“Men don’t believe in a devil now, As their fathers used to do; They reject one creed because it’s old For another because it’s new. If the devil is voted not to be, Is the verdict, therefore, true? Someone is surely doing the work The devil was thought to do. They may say the devil has never lived, They may say the devil is gone; But simple people would like to know Who carries the business on?” (G. Campbell Morgan)
- Jesus taught his followers to pray (perhaps daily): “deliver us from the Evil one” (Matt. 6:13)
- Jesus prayed for His followers – “keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15).
- The apostle Paul warned believers to: “put on the whole armor of God” Why? So that they could, “…take their stand against the devils schemes” (Ephesians 6:11).
- In Ephesians 6, believers were instructed to: “…take up the shield of faith” Why? So that they could, “…extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
- What did the apostle Peter teach? “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith” ( I Peter 5:8,9, NLT).
Satan looks for unsuspecting victims. Be sober! Don’t drop your guard! Don’t under estimate the enemy! We must be informed about the evil one.
A. The origin and fall of Satan:
1. The origin of Satan – Satan originally belonged to the highest rank of angels. Satan was a guardian cherub, belonging to the group of cherubim angels. The cherubim are 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 going behind the ruler of Tyre to the source of the 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 one of beauty. He was of the supreme angelic host who had access to the inner circle of God’s presence. When we see Satan’s origin, it is hard to imagine how low he has fallen.
2. The fall of Satan – Satan was obviously created with a free will. Satan could choose to maintain his blessed position, or he could choose to rebel against God. The Scripture teaches that Satan chose to rebel against God.
a. Ezekiel 28:15-19: Several things may be noted in the above 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 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. The above passage is evidently a reference to Satan. Take careful note of the great claims in this passage. The sin behind the fall of Satan was that of pride. (see also: I Tim. 3:6 – The only explicit reference to the sin that occasioned Satan’s fall)
B. His titles and works
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 (Gen. 3 – slandering God to man; Job 1,2 – slandering man to God; Mt. 4 – slandering the God-Man). To gain an in-depth understanding of the nature of Satan’s work, these passages are the most important ones. In an overview of Satan’s work the following points should be considered.
a. He promotes disobedience: 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.
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 promotes disloyalty to God: 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: (fallen angels): 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 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: Jam. 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. His defeat and destiny
Christ conquered Satan at the cross and secured victory for believers (Jn. 12:31; 16:11; Colo. 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. Destiny: Satan’s destructive destiny under the judgment of God is outlined in Scripture:
a. He will be 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