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An Interesting History Of Satan

An interesting history follows. The Old Testament history is the
history of conflict between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the
woman. Satan continually worked to oppose God, attempting to prevent
the coming of that promised seed of the woman. He knew if he succeeded
in this he would not again be dispossessed from this planet and his own
doom would never come. Besides trying to prevent the coming of the
promised One, his aim is to control the nations, have dominion over
them, and to deny the truth of God made known to man by revelation. He
corrupted the human race before the deluge so that the earth was
corrupt before God and filled with violence (Gen. vi:11). This great
being knew well that God is holy and cannot tolerate evil. He plunged
the race into great wickedness in the hope that God would destroy the
whole race and leave him possessor of the earth. But Noah found grace
in the sight of the Lord.

When Satan received the knowledge that the seed to conquer him and seal
his doom would come through Abraham, he then opposed the seed of
Abraham to frustrate God's purpose. The land which was promised by
Jehovah to Abraham and his descendants was settled by the nations which
were Satan-controlled and were his willing instruments. Satan's power
in wickedness and vileness was manifested in the Canaanites. That is
why the Lord commanded their utter extermination. So that in the land
itself there was a steady conflict between the seed of the serpent, the
Canaanites, and the seed of the woman, godly Israelites.

When Pharaoh gave the command to kill all the male children born to
Israel in Egypt, it was another attempt of Satan to make the coming of
the promised seed impossible (Ex. i:16). But God took care and used
the Hebrew midwives, the weaker vessels, to bring to naught the wicked
plan. Pharaoh brought up in his own palace one of the Hebrew boys,
whom Satan would have killed; and that boy became the great leader and
deliverer of Israel. All the persecutions of the people Israel in
Egypt were Satan's work. When at last they had left the house of
bondage, Satan in impotent rage stirred up Pharaoh to attempt their
destruction; but Pharaoh and his army found their graves in the Red Sea.

Afterward Jehovah announced that the promised seed should be of the
house of David. Then Satan watched David and his descendants. Through
Saul he persecuted God's anointed, but failed to touch his life.
Immediately after the Lord had made the covenant with David (2 Sam.
vii) promising him a son whose Kingdom shall be established (the
seed--Christ), Satan led David to commit his awful sin. Jehoram, the
son of Jehoshaphat, belonged to the seed of the serpent. This wicked
son of David slew all his brethren. It was Satan's attempt to
exterminate the descendant of David (2 Chronicles xxi:4). Then the
Arabians came and slew all his sons except Ahaziah. Still greater was
Satan's attempt to end forever the house of David through wicked queen
Attaliah. She was the mother of Ahaziah. When her son had been slain
"she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah" (2
Chronicles xxii:10). Satan had made the awful suggestion to her and
when the seed royal was destroyed he thought he had triumphed at last.
"But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the King, took Joash the son of
Ahaziah, and stole him from the King's sons that were slain, and put
him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of
King Jehoram, the wife of Jehorada the priest, hid him from Attaliah so
that she slew him not. And he was with them hid in the house of God
six years" (2 Chron. xxvii:11-12). Satan was defeated.

Through Haman he made still another attempt to have all the Jews, men,
women, and children, killed. God watched over His people again and
Satan's plan was frustrated. And how much else might be added!
Throughout Old Testament history he had his chosen instruments, like
Nimrod, the kings of Babylon, the Pharaohs, the Assyrian, the Persian
Kings, Alexander and others through whom he attempted world dominion.
He instigated the cruel and terrible wars. Israel, the people of God,
were led by him into idolatry and apostasy. In all this and much
besides his aim was the defiance of God and to keep God from carrying
out his plan of redemption though the promised seed.

The Promised Seed and Satan's Opposition

The promised seed came. The Son of God took on the creature's garb and
became man, the son of David and son of Abraham, according to the
flesh. All Satan had done for 4,000 years had been in vain. God had
kept His promise. King Herod was the seed of the serpent and when the
child was born, Satan moved him to seek the young child to destroy him.
Herod, inspired by the murderer from the beginning, "exceeding wroth,
sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all
the coasts thereof from two years old and under" (Matt. ii:16). But
God had watched, and the young child was on the way to Egypt when
Satan's suggestion was carried out by the Roman soldiers.

And how many more times he must have made the same attempt! When Satan
had taken him on the pinnacle of the temple and suggested "cast thyself
down," he tried it once more. The people of Nazareth were the
serpent's seed and under his control when they rushed him out of the
city and attempted to cast him headlong down a precipice. The storms
on the lake were Satan's work to take His life. Little did he know
that the ship in which the Son of God slept peacefully, though it
filled with water, was the only unsinkable ship which sailed the seas.
He could not touch the seed of the woman, for He was holy, without sin,
and death had not claim on Him.

