Let’s open with a word of prayer. Father, we’re grateful for today, this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. We weren’t guaranteed today Father, but You saw fit to give us another day to serve You, to worship You, to learn of You, and with all the different activities going on this week at Sugar Land Bible Church I just ask that You will be the center in our thinking and in our study of Your Word this morning. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name, and God’s people said… Amen!
Good morning everybody. If you need a handout Ron, I think, will help you with a handout, that’s not a financial handout, it’s a paper handout. [Laughter] And we’re continuing on in our study of the doctrine of the angels, Angelology, and as you remember the study of the doctrine of the angels has four parts to it: you have the good angels, and then Satan, and then the demons, and then following that is the Genesis 6:1-4 controversy. So if my math is right I think we’ve done four lessons already in Angelology, and so we’ve covered the good angels as best we can. So what we’re moving into now is part 2, Satanology, the doctrine of Satan and we have to cover Satanology in angelology because Satan at one time was a high ranking angel.
I remember back in my basketball days, when I was about… I don’t know, 70 to 80 pounds lighter than I am today, and I could dunk the basketball with ease, believe it or not. I remember both in high school and college we would spend hours and hours and hours and hours and hours watching tapes, recordings. Now when you say “tapes” today the younger generation doesn’t know what you’re talking about but… use the synonym recordings of the other team that we were going to fact that week playing. And there was always a logic in watching that because if you watched the recording it revealed to you their strategy. Every basketball team has a strategy, who are their best scorers, who are their best defenders, are they man to man, are they zone defense, do they press you, do they trap you, do they pick you up at three quarters, etc. And so by the time you hit the floor that Friday night or Saturday night you know exactly what they were going to do because you had studied the opponent.
And that’s basically what you have in Satanology. Whether you realize it or not as a Christian you have a very real enemy. In fact, let me amend that, you don’t have an enemy, you have three enemies, enemies plural, the world, the flesh and the devil. And one of the reasons that a lot of Christians get saved and they never seem to mature or they never seem to grow is because they really haven’t studied their three enemies. And you can’t really progress in your progressive sanctification, the middle tens of your salvation, until you know exactly who your three enemies are, what their strategies are, do they tag team on you. And then you have to know the Biblical prescription for overcoming each enemy. So that’s sort of the logic in studying Satanology.
And here we’re not so much studying the world system of the flesh or the old man or the fallen nature but we’re studying the angelic enemy that we have named Satan. And so here’s sort of an outline, a very broad outline that we’re going to use as we begin to look at Satanology over the next few weeks. We have his existence, his Personhood, his names and titles, and then under number four where did he come from so we dig into his origin and his first sin. And then finally number five we studied his works or what the Bible calls schemes or methods; how does he operate.
So let’s just start off with our first one here, the existence of Satan. Do you all believe in the existence of Satan. I think it was the late musician Keith Green, I like sometimes listening to some old Keith Green music. Do you guys ever listen to Keith Green? Not Steve Green, this guy was named Keith Green and he has a line in one of his songs concerning Satan, he’s kind of imitating Satan and how Satan is gaining power by the hour because… and the line is “no one believes in me anymore.” So if you don’t believe in the existence of Satan then Satan’s already won, right?
It’s like when you tell people there’s an agenda in the United States of America to topple the United States of America and conform it to something that’s outside of the original writings of our Founding Fathers, such as Sharia Law, or Marxism. And you try to tell people that there’s that agenda at work and they just dismiss you as a conspiracy theorist… well, the other side has already won, right? How do you fight an enemy that you can’t even define?
So you’ll notice that even our State Department and our Government doesn’t like to use the word terrorist, Islamic terrorism. They call it workplace violence or stuff like that, but if you can’t define your enemy how can you win. You have to know the enemy exists and you have to understand what his strategies are. So that’s, I think why Satan has worked so hard in church history in keeping most Christians ignorant of who he is. And so that’s why the study of Satanology is so important.
Back in my law school days I had not to be overly stereotypical but I had access to a lot of Jewish people around me, Jewish professor, Jewish students and I sometimes I would be brave enough to bring up the Bible, which is kind of dangerous in a law school environment, and I remember one Jewish person who knew the … what we call Hebrew Bible or Old Testament very well and she said to me, Satan is not mentioned in the Old Testament. And I was sort of startled by that because the Bible speaks very clearly of the existence of Satan, Old Testament and New Testament. Certainly Satan is not as prominent in the Old Testament as he is in the New Testament but very clearly he’s there.
