Angelology Part 3 -- By: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 099:394 (Apr 1942)
Article: Angelology Part 3
Author: Lewis Sperry Chafer

Part 3

Lewis Sperry Chafer

[Author’s note: This, the third installment in this series of articles on Angelology, is to be followed by at least three more and with a view to setting forth the entire field of this so-important revelation.]

The Career of Satan (cont.)

2. Satan’s Sin.

With the same clarity and extended detail the precise sin of Satan is delineated in the sacred text, and in one central passage, namely, Isaiah 14:12–17. It is true that, from the beginning, Satan has not ceased sinning; but interest is focused specifically upon his initial sin, which sin, so far as God has been pleased to reveal, was the first sin to be committed in the universe. The first sin to be committed not only bears much on our understanding of the one who committed it, but is the norm or pattern of all sin, demonstrating, as it does, the element in sin which makes it what it is-“exceeding sinful” (Rom 7:13).

By reference to a fall from heaven, this passage (Isa 14:12–17) raises the weighty question as to whether Satan is now as to his abode veritably cast out of heaven, or does he still dwell in the sphere into which he was placed when created? A popular notion, which obtains quite apart from revelation, assumes that Satan is dwelling in lower regions, if not in hell itself. In this connection, it is essential to consider again the truth that there are three heavens in view in the Bible: (a) That of the atmosphere in which ” the birds of the heavens” move; (b) the stellar spaces which, as before indicated, are the abode of angelic beings; and (c) the “third heaven” which is the abode of the Triune God, the location of which cannot be determined. The question at issue is as

to whether Satan, and with him the fallen angels, are cast out of their original habitation. Certain passages shed light on this problem. Of Christ it is written that “he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18). As to whether this was history or prophecy must be determined by the verdict of other Scriptures. Revelation 12:7–9 relates a casting out of Satan from heaven to the earth and, as there described, it is evidently future. The passage states: “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the ...

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