Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Satan's Relationship With God

Being true to form, I have come up with another controversial idea. There are probably some commentaries available where some author has said something similar. After all, this is the Bible. And I have found that it makes sense. Therefore, someone, if not many have probably preceded my line of thinking, which by the way, does not make me correct. (This is an opinion I had. I am in no way encouraging anyone to believe it is true).

What I want to do here, is preface the ideas I am writing about. I want to tell you what my conclussions are, then give you the facts I used to draw these conclussions.

God has demonstrated that He will destroy what ever there may be that does not honor Him. He will destroy those things that will not meet the purpose for which He created it. And I will say there is certainly a destruction that awaits Satan. However, my conclussion is not that Satan is going to be destroyed for his rebellion, alone. I think there are some factors relating to God's judgement on those creations that fail to be what they were intended to be.

Satan appears to have been created as an instrument of God. And, there are indications in scripture that Satan's occupation was his second function in the Kingdom of Heaven. He was origionally known as Lucifer - The morning star. Possibly, Lucifer was given the job of proving man's love for God. Therefore, to the Hebrew people, his name becomes the description of his occupation, Satan - Temptor.

What I am giving you to consider is this:
Was Satan given the occupation to prove man by tempting man?
Did Satan rebell because he felt that his purpose would come to an end, and God would destroy him? (As one of the readers of this blog pointed out, it would be ungracious of God to destroy Satan for not having an occupation that God Himself brought to an end).

My conclussion is not that Satan is going to be destroyed because he fails to have a function. I think that may have been Satan's understanding. I think Satan rebelled for fear that he would be destroyed for no longer having the role of tempter.

I believe, as I alwasys have believed that God is going to destroy him.

Isaiah 14:12-15 (New International Version)
12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
13 You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.
14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."
15 But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.



Now, here is where my questioning begins.
Satan, is an Old Testament name given to Lucifer as he was known by man as the ‘Tempter of Man’. Obviously Satan served in a high position to God. Since the Bible also recognizes him as Lucifer, The Morning Star. http://www.answers.com/topic/lucifer
http://www.elook.org/dictionary/lucifer.html
So, what happened to cause God to recognize Lucifer and grant him a high position among the angels in Heaven, Only to end with Lucifer being cast out of Heaven?

Job 2:1-9
1 On another day the angels [a] came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. 2 And the LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."
3 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason."
4 "Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face."
6 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life."
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
9 His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!"

1 Kings 22:19-23 (American Standard Version)
American Standard Version (ASV)
Copyright © 1901 Public Domain

19 And Micaiah said, Therefore hear thou the word of Jehovah: I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.
20 And Jehovah said, Who shall entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner; and another said on that manner.
21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before Jehovah, and said, I will entice him.
22 And Jehovah said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt entice him, and shalt prevail also: go forth, and do so.
23 Now therefore, behold, Jehovah hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets; and Jehovah hath spoken evil concerning thee.

In the above passages from Job and First Kings, we clearly see Satan having access to the Throne of God; but why? From our limited perspective, this would seem a mystery of God to allow this guy, who tempted His creation to fall out of a functional relationship with God to still continue to approach the Throne of God. And yet, here he is.

Well, I think this is what we are missing in our understanding of Satan and his relationship with God. I think we need to rearrange the chronology we have decided to accept as history. We need to continue to see Satan as Lucifer in the beginning. And we should definitely continue to understand Satan will be destroyed. What we need to figure out, is at what point God will decide Satan to be destroyed. And further, at what point did Satan lead a revolt in Heaven?

The popular teaching is Satan revolted prior to the creation of Adam and Eve. This makes sense by itself, as we see Satan as having been successful in corrupting man’s relationship with God. But then what do we do with these verses which discuss Satan’s freedom to come and go in the presence of God? What are we to do with the consulting we see occurring between God and Satan? Take a second look at Job 2:3 –

3 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason."

Satan has just come before the Lord, a second time. His report is that he is roaming the earth. God asks him if he has considered Job. And Satan is revealed to already have failed to tempt Job. So, we are to understand Satan’s “...roaming the earth” is Satan’s occupation to tempt man. And God is sending Satan back for another attempt at causing Job to sin against God. As Job’s wife also does at the end of the second trial, by bitterly instructing Job to curse God and die in verse 2:9. In other words, ‘Die and be gone! Your faith is ruining my life!’

