If God is Almighty, why did He Permit Sin?
By Brian Pepper
Today we are going to take a look at the "Villain" of the
Book of Revelation. Most folk are very much aware of the
fact that a terrifying and deadly conflict is taking place
on this earth.
St Paul warned Christians that we need to be on our guard
and aware of the forces of evil that are bringing ruin to
Notice what Paul says in
Ephesians 6:10,11, "Finally, my brethren, be
strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on
the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil."
Christians need to be strong in the LORD to make sure that
there are no chinks in their spiritual armour.
Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we wrestle not
against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against
powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places." The margin
says "wicked spirits in heavenly places."
St Paul says that we are battling against "wicked spirits
in high places." If you are fighting against an enemy
that you can see that is bad enough, but when the enemy can
make himself invisible, can crop up anywhere, anytime, and
you cannot even see him, the odds are certainly against you.
So the Apostle Paul says, "We have a hard battle to
fight" and the battle with Satan is not going to get any
easier as time goes on.
The Apostle Peter puts it this way in
1 Peter 5:8, "Be
sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a
roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."
A Fierce Battle
Because he realises that his time is very short, Satan is
waging his fiercest fight in these very last hours of time.
I would like you to notice the warning that is given in
Revelation 12:17, "And the dragon was wroth
with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her
seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the
testimony of Jesus Christ."
This takes us right down to the grand finale of this earth's
history, the last great controversy between good and evil.
Satan is going to wage his fiercest attack on God's people
in the very last hours of time. Prophecy indicates that
things are going to get worse and worse as we approach the
What kind of Being is Satan?
Anyway what kind of being is Satan? Some people have
pictured him as being a hideous creature with horns and
cloven hoofs, spiked tail, and flames of fire coming out of
his mouth. But the Bible does not picture him that way at
all. The Apostle Paul tells us that Satan appears as an
angel of light.
1 Corinthians 11:14 says, "And no marvel; for Satan
himself is transformed into an angel of light." If you
were to meet Satan tonight as he actually is, you would see
a glorious being, dazzling and bright - an angel of Glory.
That is what he appears like even now.
You see, during the Dark Ages some of those artists pictured
Satan as a most hideous creature trying to frighten people
into subservience to the apostate church. And thinking
people have turned away in disgust realizing that there is
no such being.
The Bible tells us exactly where Satan came from. One time
Jesus stopped short in His sermon and said in
"And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall
That is where he came from. It says that he fell from
heaven. That suggests that he was thrown out. Now how did
that come about? We are told more about Satan in
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your
father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and
abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.
When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a
liar, and the father of it."
Being in the Truth
Some people refer to their church as holding to the Truth,
or in the Truth. Or so and so has accepted the Truth. That
is what Jesus uses as His expression as well.
Satan gave up the Truth
Satan was once in the Truth but he "abode not in the
truth." He gave up the Truth and they had to remove his
name from the Church books in heaven. If you turn to
Revelation chapter 12 it is made a little
clearer. It takes us back into the days of eternity. Just
how far back we do not know, for the time of Satan's
downfall is not given. But the Bible tells us in
Revelation 12:7-9 "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, call the Devil,
and Satan, which deceived the whole world: he was cast out
into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
That takes us back into the past, prior to the beginning of
the history of this world of ours. Just think of it! There
was war in heaven: Christ on one side and Satan on the
other, and their angels lined up on either side. There was
war in heaven and it says that Satan "prevailed not". He was
cast out, and eventually made this world his headquarters.
Side of Truth wins out
I like that assurance, "Satan prevailed not". I am thankful
that when we stand on the side of Jesus Christ we stand on
the side of right or Truth. We have the assurance that we
will come out triumphant.
There are individuals who seem to feel if they take their
stand for Jesus, they are not sure whether they will win out
in the long run. I assure you that anybody who will take his
stand on the side of Jesus Christ, remaining on the side of
Truth, is bound to come out triumphant.
Psalms 103:20 it says, "Bless the LORD, ye his
angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments,
hearkening unto the voice of this word."
It is certainly wonderful to know that angels that excel in
strength come to the rescue of God's children. It is sad
that one third of the angels joined Satan's cause, but I am
thankful that for every evil angel there are two good
Satan is a Real Being
I assure you that Satan is a very real being and that the
warfare which he first waged in heaven he continued in the
Garden of Eden.