And you might want to open up to Genesis 3:1 which says, and did you know we’re going to be looking at many, many passages as we go through these studies on angelology. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the beasts of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” So if you allow the Bible to interpret itself… you know, the Bible is its best interpreter… Amen! The Bible eventually will interpret itself and in the Book of Revelation, chapters 12, verse 9 and chapter 20 verse 2 the serpent is clearly called the dragon or the serpent of old, or Satan. [Revelation 12:9, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” Revelation 20:2, “And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;”]
And as you kind of continue to move through the Bible you come to the Book of Job. The Book of Job is, as you probably know, the oldest book of the Bible that we have. The Book of Job doesn’t necessarily record the earliest events in human history but in terms of date of writing the Book of Job is in existence, probably six centuries before you have the Book of Genesis. The Book of Job basically was written during the patriarchal time period, the time period of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, roughly 2000 B.C. or a little earlier, and Moses just didn’t write the Pentateuch or Torah until the time of the Exodus, around 1446 B.C.
But you’ll notice Job 1:6, the very oldest book of the Bible mentions Satan verbatim. It says in Job 1:6, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.” So there’s his name, very clearly. And when you flip over to Job 2:1 it says, “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD.” So the whole issue in the Book of Job relates to suffering that Job had because of a conversation in heaven that Job knew nothing about.
And it’s sort of humorous to go through the Book of Job and to figure out what all of these so-called counsellors believed the root of Job’s suffering was. Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, Elihu, all counsellors of Job who weren’t privy to the angelic conversation are all blaming Job’s suffering on some kind of sin in Job’s life. So those folks would have fit right in today with what we call the prosperity gospel where God is obligated to prosper you financially and physically if you’re in His will. And the Book of Job is supposed to be sort of a treatment on the finitudes of human understanding. You know, the fact of the matter is Job and his counsellors had no right to even speak and finally God will speak in Job 38 and God will give Job a pop quiz. How would you like to receive a pop quiz from God? And to show how limited his understanding is He asked him questions about creation that he wasn’t there to see. So that will reveal human ignorance very quick, right?
Humanity has no idea how this world started. Carl Sagan thinks he knew but he doesn’t know; all Carl Sagan and all of these secularist people do is look at patterns in the present and pretend those patterns have always been. But how would they know how the world started because they weren’t eyewitnesses. And so that’s the point that God is trying to communicate with Job and He’s trying to get him to understand that there are things that are happening in your life that philosophy and human knowledge will not explain to you.
And I think the reason that this is the first concept revealed in the Bible, Job being the earliest book is this is something we all struggle with… amen! I mean this is an issue that we all wrestle with—why is there so much suffering in the world, why do good people suffer, and the Book of Job, the earliest book, deals with that and basically the point of the Book of Job is you have to rest upon the sovereignty of God; you have to trust His character at the end of the day, which is very difficult for us. But you’ll notice that Satan is a central actor there in the oldest book of the Bible. So clearly Satan is in the Old Testament.
And then if you go over to 1 Chronicles, chapter 21 and verse 1 you see another reference to Satan. You know, you read through the Chronicles books and they kind of sound like the King’s books don’t they. And you ask yourself well why do I need two copies, isn’t what’s in Kings enough? Well what you’ll notice is Chronicles is highly edited. Have you noticed that? A lot of the bad stuff is left out. For example, David’s decision to commit adultery with Bathsheba and murder is taken out of Chronicles. Now why is that? Because Chronicles is written later, it’s written in the postexilic time period and has a different purpose, trying to encourage the returnees from the Babylonian captivity to rebuild the temple. And they had a lot of trouble with that and you can read the Book of Ezra to see the trouble they ran into, and also read the prophet Zechariah and Haggai, who showed up to sort of kick Israel in the backside to get them started with the temple.
And during this same time period you’ve got, not a new piece of history given to Israel but sort of an edited piece of history which is highly edited reminding them of God’s faithfulness in the past. If God has been faithful in the past He’s going to be faithful to you when? In the present! And so it’s interesting that when David numbers the troops it doesn’t blame David, David was probably at fault but it really doesn’t blame David in Chronicles because Chronicles is written for a different purpose. A lot of the negative about the human kings is taken out and in the process it says this: “Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.” [1 Chronicles 21:1]
So there we learn that the bad actor besides David is Satan himself, but that’s just another passage in the Old Testament that clearly reveals the existence of Satan.
