2003-05-31 - Angels:Satan

The Doctrine of Angels ~ Part 4

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He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8)

In his opening to his book Your Adversary, the Devil, Dwight Pentecost notes:

“No military commander could expect to be victorious in battle unless he understood his enemy. Should he prepare for an attack by land and ignore the possibility that the enemy might approach by air or by sea, he would open the way to defeat. Or should he prepare for a land and sea attack and ignore the possibility of an attack through the air, he would certainly jeopardize the campaign.… If we are going to be victorious in the warfare into which we were thrust the moment we accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour, we need to understand that large body of Scripture that reveals to us the person and the work of the one with whom we are at war.” 1

In this study, we will look at “Satan.” As with all of these studies, they are more in the nature of surveys or introductions to the subjects, as opposed to in-depth examinations.

As noted last time, my primary source for this series is Through the Bible in One Year.2 Other books you might want to refer to include Harold Lindsell’s The World, The Flesh, & The Devil, and Donald Grey Barnhouse’s, The Invisible War.

  1. Introduction

    Here I am going to quote from Stringfellow’s own introduction:

    “The subject of Satan and the fallen angels appears prominently in Scripture. The Scriptures reveal Satan and his angels as a personal, corruptive and evil force in the affairs of man.

    Satan and the fallen angels should be studied as one subject because they were one in their rejection of God. If Satan had never become Satan, there would have been no fallen angels (demons). This sinister force is revealed to us progressively in Scripture, becoming more numerous and more defined as the prophecies of Christ are given—and as He appears as the Incarnate Christ. The battle between Christ and Satan started back in Genesis 3:15 and continues to this day.” 3

    Even today, among many who would call themselves Christians or Jews, there is no belief in an entity called Satan. They would simply say he is the symbol of evil and a “mythical” figure. This, of course, is one of Satan’s greatest strengths, the disbelief in his very existence, and another being assigned more power than he actually has. So let us move on.

    1. Pentecost, J. Dwight, Your Adversary The Devil, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1969, p. 9.
    2. Stringfellow, Alan B., ed., Through the Bible in One Year, Vol. 3, Great Truths of the Bible, Copyright © 1981 by Virgil W. Hensley, Inc., Publisher, Tulsa, OK, p. 73-91.
    3. Ibid, p. 81.

  2. The Origin of Satan

    Satan stands unique among the created beings. As we noted last week, the angels were God’s creation, prior to the creation of mankind. And Satan was certainly created as part of that august body.

    1. The Creation of Satan

      In fact we are told he was the greatest of all the angelic beings.

      It was for this reason he was named Lucifer, son of the morning, meaning “day star, light-bearer.”

      “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you” (Ezekiel 28:19).
      “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12).

    2. The Lucifer Before His Fall

      Since Lucifer was the greatest of angels, it is obvious at one time he was unfallen. We read in Ezekiel of his pre-fallen state.

      Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God. Every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created, they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways, from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you’” (Ezekiel 28:12-15).

      As we can see from this passage, Lucifer was perfect until the day he fell. We are told he overlooked the throne of God as one of the cherubs. Pentecost notes:

      “Lucifer was first of all, the wisest of all of God’s created beings. God had established him as administrator of the affairs of the angelic realm. Although all authority resided in the throne of God, He had delegated certain administrative authorities to Lucifer. God had prepared him, by creation, for the discharge of those functions.

      … (Lucifer) was one of the cherubs that could look upon the throne of God and could voice praise and thanksgiving, adoration and worship to God because He was a holy God. Now if we were to try to assign positions to the different orders of angels, we would conclude that the cherubim who could stand and look Godward, or minister throneward, occupied the highest position of all, and had the greatest privilege of any created being. It was over such a privileged class of angels that Lucifer was placed in authority by Divine appointment.” 4

      When we take this into consideration, we realize how sad it is that Lucifer made the choices he did, how much he lost, and why he is so twisted, with only destruction on his mind.

      1. Pentecost, p. 12 & 15.

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CFD | May 2003 | Geoff's Devotions | Geoff's Studies | Angels Study | Devotional Topics