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Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 6 - August/September 2005 > The Great Controversy between God and Satan

The Great Controversy between God and Satan

by Pr Douglas Jenkins

by Pr Douglas Jenkins

Title            What is the Bible?
Theme        The Great Controversy between God and Satan

(This is part 3 in the Bible Study series.  Part 1 is found in edition 4 and Part 2 is found in edition 5 of the online magazine.)


In the last issue of this on-line magazine I named three themes in the Bible.  Now we are going to explore the Bible to find what these themes teach us.

As you explore the Bible remember, you are reading God's message as He inspired selected writers, in times past, to record important instructions and directions that God as our maker wants us to know. God acts just like any parent whose desire it is to ensure that his or her children have the best possible understanding of how to live and survive in the environment in which they live.  In the Bible, God calls us his children and understands that we live in a less than ideal environment compared to what he originally intended for mankind. 

In this study, we are going to explore this less than ideal environment in which we live.  This may help you understand some of the apparent contradictions that surround the understanding of God.  For example, if God is love why does he allow such trouble in the world?  This can be answered in studying the first of the three themes of the Bible that I mentioned last time.

The First Theme

The first theme was: The Great Controversy Between God And Satan. Perhaps you are wondering what this is all about. The only reliable source is to go to the Bible. Here we find the setting for this controversy.

It's found in Isaiah 14:12-14:"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,( the leader of the angels whom God created) son of the morning !. . . For thou hast said IN THINE HEART (his mind) I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God..I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I WILL BE LIKE THE MOST HIGH [like God]."

God created human beings with intelligence, powers of personal choice, and ability to reason.  So Lucifer allowed his thoughts to generate jealousy, consequently he eventually aspired to replace God--for himself to be like God.   Lucifer thus became Satan [as noted below].

This resulted in the following catastrophic event as found in the book of revelation, the last book of the New Testament: "And there was war [probably violent opposition] in heaven.  Michael [Christ] and His angels fought against the dragon ( in verse 9--"that old serpent called the Devil and Satan ") ; and the dragon fought and his angels. And prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven; and the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and  Satan, which deceived the whole world, he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." Revelation 12:7-9.  Evidently satan deceived and then persuaded some of the angels to support his rebellion.  The Bible tells us that a third of the angels supported satan's actions.

Next we see a drama on this earth.  Satan gained supremacy over this planet by an artful strategy. All this story really intrigued me, as a young person, and started a train of thought that later revealed to me the reason for our present experience in such a disastrous world of chaos and contradiction.  Maybe you are becoming excited about the unfolding of events that you are discovering about this world.  Soon the picture will come together for you as it did for me.

Here is the insight we are looking for:"God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him, male and female created He them. . . .And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree , in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat [food].Genesis 1:27-29. The story continues to unfold:"And the Lord God commanded the man saying: Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, YOU SHALL NOT EAT OF IT, for in the day that you eat of it  YOU SHALL SURELY DIE [i.e.dying you shall surely die--the body would degenerate and then die].Genesis 2:17,18.

Are you mystified?  Why would God do that? Humans were created with the powers of intelligence and choice. Humans were not created robots, nor like animals-- with automatic instinct. So God tested the first human couple, whether they would be obedient and loyal to their creator. This tree was their test. The climax now follows.

Read on:" Now the serpent [then a beautiful creature] was more subtle than any beast of the field, which the Lord God had made. And he said [first ventriloquist!-Satan talking through the serpent] unto the woman :Yea hath God said --ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden ?[ blatant twisting !] And the woman said unto the serpent: We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. But of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said : Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch of it , LEST YE DIE." Genesis 3: 1-3.

Satan continues with his deceit:"And the serpent said unto the woman:YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE. [Contradicting God !]  For God doth know that in the day that ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3 :4,5. don't miss this: " And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, (notice this) SHE TOOK OF THE FRUIT THEREOF, AND DID EAT, and gave also unto her husband with her, and HE DID EAT.  and the eyes of them both were  opened, and they knew they were naked [at creation God clothed them with a garment of light--this was now lost ]. And they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." Genesis 3: 6,7.

Thus Satan usurped from God the control of this earth and everything here. But in reality Satan could not control any more than what God would allow him. Naturally you ask: Why didn't God immediately destroy Satan?  This is a question I asked too.  I found out by further study that If God had done so He would have risked angels or other human life, through their misunderstanding of His motives for destroying Satan and could have themselves rebelled against God, believing God to be unjust. So God allowed satan to reveal his principles and character, and show his purpose and methods of dealing with mankind by allowing him to govern this world through the mind of man. Once satan's true character and motives are revealed, then God can safely remove satan, having been vindicated in His decision. God had to preserve His integrity and His right to authority.

Are you beginning to see the picture unfold?   You will find the next study in the series makes a much clearer picture. This is where I started, as a young person, to really get interested as I began to understand what life on this earth is all about.

In the next article we will show what the other two themes are about THE WAY BACK TO GOD'S FAMILY and WHO IS GOD?

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