Satan is an evil and powerful spiritual being. The word Satan comes from the Hebrew satan which means ‘adversary’. Satan is “the enemy” (Luke 10:19) of God and of all the sons of God (1 Peter 5:8). He has a kingdom (Matthew 12:26); all those who are under his power are part of his kingdom, and are called “the children of the wicked one” (Matthew 13:38) and “the children of the kingdom” (Matthew 8:12). The kingdom of Satan is not divided against itself, that’s why Satan cannot cast out Satan (Matthew 12:25-27).
As far as his origin is concerned, the Scriptures teach us that originally he was a holy heavenly being, but because of pride he became corrupt and was expelled from the paradise of God. Here is what the prophet Isaiah and the prophet Ezekiel say about his fall: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer [literally ‘Day Star’], son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 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. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:12-15); “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 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. 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. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more” (Ezekiel 28:12-19). I would like to point out that even though the above mentioned words of Isaiah refer to the king of Babylon and the words of Ezekiel to the king of Tyrus, there are good reasons to suppose that they can be applied to the origin of Satan.
The character and works of Satan
Satan is very wicked and thus his works are wicked. Let’s examine his character and his evil works in the light of the Holy Scriptures.
Satan is “that old serpent”, he who deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9), because he deceives people all over the world into believing all kinds of lies. “He is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44 – NIV), there is no truth in him. The first person whom Satan deceived by his craftiness was Eve (2 Corinthians 11:3), the wife of Adam. For Satan, through the serpent, induced Eve to doubt God’s word (God had said to Adam: “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” – Genesis 2:16-17) and to accept his lie, according to which by eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil Eve and Adam would not die. Eve believed Satan, and she took the fruit and ate it and gave it to his husband who ate it as well. However, on that very day both Eve and Adam died spiritually. It happened just what God had said to Adam would happen if they would eat that particular fruit (Genesis 2:15-16; 3:1-7). Of course, that fruit prohibited by God was a good fruit in itself, yet it had been prohibited by God. Therefore, while the words of Satan proved to be false, the words of God proved to be true. To Him be the glory for ever. Amen. Satan has continued his diabolical work through man’s history, and is actively prosecuting it to this day. He deceives people into believing that God does not exist, that Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh, that He is not the Saviour of the world, that He did not die for our sins and did not rise again for our justification, that Jesus of Nazareth is not the Christ, that man is God, that all things are God, that sin is a beautiful thing, that the living can consult the dead and speak with them, that the occult powers are good powers, that there will be no day of judgement, that salvation is by works, that after death all is finished, that after death the soul of a man enters the body of another human being or the body of an animal (reincarnation), that the devil does not exist (or that he is only the personification of the evil in the world), that there is no hell, that you can find happiness in the worldly amusements and in the fleshly pleasures, etc. etc. These doctrines are just some of his lies, and we know that those who believe the lies of Satan are more numerous than those who believe the truth which is in Christ Jesus.
Why does Satan want people to believe lies? Because he hates people and wants them to go to perdition. God desires men to be saved from the everlasting fire, while Satan wants them to go into the everlasting fire. This is confirmed by what Jesus said in the parable of the sower concerning those who are by the way side: “Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved” (Luke 8:12). Think of this! Satan takes away the Word of God from the heart of some people because he wants to keep them from believing and being saved.
Obviously, Satan desires to deceive even the children of God. This he tries to do using false ministers of the Gospel, who transform themselves into ministers of Christ and are called by Paul ‘ministers of Satan’ (2 Corinthians 11:15). They act like their master, who “transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14 – NKJV). Their light seems to be true, but it is a false light. Their doctrines appear sound to many, but they are pernicious. Therefore we must beware of Satan’s ministers.
Sometimes Satan confirms his lies through signs and wonders, therefore, in these cases, the signs and wonders are performed through occult powers. There are many false prophets who work these signs and wonders, both in the Eastern countries and the Western countries. Didn’t Jesus say: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24)? They are dressed in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves ready to devour the children of God. Furthermore, remember that both the man of sin (or the antichrist) and the false prophet, who will appear before the coming of Christ, will perform great signs and wonders, as it is written: “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10); “And he [the false prophet] doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast [the antichrist]; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live” (Revelation 13:13-14).
He who blinds the minds
We have seen that Satan deceives people into believing all kinds of lies, and he takes away the saving Word of God out of the hearts of many of those where it has been sown, in order to keep them from believing and being saved, so that after death they might go to hell and in that day they might be thrown into the everlasting fire. However, he does another thing to keep people from believing and being saved: he blinds their minds. Here is what Paul says to the Corinthians: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). This is why many people all over the world don’t accept the Gospel of the grace of God, because their minds have been darkened by the wicked one. On the other hand, however, the Lord opens the minds of some of those where the Word has been sown, so that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ might shine on them. To Him be the glory now and forevermore. Amen.
Satan is the tempter (Matthew 4:3). He tempted Jesus, the Son of God, to sin, but he did not manage to make him sin (Matthew 4:11). He tempts us also to break the commandments of God; however, if we submit ourselves to God and resist him, he will flee from us (James 4:7). We can resist efficaciously the devil only by putting on the whole armour of God, about which the apostle Paul speaks to the Ephesians (Ephesians 6:10-17).
The devil works what he wishes in those people who don’t submit themselves to God and don’t resist him, inducing them to commit all kinds of sins. That’s why he is called “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). Therefore, the reason why men are slaves of all kinds of vices and sins is that there is a wicked spirit called Satan, and men are under his power; he controls them, he rules over them, so they are given to all kinds of sins. John says that “he that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning” (1 John 3:8), and also that “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). That is true indeed!
