IN the chart above is a graphic representation of Satan's five abodes and of his activities throughout his entire existence. Since he is the one who has sought the destruction of man and is constantly making attacks upon him, it becomes necessary for the enlightened Christian to know about this subtle enemy and his activities.
Running from the box in the center of the diagram in which is the statement, "His Five Abodes," are five arrows which indicate the various places where Satan either has had his abode or will have it. In the upper left hand corner is depicted his abode, in glory with the Lord before the creation of the world. Read Job 38:1-7. The sons of God in this passage are the angelic hosts, over whom Satan was supreme.
When God created the universe, He put Satan, it seems, as the ruler of this earth (Ezek. 28:11-17). The duration of his rulership is designated on the chart as "Prehistoric Times." Note the break in this period as indicated. This graphic representation is designed to show that this period of time consisted of long ages as shown in the discussion, "Eternity or the Plan of the Ages." Satan was in "Eden, the garden of God." This Eden must not be confused with the one mentioned in Genesis 2 and 3. The latter place, as the reading of the historical record shows, was a vegetable garden with every type of fruit tree and shrubbery; but the Eden in which Satan reigned was of the mineral realm. Figuratively speaking, according to Ezekiel 28:13, Satan lived in a crystal palace made of the most precious stones. He remained there until unrighteousness entered his heart, and he aspired to the throne of God. This attempt to match swords with the Almighty and to dethrone Him is depicted in Isaiah 14:12,13. An allusion to this bold attempt seems to appear in Isaiah 51:9. Undoubtedly the psalmist referred to this revolt in Psalm 74:12-14. Satan, however, failed, and, in the language of Milton, was hurled from the battlements of heaven. This great conflict in all probability was the occasion of the wrecking of the primitive earth, recorded in Genesis 1:2. Another account of this primeval disaster is found in Job 38:8-11. At that time Satan, having lost in the conflict with the Almighty, was barred from the earth but was permitted with his hosts to dwell, as indicated on the chart, in the "atmospheric heavens." He is the prince of the powers of the air (Eph. 2:1 ff; 6:10f).
He resides with his hosts in those atmospheric heavens during historic times, with the exception of the latter part when he will be cast down to the earth in the middle of the Tribulation and will remain there to the close of that period of judgment.
When our Lord returns in glory to establish His millennial rule, He will cast Satan into the abyss where he will remain for the thousand years of Christ's earthly reign (Rev. 20:1-3).
At the conclusion of the Millennial Age, Satan will be released from his confinement in the abyss and will be permitted for a short season to deceive the nations and cause a last revolt against Christ on the part of the unregenerated persons then living. This final attack against the Lord Jesus Christ will be brought to a conclusion, as we learn from Revelation 20:6f, by a direct stroke of judgment from heaven, at which time Satan will be cast into the lake of fire, where he will be with the lost forever and ever. Let it be remembered that the expression "into the ages of the ages" signifies a never-ending eternity.
It is necessary, in order to maintain an orderly universe throughout eternity, that Satan, this old insurrectionist, be confined in a place where he can never touch the work of God, nor injure any of His faithful servants. Those likewise who will not accept the full and free salvation which God offers to all through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ must be placed in confinement in order that they, too, may not in any wise injure others and may not mar the happiness of the saved. What in the Greek is called Gehenna and is translated into English as "hell" is a necessary institution for the good of all of God's servants and for the carrying out of His plan of blessing the saved throughout all eternity. Let it be remembered that hell was not made for man, but for the Devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). Those who will eventually be confined there for ever and ever are incarcerated in that terrible place because they have willfully refused to accept the light and salvation which God has offered them, and which lead all honest hearts to accept Christ.
As suggested above, it is quite probable that Satan was the one who brought about the wrecking of the earth mentioned in Genesis 1:2. If this supposition is correct, it is quite likely that he did this, knowing that God planned to create man and to give him dominion over the earth. In this case, Satan was supplanted in his authority by man. This consideration has been suggested as the possible explanation of Satan's revolt and his wrecking the earth. This supposition is probably correct.
