Bible Questions and Answers

Browse all the questions that have been asked at and see their answers, read the most recent questions and answers, or have a look at some prepared questions and answers on key Bible themes.

Satan is a Hebrew word which means adversary. An adversary can be good or bad.

Numbers 22:22 And God’s anger was kindled because he (Balaam) went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary (Satan) against him…

In Job, the angel called Satan is an adversary to Job, not to God. He is not the fallen angel of popular Christian mythology. Satan in the book of Job does exactly what God tells him to do, using the power of God.

Satan in the New Testament is not a ‘fallen angel’. In the New Testament Satan (the Devil) is the personification of the lust within man which causes him to sin. There are three aspects to lust.

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Jesus, in the wilderness, encountered all three.

1. Lust of the flesh – turn stones into bread.

2. Lust of the eyes – possess the kingdoms of this world.

3. Pride of life – jump unharmed from the pinnacle of the temple to demonstrate superiority over all men.

His temptation came the same way as ours does. We are not approached by a supernatural being. Our temptation comes from within. While mortal men live, Satan (lust) lives in them.  If we want to see what Satan looks like, we only need to look in a mirror.

It is this lust which causes us to sin as James explains:

James 1:14… every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

All the evil that man does comes from within man.

Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Man does not need an external tempter to tempt him to do evil. These evils are the ‘works of the flesh’, not the works of a fallen angel.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

When Jesus called Peter Satan it was because he was thinking like a man, not a fallen angel.

Matthew 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

When Ananias and Sapphira lied to Peter, Satan is identified as Ananias’ own conception.

Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 While it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

‘why hath Satan filled thine heart’ = ‘why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart’.

The plan was conceived of Ananias’ lust for money.

If the plan was really that of a fallen angel, Ananias and Sapphira were subject to a miscarriage of justice, for they died and Satan got off scot free.

Jesus was a man, tempted exactly as we are.

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Satan, the Devil, which he overcame in his life and destroyed at his death, was the lust within him which is common to all men.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

God’s will is done perfectly in heaven.

Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Angels cannot sin or die.

The faithful are promised resurrection from the dead and equality with the angels.

Luke 20:35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

If angels can sin and die we will be no better off than we are now.

Satan, the Devil, is the personification of lust within man both individually and collectively as in authorities.

So when we read:

James 4:7… Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James is speaking of our own desires which we can overcome.

And when we read:

Revelation 2:10… behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison…

This refers to the Jewish and Roman authorities who would not flee from believers but imprison them.

In Revelation we read of the war in heaven between Michael and his angels and the dragon (described as that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan) and his angels:

Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Revelation is a book of symbols.

The war depicted is that which took place in the political heavens of the Roman Empire between Christians and pagan idolatry.

Pagan idolatry in government was the Satan (adversary) to the spread of Christianity.

Christians overcame pagan idolatry, not by force of arms, but by preaching the gospel and being prepared to die for what they believed.

So we read:

Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

In the fourth century AD Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire and the Pagan religion was outlawed.

On a personal level, Christ destroyed the devil in himself by being obedient even unto death.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Satan is destroyed in us when we die.

The faithful will be raised to eternal life free from sin when Christ returns.

Satan (the lusts of men) will be restrained during the millennial reign of Christ.

Revelation 20:2,3 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

The bottomless pit represents a state of nonexistence.

Revelation 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition…

‘Is not’ = in the bottomless pit.

At the end of the millennial reign, there will be a final rebellion amongst men against the rule of Christ.

Revelation 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Satan be completely removed from mankind at the second resurrection and final judgment.

Satan, sin, death and the grave will be removed forever in the symbolic lake of fire which represents complete destruction.

Revelation 20:10-14 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are… 14 And death and hell (hades – the grave) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

After this all who live on will possess the divine nature and will not sin or die.

May I suggest that you read Do You Believe in a Devil? (click on the title)

I hope you find this helpful.

God bless,