Why Satan thought he could win against God

What power does Satan have to oppose God?
What are his strategy and his goal?
Why did God allow Satan to torment Job without cause?
– A study of the book of Job

Conclusions

JobThis article analyses the text of the book of Job, and comes to the following eleven conclusions:

1. Satan is only able to do what the Lord allows him to do. Satan had to ask permission from God to test Job by destroying all his possessions.

2. God claims certain people as His (His elect). The dispute in Job is over the Lord’s elected people only; not about the followers of Satan.

3. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. He accuses God’s elect.

4. By rejecting God’s assessment or judgment of His elect, Satan is actually saying that God judges wrongly. When Satan tests Job, he is actually testing God’s ability to judge.

5. Satan has no real interest in humans; his goal is to save himself. He and his angels are condemned by God, and Satan wants to show to the universe that God makes mistakes when He judges.

6. Job had no idea of the events in heaven, but his sufferings on earth were the direct consequence of a dispute and an agreement made in heaven. This was not an isolated incident but still continues every day.

7. If it can be shown that God’s judgments are faulty, even only in a single instance, the implications for the creation will be massive; Satan would be able to claim that he also has been judged unfairly.

8. Satan not only wants to be cleared from guilt; he is also fighting to retain the right to rule the earth.

9. The Lord and Satan are in a battle for the minds of the people. God does not take the rule by force. Nor does He allow Satan to force angels and people to submit to his authority.  This war for the right to rule will NOT be won on the basis of power but on the basis of loyalty.

10. God’s intelligent beings are free to choose. God wants them to trust His judgments so that they would serve Him because they want to serve Him. Satan is the one who does not grant freedom.  He controls people and angels against their will.

11. Satan thought he could succeed against God because he knew that God allows His intelligent beings to choose for themselves, and he thought that he would be able, through brilliant deceptions, to convince them to side with him.

Article Series

War in HeavenThis is the second of the following series of articles:

  1. Origin of Evil
  2. Why Satan thought he could win against God
  3. Why did God not destroy evil immediately?
  4. War in Heaven
  5. Why was evil not destroyed after the Cross?
  6. Why does God not create a separate galaxy for Satan and his followers?

The Question

God is all-powerful.  He created everything.  Satan and His evil angels, in contrast, are merely created beings.  The devils believe that God is one, but they “tremble” (James 2:19).  Satan is perhaps the most brilliant mind ever created.  Why did he think he could succeed against God?

The Facts

Job tormentedThe facts from the book of Job, in brief, are as follows:

One day “the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD” (Job 1:6).

Satan also was among them (Job 1:6).  The LORD asked Satan: “From where do you come?” (Job 1:7).

Satan answered, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it” (Job 1:7).

But the Lord said, “have you considered My servant Job?  For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:8).

But Satan rejected God’s assessment of Job.  He declared that Job fears God only because God protects him on every side, and blesses the works of his hands, making him very wealthy.  Satan continued, “but put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face” (Job 1:9-11).

The LORD then gave Satan permission to test Job by destroying everything that Job owned (Job 1:12), including his children.

Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God” (Job 1:22).

A second meeting of the sons of God with the Lord is described in Job 2:1-6.  The same issues are brought up, but with slightly different specifics. Satan failed the first time around to destroy Job’s faith in God.  The Lord now adds, referring to Job, “he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause” (Job 2:3).

Now Satan requests even more power to show that Job does not really have faith in God:

Stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 2:4-5)

And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life” (Job 2:6).

So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” (Job 2:1-7).

Job with Painful BoilsJob was the wealthiest man of the east, and Satan said that Job fears God only because the Lord blessed the works of his hands.  God then allowed Satan to take away everything that Job owned, and to cover Job’s body with painful boils so that “Job took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes” (Job 2:8).  The wealthiest man was reduced to one of the poorest and most miserable people.  But still, Job did not curse God.  He said:

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.  “Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes will see and not another.” (Job 19:25-27)

Discussion

Job

The book Job helps us with the question above.

