Bible teaching about Devil and Satan

Length: 10 minutes

There is a widely held misconception that suggests that God is only responsible for the good things that happens in our life and that a certain supernatural being known as satan or the devil is responsible for all the evils that come our way. This false doctrine makes christendom to almost endorse the concept of dual Gods – one, the God of good and the other the god of evil.

Good and evil…More than one God?

But God clearly informs us throughout the pages of the scripture that there is only one God. Also that there is no other god beside GOD. Not only that, God takes responsibility for what we may call good and even the natural disasters and naturally unpleasant things that happen in our lives like the death of a loved one, etc.

I am the LORD, and there is none else, beside Me there is no God; I have girded thee, though thou hast not known Me; 
6  That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me; I am the LORD; and there is none else; 
I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I am the LORD, that doeth all these things. 

Isaiah 45:5-7

39  See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no god with Me; I kill, and I make alive; I have wounded, and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand. 

Deuteronomy 32:39

It is really refreshing to know that the one true living God that we worship is indeed almighty with no competitor. There is no one that can challenge our God – The God of Abraham, Jacob, David and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Fallen angel myth/false story

Yet we hear people teach that once upon a time, there was war in heaven. One of the angels was said to have recruited other angels to fight (and dethrone?!!) the almighty God and when God found out, He fought this angel and his hosts and sent them down to earth.

This mythical story is no where to be found in the Bible. It is based on Jewish mythical and apocryphal tales and a twist of some other passages of the Bible namely: Lucifer narrative of Isaiah 14:12ff and also the vision of Michael and the Dragon in Revelation 12:7-17.

We shall look at these Biblical narratives to show you that the Bible never talked about the false concept of chaos in heaven and fallen angel myth.

Isaiah 14:12: Who is Lucifer?

Lucifer is not a proper name of anyone. It is the King James Version of the Bible that imported the word ‘lucifer’ into the English Bible and made it look like someone’s name. Lucifer or Haylel in Hebrew means nothing but Morning/Day star and so it is translated in virtually every other Bible versions.

This was also a prophecy Isaiah gave of what will happen in the future and not that of an event that allegedly happened even before the creation of Adam.

12  “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 

13  You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the

Isaiah 14:12,13 ESV

Who is this lucifer or day star? The same Isaiah 14 clearly gave us the answer. In the beginning of the prophecy, we read:

4  you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon: “How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury ceased! 

5  The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers, 

Isaiah 14:4,5

It is clear from the prophecy of Isaiah that the lucifer or day star is the king of Babylon who was so pompous in heart and never gave God the glory for all his conquests and great empire. God likened him to the star that shines bright in the morning but the prophecy declared God would humiliate him.

To further show that this day star or lucifer is the king of Babylon and a mere man, see verse 16:

16  Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, 

Isaiah 14:16

Revelation 12:7-17: Michael and the dragon

Revelation 12 seem to suggest that there was literally a war in heaven where God and the angels are. But that is only if you skip Revelation 12:1-6 and jump straight to verse 7:

7  Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 
8  but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 
9  And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Revelation 12:7-9

If you read the previous verses, you will discover these points:

  1. Vs 1,2 – A pregnant woman was found in the same heaven. Can a pregnant woman be found in heaven where God is?
  2. Vs. 3,4 – The fiery dragon is described as having ten heads and seven horns and a very very long tail that brought down one-third of all the stars in heaven to the earth!!! Is this literally possible? The earth is so tiny to contain even a single star, how much much 1/3 of all stars of heaven!
  3. Vs. 5,6 – The pregnant woman in heaven finally gave birth to a son who God took to His throne! Can some one give birth in heaven?
  4. Then Michael and other angels brought down this dragon and his hosts to the earth.

I will only have to show you that the account in Revelation 12 is not a description of a literal even that happened where God is. The detail of the interpretation of Revelation is not part of our Baptism class study. You can contact your teacher if you are interested in knowing more about Revelation 12. You can also read this free eBook. Otherwise, feel free to skip it.

What is the Devil of the Bible?

Devil of the Bible is a Jewish concept which is a personification of our inclination to sin, or the personification of anything, anyone or any system that is against the will of God.

Satan means adversary. When Peter tried to stop from dying, Jesus told him:

22  And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 
23  But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” 

Matthew 16:23

Here Peter was an adversary to our Lord Jesus Christ. Anyone can be a satan to you when that person allows his or her evil desires to rule and control his thoughts and actions. This evil desire or lust leads to sin. When it is personified, it becomes the devil.

1Corinthians 15:56  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. James 1:15  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Hebrew 2:14  Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 
Sin leads to death Sin leads to deathDevil personified as the one who has power of death.

God and Satan

Satan is not only the personification of our inclination to sin. The angels of God can also act as satan here on earth. When God wants to achieve any of His will that we may term evil, He sends His angel to carry out that particular will here on earth.

We have the story of David numbering Israel where the anger of God Himself was personified and identified as satan. See below:

2Samuel 24:1  Again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” 

2Samuel 24:2  So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army, who was with him, “Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people.” 

1Ch 21:1  Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. 
1Ch 21:2  So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.” 

1Ch 21:3  But Joab said, “May the LORD add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?” 
1Ch 21:1  Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. 

1Ch 21:2  So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.” 

1Ch 21:3  But Joab said, “May the LORD add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?” 

What of the story of Saul and David? There on several occasion we read that evil spirit from God troubled Saul.

14  Now the Spirit of Jehovah departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Jehovah troubled him. 
15  And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. 

1Samuel 16:14,15 ASV Also 1Samuel 19:9

In another instance, we read from the Bible that the LORD sent a ‘lying spirit’ on an errand in the days of Ahab to decieve the prophets. Read:

19  And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; 

20  and the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. 

21  Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ 

22  And the LORD said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ 

23  Now therefore behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the LORD has declared disaster for you.” 

1 Kings 22:19-23

The omnipotence of God means that he is in control of everything that happens and there is no being that can challenge Him. The angels of God are identified as ministering spirits. These are the spirits God uses to achieve His purpose as we have seen:

13  And to which of the angels has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? 
14  Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation

Hebrew 1:13,14

We can examine other places we see the cordial relationship between God and satan to show that there is no particular angel known as the satan that challenges God. Is God not almighty?

The satan of Job…

Even in the satan of Job, on a closer reading, we see that the satan of Job as depicted in the narrative was a messenger of God because

  1. he acted under the instruction of God:

6  And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” 
7  So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 

Job 2:6,7

2. Also because God took direct responsibility of every evil that happened to Job:

11  Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold. 

Job 42:11

9  Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” 
10  But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. 

Job 2:9,10

Which Satan and Devil should the Christian fight and resist?

I believe that using the scriptures, you have come to understand a little bit more about God. His ways are too high and complex for us. As a believer, you do not have to fear any supernatural personal devil. Things like earthquakes, accidents, loss of a loved one, etc. can occur in a believer’s life. Like Job, you have to give thanks to God when any of these evil happens. You do not need to imagine that the enemy of God did it. Give thanks to God in all circumstances because he let all things work out for your good.

The only devil you have to fight and resist is within you– that is the lusts and evil desires of your heart which when personified is simply the devil, your devil:

15  Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 
16  For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 

1 John 2:15,16

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:

19  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 
20  These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” 

Matthew 15:19,20

That voice that tempts us to sin is what is personified as the devil. The Christian must strive to be holy at all times and give no room for the devil. Do not yield any of your body into sin. Because believers are steadfast in Christ, they, like Jesus Christ will eventually become victorious over sin and they will inherit eternal life at the last day. Praise God!

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