Ep 6 v10. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
There is a spiritual war going on in an invisible realm that we in this present dispensation cannot see. The above verse is one of many which tell us of this warfare and of angels both demonic and good. Actually the two types of angels are called, ELECT and FALLEN.
When the angels were created, the Bible does not say, but we can deduce by means of “Inductive Reasoning” that the angels where created before man. JOB 38v7. They were created with volition and the most highly “ranked” the most intelligent and most beautiful was, who we now know as “Satan”. Satan is the number one creation to ever come from the “hand” of God. We have a description of him in Ezekiel 28 v 11-19. Verse 14 tells us that he was “The anointed cherub that covereth.” This simply means that he was the ceremonial guard at the throne room of God. However, after an undisclosed period of time, satan’s problem became arrogance. He decided that he wanted to be like God. In Isaiah 14, we have the five “I will’s” of Satan.
1: I will ascend into heaven
2: I will raise my throne above the stars of God
3: I will sit on the mount of the assembly, in the recesses of the north
4: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds
5: I will make myself LIKE the Most High.
The first sin ever committed in the universe was the sin of arrogance. Satan “said in his heart”. This was the first time any creature ever went against Gods will. With his intelligence and charisma he persuaded a number of the angels to follow him. This greatly displeased God and He had to condemn them, but God in his mercy offered a means of redemption (Heb 2v2). This offer was available for an undisclosed period of time and the method of redemption is not told to us in the Bible.
Satan and one third of the angels rejected this plan of salvation from God, and God condemned them to the Lake of Fire. Mth 25 v41 …eternal fire, which HAS been prepared for the devil and his angels.
This begs the question “if God condemned Satan to the lake of fire back then, why is he not in it now. We read in Rev 20 v 10 that the devil will be thrown into the lake of fire at the end of the millennium. So we have a time span between God condemning or sentencing Satan to hell and Him actually carrying out the judgement and putting him there.
This is where man comes in. This is why God created man. For the purpose of resolving the angelic conflict. God didn’t create man so he would have someone to love, or because he was lonely as a lot of Christians think, (if I was God, I wouldn’t create me to resolve my loneliness!) He created man to prove to Satan that if a lower creature would follow Him then it follows that Satan could have but didn’t so God is justified in sending him to the lake of fire.
Let’s take that again step by step.
A: God created angels with volition.
B: Satan acted independently of God. (5 I will’s)
C: God sentenced Satan. Mth 25 v 41
D: Satan challenged the character of God “How can a loving God send one of His creatures to the lake of fire?”
E: God’s answer: “I will create man with volition, just like I created angels with volition; however, I will create man lower than the angels. Then, if even one man, created lower than the angels, uses his volition to follow me, this will imply that you, Satan, could have followed me if you had so chosen. But because you didn’t and could have, so therefore I am justified in sending you to the lake of fire.”
F: Every time a member of the human race chooses for God, the character of God is vindicated and Satan looses his argument.
Try and imagine it like a courtroom scene, where God is the judge and Satan is the defendant representing himself, trying to justify his actions by appealing to the love attribute of God. (Many people only think of God as love, but he has 9 other attributes; varsity, immutability, righteousness, justice, eternal, sovereignty, omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresent, that all work together in perfect harmony and never conflict or contradict.)
Human history then is the ongoing appeal of Satan to God to try and justify himself and prove that God is unfair and unjust in His sentence. This is why we have four main dispensations, (Gentiles, Israel, Church, and Millennium) each having their own set of rules to live by. Each dispensation is answering another or even many objections that Satan has made. Each time man chooses for God, God is glorified and Satan looses. Satan is constantly trying to blind man and deceive him from the truth and to divert his attention away from God, just like he did in the Garden of Eden. Each time Satan does something that he thinks will “blow” Gods plan, God in His mercy gives man grace, even though man fails and continues to fail. The ultimate form of grace was God becoming man, and lowering Himself to our level and coming to earth and paying the price for our sins. A price which only He alone could pay. This was the final “nail in the coffin” for Satan. God paid the ultimate price. His own life. He proved to Satan that He is an absolutely righteous and just God. (Grace is “God’s provision”. We did not earn it or deserve it. God provided it because of who He is and not because of what or who we are.)
