SPECIAL TOPIC: DEVIL

The term "devil" is a Greek compound (dia-bolos) which meant "to throw across" (cf. Acts 13:10; Eph. 4:27; 6:11; 1 Tim. 3:6,7; 2 Tim. 2:26). It was a metaphorical way of referring to Satan the accuser (see Special Topic: Satan). Paul referred to Satan in several passages (cf. Acts 26:18; Rom. 10:20; 1 Cor. 5:5; 7:5; 2 Cor. 2:11; 11:14: 12:7; 1 Thess. 2:18; 2 Thess. 2:9; 1 Tim. 1:20; 5:15). Satan was apparently an angelic being who served God but apparently rebelled against Him (cf. Genesis 3; Job 1-2; Zechariah 3). It is biblically difficult to talk about Satan because

1. the Bible never speaks definitively of the origin or purpose of evil

2. the OT texts which are usually seen as possibly related to Satan's rebellion are specifically directed to the condemnation of prideful earthly rulers (King of Babylon, Isaiah 14 and King of Tyre, Ezekiel 28) and not Satan (see Special Topic: Personal Evil)

It is obvious from several NT passages that there was conflict in the spiritual realm (Matt. 4:10; 12:26; 16:23; John 13:27; 14:30; 16:11; Acts 5:3; 2 Cor. 4:4. Eph. 2:2; 1 John 5:19; Rev. 2:9,13,24; 3:9; 12:9; 20:2,7). Where, when, and how are all mysteries. Believers do have an angelic enemy (cf. Eph. 2:2)!

The relationship between God and Satan has developed from one of service to antagonism. Satan was not created evil. His adversarial work in Genesis 3, Job 1-2 and Zechariah 3 were within God's will (cf. A. B. Davidson's An Old Testament Theology, pp. 300-306, for the development of evil in the Bible). He provided a test for human loyalty and trustworthiness. Mankind failed!

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