Now look at First Kings 22:19-23. Here we see a meeting in Heaven! God is consulting His Angels for suggestions on how to manipulate the affairs of man to have a beneficial out come for King Jehoshaphat of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Jehoshaphat allied himself with Ahab. Ahab was the corrupt king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

One angel suggests one thing, and another angel suggested another thing. Then, an angel steps forth with his idea to entice Ahab by being a lying spirit in the mouth’s of Ahab’s prophets. The scripture then says, God put a lying spirit in the mouth’s of all of Ahab’s prophets. God did it, by commissioning one of His angels to carry out the task of causing confusion.

Now, I am aware that The Bible says, “God is not the author of confusion”. So, what about this angel? God created this angel who looks very much like the same being we see tempting Job. As this angel in First Kings says he will entice, or tempt Ahab.

So, here is what I think our view of Celestial chronology should be.

God created Heaven and Earth. Within the Heaven’s, He created as well. I believe Satan was created to serve God and when man was created, one of the task Lucifer received, was to prove man. In other words, God gave man a freedom of will. If God was going to be edified by a relationship with man, there would have to be adversity. Because, without adversity, there can not be edification as man would follow after the creator as He is obviously far better than anything on Earth. But, then, this angel comes along and convinces Adam and Eve they are missing out on something. So, they chose to find out what it was. And this sets the stage for God’s contention with man. God seeks to be edified while Satan seeks to do his job, which is to cause adversity. With adversity, there would truly be edification for God in a man’s choosing God in the face of always being enticed to believe there is something better.

So, why does Lucifer make this statement as it is recorded in Isaiah 14:13-14?
13 You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.

I believe it is because Lucifer has had a glimpse of what the outcome is for man who reject God, and man who have been atoned for. For those of the human family who do not seek to fulfill the purpose they are created for, they will be destroyed.

Satan has come to the realization that his usefulness will run out with the end of time for Earth and Mankind. And what happens with something that does not serve God’s purposes. It is destroyed. I think that Satan had thought "God will no longer have a need for a ‘lying spirit’ or ‘tempter’. And because of this, I will be destroyed". So, Satan says, "I will lead a revolt. I will prove to God’s creation that I am higher than He. And I will sit on the Throne over all of God’s creation". However, God has already told us what the end will be. And, I do not believe Satan would have been destroyed for no longer having an occupation. But, that he assumed he would be destroyed and therefore revolted in defense of his existance. Falsely assuming his destruction. So, yes. Satan will face destruction for rebellion. But 'rebellion' for a different motive.

Just some thoughts. I realize this is not popular teaching. So, if it does not take, I understand. It is not important to salvation, anyway.

15 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

From Revelation 20:10, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire, and punished forever. This seems to indicate conscious punishment. I can accept the fact that he will be destroyed in the sense of made powerless and his kingdom destroyed.

Russ:)

jeleasure said...

Hey Russ,
Your comment surprised me. When you said you read the piece at this address, name it
I thought you would be more likely to comment on my suggestion that Satan is an instrument of God. And he revolted because he knows he will soon not have a purpose. If he does not have a purpose, (namely to create adversity) he will be destroyed.

Kait said...

I wish I had interesting remarks to make on your posts but I must say I am not well versed in religion. I have a more relaxed approach I'd say haha.

thekingpin68 said...

Thanks, Jim.

As God wills all things within Biblical and Reformed theology, Satan is an instrument of God. But, Satan is not forced to commit evil and does this with a degree of freedom.

jeleasure said...

O.k. Russ, I think this one will work. Satan's Relationship with God

jeleasure said...

Hi Kait,
Thanks for leaving a comment. I posted a bogus link with an 'html' tag and the end of the code. So, that link would not work in the first comment I sent.
So, I erased it and sent a new comment with a functional link. I noticed it is difficult to see where my link is. It is the title of my manuscript Love One Another. It will underline itself when you place your pointer over it.
Jim

Vicki said...

I enjoy your thoughts so much. Lucifer was and continues to play out his role as tempter. And it is through this adversity that humans can decide to edify the Lord.
Lucifer fell when he decided to become like God. (Don't people do that too!) And this is ultimate condemnation.
There is nothng here to laugh about. Maybe what we believe, and what the Bible teaches is not true. if that is so we have lost very little. However, if this is all true, it is extremely serious.
I miss you.

jeleasure said...

