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Clarence Larkin :: Chapter 18. Satan

There are many who deny the existence of Satan. They claim that what we call Satan is only a "principle of evil." That this "evil" is a sort of "malaria," an intangible thing like disease germs that floats about in the atmosphere and attacks people's hearts under certain conditions. The existence of Satan cannot be determined by the opinions of men. The only source of information is the Bible. That is the reason why Satan tries to discredit the Word of God. He is not a "principle of evil" he is a Person.

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a 'roaring lion,' walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." 1 Pet. 5:8.

He "walketh," he "roareth," he is to be "chained." Rev. 20:1-3. These could not be said of a "principle of evil." He has many names or aliases "Satan" "Devil," "Beelzebub," "Belial," "Adversary," "Dragon," "Serpent." He is mentioned by one or the other of these names 174 times in the Bible.

He is a great "Celestial Potentate." He is

"The Prince of the Powers of the Air."
Eph. 2:2.
"The God of this World" (Age.)
2 Cor. 4:4.

He is the "God" not of the earth, for that belongs to its Maker- God. "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." Satan is the God of the

"World Systems"

of the habitable earth. These "World Systems" embrace business, society, politics, and religion. Satan is the Ruler of the "Powers of Darkness" of the "Spirit World," (Eph. 6:11,12), and his position is so exalted that even Michael the Archangel dare not insult him. Jude 9. So mighty is he that man cannot successfully resist him without Divine help.

I. His Origin.

This is more or less shrouded in mystery. One thing is certain, he is a "created being," and that of the most exalted type. He was before his fall

"The Anointed Cherub That Covereth."

That is, he was the guardian or protector of the "Throne of God." He was perfect in all his ways from the day that he was created, until iniquity was found in him. In him was the "fulness of wisdom," and the "perfection of beauty," but it was his "beauty" that caused the pride that was his downfall. He was clothed in a garment that was covered with the most rare and precious gems, the sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, emerald, carbuncle, all woven in with gold. He dwelt in Eden, the "Garden of God."

This probably refers not to the earthly Eden, but to the "Paradise of God" on high, for Satan dwelt on the "Holy Mount of God." All this we learn from Ezek. 28:11-19, where the Prophet has a "foreview" of the Antichrist under the title of the "King of Tyrus," and as Antichrist is to be an incarnation of Satan, the Prophet here describes Satan's original glory from which he fell. There never has been as yet such a King of Tyrus as is here described.

The cause of Satan's fall is given in Isa. 14:12-20. He is there called-

Lucifer, Son of the Morning.

This was his glorious title when he was created, and this world of ours was made, at which time-

"The 'Morning Stars,' (probably other glorious created ruling beings like himself), sang together, and all the 'Sons of God,' (angels), shouted for joy." Job 38:7.

It is well to note that the one here called "Lucifer, Son of the Morning," is in verse four, (Isa. 14:4), also called the "King of Babylon." As there never has been a King of Babylon like the one here described, the description must be that of a "future" King of Babylon. And as "Antichrist is to have for his Capital City Babylon rebuilt," this is probably a "foreview" by the Prophet of Antichrist, as indwelt by "Lucifer," or "Satan," in that day when he shall be "King of Babylon."

Some think that when this world was created and fit for habitation, Satan was placed in charge of it, and it was then, as Isaiah declares, that Satan said in his heart-

"I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the 'Stars of God' (other ruling powers); I will sit also upon the Mount of the Congregation, in the sides of the North. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like
The MOST HIGH:"

and that it was for this presumptuous act that the "Pre-Adamite World" became a chaos, and "without form and void," as described in Gen. 1:2.

This would justify the claim of Satan that this world belongs to him, and that he had the right and power to transfer the "kingdoms of this world" to Christ, if He would only acknowledge Satan's supremacy. (Matt. 4:8,9) And it accounts for the persistent war Satan is waging against the Almighty to retain his possession of the earth.

