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1. THE DEVIL: HIS EXISTENCE, NATURE, POSITION, AND CHARACTER PRELIMINARY NOTE: Distinguish carefully between the devil and demons. This distinction is overlooked in the Authorized Version, and even in the Revised Version, though the Revised Version notes it in the margin.
The devil and demons are two entirely distinct orders of beings. The Bible doctrine regarding Satan is a practical doctrine. Certainly, few doctrines will go further in teaching us our utter dependence upon God and in driving us to prayer.
I. THE EXISTENCE OF THE DEVIL, OR SATAN. Matthew 13:19,39 — "When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he that receiveth seed by the way-side .... The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." John 13:2 — "And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him." Acts 5:3 — "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?" 1 Peter 5:8 — "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." Ephesians 6:11-12 — "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rules of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
Proposition: There is a personal devil.
His personality will come out more clearly as we study his nature.
II. THE POSITION AND NATURE OF SATAN. Jude 1:8-9 RV — "Yet in like manner these also in their dreamings defile the flesh, and set at naught dominion and rail at dignities. But Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing judgment, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."
The context might seem to imply that the position of the devil was more exalted than that of Michael himself. Further on, other passages will be considered that seem to confirm this idea. Light contemptuous speech about the devil is entirely unwarranted. Ephesians 2:2 — "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience."
Second Proposition: The devil is the Prince of the Power of the Air. John 12:31 — "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out." John 14:30 — "Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." John 16:11 — "Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged."
When did he become so? Did he become so through Adam and Eve listening to him in Eden, or was this world a department assigned to him of God as separate kingdoms have been assigned to different celestial potentates ( Daniel 10:12-13)? And did he drag his dominion down with him in his own fall? These are questions which the Bible does not seem to answer very clearly, and we ought not to try to be wise above what is written ( Deuteronomy 29:29). But this much is clear: he is now "the Prince of this World." This is clear also from a study of the social and commercial life of the day. 2 Corinthians 4:4 "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
It should be translated "age."
III. SATAN'S POWER. Ephesians 6:11-12 RV — "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
He has under him beings so great in power and dignity as to be spoken of as "the principalities, the powers, the world-rulers, spiritual hosts (spiritual beings) of wickedness in the heavenly places." The conflict we have on hand is terrific. Let us not underestimate it. Luke 11:14-18 — "And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb.
And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say, that I cast out devils through Beelzebub."
Second Proposition: Satan is king over the realm of demons. Daniel 10:5-6, 12-13 — "Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude .... Then said he unto me, fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia."
Third Proposition: The devil, or one of his subordinates, has power to resist and retard a glorious angel many days. Acts 26:18 — "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."
They rest supinely in his embrace. Job 1:10-12 — "Hast not thou made a 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. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
First Proposition: The devil has many subtle devices. Ephesians 6:11-12 RV — "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
The devil doubtless gets the mastery of many through his wiles and devices, that he could not overcome by an open exercise of his power. We have an illustration of his wiles in the temptation of Eve and of Christ. The "old serpent" is more dangerous than the "roaring lion." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 RV — "Even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that are perishing: because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
Third Proposition: Satan displays such power, signs, and wonders of falsehood so as to utterly deceive those who do not receive the love of the truth. (Compare to Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.") Some have said, "The devil is God's ape," i.e., he imitates God's work. 2 Corinthians 11:14 "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."
The devil is never more dangerous than when he gets into the pulpit or the theological chair and pretends to teach Christianity, when in reality he is corrupting it; pretends to teach Christian evidences, when in reality he is undermining the foundations of faith; pretends to teach biblical introduction, when in reality be is casting the Bible as a book unworthy of being introduced. Look out for him; this is when he is at his most dangerous work. There was never a science more godless and subversive of true Christian faith than that which Satan is now exploiting under the pseudonym, "Christian Science." Happy is the person who is not ignorant and realizes that the devil frequently masquerades as an angel of light.
V. SATAN'S WICKEDNESS. 1 John 5:19 RV — "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one." Matthew 5:37 RV — "But let your speech be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: and whatsoever is more than these is of the evil one." Matthew 6:13 RV — "And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
He is the embodiment of evil and the source of it in others. 1 John 3:8 — "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."
ANSWER: We will see later that Ezekiel 28:15 refers to Satan, and that the devil was created upright. The verse means, then, that Satan is the original sinner. The expression "from the beginning" is characteristic of this epistle, and does not necessarily mean from the origin of things. (See, for example, verse 11.) John 8:44 — "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do: he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar and the father of it."
