We most likely are looking at a meeting of extraterrestrials. Each member at the meeting is a representative of their own world. We can know that this is a meeting of representatives because of how Satan says he has a right to be there. We will see that Satan is saying that he is the representative of Earth! So what we have here is a system of government for the Universe that God Himself oversees.
Apparently this was an important event. In this meeting the sons of God are presenting themselves before the Lord. It seems that all who were there, except one, had a right to be there. At least we don't have any record of God questioning their presence. The whole point of this part of the story is that Satan was not invited. When God asked Satan why he was there, he essentially answered: from walking around on the Earth.
Is Satan claiming ownership? I think so. Remember, this intergalactic war is over the question of ownership of the throne of Heaven. Satan wants the throne. Apparently, Satan is starting a legal process that he thinks will allow him to take over one planet, the Earth.
In the meeting, Satan seems to conclude that he either owns or he rules our world. He is actually claiming rulership of the Earth in that meeting! That is why I think he went to the meeting. He sees himself as the leader of the whole planet Earth. This meeting most likely is a meeting of the leaders of the Universe with God; So Satan felt he had a right to be there.
We can determine this point of rulership further from the following discussion:
Because of the fact that God answers Satan, we should understand that what they were talking about was extremely important! Why didn't God just throw Satan out? God already threw Satan out of Heaven once before. God could have thrown Satan out again, but He didn't. He definitely has the power to do so. But instead, God just questioned Satan verbally and challenged his stated position.
We should realize that the manner in which God answered Satan is important as well. They were not talking by themselves, there was an audience surrounding them. All the representatives of the Universe were there personally witnessing what was happening.
Remember, we most likely are looking at a meeting of extraterrestrials. Each member at the meeting is a representative of their own world. A system of government for the Universe that God Himself oversees.
Since Satan himself has rebelled against God, we can see that the rebellion was trying to enter into the system of government of God's Universe! If it was a matter of power, God could have destroyed Satan right there, or He could have just thrown him out. But God did not. Instead, God entered into dialog with him.
Let's talk about the dialog itself. If this discussion wasn't concerning ownership or rulership of the Earth; then, why does God answer Satan's statement of walking over the face of the Earth, with: "Have you considered my servant Job. . ."?
In this discussion, by saying that he walks over the face of the earth; What Satan is really saying is this: that he has control of the Earth. So God begins questioning Satan's claim by pointing his attention to Job, whom Satan is not able to control. What God is doing, is to show that Satan really does not control the world. So, God emphasizes the fact that Job is upright, just, and that he fears God.
I can imagine that Satan here begins to squirm as he essentially says: Well of course Job likes you. You give him everything he wants, why wouldn't he obey You? So God tells him: OK, I'll let you try. We'll see who really is in control, but you can't touch his body to make him sick.
If you read the book of Job, you will see that Job does not know a thing about this discussion. He is clearly having a hard time with the reality of his bad fortune. In addition he is forced to consider, from an earthly point of view, why all sorts of bad things are happening to him. Satan seems to be controlling all Job's personal friends as well.
This story is very interesting. Apparently Satan's ownership of the Earth depends upon everyone being subject to Satan's leading. As long as Job was a decided follower of God, Satan could not claim the Earth. We actually do not know if Job was the only follower of God, but at least he was the one that God chose to mention.
Does this war Between God and Satan depend upon the allegiance of people? It would seem so, the whole story in the book of Job is dependent on the idea that things will be decided, on what one person does on earth. If Job continues to follow God then God has the advantage, on the other hand, if Job listened to his wife and friends and cursed God, then Satan would have had the advantage. That is if he was the only righteous person on the world.
Something really terrible and awful must have happened in Heaven when Satan rebelled. To have a third of all the angels of Heaven take off to side with Satan, against God in a war. Remember this rebellion happened in Heaven! How could this happen? To have the angels who live in Heaven, in the very presence of God, to rebel against God himself!
What did Satan do to the angels to have them rebel against God? What did he say to them that would make them fight against God Himself?
We know that God is all powerful, that He created all things. So why would they decide to enter a war that could not be won by power? They must have known something about God perhaps. It is quite possible that they knew enough about God that they were confident that God would play fair. God would keep to the rules of the Universe that He has created. So they knew that this war must be over opinions rather than power. All the worlds of the Universe might have to decide who is right in this war.
It is also possible, that because Satan is the source of evil in the Universe, that he and his new followers just became so selfish that they lost all sense of reason when they started demanding things of God. They knew that God would play by the rules even when they broke the rules. They probably thought they could take advantage of God.
Let's continue the story of Job to see how it ends out.
A second meeting of the sons of God with God is described in Job chapter two. Again the same issues are brought up but with slightly different specifics in the arguments. Satan failed the first time around to change Job's allegiance from God to himself. So this time he is calling fowl. He still claims the Earth as his and he wants even more power in trying to force Job to obey him. Read the account and see what happens.
