Satanology



We’re still talking ST I, and we’re in the spiritual realm.


We’ve covered angels in a 3 part series.

We now come to the doctrine of Satan (Satanology).

And this is going to be a short one, but it’s just going to be some introduction to the person of Satan, and some of his designations throughout Scripture.


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His Personality (i.e., his personhood).

His personhood is often denied by anti supernaturalists. 


They view the presence of the devil in the Scriptures as simply the personification of evil. But this is a presupposition and ignores the plain reading and meaning of the Scriptures.


His personhood is evident in many ways.


Here’s some indications of his personhood.

--- He plots:

Job 1-2

The entire story of Job is a product of Satan scheming and making plans for His own evil purposes. Just read it.


2 Corinthians 2:10 -11 “But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ,

 11 so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.


*Note: The word, here, for “schemes,” is a word that speaks of plans, designs, and strategies. In the context, Paul is saying we’re not ignorant of these schemes, but as the relate to the necessity for forgiveness among the brethren. The implication, then, is that the way he works his designs (and schemes) within the church, is through interpersonal realities (e.g., anger, bitterness, etc.).


Ephesians 6:11 - “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”


*Note: The word, here, for “scheme” is a word that refers to plans that are crafty and deceptive. The idea is that he labors to pull us into his plans, but through deception. The result is that we unknowingly become accomplices in his efforts and work. 


---- Intelligence (2Cor. 2:11)

---- Emotion (Rev. 12:12)

---- Will (Jude 1:9; possibly 2 Tim. 2:26)

---- Speech (Matt. 4:1-11)

---- Responsibility [in a moral sense] (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:1-3, 10)


Regarding his personality, it should also be noted that at the outset, he’s entirely characterized by pride.


1 Timothy 3:6 (regarding the qualifications of an elder) - “he is not to be a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.”


His Designations:

Names (none of these are technical).

“Satan”

This is not a proper name.


In the Old Testament:

There are 14 occurrences of “satan (שָׂטָן )” They all carry the idea of adversary. 

**Important note: When referring to Satan the article “the” appears in the Hebrew. If it is not present, then it refers to an adversary.


You see examples of this “accusing” work in Job 1:6-9; Zech. 3:1, 2.

So his persona as “the adversary” is to accuse.


In the New Testament:

The NT picks up the OT term as significant, so it simply transliterates it (Σατανᾶς).

There are 35 occurrences in the NT, most of which refer directly to Satan.


A notable exception:

Matthew 16:23 - “But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's.”

* Note: This doesn’t have the article (ho) in front of it, so it merely means adversary. 


However, it does mean that Peter is acting in accordance to the nature of the devil. He’s attempting to thwart the Son’s purpose in going to the cross-- something the devil’s been trying to do since Genesis.


Devil (διάβολος)”

It’s where we get the term “diabolical” from.


This is a term that should not be seen as a name, but a characteristic. It’s the idea of being one who plots wickedness.

In 34 of 38 occurrences in the NT, it refers to Satan.


The exceptions would be John 6:70; 1Tim. 3:11; 2Tim. 3:3; Titus 2:3


--- Secondary names:

“Beelzebul” (Matt. 10:25, Mk. 3:22; Lk. 11:15, et. al).

It’s basic meaning is “master of the heavenly dwelling.”

The Latin and Syriac versions translate it to mean “master of flies.”


“Abbadon”

Comes from the Hebrew root “to perish,” or “to destroy.”

It’s transliterated into Greek as “Apollyon” in Rev. 9:11 --

“They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.”


Belial (or ‘Beliar’).”

Appears in Judges 20:13; 1Sam. 10:27; and 1Kings 21:13 as a proper name.


KJV renders it as “children of Belial.”

NASB "Worthless fellows.”

RSV “Base fellows.”


In Jewish apocalyptic writings, the term was used to describe Satan or the antichrist. In fact, that’s the sense in which Paul uses it in 2 Cor. 6:15 --

“Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?”


--- Misused names and references:

Azazeel (עזָאזֵל).”

This is a term used in Lev. 16:8-10, and the key, here, is to understand that it’s not being used as a proper name.


Lev. 16:8 - “Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat.”


So here, there’s two goats:

One functions as a sacrifice to YHWH → signifying an appeasing of God’s wrath (propitiation)

And the other as a sacrifice to Azazel → signifying the removal (or sending away) of sin (expiation).

Now the Hebrew word “azal” means “to go away…” And so when it’s combined with the word for goat (az), it makes the word “azazeel.”

And so it’s a term, then, that means nothing more than “the goat of going out” … or in simple terms, “the scapegoat.”


In some Jewish traditions, Azazel is sometimes understood to mean, “demon-goat.” That is, it was a goat offered to a demon, named Azazel.


And then in various Christian writings, it’s understood to be a referent to Satan.

But both of these are wrong, because the term, here, doesn’t function as a proper name.

Rather, it’s simply the idea of “scapegoat,” where the priest was to place his hand on the scape goat (symbolically showing the transfer of sin). And he was to then send it into the wilderness, to signify the removal (and sending out) of sin.


So if you do see the term as a referent to Satan, it’s because you’re reading into the term (with no actual textual evidence for doing so), and not letting the text stand on its own.


“Lucifer”

The name comes from a translation of Isa. 14:12 in the KJV.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!”