Third Proposition: The devil was a murderer from the beginning. He is a liar and the father of it. There is absolutely no truth in him. 2 Corinthians 4:4 RV — "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them."
What enormous, incredible malignity that is! Luke 8:12 — "Those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved."
2. EZEKIEL Ezekiel 28:1-19 RV — "The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyre, Thus saith the LORD God: Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art man, and not God, though thou didst set thine heart as the heart of God: behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee: by thy wisdom and by thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures: by thy great wisdom and by thy traffic hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches: therefore thus saith the Lord God: Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; therefore behold, I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit; and thou shalt die the death of them that are slain, in the heart of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayest thee, I am God? but thou art man, and not God, in the hand of him that woundeth thee. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the LORD God. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation for the King of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God: Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou wast in Eden the garden of God: every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, the 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 in thee; in the day that thou wast created they were prepared. Thou wast the anointed cherub that covereth: and I set thee, so that thou wast upon the holy mountain of God: thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till unrighteousness was found in thee. By the multitude of thy traffic they filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore have I cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I have cast thee to the ground, I have laid thee before kings, that they may behold thee. By the multitude of thine iniquities, in the unrighteousness of thy traffic, thou hast profaned thy sanctuaries; therefore have I brought forth a fire from the midst of thee, it hath devoured thee, and I have turned thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the peoples shall be astonished at thee: thou art become a terror, and thou shalt never be any more."
TO WHOM DOES THIS PASSAGE REFER?
Verses 11-19 have expressions that cannot refer to any mere man (e.g., vv. 12, 13, 14). There are, however, other verses that seem to indicate an earthly kingdom (e.g., 16, 18).
WHAT IS THE EXPLANATION OF THIS ENIGMA.
We frequently find in prophecy that the prophet moves on from speaking of a contemporary event to speaking of some event of the last times which is symbolized in some respect by the contemporary event. For example, in Matthew 24:15-21, Christ speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem, which was in a very true sense a Day of the Lord, and from that he passes on to speak of the great Day of the Lord yet to come in verses 22-31. So swift is the transition from the one to the other that it is difficult to mark exactly where the transition takes place. This also occurs in Ezekiel's prophecy. Ittiobalus was in respects a type or symbol of "the man of sin" (vv. 2, 5-6). (Compare to 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4. Also compare verse with Daniel 11:41-45. Note "the heart of the seas" and "between the seas.") But there are some things in verses 11-19 (the king of Tyre) that seem to apply to a supernatural king and some to an earthly king. This earthly king is to have enormous commerce. Compare to the great development of commerce in the last days: Revelation 13:16-17 — "And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Revelation 18:3, 9-19 — "For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies .... And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off.
And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning; saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour is she made desolate."
The simplest explanation of this is that the King of Tyre represents the Antichrist (as the Prince of Tyre was the type of the Antichrist) and that he is to be an incarnation of Satan as the true Christ was an incarnation of God. (Compare to 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9 RV — "When shall be revealed the lawless one.., whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power.") If this is the true solution, this passage teaches us much about Satan.
I. SAM'S ORIGINAL CONDITION.
V. 13 — "Thou has been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, the 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 in thee; in the day that thou wast created."
This does not appear to have been the Adamic Eden, but an earlier one.
This early Eden for its mineral glory. Compare to the New Jerusalem which is to be. Revelation 21:10-21 — "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; and 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: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And 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. And he measured the wall thereof, a hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass, and 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; the 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. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gates was of one pearl; and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass."
In the Adamic Eden, Satan was present not as here, as a minister of God, but as an apostate spirit and a tempter. The glory of this early Eden seems to have been specially prepared for Satan (RV, last clause v. 13). There was also the pomp o:f royalty, tabrets, and pipes.
V. 14 — -"Thou wast the anointed cherub that covereth."
Anointed and set apart as the priest of God ( Leviticus 8:12). A cherub, a high, or maybe the highest, rank in the angelic world. Compare to the living creatures leading the worship of the universe in Revelation: Revelation 4:9-10 RV — "And when the living creatures shall give glory and honour and thanks to him that sitteth on the throne, to him that liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders shall fall down before him that sitteth on the throne, and shall worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and shall cast their crowns before the throne, saying." Revelation 5:14 RV — "And the four living creatures said, Amen. And the elders fell down and worshipped."