And then slip over to the Book of Zechariah, chapter 3 and verse 1 and this is what it says about five hundred years before the time of Christ. “Then he showed me Joshua” now when you see that word “Joshua” that’s not the same Joshua you’re thinking of; you’re thinking of the Book of Joshua, probably about a thousand years earlier. This is a different Joshua, not the conqueror of the land but the high priest Joshua. It says, “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan” there it is again, :standing at his right hand to accuse him.” This is why Satan is called the accuser of the brethren. So there’s another instance where Satan is clearly mentioned in the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible.
Now in terms of the existence of Satan you get into the New Testament and Satan is much more prominently displayed in the pages of the New Testament. Not every single book of the twenty-seven New Testament books that we have mention Satan but every New Testament writer is going to refer to Satan at some point. So as you probably know some New Testament writers wrote more than one book. John wrote five New Testament books; Peter wrote two, Paul wrote thirteen, etc. etc. etc. And as you go through all of the writers of the New Testament every single one of them at some point is going to refer to Satan or allude to Satan. And Jesus Christ Himself… is there a higher authority than Jesus Christ that you can think of? I can’t think of anybody higher than Him. He is going to refer to Satan or either refers to him or he has full on conversations with him, one of the two, twenty-five times. I mean, when people say I don’t believe in Satan, I don’t believe in the devil basically what they’re saying is they’re smarter than God, smarter than Christ, because Christ no doubt believed in Satan.
So Satan’s existence is sort of like the existence of God. You know, you read the Bible, the Bible is not going to sit and prove to you that God exists; there’s a lot of proofs obviously that God exists that that Bible may allude to but that’s really not what the Bible is doing. The Bible basically is telling us that God exists and we’re to presuppose that to become wise. And it’s the same with the existence of angels, the Bible is not going to sit there and try to prove to you that angels exist; it assumes they exist. And the same is true with this character, Satan! If you have any respect for the Bible at all, which you obviously do or you wouldn’t be here at this church this morning, you have to believe in the existence of Satan.
There’s no doubt that Satan exists. Let’s move on into his personhood and we’ve been infected, haven’t we, by a lot of Hollywood movies; remember Star Wars, you know use the force, Luke and the light side and the dark side and the ying and the yang and all these kinds of things. And a lot of people take that mentality, which really comes from Eastern Mysticism, and they kind of drag it into their Christianity and they come up with a definition of Satan that’s sort of impersonal. He just kind of is an impersonal force of evil. And that is not at all how the Bible explains Satan. It explains him as an actual personage, as an actual personality that’s just as real as my personality and your personality. And how do we know that? Because Satan has all of the elements of personhood.
Remember we looked at the personhood of angels; angels are not people obviously like human beings but they’re God’s image but they have the elements of what we would call personhood. The elements of personhood, most people agree, consist of three things; intellect, emotions, and will. And what you discover is Satan has all three. Over in Ezekiel 28… now you’re going to say well I don’t believe Satan is in Ezekiel 28 and just file that in the back of your mind because I’m going to be explaining to you very clearly why Satan is in Ezekiel 28 down the road. But if you’ll indulge me just for a minute that Satan is in Ezekiel 28, it says of Satan’s mind, verse 12, ““Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “You had the seal of perfection, full of” what? what does it say there? “wisdom and perfect in beauty.”
It’s interesting that this paragraph begins with an emphasis on Satan’s wisdom that he originally had. And when you drop down towards the end of the paragraph, verse 17, about the middle of the verse, it says, “You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor.” [Ezekiel 28:17, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor.”] So he had wisdom at the beginning. What is wisdom? The Greeks called it Sophia, the Greek word for wisdom. Wisdom is just knowledge applied; that’s what wisdom is. So if you’re going to take knowledge and apply it to life that requires intellect, doesn’t it? It requires rational faculties. and Satan at one time had those.