Vicki,
Hi hun. I miss you, also.
Right, we have very little to worry about as truly born again believers. However, it is in our efforts to help people who do not know The Lord where we will face adversity.
American Family Association was discussing how a particular Islamic Country (I can't remember which one or how many) has always murdered any woman who was found to have converted from Islam to any religion. And the courts have given the death penalty to anyone for the same thing except men. The men of Islam can appeal a death sentence. The report on American Family Radio was that now, there is no appeal. Anyone being found guilty of apostacy will be murdered. And the same for anyone using the INTERNET to proselytize will also be murdered.
Another thought occured to me concerning Lucifer's occupation. I also think Lucifer may have jumped to some hasty conclusions for what his fait would be after time has ended. There was not a need to revolt. He may have been given other duties.
Now, I am aware that this is all speculative. So, I'm just taking what I know to be true and attempting to fill in the gaps with speculation.

Jeff said...

Therefore, someone, if not many have probably preceded my line of thinking, which by the way, does not make me correct.

Methinks that you are becoming more humble, Jim. That is commendable.

Jeff said...

In the above passages from Job and First Kings, we clearly see Satan having access to the Throne of God; but why? From our limited perspective, this would seem a mystery of God to allow this guy, who tempted His creation to fall out of a functional relationship with God. And yet, here he is.

Pharaoh allowed Moses access to stand before him in his court, even when Moses was bringing God's judgment against Pharaoh. Solomon allowed people to come before his throne. It has been common with earthly kings. Why should it not also be with God?

Jeff said...

So, why does Lucifer make this statement as it is recorded in Isaiah 14:13-14?
13 You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.

I believe it is because Lucifer has had a glimpse of what the outcome is for man who reject God, and man who have been atoned for. For those of the human family who do not seek to fulfill the purpose they are created for, they will be destroyed.

Satan has come to the realization that his usefulness will run out with the end of time for Earth and Mankind. And what happens with something that does not serve God’s purposes. It is destroyed. God will no longer have a need for a ‘lying spirit’ or ‘tempter’. So, Satan says, I will lead a revolt. I will prove to God’s creation that I am higher than He. And I will sit on the Throne over all of God’s creation. However, God has already told us what the end will be.


Satan cannot see into the future, nor is he omniscient. Therefore, when he led a rebellion in Heaven, man had not yet fallen (nor, presumably, had been created). Therefore, Lucifer/Satan could not know what would happen to mankind.

Your suggestion that Lucifer was predestined/elected by God to cause evil is an interesting one. Lucifer, as all creatures, was created to glorify God. And, even as Satan, he glorifies God, as you suggest, because God's mercy and power are displayed as a result.

jeleasure said...

Hi Jeff,
Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Just to clarify; my opinion here is not from the perspective of Satan leading a revolt prior to the fall of man. Otherwise, the article would just explain what most people already feel to be the correct chronology.
What I am stating is Satan's revolt, based on his becoming aware of his usefulness running out. I have reasoned Satan's understanding that he will no longer be needed as a 'tempter' when God judges man for the last time. So he revolts in an effort to not face destruction for not being able to fulfill the purpose he was created for.
You've stated the traditional view of Satan's revolt being prior to the fall of man. Most people already view Satan's revolt as having proceeding the fall of man.
You don't have to agree with me. I just noticed your opinion was sited without regard to the perspective I have written my opinion from. I usually write on issues that do not square with me. My intent is to challenge the status quo.

Angela said...

Jim, I am tagging you to post six random things about yourself. Go to my page for the rules. Have fun!
Angela

Great Googly Moogly! said...

Interesting idea, but I think the "classical" view still has the best Scriptural support--that Satan was already "fallen" when in the Garden. In your post you suggest that Satan might not have been "fallen" during the temptation episode in Eden; that he was only doing his job (what he was created for) and only later, at some point in time, decided to rebell because he realized that his "usefulness" would someday be ending. In this scenerio, Satan would be believing that God would "punish" him with "destruction" (everlasting punishment) simply for doing his job. I don't think this can be supported Biblically.

Everywhere in the Bible, God is telling His creation (primarily Man) to "be who you are", i.e. to be what He created us to be. He created the world and everything in it "good" and "very good"; therefore, if we (including the creation) would simply fulfill our created design, then all would continue to be "good". But, through Man's rebellion, estrangement has fractured every relationship in creation; sin now reigns throughout the created order and we must be redeemed to be authentically human again (but this is off the subject :-).

