The Doctrine of Satan
In matters concerning the Biblical doctrine of Satan, it is foremost important to understand the nature and power of the created being we are dealing with and, only through the light given man by the word of God, can we see into this darkness and perceive how great that darkness really is. The Bible tells us Satan is a deceiver (Revelation 20:10) and his pattern of deception is pathological and unchanging across time (Genesis 3:1). The word of God says he is a murderer (John 8:4), a manipulator (Genesis 3:13, 1 Chronicles 21:1, Acts 5:3), and man’s mortal enemy. This creature’s spirit constantly slanders man before God (Job 2:3) and the Son of God before man (John 8:52).
The mantra “Yea, hath God said” is an unceasing whisper out of the darkness. Since Satan cannot destroy God’s word (Psalms 12:6-7), he attacks it using unwitting men to dilute it, subtract from it, add to it, modify it or otherwise destroy it though a copious trail of obscure manuscripts and flawed translations. This creature’s work is subtle, changing a word here, another there, which like leaven permeates a ‘better translation’ with gas pockets and voids (Exodus 34:25, Mathew 16:6, Gelatins 5:9), and all under the guise of providing ‘clarity’ and ‘accuracy’ to man’s understanding. This is why the infallibility of the King James Bible is such a third-rail issue within our Churches. The issue is unbelief in God's ability to preserve His word without error and where that preserved word is available today.
In the on-going and unending debates of Science vs. Scripture, he plays both ends against the middle. For example, into the ear of a sincere and devoted scientist he may whisper something to this effect:
“There is no God and only through your superior human intellect will truth be found. The Bible is a collection of fables and myths that only morons would embrace.”
Into the ears of a devoted Gospel Minister he may whisper:
“The scientists and their radiometric dating systems are deceived by the Devil and they are the enemies of the Gospel. Your Bible clearly says God created the heaven and Earth only 6,000 years ago. They are all liars.”
And through his game of deception and spiritual politics, he beguiles the seekers of truth by distorting truth, proffering half-truths and appealing to men’s emotions, fears and prejudices. Through this duplicitous methodology he covers his footprints and seeks to hide in the recesses of darkness, lest the glorious light of God’s Truth reveal his true workings and totality of malignant nature. Only through the laser-beam of God’s penetrating illumination and the microscope of God’s word can we clearly see the ‘Devil in the details’ growing inside the bottom of the Petri-Dish.
The Origin of Satan
The Bible says that God created the heaven and the Earth (Genesis 1:1) and the Bible says that, not long after, the Devil’s true nature emerged:
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
(John 8:44 KJV)
The actual time of “the beginning” is a subject of much debate in both theological and geological schools of discipline, but when carefully discerned through consideration of the Bible’s Doctrine of SIN and consequences of DEATH, and compared against the fossil evidence of death found in Earth’s DEEP-TIME (currently standing at 3.8 billion years ago) and the observations of entropy and chaotic physical nature (currently extending to 4.55 billion years ago), we can determine through faith and the Spirit of Truth that Satan’s rebellion against God occurred in great antiquity. After all, God would not have initially created a heaven and Earth with entropy and death as a core component of Divine design or function.
Those that would lightly dismiss the antiquity and authenticity of the above uranium-lead isotope derived dates, because of their distrust of the scientific-method, must remember that the Lord Jesus Christ created the heaven and the Earth (1 Corinthians 8:6). And within all physical things created, the Lord God provided the means and methodology by which man can seek out and discover the workings of nature (Ecclesiastes 1:3). Although we may not be able to determine with certainty the exact time of Lucifer’s (Satan’s) rebellion in Earth’s natural history, we can know with much certainty many of the specifics of what transpired, where on the Earth’s surface it transpired and, to a limited degree, the natural conditions of the time. These things are revealed in detail by the Spirit of Truth in the writings of Job 38:4-11, Isaiah 14:12-16 and Ezekiel 28:13-17 in the King James Bible.
Satan, like the Angels, was a created being with free-will. Unlike the Angels (the 'sons of God' - which have no wings), he is a winged creature in the class known as Cherubim:
"Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee."
