Hell's Angels

October 16, 1999

I.  The Existence of Satan is Indisputable

A.  The OT assumes the existence of Satan, much as it does the existence of God
- There is no formal proof presented for either one, there is an element of faith – although there is enough evidence to reasonably conclude that a theistic God exists and that Satan and his angels exit.
- Example: Gen. 3 – the temptation of Adam/Eve; Job 1 – Satan approaching God; to Zech. 3 could not be understood properly without the reality of Satan opposing and accusing Israel.
B.  The NT present overwhelming evidence
- Satan existence is recognized by every writer in the NT (though not necessarily by every book)
- However, 19 – the 27 books mention Satan by one of his names
- Of the 8 that do not specifically mention him – 4 imply his existence by mention of evil angels or demons
C.  Christ Himself speaks of Satan as actually existing.
Cf. Matthew 4 – the temptation of Christ in the wilderness – even spoke to him

II.  The Nature of Satan

A.  He, like the other angels, is a created, spirit-being.

B.  He was a part of the CHERUBIM (a class of angels).
- God calls him “the anointed cherub” (Ezek. 28:14,16)
- This is the highest classification of angelic beings
- Cherubim speaks of God’s present, glory, holiness, and sovereignty – they were created for this specific purpose
Pont:  That’s what makes “the defection of Satan all the more heinous and reprehensible” – Dickason, Angels – Elect & Fallen
C.  He was 1st in rank among all creatures.
Note:  Natural man is LOWER than the angels – Ps. 8:4,5
Yet, glorified believers “in Christ” are raised HIGHER than the angels and will eventually judge them.
• 1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, matters of this life?
-  Exactly what this “judgment” looks like is unclear – it could be simply agreeing with God as He casts those who reject Him into the lake of fire.
- The term “anointed cherub” indicates that before the fall, Satan was a high-stationed guardian before God – a special position
• Ezekiel 28:12 "Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 "You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, Was in you. On the day that you were created They were prepared.
* For a further explanation (for the purpose of our study, we don’t have the time for the detail), see Dickason, Angel – Elect & Fallen (christianbooks.com – so a “author” search) and Lockyer, All the Angels in the Bible
D.  He is referred to by many different names.
Here is a list of the names and some of their meanings:
 Associated with POSITION:
• Anointed Cherub Who Covers – Ezek. 28:14
• Prince of the World – John 12:31; 16:11
• Prince of the Power of the Air – Eph. 2:2
• The God of This Age – 2 cor. 4:4
• Prince of Demons – Matt. 12:24; Luke 11:15
 Names reflecting CHARACTER:
• Lucifer – Isa. 14:12 – “a shinning one”
• Satan – Zech. 3:1; Rev. 12:9 – “adversary” or “opposes”
• Devil – Luke 4:2, 13; Rev. 12:9 – “slanderer” or “one who trips up”
• Old Serpent – Rev. 12:9 – emphasizing his age, and deception
• Great Dragon – Rev. 12:3, 7, 9 – a terrifying, destructive beast -- power
• Evil One – John 17:15, 1 John 5:18 – intrinsically wicked, not content to be corrupt himself, but must seek to corrupt others!
• Destroyer – Rev. 9:11 – destroying the physical life and spiritual life
• Beelzebub – Matt. 12:24 – lord of flies (associated with death, filth)
• Belial – 2 Cor. 6:15 – the low, abject one, worthless
• Wicked One – Matt. 13:9
• Father of Lies – John 8:44
• Murderer from the Beginning – John 8:44
Quote:  These names “paint an awesome and gruesome character whose beauty was changed into scheming, seething, destructive wickedness hen he revolted against the holy God.” -- Dickason
 Names indicating ACTIVITY (what he does)
• Tempter – Matt. 4:3; 1 Thes. 3:5
• Accuser – Rev. 12:10
• Deceiver – Rev. 12:9; 20:3
• The Spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience – Eph. 2:2
• The Enemy – Matt. 13:28
• The Tormentor – 2 Cor. 12:7
“Because the once bearer of light became the prince of darkness, earning for himself the name Satan, adversary of God, or man, of all that is good, is it not folly to underestimate his power or to cultivate an ignorance of his reality?  Blindness to the existence of an enemy makes it impossible to conquer him.  It is imprudent to underestimate the devil and thereby invite defeat and welcome slavery.  If we accept the Scriptures as a divine revelation, then it is incumbent upon is to know something of the devil’s original angelic splendor, the intensity of this malice since his fall, and the agony of his future punishment.”  Dickason