We can see from the actual text that Satan still claims the Earth. It seems that Satan believes that if all people were under his control then the Earth would rightfully belong to him! There also seems to be some truth to Satan's claim since God counters Satan on the very level that Satan is thinking on.
It seems that these meetings are a regular event and here, God counters Satan's claim by pointing to Job which Satan was unable to control. God adds to what He said before by stating: he still holds to his integrity. Also very interesting to note, we see that God takes the blame! He doesn't say that Satan is moving to destroy Job but He says that you have moved me against him, to destroy him.
Let's look at another clue to this war.
You will be like God
We see that Eve was exploring the garden that God had given them when she approached the forbidden tree. As she was wondering why God did not want them to eat from that tree, Satan went in for the attack:
When Satan came to our world with two people on it, some how he had to win their allegiance to him. This is according to what we found out from Job's experience. He had to become their leader in order to take over the world. As we can see in the third chapter of Genesis, Satan used deception to not only place doubt in the mind of Eve about God, but he was really saying that God is not fair. Satan played on her emotions to get her to want to become like God herself.
It is amazing what Satan had done. In just a few words, he was able to give Eve a whole new series of ideas.
Now, her thoughts were directed to the idea that God is not being fair to her. God is lying while He holds back what should rightfully be hers. While she thinks these thoughts, desire now becomes the major motive that forces her to eat the forbidden fruit.
Earlier, we saw that Satan himself wanted to become like God. Now we see that he is tempting Eve with the very same thought in mind. This is very interesting, we now see that Satan tempted Eve using the same thirst for power, the same desire to become like God, that Satan himself felt. Satan literally gave the same sins that he had, to Eve. The same desires he had for power, he gave to Eve.
It stands to reason, that Satan used the same strategy in Heaven as he later used on earth with Eve. He some how made all of the angels who followed him to be unsatisfied with their positions in Heaven. Maybe Satan's followers became jealous of God. Satan must have told them that God was holding back on them, and that they should have more power.
The same wicked desires that Satan has, he gave to his angels, to take over God's throne and have the power for themselves. That is why these angels are today evil. They have the same desires as Satan and they work along with him in destroying the human race. They will do anything to get their own wishes and takeover God's Throne.
By looking at the history of our world, it is obvious that Satan and his evil angels have been trying to convert the world to their side so they can claim the world as their own. In fact they have almost always had the majority siding with them. Only a minority has ever followed God. However, there has always been at least one person who was true to God. There was always a Noah, Abraham, or Joseph, or even a Job to give God the advantage.
When the woman realized it was Good
Eve, as she is realizing that Satan is correct, she is now passing her allegiance from God to Satan. One third of all the angels had already decided to follow Satan, now Eve is doing the same thing.
The issues Satan is raising, are apparently powerful arguments. If Satan was able to win a third of all the angels in Heaven, and now the newly created Eve, what sort of questions might the people on the other worlds have?
Do the people in the other worlds know anything about the war at all? It seems that they do. In the meetings depicted in the first two chapters of Job, we saw that everything was done out in the open. Both Satan and God spoke in front of all the other representatives from the other planets of the Universe. Everything that happened occurred in front of everyone!
God actually listens to Satan and answers his charges rather than throwing him out. When Satan says that Job will curse God to his face. God says, OK, why don't you try and see what Job will do. When Satan comes back after having failed the first time, he is still combative saying that if he can make Job really hurt with pain and sickness, Job will then curse God. God answers Satan by allowing him to try again, and harder than he was allowed the first time with physical pain.
It seems that God is allowing Satan's accusations to be tried out in front of the whole universe. He is not allowing his question to be unanswered. Which makes sense when we consider that all the representatives are listening.
At the same time, Satan is having to act out his intentions before the whole universe as well. How far is Satan willing to go in destroying those around him so he can acquire ownership of a world? What kind of government would Satan have? Is Satan really offering a better idea than God?
So maybe the other worlds are watching the events of this war and they do have questions about what is going on in the rebellion. The whole universe has had to grapple with the idea that there is a rebellion that started in the very place where God is. How could that be? In addition, Satan, as can be understood in the book of Job, met with God in an open way that is most likely designed to create the most questions in the minds of the Leaders of the Universe.
In the Bible we have seen some of the evidence that the war is about people's opinion. On the earth, it seems that it concerns people's allegiance. Who will we serve, Jesus or Satan. In Heaven, where a third of the angels chose Satan, it looks like the same issues were important. What about the rest of the Universe? What are the issues that they are looking at in this rebellion?
Why does he really want to take over the throne. Is it because God is really a tyrant and that Satan is trying to protect us by showing us a better way of living; or is it that Satan is really selfish and he only wants the power of the throne for himself?
In addition, God and Satan seem to following a set of rules. The battle is probably a legal battle.