Let’s see the conflict in action
Turn to the book of Job. This by the way is the oldest book in the Bible. It tells us of a man who was upright and blameless before God. Once again, picture our courtroom scene. Verse 6 tells us that one day Satan and his angels came to present themselves before God. (Stop a moment and think about that. Satan has access into heaven!) And God said to Satan “what do you think of my servant Job. There is none like him in all the earth.” Here is God “bragging” to Satan about Job. Satan answered Him saying,” I see him, but he only loves you because you bless him and keep a hedge round about him”. What did God reply to him? “Don’t you touch him!”, no He didn’t, He said, “Go ahead then and test him but don’t touch him physically.” So Satan went to work on him and took all his possessions and family (except his wife!!) and Job didn’t curse God. He said these words,” the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
Do we read that Satan said, “sorry God I was wrong about Job and you were right” No he did not. Arrogance does this to people; they will not admit they are wrong. Instead Satan said let me touch his body and give him a disease and he will curse you. God said “alright, just don’t kill him” So Satan covered Job’s body with boils from head to toe. And just to top it off, when the pain couldn’t get any worse, his wife starts nagging him “why don’t you curse God and die” and yet through it all Job sinned not against God.
It is not the purpose of this paper to give all the details about Job, but only to point out some very important facts that relate to the angelic conflict that are revealed through Job.
1: Satan has access to heaven and allowed to approach God. He still does to this day.
2: If there is no angelic conflict, why would God let Satan afflict Job?
3: Job was upright and blameless. Equivalent to a mature believer in the church age
4: God “brag’s” about certain believers. This is a very great privilege.
5: Job was blessed 10 times over what he originally had
6: Job was not warned by God that this was going to happen
7: It was absolutely undeserved suffering. Job did nothing wrong
8: Job was being used by God to prove to Satan that he could have followed God
9: Job was being used by God to prove to Satan that a lower creature could follow God even through suffering and still say that God is a fair and just God.
10: Satan has power over the flesh, only as God permits.
Here is a man, who unknown to him, was given the greatest privilege that any believer can have, God bragging about him in heaven to Satan and then letting Satan put him through great tests of affliction. This may not sound like a great privilege when you read all about what Job lost and it may not be easy to understand why, but each of us have the opportunity to become mature believers and have God brag about us and enter us into the courtroom scene and help put another nail in Satan’s “coffin”. It’s called “undeserved suffering for blessing.” The blessing for it will far out weigh what you may have to go through. You may not be called to suffer as much as Job, but you may be called to go through suffering in a lesser way and Paul tell us in 1 Cor 10v13 that we will never be tempted beyond what we can handle.
Some myths about Satan.
He is in Hell. No he is not. Has been condemned to lake of fire but he is not here yet. Mat 25 v41
He is ruler of Hell. Absolutely not. He doesn’t even want to be there. He is ruler of this earth. John 14 v 30, 1 John 5 v 19
He is a big, scary, ugly monster with horns and a pitchfork. No. He is the most beautiful intelligent creature to ever come from the hand of God. Ezekiel 28 v 11
He is everywhere present. No he can only be in one place at one time. That rules out the idea that Christians have of the devil chasing them to make them sin. It is unlikely that any of us will be important enough to get personal attention from Satan. He is busy with men in positions of great authority. Job 1 v 7
We have authority to “bind Satan” in the name of Jesus. No we do not. Only Jesus has that privilege and it won’t happen until just before the millennium. Even Michael the Arch-angel wouldn’t speak a railing accusation against him but he said the Lord rebuke you. Jude 9. When people pray asking God to bind Satan, they are showing their ignorance of Satanology. God does not answer this prayer because they ask “amiss” James 4 v 3
He is the opposite of God. No. He tries to counterfeit God and His attributes. A counterfeit is only as good as it is close to the original. In many ways he seems to be like God. Isaiah 14v 12-17
He wants to make you sin. No. He is not personally going after you to make you sin. We sin from our own volition influenced by the old sin nature in our flesh, influence from the world and influence from the kingdom of darkness and Satan’s schemes. Satan wants this world to be perfect. He wants man to obey him and do good independently from God, so that he can say to God, “I told you I could rule this world just as well as you.” Alas we know from the state of the world, that Satan has not got the power required to rule the world and this world is an embarrassment to him. Unfortunately the majority of Christians do not understand why they are here and what their purpose is and just get busy trying to clean up Satan’s world. 1 John 2 v 15-16.
Satan wants to deceive the world from the truth of God and His plan for Salvation. He has many systems of false doctrine in place to deceive the average Christian and keep them from growing into “the image of Christ”(Romans 8v29). Satan does not want to destroy church’s but get them involved in cleaning up his world, false doctrine, works etc. Anything but the study of God’s word.
With just a little doctrine in your soul, you will be able to see these schemes and falsehoods promoted by Satan and he does not want that.