III.  The Fall of Satan and His Angels

- the clearest and most descriptive details of the fall are recorded in Ezek. 28 and Isaiah 14
• Ezek. 28 points more toward Satan’s original state (condition) leading up to his fall
• Isaiah 14 seems to focus on Satan’s inward rebellion that caused the fall
- Both passages have direct application to earthly rulers other than Satan
• Ezekiel – referring to the king of Tyre (28:12)
• Isaiah – referencing the king of Babylon
 But the allusions to Satan in each one are strong, giving both passages a much broader meaning & application
Summary: “They point both to the earthly kings mentioned and to Satan, in the same way that some of the messianic passages point both to the Davidic kings of Israel and to Christ.  They find their fulfillment on more than one level.” -- Jeremiah
Note: For a more thorough explanation – See Lockyer & Dickason’s books.
 What I want to point out is this:
- That pride and ambition were especially the sins by which Satan fell is sufficiently evident from Paul’s warning about being lifted up with pride!
- The bottom line is: Satan was not content with a place of submission to the will of God
- He rebelled against divine sovereignty and allowed self-will to assert itself in defiance of God’s will
- At some point, Lucifer (the Light-Bearer of the divine glory) renounced his allegiance to God and became Satan (an “adversary” of God and a “slanderer” of the saints)
- You might be saying:  Wait a minute – I thought God said all His creation was “very good”
- That’s true, but because of His sovereign will, God gave to angels and men, regardless of the perfection of intellect and will, the ability to choose between good and evil
- He didn’t create robots – even the angels had the ability to choose – and everywhere in the bible, they are treated as fully responsible for their choices
*  A different aspect of this Satan’s rebellion is included in each of the statements recorded in Isaiah 14:
• I will ascend to heaven
• I will raise my throne above the stars of God
• I will sit on the mount of assembly
• I will ascend above the heights of the clouds
• I will make myself like the Most High
Note:  This is not only pride of POSITION, but also pride of AUTHORITY & CONTROL!
B.      The Results of Satan’s Sin
* I’ll mention 5 (adapted from Dickason)
• Expelled  from heaven – Isa 14:12 – “How art thou fallen from heaven . . .”
• Corruption of character (the significance of the “names” before/after his sin)
• Perversion of power (not to glorify God, but to destroy – Isa. 14:12,16-17)
• Retained dignity – Jude 9 (temporarily – this will be lost when cast into the lake of fire)
i.e. Michael the Archangel faced him with RESPECT – not fear, but respect for his power!
• Final destination – the lake of fire (Rev. 20:3)
C.        The Fall of Angels with Satan
- -It’s obvious that Satan has his angels
- They follow his orders and fight for his cause (Mat. 12:24-26; 25:41; 2 Pet. 2:4; Rev. 12:7)
- The phrase “the iniquity of thy traffic” (Ezek. 28:18) or “the unrighteousness of your trade” (NAS) may refer to Satan’s selling his rebellious cause to other angels
- Once he got them to commit to his plan (deception), they sealed their moral degeneration
- As many as 1/3 of the angelic creation may have followed him
• Revelation 12:4 And his tail *swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
- You might be raising some questions right about now:
 How does the moral problem in the fall of these angels fit in with the character of God?
- The same bible that records the presence of evil, also presents God as holy, righteous, and perfect in all His ways
- He could not and did not promote or perpetuate the sin  -- James 1:13,17
 What about the control of God – did He lose it when these angels fell?
- God is in control of all things
- He has not potential successful rival evil did not rise up apart from His control, otherwise He would no longer be God
 What about the choices of God
“It seems best to say that God, for good reasons, allowed evil to come into being.  Not all these reasons are evident, but a few are genuinely probable.  In any case, we must confess that God is that Author of a plan, a perfect plan, that included allowing His creatures to sin.” – Dickason
Point:  God chose to get the glory from allowing this plan to unfold and His plan of final judgment of those who rebelled and the plan of redemption of man!
 What limitation has God placed on this “evil” in our world?
- While God has allowed sin into the universe, he did not allow it to run without control
- He confined the expression of sin and limited its devastation effects – God has established certain boundaries and limitations – He is still in control!
- cf. Psalm 11:4-7; 96:11-13; 140:12; Rom. 2:1-16; 2 Thes. 2:6-9)

IV.  Their Current & Future Status

*  As a result of this rebellion . . .
A. Some of the fallen angels were BOUND and “sent to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment . . . (2 Peter 2:4)
B. The others are allow to some degree of FREEDOM
- When I say “free,” I don’t mean they are free from sin or final judgment or free from the control of God!
- They are still of their father, the devil.
- However, for the time being, they are free to roam this world and to deceive
• 1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
- So the devil and his band of followers are under condemnation, but until their day of judgment they are free to deceive and possess those who respond to their temptations
C.  Their ultimate destiny: Lake of Fire
• Revelation 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
- Once again, God’s word is true – Satan is a liar and the father of lies
- He will have to live for eternity with the reality that his plan failed – that God is God – and the circle of consequences was far greater than the circle of temporary pleasure he derived from his short-term activity!