It is possibly the oldest book in the Bible.  Job himself made “morning and offering burnt offerings” (Job 1:5), and there is no mention in the book of the Jewish priesthood.  Job probably lived before the time of Abraham.

Job was “blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:1).  He was also very wealthy (Job 1:2-3); “the greatest of all the men of the east” (Job 1:3).

He was a real person.  Other Bible writers refer to him (James 5:11).  Ezekiel mentions him with Noah and Daniel as exceptionally righteous (Ezek 14:14, 20).

The Lord

The book of Job makes a distinction between God and the Lord (Job 1:8-9; 2:3).  In the article Son of God, it is proposed that “the Lord” in Job refers to Jesus Christ before He became a human being.

Sons of God

Who are these “sons of God” that came to present themselves before the Lord? Jesus is “the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).  Believers are also called “sons of God” (Rom 8:14). However, in Luke’s gospel, in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, where the sequence of generations is listed using the phrase “son of”, for instance, “the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, the son of Matthat”, Adam is called “the son of God” (Luke 3:23). So perhaps God also created other worlds and perhaps these “sons of God” in Job are the leaders of these worlds, as opposed to angels. As ruler of this world (John 12:31), Satan was among them.

Satan

Satan means adversary.  In the previous article (Origin of Evil) it was shown that Satan is one of a special class of angels (covering cherubs) that serve in God’s immediate presence.  Ezekiel saw four of them (Ezekiel 10:9).  “The sound of the wings of the cherubim was … like the voice of God Almighty when He speaks” (Ezek 10:5).  “Each one had four faces and each one four wings” (Ezek 10:14, 21). “Their whole body, their backs, their hands, their wings and the wheels were full of eyes all around” (Ezek 10:12).

Ezekiel describes them as “living beings” (Ezek 10:15, 20).  John also saw “four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind” (Rev 4:5).

These are extremely mighty creatures.  When Satan looks at the mighty angels of lower classes, they just run (Dan 10:21).

1. Satan is only able to do
what the Lord allows him.

Satan had to ask permission from God to test Job.  Satan was not allowed to kill Job, but God allowed Satan to kill Jesus.  We do not have to fear Satan.

2. The dispute is about God’s elect.

We see in Job that God claims certain people as His.  He elects them on the basis of qualities that are invisible to Satan and other created beings.  The dispute in Job is over the Lord’s elected people only.  The dispute is not about the followers of Satan.

3. Satan is the accuser of the brethren.

Satan accuses Job.  In general, Satan accuses God’s people.  In the book of Revelation, he is called the “accuser of our brethren” (Rev 12:10).  In Zachariah 3:1-2 Satan stands next to the high priest Joshua “to accuse him.

4. Satan accuses God
of unfair judgment.

Satan rejects God’s assessment or judgment of the Lord’s elect. Satan argued that Job will curse God if Job’s possessions are taken away.  But the issue is not Job as a person.  The issue is much bigger.  By saying that Job fears God only because God protects him and blesses the works of his hands, and by saying that Job will curse God if Job’s possessions are taken away, Satan was actually saying something about God, namely that God judges wrongly.  And when Satan tests Job, he is actually testing God’s ability to judge.  Satan wants to show that God makes mistakes when He judges.

This confirms the conclusion in the article on the Origin of Evil that Satan inspired distrust in God.  In Eden, he called God a selfish liar.

Satan did not respond to the Lord by saying that Job is but one in millions.  It was important for Satan to show that God was wrong with respect to Job.  Apparently, the question is not the view of the majority. God does not need all people on His side to win this war.  It is proposed that the issue is not who will be saved, but whether God makes mistakes when He judges.

5. Satan attempts to defend himself.

Why does Satan want to show that God makes mistakes when he judges?  Is he concerned that God might save the wrong people?  It is proposed here that Satan has no real interest in humans; his goal is to save himself.  God has cast Satan “as profane from the mountain of God” (Ezek 28:16).  He and his angels are condemned by God (Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4).  It is to defend himself against God’s judgment of himself that Satan wants to show to the universe that God makes mistakes when He judges.  If God’s judgments can be shown to be wrong in even a single instance, then Satan has won; then God’s judgment of Satan and his angels are brought into question.

