THE SIN OF SATAN

A Study By
Gary Ray Branscome
 
Lesson 5


    The words, “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is,” tell us that the angels were created during the six days of creation (Exodus 20:11). In other words, the angels are included in the words, “all that in them is”. Therefore, by the beginning of the seventh day God’s work of creation was complete. At that time all that He created was holy, good, and pure (Genesis 2:1-2, Genesis 1:31, Job 38:7, 1Corinthians 14:33, Deuteronomy 32:4, Matthew 25:31).

    While the angels whom God created are spirit beings who by nature are more powerful, intelligent, and glorious than man; they are finite spirits who neither die nor reproduce, and whose power and wisdom is limited. At the same time, the fact that Michael dared not bring a railing accusation against Satan tells us that Satan is more powerful than the others. [Hebrews 1:14, 2Kings 19:35, 2Samuel 14:20, Luke 11:17-18 and 15:10, Revelation 12:9, Matthew 18:10, Psalm 8:5, 1Peter 1:12 and 3:22, Matthew 22:30, Jude 1:9, Mark 12:25, Luke 20:36, Ezekiel 28:13-14, Isaiah 14:12, 2Corinthians 11:14.]

    However, in spite of Satan’s power, sin brought him under condemnation. Moreover, the fact that the evil in man’s nature is a reflection of Satan’s nature tells us that Satan wanted to be God, for all sin is an attempt to overthrow God’s authority (John 8:44, Isaiah 14:12-14, Matthew 25:41).

    Through sin Lucifer ceased to be the bearer of light and became Satan – the enemy, the accuser, the father of the lie. Since one-third of the angels were carried down into spiritual death by his influence, he was also the first murderer (Revelation 12:3-10, John 8:44, Ezekiel 28:15, 2Peter 2:4, John 8:44). Furthermore, by leading Adam and Eve to sin, Satan was able to pass his desire to be God on to them, thereby bringing Adam, Eve, their descendants, and the entire physical universe (which they ruled) under his dominion (Genesis 3:4-5, Romans 5:12-14, Romans 6:16, 2Corinthians 4:4, Genesis 3:14, Hebrews 1:10-12).

THE DESIRE TO BE GOD


    Since all sin is an attempt to overthrow God’s authority, sin itself is rooted in the desire to be God, and the desire to exalt yourself over others or make them do your will (which stems from that satanic mentality) is the essence of pride and the opposite of love. That is not to say that love is always the exact opposite of pride or hatred, for under certain circumstances love not only requires us to condemn and fight evil, but Satan is sometimes able to disguise evil as love. Nevertheless, those who do Satan’s will always justify evil while condemning good.

    Since the desire to exalt one’s race is closely related to the desire to exalt self, racism is clearly a manifestation of the satanic mentality. In fact, racists promote the lie of a superior race because they want to lord it over other races. That is why they never view their own race as inferior. At the same time, Satan uses the delusion of racial superiority to blind those under it to the fact that their own nature is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). What they fail to realize is that by rejecting God’s evaluation of their nature for their own delusion of superiority, Satan has them fighting against God by trying to replace His truth with their lie (John 14:6, Psalm 146:5-6). [Note: God is the one who determines what is true. In fact, if He did not have the ability to determine what is true, He would be subject to and limited by the truth. If that were the case, then the truth (or the one who did determine the truth) would be His superior, and thus the true God. Therefore, Satan’s rebellion could be viewed as his attempt to change the truth in order to make himself God, which explains why Satan is the father of the lie (John 8:44).]

    Although God originally intended for our nature to reflect His righteousness, sin has so altered our nature that it now reflects the deceitfulness and rebellion of Satan. That is why we are so quick to excuse or justify our own sins (Jeremiah 17:9). Every time we excuse something that we know to be wrong, we are attempting to make ourselves God by changing the truth to suit ourselves.

    In short, every sin committed by man is somehow rooted in the satanic desire to make oneself God (self-deification). That desire often manifests itself in the drive to control, dominate, manipulate, and use others for the benefit of self. For example, the man who seduces a woman does so only to gratify his own selfish desires. If he really cared for her, he would not want her to sin. Therefore, any love that he thinks he feels for her is really hatred disguised as love, and thus a delusion of Satan (1John 5:2). That being the case, all that he says about love is really an attempt to make himself God by making his lie (that adultery is love) into the truth. In the same way, any who excuse, defend, and promote wicked behavior are trying to make themselves God, while showing only contempt for those whom they deceive (James 4:4).

