Friday, October 8, 2010

God vs. Satan- an Essay on Dualism

Dualism is nothing new it has existed for centuries, it was once highly embraced by Mani and taught by him and later declared a heresy. A popular form of dualism has taken root in eastern philosophy; it’s commonly referred to as the “Yin-Yang” meaning that good and bad are equal opposing forces. If this were true that would mean that God is not God and fully in control, because he would share the same amount of power with Satan. God far surpasses Satan on so many levels; God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent; while Satan is incapable of any of these qualities. God is the creator He has no beginning while we know that Satan was created by God. Dr. Towns says this about Satan’s abilities “Satan’s inability to create or be original, offers some insight into the mental capacity of Satan.” (Towns 2008, 2002, 380)

For whatever reason in our society today people either deny the existence of Satan or they will deny the fact that he is a fallen angel. Ezekiel 28:13-19, and Isaiah 14:12-15 also in 2 Peter 2:4 these scriptures speak clearly of Satan, these passages give us a good understanding that Satan was an angel who swelled with pride and thought he may over take God. In His perfect righteousness God could not allow Satan to challenge him, so He cast him out of heaven. God executed his judgment of Satan on several levels, he was first confined to the earth (Rev 12:12-17), then he will be confined for the millennium (Isa 24; Rev 20), his final judgment is being cast into the lake of fire and sulfur. (Rev 20:10)

There are several stances that have been taken to try and prove that the writers of the OT books Isaiah and Ezekiel were not writing prophetically of Satan, but rather of kings of their age or ones to come. To them I say how could the king be in the Garden of Eden (Ez 28:13), or told he was an anointed guardian cherub (Ez 28:14)? Isaiah speaks of the audacity of Satan in chapter 14:14, where Lucifer feels he can be like God himself. Dr. Towns states this clearly, “The ultimate desire of Satan was to take God’s place.” (Towns 2008, 2002, 362) As I have stated previously Satan does not possess the immutable characteristics of God, he lacks omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. I strongly feel that one of the greatest sources of Scripture to point out all the ways Satan is lacking is the Book of Job particularly chapter one. The fact that Satan was on the earth and had to leave it to enter in to the presence of the Lord shows he is not omnipresent. When the Lord has to mention to him have you considered my servant Job (Job 1:8) shows that he is not omniscient or the Lord would not have had to tell him of Job. The Lord also sets limits to the things Satan could do to Job, if he were omnipotent there would be no equal or greater force to stop him from doing what he wills.

Satan was originally created as an angel; their primary purposes are for the glory of God. While the word angel technically means a “messenger”, Dr. Towns says this of his origins, “Satan was also originally created as a being with power and personality and the freedom of choice. He was an angel with apparent honor and leadership in heaven. When Satan’s pride blinded him and led him to exercise his will in rebellion against God, he was cast out of heaven (Isa 14:12-15, cf. 2Peter 2:4; Jude 6)” (Towns 2008, 2002, 361)

When we chose to yield to sin we may blame Satan, however we may be giving him credit where it is not due. After the fall of Adam we are all indwelt with a sin nature that makes us all chase after our own longings. Satan merely takes our own inclinations to sin and sets us up in the perfect situations to give in. While God can understand a persons inner motivations Satan is only capable of gleaning information we make available to him, “This means Satan cannot read the thoughts of men, but he can predict their thoughts and actions based on his knowledge of their sinful nature.” (Towns 2008, 2002, 382) So while we may be tempted to sin we are never flung into it. Paul clearly tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 we always have a way of escape.

Let these things resonate deep within you, and the next time someone tries to tell you that God and Satan are equal tell them, “Not a chance”. Then explain why.

Word Count: 784

Towns, Elmer. Theology for Today. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning, 2008, 2002.


  1. This essay is quite well reasoned, and must be correct in much of what is argued. But one thing seems to have been misunderstood, and it's critical if we are ever to solve the 'mystery' alluded to in the gospels.

