"Satan: Is He Real?"Satan is a spirit being, he is real, and he has tremendous power. The evidence is in Scripture, just like the evidence we have of the existence of the Godhead and all the angelic beings.
God exists from eternity past and is superior to all created beings. Scripture records the creation of all things that are in heaven and in earth and that they were created by Christ and for Christ, the third member of the Godhead. Colossians 1:16 states “For by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”
John 1:1-3. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2: The same was in the beginning with God. 3: All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
Creation of the angels probably preceded creation of material things and the Old Testament writers Isaiah and Ezekiel mention Satan's creation in particular. This suggests that Satan holds a supreme position and power among the invisible creatures of God. However, Satan's power and authority can only be exercised within the permissive will of God.
Satan controls a host of demons sometimes called fallen angels. He isn’t omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent, but he has all these fallen angels doing his bidding throughout the whole world. Before Satan and his angels fell they dwelt with God and the holy angels in heaven so all these creatures know who Christ is and that He dwelt in heaven and is God’s Son.
This answers the first question. Yes, Satan is real. It’s documented by God in the Bible and also that he’s active in the world today.
There are a couple of common errors around regarding Satan and I’m pretty sure he’s the author of them. One is that Satan doesn’t really exist and that “Devil” or “Satan” is just a name for nothing more than the principle of evil or the capability for evil that is in man and in the world. This is not true since there is as much evidence that Satan is a person as there is that Christ is a person. Scripture is the absolute authority on this and it treats one as a person as much as the other. If the persons of Christ and of God are accepted on the testimony of the Bible, the person of Satan also has to be accepted on the same testimony.
The second misconception is that Satan is the direct cause of sin in every person. God says human sin comes directly from the fallen human heart. Genesis 6:5; “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Satan himself wasn’t aiming to promote sin in the world. His ambition is to be "like the most High. “Isaiah 14:12-17. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which dids’t weaken the nations! 13: For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15: Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16: They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; 17: That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?”
His aim isn’t to destroy man, he wants to control man and build his own authority over the world system and its culture, morality, and religion.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15: Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
Satan's original ambition was to ascend into heaven and attain a throne above the stars of God and rule like the most High. He claims the wisdom and power to weaken the nations, make the earth tremble, make the world like a wilderness, (or, as we say today, like a jungle) destroy cities and refuse to release his prisoners. Every phrase of this passage is really scary.
"I will be like the most High" (verse 14). In plain language, he planned to be god. How would you like to have the “father of all liars” be your god? He wants to have the power over everything in creation that God has, and he’ll use any means he can to gain that power. That motive has guided his activities ever since his fall. He tried to enlist Adam and Eve and told them “ye shall be as gods.” Genesis 3:5. “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
They did come to know good and evil, (He didn’t say know good FROM evil, just to know good AND evil. Before this they were innocent.) They relied on their own judgment instead of God and that same nature has been handed down to all their posterity to the extent that God calls us the "children of wrath." Ephesians 2:3; “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath,”
In verse 17, Isaiah wrote, "He opened not the house of his prisoners.” The unsaved are his prisoners. Satan has power over unsaved people but he can’t help them escape eternal judgment. He does everything in his power to keep them from “being delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son.” Colossians 1:13
More of Isaiah’s statements will be fulfilled in the future. We know that Satan counterfeits the things of God, which is in keeping with his purpose to be "like the most High."
Satan also promotes various forms of religion. Some are based on selected Bible texts and some promote Christ as the leader and these include every phase of the Christian faith except one, and that is salvation is by the grace of God alone on the grounds of the shed blood of Christ. 1 Timothy 4:1-3; “Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2: Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3: Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”
Christian, be on the look out for teachings that are only close to the truth. One of Satan’s favorite tools is best seller books that are mostly true but still contain suggestions or thoughts that can lead even Christians astray. If they suggest that salvation can come through something other than the blood of Christ, these teachings are sponsored by Satan and are lies.
Satan isn’t at enmity with the unsaved, his enmity is evidently against God alone. It’s true his "fiery darts" are aimed at the children of God, he attacks them because the Holy Spirit dwells in the believer and that’s the only way he can attack God. He dare not attack God directly.
These attacks against the children of God aren’t so much in the sphere of "flesh and blood," as in our spiritual association with Christ. The believer’s life is our testimony to the world that we belong to Christ and we may be able to resist immorality yet fail in another phase of our life. Satan tries to make the believer look bad because the world sees the failure of the professed believer to be as much a dishonor to God as the sins which the world itself condemns.
Now the second question in the title:
"What will become of Satan at the end of this world?"
