Having defended the view that “the Adversary” (tou diabolou) and “the Satan” (tou satanas) referred to in the Greek Scriptures should be understood as an intelligent, superhuman being who belongs to the same order of celestial spirits as Michael and Gabriel, I’ll close this study with a brief scriptural defense of what I believe his present, eonian purpose is, and what I believe his post-eonian destiny will involve.
It’s not difficult to understand how Satan could’ve had a sinful and lying disposition from the time of his creation. But how could Satan have been a “man-killer” before there were human beings in existence to kill? First, it should be noted that a person could be considered a murderer or “man-killer” without actually killing anyone. In 1 John 3:15, for example, John taught that anyone who has hatred for his brother is a “man-killer.” Thus, being characterized as a “man-killer” has to do with the malicious, unloving disposition of a person’s heart, and does not require that one be responsible for having actually taken someone’s life. Second, if God created Satan to be an adversary to mankind who would naturally desire and seek our destruction and ruin, then it would be true to say that Satan was a “man-killer from the beginning.” For being a “man-killer” – i.e., being someone who hates and seeks the destruction and ruin of human beings – would be the purpose and role for which Satan was created by God (at least, with regard to the eons). Thus, Satan can be said to have been a man-killer from the beginning if, in accordance with God’s eonian purpose, he was created by God with a sinful and malicious disposition that is antagonistic and hostile towards human beings, and which caused him to seek their destruction and ruin as soon as they were created.
One expression that’s commonly used by Christians in defense of the view that God should not be considered responsible for the entrance of sin into the universe is that “God is not the author of sin.” The rhetorical force of this expression, however, is entirely dependent on its inherent ambiguity. If this statement is to be understood as meaning, “God did not create a being with a sinful disposition,” then it would simply be question-begging in nature (and – apart from any reason provided in defense of such a claim – can simply be dismissed as a mere unsubstantiated assumption). On the other hand, the statement “God is not the author of sin” could also be understood to mean, “God has never sinned.” If that’s how the expression should be understood, then I take no issue with it. I fully agree that God has never sinned (and indeed cannot sin). The only way that the sinlessness of God could possibly constitute an objection to the view that God created Satan with a sinful disposition (and thus willed that sin exist) is if it was a sin for God to have done this. But is this, in fact, the case? I see no good reason to believe that it is.