Satan’s Counterfeit -- By: Charles C. Ryrie

Journal: Grace Journal
Volume: GJ 02:3 (Fall 1961)
Article: Satan’s Counterfeit
Author: Charles C. Ryrie

Satan’s Counterfeit

Charles C. Ryrie

President of Philadelphia College of Bible

Whenever one speaks of Satan these days, it seems increasingly necessary to preface his remarks with some word about the reality of the existence of Satan. Some Christians apparently feel that Satan merely exists in the minds of men and that our thought about his existence is the only real existence he has. In other words” Satan, they say, has no actual, objective existence in his own right. The Scriptures teach us, however, that Satan existed long before man was even created (Ezek 28:13–15). Further, every reference by Christ to the Evil One is a proof of his real existence (cf. Matt 13:39; 25:41; Luke 10:18; John 12:31; 16:11). Modern theology explains such references as accommodation by the Lord of His language to the customary Jewish belief, but it should be realized that such accommodation in this area in reality invalidates His entire message.

In addition, Christians sometimes forget that Satan can transform himself in a variety of ways. On the one hand he presents himself as an angel of light and his ministers are ministers of righteousness, not unrighteousness (2 Cor 1l:14–15). On the other hand, the Scriptures picture him, at least in one place, as a dragon with horns and a tail (Rev 12:3). This is a representation of his fierce nature and of the death struggle in which he is engaged with God’s people.

But whatever be the particular representation Satan makes of himself, he has a single purpose in his program. His purpose, aim, and goal is simply to counterfeit the will of God. This has been, presently is, and always will be his purpose as long as he has freedom.

Counterfeiting, too, has a single purpose. It is simply to create something as similar to the original as possible and to do it by means of some short cut. A counterfeit is similar but cheap. A counterfeit United States dollar bill, for instance, does not have a picture of Abraham Lincoln on it. This would be a sure sign that it was counterfeit. It will have Washington’s picture and it will be as near to a genuine bill in as many details as possible except that there will be some short cut—either a poor engraving or cheaper paper or ink. But the point is that when you make a counterfeit you make it like the original, not unlike it.

This is the most important fact to unde...

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