Satan and Sin

 •  20 min. read  •  grade level: 10
The sanctity in which we hold God's Word is shown not only by our response in living as we are taught within its pages, but also our willing defense of its truth. However, this is to be done with humility, admitting to any lack of understanding we may have, or which we have not actually been given to know.
Why Satan or sin is allowed cannot actually be answered as being directly stated in Scripture. There is no passage on its own that simply states as to why. However, in the whole of the Bible, there is much revealed of both Satan's acting and his ultimate doom, as well the nature of what sin is (as example: Job 1:6-12; 2:1-66Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. 7And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord. (Job 1:6‑12)
1Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. 2And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 3And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. 4And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. 5But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. 6And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. (Job 2:1‑6)
; Rev. 20:1,2,7-101And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, (Revelation 20:1‑2)
7And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:7‑10)
; 1 John 5:1717All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. (1 John 5:17)a). The simplest answer one might offer, is that Satan and sin are allowed, that God may give the whole of His creation not simply a greater example and understanding of His holiness and sovereignty, but also of His love in grace (Job 42:10-1210And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. 12So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. (Job 42:10‑12); John 3:16,1716For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16‑17); 1 Pet. 1:3-253Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 13Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 22Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. (1 Peter 1:3‑25)). It is an answer that is found throughout Scripture, whether being given by example, or as by inference (1 John 4:9-199In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:9‑19); Luke 22:31-3231And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luke 22:31‑32); James 1:2-72My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. (James 1:2‑7)).
We do not have any record as to the period of time of his creation, but we do find in Scripture that Satan is a created being. We are also told that at the time he was created, he was considered to be 'perfect' (complete) in all his ways—he lacked nothing.
In Ezekiel 28:11-1911Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 12Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14Thou 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. 15Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 18Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. 19All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more. (Ezekiel 28:11‑19), in a lamentation (song of sorrow) made against the king of Tyre, we have Satan and his sin given us in similitude (an analogy, allusion). Here we find that not only had he been considered perfect, but that his beauty is something truly to behold. Not a single one of the most beautiful and precious stones on earth could compare, but all such stones together in comparison make up his brilliance and beauty. As such, Satan was created and set to be the anointed cherub given to cover (Hebrew: protect/guard, v.14) God's Holy Splendor (Glory—that which is made up of all God's attributes: Love, Sovereignty, Justice, Judgment, Grace, Holiness, etc.). However, in his beauty and position, he had sinned in becoming puffed up with pride.
As the account is further presented in Isaiah, we see in his sinful pride, Satan (Lucifer—light bearer; meant to 'reflect' God's glory to His creation) sought to become as God himself. He attempted to exalt himself as God, for his own glory, only to have his fate being to be cast down to hell (Sheol; Isa. 14:12-1512How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13For 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: 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12‑15)). This is the same temptation Satan had met Adam and Eve with in the Garden—that they would be as "gods"—and with the same result being passed on to all of humanity in their sin (Gen 3; Ezek. 28:1818Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. (Ezekiel 28:18); Rom. 5:12-1412Wherefore, 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: 13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (Romans 5:12‑14)).
While in the latter aspect to his fate, Satan has yet to be cast down, he has however, been cast out (or, defeated; John 12:23-33; 16:7-1123And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor. 27Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. 28Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. 29The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. 30Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. 31Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33This he said, signifying what death he should die. (John 12:23‑33)
7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (John 16:7‑11)
). This is only part of the accomplishment Christ has made in His sacrifice on behalf of those who believe (1 Cor. 15:21-2221For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:21‑22); Rom. 5:15-2115But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:15‑21)): but in the greater part in this, Christ has Himself glorified the Father with glory greater than which Satan ever came close to having being a cherub in covering. Satan's glory was but a reflection which became corrupted by his own beauty and pride; Christ's glory is the exact image and expression as God, the True Light which lighteth the world (John 1:1-181In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:1‑18); Heb. 1:1-4; 2:14-151God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:1‑4)
14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14‑15)
).
