Angelology Part 4 -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 099:395 (Jul 1942)
Article: Angelology Part 4
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer


Angelology
Part 4

Lewis Sperry Chafer

[Author’s Note: The important division of Angelology presented in this article will be followed by one other section which will complete the series on this theme.]

Satan’s Evil Character

In approaching this difficult and intricate subject of Satanology, a certain inquiry is in order, namely, what latitude is accorded angels in the exercise of their powers in the direction of evil? The implications of Scripture and the deductions of reason contend, in answer to this question, that much that is possible as sin with men is impossible with angels and is foreign to them. There is no evidence that angels are tempted in the realms of those sins which find expression through the human body-immoral relations, gluttony, and the perversion of normal bodily functions. It is equally certain that there is no occasion for avarice, parsimoniousness, or thievery among the angels since, so far as is known, they are not burdened with possessions of any description whatever. In truth it is easier to discover the sins which are predicated of the angels than to list those which they, for obvious reasons, do not practice. Angelic sin is along the lines of two closely related evils-ambitious pride and untruth-, as these may be manifested within the range of angelic existence. Within the scope of these two sins the evil character of Satan must be computed. The sinfulness of Satan’s sin is not to be discovered by comparing it with wickedness in human spheres, but rather by a due comparison of it with the holiness of God, and in the light of that which God has required of the angels.

As God is the embodiment of good, so Satan, in his restricted sphere, is the embodiment of evil. God, being infinite, is infinitely good; Satan, being finite, is evil to the extent of his resources and means. Since he is the highest of all creation, Satan is the one of all creatures to assume the position of anti-God. It is recognized that Satan will yet introduce and exalt the Anti-christ; but, it is clear, from the beginning he has arrogated to himself the function of anti-God. This assumption is the supreme conception which actuates his ambitious pride. To a like degree he is anti-truth, but in realms and ways which challenge the closest attention of every student of Bible doctrine. To the same extent to which this great angel surpasses human understanding, his evil nature and undertakings reach beyond human comprehension. However, it is anticipated that the Spirit-taught believers shall pursue these vast themes with some discernment and to a large degree of profit. Popular impressions as to the character of Satan are erroneous. Doubtless, if called to face ...

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