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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Satan

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("adversary".) Four times in Old Testament as a proper name (Job 1:6; Job 1:12; Job 2:1; Zechariah 3:1, with ha- , the article); without it in 1 Chronicles 21:1; 1 Chronicles 21:25 times in New Testament; the Devil also 25 times; "the prince of this world" three times, for Satan had some mysterious connection with this earth and its animals before man's appearance. (See DEVIL.) Death already had affected the pre-Adamic animal kingdom, as geology shows. Satan had already fallen, and his fall perhaps affected this earth and its creatures, over which he may originally in innocence have been God's vicegerent, hence his envy of man his successor in the vicegerency (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 3:1-14). "The winked one" six times; "the tempter" twice. "The old serpent, the devil, and Satan, who deceiveth the whole world" (Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:23). In Job his power is only over outward circumstances, by God's permission. Instead of being a rival power to good and God, as in the Persian belief as to Ormuzd and Ahriman, he is subordinate; his malicious temptation of David was overruled to work out Jehovah's anger against Israel (2 Samuel 24:1; 1 Chronicles 21:1).

As the judicial adversary of God's people he accuses them before God, but is silenced by Jehovah their Advocate (Zechariah 3:1-2; 1 Peter 5:8; Psalms 109:6; Psalms 109:31; 1 John 2:1-2). The full revelation of "the strong man armed" was only when "the stronger" was revealed (Luke 11:21-23). He appears as personal tempter of Jesus Christ. (See JESUS CHRIST.) The Zendavesta has an account of the temptation in Eden nearest that of Genesis, doubtless derived from the primitive tradition. Christ's words of Satan are (John 8:44), cf6 "ye are of your father the devil; he was a murderer (compare as to his instigating Cain 1 John 3:9-12) from the beginning and abode not in the truth. When he speaketh a lie he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it." He is a "spirit," "prince of the powers of the air," and "working in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2). "Prince of the demons" (Greek), at the head of an organized "kingdom" (Matthew 12:24-26), with "his (subject) angels."

They "kept not their first estate but left their own habitation"; so God "hath reserved them in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day" (Judges 1:6). Again "God spared not the angels, but cast them into hell (Τartarus , the bottomless pit: Luke 8:31; Revelation 9:11), and delivered them to chains of darkness" (2 Peter 2:4). Their final doom is Τartarus ; meanwhile they roam in "the darkness of this world"; step by step they and Satan are being given up to Τartarus , until wholly bound there at last (Revelation 20). "The darkness of this world" (Ephesians 6:12) is their chain. They are free now to tempt and hurt only to the length of their chain; Revelation 12:7-9 describes not their original expulsion, but a further step in their fall, owing to Christ's ascension, namely, exclusion from access to accuse the saints before God (Job 1:11; Zechariah 3). Christ's ascension as our advocate took away the accuser's standing ground in heaven (compare Luke 10:18; Isaiah 14:12-15).

Pride was his "condemnation," and to it he tempts others, especially Christian professors (Genesis 3:5; 1 Timothy 3:6). As love, truth, and holiness characterize God, so malice or hatred (the spring of murder), lying, and uncleanness characterize Satan (John 8:44; 1 John 3:10-12). Disbelief of God is what first Satan tempts men to (Genesis 3); "IF Thou be the Son of God" was the dart he aimed at Christ in the wilderness temptation, and through human emissaries on the cross. Also pride and presumption (Matthew 4:6). Restless energy, going to and fro as the "roaring lion"; subtle instilling of venom, gliding steadily on his victim, as the "serpent" or "dragon"; shameless lust (Job 1:7; Matthew 12:43); so his victims (Isaiah 57:20). He steals away the good seed from the careless hearer (Matthew 13:19), introduces "the children of the wicked one" into the church itself, the tares among and closely resembling outwardly the wheat (Matthew 13:38-39).

