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Where Did Satan Come From?

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Where Did Satan Come From?

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The devil has been a subject of interest for millennia. He has been pictured as a ghost, boogeyman and spook—or as a “devilishly” handsome man in a red suit with horns and a pitchfork. He has also been portrayed as the nebulous “epitome of all evil”—or the cause of everything bad that people do. Most are familiar with the expression “the devil made me do it.” Some think the Beast of Revelation is the devil, even though the Bible states it is Satan who gives the Beast his power.

While popular, these ideas are all wrong! They terribly misrepresent this powerful spirit.

Just who is the devil? The Bible calls him “the god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4). But where did this being come from? How does he influence people? Did God create him as he is? Will his influence ever come to an end?

One can scarcely turn around without hearing—or seeing—references to the devil or demons. Think of how often the subject of the devil, demons, angels or the spirit world is spoken or written about. Many television series are dedicated to these subjects with more appearing all the time. Movies and books have focused on the devil for years. But now they come more often, and are more odd, bizarre, macabre—and frightening—than ever before! Also, Satanism and witchcraft are now promoted and even practiced more openly.

Some authors write almost exclusively about the spirit world, often mixing a false understanding of prophecy into the plotline—and legions of fans purchase their every book.

Millions spend vast sums annually on psychic hotlines, palm readers, astrologers, crystal ball gazers, witches, wizards, channelers and other mediums to learn their future.

The devil sells—and people are buying as never before!

But few understand who and what the devil really is. This Personal will strip away the mystery, ignorance, myth, misconceptions, superstition and confusion shrouding the truth about his identity and origin.

The apostle Paul wrote, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” (I Cor. 14:33). While widespread confusion surrounds the devil, you need not be confused.

The Bible is the foundation of knowledge. Examine it carefully and see the real truth that has always been on its pages. Do not believe something just because we—or I—say it, but rather only if you see it proven in your Bible.

God’s Word contains the answers to all of life’s biggest questions. The plain truth of its instruction is not taught in this world’s churches. From as early as Sunday school, millions are taught to believe what everyone assumes the Bible says. What it has to say about the origin of Satan the devil will surprise you. But you must let God reveal him for what he is.

The Bible tells its readers, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (I Thes. 5:21) and “Prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:2).

We will examine the verses that explain Satan’s origin and who he really is. We must abandon men’s ideas and only accept what can be proven from the Bible.

The devil is alive and real. Revelation 12:9 says he “deceives the whole world.” This includes the truth about his identity. But has he always been the devil? Has he always been the evil, murderous, lying “prince of this world,” as the Bible calls him (John 14:30)? Was he created this way?

No! He was not. But these questions require explanation. Careful study brings the whole picture. The Bible describes Satan in many scriptures.

The Devil’s Origin

Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” This scripture sets the stage for our study.

God originally created three archangels: Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer (who became Satan). Each led one-third of hundreds of millions of angels. (Read Revelation 5:11.) Lucifer ruled the pre-Adamic world. He and his angels rebelled against the government of God, and today he leads these now fallen angels, called demons.

The book of Job describes the time when God created the Earth, billions of years ago. God asked Job: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding. Who has laid the measures thereof, if you know? Or who has stretched the line upon it?...When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-5, 7).

These “stars” were angels (read Revelation 12:4)—also described here as “sons of God.” (Of course, literal stars do not sing.) Notice “all” of them “shouted” and “sang together.” This proves there were not yet demons at the time of Creation in Genesis 1:1.

This scripture also shows the Earth was created in a wonderful—a beautiful—condition. There was great joy and singing!

Verse 2 is mistranslated and does not reflect the meaning of the original Hebrew. The King James Bible says, “And the earth was without form, and void.” Three key words are all mistranslated here, thus obscuring, and actually hiding, the verse’s true meaning.

The word translated “was” is hayah. The same word is correctly translated “became” in Genesis 2:7 and “become” in 9:15. The words for “without form, and void” are tohu and bohu. These actually mean “chaotic, in confusion, waste and empty.” In short, a perfectly created Earth (vs. 1), “became chaotic and confused” (vs. 2).