In acting in obedience by fulfilling all that of the Father's will, Christ glorified Him as God in all which is His from eternity. Christ, the Son of God and God the Son, took not to exalt Himself as God, but took the role of the Son of Man (the last Adam). Through full and perfect obedience to the Father, Jesus would show forth the Glory and Absolute Sovereignty of God towards His own creation by reconciling His creation to Himself by His own sacrifice (Phil. 2:6-116Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:6‑11); Col. 2:1515And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:15); 2 Cor. 5:17-1917Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:17‑19)). Instead of seeking after His own worldly glory and honor, He sought after and upheld the glory and honor of the Father (Luke 4:5-85And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. 8And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Luke 4:5‑8); John 13:31-32; 17:1-431Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. (John 13:31‑32)
1These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. (John 17:1‑4)
).
But let us look a bit closer at Satan to see more of what we are given to understand of his rebellion. Returning to Ezekiel (28:11-19), there are a few things to point out in Satan's position as the anointed cherub: "and I (God) have set (made/appointed) thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire" (v.14). The first and most obvious point, God had appointed Satan to his position, even knowing what would come (Psa. 147:55Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite. (Psalm 147:5); Isa. 46:9,109Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:9‑10)).
In Scripture, especially in the aspect of prophecy or parable, a mountain is typically symbolic of governmental authority and rule. This has its meaning here not only in the idea as being the 'place' of God's abode, but of the authority Satan was given as guardian cherub. It was his duty as such, in type, 'anointed' as being a head angel, to make sure God's Glory as being Sovereign was upheld—both through seeing God's will upheld in obedience by others, and in being obedient to it himself.
Stones are often of impartiality and truth in the act of judgment (an equal balance; what is right and just, without bias or preferential treatment, as example, Proverbs 16:1111A just weight and balance are the Lord's: all the weights of the bag are his work. (Proverbs 16:11); Hebrew, 'weights' are stones, Deut. 25:13-1613Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small. 14Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. 15But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 16For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the Lord thy God. (Deuteronomy 25:13‑16); Prov. 20:10,2310Divers weights, and divers measures, both of them are alike abomination to the Lord. (Proverbs 20:10)
23Divers weights are an abomination unto the Lord; and a false balance is not good. (Proverbs 20:23)
). Fire, in relation here, is judgment itself: the execution of the sentence (also, it may be the 'refining' act of the judgment; Job could be said to have had his faith 'refined' by the execution of the judgment in having been tried). Together, it is ability in judgment in the execution of a sentence which is equal and impartial in the exercise of truth as to the offense caused.
In this position which God had appointed him, Satan rebelled in an attempt to exalt himself above God (vs.16-17; crf. Isa. 14:13,1413For 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: 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:13‑14)). He sought not simply to take the 'balance' (act of judgment) into his own hands, but to overthrow God's very authority of rule and the design of His creation in challenging what measure of balance was to be: what God had set forth, or what Satan himself desired. This is of example in his method of temptation towards man in the Garden of Eden: first, questioning God's purpose in His provision and command over Adam; second, directing man to the exercise of his own will in the desire presented by the fruit to "be as gods" (Gen. 3:1-101Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. 9And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. (Genesis 3:1‑10)).
All that God had designed, Satan meant to call into question in order to promote his own desire to be worshipped in God's place. Thus, the Glory he was meant to protect, Satan tried to take for himself in exercising his own willful desire to be as God. In this, Satan was brought fully under God's sovereignty in judgment by his very act of disobedience in his rebellion. It is not that he had existed up to that time outside of God's sovereignty, but that Satan had yet to experience the effects of being disobedient. This is also typified in the first Adam. As Adam was meant to have fellowship in obedience to God's single command, honoring God in His Authority and Sovereignty in setting things by His will, Adam rejected it by the exercise of his own will instead. So as to Satan, as to man through Adam, man stands under judgment.
In the exercise of choice beyond what had been given of God as right, judgment and death passed onto man. That simply put, our demand of our own way over what God has meant for our protection to guard us, has brought us before Him not in fellowship, but under sentence as being condemned. As a child is considered willful in acting out against its parent's best judgment, so has both Satan and humanity acted out against God. And just as a child is held accountable for such bad behavior (if the parent is good and loving), so are we accountable to God (as a child in Christ, or otherwise, we are all accountable—but only those who heed God's correction, being born of God, are considered sons with God as Father, and free from condemnation through Christ's blood, Heb. 12:4-134Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. (Hebrews 12:4‑13)).
This however, raises other questions many struggle with as to sin itself: "if God is all knowing and all powerful, why would He even allow that a being of His own creation could be able to rebel and sin against Him? If God is love, how can He allow evil (sin) to even exist?" Whether it be Satan or man, the question is the same.