He was not a cherub, but "the cherub," the cherub "that covereth." There may be an allusion to this in the covering cherubim. Ezekiel 37:9 — "And the cherubim spread out their wings on high, and covered with their wings over the mercy seat, with their faces one to another; even to the mercy seatward were the faces of the cherubim."
Fifth Proposition: The devil "walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire." The living creatures of Ezekiel 1:15,22, 25-26 RV were just beneath a "firmament, like the colour of the terrible crystal." "And above the firmament was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone." In Exodus 24:10 RV, when the seventy elders "saw the God of Israel," "there was under his feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were the very heaven for clearness." In verse 17 "the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel." This may give us an idea of what "the stones of fire" were. Satan seems to have been very near God.
He is evidently a created being.
This seems to refer in part to Satan's manifestation in the Antichrist. It has been suggested that the word translated "traffic" comes from a root which means to travel either for merchandise or for slander, and the word should have been translated "slander," and that the devil means "the slanderer." (Compare to Revelation 12:10 and Job 1:9.) This is not likely. There is a closely related word, from the same root, which is translated in the several passages where "slander, .... carry tales," "talebearer" are used, but the precise word found in our passage is used four times ( Ezekiel 28:5; 28:18, 26:12; 28:16), and is translated either "traffic" or "merchandise." All these passages are in Ezekiel, and some would be impossible to translate by "slander." The word from which it is immediately derived is used twice ( Song of Solomon 3:6; Ezekiel 27:20) and is translated "merchant" ( Ezekiel 27:20 RV, "trafficker").
II. THE RESULT OF SATAN'S PRIDE.
V. 17 — "I have cast thee to the ground, I have laid thee before kings, that they may behold thee."
Second Proposition: He shall be cast to the earth and made a spectacle, and "turned to ashes" before kings and all that behold (V. 18). (Compare to Revelation 12:9-10, 2 Thessalonians 2:8, and Revelation 19:20.)
3. THE ABODE AND WORK OF SATAN
I. THE ABODE OF SATAN. Ephesians 6:11-12 RV — "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
First Proposition: Satan and the principalities, the powers, the world rulers of this darkness, and the spiritual hosts of wickedness are in heavenly places, or heavenlies. ( Job 1:6 — "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them." Revelation 12:9b — ''And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceived the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.") The prophecy of this latter verse seems to refer to a time yet to come.
On the other hand, we are told "God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell" ( 2 Peter 2:4 RV). However, it does not say, as in the Authorized Version, "the angels that sinned," which might imply all of them, but simply "angels sinning," without specifying whether some or all. Job 1:7 — "And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou?
Second Proposition: Satan travels the each. (Compare to 1 Peter 5:8 — "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.") The earth seems to be the special field of his activity. As in the coming day, Christ and His church, though heavenly beings, will rule an earthly kingdom, so now Satan and his hosts, heavenly beings, are active among earthly people.
II. THE WORK OF SATAN. Genesis 3:1-6 — "Now the serpent was more subtle 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? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but 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. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for 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. And 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." (Compare to Revelation 12:9.)
First Proposition: Satan is the author of sin in this world. Acts 10:38 — "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." Luke 13:16 — -"And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day"?
Second Proposition: Satan is the author of sickness. Hebrews 2:14 "Forasmuch 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."
He is its author. Every cemetery, every funeral, and every separation by death owes its existence to the devil. 1 Chronicles 21:1 RV — "And Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel." Matthew 4:1,3, 5-6, 8-9 — "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil .... And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread .... Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and 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 .... Again the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me."
Fourth Proposition: The devil tempts men to sin. He is the "tempter.' (Compare to 1 Thessalonians 3:5.) 1 Timothy 3:7 — "Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." 2 Timothy 2:26 — "And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
Fifth Proposition: The devil lays snares for people. Acts 5:3 — "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart, to keep back part of the price of the land?" John 13:2 — "And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him."
This is, of course, by their consent, or when they leave an opening. Ephesians 4:27 — "Neither give place to the devil." James 4:7 — "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. John 13:27 — "And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly."
Seventh Proposition: The devil personally enters into humans.
He caricatures God's work ( John 14:23). Compare also Ephesians 2:2 with Philippians 2:13. 2 Corinthians 4:4 RV — "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them."
