Tuesday, October 16, 2012


 

God vs. Satan - Dualism

            Religious dualism is a common misconception that basically says that there are two opposite yet equal powers in the universe. The powers in this case would be God who is good and Satan who is evil. These supreme beings are pitted against each other in a battle of light verses darkness. According to dualism this battle will continue for eternity. On the surface, this sounds right, however under scrutiny this belief quickly falls apart. First of all God and Satan are not equals. Satan, like the other angels, is a being created by God with free will. Angels are incorporeal beings with the ability to take on human form. Angels were created with not only free will, but personalities, independent thought, interests, and as painfully obvious with Satan the ability to sin. God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, while Satan is none of these. Satan’s power is limited to that which God allows. And Satan, as a created being, has a beginning and a foretold end.


Dr. Towns says this about Satan’s abilities “Satan’s inability to create or be original, offers some insight into the mental capacity of Satan.” (Towns 2008, 2002, 380)


It seems that society today people either deny the existence of Satan or they will deny the fact that he is a fallen angel. Ezekiel 28:13-19, and Isaiah 14:12-15 also in 2 Peter 2:4 these scriptures speak clearly of Satan, these passages give us a good understanding that Satan was an angel who swelled with pride and thought he may over take God. In His perfect righteousness God could not allow Satan to challenge him, so He cast him out of heaven. God executed his judgment of Satan on several levels, he was first confined to the earth (Rev 12:12-17), then he will be confined for the millennium (Isa 24; Rev 20), his final judgment is being cast into the lake of fire and sulfur. (Rev 20:10)

There are several stances that have been taken to try and prove that the writers of the OT books Isaiah and Ezekiel were not writing prophetically of Satan, but rather of kings of their age or ones to come. To them I say how could the king be in the Garden of Eden (Ez 28:13), or told he was an anointed guardian cherub (Ez 28:14)? Isaiah speaks of the audacity of Satan in chapter 14:14, where Lucifer feels he can be like God himself. Dr. Towns states this clearly, “The ultimate desire of Satan was to take God’s place.” (Towns 2008, 2002, 362) As I have stated previously Satan does not possess the immutable characteristics of God, he lacks omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. I strongly feel that one of the greatest sources of Scripture to point out all the ways Satan is lacking is the Book of Job particularly chapter one. The fact that Satan was on the earth and had to leave it to enter in to the presence of the Lord shows he is not omnipresent. When the Lord has to mention to him have you considered my servant Job (Job 1:8) shows that he is not omniscient or the Lord would not have had to tell him of Job. The Lord also sets limits to the things Satan could do to Job, if he were omnipotent there would be no equal or greater force to stop him from doing what he wills.

Satan was originally created as an angel; their primary purposes are for the glory of God. While the word angel technically means a “messenger”, Dr. Towns says this of his origins, “Satan was also originally created as a being with power and personality and the freedom of choice. He was an angel with apparent honor and leadership in heaven. When Satan’s pride blinded him and led him to exercise his will in rebellion against God, he was cast out of heaven (Isa 14:12-15, cf. 2Peter 2:4; Jude 6)” (Towns 2008, 2002, 361)
 
When we chose to yield to sin we may blame Satan, however we may be giving him credit where it is not due. After the fall of Adam we are all indwelt with a sin nature that makes us all chase after our own longings. Satan merely takes our own inclinations to sin and sets us up in the perfect situations to give in. While God can understand a individuals inner motivations Satan is only capable of gleaning information we make available to him, “This means Satan cannot read the thoughts of men, but he can predict their thoughts and actions based on his knowledge of their sinful nature.” (Towns 2008, 2002, 382) So while we may be tempted to sin we are never flung into it. Paul clearly tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 we always have a way of escape.
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