Saturday Study

Saturday Study

Satan (1-25-2020)

Q21. Who is Satan?

Satan opposes God as the chief of all fallen angels by deceiving, tempting, and lying. Satan only has the access and ability that God permits him.

The Hebrew word for Satan basically means “adversary.” 1 Kings 22:21-22 and 2 Chronicles 18:20-21 refer to him as a “a lying spirit”. In the New Testament, the term Satan or Devil means “evil one.”

Satan’s Fall:

Satan was created at the same time all the other angels were created, and because God said that His creation was good, we can infer that Satan had not yet fallen. Originally created as a chief angel at the level of Michael the archangel (Jude 9), he was the first of the angels to rebel and was promptly thrown out of heaven along with the myriads of fallen angels who followed his lead.

Satan now rebelliously leads a band of evil angels (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:9). Although he is an angel of darkness, he disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). This means he likely doesn’t look like we often portray him; remember he is the master deceiver. We must also remember that Satan is an angel and nothing more. He is a lying, evil spirit.

Please don’t dismiss him, because he is real. Satan is spoken of more often in Scripture than all of the other evil angels combined, and of the twenty-nine references in the Gospels, Jesus speaks of him twenty-five times.

Satan is referred to as “the prince of demons” (Matthew 12:24), the undisputed ruler of a host of evil spirits that inhabits the cosmos as surely as humanity inhabits planet earth.

Satan is “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), which includes all unregenerate humanity and all fallen angels.

Satan is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), the whole world order that rejects the Creator and substitutes the creature.

Speaking to unregenerate people, Jesus said in John 8:44 (NASB), “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

John later adds:

1 John 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

The Power of Satan:

Satan’s power is equal to Michael’s, the archangel, and no human conceived of man has the supernatural power that belongs to Satan.

Scripture tells us that Satan is powerful in the heavens (1 Kings 22:19-23, 2 Chronicles 18:18-22) and on the earth (Job 1:7, 1 Peter 5:8), he rules the world’s sinful system (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11; Ephesians 6:12, Revelation 13:2, 4-5, 7), and Satan constantly accuses believers before God (Revelation 12:10).

In Scripture, Satan is given many titles that help us have a better insight into his work. Let’s look at those as a way of seeing the depth of how truly evil Satan is.

The Work of Satan:

Name Meaning Citation
Satan Adversary Matthew 4:10
Devil Slanderer Matthew 4:1, Revelation 20:10
Evil One Intrinsically Evil Matthew 5:37, John 17:15, Ephesians 6:16
Great Red Dragon Destructive Creature Isaiah 27:1, Revelation 12:3, 7, 9
Serpent of Old Deceiver in Eden Revelation 12:9
Abaddon Destruction Revelation 9:11
Apollyon Destroyer Revelation 9:11
Adversary Opponent I Peter 5:8
Beelzebul Lord of the Fly Matthew 12:24
Belial Worthless 2 Corinthians 6:15
God of This World Controls philosophy of the world 2 Corinthians 4:4
Ruler of This World Rules world system John 12:31
Prince of the Power of the Air Controls unbelievers Ephesians 2:2
Enemy Opponent Matthew 12:28
Tempter Solicits people to sin Matthew 4:3
Murderer Leads people to eternal death John 8:44
Liar (Father of Lies) Perverts the truth John 8:44
Accuser Opposes believers before God Zechariah 3:1, Rev 12:10
Lucifer Day Star Isaiah 14:12

To focus in on the work of Satan, turn with me to Genesis chapter 3.

Genesis 3:1(NIV) Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat any of the fruit in the garden’?”

1-Satan attempts to distort, or deny, the truth of God’s word.

Genesis 3:2-4 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.”

2-Satan attempts to blur the consequences of sin.

Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

3- Satan attacks how we trust and view God.

Satan also uses things like:

doubt—questioning God’s word and his goodness.

discouragement—looking at your problems rather than at God.

diversion—the wrong things seem attractive so that you will want them more than right things.

defeat—feeling like a failure so that you don’t even try.

delay—putting off doing something good and God-honoring so that it never gets done.

Satan wants nothing more than to offer up the trap, baiting us with wealth, pleasure, fame, acceptance, and so on. This is why the scriptures are clear to tell us, in 1 Peter 5:8, to “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

The Limitations of Satan:

Praise God that Satan is not unleashed and out of control. He is under the sovereign authority of God Almighty.

What we must understand is, Satan is not a formidable foe of God’s. God and Satan are not on an even playing field, engaged in the cosmic battle of all battles. You may have seen modern pictures portraying Satan and Jesus arm wrestling. This is nonsense; this is unbiblical.

Colossians 1:16 For by him [Jesus] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities …

In Job, we read that Satan only did what God allowed him to do to Job.

Satan is not omniscient. Nowhere in Scripture does it give Satan the power to read minds nor to know anything exhaustively. Satan is on a leash with his power. God limits how far Satan can go and what he can do to Job. We should see the sovereignty of God in this, and also see that nothing comes to us without the express permission of God.

God promised the defeat of Satan in Genesis 3:15; and on the cross, Jesus conquered sin and death on behalf of the redeemed people of God. Amen!

While you and I are still at war with ti work of the flesh, and the temptation of sin, and the powers of darkness, we are claimed and secured in the victory of Jesus Christ!

We fear no one but God. We need to remember God is sovereign—Satan is not!

The Judgment of Satan:

One thing Satan has been, and forever will be, good at is being judged and condemned by God.

Satan’s Original Judgment:

Ezekiel 28:15-16 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you. In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

Satan’s Edenic Judgment:

Genesis 3:14-15 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Satan’s Calvary Judgment:

In John 19:30, Jesus cries out, “It is finished”. (John 12:31, 16:11, 19:30)

This is the final blow to sin and death on behalf of God’s elect. This is a fulfillment of God’s promise to defeat Satan on behalf of His people.

In John’s first letter he says:

1 John 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Satan’s Eternal Judgment:

Revelation 20:9-10 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

With all of this in view, let us remember who we are in Christ—victorious and secure by God’s power. We are more than conquerors.

Listen to John’s words to the church:

1 John 2:13-14 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

1 John 4:4 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.

With that said, we are at war and therefore we must stay alert.

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

We must “be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Maybe the best, and simplest, scripture encouragement comes to us from the letter of James.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

And though this world with devils filled
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him.
His rage we can endure,
For, lo, his doom is sure.
One little word shall fell him. 

—Martin Luther, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Joshua Kirstine

Disciples Church