6. The agreements in heaven
have consequences on earth.

Job had no idea of the events in heaven, but the test he went through on earth was the direct consequence of a discussion and agreement made in heaven between the Lord and Satan. It is proposed that what happened to Job was not an isolated incident, but a general principle. The book of Job is a revelation of what always has been happening in the invisible realm.  Satan accuses God’s people and requests God’s permission to allow him to test them, to prove that God judges wrongly. There is, therefore, a very direct relationship between the dispute in heaven and the trials on earth.

Jesus similarly said to Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail” (Luke 22:31-32).

Prince of PersiaWe see something similar in Daniel 10. Daniel’s prayer caused a skirmish in heaven. For three weeks the heavenly messenger struggled against the supernatural “Prince of Persia”. Only when Archangel Michael came to his assistance was he able to deliver the message to Daniel. Daniel had no idea of what was happening in the spiritual realm as he prayed but only learned of it afterward.  The principle is that this is a single war, fought on two fronts; heaven and earth.

On the basis of Job, we can safely assume that there was a debate between the Lord and Satan before Adam and Eve were tested in the Garden of Eden and that the Lord gave Satan permission to test Adam and Eve, just like he was later allowed to test Job.  Just as in the case of Job, Satan was limited as to what he was allowed to do. God allowed Satan to test Adam and Eve only with respect to the prominent tree in the middle of the garden (Gen 3:2-3). It is called the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil not because the tree contained some magical properties, but because that was the only place where they would encounter evil.

In fact, we can assume that events on earth today still are governed by debates and agreements between God and Satan.

7. The tests on earth have consequences
for the entire universe.

The consequences also go in the other direction. The debate in heaven results in tests for God’s people on earth, but the tests of God’s people on earth prove or disprove the reliability of God’s judgments, and therefore have consequences for all beings in the universe.  The earth serves as testing ground for God’s judgments, that “the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (Eph 3:10).  In other words, the opinions of the “rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” are influenced by the church.  The church refers not only to the New Testament Church but to the people that trust in God (have faith in God) throughout all ages.

If it can be shown that God’s judgments are faulty, even only in a single instance, the implications for the heavenly beings will be massive.  Satan would be able to claim that he also has been judged unfairly.

8. Satan is fighting for the right to rule.

It is was proposed above that Satan wants to show that God makes mistakes when He judges to defend himself against God’s judgment of himself and his followers.  It is now further proposed that Satan not only wants to be cleared from guilt; his ultimate goal is to rule.

There are indications in the debate between the Lord and Satan that the issue is the right to rule:

When Satan said that he has been “roaming about on the earth and walking around on it”, he was implying he rules the earth and all of its people.

When the Lord referred to Job as a “blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil”, He was disputing Satan’s claim for full control over the peoples of the earth.

Initially, Adam and Eve had ownership of the world.  God gave them “dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Gen 1:26, 28).  When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, Satan became “the ruler of this world” (John 14:30; 12:31).  He wants to retain the right to rule the earth.

9. The right to rule is won by loyalty.

God does not take the rule by force.  Nor does He allow Satan to force angels and people to submit to his authority.  This war for the right to rule will not be won on the basis of power but on the basis of loyalty.  It is a battle for the minds of the people.  From the earliest times God has always been sending message after message to the people of this world, ensuring them of His love and asking them to trust Him:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son” (Heb 1:1-2).

Satan’s purpose is firstly to show that God’s elect does not really have faith in God.  But Satan does more than objectively testing the loyalty of God’s people; because the right to rule is won by winning loyalty, he actually incites people and angels against God.  As the Lord said to Satan,

you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause” (Job 2:3)

10. God’s intelligent beings
have freedom to choose.

Satan is the Lord’s enemy, but note that the LORD does not use force against Satan.  The Lord allows Satan into the heavenly meetings, listens to him, debates with him, allows Satan to question His judgment, and allows Satan to test His judgment.  When Satan comes back after having failed the first time, God even allows Satan to put Job through an even more stringent test.

