Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
April 22, 1997
Last Updated :
May 7, 2018
Did God Make Satan?, Evil By His Own Choice, King Of Tyrus, Covering Cherub, Jesus Tempted In Wilderness, Satan's Power Over World Kingdoms, False God Of This World, Worldliness, Satan's Three Deadly Weapons, Lucifer The Lightbearer, Proud Boaster, False Angel Of Light, Murderer, Father Of Lies, The Roaring Lion, Put On Whole Armour Of God, Spiritual Warfare, Submit To God, Satan The Adversary Of God, Lucifer's Fall, Satan One Of The Sons Of God, Story Of Job, Chronology Of Genesis And Job, God Creates Evil, Satan's Purpose In God's Redemptive Plan, Satan Works For God And Accomplishes His Purposes, War In Heaven, Michael The Archangel Versus The Dragon, Satan Is Cast Out Of Heaven, Accuser Of The Saints, Satan's Delayed Punishment, Difficulty Of Interpreting The Book Of Revelation, Woe To The Earth: Satan's Wrath On The Children Of Disobedience, Bottomless Pit, Millennial Rule Of Christ, Battle Of Gog And Magog, Satan Cast In Lake Of Fire, Great White Throne Judgment, New Earth And New Heavens, The New Jerusalem Descends From Heaven, Our Wonderful Future, A Serious Warning Regarding Pride And Rebellion, Reading List
This is an updated version of an article I originally wrote over twenty-one years ago in April of 1997. It was inspired by a question which is often asked by many people, and that is this: "If God is so perfect and good, why did He create such an evil creature as the Devil?"
I think a clarification is in order here. In one sense, God did not create the Devil, who is also known as Satan. Now, before you jump to erroneous conclusions regarding what I mean by that statement, allow me to explain. It is indeed true that God created the spiritual being who we refer to as Satan, or the Devil. However, in his original state, he was not evil. He was not Satan; which in the original Hebrew means "adversary". He became Satan. He became God's chief adversary. He became the one who withstands or opposes God. This he did by his own choice, due to his own pride and vanity; as we will see in just a moment.
Like all of us, Satan possessed the capacity for becoming evil. However, he was not evil on the day of his creation. In fact, the Bible says that Satan was a perfect creation of God. As I explain in the article "Satan: King of Tyrus, King of Empires", the Bible offers evidence which suggests that at one time, Satan was a very beautiful, and powerful, being in the Heavenly Courts. He was the "covering cherub". In the Book of Ezekiel, we find the following intriguing verses:
"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."
Ezekiel 28:12-17, KJV
While in this, and previous chapters, the Prophet at first appears to be describing the king of Tyrus, as we read the previous verses, they take a strange twist; and it becomes clear that Ezekiel is also referring to the spiritual being who controlled the king. That is, Satan himself. Let us not forget that Satan also offered Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world during the Lord's forty days of fasting in the wilderness, if He -- meaning Jesus -- would only bow down and worship that evil being; as we see here:
"And the devil, taking him up [Jesus] into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine."
Luke 4:5-7, KJV
As I have pointed out before, the Apostle Paul also refers to Satan as the god of this world. In his second Epistle to the Corinthians, he writes the following to the brethren:
"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 4:4, KJV
It is evident then, that Satan was indeed given the power to control world leaders and their nations. Furthermore, he was also given the ability to offer men riches, fame, power and glory; because for an appointed time, God in fact gave him the power to do so. Is it any wonder then that the Apostle John saw fit to warn us of such things? Please notice that pride is listed as one of Satan's three deadly weapons in the verses that follow:
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:15-16, KJV
In the previous verses, Ezekiel wrote concerning Satan's sin "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness". So as I noted earlier, not only was Satan very beautiful to look upon, but he was also very bright. That brings us to our next point. While there is some debate regarding this issue, in our modern day, Satan, or the Devil, is also referred to as Lucifer. It is interesting to note that the name Lucifer means light-bearer, shining one or morning star. It is also derived from another Hebrew word which means to shine, or to boast. There is no doubt that Satan most certainly made his boast against God. The Apostle Paul warns his readers to be very careful that they don't become deceived by this fallen "Lightbearer", or "Angel of Light", when he writes the following in the aforementioned Epistle:
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."