The Word of God is explicit regarding the origin of Satan, it’s explicit regarding his career, and it’s explicit as to his destiny.
There are five separate judgments, or punishments of Satan, that we will look at.
1. Satan’s fall from grace.
2. His judgment at the cross.
3. Satan cast out of heaven.
4. Satan’s judgment at the close of the Tribulation
5. Final judgment executed at the close of the Millennium.
1. Satan's fall from grace brought separation from God sometime in the past. Ezekiel 28:15; “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” Sometime in the ancient past, before the Garden of Eden, Satan attempted to overthrow God and he fell from God’s grace.
2. Satan was judged at the cross but the execution of his sentence is still future. John 12:31; “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” God laid judgment for our sins on Jesus at the cross and judged Satan there at the same time. Colossians 2:14,15; “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15: And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
The cross judged Satan morally but he didn’t lose his position and lost only some of his power and God has delayed the execution of this judgment.
The conflict between God and Satan caused the fall of Satan from his original holy state long before Adam and Eve were created. When Adam and Eve sinned it became necessary for Christ to shed His blood for their sins. Christ died on the cross and was raised from the dead. Genesis 3 refers to this as "thou shalt bruise his heel," while Satan’s judgment will bring his total defeat and is referred to as "it shall bruise thy head."
Christ’s death accomplished a lasting victory over Satan. In John 16:11, Christ stated that when the Holy Spirit came, He would convince the world "of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”
3. Satan cast out of heaven. Believe it or not, Satan has had access to heaven all this time and still does at this writing. At the mid-point of the Tribulation a war will take place in heaven between God’s angels and Satan. Satan will be cast out of heaven and down to the earth.
Revelation 12:7-9. “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8: And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
Verse 10 states that Satan is accusing the brethren before God day and night. The first mention of false accusation of God’s people was in the book of Job, and here it’s finally brought to an end. Satan and his angels will have approximately forty-two months to work on earth before they are judged at the second coming of Christ.
Christ’s defeat of Satan became physically evident in Satan’s failure to tempt Christ and later in Christ’s ministry on earth when He cast out demons and raised people from the dead. Satan’s defeat was proven by Christ’s triumph over death by His Own resurrection from the grave.
4. At the end of the Great Tribulation, God will put Satan in the “bottomless pit” during the thousand year reign of Christ on the earth, then he’ll be turned loose for a "little season." Revelation 20:1-3. “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2: And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3: And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”
There is no mention in Scripture of any Satanic activity during the Millennium. However, some of the people who are born during the Millennium will sin but Satan won’t be here to deceive the world any longer like he has ever since Adam and Eve. He’ll be released to wage a final losing battle with Christ at the end of the Millennium.
The third question in the title was:
"If, and when, will God complete Satan’s judgment?"
5. Satan's final doom will come at the close of the Millennium which is the thousand year reign of Christ on this earth. Revelation 20:7-10: “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8:And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9:And they went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10:And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
When the thousand years have passed, Satan will be turned loose and go out to deceive the nations again and get them to rebel against God and to attack God’s people at Jerusalem. These people who rebel against Christ are children born in the Millennium who profess faith in Christ, but never actually were born again. They openly rebel and “compass the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” The “beloved city” is Jerusalem. This fire that comes down from God out of heaven and devours them is literally hell on earth.
At this time, the devil and the fallen angels that are with him will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are, and will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Some of the fallen angels have been there since their original sin. 2 Peter 2:4, "God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” Jude 6 also mentions those angels. "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”
The “Great Day” is God’s Great White Throne Judgment. God will judge all non believers of all time and cast them into the Lake of Fire that He has prepared for the devil and his angels.
At the present, Satan and some of his angels are allowed a measure of freedom and carry on warfare against the holy angels and the people of God but they will all appear for "the judgment of the great day,” after the close of the Millennial Kingdom. (Revelation 20:10)
Even though God has permitted Satan and his angels to have an influence on the world and they have opposed God at all times, their ultimate defeat and eternal punishment is certain.
Christians afflicted by Satan, like Job was in the Old Testament, can rest assured the enemies of God who persecuted them will be judged in His time. Their punishment will be endless. The beast and the false prophet who were cast into the lake of fire at the beginning of the Millennium are still there at the end of the Millennium and will be for eternity.
Scripture also makes it clear that God
has only two judgments for man.
1. One is the never ending joy of heaven for the Believer in Jesus Christ.
2. The other is the never ending torment of the lake of fire for those who reject the salvation offered by God’s Son, Jesus Christ.