Paganism Eighteen

(NOTE: Some of the themes of these articles may not be appropriate for young readers. Please keep that in mind when sharing this information).

It is written:

“An elder must not be a new believer. It might make him too proud of himself. Then he would be condemned for his pride the same as the devil was.” (1 Timothy 3:6)

Having determined that Satan is not some eternal counterpart to God (i.e., dualism), there are some things we may safely deduce.

First, because Satan is not God, he is not eternal. In other words, he is a created being. Since all things were made by God (Colossians 1:15-17), then it is clear that Satan was created by God.

Second, since God is the One Who created Satan, we may also see that Satan was created intrinsically good. In other words, Satan was not created as an evil being. Instead, everything which God created was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Norman Geisler has written powerfully on this subject:

“According to the Bible, Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12; cf. 1 Timothy 3:6), a created archangel, was the first to sin, thus becoming Satan. A third of all the angels fell with him (Revelation 12:4). After that, Adam and Eve were tempted by the devil (Genesis 3) and fell into sin (Romans 5:12). There had been no sin in the universe. There was a perfect God, a perfect place called heaven filled with perfect creatures called angels. How could sin arise under such perfect conditions? Who caused Lucifer to sin? He was not tempted by anyone else. God does not tempt anyone to sin (James 1:13). Lucifer had no evil nature that gave him a propensity (inclination) to sin. Many consider this an insoluble mystery. But is it? Not really, not once we understand what free choice entails. The best way to comprehend the basis of a free act is to examine the three possible alternatives. A free act is either uncaused, caused by another, or self-caused. That is, it is undetermined, determined by another, or self-determined. No action can be uncaused (undetermined); that would be a violation of the law of causality (every event has a cause). Neither can a free act be caused by another; for if someone or something else caused the action, then it is not ours (not from our free choice) and we would not be responsible for it. Hence all free actions must be self-caused, that is, caused by oneself. Now we can answer the question, “What caused Lucifer to sin?” No one did. He is the cause of his own sin. Sin is a self-caused action, one for which we cannot blame anyone or anything else. Who caused the first sin? Lucifer. How did he cause it? By the power of free choice, which God gave him. Thus God made evil possible by creating free creatures; they are responsible for making it actual.”. (Norman Geisler, If God, Why Evil? A New Way To Look At The Question, 30-31 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Bethany House Publishers)

Satan, who was inherently good in his nature, misused his God-given freewill and rebelled against God (1 Timothy 3:6).

As we will learn, there are at least two passages of Scripture which give strong indicators of who Satan is.

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