Yet it could also be asked, if man insists in his own freedom to choose, should he not stand accountable for his choices? This is not wanting to enter into the discussion of 'free-will'; it is just an illustration to point out the hypocrisy in wanting to hold God accountable to our own simplistic understanding of any given situation.
When everything is to our liking, of our desire, we rejoice in the pleasures of the day. But when some such action or consequence arises that our conscience testifies to the injustice or immorality surrounding it, we demand God to be accountable that evil exists. Instead of admitting to the results of our own actions, or inaction, we want to blame God for all which is wrong. We even question His existence and love, in that things are not the way we would think they should be (Rom. 2:1515Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) (Romans 2:15)).
The debate has been carried on for centuries, with the "best" minds of mankind offering answers which gather their trust in anything ranging from science, the occult, philosophy to psychiatry. For a believer, however, our understanding can only come through God's revealed Word in what He has given us to know. The things for which little is directly given, we take on faith that it is as He will have it (or, as He has allowed), and to the good for those who trust in Him (Rom. 8:2828And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)). We own, as believers of faith in Christ, that greater glory and joy await us, than what we would otherwise have been given to know, without such a gift of grace in Christ being shown (Col. 3:1-41If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1‑4); Rev. 21:1-22:71And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. 9And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. 10And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. 17And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 18And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. 25And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. 27And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. 1And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. 6And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. (Revelation 21:1‑22:7)).
This may seem simplistic, or as an excuse to avoid answering the question in a more 'educated' and 'defensible' manner. Yet, it is the answer of faith: one which is not blind, but which gives its ultimate trust in God as Sovereign and True in all His Attributes and Grace. In this, a Christian's faith is based on no greater possible assurance than that of God's own Word and work (Heb. 6:16-2016For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 17Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. (Hebrews 6:16‑20)). It is in trusting His Word in revelation of Himself, and allowing God His own glory and defense, in the full light of the truth that He is the Creator and sustainer of all things.
God's Sovereignty is not just the ultimate power and ability to accomplish something, but also the unalterable and unquestionable authority to set things as what He alone would have them to be and make them so. This does not mean that our every thought and action is controlled by God, but that it is His Sovereignty which allows for those within His creation to exist and operate in such a manner, that even in their best attempt (or worst condition), there is nothing that would be of threat to Him. Satan and sin can only progress as far as God will allow. And just as they are of no threat to His Sovereignty, they are also of no threat to His love in grace. It is all for His purpose and glory, and of fuller revelation in the salvation given to us in Christ Jesus His Son.
God's holiness and purity demands that nothing with the slightest tarnish or imperfection be admitted into His presence (or, to dwell with: to receive as one's own), not a single "simple" sin. His justice demands payment for all wrongs, whether simply in thought or by deed. God cannot turn a blind eye to sin, He cannot do unrighteously—an atonement must be made.
Christ Jesus was given to be the "last Adam" (1 Cor. 15:4545And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45)). God the Son and the Son of God, gave all which was His own as God, to come in the likeness of man. To walk in obedience to the Father, to honor and glorify the Father, Jesus was manifest in the flesh to take away the penalty of sin in giving Himself in sacrifice to meet the righteous requirements of God's justifiable demands. It is not simply in blood being offered, but the necessary perfection of the Life from which the Blood was given as well (Heb. 10:4-144For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:4‑14)). But it is only to those who accept such sacrifice by faith in Christ, and not by their own attempt at working or reasoning what is of their own desire (Prov. 16:25; 30:12-1325There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 16:25)
12There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. 13There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. (Proverbs 30:12‑13)
; John 1:12,1312But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12‑13)).
Jesus has perfected the believer's presence before the Father through that of His own blood. It is not as Satan, who is currently able to present himself before the Lord (Job 1:66Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. (Job 1:6), not a 'received' standing: but admitted by permission), and that only until he is driven out completely (Rev. 12:7-127And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. (Revelation 12:7‑12)). It is of our permanent standing in His presence as sons of privilege and grace now and for all eternity. And until the day of our full redemption, the believer has also the security of being indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit as well (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:1-422Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (2 Corinthians 1:22)
1For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. (2 Corinthians 5:1‑4)
; Eph. 1:13,1413In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13‑14)).
