The Scriptures teach the existence of a spirit being called satan, who is the originator of sin and king over a host of fallen angels and demons who carry out his will. Satan was defeated by the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary, who will ultimately cast satan and his forces into the Lake of Fire. In this life, Believers have been commissioned to deliver men from the authority of satan and demonic oppression and bring them into the Kingdom of Light.
As we have already stated, the purpose of this session is to lay foundational understandings regarding the person of this enemy, satan, his dark kingdom, and his servants. We also emphasise afresh that satan is in no way equal to our Father, either in wisdom or power. He is a defeated enemy. Nevertheless, he remains an enemy, and the Believer must enforce his defeat through the authority given to them through Jesus Christ.
The Bible teaches that there are two opposing kingdoms in existence, the Kingdom of God, and the kingdom of darkness. Over the kingdom of darkness a spirit being called satan rules. Under satan’s rule are numerous fallen angels and demon spirits.
Satan’s kingdom is utterly opposed to God in every way, reflecting its nefarious king.
- It is called satan’s kingdom (Matthew 12:25-26; Luke 11:14-19)
- It is a kingdom of darkness (Col 1:13-14; Rev 16:10)
- It influences the kingdom’s of this world from the spiritual heavens of this world (the second heaven), where demonic authorities dwell (Luke 4:5-6; Ephesians 2:2; 3:10; 6:12; Rev 12:3,7-12). Daniel’s prophecies confirm that there are unseen personalities behind those we perceive in the world (Dan 8:20-21; 10:10-13, 20-21).
The kingdom of darkness
satan – the ruler
The Bible reveals several things about the ruler of the kingdom or darkness, both directly and indirectly. Certain passages of scripture are attributed to him because, although they also speak of earthly rulers existing at the time of writing, the scope of the passages far surpasses anything applicable to mere men.
In particular, these passages are Ezekiel 28:1-19 and Isaiah 14:4-23. Although they speak of the kings of Tyre and Babylon, they point to the ruler behind these men, satan himself.
Drawing from both these and other portions of Scripture we discover:
- He is a definite personality, not just an evil influence. He personifies all that is evil. Personal pronouns, intelligence, knowledge, will and action are all attributed to him. (Job 1:6-7; Zechariah 3:1-7; Rev 12:9)
- He is a spirit being.
- He was originally, beautifully and perfectly created by God (Ezekiel 28:12-15)
- He was originally called Lucifer, “the day star, light-bearer” (Isaiah 14:12)
- He was an anointed angel in the heavenly sanctuary, covering the very throne of God (Ezekiel 28:14,16,18)
- He was in Eden, the garden of God (Ezekiel 28:13)
- He dwelt in God’s holy mountain (Ezek 28:14)
- He was made with music in his being. It is thought that he may have been the leader of heaven’s worship (Ezekiel 28:13)
- He was full of wisdom (Ezek 28:12)
- He fell from his exalted position at an unspecified time in the past because of pride and self-will (Ezek 28:17; Isa 14:13-15 [note five “I will’s” in Isa 14:13-14]; Prov 16:18; Luke 10:18). He wanted to be independent of God, and take the place of God himself.
- He did not abide in the truth, and became a liar and a murderer (John 8:44)
- He is the original sinner. Iniquity was found in him (Ezek 28:15,16,18; 1 John 3:8).
- The wisdom he had became corrupted and perverse. Through this perverted wisdom he deceives the nations (Ezek 28:17; James 3:15; 1 John 5:19)
He will eventually be destroyed by fire (Ezek 28:18; Matthew 25:41 [NB: Hell was created for satan and his angels])
The nature of satan is revealed through the names ascribed to him in scripture.