V.  Satan and His Angel’s Power & Activity in Today’s World

A.  In Relationship to God
1. He and his angels oppose God’s Person
- Everything that God is, Satan is not >>  God is love – Satan hates; God is life – Satan, death
- The attack on Adam/Eve was an attack on the character or image of God – he hates God!
- ILL:  Cain killing Abel – an attack on the image of God!
- He will do ANYTHING to destroy the image of God – if he can do that, he can get the attention and worship he desires
CF.  Matthew 4 – temptation of Christ – ‘if you will bow down and worship me”
2.              He and his angels oppose God’s Plan
- Satan is the counterfeit of God’s truth
- He provides some of the following substitutes:
• Evolution for creation – [Evolution is man’s best attempt to explain his EXISTENCE]
• Secular psychology for progressive sanctification and personal responsibility
[Secular psychology is man’s best attempt to explain his BEHAVIOR]
• Materialism for true satisfaction
• Works based religion instead of God’s grace through faith in the Gospel
- For everything God has designed, Satan has a “lie” all packaged up for us
- That’s true in the area of false doctrine and anti-christs
B.  In Relationship to the Man
- One key word comes to mind:  DECEPTION!
- That may be deception to the nations as he seeks to control and direct them
1) Deception to the unsaved as he . . .
• Blinds the minds to the gospel -- 1 Cor. 4:3-4
• Snatches away the gospel – Luke 8:12
- OR – simply convinces someone that he/she can put it OFF until tomorrow!
• Introduces false religions – 1 Tim. 4:1-3
“Either he promotes a salvation by human works, attraction; or he persuaded men that there is no need for salvation, only progress.  This progress may be purely human, as in systems of ethical idealism that deny sin and evil; or it may include recourse to the spirit world, as in spiritism or oriental mysticism.  So today we see a great increasing interest in the occult practices, including witchcraft and Satanism.  John warns us to test the spirits (1 John 4:1-4).” – Dickason
• Inciting persecution on the saints – Rev. 2:10; 12:13; 13:7
• Demon possession – e.g. in the NT
- Demon possession is possible today – as it was in the NT
- VERY IMPORTANT POINT:  The Bible gives NO EVIDENCE as to how we can recognize if a person is demon possessed!
- The “supernatural” MAY be an indication – but there can be deception even in that!
- This possession is dependent upon the person willingly allowing this to occur.
Note: Our mission as a church is NOT EXORCISM (that did occur in Acts – but remember, Acts is a transitional book to the establishment of the church and to the Epistles which give us our primary focus and methodology for ministry)
Point:  The answer for demon possession is EVANGELISM and PROGRESSIVE SANCTIFICATOIN!
1) It’s not just the unsaved he attacks – it’s Christians as well!
• He wages warfare against us – Eph. 6 – that’s why we need the armor of God!
NOTE:  While he wages war against us, Christians CANNOT be DEMON POSSESSED – only “demon influenced” or tempted to sin!
• 1 Cor. 6:19-20 – our bodies are temple of the Holy Spirit!
• 2 Cor. 6:14-16
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? 16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
• Accuses and slanders the saints – Rev.12:10
• Plants doubts & discouragement – Gen. 3:1-5; 1 Peter 5:6-10
• He deceives us and tempts us to commit all sorts of sins:
 Lie – Acts 5:3
 Sexual – 1 Cor. 7:5
 Love the world – 1 John 2:15-17; 5:19
• Pride – to live independently from God and/or His commands
- Satan tempts us to think – not that there is no God, but that I can get along fine with Him or His Word
- His primary target is the church body:
• Through false teaching – 2 Cor. 11:13-15
• Through false disciples – Matthew 13:38-39 – “tares are the sons of the  wicked one”
- A primary method is DIVISION
• 1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.
 That could be division over anything – usually in churches, it’s not DOCTRINE (like the virgin birth, inspiration, etc. – it’s OPINION!
 That’s why Paul condemned the attitude of “I’m of Paul, I’m of Appolus . . .”
V. What are the applications to you and me?
A.  Recognize the power of pride!
Quote: The devil sleeps like an animal in the shadow of good works, waiting for us to conceive a secret admiration of ourselves.
• 1 Peter 5:5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
“Satanic activity in all its raw, deceptive form is at work even among God’s people.  He is the “enemy” who comes and sows weeds among the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30).  The “I wills” of Satan still rear their heads up today throughout our congregations.  It’s like a virus – little pockets of pride and discontent that become power pockets, growing like cancer.  Satan will get a church any way he can, and pride has proven the surest and quickest way.” -- Jeremiah
B.  Stay alert to Satan’s purposes and plans
- If he can’t keep you out of heaven – he will attack our EFFECTIVENESS
• He seeks to ruin our testimony
• Tear down our faith
• Doubt and question God’s character and goodness
• Question God’s word
C.  Remember:  God is in TOTAL control!
- We have to remember:  Satan and his angels did not get away with their pride/rebellion
- He can do damage, but only according to the length of his chain – and God has that under control

D.  Remember:  He is resistible.
• Humility
• Prayer
• The word of God – Ps. 119:9-11
*  Result:  He will flee from you!
Note:  Part of the judgment what we will have of angels some day, may be in agreeing with God that Satan and his angels be cast into the lake of fire
Recommend: Power Encounters (Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare), Dave Powlison