And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Short Theology on Satan and Christians from Job and Points beyond

Sunday Feb 28

Here in again I am submitting to you some rough notes from the Sunday sermon. These here have been pared down considerably. As a matter of fact, I hesitate to publish them. I am sure they are filled with formatting errors and need improved grammar. But, as I have stated previously, these are for your further study during the week.

We are covering Satan as we exegetically follow through the book of Job. Many have been given misguided information. The Bible is quite limited on its discussions of Satan, although he plays a major role. Often we have questions where the Bible is silent. I still ponder, “How can Satan approach God in Heaven?”. We wonder about his fall and his limits of powers. In a nutshell, the unseen realms remain unseen.

There is a bottom line. Resist the devil and he will flee. Submit yourselves to God. Walk by the spirit and you will not carry out the lust of the flesh. God will cast the dragon into the lake of fire. The focus is on God.

Notes on the notes: Much of the work here comes directly from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, E-Sword edition.

Leader of fallen angels
Known as
• the accuser,
• adversary ( 1 chr 21:1, Zech 3:1-2),
• destroyer,
• tempter, and
• wicked one (1 John 5:18-19)
• Murderer,
• ruler of This world, (Eph 2:2)
• Liar &
• father of lies (John 8:44)

He can not harm God so he goes after God’s children.
Paul notes he appears as an angel of light 2 Cor 11:14)
He seeks to destroy, as a lion 1 Peter 5:8
Dragon Rev 12:9
The foe of Christ Matt 4, 16:23, Luke 4:13 22:3
Undermining faith, hope, and love Luke 22:23, 2 Cor 2:11, 11:3-15, Eph 6:16)
Christ supplies strength to resist Satan 1 cor 10:12-14Eph 6:10-18, James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:9 1 John 4:4

Practice Discernment Always: Know he appears as light, but is false.

Sunday Text Job 1: 6-12, 2: 1-8

How does Satan get access to God in Heaven?

Satan working in temptation

As an accuser to God
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" Zechariah 3:1-2

As tempter to us
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'" Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and *said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, 'HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU'; and 'ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.'" Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'" Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, "All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me." Then Jesus *said to him, "Go, Satan! For it is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'" Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him. Matthew 4:1-11

Other notes and sidebar
"The sower sows the word. "These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. "In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; Mark 4:14-16

The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven." At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. Luke 10:17-21

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

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;
2 Peter 2:4

Works of Satan: As evidenced against in the Temptation of Christ.
Not Hollywood or Greek Mythology
Material from ISBE, and to be used in commenting alongside Matthew 4 the temptation of Jesus. (ISBE greatly edited for this page)

The world-wide and age-long works of Satan are to be traced to one predominant motive. He hates both God and man and does all that in him lies to defeat God's plan of grace and to establish and maintain a kingdom of evil, in the seduction and ruin of mankind. The balance and sanity of the Bible is nowhere more strikingly exhibited than in its treatment of the work of Satan. Not only is the Bible entirely free from the extravagances of popular Satanology, which is full of absurd stories concerning the appearances, tricks, and transformations of Satan among men, but it exhibits a dependable accuracy and consistency, of statement which is most reassuring. Almost nothing is said concerning Satanic agency other than wicked men who mislead other men. In the controversy with His opponents concerning exorcism (Mar_3:22 f and parallel's) our Lord rebuts their slanderous assertion that He is in league with Satan by the simple proposition that Satan does not work against himself. But in so saying He does far more than refute this slander. He definitely aligns the Bible against the popular idea that a man may make a definite and conscious personal alliance with Satan for any purpose whatever. The agent of Satan is always a victim. Also the hint contained in this discussion that Satan has a kingdom, together with a few other not very definite allusions, are all that we have to go upon in this direction. Nor are we taught anywhere that Satan is able to any extent to introduce disorder into the physical universe or directly operate in the lives of men. It is true that in Luk_13:16 our Lord speaks of the woman who was bowed over as one “whom Satan has bound, lo, these eighteen years,” and that in 2Co_12:7 Paul speaks of his infirmity as a “messenger of Satan sent to buffet him.” Paul also speaks (1Th_2:18) of Satan's hindering him from visiting the church at Thessalonica. A careful study of these related passages (together with the prologue of Job) will reveal the fact that Satan's direct agency in the physical world is very limited. Satan may be said to be implicated in all the disasters and woes of human life, in so far as they are more or less directly contingent upon sin (see particularly Heb_2:14) On the contrary, it is perfectly evident that Satan's power consists principally in his ability to deceive. It is interesting and characteristic that according to the Bible Satan is fundamentally a liar and his kingdom is a kingdom founded upon lies and deceit. The doctrine of Satan therefore corresponds in every important particular to the general Biblical emphasis upon truth. “The truth shall make you free” (Joh_8:32) - this is the way of deliverance from the power of Satan.

