The Fall of Satan
1. Satan's origin Ezek. 28. Chronologically, we first find Satan in the garden of Eden, prior to human history, and he was blameless at that time (Ezek. 28:13,15) indicating that Satan did live on earth prior to man and that the earth was not originally created for man but for the angelic creation. Satan was a created being (Ezek. 28:13b) and he was created beautiful and wise (Ezek. 28:12b). Satan's sin, insofar as we can tell, was arrogance (Ezek. 28:17). Satan, in his fall, took with him one-third of the angels (Isa. 14:12–14 Ezek. 28:15b). For his one sin of arrogance, Satan is destined to be cast into eternal fire (Ezek. 28:16,18 Matt. 25:41). However, Satan is not there at this time; he is roaming about the earth (Gen. 3:1 Job 1:7 2:2 Matt. 4:1). This indicates that even though Satan has been sentenced to the Lake of Fire, he will not actually be cast into the Lake of Fire until the future (Rev. 20:10).
2. What Satan did is recorded in Isa. 14:13–14. [God is speaking ] "But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars [angels] of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'" We do not know if this was Satan's first sin or a result of his first sin. It is possible that Satan also had placed before him the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and that he ate from it before man did (man would not have even been on the scene yet). We have already seen n Gen. 1:1–2 and Isa. 45:18 that the earth was not created a wasteland and a dump but it was crated to be occupied; it became a wasteland and a dump. In any case, Satan became arrogant (either before taking from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, after taking from that tree, or apart from the tree altogether). All the suffering which we face here on earth is a result of (1) Satan's arrogance and (2) Adam's sin. This does not take us off the hook insofar as our own volition is concerned. By our many poor choices in life, we often make ourselves miserable without the help of Satan or an imperfect environment (Prov. 22:8 Gal. 6:7).
3. In his fallen state, Satan acts as a prosecuting attorney in the courtroom of God accusing man (Job 1:7 2:2 Zech. 3:1,2 Rev. 12:10). God has apparently set aside time to hear the petitions of the angels and Satan (Job 1:6) . Satan has access to the earth and to observe what is occurring on earth (Job 1:7) and he impugns God's character by objecting to the way things are going on earth. This is pictured in the beginning of the book of Job. God points out to Satan (and the other angels, both elect and fallen) his servant Job. Satan objects that Job is faithful only because he knows who provides him with prosperity. Take away this prosperity and Job will curse God and his life (Job 1:8–12). The reason I point this out is to: (1) establish that God does have a courtroom of sorts where He hears the petitions of his creatures. (2) Reveal that Satan has access to this courtroom and to the earth. (3) That Satan will use this opportunity to attack the believers on earth and, incidental to this attack, impugn God's perfect character.
4. Points #1 and 3 set up the following logical deduction: if there is a courtroom of God and if Satan has been sentenced to the Lake of Fire but is not there; and if Satan is instead tempting and accusing man, why is this occurring? Since we are created in the image of God, it is likely that our court system is a shadow of His, albeit imperfect. What has likely happened is that Satan has appealed this sentence on the following grounds:
● Satan perhaps claimed that he sinned because God designed him to sin. He did not have any choice. This is one of the reasons that man's free will is so important. This objection is dealt with by Paul in Rom. 9:20–21.
● Satan certainly objected to the severity and the eternity of the punishment that he faced. No doubt he insisted that the punishment was too harsh. Certainly, all he did was either eat from a little tree or display a bit of arrogance. All of human history answers this objection. We live in a world of tremendous suffering, pain and tears. Many of the things which seem right and good, that we too often place our trust in, such as human love, results in pain and humiliation.
● Satan claimed that the only reason a creature followed God and behaved as God wished was for reward from God. Satan leveled this objection against Job and very likely leveled this objection against the elect angels. The life of Job answers this objection.
● If a created creature does not follow God out of reward, then he obeys God out of pure and simple fear of punishment. Human history and growing up in a family has shown us that there is nothing wrong with discipline or with obedience due to discipline. God sets up standards and consequences out of love. For whom the Lord loves, he disciplines and he scourges every son whom He receives. (Heb. 12:6).
● How could God really have the attribute of love if He casts some of His creatures into a Lake of Fire? We find our Lord's love expressed in the person of Jesus Christ who came to this earth and walked among us, suffering temptations which we cannot begin to imagine, and then dying on our behalf, enduring an eternity of hells for all of us, that we might be redeemed. This is love beyond human comprehension. We might die for a person that we love, but Jesus Christ died for the unlovely, the arrogant, the vicious, the immoral and the unrighteous. Yet, in fact Christ, while we were still helpless, at the proper time, died for the ungodly. For one will rarely die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man, someone would be brave enough to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:6–8)
● Is God really righteous to subject His creatures to a Lake of Fire? God's righteousness is demonstrated by the cross. His righteousness is revealed in His Law and in the results of rebellion. God's righteousness is an integral part of His character and essence, wherein there is no variation or shifting shadow. (James 1:17). For in it [the gospel] is the righteousness of God revealed from [salvation] faith to [living] faith-doctrine. (Rom. 1:17a).