But if, as you suggest might be a possibility, that Satan was simply fulfilling his created design, doing the very thing that he was created to do, then God would be considered ungracious (at best) to punish him for fulfilling his created function.

You suggest that Satan (Lucifer) might have been created as a "lying spirit" and as a "tempter" so that when there is no need for this anymore, Satan will be destroyed; as if God would punish someone for "being" who (or what) he was created to be. I don't think this conclusion has Biblical support. I beleive it is much more harmonious with Scripture to view Satan as being created "good" (as with all the angels) and as having led a rebellion before his being cast down to earth; that Satan has already been judged by God before having the opportunity to lead His prized creation (Man) astray.

In my estimation, it poses no problem at all that Satan still has access to the throne room of God throughout redemptive history. God is still sovereign over all things and Satan still does God's bidding as a created being under the subjection and rule of God. The fact that Satan still has to answer to God is a great encouragement for us who sometimes think (wrongly) that Satan is free to do whatever he pleases--it just 'aint so. :-)

I believe that the Scripture teaches that Satan, as with all the angels, was created with the intention of serving God for eternity. Satan rebelled and was cast down to earth where he has continued to try to lead a rebellion against God using Man as his (satan's) servant. If Satan had truly fulfilled his purpose, he would have continued to lead the hosts of heaven in worship of God Most High.

As an aside (and an important one, I believe), I also think your suggestion does harm to the importance of Jesus' temptation by Satan in the wildnerness. I believe that we must view Satan here (as well as in Genesis) as the "fallen" angel who's own will (not God's) is to destroy Man. Jesus, as the second Adam, succeeded where Adam (and later Israel) failed. He was confronted by the "evil" one (not a being that is simply doing his job) and was victorious! I think this episode loses much of its force and meaning if Satan, in the Garden, wasn't trying to thwart God's plan as the "fallen" enemy of God and Man. The main point in Jesus' temptation, I believe, is the fact that He was confronted by the same enemy as Adam (and later Israel) but was victorious to prove and secure Satan's defeat.

Even though I disagree that your suggestion has biblical merit, I do appreciate the opportunity to interact with another idea, another way of thinking about something. This is a good why to sharpen our understanding--or to even come to a different understanding. We must be confronted with ideas that we don't share in order to strengthen what we believe, or to "see" something that we've missed for so long. Again...I don't think your suggestion is biblically defensible, but I appreciate the opportunity to interact with it.

As long we continue to know and believe that Christ is Savior and Lord, we can converse about things with the goal that our faith in Him would be strengthened.

I look forward to reading more of your material.

jeleasure said...

GGM,
Thanks for commenting. You have understood everything I said correctly. A thought I voiced to my wife on Satan's destruction is in line with what you have stated.
Yes, for God to punish Satan for doing his job would be ungracious. So, In realyzing this myself, if you look beneath my reply to Vicki, who is my wife, I did consider this. And do need to go back to the text to amend it.
What I was stating (and was not clear) is that Satan may have assumed his role to have come to an end when God judges man in the final judgement. I do believe that God would be ungracious for destroying Satan for doing his job. It is not that I am stating that God will destroy Satan as "punishment" as you have stated for doing his job. I am stating that Satan is assuming he will be destroyed as his purpose will run out when God judges man in the final judgement. And so Satan, unnecessarily revolted, as he concludes that he may be destroyed when there is no need for a tempter. And since he revolted, he will be destroyed.

GGM also stated,
" As an aside (and an important one, I believe), I also think your suggestion does harm to the importance of Jesus' temptation by Satan in the wildnerness. I believe that we must view Satan here (as well as in Genesis) as the "fallen" angel who's own will (not God's) is to destroy Man".

My reply:
I do not consider it to harm the importance of Satan having tempted Jesus. For Jesus had to be tempted just as you and I are tempted in order to be the "Perfect Lamb of God". He had to face temptation as you and I do. And thus, defeating it, is one of the qualifications for Jesus to be the 'Perfect Lamb of God'. I say, one of the qualifications, because Jesus also had to fulfill every aspect of the law, as well. Right on down to the details you and I do not see. Such as, assuming the role of a High Priest on the eve before the Day of Atonement and cleansing the Temple.
Thanks for helping me to formulate some necessary changes to "Satan's Relationship with God".
I will be looking at your blog again, after I catch up on some things.
Jim