God's Divine Plan Includes Satan
Satan and his angels are a rebel army, but not an army that is beyond God's control. This rebel army was created by God, (although they were not rebellious when first created). Paul wrote:
For by Him [Christ] all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created by Him and for Him (Col. 1:16, emphasis added).
Jesus created every angelic spirit of every rank, including Satan. Did He know that some would rebel? Of course He did. Then why did He create them? Because He would use those rebel spirits to help fulfill His plan. If He had no purpose for them, He would simply have incarcerated them, as we are told He has already done with some rebellious angels (see 2 Pet. 2:4) and as He will one day do with Satan (see Rev. 20:2).
God has reasons for allowing Satan and every evil spirit to operate upon the earth. If He didn't, they would be completely out of commission. What are God's reasons for allowing Satan to operate upon the earth? I don't think anyone understands every reason, yet God has revealed some of the reasons in His Word.
First, God allows Satan to operate limitedly on the earth to fulfill His plan to test humans. Satan serves as the alternate choice for humanity's allegiance. Whether they realize it or not, people are in subjection either to God or Satan. God permitted Satan to tempt Adam and Eve, two people who possessed God-given free wills, in order to test them. All those with free wills must be tested to reveal what is in their hearts, either obedience or disobedience.
Second, God allows Satan to operate limitedly on the earth as an agent of His wrath upon evildoers. I have already previously proved this by showing several specific instances in Scripture when God brought judgment upon deserving people through evil spirits. Just the fact that God has allowed Satan to rule over the unsaved people of the world is an indication of His wrath upon them. God judges groups of evil people by allowing wicked humans to rule over them, and also by allowing wicked spiritual beings to rule over them, making their lives all the more miserable.
Third, God allows Satan to operate limitedly on the earth to glorify Himself. "The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). Every time God destroys one of Satan's works, it glorifies His power and wisdom.
|Read the previous article in this series,
Binding and Loosing in Context
This article is an excerpt from the book, The Disciple-Making Minister. The actual book itself may be ordered by visiting our online store. To view our copyright policy, click here. © 2013 by David Servant