Now it would seem that to make Satan pre-eminently the deceiver would make man an innocent victim and thus relax the moral issue. But according to the Bible man is particeps criminis in the process of his own deception. He is deceived only because he ceases to love the truth and comes first to love and then to believe a lie (2Co_1:10). This really goes to the very bottom of the problem of temptation. Men are not tempted by evil, per se, but by a good which can be obtained only at the cost of doing wrong. The whole power of sin, at least in its beginnings, consists in the sway of the fundamental falsehood that any good is really attainable by wrongdoing. Since temptation consists in this attack upon the moral sense, man is constitutionally guarded against deceit, and is morally culpable in allowing himself to be deceived. The temptation of our Lord Himself throws the clearest possible light upon the methods ascribed to Satan and The temptation was addressed to Christ's consciousness of divine sonship; it was a deceitful attack emphasizing the good, minimizing or covering up the evil; indeed, twisting evil into good. It was a deliberate, malignant attempt to obscure the truth and induce to evil through the acceptance of falsehood.. He also makes himself an angel of light by presenting advocates of falsehood in the guise of apostles of truth (2Co_11:13, 2Co_11:15; 1Jo_4:1; 2Th_2:9; Rev_12:9; Rev_19:20). In the combination of passages here brought together, it is clearly indicated that Satan is the instigator and fomenter of that spirit of lawlessness which exhibits itself as hatred both of truth and right, and which has operated so widely and so disastrously in human life.

4. History of Satan:
The history of Satan, including that phase of it which remains to be realized, can be set forth only along the most general lines. He belongs to the angelic order of beings. He is by nature one of the sons of Elohı̄m (Job_1:6). He has fallen, and by virtue of his personal forcefulness has become the leader of the anarchic forces of wickedness. As a free being he has merged his life in evil and has become altogether and hopelessly evil. As a being of high intelligence he has gained great power and has exercised a wide sway over other beings. As a created being the utmost range of his power lies within the compass of that which is permitted. It is, therefore, hedged in by the providential government of God and essentially limited. The Biblical emphasis upon the element of falsehood in the career of Satan might be taken to imply that his kingdom may be less in extent than appears. At any rate, it is confined to the cosmic sphere and to a limited portion of time. It is also doomed. In the closely related passages 2Pe_2:4 and Jud_1:6 it is affirmed that God cast the angels, when they sinned, down to Tartarus and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. This both refers to the constant divine control of these insurgent forces and also points to their final and utter destruction. The putting of Satan in bonds is evidently both constant and progressive. The essential limitation of the empire of evil and its ultimate overthrow are foreshadowed in the Book of Job (chapters 38 through 41), where Yahweh's power extends even to the symbolized spirit of evil.
A comparison of these passages will convince the careful student that while we cannot construct a definite chronological program for the career of Satan, we are clear in the chief points. He is limited, judged, condemned, imprisoned, reserved for judgment from the beginning. The outcome is certain though the process may be tedious and slow. The victory of Christ is the defeat of Satan; first, for Himself as Leader and Saviour of men (Joh_14:30); then, for believers (Luk_22:31; Act_26:18; Rom_16:20; Jam_4:7; 1Jo_2:13; 1Jo_5:4, 1Jo_5:18); and, finally, for the whole world (Rev_20:10). The work of Christ has already destroyed the empire of Satan.

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