If this intergalactic war is not really taking place, then is this thing of having Satan tempt us and God letting it happen all a game? What is really happening in the stories we read in the Bible? Is there an actual battle for the ownership of the Earth that is occurring behind the scenes to explain what is happening? Or, do we have God and Satan playing games with the human race in the middle? It will take a knowledge of the entire Bible to answer what is really happening.
When Satan has gone over the line, when he goes too far and tries to take the throne (as indicated in Daniel), then it will be time for Jesus to come down and to take us to live with Him. He will at that time end the misery that continues to presently plaque our world. Death, destruction, and suffering will come to an end at last!
She took, ate it, he ate it
At this point both Adam and Eve physically sinned. Initially, Adam and Eve had ownership of the world. God gave the world and all the animals to Adam. See what God said when He first made them:
At this point both Adam and Eve have physically sinned. They have lost ownership of the world. Adam would have forever been the head of our world but now he has lost his position and his possession as ruler of the earth, and Satan now rules.
When Jesus was on this earth, the first time, He Himself said that Satan was the ruler of this ruler.
Also, in the Lord's prayer, Jesus says:
We are still praying for God's will to occur on earth as it is in Heaven. We are praying this because His will is still not yet happening fully. Jesus has not yet taken authority. Yes, that is right. Satan is still the ruler of this world. Death and destruction are still occurring. Jesus still has not taken our world away from Satan. We know that is true because we are still here!
There were other times when Jesus talked about Satan, who is now the ruler of the earth.
Adam and Eve are hopelessly lost and facing total destruction. Except that Jesus has stepped in to reclaim both them and the world but as we look in the Bible we can see that it will take some time for Jesus to reclaim the ownership from Satan.
Jesus has had to wait until God the Father makes His enemies his footstool.
In Revelation, starting with chapter 4 we see that there is a court session in Heaven. Daniel refers to this same session in Daniel 7:9-10. This occurs at the time of the end. In Revelation we see that there are two witnesses who are here on earth for 3-1/2 years until Satan himself kills them. This is the only time that we know of that Satan actually kills someone himself, personally. In Bible times, it took two people to convict someone. Is this needed for the court proceedings? It might be.
Also, in Daniel 11 & 12 we have Satan sitting down in Jerusalem as God (The Abomination of Desolation), sitting where he should not sit. This action seems to be "the straw that breaks the camel's back". When Satan sits down, Michael stands up (Daniel 12) and the battle of Armageddon occurs. Satan is not only saying he is the ruler of this world, he is saying he is God!
God attacks Satan and his angels and the end of the world comes as Jesus comes to receive His own. Satan has to overstep his authority before God stands up to take away his dominion. So there seems to be a legal battle that is occurring between Jesus and Satan. But one day the court will be in session and Satan's dominion will be taken away from him.
Issues that will eventually be brought up in court so that Satan can be thrown out, have not even occurred yet. Today, Jesus has not yet taken His authority over the earth. It is only much later in the future when Satan tries to sit down as God (The Abomination of Desolation) that God stands up and the end of all things comes to be.
The time that Jesus will rule the earth (the kingdoms of this world) will not occur until the Seventh Trumpet sounds.
It will not be until the Seventh Trumpet sounds that the Kingdom of God will also include the kingdoms of this world, in other words, the earth. At that time, Jesus will reign for ever and ever and all the angels of heaven will rejoice because Jesus has taken His great power and has finally began to reign.
You will bite His heel
We start in the 7th verse of Daniel 7 by seeing that Satan is breaking in pieces and trampling the residue with its feet. The residue is really God's people. He is killing the remnant of God's people. Satan is allowed to prevail over God's people for a time, times, and part of a time. All this happens until Judgment occurs in Heaven and Satan is stopped.
This action of killing God's people, is confirmation that Satan does indeed have to have the vote of everyone living on the Earth for him to take the throne. We can see that the results of this intergalactic war is indeed dependent upon opinion.
Satan has started to eliminate the people who would stand in his way of being the king and leader of this world. Remember, Satan has to have as followers, everyone on earth who is alive. If Satan cannot trick the righteous into following him, then he will try to kill them outright.
In Daniel chapter 8, we see the same exact things happening.
Now we can see that Satan will try to exalt himself to the level of Jesus our Prince. Satan can be seen as trying to take over the whole world and exalt himself as the Prince of the host!
In Revelation, we see the exact same actions we saw in Daniel. I have color coded the following texts to indicate various activities: Red indicates what Satan will do to God's people. Green indicates what Satan will do to blaspheme God and try to take God's throne. Purple indicates what the wicked will do to serve Satan.
Satan is enraged with all who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Satan knows he does not have much time left and he knows he needs to kill everyone who is loyal to God. We can see that Satan is enraged with those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
It is clear that anyone who keeps all the commandments of God and has the testimony of Jesus, is indeed loyal to God because they worship God with what they do and with what they say. They are completely loyal to God!