2 Corinthians 11:14, KJV
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
2 Corinthians 2:11, KJV
Jesus Himself exposed Satan's true nature as a murderer, and the Father of Lies, when He reprimanded the Scribes and the Pharisees in the eighth chapter of the Gospel of John. Jesus told them in part:
". . . He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
John 8:44, KJV
That is why Peter, James and Paul all warn the Disciples of the First Century to watch out for Satan's lies and tricks, and admonish them to put on the whole armour of God, and to resist Satan's attacks, by submitting themselves to God, as we see by these verses:
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
1 Peter 5:8, KJV
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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 6:10-12, KJV
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
James 4:7, KJV
As I noted earlier, as a result of his own foolish pride and vanity, Lucifer, the boastful "Lightbearer", fell from Grace and began working to defeat God's purposes. He became Satan. That is, the adversary of God. Satan was not happy with his special status in Heaven as the "Covering Cherub". He wanted more; and so he lost it all.
The Prophet Isaiah also gives us an account of Satan's fall in the following verses. Just like the Prophet Ezekiel who wrote about the king of Tyrus, at first, Isaiah appears to be describing the fall of the king of Babylon. However, then his words take a certain twist, and it seems that he is also describing the downfall of Lucifer -- the Lightbearer -- who is the spiritual force who controlled the king of Babylon from behind the scenes. Consider the following verses:
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, 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, KJV
According to some of the apocryphal, apocalyptic writings I have read in the past, Satan's rebellion against God was due to the fact that he refused to admire Adam after God had created Adam in His own image. However, while the words of Ezekiel and Isaiah do make clear that Lucifer's problem was his pride and vanity, which resulted from his own beauty -- which theoretically would give him cause to be jealous of Adam -- there is no clear evidence in the words of these two Prophets to support the idea of Satan's fall being directly related to Adam. So I personally view this theory with some skepticism. It is better to err on the side of caution, and to only accept what is plainly stated in the accepted canon of the Scriptures.
One thing is for certain. As we have already seen, in the beginning, Satan was in fact counted amongst the spiritual sons of God. As the "Covering Cherub" and the "Lightbearer", he obviously held a very high post in the Heavenly Courts. The idea that Satan was counted amongst the sons of God is also verified for us by the story of Job. For example, in the very first two chapters of the Book of Job we find the following verses:
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them."
Job 1:6, KJV
"Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD."
Job 2:1, KJV
As can be seen by the previous verses, on certain occasions, the sons of God had to come to present themselves before the Lord. I imagine that this was similar to the knights of the days of old, who had to make homage to their king. So Satan was counted among these sons of God. However, by this time, he had apparently already become corrupt to some degree, because he challenged God concerning the integrity of His servant Job. While it is my personal opinion, it seems to me that an Angelic Being whose heart was right with God would not have tested the Almighty in this fashion.
Before continuing our discussion, allow me to interject one point. Please note that not all portions of the King James Bible are necessarily printed in a chronological sequence. There is the view that the Book of Job may possibly be the oldest Book in the Bible. This would place it before the Pentateuch. That is, the five Books of the Law -- or Torah -- which have been attributed to Moses.
As I explain in the article, "Job and the Land of Uz : A Biblical Mystery?", after conducting an in-depth Bible study, I arrived at the conclusion that the events described for us in the story of Job, may have occurred around the same time as the story of Esau, or maybe shortly thereafter. This, of course, would have been hundreds of years before the time of Moses. But, while the events in Job may have occurred before the time of Moses, this does not necessarily mean that the Book of Job was written before the Books of Moses. There is a considerable amount of debate regarding when each Book of the Bible was actually written. It is true that some traditions, laws and stories were passed on from one generation to the next, by Oral Tradition for years, before they were ever written down on parchment or some other material.
Regardless of which is the correct chronological order of the Books of Genesis and Job, one fact which we do know with certainty, is that by the time Adam and Eve were created -- which historically-speaking, obviously came before the story of Job -- Satan had already become corrupt in his ways, and he was actively fighting against God. Of course, due to His all-knowing nature, God obviously knew that Lucifer would eventually yield to his pride and vanity, and become Satan, the adversary of God, or the Devil.