EdenSimilarly, God allowed Satan to visit the Garden of Eden and to tempt Adam and Eve and allowed him to tempt Christ in the Wilderness.

The Lord’s very claim, namely that Job serves God, as well as Satan’s test of that claim, would make no sense at all if God sovereignly decides who will serve Him, and then programs them to serve Him with irrefutable force, as claimed by the theory of election.

Everything in Job happened with God’s intelligent beings looking on.  They hear the challenges and see the tests.  God works out this rebellion/sin problem in full sight of the whole universe.  This also implies that God wants His intelligent beings to understand the issues, and to decide for themselves who is right; the Lord or Satan.  God wants them to trust His judgments so that they would be able to serve Him in complete freedom because they want to serve Him.

This entire story of Job is a major difficulty to Christians who believe in the sovereignty of God, by which they mean that God determines everything and that nothing happens outside of His will.  If that was true, why do good people suffer?  What is the point?  People that believe that God decides who will be saved often describe that as God’s mercy, but they seem to ignore the fact that that also means that other people will be eternally destroyed in hell, simply because God arbitrarily decided that they will.  Personally, I believe this is blasphemy.  God is love (1 John 4:8).  God is Light, and in Him, there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).  To then say that God will decide who will be eternally destroyed in hell, irrespective of what these people want or do or think, sounds to me like blasphemy.  And I do not accept the view that God works with a different system of ethics.  I believe that what we understand as good is what God also understands as good.

Job confirms a principle from the previous article (Origin of Evil), namely that God created His intelligent beings with the ability to disobey Him so that their service and love will be their free choice.

Freedom is the foundation of God’s government. God is all-powerful, but by granting unlimited free will to His intelligent beings, God limited Himself. God could have created robots, that only do what they are told to do, but it was God’s choice to create intelligent beings that are completely free. He is able to do away with evil by forcing His intelligent beings to serve Him against their will, but He created this universe for His intelligent beings. To force them to obey Him would undo His entire goal for this universe. He wants all His intelligent beings to love and worship Him by choice and not because He forces them to worship Him.

Free choice is a fundamental difference between God’s systems of government and Satan’s. Satan is the one who does not grant freedom to others. Satan attempts to force people and angels to do what he wants them to do. When people are possessed, they no longer have the ability to leave Satan behind. The mark of the beast is specifically used to force people to worship in a certain way.

11. Why Satan thought
he could succeed against God

We are now able to answer the question above. For the following reasons Satan thought that he could succeed against God:

He knew God very well and knew that God would not use force. He knew that God allows his intelligent beings the freedom to choose for themselves. He knew that the contest will not be on the basis of power, but on the basis of loyalty.

He thought that he would be able to convince them to side with him, because, as a mighty covering cherub, who previously explained God’s decisions to the universe, he was loved by all angels and they had much respect for him.

Satan had an advantage over God because he could tell lies.  Because he knew God so well he knew that he would have to tell lies and misrepresent God before man and before the angels.  But he also knew God cannot use deception or lies, and that God’s only weapons are love and truth.

He has perhaps the most brilliant mind ever created and was able to use extremely cunning deception and lies.

Jesus said of Satan: 

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” (John 8:44).

Other articles series

TO: List of all articles on this website

The Origin of Evil – right in God’s Throne Room

ABSTRACT: God creates his intelligent beings able to disobey Him so that their service and love will be their free choice. Evil arose from this freedom; right in the middle of heaven.


SUMMARY

Origin – Sin did not originate on earth, but in heaven.  Satan and evil existed before humans were created. When Satan deceived our first parents, evil spilled over to earth.

Lucifer – The name “Lucifer” means “Light-Bringer.” It is the glorious title Satan had before his fall. He was “the anointed cherub who covers.” This means that he was one of the highest angels in heaven; one of a special class of angels that serve in God’s immediate presence. He was perfect in beauty, full of wisdom, blameless in his ways, loved by all and he loved all God’s beings. He understood everything that created beings are able to understand. He was perhaps the most glorious being ever created.

