1999 James A. Fowler
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SATAN THE DEVIL
I. Representative Biblical references
A. Satan: Greek word Satanas -
transliteration of Heb. (36 ref.) - adversary, opponent, to resist,
2:1-6 - "Satan presented himself before the Lord"
- Jesus "was in the wilderness forty days being tempted
- "to turn from the dominion of Satan to God"
7:5 - "lest Satan tempt you"
11:14 - "Satan disguises himself as an angel of light"
20:2 - "the devil and Satan, deceive the whole world"
B. Devil: Greek word diabolos -
dia=through; ballo=to throw (38 ref.) - slanderer,
deceiver, divider, accuser, divider
- "you are of your father, the devil"
- "do not give the devil an opportunity"
2:26 - "the snare of the devil, having been held captive
to do his will"
- "the one having the power of death, that is, the devil"
I Jn. 3:8
- "the one doing sin is of the devil"
C. Evil One: Greek word ho poneros
- the evil one
- "the tares are the sons of the evil one"
3:3 - "the Lord will strengthen and protect you from the
3:12 - "Cain was of the evil one, and slew his brother"
5:18,19 - "whole world lies in the evil one"
D. Tempter: Greek word peirazo -
to pierce in order to prove or examine
- "the tempter came and said to Him (Jesus)..."
3:5 - "for fear that the tempter might have tempted you"
E. Adversary: Greek word antidikos
- against right or justice
5:8 - "your adversary, the devil, prowls about like roaring
F. Ruler of this world -
- "the ruler of this world shall be cast out"
- "the ruler of this world has nothing in Me"
- "the ruler of this world has been judged"
G. God of this age
4:4 - "the god of this age has blinded the minds of the
H. Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons
- "casts out demons by the ruler of the demons"
- "cast out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons"
I. Belial - possibly "lord of flies,
dung, or forest;" worthlessness
6:15 - "what harmony has Christ with Belial..."
J. Prince of the power of the air
- "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that works
in the sons of disobedience"
K. Enemy: echthros, from echthos
= hatred, hostile
- "the enemy who sowed them is the devil"
- "authority over all the power of the enemy"
- you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness"
L. Dragon, serpent; cf. Gen. 3; II Cor.
- "the great dragon, the serpent of old called the devil
- "the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and
M. Accuser - kategoreo
- "Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him"
- "the accuser of our brethren...who accuses them day and
N. Apollyon: from Greek apollumi =
to destroy; destroyer
- "the angel of the abyss...Apollyon"
O. Destroyer: Greek olothreutes
10:10 - "destroyed by the destroyer"
II. Relation of Satan to God
A. No absolute dualism; no two
equal powers; good god and bad god
B. Contrasting opposites; adversary,
merely a philosophical tenet of necessary negative to God's positive.
to be defined as but the absence or privation of God.
God = Being; Satan = non-being; nothing
Satan as darkness (Acts 26:18; Eph. 6:12; Col. 1:13) or death
(Heb. 2:14) implies an active
C. Creator God created a choosing creature
who was/became Satan
being - not independent, autonomous, self-existent, or self-generative
takes that which is of God and falsifies and relativizes; distorts
and aborts; misuses and
abuses; perverts and inverts; pollutes and convolutes
III. Origin of Satan
A. Indirect Biblical evidence within
B. Idea of Lucifer, "light-bearer"
from Isa. 14:12 (KJV)
C. Idea of falling from heaven - Isa.
14:12; Ezek. 28:16; cf. Jude 6
this an unsolicited choice?
did the self-oriented pride and arrogance originate?
this posit the impossibility of redemption?
IV. Being of Satan
A. Satan is a spirit-being - I Cor.
2:12; Eph. 2:2; I Jn. 4:6
omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, as only God is.
uni-temporal, uni-locative (one place at one time) as man is
in his tangibility.