It is the work of the Holy Spirit to illuminate the minds of men — especially believers — and reveal Jesus. It is the work of the evil one to blind the minds of men — -especially unbelievers — so that they cannot see the glory that is in Jesus. It is for each individual to say which work he will surrender himself to. The awful, almost incredible blindness of men who are intelligent on other subjects to the simplest and plainest truth about Christ is due to this blinding work of Satan. Mark 4:15 — "And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts."
Wherever the word is preached Satan is present, either in person or through his agents, to snatch away the seed sown. It is needful for us to pray for God to keep guard over the seed sown. It is also needful to hold fast to the truth we have heard lest Satan snatch it away ( Luke 8:15 RV). It is the work of the Spirit to "bring to remembrance" what Christ has spoken ( John 14:26). It is the work of Satan to make men forget it. The world and the flesh are quite ready to cooperate with the devil in this work. Matthew 13:39 — "The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels."
He also does this in the visible church. Satan is ever busy corrupting the church and its doctrine (compare to Matthew 13:33 and Corinthians 5:6-7). 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 RV — "Even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that are perishing; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
Men can have truth or lies, whichever they prefer. If they desire to do God's will, He will give them truth ( John 7:17 RV), and the Spirit will guide them ultimately into all the truth. ( John 16:13 RV). But if men will not have truth, Satan will lead them step by step into all manner of delusion and falsehood. 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 — "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." Revelation 3:9 — "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee."
Twelfth Proposition: Satan has his ministers and his churches to carry on his work. 2 Corinthians 12:7 — "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure."
This, however, results in good to them. It keeps them humble and drives them to prayer. (Compare to verse 8.) Zechariah 3:1 — "And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him." Daniel 10:13 — "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia."
Fourteenth Proposition: Satan resists the servants of God in the prosecution of their work. 1 Thessalonians 2:18 RV — "Because we would fain have come unto you, I Paul once and again; and Satan hindered us."
But good may come of that. This hindering of Paul going to Thessalonica gave to the saints there, and to coming generations, this precious epistle. Luke 22:31 — "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat."
Only good comes of this in the end. Simon came out of Satan's merciless sieve purer wheat than he was before. Satan simply succeeded in sifting some of the chaff out of him ( Romans 8:28). Revelation 12:9-10 — "And 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. And 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.
The Greek word for "devil" means traducer, accuser, slanderer. (Compare to Job 1:6-9; 2:3-5.) Revelation 2:10 — "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
4. OUR DULY TOWARDS SATAN, AND HIS DESTINY
Second Proposition: We must give no place to the devil.
He is ever seeking an opening. We should see to it that he gets none. The context (v. 26) suggests how such an opening is often given, namely, by being angry and continuing in it. This door into the heart is a favorite with Satan. James 4:7 — "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
That armor is fully described in verses 14-18: "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." 1 John 5:18 RV — "We know that whosoever is begotten of God sinneth not; but he that was begotten of God keepeth him, and the evil one toucheth him not." Colossians 1:13 — "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son."
II. SATAN'S DESTINY. Genesis 3:14 "And the Logo God said unto the serpent, because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thy go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life."
He shall still eat dust (Isaiah §5:25). Matthew 25:41 RV — "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels."
Second Proposition: The eternal fire is prepared for the devil and his angels. 1 John 3:8 — "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."
Third Proposition: The Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil Utter failure, disappointment, and torment awaits Satan on every hand. Hebrews 2:14 RV — "Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."
Satan's power was utterly undermined and doomed by the death of Christ. Colossians 2:15 RV — "Having put off from himself the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
His dominion received its death blow at Calvary. The actual casting out thus secured may be in the future, but the death of Christ secured it and it is now assured. Potentially Satan is already cast out. He is an already conquered enemy: Luke 10:18 — "And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." He may bother us still, but he has to go. Romans 16:20 — "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly."
The word translated "bruise" is a very strong word, meaning to break or break in pieces. Revelation 20:1-3 RV — "And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, the old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him: that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years should be finished: after this he must be loosed for a little time."
Eighth Proposition: At the coming of Christ, Satan shall be bound with a great chain and cast into the abyss for a thousand years. Revelation 20:7-8 — "And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall come forth to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea."
Ninth Proposition: At the end of the thousand years, Satan shall for a little season be loosed out of his prison and come forth to deceive the nations. Revelation 20:10 RV — "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are also the beast and the false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."