(Ezekiel 28:14-15 KJV)
The fact that he is said to be ‘anointed’ suggests that he was appointed by God to be a minister over God’s creation (‘covereth’). That he had a bodily covering of nine (9) crystal minerals and the element gold (Ezekiel 28:13), similar in type (not number) to Aaron’s breastplate (see Exodus 28), suggests he was some form of high-priest-like steward over the physical creation. The mention of ‘pipes’ and ‘tabrets’ (Ezekiel 28:14) are suggestive of music generation and, by extension, the leadership of worship service.
The place on the face of the planet Earth where this setting unfolded, on the “the holy mountain of God”, is the same land area where the current city of Jerusalem sits (Isaiah 2:3, Micah 4:2). At that time, it was called the "Eden the garden of God" (Ezekiel 28:13). The word ‘garden’ suggests there was vegetation (and probably fauna) on the face of the creation even way back then. And we know from Job 38:4-11 there was abundant water, as well. Although no fossil traces of vegetation or other life have been found in the geologic record dating that far back in geologic deep-time, the existence of water on the Earth in antiquity has now been scientifically confirmed.
Lucifer’s sin, and the great wrath his rebellion would have brought down from God upon the physical creation under Lucifer’s material stewardship, would account for the chaotic conditions and destruction we observe in the Earth’s early geologic record, including the formation of the moon and the theorized solar-system bombardments of the Hadean era. What the scientists see in nature, the Bible explains what and why they exist in nature. Satan works hard to obscure this insight.
The Personality of Satan
Satan is a real person with a heart of individual being (Isaiah 14:13). Satan can think, calculate actions, and strategically execute intentions. His mind is malignant, possesses memory and has the wisdom of several billion years of experience. He is fully knowledgeable and empowered in the workings of organic and inorganic matter. He is a spiritual being that can traverse the three heavens (Job 1:7). He is not omnipresent, but his spirit can indwell the physical realm of matter and the elemental structure that sustains fleshly life, including the air we breath (Ephesians 2:2) and the electrical impulses of living cellular functions. This is accomplished through the corruption that exists in nature through the power of sin (Romans 7:5). Satan can use the chemical substances of nature (i.e. opioids, cannabinoids and alkaloids) to influence the fleshly mind (Revelation 9:21, 18:23) and bodily functions, and can inspire musical compositions to implant suggestive thought. He can appear as an Angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) which means he can assume a fleshly human-like form and procreate (Genesis 3:13, 1 John 3:12, John 6:70-71) or impersonate an angelic messenger from God (Galatians 1:8).
From his rebellion in antiquity that resulted in the introduction of the curse of sin, death and corruption into the physical creation, Satan has reigned as the controlling influence of nature across the geologic ages. When the corruption of the first universal order of matter and energy of the initial creation had run its course (Genesis 1:2), the Lord God regenerated the heavens and Earth and made the present world of man upon the Earth at the time of the seven-days of Genesis. At that time the Lord God appointed a new steward, Adam, to rule over the new generation of the cosmos (Genesis 2:4), temporarily unseating Satan as the ruling steward. But through subtlety and deception, Satan usurped man’s God-appointed place and brought Adam and his prodigy under his influence and control:
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
(Romans 5:12 KJV)
But mankind was given something from God that Satan and his angels cannot obtain: The promise of a redeemer (Genesis 3:15, 3:21 & Revelation 13:8). Although Satan knew the Laws of God and could intuitively comprehend that God would give man a redeemer through Adam’s seed (Genesis 3:15), and although Satan did his best to destroy that promised seed (Genesis 4:8, 4:25), and although Satan knew the Scriptures and worked to prevent that seed’s survival (Matthew 2:18), he could not comprehend how the Lord God would ultimately checkmate his rebellion - by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and the creation of the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45).
In the human game of Chess, once checkmate has been accomplished, and although the moves and combat may continue for a time, eventually the defeated is vanquished. A sore loser will remain in denial, express anger and unbelief and may even scatter the board and the remaining pieces across the room. Metaphorically speaking, this has played out since the beginning of New Testament times and will not completely end until the losing king is tipped over (Revelation 20:7-15).
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Gaines R. Johnson, D.D., D.Th.
The Bible, Genesis & Geology Ministry
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