Hallelujah Bread #8,
Today I will venture into a spiritual concept that many struggle to understand. Who is this character of whom so much is written in the Scriptures? He is acknowledged in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Is he an angel? Is he a mere fiction? If real, what if anything does he have to do with my life and yours? We have all experienced the existance of this being regardless of whether we believe in his reality or not.
He is known by many names; the devil, the adversary, Lucifer, the deceiver, and Satan. He has a notable history. He appears in the King James version, as “Satan” 56 times in 49 verses; as “the devil” appears 46 times in 44 verses; “the tempter” is used 2 times in 2 verses. Significantly, he is called “the god of this world” in 2 Corinthians 4:4.
Lucifer is a fallen angel. So yes, we must identify him as a spiritual being. He was originally an exalted, being; the "anointed cherub." Ezekiel 28:14 “ - - 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." His job was to exalt, to lead the worship, and to glorify the Almighty Creator. We have not the ability to imagine the Spiritual climate nor the images of heaven, nor can we fathom the magnificence of the knowledge of the divine secrets of the universe of which the angels are and were witnesses. Why is he described as a fallen angel? The day came when evil was found in him, when he chose to follow a course of self exaltation. Pride persuaded him that he was entitled to be regarded above the Almighty who created him. He led a multitude of millions of angels, 1/3 of the heavenly host, in rebellion. The entire group was ejected from the divine habitation.
Some scholars believe that at Lucifer's fall, the earth that then existed was thrown into chaos and tumult. This is hinted between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Isaiah 14 also discloses insight into this future event: Isaiah 14:16, "Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, (17) the man who made the world a wilderness, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?" (NIV translation.)
Now consider the beginning of the account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden:
God formed man after his own image. Adam with Eve, were created to have unfettered communion with the Almighty. This newly replenished earth knew only peace and harmony. Adam's new race was able to live with an infinite lifespan. Adam had complete dominion over it. Adam was, in fact "the god of this world."
There were numerous consequences of the fall of Adam and Eve. They continue to the present day. Adam lost his status of the god of the earth; he lost his immortality and was given a limited lifespan; the earth was cursed with thistles and thorns; animals became wild and malevolent, Satan and his underlings were given authority by default over this world and its kingdoms. Satan was given this rule until the time when a man would be born to regain divine rule and authority. In Genesis 3:15 we see the decree that God spells out for Satan, in what is called the proto evangeleum: "And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." This became the basis for the eternal struggle between Satan, the defacto god of this world, and a chosen one the "seed of the woman" who was promised to come.
Satan confronts individuals only rarely, and then only a very spiritual man or woman of God. To derail such individuals would be a special prize. Most of the time it is one of Satan's underlings who are assigned to buffet ordinary individuals. It might be well to quote Ephesians 6:12 at this time because it explains how each person in the world is in a spiritual struggle being challenged living a life in the flesh, having their fallen nature. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." The 'lusts of the flesh' are fueled by the flesh and the devil. Galatians 5:19-21 "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."
In the case of Jesus it was Satan himself who paid a visit with God's only begotten son. He was tempted on several matters; first, his physical needs, hunger; (Matt. 4:3) And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." The second temptation pertained to his divine authority; (Matt. 4:6) And "- the devil- saith unto him, "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone." The third and last temptation in the wilderness tempted Jesus on the matter of being exalted in this world with the condition that he become a worshiper of the tempter, Satan; (Luke. 4:5-7) "And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. (6) And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. (7). Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." This reveals that Satan was correct in asserting that the world's kingdoms are under his domain.
The Bible tells us that after the Lord's resurrection Jesus proclaimed "all power in heaven and earth have been given unto me.. " Why hasn't the earth been restored into a paradise then?" Because there is a prophetic plan and a timetable that has been assigned to work out God's purposes on the earth in which Satan has a role. Judgment of Satan's world will follow.
The fallen world, as natural and right as it may seem to us, is in fact the domain of our adversary who is against everything that God, our Creator is for. His mission is to “steal, to kill, and to destroy. "He is a liar and the father of lies. He is a murder and was a murderer from the beginning." He is the author of confusion and deals with fears and apprehension. Are we as human beings naturally evil? It would seem that many are fully guided in that direction. It is more easy to be bad than to be good? The philosopher asks the question, "Are we inherently good or evil?" We are not saved because we are good. We are good because we have been saved.
C. Pinkney, September 16, 2020