Many people are confused and ignorant about Satan. In times of war, it was necessary to study and know the enemy in order to win. We are currently in a spiritual warfare and Satan is the enemy, so I thought I should a few things about who this creature is and what his end goal is. This topic is very vast and by the grace of God I will explain it as best as I can. I urge you to read this in a quiet time and really look at the scriptures to help understand this topic better. I may not be able to cover everything in this message but we will take them one at a time. I pray that this message is helpful in your walk with God.
After creation (Genesis 2:8), God’s intended purpose was for man to prosper and dominate over everything he has created on earth (Genesis 1:28). God created man (male and female) to reflect his own image (Genesis 1:27), and desired that we live in righteousness and obedience (Psalm 37:29). When we look around, we see sickness, plagues, death and every form of evil. What happened? How did we move away from what God purposed for us in the Garden of Eden? This question can only be answered when we look at the bible.
The first transgression against God
Adam and Eve were the first humans to be created and they had everything they needed (Genesis 2). We see in Genesis 2:8 that among the trees that God made were the tree of life and the tree that carries knowledge of good and evil. Adam was living in the perfect world that God intended because he was given control over everything God made, including the tree of life which I believe was supposed to make man live forever. God commanded Adam and Eve to eat of every tree except the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2: 15-16) or they would die. What comes next is the reason obedience is very important in our walk with God. The bible says in Genesis 3 that the crafty snake spoke to Eve to get her to compromise and disobey God. Who is the snake? The snake in the garden is speaking the words of the creature we have come to know today as Satan (Revelation 12:9). Satan used the snake to deceive Eve into believing that she must eat of the tree of good and evil to become more like God. Satan was not happy that God loved man so much that he put our needs above everything else (Hebrews 1:14).
What did this act of disobedience cost humanity? Adam and Eve ate of this tree and this brought with it consequences such as; losing our place in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23-24), sin, death (because we lost access to the tree of life [Genesis 3:22]), toiling to eat and painful child birth (Genesis 3: 16-19). This was the beginning of our suffering in humanity and Satan has vowed to torment humans and bring them down to his level. The word sin or first transgression began when Adam disobeyed God. Since we all descended from Adam, we also became sinners and thus the reason we now grow old and die (Romans 3:23).
Who is Satan
What was his initial identity? Satan was previously called “Lucifer”, which is the Latin term for morning star (Isaiah 14:12-15). In Ezekiel 28:11-19, we see that Lucifer was an archangel (derived from the Greek words “arch” and “Angelos” which means first messenger) created by God and was described as signet of perfection, full of wisdom, perfect beauty, anointed guardian cherub (basically he guarded the throne of God), placed in the holy of holies. Lucifer walked blameless or righteous before God until iniquity was found in him.
What iniquity was found in Lucifer? Ezekiel 28: 16-17 says that “Lucifer was filled with violence, his heart became proud because of his beauty and he had corrupted wisdom because of his own splendour”. Lucifer became so obsessed with his beauty and powers that he began to desire the glory that was meant for God. In Isaiah 14:13-15, we see that Lucifer is the father of self-recognition and it is made apparent in the five “I wills” he declares; “I will ascend to the heavens, I will raise my throne above the stars of God, I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon, I will ascend above the tops of the clouds, I will make myself like the most high”. Picture this angel standing on the throne room and watching the saints worship God, when they should also have recognized him. He begins to desire more authority, more power, refuses to serve God (Hebrews 1:14) and searches for self-exaltation.
This sin of pride and rebellion against God led to the banishment of Lucifer from heaven and from his place of authority. Lucifer was cast down to earth, along with a third of the angels that followed Lucifer’s will (Revelation 12:7-9; Isaiah 14:12; Luke 10:18; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6; Revelation 12:4), and his name changed to Satan (meaning adversary of God or breaker of faith) (Job 1). Following the second coming of Christ, Satan and the fallen angels will be confined to the abyss or pit for a 1000 years (Revelation 20:2-3; 2 Peter 2:4), after which he will be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity (Revelation 20:10).
Satan has also been referred to as devil (slanderer), dragon, ancient serpent, ruler of demons, god or ruler of this world, accuser, prince of the power of the air, roaring lion, tempter, Beelzebub, Belail, wicked or evil one, the enemy, liar, Father of lies, murderer, angel of light, angel of the abyss, Apollyon and Abaddon, deceiver (Matthew 4:1; Revelation 20:2; Matthew 12:24; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19; Matthew 4:1; Ephesians 2:2; 1 Peter 5:8; Matthew 4:3; Matthew 12:24; 2 Corinthians 6:15; Matthew 13:19; Matthew 13:39; John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 11:14; Revelation 9:11; Revelation 12:9).
Does Satan rule this world?
