Sunday, July 20, 2008

Is Satan A Believer ?

Is Satan a Believer?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave is only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life,” John 3:16. The question asked in the title of this commentary is “Is Satan a believer?” How about his minions of evil? Are they believers? The quick answer is yes. Please don’t misunderstand and fly off the handle promising never to read another of my commentaries. At least finish the commentary before you tar and feather me. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble,” James 2:19.

Satan along with his followers believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, so in that sense we may say they are believers, but only in the sense that they acknowledge God’s existence. Acknowledging His existence isn’t the same as believing with faith. A belief that leads to “faith” is not at all what Satan and his cohorts are all about. Demons, of which Satan is the reigning king, have no faith in anything, yet we know they believe because James the brother of Jesus tells us so. In fact the Greek word for believe is pisteuo which means:

1) Conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in The New Testament of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it

a) Relating to God

1) The conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ

b) Relating to Christ

1) A strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God.

When you’re out witnessing have you ever been asked the question, “How does someone become a Christian?” In Acts chapter 16, verses 30 and 31, Luke tells us of an occasion when Paul and Silas were in prison, and the jailer asked them “Sirs, what must I do to be saved”? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”.I can honestly say, after reading the scriptures, that Satan and all those angels that fell with him will never look on Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. When they made the decision to rebel it was for eternity.

If we believe in our heart that Jesus Christ is Lord, and confess with our mouth that God raised Him from the grave we will be saved. Those who like to say there is more to being saved than just believing in Jesus always throw out “Well didn’t Satan and his demons believe? As a matter of fact, don’t they know the scriptures better than anyone on earth?”They invariably quote the verse in James that I added above. “The devils also believe and tremble.” The word in the Greek for tremble is phrissō. Translated into English it means to shudder, to be struck with extreme fear, to be horrified. I don’t know about you but horrified never comes to my mind as I dwell on my Savior’s love for me. From what I have come to know about Jesus I can tell you this: I wouldn’t want to leave earth without Him. That would be horrifying.

From the beginning it has been Satan’s plan to elevate himself above God. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High,” Isaiah 14:13, & 14. These are the five 'I will’s' referring to Satan himself. Satan isn’t interested in salvation but he is very interested in keeping man from acquiring salvation.

So what does all this tell us about the people who claim that there is more to being born again than just believing? Many of those individuals who profess to being born again are under the mistaken belief that even though God Himself breathed all scripture into existence and tells us in His inerrant word that simply by believing we can be saved, we must also stop sinning so we can achieve perfection. Absolutely no one on the face of this earth has or will ever achieve perfection; perfection has never been achieved by anyone except Jesus Himself who, as we all know is God Almighty, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us…If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us,” 1John 1: 8 & 10. We all sin whether saved or not and if we say we don’t sin we are liars. As believers even though we hate sin, we will occasionally stumble. There’s a wonderful promise in the verse that separates those two verses above, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” 1John 1:9.

To state that belief alone is insufficient for obtaining salvation is like slapping God in the face. Looking at the whole council of God gives us a clear view of salvation, but taking scriptures out of context gives us many false doctrines. We can’t add to His word nor build doctrine on a couple of scriptures just so we can gain our own desired results. There are those Bible teachers who claim that once we are saved we must never sin again or we’ve lost our salvation. This too is a falsehood. I will never stop harping on this simple admonition; use due diligence in searching the scriptures for yourselves. Let me say that again just so everyone gets it this time. Search the scriptures for yourself; ask God to enlighten you with the truth of His word. Be sure you’re not being led away from the truth instead of closer to it. Memorize Acts 17:11.

It is not my intention in this commentary to begin a debate on whether or not Satan is a believer, nor am I attempting to add fuel to the already raging fire of the 'once saved always saved' doctrine. It is my intention, though, to lend a hand to those who get stumbled by the teachings of those who try to add to the sufficiency of the cross. All believers can enjoy their freedom in Christ because we believe in His Gospel, we believe in His death on a cross, in His burial, and in His resurrection. Through God’s word we actually have a solid biblical argument to refute those who make the claim that believing is not good enough.

Matthew in his Gospel shows us Christ’s Jewishness and in so doing uses the word “believe” ten times. Mark shows us Christ as a suffering servant and he uses the word “believe” ten times. In Luke’s Gospel we are shown Jesus’ humanity. He uses the word “believe” nine times. The Apostle John in his Gospel makes use of the word “believe” ninety-nine times. Why? Because John is detailing for us Christ’s Deity, and he’s explaining the procedure we must go through to obtain salvation. What is that procedure? Believe on the one God sent. We are to believe to be saved. John 3:16 is a perfect verse to reassure us of our salvation and how it’s not tied to any type of works. Jesus paid it all, we believe and are saved. Satan and his demons on the other hand are not saved and never will be. They have been condemned by God and their ultimate destination is secure.

A book I read recently told a frightening tale of a place we all call Hell. It was terrifying. It was written by a Christian man who says he was taken down to Hell to experience its horribleness by none other than Jesus Christ Himself. This man tells his tale of how demons were there to torment him and that, even though they would inflict him with terrible fatal wounds, he did not die. The wounds healed right away and the demons would then do it all over again. He went through this torment and other dreadful experiences for about 20 minutes. The experience of reading a book such as the one I just described, even if you consider it pure fiction as I do, will give you something rather frightening to think about, especially when it comes to your family members who you know aren’t saved. The idea of Jesus taking someone to Hell to allow them to be inflicted by demons is absurd. Satan and his demon followers will be suffering in Hell not running Hell like a resort. He will have no power in Hell. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth for them just as there will be for all who perish because of non-belief.

And Jesus said to them, “…for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins,” John 8:24.

God bless you all,

Ron Graham

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