Satan: A Biblical study

I. The Doctrine of Satan

A. The origin and fall of Satan:

1. The origin of Satan: Satan originally belonged to the highest ranking of angels. Satan was a guardian cherub, belonging to the group of cherubim angels. The cherubim appear to be those angels with closest access to God (Ex. 25:18-22; Ez. 28:14; 10:1-22; Rev. 4:6-8). The cherubim had the occupation of guarding God’s holiness (see also: Jude 9).

a. Ezekiel 28:11-15: The anointed Cherub. In the above passage the prophet Ezekiel is pronouncing judgment on the King of Tyre. In the first ten verses of the chapter, the prophet refers to him as the ruler of Tyre (28:1). There is an obvious change of content in verses 11-19 where the prophet speaks the word of the Lord to the King of Tyre. Ezekiel was evidently going behind the ruler of Tyre to the source of evil, Satan. The language of this passage could not have related to an earthly Ruler. The best understanding is that Satan is spoken of as the King of Tyre.

b. Isaiah 14:12: Lucifer – Morning Star. The name ascribed to Satan in the above passage is Lucifer which means Star of the morning, or Shining one. Satan’s origin was evidently one of beauty. He was of the supreme angelic host who had access to the inner circle of God’s presence.

2. The fall of Satan: It is apparent that God created angelic beings with a free will (or, in an unconfirmed state of innocence). Satan, as with all angels, could have chosen to maintain his blessed position. Yet he chose to rebel against God. The only scripture that provides explicit reference to the sin that occasioned the fall of satan is I Timothy 3:6. Several other scriptures provide possible insights into his rebellion.

a. Ezekiel 28:15-19: Several things may be noted in this passage about the fall of the anointed cherub.

1. Wickedness found in him: (v. 15) The wickedness was the sin of pride (v. 17a). See also I Tim. 3:6.

2. He merchandised sin: (v. 16a) Satan was not content to rebel on his own. He marketed his sin.

3. He was expelled from God’s presence; (v. 16b) The mount of God would seem to indicate God’s presence. Satan was expelled from his anointed position before the throne. Although Satan is still allowed access to God (Job 1:6-12; Zech. 3:1-2), he will one day ultimately be expelled from God’s presence (Rev. 12:7-13).

b. Isaiah 14:12-14: The cause of Satan’s fall.

This passage is evidently a reference to Satan. Take careful note of the great claims made in the text. The sin behind the fall of Satan was that of pride/conceit (see also : I Timothy 3:6; Romans12:3).

B. The titles and works of Satan:

1. Titles: Many things can be learned about Satan and his work through a study of his names and titles.

a. Satan: An adversary (Mt. 4:10, 12:26; John 13:27)

b. The Devil: An accuser, or slanderer: Scripture teaches that there are many demons but only one devil (Heb. 2:14; Eph. 4:27; Matt. 4:1,5).

c. The evil one: I Jn. 5:18, 19 (NIV)

d. The tempter: Matt. 4:3

e. The serpent: Gen. 3:1-14; II Cor. 11:3

f. The great dragon: Rev. 12:7-9

g. The accuser: Rev. 12:10; Zech. 3:1

h. A roaring lion: I Pet. 5:8; Job 1:7

i. A murderer and liar: Jn. 8:44

j. Disguised as an angel of light: II Cor. 11:14

k. Apollyon: the destroyer: Rev. 9:11

l. The ruler of the Kingdom of the air: Eph. 3;2; 6:11-12

m. The god of this age: II Cor. 4:4

n. The prince of this world: Jn. 14:30

2. Works: There are only three biblical passages where Satan may be observed speaking directly to someone else

    • Genesis 3 – slandering God to man
    • Job 1,2 – slandering man to God
    • Matthew 4 – attacking the God-Man

To gain an in-depth understanding of the nature of Satan’s work, these passages should be studied in detail. An overview of Satan’s work would include the following:

a. He promotes disobedience to God: Gen.3:1-6; Eph. 2:2

b. He possesses and works through people: Jn. 8:44; 13:2, 27; Acts 5:3

c. He causes sickness, calamity, and death: Acts 10:38; Lk. 13:16; Job 1:2; Heb. 2:14; Jn. 8:44.

