This attempt to outline the Scripture teaching on this character will be undertaken under certain general conditions:
First—The authority of the Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testaments will be accepted without question.
Second—Evidence will be drawn from the Word of God alone, since no final light can be found on this subject other than it has pleased God to reveal in the Bible.
Third—There will be no discussion as to the actual existence of Satan; this being both assumed and taught from Genesis to Revelation.
These pages are prepared especially for believers; knowing that this body of truth will be wholly unnoticed or rejected by the Satan-blinded world (2 Cor. 4:4).
There has also been a deep sense of the seriousness of the undertaking: both because Satan, by his present direct power, would, if possible, hinder any larger understanding of his projects and purposes; and because so great a warning has fallen from the lips of Christ against the sin of ascribing to Satan the things which are really of God (Matt. 12:22-32). The work has, therefore, been undertaken with some degree of reliance upon the keeping and guiding power of the Spirit of God, and is presented with the prayer that believers may have a clearer understanding of this important body of truth and be able to say with Paul, “We are not ignorant of his devices.” It is also desired that some clearer vision of this mighty foe may be had which will cause the child of God to realize the overwhelming power of his adversary and be constrained to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might;” that greater victory may be had in the realization of the whole will of God.
The Career of Satan
This chapter is a brief outline of the past, present and future of Satan, which is taken up at this point both that the following chapters may be more easily studied and because of the fact that those passages which deal most directly with his earliest condition are closely interwoven with predictions of his future and final defeat.
Revelation in regard to Satan begins with that dateless period between the perfect creation of the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1) and the desolating judgment which ended that period, when the earth became waste and empty (Gen. 1:2; Isa. 24:1; Jer. 4:23-26). One passage, Ezek. 28:11-19, deals at length with Satan and his relation to that age. In this Scripture Satan is evidently described under the title of “The King of Tyrus.” Like the Messianic Psalms,—wherein the Psalmist is apparently referring to himself, though statements are made and conditions described that could only be connected with the Messiah, the Son of God,—so, here, that which is addressed to “The King of Tyrus” is, by its character, seen to be a direct reference to the person of Satan; for no similar person to whom this description could apply is revealed in Scripture. In the previous as well as the following chapters the final judgment of Jehovah is pronounced upon the enemies of His chosen people. Satan is distinctly numbered among these enemies in I Chron. 21:1; and his record and judgment naturally appear in this list.