We can see that the wicked worships the dragon (Satan) and the beast. All people who do not have their name written in the Book of Life will worship Satan! To get this to happen Satan had to deceive the whole world. They worship Satan because they want to save their own life, crying out: Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? Satan causes all to receive a mark and that no one can buy or sell unless they have this mark. Later they will find out that they have lost everything when they thought to save their own skin and receive the mark.
It should be clear that the righteous of the world, living in the last days, will experience the same thing that Job experienced. Satan has probably demanded that all the people of the world are his and God probably said: "OK try them". So all who will not worship the image of the beast will be ordered to be killed.
The last days are the trying time for God's people and the battle between Jesus and Satan is dependent upon what the righteous do. If they hold up, just as Job did; Then Jesus will be victorious in the war.
There are many ways Satan can get the allegiance of the people of this world. One of the most dramatic ways is to have people curse God, as he wanted Job to do. Or to disobey what God would have us do. Another way is to make us so busy that we have no time for God. In this way, the things we are doing have become our god.
Today, so many people have become indifferent to the idea of serving God that they will do anything to get ahead in this world. Other things have become more important in their thinking, like living and surviving. So they will do anything that Satan wants them to do just so they can save their skin. There are some who see a real need to get close to God; However, they keep putting off making a decision. Satan keeps putting ideas and feelings to get them sidetracked.
Since Satan is working so hard to get people to look at him for direction, let's look to see what really makes Satan furiously angry:
Those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ are those who Satan cannot control. And remember, if Satan cannot control everyone, he will lose his goal to rule the world and loose the war against God. It is no wonder that Satan is angry.
All that he has tried to do to get them to follow him has failed. God's people will not follow Satan's lead at all. Rather, they have chosen to follow and do all what the Lord wants them to do. At this point Satan is so enraged with God's people that he wars against them to put them to death. Since he cannot control them, he will exterminate them.
To remind you what we saw in Daniel and Revelation, here is a synopsis of Satan's actions against the Righteous in the last days:
It is clear, from the Bible itself, that God's people will not be taken away in some rapture. No, instead we have seen actual scripture that shows that God's people will be hunted and killed for obeying God. God's people will be like Job, experiencing adversity, yet remaining loyal to God.
Elsewhere, in the book of Revelation, we see that the righteous are again identified as those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus:
In a time of great hardship, as described in Revelation, God's people are identified as those needing endurance (patience) to continue till the end. Again, this group is identified as those who keep the commandments of God and remain loyal to Jesus.
When God's people inherit a new life with God, it is because they have been completely loyal to God by keeping his commandments and following him in all ways that they will have a right to eat from the tree of life, and they will have the right to enter into the gates of the New Jerusalem where we will live with God forever.
Satan will try to take over the world and endeavor to force all the inhabitants of the world to follow him, and he will do his best to kill anyone that goes against his plans. However, as indicated in Scripture: Satan will come to his end. He will be destroyed.
Red indicates what Satan will do to God's people. Green indicates what Satan will do to blaspheme God and try to take God's throne. Purple indicates what the wicked will do to serve Satan. Blue indicates what God's people, the righteous will do to serve God. Orange indicates what God does to judge Satan and to give the saints the kingdom.
When Satan tries to Sit on the Throne and Rule the Earth, God then will Stand Up and End the War!
We can see the same process but with more detail in Daniel 11. Satan will see that he can not turn the righteous toward serving him. So, in desperation, he will try to sit on the throne anyway despite the fact that he has no right to do so. It is at that time that God will stop him in his tracts because he will have gone too far. Look at the following texts:
Wow! In the verses above, we actually see that Satan will defile the sanctuary fortress, take away the daily, and place there the abomination of desolation. He will put his palace on the glorious holy mountain of God for the purpose of declaring himself as king.
When Satan places the abomination of desolation (planting his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain) he is saying: I rule the earth! In this action that Satan does, he over steps his bounds. He has gone too far. He does not rule the earth because he has not been able to get all to worship him. Nor was he able to make Jesus sin when He was on this earth.
It is then that Michael (Jesus) stands up and Satan will come to his end! A time of trouble will occur at this time that will be unequaled in history and God's people will be delivered. Everyone who is found written in the book of life will be delivered!
Many think that everything has been done at the Cross, when Jesus died. However, here in Daniel, we find that it is when Satan sits down as the ruler on Earth, this is when God begins to act! God brings an end to Satan and his war against God and God's people. Satan has gone too far in fighting God and He will bring Satan to an end.
In the Book of Job, we saw that Job was tested for a time, however when it was all over, God rewarded him. God set things right.
In the last days, we will find that God's people will also be tested for a time, but when Satan steps over the line and sits down as God, then all evil will be brought to an end. It is at that time that the signs of God's wrath will be given unmixed with mercy. The plaques will be poured on the earth and God's people will be delivered.
Jesus, when He was on earth, mentioned this time as well:
Jesus says that when you see the abomination of desolation, when you see Satan standing in the holy place, where he should not be, then you better flee somewhere! Apparently it is going to be so bad, that if this period was not shortened, no one on earth would be able to live through it.