Freedom created – God creates his intelligent beings with the ability to disobey Him so that their service and love will be their free choice.  Without that ability, we would have been nothing other than a computer, programmed to say, “I love you, I love you”.  He wants us to love Him because it is our free choice.

Center of the Universe – Evil arose in heaven’s command center, not in some far away galaxy. Sin originated in Lucifer, who served in God’s immediate presence.

Pride – Evil first arose as Pride. Lucifer became proud because of his beauty and desired to be worshiped like God. Pride was therefore the first sin, and it is still the most dangerous of all sins because it hides behind a mask of self-righteousness.

Freedom allowed – Although Satan was created able to disobey God, God still was able to force Lucifer to obey Him, but He did not; God allowed Satan the freedom to oppose Him. God also allowed Adam to disobey Him and He allowed Satan to tempt the newly created humans. God’s government is based on freedom, for there can be no true obedience from the heart unless there is freedom to disobey.

Evil arose from freedom – Lucifer became proud because of his beauty, but beauty was not the cause of evil. The risk of freedom is that evil would one day develop. But to live with that risk is much, much better than being a robot. There is nothing wrong with how God created His intelligent beings.

Satan’s tactics – To deceive Eve into sin, Satan lured her into conversation by pretending to seek information, twisted God’s words, inspired distrust in God by calling God a selfish liar, and caused her to be dissatisfied with what she is and had received. Satan did the same with the angels; he inspires distrust in God. He teaches that God does not have our best interest at heart. Satan also caused the angels to be dissatisfied with what they are and have received.

Satan knew God would forgive Adam and Eve – Satan sinned with full understanding of God and His governing principles. Satan knew God so well that he knew God would let Adam and Eve live, even though God told Adam “in the day that you eat from it you will surely die”.

Satan also knew he did not have to fear punishment – To be created able to disobey God, but under the threat that God will destroy sinners, is no real freedom.  His intelligent beings have this freedom even without fear that God will punish them. Sinners will “depart … into the eternal fire” (Matt 25:41), but not as a punishment.

Final destruction – Satan will one day “cease to be forever.” God’s heart is broken by Lucifer’s rebellion, and it will break His heart to destroy the most beautiful and wise creature ever created.

– END OF SUMMARY –


THE FALL OF MAN

The LORD God said to Adam,

“From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Gen 2:16-17).

There-after God formed Eve (Gen 2:18-23). Satan, in the form of a serpent, approached Eve when she was alone (Gen 3:1; Rev 12:9), and asked her,

Has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’” (Gen 3:1)

God commanded Adam not to eat from one specific tree, but Satan, trying to lure Eve into a conversation by pretending to seek information, twisted God’s words by referring to “any tree”.

Eve answered that they are allowed to eat from the fruit of the trees in the garden,

but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die” (Gen 3:2-3).

Satan then called God a selfish liar:

You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:4-5).

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food…
she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
” (Gen 3:1-6 NKJV)

We learn several lessons from this:

To get Eve to sin, Satan got Eve to distrust God. 
Satan accused God of telling lies and of being selfish. Eve was led to believe that God was holding back what should have been hers.

Satan also tempted Eve to be unhappy with what she is and had. 
Lucifer, the “star of the morning” (Isa 14:12) said in his heart “I will make myself like the Most High” (Isa 14:14). Now, we see that he tempts Eve with the very same thirst for power. He told her that she lacks discernment (“your eyes will be opened”) and she desired wisdom (“to make one wise”).

God does not use force but allows Satan to tempt His creatures.

He allowed two trees in the garden, He gave Adam the option of disobeying Him and He allowed Satan access to the newly created humans. These things show that His government is based on the freedom to choose for or against Him. There can be no true obedience from the heart unless there is freedom to disobey.

