In Defense of the Faith |

Dave Hunt

What about Satan in God’s Presence?

Question: Evil is supposedly not allowed in God’s presence because He is so holy. Yet Satan still appears before the throne of God, according to the book of Job. How can that be?

Response: Yes, Satan still appears before the throne of God (Job:1:6; 2:1) as the “accuser of our brethren” (Revelation:12:10). The day is yet future when “that old serpent called the Devil” will be cast out of heaven (Revelation:12:10).

Before his fall Satan had been given a position of power and authority, and he will retain some residue of that until the battle for the soul and destiny of man has been fought to its finish. The challenge that Satan has been presented to God can only be fully answered and Satan fully defeated by the redemption of mankind through the blood of Christ. Until that time, the relationship of God to evil is one of hatred and rejection, not of complete separation. For example, we know that God is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity” (Habakkuk:1:13); yet He sees everything that happens in the earth and must know all evil or He could not be the judge thereof.

Evil was conceived in the heart of Satan even though he dwelt in the very presence of God. The Bible speaks of the “mystery of iniquity” (2 Thessalonians 27). That evil could originate in God’s presence and that it could begin on earth in the perfect environmental paradise of the Garden of Eden is indeed a mystery. And this mystery only deepens when we consider that sin involves rebellion against the infinite, almighty Creator of all. That both Satan and man would be so blinded by self as to embrace the impossible dream of defeating God is mystery indeed.

Satan’s continuing appearances before God’s throne do not implicate God in evil any more than the fact that creatures whom God created (and whose every thought, word, and deed He knows) have turned to evil by the billions. The day is coming, however, when God will create a new universe “wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter:3:13), and from that time on “there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth” (Revelation:21:27).