by Shawn Brasseaux
What comes to your mind when hear the name “Satan” or “the Devil?” A horned creature that is dressed in red and holds a pitchfork? An evil force in our universe? A cruel and wicked spirit? These are some of the thoughts that fill the average person’s head, but are these ideas Biblical truth or mere speculation and religious superstition?
From where did Satan come? The Bible says that God created the devil. But, how is this possible, seeing as to God cannot create anything evil? This is a most critical question, and we find the answer in two Bible passages—Ezekiel 28:13-18 and Isaiah 14:12-15. According to the prophet Isaiah, Satan’s original name was “Lucifer” (meaning, “light bearer”)—the King James Bible reads “Lucifer,” whereas most modern Bibles omit it.
Lucifer was “the anointed cherub” (Ezekiel 28:14), a special angelic spirit being that God “created” (Ezekiel 28:13,15). In fact, the prophet Ezekiel describes Lucifer as an intelligent and beautiful creature—“full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). His garments were fashioned with precious stones and minerals: sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, emerald, carbuncle, and gold (Ezekiel 28:13). In his original position, Lucifer directed praise and worship to God; his body had built-in pipes and other musical instruments, enabling him to generate music to the glory of God (Ezekiel 28:13). “Till….”
Ezekiel 28:15 says to Lucifer: “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” What was this “iniquity” (evil) in Lucifer? Isaiah 14:13 KJV enlightens us: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Read what God tells Lucifer in Ezekiel chapter 28 (KJV):
“16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.”
It is most obvious that Lucifer’s problem was pride (see 1 Timothy 3:6). He was so beautiful and intelligent that he actually thought he could usurp God’s authority and “be like the most High.” God did not create the devil as an evil creature (Lucifer was “perfect in [his] ways;” Ezekiel 28:15). Satan had a free will, but rather than choosing to serve God, Satan chose to be evil!
Lucifer enticed a portion of the angelic host to rebel against God (Ezekiel 28:18); consequently, Lucifer and the other rebellious angels lost their position in heaven (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6). The Lord Jesus said of Satan’s fall: “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Now, according to Revelation 12:7, Satan can still access heaven (this verse in Revelation speaks of him being cast out of heaven for the last time, which will be at the midpoint of the future seven-year Tribulation). Until Satan is cast down for the final time, Paul writes, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Notice “spiritual wickedness in high places”—this speaks of evil creatures (Satan’s angels) in heaven! There is a spiritual battle today of good versus evil and God versus Satan.
Where is the devil today? According to John 12:31 and John 14:30, Satan is “the prince of this world,” and the Apostle Paul calls him “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). The Bible says in Matthew 4:8-9 and Luke 4:5-6 that Satan possesses and controls this world’s governments (no wonder they are so corrupt!).
Satan is “out and about” on earth, roaming near and far, wreaking havoc and misery, especially amongst the members of the Church the Body of Christ. Satan (means “slanderer/accuser”) seeks to corrupt God’s Word. By doing so, Satan hides the Gospel of Grace from the lost, keeping them unsaved and in spiritual blindness (2 Corinthians 4:3,4). The devil also hindered the Apostle Paul’s ministry with a legal restraining order (Acts 17:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:18). Satan uses grudges and schisms to divide Christians (2 Corinthians 2:11). The devil “tempts” the believers to go contrary to God’s Word rightly divided, so that they forget their identity in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 3:5).
Satan is one evil creature, is he not? However, let me remind you of that verse we saw moments earlier: the devil is “full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28:12). Satan is a very skillful and intelligent creature. He is extremely cunning (“subtil,” Genesis 3:1), and he has been operating a brilliant plan for the past 6,000 years. While Satan’s agenda seeks to counteract God’s plan, Satan takes the subtle approach: Satan has devised a plan that closely resembles God’s plan, but the satanic policy of evil actually seeks to prevent God’s plan from being accomplished!