● God does not know what it is like to be a creature and subjected to the temptations that creatures face. This objection is answered by the fact that Jesus Christ came to earth and faced the same temptations and the same deprivation that we face and more.
These are educated guesses as to some of Satan's objections. Being a genius, I am certain that he raised many more objections than these. If any of these sound familiar, they ought to. Satan has been raising these objections in men's minds for millenniums to turn man away from God. It would also be important to point out that these are not necessarily heart-felt objections of a sincerely repentant creature; these are rationalizations for improper behavior and ethics; these objections are a way of side-stepping responsibility for one's actions.
5. Satan certainly made appeals on the grounds similar to what we have to day:
● Certainly he promised never to do it again.
● Perhaps he pleased temporary insanity or diminished capacity.
● He may have claimed that he had no idea that the results would be so devastating.
● Perhaps he claimed to never do it again.
● Perhaps he claimed to be rehabilitated.
● It is possible that Satan just asked for a corner of the universe in which to hang so that he and his fallen angel buddies could live there. God has the entire universe; what is a small portion of it to Him?
● Perhaps he claimed that God's laws were too strict and unbending and that they could do fine without these laws.
Whatever appeals that Satan made along these lines, his activity in human history shows us that he cannot be allowed to roam the universe freely. He will cause death, pain and suffering wherever he happens to be. God cannot give Satan a second chance nor would it be right for God to provide Satan with a devil's island, so to speak, within the universe (other than the Lake of Fire). Human history shows us that Satan cannot be trusted and that he cannot be allowed to have any portion of the universe in which to roam. His fallen nature makes him a danger to all creatures in the universe.
6. This view of pre-Adamic history explains:
● Why we are observed by angels.
● Why Satan is sentenced to the Lake of Fire yet is not there now and he still has the freedom to move about between heaven and the earth.
● This explains why good is sometimes evil.
● This explains why Satan would like to restore order and peace on earth. In his arrogance, he wants to show that he can act as God and that his plans are equal to those of God (Isa. 14:13–14)..
● Why God came to earth as a man.
7. Satan will be allowed to operate on earth under the following environments:
● Man is innocent and environment is perfect.
● Man is fallen and angels may cohabit with females.
● Man is fallen and angels are not allowed to cohabit with females; yet they are allowed to indwell unbelievers.
● Israel as a nation operates in many states, as a client nation to God in many different levels of power, or lack thereof.
● Israel is ruled by the Romans and the Son of God walks on this imperfect, fallen world.
● Satan is given a great deal of freedom during the tribulation to bring about world peace and order.
● Satan is bound while man enjoys perfect environment again (although it is possible that man is not always regenerate and it is possible that some regenerate men still have old sin natures; I am not certain about this.
● Satan is allowed to tempt man again during perfect environment and he will lead another revolt against God and against perfect environment.
In all of these environments, Satan will operate and tempt man and not make the earth a better place to live, but will cause continued pain and suffering among humankind. His act of arrogance results in millenniums of suffering for mankind. Again, this does not remove our responsibility for our volition when it is used to sin against God; but his one act of arrogance has plunged our world into sinful darkness and misery. Surely God is righteous to condemn an act which continues to cause so much grief and pain.
8. Conclusion: God created angels with free will, creating Satan as perhaps the most beautiful and intelligent creature of all. Satan fell in an act of arrogance and took with him a third of angelic creation. God judged and passed sentence upon Satan, yet Satan is allowed a great deal of freedom of movement. His actions in the court of God imply that he must have objected to God's harsh sentence. God answers this objection before all of angelic creation, both fallen and elect, through the creation of mankind and through human history. This may not always seem fair to us, but God has made provision for our salvation and for our entire lives, at great personal expense. For us, attaining salvation and a wonderful life is a matter of our own free will. Furthermore, at the end of our life, if we have believed in Jesus Christ, God will provide us with comfort and love and rewards beyond our imaginations. No temptation or testing has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted or tested beyond what you are able [to bear], but with this temptation also provide the way out that you may be able to endure it. (I Cor. 10:13). For we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His pre-determined plan. (Rom. 8:28). For the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes. (Rev. 7:17). And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be death; there shall no longer be mourning or crying or pain; the first things have passed away. (Rev. 21:4). And when He [the Holy Spirit] has arrived, He will convince the world concerning sin, and righteousness and judgement: concerning sin because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I got to the Father and you will no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world [Satan] has been judged. (John 16:8–11)