His "power" is that of darkness, from which Christ delivers His saints; cutting off members from Christ's church is "delivering them to Satan" (1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Timothy 1:20; Acts 26:18; Colossians 1:13). The Jews might have been "the church of God," but by unbelief became "the synagogue of Satan." His "throne" opposes Christ's heavenly throne (Revelation 4:2; Revelation 2:9-10; Revelation 2:13). He has his "principalities and powers" in his organized kingdom, in mimicry of the heavenly (Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Colossians 2:15; Ephesians 6:12). He instigates persecution, and is the real persecutor. He has "depths of Satan" in opposition to knowledge of "the deep things of God" (Revelation 2:24); men pruriently desire to know those depths, as Eve did. It is God's sole prerogative thoroughly to know evil without being polluted by it. Satan has "the power of death," because "the sting of death is sin" (1 Corinthians 15:56); Satan being author of sin is author of its consequence, death. God's law (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23) makes death the executioner of sin, and man Satan's "lawful captive."

Jesus by His death gave death its deathblow and took the prey from the mighty; as David cut off Goliath's head with his own sword (Matthew 12:29; Luke 10:19; Isaiah 49:24; 2 Timothy 1:10; Psalms 8:2; Hebrews 2:14). "Christ ... through death ... destroy (katargeesee , "render powerless") him that had the power of death." Satan seeks to "get an advantage of" believers (2 Corinthians 2:11); he has "devices" (noeemata ) and "wiles" (methodeias , "methodical stratagems") (Ephesians 6:11), and "snares" (1 Timothy 3:7), "transforming himself (Greek) into an angel of light," though "prince of darkness" (2 Corinthians 11:14; Luke 22:53; Ephesians 6:12). "Satan hinders" good undertakings by evil men (Acts 13:10; Acts 17:13-14; Acts 3:8-10), or even by "messengers of Satan," sicknesses, etc. (2 Corinthians 11:14; 2 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:18; Luke 13:16). Satan works or energizes in and through antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:2) in opposition to the Holy Spirit energizing in the church (Ephesians 1:19). The wanton turn aside from Christ the spouse after Satan the seducer (1 Timothy 5:11-15).

The believer's victory by "the God of peace bruising Satan" is foretold from the first (Genesis 3:15; Romans 16:20). The opposition of Satan in spite of himself will be overruled to the believer's good, the latter thereby learning patience, submission, faith, and so his end being blessed, as in Job's case. Man can in God's strength "resist Satan" (James 4:7); by withholding consent of the will, man gives Satan no "place," room or scope (Ephesians 4:27). "The wicked one toucheth not" the saint, as he could not touch Christ (1 John 5:18; John 14:30). Self restraint and watchfulness are our safeguards (1 Peter 5:8).

Translate 2 Timothy 2:26 "that they may awake (ananeepsosin ) ... being taken as saved captives by him ("the servant of the Lord", 2 Timothy 2:24; autou ) so as to follow the will of Him" (ekeinou ; God, 2 Timothy 2:25): ezogreemenoi , taken to be saved alive, instead of Satan's thrall unto death, brought to the willing "captivity of obedience" to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). So Jesus said to Peter (Luke 5:10), cf6 "henceforth thou shalt catch [unto "life" (zogron )] men." Satan in tempting Christ asserts his delegated rule over the kingdoms of this world, and Christ does not deny but admits it (Luke 4:6), "the prince of this world" (John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:12). Satan slanders God to man (Genesis 3:1-5), as envious of man's happiness and unreasonably restraining his enjoyments; and man to God (Job 1:9-11; Job 2:4-5).

Satan tempts, but cannot force, man's will; grace can enable man to overcome (James 1:2-4; 1 Corinthians 10:13; James 4:7, etc.). Satan steals the good seed from the careless hearer (James 1:21) and implants tares (Matthew 13:4; Matthew 13:19; Matthew 13:25; Matthew 13:38). Satan thrusts into the mind impure thoughts amidst holy exercises; 1 Corinthians 7:5, "come together that Satan tempt you not because of your incontinency," i.e., Satan takes advantage of men's inability to restrain natural propensities. Satan tempted Judas (Luke 22:5; John 23:27), Peter (Luke 22:31), Ananias and Sapphire (Acts 5). Augustine's (De Civit. Dei, 22:1) opinion was that the redeemed were elected by God to fill up the lapsed places in the heavenly hierarchy, occasioned by the fall of Satan and his demons.


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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Satan'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/fbd/s/satan.html. 1949.

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Wednesday, April 24th, 2019
Wednesday in Easter Week
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