Sin entered in by Satan and man, choosing for themselves what they desired as necessary for happiness and life. Why it was allowed then, or to continue after, can only be answered by faith (1 Cor. 13:1212For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)). It is not by any explanation a man may offer of his own thought, nor can any denial one may attempt to make of God's claim over them change the fact of their accountability to Him.
The heart of the question, "If God exists... (just as, If God is love...)" is an attempt in itself to deny both God's existence and one's own accountability to Him. If it fails in its first purpose, it then seeks to blame Him as being at fault, denying His love in grace, in order that one "feels" they should not be held accountable. Yet, it is so: God exists and we are accountable whether we accept it or not. Our own pride may cause one to rebel, but it is still the same (Prov. 16:18-1918Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. 19Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. (Proverbs 16:18‑19)). We may say it is "unfair," but what understanding do we have to question One who has all knowledge, wisdom, and understanding (Job 37:23-2423Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict. 24Men do therefore fear him: he respecteth not any that are wise of heart. (Job 37:23‑24); Ps. 139:1-12)?
This may be little comfort to one whose struggle is the conviction of their heart for the sin they know themselves to be responsible for. But it is the struggle, in wanting to see only the "good" they believe they have accomplished, in conflict with the conscience's testimony, that deceives them into believing their good outweighs any wrong. However, this is a refusal in seeing the 'natural' or 'inherent' evil in the fallen nature of man and the exponential growth of sin (Rom. 1:21-2321Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (Romans 1:21‑23)). It is the equivalent of the inability to see that, even our best attempt at good, is evil in itself, if not done according to God's ways and for His glory (Num. 4:1515And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary, and all the vessels of the sanctuary, as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of the congregation. (Numbers 4:15); 2 Sam. 6:6-76And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. 7And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. (2 Samuel 6:6‑7)). We can only measure 'good' by God's Word, not by our own reasoning. Anything otherwise is the promotion of selfish desire in wanting to be our own 'god' in defining the world and our existence therein (1 Sam. 15:1-231Samuel also said unto Saul, The Lord sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord. 2Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 3Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 4And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. 5And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. 6And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye showed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. 7And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. 8And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. 10Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, 11It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night. 12And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. 13And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord. 14And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? 15And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. 16Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. 17And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel? 18And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. 19Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord? 20And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal. 22And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. (1 Samuel 15:1‑23)).
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Prov. 1:77The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)). It is not the idea of a terrifying torment of punishment by an unknowable force, but of due reverence and adoring awe in owning all that God is and has revealed Himself to be in unquestioning dependence upon Him. This is the act of faith (John 3:3333He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. (John 3:33)); this is the beginning fruit the Spirit builds within those born of God, in bringing them before the Cross through recognition of their own guilt and sin. But Christ's sacrifice given on their behalf must also be believed. This is God's love in action (John 1:12-13; 3:5-2112But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12‑13)
5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 9Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3:5‑21)
), and 'fear' becomes perfected love He alone has called us to in becoming His children (1 John 4:17-1917Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:17‑19)).
Being now in receipt of an even greater relationship than Adam before the fall, there is no fear for a Christian before God. Though our lives lay open and naked before Him, even when we may stumble or "fall", we are covered by Christ's blood (2 Cor. 5:1717Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17); Rom. 4:6-86Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (Romans 4:6‑8)). However, for the rebellious and unbelieving, true anguish and torment awaits in not having believed "in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:2828Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. (John 3:28)b).
To return a bit to Satan; many unfortunately think of him as presented to us in Hollywood movies, or by such descriptions as given in books like Dante's 'Inferno.' However, as we saw in his creation, he is neither one of disgusting looks, nor has tail, horns, or a pitchfork. I imagine Satan is more than able to certainly take on such an appearance in seeking to lead one astray if he would desire. Yet he is even more powerful in his masquerade as an angel of light—his beauty has never been given in God's Word as to have been lost due to his fall; it is his heart and will in seeking to blind and lead people wrong. That he, as even that evil itself, is now so often presented and praised as simply being misunderstood, his beauty presented to suggest his 'inner-goodness', is ample proof of the power of his deceits in the world around us. This is the obscenity of his appearance to those who have their eyes open to his merchandise. Satan's beautiful and precious stones of covering go now to his ability to deceive—making the most subtle of temptations seem the more beautiful for our desire to think they can't be wrong (Ezek. 28:16-1816By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 18Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. (Ezekiel 28:16‑18)).
