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QUESTION: Was Satan on Earth Before God Made Man?

Was Satan on Earth before God made man and was man the reason he betrayed God?

The Bible does not tell us when Satan began to stalk this planet. All we know is that he showed up in the Garden of Eden at some point after Creation. How long after Creation, we do not know, nor do we know how long he “tempted” Mother Eve before she yielded. I do not believe that God would have pronounced his creation “very good” if Satan were already haunting it before God made man.

What we do know is that Satan’s rebellion against God apparently began in heaven, not on earth. Having rebelled and led some of the angels astray, he also tempted people to join his rebellion against God. By inducing the first pair to want to become their own gods, he effectively took the earth for himself. Today, he still claims to be the god of this age.

The Bible is the story of how God is winning the earth back to His original purpose for it. When Jesus returns, the job will be complete in “the new heavens and the new earth” where righteousness dwells. The picture in Revelation 21 is of a new Garden of Eden where the Tree of Life and the River of the Water of Life will be there for our healing, and where we will again have fellowship with God as in the beginning – only better.

When Jesus came the first time, it was as the rightful ruler returning to claim His rightful place. By overcoming death, He showed His power over Satan. He left His disciples on earth as a “resistance force” that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, continues His fight against the usurper. The Christian’s war is not against flesh and blood, but against Satan’s forces of darkness and evil (see Ephesians 6:12). This battle is not only defensive (resisting temptation ourselves), but is also offensive (as we take the battle to Satan to rescue others from his grip).

Those who serve in the “resistance” today by supporting God’s plan for them and the earth will then become immortal and incorruptible when the Lord returns the second time. Others will experience the lake of fire, which is the second death. Jesus, in His first coming, established a beachhead in the territory overrun by the enemy. On His return, He will come as the conqueror over sin, death, and the grave bringing eternal salvation for all who have accepted and recognized Him as the rightful ruler of the universe.


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