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Published by Douglas Funk

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Published by: Douglas Funk on Jul 16, 2010
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The Satanic Rebellion:
Background to the TribulationPart 3The Purpose, Creation and Fall of Man
 by Dr. Robert D. LuginbillI. The Purpose of ManII. The Creation of Man1. The Image and the Likeness of God2. The Creation of Adam3. The Human Spirit4. The Dichotomy of Man5. The Creation of EveIII. Status Quo in ParadiseIV. The Fall of Man1. The Temptation2. The Fall3. The Judgment V. Satan's Hollow Victory 
As we saw in our last installment, until the restoration of earth andGod's reconstitution of the heavenly lights, Lucifer, the "light-bearer" and his followershad found themselves in the dark, awaiting their fate. Satan's coup d'état had ended adismal failure, and his nefarious experimentations on earth, the original Eden, had beensummarily terminated by a divine intervention that left not only the earth but the
surrounding universe as well buried in deep darkness. We know from the testimony of scripture that a trial followed in which God condemned Satan and his fallen angels fortheir rejection of His authority and for their rebellion:Behold, He does not place [unreserved] trust in His servants, but charges [even] Hisangels with error.Job 4:18Then He will say to those on His left, "Away from Me, you accursed ones, into theeternal fire [already]
 prepared for the devil and his angels
.Matthew 25:41Concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.John 16:11Satan's case (and that of his followers) has thus already been adjudicated and hisultimate fate pronounced. By the time he and his fallen angels are cast down to the earthduring the Great Tribulation (Rev.12:7-9), he will be well aware of the fact that he has"but little time left" (Rev.12:12). At the conclusion of human history, but not until thatpoint has been reached at the end of the millennial rule of Christ, Satan will face theexecution of his sentence (Rev.20:10; Is.24:21-22), a verdict adjudged before humanhistory began. The question may well be posed, "why the delay in judgment? Why didGod not simply plunge the devil and his minions into the fires of hell immediately aftertheir just condemnation?" The answer to all such questions is intimately bound up withGod's creation of another species of sentient, morally responsible creatures, namely,Man. So it is that to the purpose, creation and fall of mankind that we must now turn.
I. The Purpose of Man
 Though already under sentence of death for his unrepentant attempt to overthrow God'srule over the universe (Job 4:18; Matt.25:41; Jn.16:11), Satan still retains his freedom of action. We find him spying on our first parents in the garden (Gen.3), appearing beforethe Lord to slander our brethren (Job 1&2; Zech.3; Rev.12:10), and prowling the earth insearch of believers whose defenses are down (1Pet.5:8). The reason for the devil'sintense interest in mankind is similar to the reason for our creation in the first place(and to the reason for the delay in carrying out the sentence of death under which hestands as well):
 Man is meant as a response to Satan's rebellion
, a living refutation of the devil's slanderous lies against the character of God. God has created mankind 1) todemonstrate to all angelic kind His
ability to reconcile
His creatures to Himself, and 2)
to actually replace
all that was lost through the devil's defection.1. Man created to demonstrate God's righteousness in acting mercifully: Although every aspect of God's perfect character is visible in His gracious dealings with the human race,the demonstration of His righteousness toward us in salvation most directly answersSatan's slanders regarding God's ability to provide reconciliation. It will be remembered(from part 1 of this series) that part of the devil's appeal to his potential followers rested
on his assurance that God would be unable to effect any reconciliation between Himself and His rebellious creatures. Satan reasoned that God's righteousness would stand inthe way of His mercy and thus make forgiveness impossible. God would thus be "put in a box", unable to act in mercy without compromise, unable to execute punishment without permanently marring His creation in an irreversible way. No matter how muchHe might dislike it, God would be forced to tolerate Satan's usurpation of power. Andthough it would not have formed part of his public pitch, the devil was no doubt also working on the "safety in numbers" principle, reckoning that while God might choose tochastise one rebel, removing the vast multitude of angels whom Satan had been able torecruit would create an irreparable rift in the fabric of the universe. But the devil's logicfailed to take into account the ineffable love of God, and was oblivious to the idea thatour God is a God of such grace that He would even sacrifice His most belovedpossession, His Son, Jesus Christ, on our behalf. Satan was correct about therighteousness of God preventing His mercy from arbitrarily forgiving sin in any form, but what the devil did not count on was God's willingness to pay for sin Himself throughthe sacrifice of His Son, so that we might justly be accounted righteous in His eyes(2Cor.5:21):For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the
whereby God may saveeveryone who believes (whether the Jew first, or the Greek).
 Because in it therighteousness of God is revealed 
from faith to faith, as it is written, "[it is he whois] righteous on account of his faith [who] shall live".Romans 1:16-17 We are saved by faith in the Person and work of the One who died in our place and paidthe price of sin for us, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Because Jesus paid the price,God can forgive our sin, not arbitrarily, but justly, since it has been paid for in full in themost precious coin. God is therefore not only merciful to forgive us and welcome us intoHis family when we believe in Jesus, He is also just in justifying us, righteous inproclaiming us righteous, "not from works of righteousness which we have done"(Tit.3:5), but from our acceptance of the work of the One who died for us. Angels beingangels, as we have seen (part 1), any decision to rebel against God would be final.Possessed as they are of perceptive abilities that far exceed our material limitations, itcan be truly said of them that "they knew what they were getting into" (at least as far ascreatures can know). Reconciliation of fallen angels to a merciful God was thereforenever a likely possibility ± because
would not have it,
because God could notor would not do it.
The truth of this last point He has proven irrefutably by the lovingsacrifice of His only Son on mankind's behalf, paying a price so steep we can only dimly comprehend it. If the devil and his angels had been of a mind to receive such anincomparable gesture of sacrifice and mercy, God would have generously provided it. By giving up His Son to the cross, God has demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt both His willingness and His ability to rescue His creatures, for He has in fact done sofor us, even though it meant paying the price His righteousness demanded with the blood of His own Son.

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