II. His Present Location.

The common notion is that Satan and his angels are imprisoned in Hell. This is not true. The angels described in 2 Pet. 2:4, and Jude 6, as having left their "first estate," and being "reserved in everlasting chains under darkness," are not Satan's angels. They are a special class of angels whose sin caused the Flood. They are the "Spirits in Prison" of whom Peter speaks in I Pet. 3:18-20. See the chapter on "Rightly Dividing the Word," under the cause of the Flood. Satan and his angels are at liberty. We read in the first and second chapters of job that it was the custom in job's day for the "Sons of God" (angels), to appear at stated times in the presence of God to give an account of their stewardship, and that Satan always appeared with them.

When the Lord said to Satan "Whence comest thou?" he replied "From going to and fro in the earth and from walking up and down in it." Job 1:7; 2:2. Satan then was at liberty "on the earth," and had "access to God," and was "not cast out of Heaven" in Job's day, B.C. 2000. Milton in his book "Paradise Lost" describes Satan as having been cast out of Heaven in the time of Adam and Eve, and bases his description on Rev. 12:7-12. But as the Book of Revelation is a prophecy of "Things to Come," and that were all "future" in the Apostle John's day, Satan had not been cast out of heaven up to that time, A.D. 96, and as he has not been cast out since, he must still be at liberty in the heavenlies and on the earth.

III. His Kingdom.

Satan is a King, and has a Kingdom.

"If Satan cast out Satan he is divided against himself; how shall then his 'kingdom' stand." Matt. 12:24-30.
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood,but against Principalities, against Powers, against the Rulers of the Darkness of this World (Age), against Spiritual Wickedness in High Places, (the Heavenlies)." Eph. 6:12.

From this we see that his Kingdom consists of "Principalities," "Powers," "Age Rulers of Darkness," and "Wicked Spirits in the Heavenlies."

These "Principalities" are ruled by "Princes," who control certain nations of our earth, as in the days of Daniel the Prophet, when a heavenly messenger was sent to Daniel, but was hindered "three weeks" from reaching him by the

"Prince of the Kingdom of Persia,"

Satan's ruling "Prince of Persia," until Michael the Archangel came to his rescue. Dan. 10:10-14.

The subjects of Satan's Kingdom are-

1. Angels. Not the angels that kept not their first estate and who are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the Great Day, (Jude 6), but angels who are at liberty, and are now with Satan in the heavenlies (Rev. 12:9), and who, with him, are to be cast into the "Lake of Fire" prepared for the Devil and his angels. Matt. 25:41. Rev. 20:10.

2. Demons. There is but one Devil. Where the word "devils" occurs in the New Testament we should substitute the word "demon." These demons are a race or order of "bodiless spirits," supposed by many to be the bodiless spirits of the inhabitants of the Pre-Adamite Earth, who seek to re-embody themselves by 'taking up their abode in human beings. This we know they can do under certain conditions. Demon possession was common in Christ's day.

Those demons are wicked, unclean, vicious, and have power to derange both mind and body. Matt. 12:22; 15:22; Luke 4:35; 8:26-36; 9:42. They are the "Familiar Spirits" and "Wizards" of the Old Testament, and the "Seducing Spirits" of whom Paul warned Timothy. 1 Tim. 4:1.

3. Unregenerated Human Beings. All unregenerated human beings are the subjects of Satan. Jesus called the "Tares" the "Children of the Wicked One," (Matt. 13:38), and He told the Pharisaical Jews that their father was the Devil. John 8:44.

IV. His Methods.

1. He Is the Deceiver of the World.

By the "World" is meant all those who belong to the "Satanic System." All those who are entangled in Satan's mesh.

"And we know that we are of God, and the whole World (the Satanic System). lieth in the Wicked One, (Satan)." 1 John 5:19, R.V.

Satan deceives by "blinding" the eyes of the world.

"If our Gospel is hid, it is hid to them that 'are lost'; in whom the 'God of this World' (Satan), 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." 2 Cor. 4:3,4.