3. As spirit,
trans-temporal (time) - Adam, Job, Jesus, us
trans-locative (space) - USA, Japan, Africa
B. Satan is a personal-being
just an impersonal "force"
evidence is overwhelming in identifying as personal
speaks - Lk. 4:3
knows - Rev. 12:12
works - Eph. 2:2
disputes - Jude 9
desires - Jn. 8:44
requests - Lk. 22:31
schemes - II Cor. 2:11
conceit - I Tim. 3:6
wills - II Tim. 2:26
wrath - Rev. 12:12
deceives - Rev. 20:2
V. Character of Satan
A. Evil - Jn. 17:15; II Thess. 3:3;
I Jn. 3:12
B. Sinful - I Jn. 3:8
C. Deceitful, deceiving - Acts 13:10;
II Cor. 11:3; Rev. 12:9; 20:2
D. Liar - Jn. 8:44; Acts 5:3
E. Murderer - Jn. 8:44; I Jn. 3:12
F. Malicious - I Tim. 3:11; Titus 2:3
G. Self-exalting - Matt. 16:23; Mk. 8:33;
I Tim. 3:6
VI. Function of Satan
A. Controls the unregenerate
in - Eph. 2:2
- Acts 26:18; Col. 1:13
- II Tim. 2:26; Rom. 6:17
their minds - II Cor. 4:4
of sin - I Jn. 3:8,10,12
of death - Heb. 2:14
necessarily possession, oppression or control - ex. Judas
8:33; Lk. 22:3; Jn. 6:70; 13:2,24)
B. Individualized expressions of his
activity in the patterns of the "flesh"
C. Collective expression of his activity
in the "world of evil" - Lk. 4:5;
I Cor. 2:12; I Jn. 4:4; Rev. 12:9; 20:3
D. Activity toward Christians individually
- I Cor. 7:5; I Thess. 3:5; James 1:14
- Rev. 12:10
- I Tim. 3:7
advantage - II Cor. 2:11
- Rev. 2:10
- I Thess. 2:18
to create apostasy - I Tim. 1:20; 5:15
E. Opposition to Christians collectively
kingdom of God - Matt. 12:28,29
activity - I Jn. 2:18,22; 4:3
evangelism - Mk. 4:15; Lk. 8:12
religion - II Cor. 11:14; Rev. 2:9; Jn. 8:44; Col. 2:20-23
believers - Matt. 13:30
magic, witchcraft - Acts 13:10
F. To what extent should illness and
adversity be attributed to Satan's work?
Jn. 9:2,3; Acts 10:38; I Cor. 11:30; II Cor. 12:7; Heb. 12:6)
VII. Christian response to Satan
A. Recognize conflict of spiritual
warfare with spiritual enemy - Eph. 6:10-18
B. Avoid idleness - I Tim. 5:13-15
C. Consistent marital relations - I Cor.
D. Resist - James 4:7
E. Receptivity of Christ's activity -
Faith - I Peter 5:9
F. Affirm identity in Christ - cf. Lk.
G. Reckon on the victory in Christ
the evil one - Jn. 16:33; I Jn. 2:13; Rev. 12:11
is He in you - I Jn. 4:4
from evil one - Jn. 17:15
by evil one - I Jn. 5:18
over - Lk. 10:19
VIII. End of Satan
A. Overcome by the work of Christ
out - Jn. 12:31
- Jn. 16:11
powerless - Heb. 2:14
destroyed - I Jn. 3:8
over - Col. 2:15
by Christ - Rev. 12:5-12
crushed - Gen. 3:15
B. Restrained activity in enigma of the
man bound - Matt. 12:29
bound - Rev. 20:2,3
3. to be
crushed under feet of Christians - Rom. 16:20
C. Eventual terminus
rule, authority, power abolished - I Cor. 15:24
fire prepared for devil and agents - Matt. 25:41
into lake of fire - Rev. 20:10
IX. Brief history of Christian thought concerning Satan
A. Early Church Fathers
regarded as devil's property
experiences with devil and demons
death regarded as payment to devil
B. Middle Ages
explanations of diabolic activity
and literature attempted to portray
accidents, sterility, death, crop failure (everything undesirable
or unpleasant) attributed
to the devil.
many of Medieval ideas
threw his inkwell at the devil
did affirm that Satan had no right or power over Christian
D. Modern Christian thought
theology unwilling to address study of personal devil
of emphasis on demonology in charismatic movement
X. Concluding thoughts
A. Christian theology has never definitively
clarified and articulated a Christian doctrine of
(an understanding of the origin, source, judgment of evil). The
or diabology have been weak, ambiguous and inconsistent.
B. One of the first doctrines to be questioned
and jettisoned by those who regard the Biblical record
as suspect is the teaching about Satan.
often regarded as
pre-scientific myth; figment of imagination of ignorant peoples.
metaphorical or literary personification of evil
2. To the
extent that the severity of sin and evil is disregarded, the
Biblical record of the spiritual
and personal agency of Satan will be diminished or derided.