In the past, we have had nuclear bombs landing on a few cities and we have had wide spread wars. Who knows what might happen at this time of the end. Satan has lost the battle to get everyone to worship him, so now he is going to be desperately trying to take his rulership position by force. Since he is fighting against the Creator of all things he cannot win. Maybe much of Satan's actions is really due to revenge.
At this time Psalms 91 will be a very good source of comfort to God's people since they know that God will protect His people in this time.
As we saw, after Satan over stepped his bounds, Then Michael Stands up and the court in Heaven gives every thing to Jesus. Once this happens, then Jesus comes back to our world to rescue His people.
God's people, those who were dead, will be raised to life when Jesus comes. This is the first resurrection and
Both the righteous who are dead and the righteous who are alive when Jesus comes will be caught up together in the sky to be with Jesus!
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
1 Corinthians 15
51 ¶ Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
2 Peter 3
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 ¶ Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Isaiah 2: 12, 19-21
12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
20 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;
21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.
21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
Satan is put away in prison for a 1000 years.
The first resurrection at the second coming of Jesus Christ was for the righteous.
So when Satan is let loose from prison, we know that the wicked are raised from the dead. This is the second resurrection.
The wicked are Gog and Magog. They are the ones who experience this second resurrection.
Remember, in Revelation 20:4-6 show us that God's people experienced the first resurrection when Jesus comes back. in verse 6 we saw that those who rise in the first resurrection will not experience the second death that the wicked will experience. See below.:
For a closer look at how God will end the war with Satan, see any of the following links.
We should not confuse God's power with this legal process.
I have friends who I visited once (we all went to school together so it was great to talk). They had a new son and they were having problems. At night, he would often wake up screaming from a bad dream. It seemed that he had these dreams often and they were concerned but they did not know what to do about it. I asked them if they asked God to protect their son from the attacks of evil angels, and they shook their heads no. For some reason, they never even thought of asking God for help. I told them that if they did not pray for their son, that he would be open ground for the evil angels to attack him.
The boy is too young to pray for himself, so it is the privilege and duty for the parents to pray for their children.
They started praying for their son every night, and immediately, it all stopped. What a change! I think my friends gained a much deeper appreciation of the war that is going over us, but especially of the help and love that God has for each one of us. God is always willing and waiting for us to ask for help. When we come to God, we place ourselves under His care and protection. There is nothing that Satan and his evil angels can do except what God allows them to do. Never forget that!
In the story of Job, when Satan comes to the meeting, he accuses God of over stepping His bounds in protecting Job. "Job really does not care for you", he says; "he only likes your gifts". In response, Jesus then tells him what He will allow him to do to Job. That is what happened both times they met. Satan can only do what God allows him to do.
Yes, I agree with you that Jesus has all the power. The power that Satan has is what God allows him to have. No more than that. Boy are we blessed!
However, Something else seems to be happening because Jesus does allow Satan to temp and harass Job in trying to destroy him. That seems clear. Why does God allow Satan to try to destroy Job? Obviously, the war is still going on and Job's worship of God must be tested.
So why does God still allow Satan to try to destroy us today? If all accounts were settled at the cross, then why are we still here? Why are we still being tempted. Why is our faith still being tested?
I believe that if every thing had been done at the cross, then evil would have been destroyed at that time. If the battle was won at the cross, why was not Satan thrown out at that time? But it is not. God is still allowing Satan to destroy people. Evil is being propagated and today, conditions are getting worse not better. It should be obvious that everything was NOT finished at the cross.
You are right, God claims this world.
If both God and Satan did not claim our world, there would be no war. But it is clear in Scripture that there is indeed a battle for our world. There is a battle for the mind and it is still going on. It is not finished yet.
Now, What about the fact that when Jesus was on the cross, He said "it is finished". Doesn't that mean that every thing was finished at the cross?
When Jesus died, He paid the ultimate price for me and you. However, that was not the only time that Jesus is going to say "it is finished"! I believe that the Cross was one big step in the process. But there are other steps that is indicated in Scripture. Look at the following Scripture:
Now notice what happens when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet! It is at that time and not before that the world becomes fully the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ!
So when the seventh angel sounds, which is yet future! It is then, and only then, that God and His Son, Jesus will begin to reign over all the kingdoms of the earth! Satan will quickly loose all of his power to continue his torture of God's creations. God will at that time will begin to set things back to the way they should be, without sin and destruction. And the righteous will be taken up to be with Christ!
We must not forget the book of Revelation when we study what Jesus does for us to save us; Because, that last book of the Bible has so much of the information that we have of Jesus Christ! I think we only have a partial Gospel when we leave out what Revelation has to say. You know, the book of Revelation has a longer title: The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
You have a very interesting question. If indeed God is all-powerful, why would He permit anarchy and suffering?