Kevin Conner lists the following names of satan in Foundations of Christian Doctrine:
- Satan – Adversary, Hater, Opponent, Enemy. Used 52 times (1 Chronicles 21:1; Zechariah 3:1-7; 2 Cor 2:11)
- Devil – Accuser, Slanderer, Whisperer. Slanders God to man and man to God. Used 35 times. (Matt 13:39; Rev 12:10)
- Serpent – Enchanter, Beguiler, speaker of perverted wisdom designed for evil (Genesis 3;1-14; 2 Cor 11:3; Rev 12:9, 14-15; 20:2)
- Dragon – vicious beastly nature and rage (Rev 13:2,4,11; 20:1-2)
- Beelzebub – Price of demons, Lord of the flies, God of the dunghill. A heathen god believed to be ruler of all evil spirits (2 Kings 1:2; Matt 12:24)
- God of this age (world) – (2 Cor 4:4)
- Prince of this world (system) – (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11)
- Prince of the power of the air – (Eph 2:2)
- Lucifer – Shining one, daystar, light bearer – (Isa 14:12)
- Belial – Worthless, perverse, lawless (2 Cor 6:15)
- The Enemy – Hater, hostile (Matthew 13:39)
- The Tempter – Enticer (Matt 4:3; 1 Cor 7:5)
- The wicked one – (Matthew 13:19; 1 John 5:18-19)
- Angel of Light – (2 Cor 11:13-15)
- Accuser of the brethren – One against, charging with an offence (Rev 12:10; Zech 3:1)
- Antichrist – one over against Christ (1 John 2:18-22; 4:1-4)
- Adversary, Roaring Lion – enemy, opposer (1 Peter 5:8)
- Murderer, Liar – Killer, destroyer of life (John 8:44)
- Sinner – (1 John 3:8)
- Abaddon/Apollyon – Destroyer (Rev 9:11)
- Wolf – (John 10:12)
- Thief – One who steals by subtilty (John 10:10; Luke 8:12)
- Wicked One – Hurtful, evil (Matt 13:19)
- Fowler – one out to trap and ensnare (Ps 91:3)
- Son of perdition – (2 Thess 2:1-12)
Satan’s activities are largely based around deception. If he can keep people from the truth, he has the upper hand in their life. As soon as the truth is known, his power and authority are lost. His activities can be grouped into seven major areas. Connor outlines the following:
- Temptation (Matt 4:1-11; 1 Cor 7:5)
- Sin – he is the originator of rebellion against God (1Jn 3:8; Eph 2:2)
- Deception – satan’s first and last weapon in his war against mankind (Gen 3:1-4,13; 2 Thess 2:9-10; 1 Tim 4:1). This is why Christians must always be alert, and have a thorough knowledge of the truth as recorded in the Scriptures (the only defence against deception).
- Accusation – Satan accuses continually but believers have an Advocate, Jesus Christ (Rev 12:10; Job 1:2; Zech 3:1-2)
- Affliction – he seeks to afflict, mental and physical (Luke 13:16; 2 Cor 12:7; Acts 10:38)
- Opposition – satan and his hosts are involved in a war against God and His Saints (1 Chron 21:1; 2 Tim 2:25-26; 1 Pet 5:8)
- Death – death is the greatest power satan manifested, but Jesus overcame death by resurrection (Heb 2:14; John 8:44)
Satan’s desire to be worshipped is clearly seen in his counterfeit religion which, through the deception of evil spirit’s, mankind has accepted. It comes in many forms but the following outline some of the satanic imitations spoken of in scripture:
- He has a throne and a kingdom (Rev 2:13; Matt 12:26)
- he has great depths of doctrines (1 Tim 4:1; 1 Cor 2:10)
- he has messengers, apostles, teachers and prophets, both demonic and human (2 Cor 11:13; 2 Pet 2:1; Mark 13:22)
- he does counterfeit signs and wonders (Rev 16:14; Ex 7:8-12)
- he has false Christs (1 John 2:18-22)
- He has a false church/synagogue (Rev 2:9; 17:5)
- He has a false communion table and cup (1 Cor 10:21)
The Judgement of satan
God is dealing with satan in a progressive manner:
- The moment he sinned he was cast from the third heaven and the immediate presence of God (Isa 14:15; Ezek 28:16; Luke 10:18).
The exact timing of this event is not specifically addressed in Scripture. Some commentators who perceive a gap between Genesis 1 verse 1, and Genesis 1:2, conclude that the earth, originally created perfectly in the timeless past, “became” dark, formless and void as a result of satan being cast into it (some say he was the steward/underuler of the planet prior to his fall). This view contains much speculation however.
The simplest interpretation of Scripture would be that God created everything in the six days spoken of in the first chapter of Genesis. It was all “very good”, indicating that at the time of completion evil was not present (or it would be tainted and no longer be perfect or good in God’s estimation). Satan, at the conclusion of the creation week, witnesses the creation of mankind, a being “like” God, and one who is given great authority over the created world. He visits Eden to view this unique and privileged being. Moved by jealousy, he declares that he too will be “like the most high”, and as a result is cast from his high position in heaven, into the invisible realms of earth. His first prey very quickly becomes the man and woman whose authority and position he covets for himself. Somehow he then enters the body of an animal and behind this familiar natural mask addresses Eve in the garden of Eden.
- He was judged in Eden and is under an eternal and irrevocable curse (Gen 3:14-15)
- He was conquered by Christ at Calvary’s cross (John 12:31; 16:11; Heb 2:14; Col 2:14-15; 1 Cor 2:7-8)
- satan and his hosts are being conquered by the church as they release captives of the human race from his grip (Mark 16:15-20; Acts 26:18; Rom 16:20)
- He will be cast out of the heavens to the earth in the time of tribulation at the close of this age (Ezek 28:17; Rev 12:12; 1 Thess 2:8-9). Finding no place left in the heavens, satan will be forced enter the body of a man. Only twice before in scripture do we see satan himself enter earthbound creatures (the serpent in the garden and Judas Iscariot (John 13:27))
- satan will be cast from the earth into the bottomless pit for 1000 years at the second coming of Christ (Rev 20:2-3)
- satan will be loosed for a little season from the pit, after which he will be thrown forever into the lake of fire and brimstone (Rev 20:10; Isa 14:15; Matt 25:41). The same judgement awaits satan’s hosts and all those who choose to serve him in this life.