William Arnold III
ISBE-Satan, "adversary," from the verb satan, "to lie in wait" (as adversary); diabolos, "Devil," "adversary" or "accuser"
Names and Titles:
Tempter (Mt 4:5; 1 Thess 3:5); Beelzebub (Mt 12:24); Enemy (Mt 13:39); Evil One (Mt 13:19,38; 1 Jn 2:13,14; 3:12, and particularly 5:18); Belial (2 Cor 6:15); Adversary (antidikos), (1 Pet 5:8); Deceiver (literally "the one who deceives") (Rev 12:9); Dragon (Great) (Rev 12:3); Father of Lies (Jn 8:44); Murderer (Jn 8:44); Sinner (1 Jn 3:8) [ISBE]
- One of the "sons of God," ie. "angels" (Job 1:6)
- Isaiah 14:12-17, the 5 "I wills"
- Ezekiel 28:12-19 not created evil, in the garden of God, (Satan’s fall?)
- Never called an "archangel" as is commonly said
- Pride was his downfall (1 Tim 3:6; Ezek 28:17, Is 14:13,14)
Nature and Character:
- THE ENEMY - "Satan is consistently represented in the New Testament as the enemy both of God and man. . . . The fundamental moral description of Satan is given by our Lord when He describes Satan as the "evil one" (Mt 13:19,38; compare Isaiah's description of Yahweh as the "Holy One," Isa . 1:4 and often)" [ISBE]
- THE TEMPTER - Satan is called "the tempter" a few times in scripture (Matt. 4:3; 1 Thess. 3:5). The Bible illustrates this device of his in the temptation of Jesus Christ (Matt. 4:1-11). From this we see: 1. He came at a time of weakness (when Jesus had been fasting), 2. He used the three channels of lust, greed and pride (1 John 2:16), 3. When resisted he left for a time (James 4:7)
- THE DECIEVER - " . . . 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." [ISBE] Compare this to the Bible’s emphasis on truth. "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)
- The first thing we see him doing is deceiving Eve in the garden of Eden. (Gen. 3:1-5) Notice here as well as in the temptation of Christ, it is not a complete lie (or who would believe it?) but rather he twists the truth.
- He appears as: "angel of light" 2 Cor 11:13-15, "god of this world" 2 Cor 4:4, "roaring lion" 1 Pet 5:8
- THE ACCUSER - Also, Satan is "the Accuser," hence diabolos "the Devil, Accuser" (Job 1:9; 2:4; Zech 3:1; Rev 12:10). He is like the "prosecuting attorney."
- THE FAILURE – Satan is the biggest failure that ever lived. He has been defeated in everything he set out to do. (He backslid before there even was a devil!)
- "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." [ISBE]
- Satan is said to have a kingdom (Matt. 12:26) which is not divided against itself. A hierarchy is given in Col 1:16 & Eph 6:12: Thrones, dominions, principalities, powers, rulers, spiritual wickedness. He is the prince (ie., leader) of the power of the air (Eph 2:2).
- Apparently Satan can only do what God allows (Job 1&2, 1 Cor 10:13, 2 Cor 12:7)
- Satan uses human agents (2 Cor 2:11; 11:13-15)
Present Status and Future:
- He has been "disarmed" (Col 2:15)
- Church is given power over him and his angels (Luke 10:19)
- Jesus goal and purpose is to defeat Satan (Matt 25:41, Heb. 2:14, 1 John 3:8, Rev 20:1-3, 7-10)
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