    Throughout the narrative of scripture there are TWO gods in opposition, first the good ‘God’ pre-existing at Gn.1:1, then an evil and dominant duplicate, the 'lord god' brought into being at Gn.1:27 (6th day).

    And although it is ‘God’ who makes Adam from the dust (LXX Gn.2:7), it is the 'lord god' who plants the garden of paradise (LXX Gn.2:8), who has made the serpent (LXX Gn.3:1), and who has appointed the serpent to ‘work the garden’ (LXX Gn.2:15).

    In this sinister scenario the serpent, known also as Satan or the devil (Rv.12:9), functions as the agent (ie. the angel, or manifestation) of the evil 'lord god'... the one whose pride and ignorance lead him to suppose (incorrectly) that HE is the only god (as reflected in Isaiah).

    Then through the agency of the serpent Eve becomes pregnant with Cain (here is the model for Mary/Jesus in the gospels). And evil Cain, after bringing an offering fit for the 'lord god' but unsurprisingly rejected by God, is ‘raised up’ (LXX Gn.4:8) upon his half-brother Abel, and he kills him.

    In the gospels Jesus is consistently portrayed to be Cain-born-again. And he too must die… as he has already said himself at Gn.4:14.

    Accordingly he dies on a cross. But because Cain is a demigod he is blessed with ‘eternal life’. So he is ‘raised up’ a second time (resurrection). And it is VERY important to notice that the 'father' to whom Jesus defers is not God, but rather is the 'lord god'.

    Get it now?

    Fortunately for us all this is Gnostic fiction, although modeled upon what the writers know of human folly where the distinction between good and evil is concerned.

    Is not embracing the fictional figure of Satan, as if he were somehow God, an amazingly unfortunate mistake for anyone to make? Yet it appears that this is precisely what both monotheist Judaism and Christianity have done, all down the centuries.

    For more on how to crack the ancient 'mystery', look here:

  2. J H,
    While I appreciate you taking the time to comment I must say that you are misinformed in your theology. There is no difference between God and the Lord God. Because according to your argument if if you refer to them that way would you say that there are multiple Jesus' because he is referred to as Lord Jesus Christ, Christ Jesus our Lord; the Messiah? Do the different designations for Christ (not the mention the multitude of allusions I did not mention) change the fact they are referring to the same person?

    Where you would be partialy correct would be in saying that satan was wrong in assuming he was God or close to him and allowed pride and ignorance to get in his way.

    Genesis 4:1 says "Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain..." (ESV) there is no mention of the serpent having any part in this conception. Scripture does not say that Cain brought an offering fit for the Lord, just that the Lord had no regard for it (Gen 4:5). Since Cain and Abel are both the offspring of Adam and Eve there is no half brother.

    In the Gospel Christ is NEVER portrayed as Cain born again.

    Any parrallel that has been drawn is that Christ is the second Adam come to redeem the world of sin.

    The contrast between the first and second Adam
    Ro 5:14 By his sin Adam brought universal misery on humanity. In this he is the foreshadower and prototype of Jesus Christ, who through his righteous act brings the universal hope of redemption.

    The contrast in nature of the first Adam and the second Adam
    Adam was a living being; Jesus Christ is a life-giving being 1Co 15:45

    Adam was natural, Jesus Christ is spiritual 1Co 15:46

    Adam was earthly, Jesus Christ is heavenly 1Co 15:47

    The contrast in the consequences of the actions of the first Adam and the second Adam
    Adam brought death, Jesus Christ brings life Ro 5:15,17; 1Co 15:21-23

    Adam brought judgment, Jesus Christ brings justification Ro 5:16,18-19

    The assurance this doctrine brings 1Co 15:48-49 See also Php 3:20-21

    Martin H. Manser, Zondervan Dictionary of Bible Themes. The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies (Grand Rapids, MI: ZondervanPublishingHouse, 1999).

    I believe I have responded to most points raised. I have lost some clarity in what you may believe. If you would like to continue this conversation I would gladly do so.