d. He tempts people to sin: I Chron. 21:1; Matt. 4:1-11

e. He disguises himself and his workers: II Cor. 11:14, 15; II Thess. 2:9; Col. 2:18.

f. He encourages shortcuts to victory: Matt. 4:8,9.

g. He appeals to physical lusts and pride: Jn. 14:30 w/I Jn. 2:16; Eph. 2:1-3; I Tim. 3:6.

h. He promotes doubt about God=s character and word: Gen. 3:1-6; Jn. 8:44; II Tim. 4:3-4.

i. He hurls accusations against believers: Job 1; Rev. 12:10

j. He works through governments: Matt. 4:8; Dan. 10:13-20; Ez. 28

k. He works through his demons: (Other angels who fell with him): Jude 6; I Tim. 4:1-3; Rev. 12:9; Mark 5:1-20; 9:17-29; Lk. 9:37-43.

l. He blinds the minds of people so they will not accept the gospel: II Cor. 4:3,4

m. He prevents the Word of God from affecting certain people: Lk. 8:11-12

n. He promotes false teaching and false teachers: I Tim. 4:1-2; II Tim. 3:5; II Pet. 2:1-2; I Jn. 4:1

o. He places false believers among true believers: Matt. 13:38-40; Acts 20:28-30

p. He promotes envy and selfishness: James 3:14-16

q. He persecutes God’s people: Rev. 2:10; I Tim. 3:12

r. He opposes God’s servants: I Thess. 2:18

s. He will energize the antichrist: II Thess. 2:9,10

C. The defeat and destiny of Satan:

1. Satan’s defeat: At the cross Christ conquered Satan and secured the believers victory (Jn. 12:31; 16:11; col. 1:13; 2:14-15; I Jn. 3:8). While it is true that the battle continues in this age (Eph. 6:10-12; I Pet. 5:8) the outcome of the battle does not hang in the balances. The believer, through Christ, can be aware of, resist, and stand against Satan’s schemes (II Cor. 2:11; Eph. 4:27; 6:10-18; Js. 4:7; I Pet. 5:9). We must always be prayerfully watchful (Col. 4:2; Eph. 6:18; Mk. 14:38; I Pet. 5:8). Believers are safe from his ultimate designs (Jn. 10:28-29; Rom. 8:38-39).

2. Satan’s destiny: Satan’s destiny under the judgment of God is outlined in Scripture:

a. He will be ultimately cast out of heaven: Rev. 12:7-12.

b. He will be bound during the thousand year reign of Christ: Rev. 20:1-3

c. He will be released at the end of the reign of Christ at which time he will lead a final rebellion against God: Rev. 20:7-9

d. He will be cast into the lake of fire forever: Rev. 20:10

Final note: Scripture is repeatedly clear about our need to be alert to the strategy of the evil one. Jesus prayed that His Father would keep His followers from the evil one (John 17). The words of an apostle who knew what it meant to be “sifted” by Satan, gives the following words of warning: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (I Peter 5:8-9).

Steve Cornell


About Wisdomforlife

Just another worker in God's field.
This entry was posted in Demons, Satan. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Satan: A Biblical study

  1. Micky says:

    About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

  2. Arnold Hartford says:

    Listening to Looking For The Devil In All The Wrong Places opened my eyes to truths I had never heard before. CDs from Back To The Bible. Thanks Steve Cornell.

  3. Janet Potz-Hartford says:

    Highly recommend set of CDs offered from website for Back To The Bible on Looking For The Devil In All The Wrong Places as prepared by Pastor Steve Cornell. The set of five CDs covers Satan Slanders Man and Satan Slanders God and Satan Slanders The God-Man and How To Defeat Satan. Biblical evidence and excellent explanations for a better understanding of our deadly enemy.
    Significant opener for sharing your faith with everyone. Thanks again Pastor Steve.

  4. Gayla says:

    Pastor Steve, this is very good, now what would be really wonderful is if you put a study on line here, As to our victory in Christ Jesus, ie, for every “attribute” of satans listed here, alist of The Lords instruction to counter him, persevere and walk victoriously in the face of satan’s workings. Thanks , I copied this off for our children, so I look forward to the second part!! God Bless you

  5. a delightful exercise in literary interpretation. and nothing more.

    exegesis of a mythological text

  6. Pingback: A Biblical Study Of Satan « Jesus Christology

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s