Since the banishment of Satan and the deceit of Adam and Eve, humans possess the knowledge of hierarchy, control and manipulation. Look around and you will find people who are arrogant to serve and want more self-recognition. When I think ruler, I think author. Who is the author? God is the creator and author of the entire universe, Satan included (Genesis 1; Hebrews 12:2). Please note that Satan is not divine nor is he equal to God, he is a created being and he is just an author of lies. The bible says in Romans 13:1 “Let everyone be subject to the governing human authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God”. Satan will never be the ultimate authority over the world because any form of authority he had was taken from him when he was banished from heaven.
If this is so, why is Satan called the god of this world? Jesus refers to Satan as the ruler of this world in John 12:31. 1 John 5:19 says “we know that we are children of God and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one”. When you see “the world” or “this world” in biblical texts, it is talking about the societal systems generated by humans through the help of Satan to oppose God. So in essence Satan is leading the rebellion against God, and he does this by twisting or perverting what God has made into sinful habits. This is why he is called the tempter and deceiver. An example of Satan’s rule over this world is the use of media (tells us it is ok to masturbate, money makes the world go round, pornography is ok as long as it helps couples, abortion is ok because a woman has a right to her body, homosexuality is ok because “God accepts us as we are”, awarding teenage pregnancies by giving grants etc.).
Since Satan is the deceiver, does he have any boundaries when it comes to manipulating people? I will start by saying that though Satan is spirit, he does not have control over us except we give it to him. James 1: 13-15 says “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death”. God does not bring temptation (Isaiah 54:15-17), rather he allows it to come to us for the purpose of testing our faith and trust in him (John 15:18-20). It is in these circumstances that Satan has to ask God for permission to tempt his children, as seen in the case of Job (Job 1:6-12).
Satan is desperate to make sure that humans do not find rest in God. There is war in the spirit realm and the battle is for our souls. Please I urge you not to shrug this off as a religious thing. We are all trapped with Satan and the angels that fell with him. These angels that fell with him are who we refer to as demons. Demons were also angels (invisible and supernatural spirits) like Satan and they were given free will just as humans. Of their own free will, they chose to side with Satan and rebel against God. Their nature has become that of evil and they go about tempting and tormenting people under the instructions of Satan.
Satan’s true mission is to use demons to corrupt humans, by this means separating us from God forever and taking us to hell. The bible shows us in Revelation 12: 13-17 that Satan was angry he was hurled down to earth and he tried for years to ensure that the coming of Christ would not happen. He lost of course, and he vowed to wage war against those who obey God and confess Jesus as Lord and savior.
Satan continues to draw people away from the truth by convincing them to reject Jesus Christ (1 John 4:1-6; 1 John 5:18-21). Rejecting Christ means immediate condemnation and death of the soul (John 3:18). Demonic warfare tactics used against us include; torments, temptations, accusations, deceit, manipulation of thought patterns, domination, captivating people into committing sin and inflicting various diseases (Luke 9:42). Peter warns us that Satan is moving around like a roaring Lion seeking whom to devour (1 Peter 5:8). I will expand on the topic of demons in another message.
Can Satan be defeated?
Since we now possess the knowledge of good and evil, Satan has used this to his advantage to cause chaos, evil, wars, conflicts, sexual immorality, suffering and pain. Our only hope of escaping this turmoil is salvation through Jesus Christ, and this is why our heavenly Father sent him (Isaiah 6:8; John 3:16; Ephesians 2:5-10). Jesus Christ is our weapon against Satan and I will reveal more about Christ in a different message. Jesus came in flesh and blood so “that through death he might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). Jesus Christ died on the cross to give us grace, escape from sin and death, and triumph over Satan (1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Colossians 2:13-15). Jesus also said in Matthew 28:18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me”, and he has taken the keys to death (consumes the human body) and Hades or Hell (consumes the soul) (Revelation 1:17-18).
The bible tells us that through Jesus, we have been given authority over the power of the enemy (Luke 10: 18-20). Yet, we are not to take Satan lightly but rather let us cling to Jesus Christ. Can Satan possess a Christian? Satan fears God, so he cannot possess a true Christian (one who acknowledges their sins, truly repents of those sins, professes Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour, humble, teachable, lives only according to God’s standards and totally depends on God). Notice I said true Christian because those who truly believe in Jesus Christ have the Holy Spirit of God permanently in them (1 John 4:4; 2 Corinthians 6:15; Ephesians 1:13-14; James 2:19). Revelation 12:11 says “We overcame the devil by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and by the words of our testimonies (declaration of Jesus as Lord)”.
Fear not for our Lord Jesus triumphed over Satan. Jesus is coming back again and Satan will forever be put in his final place (Revelation 20:10). I hope this message was helpful. If you get confused at any point, please feel free to drop any questions on the comment section. Be blessed!!!