So again, God created someone who became evil by their own free will and personal choice. However, because God knew that this was going to happen, and apparently even allowed it to happen, we can rightly say that He in fact created evil. This would be in perfect agreement with the Scriptures. If you doubt my words, then please consider this rather challenging verse:
"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."
Isaiah 45:7, KJV
In spite of the fact that Satan is evil, and opposes God, we all need to understand that he has his place and purpose in God's overall Redemptive Plan for humankind. As an example, if Satan had not inspired the Scribes and the Pharisees, as well as Judas, to do what they did, then perhaps Jesus would never have died on the Cross for the sins of the world; in which case we would all be lost and unsaved. So, as ironic as it may seem, while Satan opposes God, at the same time, he works for Him as well, to accomplish His Divine Purposes.
At this point in our discussion, we have now examined both Satan's origin, as well as his purpose upon the Earth. But what about his future? The Bible plainly informs us that the day eventually arrives when Satan fulfills his purpose. God is just fed up with his antics, and so the Great Judge gives that foul, serpentine deceiver his just reward. Why is God's judgment against the Devil just? Because, as I noted earlier, Satan chose to do evil by his own free will and choice. In the Book of Revelation, we are informed that a great war breaks out in Heaven. This battle is fought between Michael the Archangel and the Heavenly Host, and the Dragon -- that is, Satan -- and his band of rebellious Angels, as we see by the following group of verses:
"And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born . . . 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 12:3-4, 7-9, KJV
As you can see by the previous set of verses, this great war results in the Devil's defeat. The outcome is that Satan and his rebellious band of Angels are permanently thrown out of Heaven, and cast down to the Earth. While the other Angels who remain true to the Lord rejoice at this event, Satan -- the Dragon -- is very angry, and takes out his frustration on the citizens of the Earth, because he knows that his time is short, as we see by the following verses:
"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."
Revelation 12:10-12, KJV
Please notice how Satan is referred to as "the accuser of our brethren". Isn't this exactly what Satan did with Job? Didn't he try to find fault with Job? Didn't Satan try to convince God that the only reason why Job was so loyal to Him, was because He had blessed Job with so much? So, while the Devil may have already been in rebellion against God as far back as the Book of Genesis, as we learn from the Book of Job, he was still allowed the freedom to enter the Halls of Heaven, in order to make his case against the Saints and to accuse them falsely before the Lord. That is, until this great war in Heaven occurs. When that happens, he is out on his butt, and he is not getting back in again, ever.
In a sense, we might say that until this great battle is fought, similar to a condemned person on Death Row, Satan's punishment is pending. The Great Judge has in fact already found him guilty since Genesis, but his full punishment is yet to be carried out. However, as you will see in a moment, Satan's ouster from the Halls of Heaven following this war is only a stop-gap measure. His full punishment doesn't come until years later.
As many of you will already know, how to properly interpret the Book of Revelation, or the Apocalypse, has been a topic of eschatological debate for many years, and will probably continue to be so for years to come. As I have often said, time is the best revealer of truth. It melts away all of the false interpretations, and leaves only the truth standing in the end. What we do know for certain from reading the Book of Revelation, is that when Satan is cast out of Heaven, it means serious trouble for the Lord's children on Earth. The Devil -- who is the king of havoc, death and destruction -- takes complete control for a short time, and persecutes God's children, and causes a lot of suffering and tribulation. He truly becomes the god of this world, exactly as the Apostle Paul referred to him. Not only that, but as we learn from the Book of Job, Leviathan -- who I believe may symbolize Satan -- is the king of the children of pride. In my view, these are those proud, stubborn people who have openly rebelled against God, beginning with the unbelieving Jews themselves:
"He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride."
Job 41:34, KJV
The Apostle Paul also refers to these proud, unbelieving children of the world as the "children of disobedience", as we see by the following group of verses. Just as Satan has great wrath when he is cast down to the Earth, please notice how Paul very specifically states that these "children of disobedience" become the object of God's wrath. This in fact confirms what I have stated in other articles regarding God using the Devil as the executioner of His Will:
"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:"
Ephesians 2:2, KJV
"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."