Yet He had come to die "that through death He might destroy him that
had the power of death, that is, the devil." He knew that the Lord
Jesus would get the victory and the dominion over this earth by the way
of the Cross. That is why he took Him on the exceeding high mountain
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.
He offered all to the Son of Man, if He but would fall down before him.
He wanted Him to keep away from the cross for he knew then and knows
now, far better than many a so-called theologian, that redemption for
the individual and redemption for this earth, the nations and groaning
creation has its blessed source in the work of the Cross. He was
defeated in all his malice and cunning. And finally the Cross,
preceded by the agony in Gethsemane. Satan was there; with unspeakable
hatred he planned His death. He entered into Judas; he used the
Pharisees and Sadducees, the priests and elders, which were all Satan's
seed, to have Him put to death. The cry "Away with Him! Crucify Him!"
was inspired by himself. He used man to dishonor the Son of God, to
revile Him, spit in His face, to scourge Him and finally to nail Him to
the Cross. Did he think that he might yet get the victory and keep the
Lord Jesus from finishing the work the Father gave Him to do? We do
not know if such was the case, but we know that while the Son of God
gave Himself, Satan had also his part in His rejection and His death.
Our Lord conquered. He won the victory and those blessed
never-to-be-forgotten words, "It is finished" tell of the final doom of
Satan and the coming glories of a new heaven and a new earth. The
thorn-crowned Man of that cross of shame will some day be the
glory-crowned Man who claims His inheritance, and because he wore the
thorns and paid for all sin's curse, He will rid this earth from the
works of the devil.

The tomb was closed with the big stone and then sealed with the Roman
seal. A watch too is set. How careful Satan is! What a good memory
he has! Yet how blind! He wanted to prevent His triumphant
resurrection, as if he had more power than God! On the third day the
stone was rolled away. He came forth. Death and the grave are
conquered. He is the resurrection and the life. Then the man-child,
whom the dragon wanted to devour (Rev. xii) was caught up to the throne
of God, destined to rule the nations with a rod of iron. Like another
Joash, He is hidden in the house of God. He fills the throne there and
awaits in that place of glorious exaltation the time when Satan will be
dethroned and He, the Son of Man, will receive His own throne.

The Conflict Continues

As stated elsewhere, Satan by having succeeded in getting the Jews and
Gentiles to reject the Prince of Life and the Lord of Glory, became
what he has not been in previous ages, "the god of this age" (2 Cor.
iv:4).[3] And so the conflict continues. Satan can no longer attempt
to prevent the coming of the promised seed or attack His Person, for He
is in glory as the glorified Man. He knows, however, that He has a
seed on this earth, a seed which has the promise given that he, Satan,
"is to be bruised completely" under their feet. This seed is the
church. The enmity and conflict during this present age is therefore
between the seed of the serpent and the seed of Christ, those who are
in Him and in whom Christ dwelleth.

All students of Prophecy know that the seven church messages in the
book of Revelation (chapters ii and iii) contain a prophetic forecast
of the history of the church on earth, from the apostolic age to the
time when the true church is taken to glory and the apostate church
disowned by the Lord.[4] In these prophetic messages Satan's work in
opposition to the church is made known. In the Apostolic age he acted
in introducing error; he sowed the tares. After the Apostles had
passed away a time of great persecution set in which is indicated in
the message to Smyrna. The Roman emperors were the serpent's seed.
They claimed divine honors and worship. As Satan's instruments they
persecuted the church, and thousands upon thousands of believers died
the martyrs' death. The cruel tortures and horrible forms of death
were Satan's work by which he attempted to exterminate the church.
When he found that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church,
and that the church increased in spite of these persecutions, then he
began to corrupt the church. The professing church settled down where
Satan's throne is, that is, she gave up the place of separation and
became a world institution. Gradually the Gospel and the doctrine of
Christ became perverted, heathenish customs were introduced and finally
the culmination was reached in the Romish apostasy. These developments
are described in the messages to Pergamos and Thyatira. When the
Reformation set in the fires of persecution were kindled again; once
more Satan, as the murderer, tries to prevent the victory of the truth
of Christ and the Gospel. Satan's work can thus be traced in the
history of the church down to our own times. The destructive criticism
of our own times, the so-called "new theology," the different systems,
which deny the Deity of our Lord and which reject His atoning death,
like "Christian Science," belong to the seed of the serpent. And so
does Spiritism, Theosophy, Mormonism and other cults. In these systems
and cults he appears as an angel of light, blinding the eyes of them
that believe not. "And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed
into an angel of light, therefore it is no great thing if his ministers
also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall
be according to their works" (2 Cor. xi:14-15).

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