As to his ministers (generally, fellow fallen angels), they are just as able to transform themselves to be as ministers of righteousness in order to suit their purpose. These are not crude 'demonic' distortions of a make-up artist, nor that of a poet's fanciful imagination, but beautiful and charismatic creatures. They are ones powerful in both their use of God's Word, and in the riches and worldly entertainments of all that which delights the eyes and flesh of man. Even in stroking a person's ego, puffing up one's pride in what they believe should be theirs, there are few more able. This is demonic, the perversions and twists the enemy brings up before us of what life was never meant to be, but which they present should be ours of necessity (2 Cor. 11:3,13-153But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)
13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13‑15)
).
Neither Satan nor his ministers are either to be pitied or romanticized in any form, though they are often idolized in both aspects in today's culture of 'entertainment' and sin. But they are not the believer's only enemy. One does not need to be of the supernatural to be a minister of Satan's merchandise. There are mortal men and women, given to deceit and corruption, who are fully capable in their use or rejection of God's Word in deceiving others as well (2 Tim. 3:1-7; 4:3-41This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1‑7)
3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3‑4)
; 2 John 77For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (2 John 7)).
However, even with each of the stones of beauty Satan possesses, there is a single Stone greater in brilliance and value than all of Satan's combined. For those who believe on Him, He is the most Precious of all. Jesus Christ is both the Foundation (the Rock) and Capstone of the grace and judgment of God (1 Pet. 2:4-84To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. (1 Peter 2:4‑8); Isa. 28:16,1716Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. 17Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. (Isaiah 28:16‑17)). Those who stumble and fall in rejection of Him, He shall in turn fall upon them when He returns in judgment (Matt. 21:4444And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (Matthew 21:44); Isa. 8:14-1514And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. (Isaiah 8:14‑15); Rev. 20). For those faithful to His call, they are the children of God (Rom. 8:14-1714For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:14‑17)).
To God's children, Satan and his ministers are all defeated foes who have no real power over us unless we give in and allow them so (Eph. 6:10-1810Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Ephesians 6:10‑18); Jas. 4:7,87Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:7‑8)). This does not mean we cannot be tempted, nor that we may not suffer persecution at the hands of another, but that our life and strength are in Christ—as is our eternity. In the things given to be known, what should be of comfort to us under persecution or trial, is that the battle is not even ours—it is the Lord's, and He has already won!
Whenever Satan or one of his minions may "appear," we are neither to accuse with condemnation or ridicule, but simply to contend in faith that it is for the Lord to rebuke (Jude 99Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. (Jude 9); Eph. 6:10-1810Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Ephesians 6:10‑18)). If it is our fellow man, it is for our testimony to remain steady unto the end (2 Cor. 4:66For 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) to 2 Cor. 5:1111Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. (2 Corinthians 5:11)).
Though God may allow Satan his operations, Satan can only go to the extent which God Himself allows. Should we reach out in faithful trust to God as Father (being found cleansed by His Son, John 13:7-107Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. (John 13:7‑10)), Satan has no force, and we are blessed in the outcome God would have for us. If we recoil in fear, God is just and will remain faithful unto the end: He cannot deny Himself in all which He has promised (2 Tim. 2:11-1311It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. (2 Timothy 2:11‑13)). Even if it may be unto our death in this world, the greater glory and honor will be to God in a believer who dies according to His purpose in the witness given (Acts 7:54-6054When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. 55But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 57Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. 59And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:54‑60); 2 Cor. 5:2-112For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. (2 Corinthians 5:2‑11)). However, we need not fear—nothing can separate a child of God from His love (John 10:27-3027My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30I and my Father are one. (John 10:27‑30); Rom. 8:31-3931What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31‑39); Rev. 22:1-51And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:1‑5)).
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Learn of the full and finished work of Christ Jesus (Matt. 11:25-3025At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:25‑30)), call on Him as both Lord and Savior for salvation (John 3:14-21, 33-3614And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3:14‑21)
33He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. 34For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. 35The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. 36He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:33‑36)
). This is the only way you will know as certain the joy of forgiveness of sins through His work, and will have true peace with God through justification by faith and receive the seal (indwelling) of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:1-111Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Romans 5:1‑11); Eph. 1:13-1413In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13‑14)). And thus, you will be fully a child of God, knowing God as Father, joint-heirs with His Son, Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8).