Being driven from his palatial residence in "Eden, the Garden of God," he is permitted by the franchise of God to abide in the atmospheric heavens which surround the earth. Though this is his present habitat, he on occasion goes into the presence of God (Job 1 and 2; Luke 22:31-34). It appears that he must receive permission from the Almighty before he can make a stroke against man, since he had to ask permission of the Lord to tempt the apostles.
Throughout history there have been times when Satan has made special attacks upon certain individuals. He varies his tactics to suit the occasion. His favorite method is a resort to diplomacy, for he usually transforms himself into an angel of light, concealing his sinister purposes and diabolical designs. His wiles are almost beyond the detection of the human mind. Only those who are assisted by the Spirit of God and by a knowledge of His Word can see the tracks of his cloven hoof.
Let us remember that he is a conquered foe, a defeated enemy. By the tragedy of the cross his power was broken. There is power, wonder-working power, in the blood of the Lamb for those who trust the Lord Jesus Christ and who resist Satan, strong in their faith.
I wish to call attention in this connection to six of his major assaults against the human family. The first was in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2 and 3). The Devil, using the serpent as a cat's-paw, approached Eve and by fair speech and false hopes deceived her, causing her to eat of the forbidden fruit. She, likewise, persuaded Adam to partake of it. Thus by the transgression of the one man sin entered into the world and death, through sin (Rom. 5:11,12). Thus all sin, sickness, and other calamities that have plagued the human family are the result of Satan's diabolical machinations in Eden.
In the days of Noah he made another major assault. Read Genesis 6:1-4. Some of his subordinates, seeing the daughters of men that they were fair, assumed the form of men. These were the Nephilim or fallen ones, who later married the daughters of men. There sprang from these unholy unions men of renown. That these sons of God who married the daughters of men were fallen angels seems to be evident from Jude 7. In this verse we are told that the people of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the plains about them acted in the same manner as these fallen angels had done and gave "themselves over to fornication," and went "after strange flesh." Note in verse 6 that the angels are said to have left their proper habitation. The Apostle then states that the people of these wicked cities acted exactly as those angels did and tells in what particular way they did this; namely, they gave themselves over to fornication and went after strange flesh. This language can mean nothing but that these angels, who are called sons of God in the Book of Job, committed fornication and went after strange fleshafter human flesh which is different from the nature of the angels. It was this tampering with the marriage relationship that brought about the judgment of the Flood in Noah's day, which blotted out that generation.
Satan made another master stroke at God by causing the Pharaoh of the Oppression to do all he could to limit the development of the Hebrew race. Notwithstanding his efforts, the Chosen People grew and multiplied. Finally, the Lord sent Moses as the great deliverer of His people. The magicians of Egypt, energized by satanic power, duplicated the first three signs wrought by Moses. The great lawgiver performed his miracles by the power of God. The magicians wrought theirs by satanic energy. After they had duplicated the first three wrought by Moses, they attempted with their enchantments to bring forth licethe fourth miracle performed by Moses. They were unable to do so and confessed, "This is the finger of God." These facts show that Satan, although he is mighty and powerful, is nevertheless limited. On this occasion he did all that he could to thwart the unfolding of God's purposes with the Hebrew race.
When our Lord was born, Satan immediately declared war against Him in moving Herod to attempt His destruction by the slaughter of the babes of Bethlehem. After God acknowledged Jesus as His Son, at the baptism, Satan appeared and tempted Him forty days in the wilderness (Mk. 1:12,13). This period of testing was concluded by three subtle attacks (Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-12). Finally Satan entered Judas, causing him to betray Jesus (John 13:1, 2).
In the Tribulation, especially in the latter half, as set forth in Revelation 12, Satan will make the people of Israel his special object of attack. He will do this realizing that this people is the nation of destiny. The sun-clad woman presented in this chapter represents Israel, after whom the dragon sends forth a mighty river, but she is delivered by the Lord.
Finally, at the end of the Tribulation Satan, knowing when the Lord Jesus will reappear, will gather his armies together in order to battle with Him. The Lord, however, upon His return will slay him by the brightness of His coming (II Thess. 2:8).
Throughout the history of Israel and the church, Satan has made continual attacks against them because they are the ones who are giving forth the truth of God to the world.
Let us remember, however, that Satan is a conquered foe and that we who are trusting in the power of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ can rout him by being strong in our faith.