God and Satan: Truth and Life vs. Lies and Murder

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God and Satan

Truth and Life vs. Lies and Murder

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Jesus says of Satan—"the Spirit that is ruling the world"—that "he has nothing in common with me" (John 14:30, Twentieth Century New Testament). The Scriptures draw sharp contrasts between God and Satan that help us better understand the profound differences between their character, motivations, goals and actions.

Much of what we learn about Satan is summed up in his name, which means adversary. Peter calls him "your enemy the devil" (1 Peter 5:8, NIV). Satan's actions and motivations are those of an enemy. God's character, in contrast, is summarized by the word love—a deep, outgoing concern for the welfare and well-being others."God is love," John tells us (1 John 4:8-16).

In John 8:43-44 Christ says Satan is a murderer and liar. Later, in John 14:6, Jesus refers to Himself as "the way, the truth, and the life." As a liar and murderer, Satan is the exact opposite of "the truth and the life." Christ is the truth; Satan is a liar. Christ is the life; Satan is a murderer—one who takes away life. Clearly, Satan is the exact opposite of God and Jesus Christ in his intents, motivation and character.

Emphasizing this stark contrast, Paul asks a series of questions in 2 Corinthians 6:14-15: "For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial?" The thrust of this is that the ways of Christ and Satan are as opposite as day and night, light and darkness (see also John 3:19-21; John 8:12; Ephesians 6:12).

The essence of Christ's character is revealed in His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before He gave His life in sacrifice: "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done" (Luke 22:42). Satan's attitude is diametrically opposite. Rather than submitting to God's perfect will, he became self-willed and determined to have his way at any cost. That attitude led to his initial rebellion against his Creator as described in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. Regrettably, Satan has been remarkably successful at infusing a me-first, self-willed attitude among all human beings, with the one exception of Jesus, who perfectly resisted him.

Another aspect of Satan's nature that sharply contrasts with that of God is brought out in Revelation 9:11. Here we read of a powerful force of attackers that goes forth like locusts to torment mankind. "And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon"—names meaning "destruction" and "destroyer," respectively.

We might say that Destroyer is his name and destruction is his game. These titles sum up Satan's character, goals and purpose. They summarize the end result of everything he strives for—absolute destruction. If the devil can't have it all, as he comes to realize at the point in history described here, his intent is to destroy it all.

So again we see a major contrast. Compare Satan, the destroyer, with God, whose greatest attribute is that He is the Creator. God is the one who creates, builds, makes and gives us so many beautiful and wonderful things. Satan, on the other hand, is the ultimate destroyer.

What does he destroy? He ruins basically everything he can get his hands on. Read all of Revelation 9 and Revelation 12:7-12. Everywhere he is mentioned, Satan is destroying—trying to murder God's people, fighting Jesus Christ, lashing out in anger because he knows his time is almost up.

Even after losing the war, and being restrained for 1,000 years, has he learned his lesson? Far from it. In Revelation 20:7-10 we read that when he is released he will go out to deceive the nations again and bring them to battle against Jerusalem. But he and those who follow him will be defeated. He will finally be taken out of the picture for good, all his efforts brought to nothing.

Eventually every destructive thing Satan has tried to achieve throughout history will be reversed and defeated, and all that God has set out to achieve will be accomplished. This is made clear in the Scriptures. God has ultimate control over His creation, and Satan can do no more than God allows as He works out His great purpose, allowing humanity to learn important lessons.