Satan is active within witchcraft and the occult, but Satan accomplishes most of his work in his special “hiding place.” Where is that? In religion! Right where most people would think not to look!! After all, notice what the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians chapter 11 KJV:
“13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
Satan, although diabolical in nature, appears as “an angel of light.” The devil has studied God’s Word to the point where he knows how to appear to be doing God’s work while actually doing the exact opposite! Satan, of all creatures, appears to be “an angel of light!” Likewise, he has his “ministers of righteousness” scattered throughout the world’s religions, even more so in Christendom! Satan has created false Bible versions that look just like God’s Word, too.
For example, much of Christendom still adheres to Old Testament Mosaic Law keeping (Judaism). Granted, Judaism is a God-given religion—the only God-given religion for that matter—but God has currently suspended the Mosaic Law. Paul writes that there is no Mosaic Law in effect today in the Dispensation of Grace (Romans 6:14-15; Colossians 2:14), yet Satan has deceived many church members to where they follow God’s directions that God gave to someone else.
Rather than telling you not to follow the Bible, Satan will oftentimes tell you to follow the Bible, but not to “rightly divide” the Bible. Being “scriptural” is not the only critical issue; what matters is are we being “dispensational?” “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV). Do the verses in question apply to us as Gentiles in the Dispensation of Grace, or do they address Israel in the Dispensation of Law? Every verse in the Bible has a context, so when studying a Bible verse/passage, we should ask three important questions—(1) Who is the author? (2) Who is the audience? (3) What is the author saying to the audience? This is God’s method for Bible study.
What about those “bright lights” that people claim to see when they have “near-death experiences?” What should we make of these claims of modern-day “angelic appearances?” The “miracle healings?” Satan, the angel of light, is at it again, deceiving the masses with innocent-looking events. God did perform miracle healings, angels did appear to people, but God is not doing that sort of thing today. See how crafty Satan is? Let us look at another example of how the satanic policy of evil operates.
Shortly after Satan’s fall, we see him focus on mankind, with Adam and Eve created just less than one week earlier. We want to recall the events of Genesis chapter 3. By nature, Satan is a sly serpent, but he appears very attractive to Eve. Satan uses warped/distorted excerpts from God’s Word to weasel his way into Eve’s mind. What Satan wants to do is use God’s Word to his advantage, thereby causing Eve to doubt God’s Word. She, not grounded in sound doctrine, falls into his trap by eating the forbidden fruit. Once Adam hearkened unto his wife’s voice, he partook of the forbidden fruit, and mankind fell into sin. Satan successfully pulled it off—he had now enticed man to rebel against God too… and it worked because he (mis)quoted God’s Word. He appeared to be “an angel of light!”
That first sin in the Garden of Eden was just the beginning. We are still under the curse of sin today. This is exactly why the Lord Jesus Christ left heaven above so that He could die for our sins and give us eternal life by offering Himself as the sinless sacrifice needed to save us! Furthermore, after the Lord shed His precious blood for us, He was buried, and rose again the third day (1 Corinthian 15:1-4)!! The devil had “the power of death,” but Christ’s finished work on the cross of Calvary destroyed Satan’s power (Hebrews 2:14).
Satan’s ultimate end is Isaiah 14:15 KJV: “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Satan, along with all his angels and the people who chose to follow him, will be consigned to a literal, everlasting lake of fire (cf. Matthew 25:41). Satan will one day be punished for all the evil his policy promoted.
If you are a member of the Church the Body of Christ, be aware of your enemy Satan. He seeks to ruin your Christian life so that it becomes empty and miserable. The only way to protect yourself is to study and believe the King James Bible “rightly divided.” Ephesians 6:11-18 says we are in a spiritual battle, and you need to protect yourself with sound Pauline edification. If you have not trusted in Christ today for your salvation, you are bound in the chains of Satan, and only God can free you from that spiritual prison. I hope you will accept God’s offer of salvation today by trusting Christ Jesus alone as your personal Saviour.
Remember, “your adversary the devil [is] as a roaring lion [that] walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8 KJV). The devil is a vicious lion by nature, but he masquerades as “an angel of light!”