What if God had offered all His creations (subjects) complete freedom. God could very easily force all His created beings into obeying Him. He is all powerful, He could do that. However, what if He really does value the free choice of His creations. How can God allow free choice if He forces all to obey Him? He cannot, God cannot do both. It does not make sense!
Even though God is all powerful, God cannot just zap people out of existence or to change their memory, etc. because that would go against His goal of having His creations with free choice. From the Bible, we see that it goes against what God's wishes to do. It would go against God's own value system because He is merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth (Exodus 34:6).
To say it another way: What if God wanted all His creations to worship Him by choice and not because He forces them to worship Him? How would He do that? Would He destroy all who would choose to go against Him before they are able to do so? Would He just change their thinking so they don't even know what they were thinking about earlier? Would He have created His creations so they could not have revolted against Him?
No, none of these options work. God Himself would know that He was not allowing complete free choice. If God really wanted His creations to actually love Him and appreciate what He does for them. He would have to work out this rebellion/sin problem right out in front of the whole universe, so that God's own created beings would be able to know for themselves, what God is like and they would be able to choose to really serve Him. They would want to serve Him!
When I read the Bible, I see evidence that God really does value free choice and freedom for His creations. We can see that in the stories of the Bible. We do not see God changing people's thoughts, but rather, we see that God works with us so that we can make a free choice.
On the other hand, it is Satan who forces others to follow and serve him. When people are possessed, they no longer have the will to leave Satan behind. Satan takes control of them and he will never let them go, not if he can help it. We also see that Satan tries to either trick or he will use fear to force people into serving Him. In addition, we find that when Satan cannot get a person to follow Him, he will want to try to kill them.
You are right, there are so many things in this world that are unfair. Sure enough, survival of the fittest does seem to reign supreme on this earth. Existence on this earth is sometimes pure survival. Some people try to get ahead in this world and they don't seem to have a chance.
I do not believe that laws like the survival of the fittest are what the Lord had in mind when He created the world and the Universe. I believe that they became law on this world when Adam and Eve fell into sin. Satan himself does not want people to have free choice at all. If people were to choose God instead of him, then Satan would loose out, as he will in the end.
A week ago, or so, I read the story on the judgment on the house of Jeroboam, found in I Kings 14. What happened is that the son of Jeroboam, king of Israel, a wicked king became sick. Jeroboam told his wife to disguise herself and go to Ahijah the prophet to ask him what will become of his son. There were other elements to the disguise, but of course, God told His prophet what was happening. When she came, he said: come in wife of Jeroboam, why do you pretend to be another person? Well, the prophet told her that because king Jeroboam, whom God had placed over Israel, did not follow God but acted wickedly, this king was extremely wicked; that disaster will strike his family. Every male member will see death.
Now the point that I want to make is this: This son who became sick, that originally caused Jeroboam's wife to see the prophet, was the only thing in Jeroboam's family that was good. So because this son was good, he was going to be the only one who would die a natural death. All the other members were going to have violent deaths.
This is what is said in 1 Kings 14:12-13.
Here is a story that, on the outside, seems to indicate that this son had no chance at all. He had the wrong father, and so he had to die because all members of his family were to be killed. However, I believe that God will save that son when Jesus comes in the clouds of heaven to take back His people to be with Him. Apparently, that son had decided to follow God. He had that freedom of choice, and God is going to reward that choice when Jesus comes again.
So here is a story of a son who had the wrong father. It looks like he had the worst of luck and that he would never have a chance of doing anything ever again. However, if we look at this story from a different perspective, we find that it is the opposite of our original view of the story. That boy was allowed to die only after he had chosen to follow God. He had already exercised his free will to choose God. Now, the next moment that he will be aware of, when Jesus comes to collect His righteous people and take them to heaven, this boy will be among them. He has excercised his free will and God will reward that choice!
There are also places in the Bible where it says that God will cause some righteous people to have short lives. Now that can be seen as a bad thing, because nobody really wants to die. However, this is actually a good thing.The first two verses are scripture examples showing that when the righteous die, God is being merciful to them, separating them from the evil of this world. They will be brought up again when all the evil is past.
God wants to preserve His people from destruction. Sometimes the only way to do that is to have them die sooner than later. After all, the very next thing that the righteous people will see when they die is Jesus, when He comes to take all His people home with Him.
Life on this world is very short, usually under a hundred years. However, once this war is over between Jesus and Satan, all those who have chosen God will no longer be tempted and attacked by Satan, and they will be able to explore the whole universe for googles of years, and that is only the beginning ( 1 google is 1 x 10100 or 1 with a hundred zeros after it.)
Now, what happens to those who become discouraged? I remember that John the Baptist was discouraged and later he lost his head (he was killed). But I believe that He will be saved in spite of his discouragement.
Here is a verse showing that God treats a good man or a righteous man differently from the wicked when they fall. If a wicked man who is a evildoer, falls; God will cut them off. They will be no more. But we know that the meek will inherit the earth. If a good man falls for some reason, God will hold them up! He will not utterly cast them down!