To this end Satan has his preachers who preach "another gospel." Gal. 1:6-9. That gospel is the "doctrine of devils." 1 Tim. 4:1.

He is the instigator of

"The Great Apostasy."

Peter, speaking of the "latter times" says-

"There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in 'Damnable Heresies,' even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their 'Pernicious Way,' by reason of whom the 'WAY OF TRUTH' shall be evil spoken of." 2 Pet. 2:1,2.

These "false teachers" are to be seen on every hand. They are those who deny the "Virgin Birth," "Deity," "Bodily Resurrection" and "Personal Premillennial Return" of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Satan is very subtle in his methods, and if it were possible he would deceive the very elect. He knows all the great Scripture subjects that are of universal interest to humanity, and he is too wise to attack them openly, so he adulterates them with false doctrine. He has tried to rob the Church of her "Blessed Hope" of the Lord's return, by mixing with it a lot of false teaching and "time setting" as seen in "Millerism," "Seventh Day Adventism" and "Millennial Dawnism." To prevent mankind from turning to the Lord for healing, he has invented the systems of "Christian Science" and "New Thought."

To satisfy the craving of the human mind to know what is going on in the Spirit World, Satan invented "Spiritualism." And when interest in it began to wane he revived it under the name of "Psychical Research." This system has existed from the earliest ages and has the unqualified condemnation of the Scriptures.

"There shall not be found among you any one that . . . . useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a
Consulter With Familiar Spirits,
or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord." Deu. 18:10-12.

Spiritualism is only another name for "Demonism," and all professed impersonations are either counterfeit, or demonic. Christian Science teaches that there is such a thing as "Malicious Animal Magnetism" by which one person may afflict another. It is only another name for "Diabolism." Those who dabble in "Spiritualism" or "Psychical Research," are liable to have their "understanding darkened" and come under the power of demons.

Satan seeing that he could not stamp out the Church by violence and persecution, has changed his tactics and is now trying to seduce her into conformity to the world, and to try to better an "Age" that God has doomed to destruction. His present purpose is to build up a "magnificent civilization," and he has deceived the Church into believing that it can bring in the "Millennium," without Christ, by the Betterment of Society.

His hope is that the "Gospel of Social Service" will take the place of the "Gospel of Grace," and by diverting the attention of Christian people to "secondary" things, they will neglect the primary work of soul saving, and thus delay the evangelization of the world, and postpone the Return of the Lord, and his own confinement in the Bottomless Pit.

2. He Is the Adversary of God's People.

The warfare between "Good" and "Evil," as recorded in the Bible from Gen. 3:15 to Rev. 20:10, is most intensely interesting reading. Satan tempts Eve. She eats, and Adam with her. They are both cast out of the Garden. First victory scored by Satan. Satan enters Cain. The result Abel is murdered. Victory number two for Satan. The "Sons of God" at Satan's instigation marry the "daughters of men." Result the Flood. Victory number three for Satan. Noah delivered from the Flood is tempted to drink, yields, and a curse falls on Ham. Victory number four for Satan. The people multiply and Satan fills their hearts with pride and presumption. The Tower of Babel is built. the result the "Confusion of Tongues," and the unity of the race broken up. Victory number five for Satan.

Then God calls Abraham through whom the promised "Seed of the Woman," the Second Adam, should come who was to bruise Satan's head. Now the fight begins in earnest. We have only space to indicate it. First Satan closes Sarah's womb. Then when Isaac is born he seeks to have him slain by his father's hand on Mt. Moriah. He makes enmity between Esau and Jacob, hoping that the tragedy of Cain and Abel would be repeated. Then he causes Potiphar's wife to tempt Joseph, seeking to get him out of the way. When the time came for Moses, the deliverer of the Children of Israel, to be born, he puts it in the heart of Pharaoh to order that all male Hebrew children shall be destroyed at birth.

