Tomorrow we’re going to be talking about the War In Heaven depicted in this vision. This brings into consideration the person of Satan. It has been the modern trend to dismiss Satan as a myth. Certainly there is no consideration given him in the secular world and even in the church there has been a modern trend to ignore the notion and “get on with the good stuff.”
But if we take the scriptures at all seriously, we cannot ignore the fact that Satan exists and that he is active in the world and is responsible for much of the evil in it. If we believe that the New Testament is a part of the fuller revelation of God – in fulfillment of what the Old Testament promised or hinted at – (and I do believe this) then we have to take seriously the fact that the person of Satan and the idea of constant spiritual warfare are far more express and dominant in the New Testament than in the Old.
The modern ignorance of Satan might be tied to the theories of Marx and Freud. Both of these men held that there was no outside force of evil in the world and that all that is wrong is merely of man’s own doing. What flows from that philosophy is the notion that, if the problem is all within us, then surely we can fix it ourselves. We don’t need supernatural resources to defeat evil, we can do it through our own ingenuity and devices: psychotherapy on the one hand, “five year plans and new deals” on the other. Only look at Stalin’s pogroms and the total decay and final collapse of the Soviet Union to see where this thinking leads.
As we consider tomorrow’s lesson, we may want to refer to this article discussing erroneous beliefs about Satan. It’s written by J.I Packer, a distinguished protestant minister and theologian known best for his very popular book Knowing God.
Here is the link: http://matthiasmedia.com/briefing/1996/10/the-devil-unmasked/