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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