Satan and evil (sin) existed before humans were created. Satan, in the form of a serpent, deceived our first parents. Sin did not originate on earth; the rebellion against God began elsewhere: in what we may call heaven. As Jesus said, “Satan is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). When Satan deceived our first parents this war in heaven spilled over to earth and continues today.

While much is unknown about how sin originally developed, two portions of Scripture briefly comment on it, namely Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28:

ISAIAH 14

LuciferThe Hebrew word translated as “morning star” (NASB) in Isaiah 14:12 was translated into Latin as Lucifer. People then started to use this as one of Satan’s names. The KJV still translates that word as “Lucifer” in this verse, but it literally means “Light-Bringer.” It is the glorious title Satan had before his fall.

According to Isaiah 14:12-13, Lucifer said in his heart:

I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north.
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.

Because these were the intentions of his heart, Lucifer has “fallen from heaven“ and is ”cut down to the earth” (Isa 14:12).  He “will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit” (Isa 14:15). Sheol is the “underworld – the place to which people descend at death (Strong’s Concordance). It is a synonym for “grave.” The KJV translates sheol as “hell” in this verse, but as “grave” in many other verses (for instance Gen 37:35; 42:38; 44:29). The implication is that Lucifer will die.  Ezekiel 28:19 says “you will cease to be forever.”  Please consider the enormity of the tragedy; perhaps the most beautiful and most wise creature ever created, as well as many beautiful angels “will cease to be forever.” Think how difficult this will be for God, and for all the millions of angels that admired and loved Satan.

EZEKIEL 28

CherubEzekiel 28 starts as a warning to the king of Tyre (Ezek 28:2) but then switches to describe “the anointed cherub who covers” (Ezek 28:14, 16), who was “in Eden, the garden of God”, perfect in beauty, blameless in his ways (Ezek 28:12, 15) until unrighteousness was found in him (Ezek 28:15). This goes beyond the description of a human king.

To understand what an “anointed cherub who covers” is, consider the Ark of the Covenant in the original Jewish temple. The “mercy seat” (lid) of the Ark had “two cherubim of gold”, “covering the mercy seat with their wings” (Exo 37:1-9; 25:17-21).  The LORD said to Moses:

There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.” (Exo 25:22)

The “mercy seat” is, therefore, a symbol of God’s throne and the cherubim are a special class of angels that serve in God’s immediate presence; around His throne.

Ezekiel saw these cherubim.

Each one had four faces and each one four wings” (Ezek 10:21).  There was “one wheel beside each cherub … as if one wheel were within another wheel” (Ezek 10:9-10). “Their whole body, their backs, their hands, their wings and the wheels were full of eyes all around” (Ezek 10:12). That they are covered with eyes all around means that they see and understand everything; they are “full of wisdom(Ezek 28:12). This description of the cherubim may sound a bit scary, but they are beautiful. They are loved and admired by all.

Satan was one of these cherubim.

CherubimAs “the anointed cherub who covers,” Satan was one of the highest angels in heaven, the guardian or protector of God’s throne, serving in God’s immediate presence. He understood everything that a created being is able to understand. He had the seal of perfection (Ezek 28:12). Every precious stone was his covering; rubies, topaz, diamonds, beryl, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise, emeralds, and gold (Ezek 28:13). It may even be that Lucifer was the highest and most beautiful of these cherubim, for his name was “Light-Bringer” and his heart was lifted up because of his beauty (Ezek 28:17).

Originally, he had no sin, but “unrighteousness” was found in Satan (Ezek 28:15).

His heart was lifted up and his wisdom was corrupted because of his beauty and splendor (Ezek 28:17). The words, “till iniquity was found in you” (Ezek 28:15) suggest that evil began with Satan. God did not create evil, it originated with Satan.

God created Satan able to sin; to disobey His laws. 

Why did God create LuciferGod gave Satan the ability to decide for or against God’s laws. Without that ability, Lucifer would have been nothing other than a computer, programmed to say, “I love you, I love you.” No, God created His intelligent beings with the option to sin, so that their service and love will be their free choice. Perhaps God knew all along that many of His intelligent creatures would one day decide against Him, and that He will one day have to restore happiness in the universe at a massive cost to Himself, but God wanted it no other way; He wants us to love Him because it is our free choice.