But the story is too long. The sin of David was Satan's work, and at one time the "seed royal" was narrowed down to one child. 2 Chron. 2:4-17; 22:10-12.

When the time came that Christ was born, it was Satan who prompted Herod to destroy all the male children at Bethlehem under two years of age. It was Satan who tried to overcome Christ when weakened by fasting in the Wilderness, and who suggested that Christ throw Himself down from the Pinnacle of the Temple. The attempt of the people to throw Him from the hilltop at Nazareth, and the two storms on Galilee were all attempts of Satan to destroy Christ. And when foiled in these Satan renewed the fight through Priests and Pharisees, and succeeded at last in getting Judas to sell his Master.

Then amid the shades of Gethsemane he sought to kill Christ by physical weakness before He could reach the Cross. When Christ was crucified Satan thought he had conquered, but when Christ rose from the dead Satan's rage knew no bounds. In all probability Satan and his angels contested the Ascension of Christ, and the history of the Christian Church is but one long story of the "Irrepressible Conflict" between Satan and God's people. Paul writing to the Thessalonians said:

"We would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again, but SATAN hindered us." 1 Thess. 2:18.

Even Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was the "Messenger of Satan" to buffet him.

V. His Expulsion From the Heavenlies.

As we have seen Satan still has his abode in the "Heavenlies" and has access to God. But the time is coming when he shall be cast out of the "Heavenlies." It is described in Rev. 12:7-17.

"And there was war in Heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the 'Dragon,' and the 'Dragon' fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in Heaven. 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 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."

While Satan has been the "Accuser of the Brethren" in all Ages, the context shows that reference is here made to the "Jewish Remnant," (the brethren of Christ), who during the first three and onehalf years of the "Tribulation Period" (for Satan is cast out in the Middle of the "Last Week," or Tribulation Period), pass through great persecution, and die as "martyrs." They are referred to in Rev. 6:9-11 as the "souls of them that were slain for the Word of God," and we are here told (Rev. 12:11) that they overcame by the "Blood of the Lamb," and the "word of their testimony," and died as "martyrs," for they "loved not their lives unto the death."

As they overcame by the "Blood of the Lamb," then the Time of their overcoming must be subsequent to the shedding of Christ's blood on Calvary, that is, Satan, according to this account, could not have been cast out of the "Heavenlies" prior to the Crucifixion of Christ. When Jesus said "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven," (Luke 10:18), He was not referring to some past fall of Satan, but it was a prophetic utterance, by way of anticipation, of his future fall, when he shall be cast out of Heaven by Michael the Archangel. As further evidence as to the "Time" of Satan's casting out, Daniel the Prophet tells us that it will be at the "Time of Trouble," (The Great Tribulation), that is to come upon Daniel's people, the Jews, for it is at that tinge that Michael the Great Prince is to stand up and they shall be delivered. Dan 12:1.

As still further evidence that the casting out of Satan did not happen "before" the Fall in Eden, we are told that it "follows" the birth and catching out of the "Man Child," (Christ), (Rev. 12:5), that the earth shall be full of inhabitants, that is, thickly populated, and that Satan shall be full of wrath, because he knoweth that he has but a 'short time" (3½ years), in which to finish his devilish work. (Rev. 12:12.)

VI. His Incarnation.

When Satan is cast out of the Heavenlies on to the earth, he is going to "incarnate" himself in the Antichrist. See the Chapter on "The Antichrist."

VII. His Doom.

When Christ shall return to the Mt. of Olives at the close of the "Tribulation Period," the "Beast" and the "False Prophet" shall be cast "alive" into the "Lake of Fire," and an angel from Heaven will seize Satan and bind him with a great chain, already forged, and cast him into the "Bottomless Pit," where he shall remain for 1000 years. Rev. 20:1-3. At the close of which time he shall be loosed for a season, and then with his angels, demons, and the human beings who have fallen under his power, he shall be cast into the "Lake of Fire" prepared for him in the long ago. Rev. 20:7-10; Matt. 25:41.



CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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