You remember what Genesis 3:1 said about the serpent? It says, “Now the serpent was more” what? “crafty” he’s a schemer in other words, and to be a schemer requires intellectual abilities. [Genesis 3:1, “Now the serpent was more than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”] Do you believe Satan had schemes? Do you believe that he actually has strategies that work to bring down God’s people? Do you believe that he has strategies that work in your life right now as I speak, to neutralize you as a Christian? Paul believed that very clearly because Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan,” notice Paul believed in Satan, “for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”
See, where is the body of Christ today? Ignorant of Satan’s schemes. They don’t have any idea… there’s hardly any teaching on this. But Paul believed in Satan and he believed in his schemes and you can’t have a scheme unless you have a mind, an intellect. It requires a mind or an intellect to devise a scheme, any scheme, a retirement scheme or strategy, a business plan, a military plan, all of that requires intellect and Satan, in order to do that obviously has intellect. Over in the same book, 2 Corinthians 11:3, he says, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds” see the target of Satan there, the mind, you know the 9-11 hijackers, they didn’t have to control the whole airplane did they? All you’ve got to control is the cockpit where the pilot sits, if you control that… I don’t know, what is the cockpit relative to a whole airline? 10%, 5% if that, of the whole plane. All you do is control that and you control the whole plane.
The Bible says as a man thinks, so he” what? “so he is.” If Satan has access to your mind it can influence the way you think, he basically influences your whole life. That’s why there’s so much in the Bible about renewing the mind, putting on the helmet of salvation, these kinds of things, because the whole battle is the mind.
But look at verse 3, Paul says, “But I am afraid that just as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
[2 Corinthians 11:3] So you’ll notice that Satan had a crafty thought to deceive Eve and he has a crafty thought to deceive Christians. And one of the things he does for the Christian is he over complicates the gospel. Amen to that! There’s a lot we could say there.
And how good is Satan at these schemes. When you go to Revelation 12:9 what does it say there concerning Satan? Revelation 12:9, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives” what? It doesn’t even say the world, I think the Greek there is oikoumene, “world,” but it doesn’t even say the world, it says “the whole world; [“…he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”] I mean think of the ability of Satan to deceive. Think of the generations that he’s deceived in the past; think of the generations that he’s deceived in the present.
You know, if Satan deceived Adam and Eve, who stood in the very presence of God, into rebelling against God, if Satan deceived himself into rebelling against God and became self-deceived and I would say also that in Revelation 12 he deceived a third of the angels into rebelling against God (more on that down the road when we get into demonology), what prayer do you have? I mean all those entities I just described didn’t have a sin nature and they stood in the very presence of God. If Satan can deceive them what can he do to me? What can he do to you? I already have a sin nature. I’m already alienated and separated from God. And yet what we learn in Ephesians 6 is God has given us the resources to overcome Satan’s strategy but never underestimate the ability of Satanic deception and in order to do that requires intellect.
Satan also has emotions, just like you do; angels have emotions don’t they. What do the angels do when one sinner repents? Luke 15:10. [Luke 15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”] They rejoice; isn’t that an emotion? Satan, as a fallen angel also has emotions and if you look at Revelation chapter 12 and you look at verse 12 it says there, “For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great” what? what does it say? “wrath,” that’s the Greek word orgē (ὀργή), when you think of the word orgē you think of a lot of sexual terms that come from orgē; orgē basically means passion that’s not limited.
But here it’s not being used in the sexual sense, it’s being used in the emotional sense. It’s the rage that comes over Satan when he looks at the woman clothed with sun and the moon and the twelve stars. Who’s the woman clothed with the sun and the moon and the twelve stars? The nation of Israel, Genesis 37:9-10. [Genesis 37:9-10, “Now he had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, “Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”  He related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?”]
When he looks at Israel it just helps you understand the Jew hatred in the world and why all these colleges and college students are involved in BDS, Boycott Divestment and Sanctions and why even some Protestant denominations, as I speak, are boycotting the nation of Israel; irrational hatred, where does it come from? [The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.]
Well, it comes from the devil himself. But you’ll notice that orgē or rage is an emotion. It’s like how you feel when your hammering away in your garage and you miss the nail and you strike your thumb and you’re so mad you could be that stupid that you want to just take the hammer and throw it right through the window. Now come on, you guys are looking at me like you’re very sanctified out there [laughter] that I’m the only one that has that impulse. But I know you guys have it as well because you have the same sin nature that I have. Amen. [crowd says amen] j
Verse 17 says “the dragon was enraged at the woman,” that clearly is an emotion, so Satan has an emotional composition. And something else to learn about Satan is he has a will. Take a look at 2 Timothy, chapter 2, verse 26. We’ve already studied concerning the good angels, Psalm 103:20 which says, the angels exist to execute God’s will or they obey Him in other words. [Psalm 103:20, “Bless the Lord, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word!] You can’t obey someone unless you have a will, right? If you’re following someone without a will that’s really not obedience, that’s just sort of being a robot. So the whole idea of being someone that can obey God implies a will in the angels.