God did not prevent Satan’s sin.  

Although God created Satan able to sin, He was able to override that ability, but He did not; God allowed Satan the freedom to oppose Him.

Satan knew God so well that he knew God would let Adam and Eve live.

What makes it so very scary is that evil developed in God’s immediate presence; in the command center of the universe, not in some far away galaxy. Lucifer’s position in heaven as a covering cherub allowed him to be “on the holy mountain of God,” amidst “the stones of fire” (Ezek 28:14), where God’s visible presence is. This means that Satan sinned with full understanding of God and His governing principles.

This helps us to understand what happened in Eden. God said to Adam “in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Gen 2:17). But Satan said to Eve, “You surely will not die” (Gen 3:4-5). It seems as if Satan told the truth; Adam and Eve did not die on the day they ate from it. People offer different theories to argue that Adam and Eve did die on that day, for instance, that they became mortal on that day, or that they died spiritually. These are possible explanations, but the explanation preferred here is that God, in His mercy, allowed Adam and Eve to live. Satan knew God so well that he knew that God would forgive Adam and Eve.

Satan knew he could sin without fear of punishment.

If angels work like human beings, Lucifer did not suddenly wake up one morning a sinner; it developed slowly over a long period. God knows everything. He knew what was developing in the heart of His much-loved servant next to His throne, and based on the way that God deals with humans, we must assume that God warned Lucifer many times. Lucifer knew God extremely well, and he knew that God knew, but he went ahead on his chosen path. Satan also knew God’s principles inside-out, and he knew that he could sin without fear of penalty. To be created able to disobey God, and to be allowed to disobey God, but under the threat that God will destroy sinners, is no real freedom. Lucifer understood that the freedom which God’s intelligent creatures enjoy is full freedom, free from fear of punishment.

Is Lucifer protecting us from an evil God?

Did Lucifer desire to raise his “throne above the stars of God … make myself like the Most High” because God is a tyrant from whom Satan is trying to protect us by showing us a better way? Here, the Bible does provide an answer. We read that Lucifer’s heart was lifted up and his wisdom was corrupted because of his beauty and splendor (Ezek 28:17). In 1 Timothy 3:6, Paul similarly warns against becoming “conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil”.  Conceited means to be self-important or proud. Pride was therefore the first sin, and is still the most dangerous of all sins because it hides behind a mask of self-righteousness.

Did his beauty cause Lucifer to sin?  

Satan started as Lucifer; which means light-bearer. He was perfect, loved by all and he loved all God’s beings. He was perhaps the most glorious being ever created. But he became proud because of his beauty, and there developed in his heart the desire to be worshiped like God (Isa 14:14). Beauty is good, and I don’t think that something good caused evil. The risk of freedom (the ability to choose against God) is that evil would one day develop. But to live with that risk is much, much better than being a robot. There is nothing wrong with the way that God created His intelligent beings. It is Satan that is the real tyrant. He is the selfish one. He only wants the power and glory of the universe for himself.

What did Satan do to the angels to have them rebel against God?  

To deceive Eve, Satan said to her two things; firstly, that God told a lie and, secondly, that God selfishly withholds things from the humans. It stands to reason, that Satan used the same strategy to lead the angels astray:

He firstly inspired them to distrust God. Satan targets God directly for his attacks. We also see this in the strategies of his earthly agents. The little horn of Daniel has “a mouth speaking pompous words” (Daniel 7:8). “He will speak out against the Most High” (Dan 7:25). The Sea Beast ”was given a mouth speaking … blasphemies” (Rev 13:5). “He opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven” (Rev 13:6).

He, secondly, instilled in them a desire for more power. Satan also said to Eve “that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:6). Satan must have used the same strategy in heaven against the angels, telling them that God was holding back on them and that they should have more power. Satan made the angels unsatisfied with what they were and had received.


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