Slanderer or accuser
Satan is the Devil, that is, the accuser of the children of God, for he accuses them before God day and night (Revelation 12:9). The word ‘devil’ derives from the Greek diabolos which means ‘slanderer’ or ‘accuser’. The Scripture confirms clearly that Satan is a slanderer; here is what the prophet Zechariah saw and heard in a vision: “And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him [the NIV reads ‘to accuse him’]. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by” (Zechariah 3:1-5).
We who are the children of God, however, have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1), who defends us against the accusations of the devil confessing before God the Father that we are clothed with the righteousness of God, which is through faith in Christ, and His blood cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). That’s why we are not afraid of his accusations.
Satan is a murderer (John 8:44). He is able to kill people and this is what he does personally or through his evil servants (persons who practice occult arts or persons not involved in occultism whom he induces to kill other persons) all over the world. Some brothers and sisters who were wizards and witches before their conversion to Christ, have told us that sometimes they killed people through their evil powers, and that they tried to kill even some Christians but they could not kill them because they were protected by God.
It was Satan who induced Cain to kill his brother Abel, for the apostle John says: “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother” (1 John 3:11-12 – NKJV). While Jesus was on earth He rebuked the Jews who wanted to kill Him; He told them that their father was the devil and thus they wanted to do the deeds of their father, who was a murderer from the beginning (John 8:41,44).
Satan is our adversary and as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Therefore, don’t give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27), otherwise he will destroy you. Remember that he hates you, he wants to hurt you, therefore resist him, steadfast in the faith.
Other works of Satan
Let us see some other works of Satan.
Satan moves people to rebel against God: he stood up against Israel and moved king David to number Israel (1 Chronicles 21:1), and since David, by numbering Israel, sinned against God, God punished Israel.
Satan afflicts people with sickness: he struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head (Job 1:1-22; 2:1-7), and he kept bound for eighteen long years that woman who had a spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:11).
Satan puts wicked purposes into the hearts of men and may personally enter into them: he put it into the heart of Judas, who was numbered among the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, to betray Jesus (John 13:2), and he entered Judas Iscariot, who went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Jesus to them (Luke 22:3-4). And he filled the heart of Ananias to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for himself, and for that sin Ananias was put to death by God (Acts 5:1-10).
Satan hinders Christ’s servants in the carrying out of their desires: he hindered Paul and his fellow-workers from going to visit the saints of Thessalonica (1 Thessalonians 2:18).
Satan casts Christ’s servants into prison: Jesus said to the angel of the Church of Smyrna: “The devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days” (Revelation 2:10 – NKJV).
Satan sows his children among the children of God: Jesus, in explaining the parable of the tares of the field to His disciples, said: “The tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil ….” (Matthew 13:38-39 – NKJV).
Satan lays snares for believers: in the days of the apostles, Satan took Hymenaeus and Philetus captive to do his will, for they strayed concerning the truth saying that the resurrection was already past (2 Timothy 2:17-18, 24-26). So, let us pray God that He might deliver us from the evil one, as Jesus commanded us to do (Matthew 6:13).
Satan wants to be worshiped
The Scripture teaches us that only God is worthy to be worshiped. The devil knows this; however, since he is wicked and presumptuous, he also wants to be worshiped by human beings. The fact that he tempted Jesus to worship him (Matthew 4:8-10) shows very clearly that Satan desires to be worshiped. And he has deceived many people all over the world into worshiping him, who are called Satanists. During their services dedicated to the devil they perform many diabolical acts – sometimes they even offer human sacrifices to their master – and Satan himself appears to them and speak to them.
The Scripture teaches that even though Satan is free to act all over the world, and he commits and causes people to commit a great many evil works, he has some limitations. First of all, he is not omnipotent, therefore he can’t do all things, his power is limited because he is a created being. Second, he is not omniscient, therefore his knowledge also is limited; third, he is not omnipresent, therefore he can’t be everywhere at the same time. Last but not least, he does only those things which God allows him to do. The story of Job shows this very clearly, for he could not touch Job without God’s permission. Bear always in mind these things.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, destroyed Satan
The Scripture states that Satan is judged (John 16:11), and that he was destroyed by Jesus Christ, as it is written: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15). Therefore, Jesus triumphed over Satan through His death, that is to say, through His precious blood He shed for our sins. And thus Jesus Christ is able to deliver those who are under the power of Satan. In other words, He can turn the earthly subjects of Satan’s kingdom “from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:18). We are of those whom the Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed from the hand of Satan, and we rejoice at His great victory over Satan and all his wicked hosts. Blessed be the name of Jesus Christ now and forevermore. Amen.
The destiny of Satan
During the period of time which will precede the coming of the Lord, and during which God will strike the wicked people with many plagues, Michael the archangel and his angels will fight against Satan and his angels and Satan and his angels will fight back, but Satan and his angels will not prevail and they will be cast out of heaven and hurled to the earth, as it is written: “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7-9).
Afterwards, when Jesus Christ returns from heaven, Satan will be bound for a thousand years and cast into the bottomless pit, so that he will not be able to deceive the nations any more till the thousand years are finished, and after that period of time he will be released for a little while, he will deceive the nations who are on the earth, but he will be cast into the everlasting fire, which was “prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41). Here is what the Scripture says: “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:1-10). As you can see, one day Satan will be punished for all his wicked works; God will not annihilate Satan – as some believe -, but He will condemn him to an everlasting torment into the everlasting fire.
Paul, concerning the punishment which God will inflict on Satan, says to the Romans: “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20).