And when you go to 2 Timothy 2:26 what does it say here concerning false teachers in the church?
That “they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil,” a “snare” is a trap, “having been held captive by him to do his” what? “his will.” Satan has a will for the church. God has a will for the church, Satan has a will for the church. And he actually uses false teachers to execute his will for God’s church. It talks about Satan’s activity in the church but very clearly when you look at this it’s very clear that Satan apparently has a will. So if there are people in the church that have been taken captive, according to this verse here, to execute Satan’s will, false teachers, at some point screaming at people, yelling at people, rationalizing at people over and over again, you eventually hit a brick wall with that, don’t you? Because they’ve been taking captive, their minds anyway, to execute Satan’s will.
And you reach a point with that with certain people where you just finally stop trying to reason with them or argue with them or yell at them or whatever it is you’re doing. And the only thing that’s going to break through is God and what moves God’s hand is what? Prayer, the prayer of a righteous man or woman is powerful and effective. And so you look at Satan’s strategies and the fact that He has a will and it shows you how to interact, why you interact differently with some people than others, because it’s obvious as you deal with certain people that you can talk to them until you’re blue in the face, they’re just not going to see light because they can’t. Satan is doing a number on them and so that’s where you move into prayer.
But there’s no doubt that Satan has all of the elements of personhood, intellect, emotions and will. And it’s also interesting that the Bible refers to Satan with the personal pronoun “he” or “him.” It doesn’t call him “that,” it doesn’t call it him “it.” it calls him “he.” And notice how Jesus thought about Satan in Matthew 4:10. What is that, the third person, a masculine pronoun “he.” “Then Jesus said to” what? it? Jesus said to that. It doesn’t say that, it says “Jesus said to him, Go, Satan!” Now that’s the exact same pronoun that’s used to describe Christ’s interaction with any other human being. You know, when Jesus talked to Peter it refers to Peter, or John, or anybody else as “he” or “him,” and it’s interesting that the same masculine pronoun there is used to describe Satan himself. And that’s another clue that we’re dealing with an actual personage or an actual personality.
You’ll see that also in John 8:44, the masculine pronoun “he” or “him” is applied to Satan and also in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15. [John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, “ No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” ]
And what God does with people or entities that have free will is He holds them accountable for their choices. Right? That’s one of the most frightening things about being made in God’s image is you have a free will and if you want to make a choice and you don’t want to respond to the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit you get to a point where God honors the choice. And if God is not going to honor the choice then He’s overriding how He’s manufactured you as an image bearer of God. And so the smartest thing a person could ever do with their free will is to do what with it? Give it right back to God! Isn’t that what Jesus emulated for us… “Not My will be done but” what? “Thy will be done.”
I mean, if people want to reject God and go to hell then God eventually He honors their decision. And if you want to wreck and destroy your life in sin then God at some point, after a season of conviction, just lets you have your way. And that’s why Romans 1 is so scary that “God gave them over.” [Romans 1:24, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural. , “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”]
When you go through the Book of Exodus it keeps talking about Pharaoh, it says that six times, Pharaoh hardened his own heart against God. I think it’s around six times in the Exodus story and it says God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. In other words, God gave Pharaoh what he wanted. It’s a frightening thing when you think about it.
[Exodus 8:15, “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.” Exodus 8:32, “But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and he did not let the people go. Exodus 9:34, “But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned again and hardened his heart, he and his servants. Exodus 10:1, “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may perform these signs of Mine among them,” Exodus 11:10, “Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh; yet the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the sons of Israel go out of his land.”]
So if people have free will then they have to be held accountable for their actions and when you go to Matthew 25:41 you learn that Satan has a personage and is held accountable for his actions.
This is the Lord’s description of the sheep and goat judgment and it says, “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into” what kind of fire… eternal, “the eternal fire” and look at this, “which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Are you telling me that Satan has certain angels under his jurisdiction? Yes he does, and that’s where we move into this subject later on down the road of demonology. But you’ll notice very clearly here that the eternal fire was originally made for Satan. Satan made his decision against and God created the consequence for his actions called eternal hell, and you’ll notice here as best I can tell that hell was never designed for people. I mean, when God created hell He never had the souls or the bodies of men and women in mind but if men and women align themselves against God and follow Satan then they share in his fate one day.