Ephesians 5:6, KJV
"For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:"
Colossians 3:6, KJV
Following Satan's rampage on the Earth for a few short years, during which time he sets himself up as a god, the Apocalypse informs us that following his defeat after Christ's Return, he is cast into the "Bottomless Pit", as we can determine by the following set of verses:
"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."
Revelation 20:1-3, KJV
But as the previous verses state, even this is not the full end of Satan just yet. Following the 1000-year Millennial Rule of Jesus Christ and the Saints, the Bible tells us that Satan is released again, for a very short time, in order to test people one more time. God purposely does this in order to reveal how many incorrigibles still remain, after having witnessed firsthand, Jesus' rule on the Earth. Surprising as it may seem, there are still those people who in their pride, stubbornness and rebellion, choose to follow Satan. They in fact lay siege against the Camp of the Saints in a short war which is commonly known as the Battle of Gog and Magog. But, God destroys them all in a flash by sending fire from Heaven. We are told that it is then that Satan is cast into the Lake of Fire burning with fire and brimstone, where he joins the Beast and the False Prophet, as we see by these verses:
"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 20:7-10, KJV
Thus we see Satan's final fate. While I have now addressed Satan's origin, purpose and future, there is one important aspect of this story which I have purposely left out; the reason being that I address it more fully in other articles which are listed at the end of this article. The question is this: Exactly when do these events transpire? To be more specific, when is Satan cast out of Heaven? Is it a future event, or is it possible that it already occurred sometime in the past? While some of you may think you know the answer to this intriguing question, please consider what Jesus said in the Gospel of Luke almost two thousand years ago:
". . . I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."
Luke 10:18, KJV
So if your curiosity has been piqued -- I hope so -- please consider reading the additional articles below, beginning with "When Was Satan Cast Out of Heaven?". Continuing our story, following Satan being cast into the Lake of Fire, Revelation chapter twenty then describes for us the Final Judgement, where everyone who has not yet been resurrected, will be resurrected, and judged, according to their works, before the Great White Throne of God Almighty, as we see by the following group of verses:
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Revelation 20:11-15, KJV
Revelation chapters twenty-one and twenty-two then tell us of the creation of a New Earth, with New Heavens; and then culminates with a wonderful description of God's Heavenly City, New Jerusalem, which descends from Heaven. The Book of Revelation informs us that God chooses to dwell with His people forever more from within this magnificent city, as we see by these opening verses from chapter twenty-one:
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Revelation 21:1-8, KJV
And that, my friends, is the happy end of the story for true Believers everywhere. Of course, for Satan and his rebellious and unbelieving followers, it is quite the contrary. They are completely gone, and a thing of the past by their own choice. However, it is a wonderful, new beginning for God's children who love Him. In fact, it is so wonderful, that we can't even begin to imagine what it will be like to walk within the City of God. For as the Apostles Paul and James wrote:
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
1 Corinthians 2:9, KJV
"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him . . . Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?"
James 1:12, 2:5, KJV
So remain faithful, beloved, and someday when this life is over, you will inherit a Crown of Life, and you will dwell in God's Holy City. It is His promise. If there is one important lesson we can all learn from this article, it is this: Watch out for pride and vanity. Do not let unbelief, stubbornness and rebellion take root in your heart. Remain humble and submissive before the Lord. If you fail to do any of these things, it will result in your own downfall, and your own condemnation, just as occurs with Satan. Mark my words well.
With these thoughts I will bring this article to a close. I trust that it has been a blessing and an inspiration in your life. If you have enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing its URL link with your online friends. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or any other social network, I would also very much appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link which is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this article, or which contain topics which are related to this article, and which are likewise located on the Bill's Bible Basics web server:
A Conversation With the Devil
Did the Devil Make You Do It?
Gargoyles: Satan Loves Church Buildings!
God's Golden Teeth, Or Satan's Delusion?
In the Ages to Come
Jesus Christ's Return: Have We Been Deceived?
Job and the Land of Uz: A Biblical Mystery?
Leviathan: An Ancient Dragon of the Sea?
Satan: King of Tyrus, King of Empires
Tradition or Truth? Old Wine or New Wine?
When Was Satan Cast Out of Heaven?
Who Hindered the Antichrist?