I believe, that in spite of what looks like to us today as being totally unfair, I see that in the end, in spite of the fact that things are not fair today, that God will make things fair in the end. He will turn the tables. Even though Satan has caused total unfairness in this world, God will turn wrong into right judgement. He will judge fairly and with compassion to the righteous!
You ask why Satan has not attacked the Bible while he is attacking God's precious creations. The Bible has been severely attacked. During the dark ages, it was almost destroyed out of existence. People often had to read it under the pain of death. Satan has tried to destroy it and to keep people from reading it. Today, he is causing many to loose faith in the Bible by scientific arguments such as evolution and critical thinking.
But I believe that God has held His hand over the bible so that those who chose to seek God with all their heart will find them.
It seems like you are saying that God needs Satan, or that He has a specific purpose for Satan, (So that God's purpose will be fulfilled.) Or you are saying that God is not perfect. He is struggling with evil, meaning that He is weak and not able to overcome evil. So, in His love, He is trying to protect us from the evil that He is unable to destroy. You also suggest that maybe evil was present from the very beginning or that evil has always existed. You also suggest that man was designed to fall.
I was also interested in the fact that you would appreciate the circumstance more if God was really at war with evil and that evil was not created by God. But then you mention your doubt that God might not actually be fighting evil, that God is not perfect.
I believe what the Bible says. In Scripture, it is mentioned concerning Satan: "Till iniquity was found in you." That suggests to me that evil began with Satan. God did not create evil, it originated with Satan. Satan started to think evil thoughts! He started wanting power for himself.
Before sin began, there was no need for anything. Heaven was a happy place, where all living served God with their hearts in love.
However, when Satan began to accuse God and actually convinced 1/3 of the angels that he was right, that God was holding back blessing from them, that they could also be gods. It was at that point that Satan's continued existence was actually needed by God to show the results of sin. The angels who sided with God needed to know for themselves what Satan's kind of thinking would result in. So I think you are at least partially right. God needed Satan to play out his hand so that the remaining angels and the other worlds could see the actual results of sin. They would see to what extent of evil, Satan's way of thinking and doing would lead them if they chose to follow Satan's rebellion.
If 1/3 of the angels were convinced enough to take Satan's side, then what about the rest of heaven? Did they have questions? Did they almost follow Satan only to hold back for some reason? Were they afraid of God because they knew He was much more powerful? Did they still think that God was still loving? Did they believe that Satan could be partially right? Did they really believe that God would play fair and abide by the rules that He set up?
What about the other worlds. Did they have questions when this rebellion broke out at the very center of God's Kingdom?
How was God going to convince all the remaining angels and the worlds of the whole universe that what Satan said about God is not correct? And that Satan was only looking out for himself even if he had to destroy everybody else in the process.
In the book of Revelation, we see the things that Satan is going to do, wicked things to try to get his own way. Utter destruction or absolute demonic control of all the people on the earth! Also, near the end of the book, we see how God is going to do away with evil. Everyone in the rebellion, both human and evil angel, will be thrown into the fire that was made for them.
Yet we also see in Revelation, that the angels in heaven are praising God that He has finally judged and has taken the reigns and rules not only heaven but the earth. Satan is no longer the prince of the earth. They have seen that God is even fair with the wicked. We saw that very same thing in Jesus in the way He treated Judas. Jesus knew what Judas was going to do, yet He tried to reach him like the other of his followers.
So it seems that the book of Revelation predicts that the angels (and I am sure, the other worlds as well) will love God because of how He has handled everything. If God had killed Satan, after Satan had just accused God of being selfish, etc. It will have looked like: God killed the opposition and you better not think that way either or God will zap you too. There would have been a great fear of God. Not the fear that means respect and honor, but of fear fear. They would have been afraid of Him.
This kind of fear, the fear of having God zap you, would have been the breeding place for more rebellions in the future, or because they might be afraid of God: they would want to rebel against God if it were possible.
Because of this long battle against Satan, the fear of God (being afraid of God for what He might do to you) in the Universe will have been done away with because it will be seen that God's ways are really best. They will see that it really was Satan who was the destructive selfish one. The seeds of rebellion will have been fully destroyed. The survivors of the universe will realize the intensity of the evil that was in Satan and they will not want any part of it!
In the future, no one will want to rebel against God because they will know the results of rebellion against the love of God. But especially, they will realize that God really does love them. He loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten son! What better example of God's love for His creations could there ever be than the giving up of His only begotten Son so that we could be saved from certain death?
Only when we include the book of Revelation in our studies, only when we include the whole Bible, do all the pieces of the puzzle start fitting together. Yes, there are some things in the Bible that are hard to understand, but with a better understanding of the whole Bible as a unit, we will be able to see the forest for the trees; these problems become easier to understand.