Again when Jesus was here upon this earth He had to combat
Satan. Jesus says in
Matthew 25:41, "Then shall he say
also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed,
into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his
The Devil is a very real being and one day he is to be
destroyed in the fire of God's Judgment. Some people have
pictured Satan as being the essence of evil thought, but
that is not so in the Bible. In
Matthew 4:1 it says,
"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to
be tempted of the devil."
5th, 8th and 11th verses he is called "the devil" and
10th verse he is called Satan. After Jesus' baptism
and at the time of trial in the wilderness, Satan came
tempting Him. He showed Him this part of the world and that
part of the world, even ascending to the pinnacle of the
temple. I tell you he is no vague shadowy spirit. He is just
as real as you and I.
Fall of Satan
Isaiah the prophet gives us further information.
14:12 says, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son
of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which
didst weaken the nations!"
That was his name originally in heaven, Lucifer or Day Star.
Isaiah 14:13,14 says, "For thou hast said in thine heart,
I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the
stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the
congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above
the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high."
Lucifer in his pride wanted to be the ruler of all the
universe. Satan has never repented from the time of his
original rebellion in heaven. And more and more he has come
out in open rebellion in heaven against every plan of right
Ezekiel 28:12 (under the figure) of the king of
the wicked city of Tyre we read, "Son of man, take up a
lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus
saith the LORD God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom,
and perfect in beauty."
Ezekiel 28:13 says, "Thou hast been in Eden
the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering,
the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx,
and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the
carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of
thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast
It says that he had been in Eden. He was decked with jewels,
with precious stones, pearls and diamonds. Then God speaks
of this voice "thy tabrets", "thy pipes". This suggests that
he had musical ability. Some have suggested that he was the
leader of the heavenly choir.
Ezekiel 28:14 says, "Thou art the anointed
cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon
the holy mountain; thou hast walked up and down in the midst
of the stones of fire."
The Anointed Cherub
At one time he was one of the covering cherubs that stood
right by the throne of God. To understand just what that
meant you have to go back to Old Testament times. God
commanded Moses to make a special building. It was called
the Sanctuary. There were two rooms in it. One was called
the Holy Place, the other the Most Holy Place. Inside there
was the Art of God or Art of the Testament. The Ark was a
wooden chest lined with gold. Inside the chest was the 10
Commandments on tables of stone written by the finger of
God. Then there was the Mercy Seat above the tables. Above
the chest were two angels, guardian angels, with their faces
facing inwards above the Mercy Seat and between the angels
was the Shekinah glory, like a globe of fire, and it was a
symbol of the Glory of God and of the throne of God.
Satan as Lucifer once held that exalted position.
Verse 14 says, "Thou art the anointed cherub
that covereth." Yes, he held that high and lofty
position in heaven, right by the throne of God, and yet, he
gave up his hold upon Truth. He abode not in the Truth. He
apostatised; he gave it all up.
Warning to Us
I think we should pause right her - this is a solemn warning
for our hearts. If Lucifer, standing in the very presence of
God, one of the guardian angels occupying one of the very
highest positions, if he standing in the presence of God
could lose his way and give up the Truth, I believe that
every one of us should keep our hold ever steadfast on
We can never come to the place where we dare say:
"I am satisfied"
"I have attained"
"I am a Christian: I have nothing to worry about."
"I am saved."
There was Lucifer. He was saved. The Bible tells us that he
was Perfect, that he was sinless, he was spotless, and yet
he let go his hold upon God and lost everything. And one day
he is to be destroyed in the fires of hell.
We must guard our hold upon Christ and be sure that our
contact with heaven is bright and firm. That is why St Peter
1 Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because
your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about,
seeking whom he may devour."
Did God create a Devil?
Now I want to consider this question, did God create a
devil? No! God created Lucifer. He was sinless, he was pure,
a beautiful being, but he made a devil out of himself.
"Thou wast perfect" but he toyed with sin until at
last he chose the way of rebellion.
Some have asked, why did God allow Satan to live after his
rebellion? Why didn't He just blot him out of existence when
He saw what the rebellion had done?
God still loved Lucifer. In deep grief and love He lingered
long with Lucifer. He gave him every opportunity to turn,
but he refused to repent, he continued in his perverse ways.
He used lying propaganda and undermined faith in the
constitution of heaven (God).
The world has staggered through several thousand years of
sin and degradation. The lesson is do not let pride or self
seeking come into your life. But keep your eyes on Jesus and
He will see us through to the kingdom.
Extra thoughts. Even in the church there are those who have
the desire to climb to power. They trample over others.