So there is a reality called hell and there’s also a lot of misunderstanding, a lot of people think Satan is in hell right now. The lake of fire is vacant as far as I know! There’s a place called Hades for the dead unbelievers but the lake of fire, the first two people into the lake of fire, Revelation 19, are the beast and the false prophet and the dragon or Satan is not thrown in there until after the thousand year kingdom.
[Revelation 19:20, “And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.  And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.”]
So Satan is not in hell. Satan is ruling, as we’re going to see, and running the world system but very clearly here, when you look at Matthew 25:41 you see that Satan… it was assigning him as moral accountability which you would expect from someone that’s a person that has a will. [Matthew 25:41, “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”] So you put all these things together and we could go a lot deeper on this but Satan is certainly a person, personage.
So we move away from the existence of Satan and the personhood of Satan and here is a large section I’d like to include because these reveal so much about Satan; it’s his names and his titles. You know, in the Bible when someone’s name is given or when their name is changed you should really pay attention to that because the name in the Scripture reveals a character or a name in the Scripture often times reveals a destiny.
You remember the patriarch Abram, his name was changed to Abraham which means father of many nations, speaking of what was going to come forth from the genealogy of Abraham. The change of name is not just to give someone a new name; it’s to reveal a destiny. You can see this many, many times in the Bible; Simon’s name, Peter’s Hebrew name was changed to Peter or Petros which means little stone, contrary to Roman Catholicism he’s not the Petra (big stone) he’s the little stone.
And when Jesus gave him a new name that was the revelation of his new identity because a little stone or a rock is someone of stability. And you look at Peter’s life and he was anything but stable. Right! He denies the Lord three times, one day he opens his mouth there in Caesarea Philippi and tries to give the Lord some career advice, keep away from the cross and Jesus says “get behind Me Satan.”
After Peter’s mouth was just used to reveal the identity of Christ a split second earlier, you know, Peter, I think like Ruben, Ruben, one of the twelve descendants of Jacob, I think it says of Ruben, if I remember right, it says he’s as unstable as water. And that’s what Peter was, he was unstable. I mean, this is the guy… Lord, let me walk out on the water and he gets out a little bit and then he starts to sink, etc. And it’s so interesting to me that the Lord gave him the name Stone or Rock not a revelation concerning who he was but who he would become. And I love that about the Lord, that the Lord sees us not as we are, thank God, but He sees us as what we have the potential of becoming in Him.
So He gave him the name Rock and he became that, didn’t he? He is the pastor or the leader of the Jerusalem church. In fact, if you… actually James was but when you read Acts 1-10 there’s no more essential figure in the life and development of the church than the Apostle Peter. According to tradition it was Peter that when they wanted to kill him he said well crucify me upside down because I don’t want to die the way Jesus died, I’m unworthy. This is the guy that sunk and denied Christ and all that stuff and so that name Petros is so important because it’s a revelation of not who Peter was but who Peter will become. So all of that to say names in the Bible are a big deal and your Bible reveals at least (by my count) twenty names of Satan. And as we look at these names just sort of mediate on it because each name reveals a different vantage or perspective concerning Satan.
His first name is he’s called Lucifer, and that’s over in Isaiah 14:12-15 and I know some of the younger theologians are saying Satan is not in Isaiah 14. Yes he is! And I’ll demonstrate that to you, not today but down the road; you’ll just have to indulge me for a moment. But if you look at Isaiah 14:12-14 it says, “How you have fallen from heaven, O star” wee that word “star” there; some of your translations say Lucifer. I had an Italian student once and she said Lucifer is actually an Italian name and it basically means light bearer and that’s who Satan was.
“How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down” etc. So he is what we would call Lucifer or light bearer and of course, Paul gives that kind of description of Satan, doesn’t he, over in 2 Corinthians 11:14? What does it say over there? Look at what it says here,  “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself” you mean Satan has a disguise? Who does he disguise himself as? He disguises himself “as an angel of light.” And then look at verse 15, “ Therefore it is not surprising if his servants” now some translations say “his ministers” you mean Satan has ministers? You mean Satan is in the religion business? Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”
But it’s there in verse 14, he’s called not Lucifer but a light bearer or an angel of light, morning star, shining one. Now ever since I can remember back in the 70’s, even before I was a saved born again Christian I’ve always been fascinated and I remember my parents were kind of into this for a while, they had all these sort of books and things in our house about people having these out of body experiences. And one of the things you start seeing as a common thread in all these stories and people describe it this way: I was in a tunnel and I saw this beautiful light at the end of the tunnel. And they don’t mention anything about Christ or sin or anything like that, but in the story they keep saying they were drawn to this light. And then the story goes something like this: the light spoke to me and said your time is not yet and so go back to the earth and preach tolerance and all that kind of stuffy, and unity. And then they would come out of their out of body experience.
