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 (Manna 72: Love—the Bond of Perfection)
The Fall of Satan: A Biblical Investigation (III)
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The Fall of Satan: A Biblical Investigation (III)

Ci Yi Luo—Taiwan

Adapted from Holy Spirit Monthly—Issue 423

In part two of this series, we examined how Satan was originally a member of heaven, part of the principalities and powers within the spiritual world that were created by God and good, just as all of God’s creation (Col 1:16). However, when this spiritual being became proud, he disobeyed God, did not maintain his assigned position, and failed to fulfill his duties and responsibilities. Henceforth, Satan became the fallen one among God’s creation; he turned into the ruler of darkness and the believers’ spiritual enemy.

AFTER THE FALL OF SATAN

After Satan’s fall, he focused on attacking Adam, since Adam had been made in the image and likeness of God. Satan lied to confuse Eve in the Garden of Eden. When Jesus faced the Jews who sought to kill Him, He revealed the sin that Satan had committed from the beginning: "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (Jn 8:44).

Ever since Adam committed sin, fell short of the glory of God, and was expelled from the Garden of Eden, sin entered the world through Adam, the one man. Death came through because of this sin and thus, death spread to all men.[1] Since then, except for God’s people, the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.[2]

In the Epistle to the Romans, Apostle Paul explains that “God … gave [man] up,” not once but thrice, “to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, [and] to dishonor their bodies among themselves”[3] because humans are stubborn and rebellious. This “giving up” of man reveals a world that truly belongs to the devil. Those who disobey God’s purposes, obstruct God’s will, subject themselves to man’s will, set their minds on things of the flesh, and do not see the truth of God’s will, all belong to Satan,[4] the "ruler of this world.”[5] For those who are blind to the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, Satan has become “the god of this world” who prevents the light of the gospel to shine on them.[6]

His becoming a “god” of this world reveals that Satan did not have his own kingdom or power “in the beginning.” Instead, after sin was committed “from the beginning,”[7] Satan began to accumulate other fallen ones along the way, culminating in the formation of “darkness”[8] and the powers of darkness. As we observe the world today, it is indeed filled with every kind of wickedness, just as Paul reported: “… filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they (the ungodly) are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful” (Rom 1:29–31).

Although Satan walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour,[9] he does not have absolute power because he is restricted by God Himself. Satan cannot simply devour anyone he wants to devour—rather he can only set his hand on those who can be devoured. For example, Satan wanted to attack Job without a valid reason, but he was aware that he could not do so without God’s approval. The Book of Job describes how Satan could see that God had “made a hedge around [Job], around his household, and around all that he [had] on every side” (Job 1:10). Satan could only wander outside this fence or wait for Job to cross the fence. Satan could not even take one step over the fence that God had erected.

Hence, Satan incited God to go against Job, to destroy Job without cause.[10] For the first time ever, God delivered all that Job had into the hands of Satan, but with the clause that Satan should not harm Job. [11] Once Satan obtained this limited “permission” from God, he immediately retreated from the presence of God and began to wantonly destroy everything Job had with extreme vengeance and malice. Although this gives us a clear example of Satan’s cruelty, it also assures us of Satan’s limitations within God’s mighty framework.

Within the constraints of earthly evil, Satan is the father of all liars, the source of all lies, and the source of sin.[12] Those whose minds are occupied by the devil become a tool and representative of the devil.[13] Furthermore, the authority that Satan wields over the world is not his own. Instead, Satan’s authority has come from evil being “delivered” to him. For instance, Paul named and “delivered” to Satan the blasphemers Hymenaeus and Alexander, who had rejected their consciences and whose faith had suffered shipwreck[14]—in other words, utter destruction.

From the facts discussed above, it is clear that Satan is a landfill of collected evil, lies, and corruption. Any promises he peddles are second-hand helpings of refuse that further confuse the people who have forsaken God.

THE MANY TITLES THAT DESCRIBE THE DEVIL

In the Bible, Satan has many names. Based on these titles, different aspects of Satan’s evil attributes are revealed.

 

 NAME / TITLE

ATTRIBUTE BEING EMPHASIZED

BIBLICAL REFERENCE

 Satan

Opposer, hinderer, hater

Zech 3:1; Mt 4:10; 1 Thess 2:18

 Devil

Blasphemer, accuser, adversary

Mt 4:1; Eph 6:11; 1 Pet 5:8

 The wicked one

A wicked base

Mt 13:19; Jn 17:15

 Great red dragon

Vicious destroyer of

created beings

Rev 12:3,7,9

 Serpent of old

Deceiver at the Garden of Eden

Rev 12:9

 Abaddon (Hebrew)

Destroyer

Rev 9:11

 Apollyon (Greek)

Destroyer

Rev 9:11

 Adversary

Roaming around to devour

those believers who can be

devoured

1 Pet 5:8

 Beelzebub

King of the flies

Mt 12:24

 Belial

Valueless

2 Cor 6:15

 god of this age

Controlling global outlook in life

2 Cor 4:4

 Ruler of this world

Controlling the evil world

Jn 12:31

 Prince of the power of the
 air

Controlling the sons of

disobedience

Eph 2:2

 Enemy

Specialized in destroying the gospel of the kingdom of God

Mt 13:25

 Tempter

Misleading mankind to commit sin and depart from God

Mt 4:3

 Murderer

Leading mankind to eternal death and destruction

Jn 8:44

 Liar

Misinterpreting truth; no truth

Jn 8:44

 Accuser

Accusing God’s people in front of God Himself

Rev 12:10

 

THE LORD JESUS CLAIMED VICTORY OVER SATAN FOR OUR SAKE

The purpose of Jesus’ birth has been “to save His people from their sins;”[15] only through Jesus can man be reconciled with God.[16] He is the source of life and is life itself; He “[has] power to lay it down, and … power to take it again.”[17] The Lord Jesus fulfilled the salvation plan of God and met the righteous requirements needed to redeem us, sinners in the world.[18] A person redeemed by Jesus’ precious blood[19] will be delivered from the powers of darkness and enter the kingdom of God.[20]

The key to Jesus’ victory lay in His resurrection: Jesus "has gone into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him." This description from 1 Peter 3:22 explains the meaning of His resurrection. In Eph 1:20–22, Paul also beautifully testified of this, saying “[God] worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church.” Jesus also declared: "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out,”[21] confirming His total victory over Satan.