Now, concerning "freedom of choice"; It makes no sense to say that God does not believe that "freedom of choice" is important. All one has to do is to look at the whole of the Bible. God is trying to woo us to love Him, to accept His grace and be saved from certain death.
God is not limited to just trying to convince people to follow Him. God is all powerful and He is well capable of creating a miracle that will make all of us become perfect Christians because He has willed or forced us to do that very thing.
God has not done that to us. He does not force Himself on us. Since He does not do that to us, we know that He has not done that to the angels or the other worlds either. On the other hand, we can see that Satan chooses all the time, when he is able to do it, to control people against their own will. Satan does not believe in the "freedom of choice" of his followers. Rather he believes in forcing them to do things against their will so that he (Satan) can get his own way.
Also, reading the book Revelation, it is clear that the angels in heaven, the elders, etc. are responding to what God is doing. They are praising God because of the relief and happiness that the awful wickedness is being done away with, that God is finally doing what He promised to do.
Now that Satan has shown his true intentions (as seen in Daniel and Revelation), is there any question in the minds of the angels and elders in heaven that the fruit of Satan's teachings results in having no "freedom of choice" for the subjects of Satan's kingdom? Satan ended up showing what he really wanted. He was selfish and was really into self glorification. If anyone gets in the way of his ambitions, Satan is willing and quite happy to destroy anyone, in the most cruel way, to get what he wants. He cares for nothing else. So, the angels and elders in heaven are happy with relief that the awful wickedness is finally being destroyed!
So, what do you think? I think we see a loving God who is caring for all His creations on all the billions and billions of worlds in the Universe and in heaven. He is making sure that the universe will be safe from the same type of wickedness in the future, because all angels and people will know where that type of thinking leads. It is really selfishness and it leads to wickedness, unhappiness, and the destruction of others for power etc. It is sin!
You have good questions that on the surface, appear not to have an answer. These questions make it appear that God is not what He says He is. The only possible answers these questions allow are that He is either malevolent, or not omnipotent, or He is even evil Himself! These questions do not allow any other possibility.
However, the reason why there does not seem to be any good answer, is that you are basing your questions on specific assumptions about God. Assumptions that can be wrong.
No matter what position we take, we must start with assumptions. In science, assumptions are used all the time. They are understood and used so that the scientific method can proceed.
On the other hand, from how I have heard theologians speak to people, they either are not fully aware of the assumptions they are making or they are "pulling the wool" over the eyes of the public. (Actually, I have heard scientists do the same thing.)
They act as if there are no assumptions to make to arrive at their opinions.
1) God is all powerful. He can do anything He wants to do because there is no one to stop Him. He is all Powerful!
2) God is not all powerful. There is evil in the world but He is unable to stop it.
If God wants to abolish evil, but cannot, he is impotent. If He can abolish evil, but does not want to, He is wicked. But, if God both can and wants to abolish evil, then how come evil is in the world?
Are, evil and impotent, the only posibilities we can ascribe to God for the evil that is in the world?
It is stating that there is no other possibility. God is either all powerful etc. etc. or he is impotent. No other possibility is entertained. When no other possibilities are entertained, we then only have a few answers: Impotent or wicked. Our assumption has limited our possible answers.
The other possible assumption is that God is all powerful and righteous but that He has limited His actions because He values the free will of His creations. To do away with free will would be wicked in of itself. So, If God would do away with evil, He would also be doing evil to His own creations. This is a loose-loose situation! Because of the constrainst He has placed upon Himself, He will have to solve the problem without doing either evil.
The Bible gives us the clue that God will abolish evil but it will take some time. Read Revelation 19. It specifically describes how God will destroy Satan and all His followers. Before this could occur, a heavenly court had to convene that would judge those who are evil, that have caused evil to start in Heaven and to spread to the earth).
Before this court session, the earth was not part of the kingdom of God. Not in the strictest sense. Even Jesus said several times that Satan was the ruler of this world.
I am not sure that I know the real or complete answer to this question. We will learn so much of what the real issues are when we begin living with Jesus, but I will try to answer your question:
I believe that the fair thing in Satan's case is to destroy him because he has destroyed untold trillions and trillions of people through the ages of time (to say nothing of the fallen angels who are now lost and will also have to be completely destroyed). In addition, Satan hates God and would, if he could, pull Him down from the throne of the Universe. The threat of that hatred and determination, just having that hatred in the Universe, I am sure, will not be tolerated by God in the ceaseless ages of eternity.
How can there be true happiness, how can all tears cease if sin is allowed to continue???
All sorrow will be done away with. All tears will cease and there will be true happiness because all sin, its hatred and the heartache, will be done away with. All sinful things will be completely destroyed! This includes Satan and all his followers, whether human or fallen angel; Because they have become like the one they follow.
This war is not just a war between two sides. It is a war where Satan, who has become the father of evil, uses all kinds of evil methods against all who might oppose him. So, the wicked will be completely destroyed, as described in the Bible to bring happiness back into the Universe that God has created.