Traditional dualism refers to the state of two parts. In ethical practices, this is typically seen as the battle between good and evil. In religious sectors we note dualism from the viewpoint of Satan vs. God. When considered in these forms, dualism almost seems to refer to God and Satan as two equal parts, of equal strength and position, in the spirit realm. However, it is important to note that this is a biblically incorrect assumption. It is noted in the Bible that Satan is in fact inferior to God since he was created by God to be a heavenly angel, but chose of his own free will to try and overtake God's position of power in the universe and thus was cast out of heaven, into hell. In Isaiah 14:12-20, we see Satan filled with sinful pride, arrogance and self-importance which leads to his belief that he not only does not need God, but that he can achieve equal or greater position than God.
There also tends to be a common misconception indicating the human belief that God created evil, but again, this is not so. Evil is not really a created thing, at all. 1John 1:5 shows that there is no darkness in God at all, thus rather the evil we conceive of is the human response of choosing not to follow God's plan. Even anointed angels were equipped with the option to exercise their free will in decision making and when some chose to sin they were cast down from their position on high to revel in the darkness which they had chosen for themselves. The darkness that existed in the beginning as dictated in Genesis 1, before God created the world.
Satan, being the great manipulator and the father of lies, spares no expense at trying to twist the truth of God's love and light in his attempts to become greater and more powerful than his own creator. The lies and manipulation of Satan are intended to pull God's people away from him and engage them in the same sin nature that Satan himself chose, that got him cast down from heaven. If Satan can pit God's people against him then he is one step closer to reaching his ultimate goal of taking God's position. So, those who perceive Satan from the view point of death and destruction need to understand that this is not truly his ultimate goal, but it is a tool he is not afraid to use in crafting his kingdom to be greater than God's.
Because Satan was originally God's creation, he is limited in his power and ability where God is not. Satan is not omnipotent nor does he retain omnipotence, even though he is omnipresent in the world since the fall of man. This is to say that although the work of Satan is present in all of the world at all times, he does not retain God's limitless power nor is he all knowing in the way that God is. In the book of Job we see Satan as the son of God, subservient to God in nature, as a member of the divine council. God is also the ultimate sustainer of all of his creation, even in his desperate sinful nature; God still sustains Satan's existence because of his original sonship and God's merciful nature towards his people.
Although people tend to blame Satan for their own sin nature, this is merely a poorly executed blame game because just as Satan had the free will to choose to do as God directed and planned or to go off on his own direction, the same options apply to all mankind. No person is ever "made" to do sinful acts. Quite to the contrary, human beings were in fact "created" to reflect the character of God, but nothing forces us to do so. If God cannot force us to do right 100% of the time then Satan can no more force us to do evil to one another. It is always a choice, and action or reaction, thought or intention we each make as we either follow the biblical theme of love God has modeled for us or as we follow our own arrogant self-focused desires as Satan demonstrates in our world. The choice is always yours to make and even when the wrong ways are chosen God still promises to sustain and forgive his children.
Word count: # 779
Elwell, Walter (2001) Evangelical Dictionary of Theology 2nd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic
Holladay, Tom & Warren, Kay (2003) Foundations. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Biblical scholar and multiple online publication author, Heather Moon is a proud mother of 3 specalizing in Christian foundational teaching, women's ministries, family and exceptional living, as an accredited member of the AACC.
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