Angels and Satan


 

Angels and Satan

“Angelology and Satanology”

 

When we look at the dualism with comparative analysis of God and Satan we have to understand the basic foundation of dualism. Elwell asserts that dualism assumes that there are two distinct and irreducible substances or principles with three major types.[1] In epistemology these are idea and object.[2] In metaphysics they are mind and matter. In ethics they are good and evil.[3] Ethical standards of good and evil may seem simplistic to us as we denote them as one or the other. God is our supreme creator whose absolute attributes of holiness, love, and goodness show to us that he cannot produce evil. Satan was created prior to Adam, but was also created with the ability to have power of personality and freedom of choice. God did not create evil, he created an angel. Elmer Towns states, “Self-assertion against God was the only direction in which such a being could sin.”[4] The power and pride Satan had led to his own self-destruction, as which is cited in Isaiah 14:12-17.[5] Satan’s pride made him amaurotic, which he then executed an insurrection against God and was cast out of heaven. This biblical understanding of Satan shows us that he is in no way equal to God, nor is he ever going to be included in the universe. In Ezekiel 28 we have a clear depiction of Satan before the fall. It is clear from Ezekiel that this was Satan because it could not have been Adam and he was set above all other angels, who we know to be Satan. We have a clear understanding that the ethical viewpoint of good and evil is not the same as the biblical understanding. From the ethical viewpoint, we would assert that God and Satan were equal beings of power yet opposites much like light and dark. However, the biblical understanding is that God only allows Satan the power that he has and therefore is on no equal footing of any kind.  A common misconception is that since God created Satan and Satan is evil, then God created evil. This is not true when see how Satan was created. God gave Satan freedom of choice just as he also gave it to Adam. However, God gave Satan power and prominence. God loves us all and in his goodness and love he created us. Satan allowed pride to take over and that was of his own creation. Satan brought evil and when he did he influenced many other angels. If God didn’t love Satan, then he could have destroyed him then and there before he even created Adam. Yet, in his love he cast him out. The ironic thing is that Satan has probably seen Gods love more than any human created and yet his pride still doesn’t subside. We do not know how perfect Satan was made, but he took that perfection into darkness. Satan is still and angel in being and possesses that power to which he held. He is not flesh and has no body, but he does have a personality. He will not suffer any human discomforts, as he is not of any human form. As we see with the story of Job, Satan cannot do anything that God does not allow him to do.   Satan is the originator of sin and all sin is from him. We have freedom of choice as well and can live a life avoiding a lot of sin. Christ is our salvation and through him we are cleansed of our sin. He washes it all away and Satan has no power over Christ.

Footnotes


[1] Walter A. Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1984, 2001), 357.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid., 357.

[4] Elmer L. Towns, Theology for Today (Mason, OH: Cengage Learning, 2008, 2002), 361.

[5] Oxford, The Holy Bible: Scofield Study Bible, KJV (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1909).

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