After the downpour of the promised Holy Spirit at Pentecost, “the ruler of this world (the devil) was judged.”[22] The spiritual body of Jesus’ church had now been established, meaning that “the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.”[23] Colossians 2:13–15 succinctly summarizes the essential element of Jesus’ victorious saving grace: “He has made (you) alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

It is important to understand and acknowledge that although Jesus’ precious blood has cleansed us from our sins and the Holy Spirit has confirmed our inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, we still “groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”[24] We, who have been spiritually redeemed, still yearn for bodily resurrection, just as Jesus’ body was also resurrected. When that time comes, the enemies who dominate mankind will be totally destroyed;[25] Jesus’ work of salvation will be complete.

BELIEVERS CAN RELY ON THE LORD JESUS TO CLAIM VICTORY OVER SATAN

The infallible truth of the Lord Jesus’ complete victory over Satan is a guaranteed promise for all who rely on Him to triumph over Satan. In our journey of faith today and before we claim victory over Satan, we know that we have received numerous promises as well as witnesses that assure us of Jesus’ triumph. Luke also records the true promise from Jesus to His disciples and to all who believe in Him: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Lk 10:19). In Romans 16:20, Paul too victoriously declares: “the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.”

Claiming victory over Satan is not based on a believer’s courage or ability. Instead, we must completely rely on Jesus’ precious blood[26] by continuing in God’s true way and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us.[27] Then, with the power from above, our spiritual cultivation, and determination,[28] putting on the full armor of God, obeying the Lord, and resisting the tempter’s snares, Satan will surely flee from us.[29] To be victorious, we must hold on, even at the risk of our own lives, and remain faithful to the end.[30]

GOD’S APPOINTED TIME FOR SATAN’S END

According to the Revelation of Jesus Christ that Apostle John penned, Chapter 12 reveals that the archangel Michael will fight with the “dragon” (the devil) before the seven bowls of God’s wrath are poured out. The result will be: “nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer … he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Satan will be defeated and will no longer be able to accuse believers in front of God.[31]

The Book of Revelation assures us that God has prepared Satan’s end a long time ago: “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”[32]

CONCLUSION

The Bible teaches us that God is the “sovereign one” who has created all things; Jesus is the Word who became flesh, the center of the gospel’s message for mankind and the main axis of God’s salvation. Satan, the “spiritual downfall” amongst God’s whole creation, is actually not that important. What is important is to realize that God takes center stage in the beginning, right to the end. He made the heavens and the earth; He is the one and only true God; He holds sole authority; He is the only self-existing one who created light and darkness, peace and calamity.[33]

 “In the beginning,” God created all things in the spiritual and the material world. “The principality and power” of the spiritual world, by virtue of its conceited nature, went from being innocent and belonging to God to “fallen.” Thereafter, the “fallen,” or Satan, tempted Adam with lies and deceit, causing Adam to sin against God. Satan became the ruler and holder of the world of darkness. Yet because of love, the Word became flesh, and through His own blood, that Word, Jesus, broke the bondage of death for mankind. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus became the model for mankind’s salvation from spiritual death, completely destroying the power of Satan and bringing to pass the saying: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”[34] As long as we trust and obey the Lord God, we will sing triumphant songs of victory over Satan, from now until forever.



[1] Rom 3:23, 5:12

[2] 1 Jn 5:19

[3] Rom 1:18–32

[4] Mt 16:23; Lk 12:3; Mk 8:33; Rom 8:5,7

[5] Jn 12:31

[6] 2 Cor 4:4

[7] 1 Jn 3:8

[8] Eph 6:12

[9] 1 Pet 5:8–9

[10] Job 2:3

[11] Job 1:12

[12] Jn 8:44; 1 Jn 3:8,12

[13] Jn 6:70, 13:2

[14] 1 Tim 1:19–20

[15] Mt 1:21; 1 Tim 1:15

[16] Jn 14:6; Acts 11–12

[17] Jn 10:17–18

[18] Tit 2:14; Heb 9:12–14

[19] 1 Cor 6:20, 7:23

[20] Acts 26:18; Col 1:13

[21] Jn 12:31

[22] Jn 16:11

[23] Eph 3:10

[24] Rom 8:21–24; Eph 1:13–14

[25] 1 Cor 15:25

[26] Rev 12:11; Col 1:13–14; Gal 3:27

[27] Mt 12:28; Rom 8:13

[28] Gal 5:25–26; Phil 2:3; 1 Pet 5:5–6

[29] Eph 6:10–17; Jas 4:7

[30] Rev 2:10; Rom 8:35-39; Acts 20:22–24

[31] Rev 12:7–10

[32] Rev 20:10

[33] Isa 45:7

[34] 1 Cor 15:54

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Author: Ci Yi Luo
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