleader of the rebellious angels, was cast from heaven when the other angels, when they rebelled against God’s kingship.
Satan now roams this earth seeking to turn man from God. • “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet 5:8). • That’s what we must know about the devil. • “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). • Are you submitting yourself to God?