All these out of body experiences that I was watching on TV or reading about in these books my parents had, they all had that sort of nuance to it. And so everybody thinks the light is God. I mean, if it’s beautiful, right, and attractive, and draws you to itself and tells you to preach tolerance and unity it’s got to be God… well, you get into Satanology and you learn that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. Why would you assume that that angel is God; it could very well easily be Satan. And people say well, that’s not true because Halloween is coming up and I’ve been in all of these department stores and I’ve shopped for costumes for my kids and they all have a red pitchfork and a red cape and they all have masks with horns and things like that. And so everybody thinks Satan looks like that. Can you show me that in the Bible? The Bible never describes Satan that way. That whole caricature, where does it come from? It comes from the Middle Ages.
There’s not a shred of biblical evidence anywhere that Satan is described that way. In fact the beautiful colors of the rainbow that Satan once was, I’ll be showing you down the road in Ezekiel 28:12-17, it’s almost as if he was the sort of thing that when you held him up to the sun or to the true light he would refract beauty and that’s who Satan is. That’s how he’s able to deceive the whole world, because number one, the world doesn’t even believe he exists and number two, they confuse him with God himself. But he is called there “Lucifer” or light bearer.
We’ve already seen Zechariah 3:1 here he is called Satan or adversary, meaning an opponent. [Zechariah 3:1, “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.”] He’s called an enemy elsewhere, we’ll look at that. His third name is the devil and take a look at Matthew 4:11. In the temptations of Christ, it says, “Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.” Notice Satan here is called “the devil.” Now you look up what devil, what does devil mean in the Greek language there? Basically what it means is “the slanderer.” Devil means slanderer. You say well what is slander? Slander is something you can actually get sued for in the American judicial system. It’s speaking misrepresentations about somebody, lying in other words, to the point where it damages their reputation, it damages their business, etc. If you do it in verbal form it’s called slander; if you do it in writing, which is more severe obviously, it’s called liable. But that’s basically what Satan’s name means; it means a slanderer.
And this is somewhat important because James 3 talks about how the Christian needs to learn to tame the what? the tongue! Hung by the tongue, the two by two slab of mucous membrane between my gums has gotten me in more trouble than any single part of my body. In fact, James 3 says it’s just a little small part of the body, yet it wields a disproportionate influence, just like a spark starting a forest fire, just like a little rudder at the back of the ship controls the whole ship, that’s the power of the tongue. And the tongue can be used to edify but James 3 tells us that the tongue, can be set on fire by the fires of hell itself. [James 3:6, “And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.”]
So if Satan’s name means slanderer and I’m going around gossiping and slandering other people all the time, then whose work am I doing? I’m doing the devil’s work. Now we have all this social media stuff where I can take my wicked thoughts and I can push a button and suddenly a thousand people or more can see those thoughts. And because it’s electronic there’s some kind of record of it somewhere. And I can get on social media and I can cause a whirlwind of trouble just by lying about people and tearing other people down and mistruths about people, misrepresenting people.
And a lot of people do that. There’s a lot of people in Christianity that do that; they call themselves discernment ministers. I’m in favor of discernment but a lot of the stuff that gets said to me looks more like liable because it’s written, or slander than anything else. And we have to understand that we, as fallen people, have the ability to give ourselves to that kind of thing. And when you give yourself to that you’re actually doing Satan’s work because Satan’s name itself means slanderer.
And he’s also called “the serpent of old, Revelation 12: we were already there earlier. Let’s skip Revelation 12:9, we’ve already seen that but it says the same thing in Revelation 20:2 and it says, “And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;” he’s called “the serpent of old.” The serpent, what does that communicate? Well, it communicates deceptive ability because it was when he took the role of a serpent that he deceived our forbearers. And when it says “the serpent of old” to me that communicates the fact that Satan is not only crafty but he never changes. I mean, he was the serpent in Geneses 3, he’s “the serpent of old” in the Book of Revelation.
And after all of these thousands of years he’s had all this time for rehabilitation as rehabilitation works… no it’s not! It hasn’t worked at all. In fact in the thousand year kingdom he’s put into the abyss by an angel working for the Lord; a thousand years pass and you’d think after having a thousand years in solitary confinement you would improve yourself some, you’d be rehabilitated. But he gets right back out of the abyss a thousand years later and deceives the world just like he deceived them before he went into the abyss.
