2 Cor. 11:14
1 Peter 5:8
2 Peter 2:4
- Job 1:6
- "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them."
- This passage is usually connected with Rev. 12 to prove that the devil is a fallen angel. A J.W. publication puts it this way:
- " . . . an angelic son of God in the heavens had rebelled against Jehovah God, thus making himself Satan ('Resister')".1
- "At a conference of the angelic sons of God in heaven, Satan the Devil came also 'from roving about in the earth and from walking about in it.' So Jehovah God called Satan's attention to a man down there on earth, Job in the land of Uz, as being different from all others, 'a man blameless and upright, fearing God and turning aside from bad.'"2
- Nowhere in the book of Job is Satan explicitly stated to be a fallen angel. The argument that Satan is a fallen angel is an inferred one, and involves the following assumptions:
- That the "sons of God" refers to angels. The expression is possibly identified with angels in Job 38:7, but is used of humans elsewhere in Scripture: Deut. 14:1 R.S.V.; Psa. 82:6, R.S.V.; Hosea 1:10, Luke 3:38; John 1:12; 1 John 3:1.
- That Satan was a "son of God". The passage only states that he "came among them", but not that he was himself a "son of God".
- It is inferred that "a conference" took place in heaven from the following two references: "To present themselves before the LORD" (Job 1:6); "so Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD" (Job 2:7). But note the following:
- The "conference" need not to have taken place in heaven. When men came before Yahweh's accredited representatives on earth (e.g., the judges), they were said to be standing "before the LORD". The following are two examples:
- "Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days." (Deut. 19:17).
- ". . . Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD who is with you in the judgment." (2 Chron. 19:6).
- To leave the presence of the Lord (Job 1:12) does not require Satan ("adversary", A.V. mg., Job 1:6) to have had access to the dwelling place of God in heaven. Cain "went out from the presence of the LORD" (Gen. 4:16) and he certainly was not in heaven. The adversary was well travelled on the earth: "going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it." (Job 1:7 R.S.V.). (Is walking the usual mode of locomotion for a mighty angel?)
- It is impossible that a rebel angel could have had access to the dwelling place of God in heaven for the following reasons:
- God does not tolerate evil: "Evil may not sojourn with thee." (Psa. 5:4, 5, R.S.V.); "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity . . ." (Hab. 1:13). How then could a rebel angel have access to heaven from before the creation of Adam and Eve until 1914? Or if, as it is sometimes asserted that Satan was cast out of heaven before the creation of Adam and Eve, how did he manage to regain access to heaven?
- If Satan were a rebel angel with access to heaven until 1914 (as J.W.'s assert), this would invalidate the Lord's prayer. Jesus prayed: "Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." (Matt. 6:10). Did Jesus believe that heaven was the seat of revolution, intrigue, and disorder, and later to be the scene of a great war?
- Job never attributed his afflictions to a rebel angel. His declaration was simply: "The hand of God hath touched me". (Job 19:21 cf. 2:10). Even Job's brethren, sisters and acquaintances acknowledged that the evil was brought upon Job by the LORD: "they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him." (Job 42:11).
- Although it can be shown what the passage does not mean, an attempt need not be made to identify the adversary. Scripture does not provide a positive identification, and although some evidence might be deduced, ultimately "the secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us". (Deut. 29:29). The onus of proof rests with those who cite this passage as proof that Satan is a fallen-angel devil. To this issue the discussion should be confined since to do otherwise allows too many "red-herring" opportunities in which considerations irrelevant to the main issue are soon dragged in, resulting in a tangle of unresolved propositions and assertions.
- "Things In Which It Is Impossible For God To Lie", (Brooklyn, New York: Watchtower Bible And Tract Society of N.Y. Inc., Int. Bible Students Ass. Brooklyn, N.Y., 1965), p. 48. Return
- Ibid., p. 299. Return