    When it comes to idolatry, those who create idols are attempting to make themselves into God’s creator. The worship of idols is an attempt to overthrow the true God. In fact, every attempt to change the truth of God into a lie is a rejection of the true God. That also is true of atheism. The atheist denial of God is rooted in the same desire to be God that is behind every other sin. In his book “The Gods Of Atheism,” Vincent P. Miceli documents that fact by citing a number of prominent atheists who have claimed that man is God.

    Those who curse in God's name are seeking to make themselves into the one who decides who should be damned (Matthew 10:28). Those who refuse to attend church are refusing to humble themselves before God. Those who turn away from the faith or do evil, disregarding the teaching of their parents, are rejecting the authority that God has placed in their lives (Luke 10:16). Those who commit murder are taking to themselves the authority to determine when someone should die. Those who bear false witness are attempting to make themselves into the one who determines what is true. Those who steal are attempting to change the truth as to who is the real owner. Those who covet would like to do the same thing. In fact, the very desire to sin is itself sin, for that desire stems from the desire to make oneself God (Job 24:13, 1 Samuel 15:23).

SELF-DEIFICATION


    Since the satanic desire to be God underlies the corruption of our nature, that desire reveals itself most openly in the area of religion. Not only do idolaters reject God’s authority, but one very active cult promises godhood to those who follow its teachings. The church of Rome officially designates the Pope as God on earth (Labb IX Dist. :96 Can. 7, Satis evidentur, Decret Gratian Primer Para,). In either case, the claim of godhood is a mark of the anti-Christ (2Thessalonians 2:4, Isaiah 43:10).  In addition, the flattering titles and superior attitude of many clergymen also reveals an inner desire to be revered as God.

    Another way false teachers attempt to make themselves God is by trying to make their word into God's Word. We not only see that whenever false Scriptures are written, but also whenever made up doctrines and private interpretations are passed off as the Word of God. That holds true for those who claim false revelations. [I once heard a man claim that God told him that Christ would return 1985.] And, also for those who set themselves above Scripture by either explaining away things it says or finding fault with it as if they were a higher authority than its Author.

    Because Satan is very subtle, it is not always easy to spot additions to God’s Word. Sometimes they are disguised as explanations and hidden behind reasoning that may seem plausible. The addition may consist of hidden assumptions or conclusions based on those assumptions, which contradict what the Bible explicitly says. For example: It is often assumed that infants have no sins, even though the Bible tells us that, “All have sinned,” (Romans 3:23). However, if infants were not sinners they would not die, for only sinners die (Romans 6:23). Therefore, you can see how that one assumption undermines what the Bible says about the nature of sin and about salvation being through Christ alone (Romans 5:12, Acts 4:12). [Note: It is important to understand that sin consists of more than just outward acts. The Bible tells us that, “all unrighteousness is sin,” and the word “all” includes the unrighteousness of a heart that is, “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (1John 5:17, Jeremiah 17:9). In other words, it is our sin-corrupted nature, and not merely the outward manifestation of it, that makes us the children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3, Psalm 51:5).]

CONCLUSION


    It is Satan (not God) who is to blame for all the sin and suffering in the world. Those who want to blame God for man’s sin are seeking to make themselves God by setting themselves over God as His judge. At the same time, they are denying their own sin, by condemning others but not themselves (1Corinthians 11:31). Not only was Satan’s rebellion the first sin, but it is the root of all sin. For all sin is rooted in the desire to overthrow God’s authority. Moreover, while many sins produce physical suffering, the sin of religious falsehood should never be overlooked or encouraged, because it destroys souls. To that end we have a responsibility to critically examine ourselves and make certain that we are not guilty of it. As it is written, “Judgment must begin at the house of God” (1Peter 4:17). [Deuteronomy 18:20, Jeremiah 23:1,11,14,16-20, Jeremiah 29:19-32, 2 Timothy 4:3.]
 

STUDY QUESTIONS


1- When was Satan created?
2- Was Satan evil when God first created him?
3- What was the first sin?
4- What is racism a manifestation of?
5- What is every sin rooted in?
6- What does the satanic mentality desire?
7- What is behind the claim that man is God?
8- What are all who defy God's commandments attempting to do?
9- How are false teachers seeking to make themselves God?
10- Where is the desire to be God seen most openly?