This is why Jesus called Satan, John 8:44, a murderer and a liar from the beginning when he speaks a lie he speaks his native language. How do you know when Satan is lying? His lips are moving! He’s always been that way since his fall and he always will be that way. [John 8:44, You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”]
So the serpent of old shows you that he cannot be rehabilitated. The plan of salvation is not even open to him first of all because Jesus would have had to become a what? An angel to die for Satan’s sins; He did not do that. So Satan is always going to be Satan, he always will be Satan, and that’s how the Bible describes him. I mean, he’s not someone to feel sorry for. I run into Christians that are praying for Satan… why would you do that? It’s a total waste of your time because the Bible says he cannot and will not be rehabilitated.
He is also called the destroyer; take a look at Revelation 9:11. I’m not sure if this is Satan here or a fallen angel; it might be a fallen angel working for Satan but at any rate it does reveal the character of the fallen angelic realm. It says, “They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew” now why would he have to tell me what the name means in Hebrew? Because the Book of Revelation, as you know, was written to the churches in Asia Minor, the seven churches, Revelation 2 and 3, a Greek speaking group. “They have as king over them the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.” And when you look up both of those names it means destruction; it mean destroyer.
I remember back in my days in Campus Crusade for Christ the way we were taught to evangelize people, you get into a conversation with folks and you say God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. I don’t have too much of a problem with that, that part of it anyway, I mean that’s not a bad conversation starter and they’re getting that from John 10:10. It says, “…I came that they may have life, and have it” what? “abundantly.” But what about the first part of that verse, ever read that, that juxtaposes the wonderful plan that God has for our life? “The thief,” that’s Satan, “comes only” because that’s the only thing he knows how to do, “to steal, kill and destroy.” So does God love you and have a wonderful plan for your life? Yes He does! What’s the opposite end of the ledger according to John 10:10? Satan hates you and has a terrible plan for our life. I mean there is a force at work out there whose sole object is to take everything good in your life, anything, anything that’s of God, a relationship with God, financial provision, perhaps even physical health, relationships.. And his whole goal is to take those things and wreck them and to destroy them.
In fact, what he wants to do now that you’re a Christian and he can’t touch your soul because of eternal security, his goal is to totally take your testimony and neutralize it and get you to a point where you have no credibility to say anything spiritual to anybody. He wants to take your thought life, he wants to destroy that. He wants to take your financial situation and get you involved in all kinds of crazy financial things where your finances are tied up in know so you can’t even serve the Lord anymore because you’re indebted to this party or that party. I mean, this is all part of the angelic conflict that we’re caught in. And you read these things, you say I don’t want to be caught in this conflict. Well, the Bible never gives you that option. I mean, there’s no opt out provision. It’s like enlisting in the army; you’re in a war, why do I want to believe a war is going on? Well, who gave you that option? There’s a war going on and by the fact that your enlisting you’re in a war. When you trusted Christ as your Savior you got involved in the war. And then if you go further in the Lord and you want to start to actually become a disciple of Christ the war doesn’t slow down. Have you noticed that? The whole thing picks up, and this is all brought out in Satan’s name, “the destroyer.”
And one more, he’s called the “dragon,” Revelation 12:9, basically meaning beastly, you know a beast, or a dragon or sometimes he’s called the roaring lion, 1 Peter 5:8, “The devil roams about like a roaring lion seeking to” what? Seeking to have a glass of iced tea with you… “seeking to devour you,” I mean all of these images of comparing him to an animal, an animal, the best I can tell, doesn’t have a conscience. I mean, I’ve sadly (as a youth) been attacked by dogs, if that’s ever happened to you, they have absolutely, once they get the upper hand on you they have no sense of mercy whatsoever. I mean, they’re in for the kill. And that’s basically what you have in Satan; he is locked in for the kill. And that’s what’s brought out in this expression, beastly.
So we’re only at what number, five or six, whatever that is. I mean look at all these things we can learn just by looking at his names. And we’ve got this slide and another slide on this so we’ll pick this up the next time we’re together.
Father, we’re grateful for this time of equipping; we’re looking very carefully at what Your Word reveals about our enemy. These are things that You have not been silent on but You’ve chosen to disclose these truths, so make us good stewards of your truth and help us in our walk with You. We’ll be careful to give you all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name and God’s people said…. Amen!