Isaiah 34:11 translates tohu and bohu as “confusion and emptiness.” Isaiah also clarifies God’s Creation: “For thus says the Lord that created the heavens; God Himself that formed the earth and made it; He has established it, He created it not in vain [tohu again—meaning not chaotic or waste], He formed it to be inhabited” (45:18). It becomes clear the Earth became chaotic after God created it—between the events of Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. The latter describes the re-creation of Earth 6,000 years ago. Verse 1 describes the original creation of the entire universe that, according to scientists, occurred some billions of years ago.

Psalm 104:30 says God “renews the face of the earth.” During the seven days of the Creation week, God repaired a terribly damaged Earth, then completely covered with water (Gen. 1:2).

We now know what happened—but how did it happen? How did the Earth go from beautiful and perfect at Creation to chaotic, confused, waste and empty? Since God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33), we know He did not destroy Earth. Then who or what did?

The Bible reveals many important facts about a subject—if one reads all of the scriptures that pertain to it.

Revelation 9:11 describes a “king” who leads a demonic army at the time of Revelation. He is called “the angel of the bottomless pit.” (Later you will see this association with the “bottomless pit” makes clear the being described is the devil.) Continuing in verse 11, his “name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon [meaning “a destroying angel”], but in the Greek tongue has his name Apollyon [“a destroyer (that is, Satan)”].” Satan and the great mass of angels he turned to his way are the only candidates powerful enough to have brought destruction on this scale.

Let’s read more about Lucifer after he had become Satan. Isaiah 14:12-15 tells a remarkable story containing many clues about where Lucifer was once located, what he did, and what happened to him: “How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For you have said in your 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 you shall be brought down to hell [meaning the “grave”—see verses 9 and 11], to the sides of the pit.”

God inhabits the north part of the heavens or the “sides of the north.” Job sheds light on Lucifer’s attempt to overthrow God there: “He [God] stretched out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth upon nothing” (26:7). The “empty place” in the “north” as it describes here coincides with what astronomers have noted as an area having a strange lack of stars. No doubt, Satan attacked God in that direction when he sought to ascend from his throne to take over God’s throne. Just let the Bible reveal the story!

Ezekiel 28:12-17 parallels and reinforces Isaiah 14 and is equally important for study. This account describes one who some “scholars” claim was a human “king of Tyrus.” Careful reading shows this is ridiculous.

Verse 12 speaks of one who “seals up the sum, full of wisdom, perfect in beauty,” who had also “been in Eden the Garden of God.” No human has ever been perfect, and it was the devil—the serpent—who beguiled Eve in the Garden. Verse 13 states, “you were created,” and Satan is a created being. Verse 14 calls him “the cherub that covers.” (Exodus 25:17-20 describes the remaining two faithful “cherubs that cover[ed]” God’s throne in the Old Testament tabernacle. Their wings cover the mercy seat.)

What earthly king fits any of the above description?

Ezekiel 28:14 says this “king” was “in the mountain of God” and “ the midst of the stones of fire.” This describes the area around God’s throne. Verses 15 and 16 declare, “iniquity [or lawlessness] was found in you” and calls it there “sin.”

Verse 16 also describes this cherub as having been “cast...out of” heaven. Verse 17 reveals that his “heart was lifted up because of [his] beauty” and that his wisdom was “ reason of [his] brightness.” The verse ends with God “casting him down to the ground,” where the kings of the Earth would “behold him,” as it says.

Lucifer was a brilliant being—an “angel of light,” as are “his ministers” (II Cor. 11:13-15). The name Lucifer means “the light bringer.” This once-perfect being originally brought brilliant light to all who were around him. But he rebelled and sinned—and became the prince of darkness. His rebellion turned him into a twisted, perverted being. While of great intelligence, he has literally become an insane fallen angel, no longer knowing right from wrong!

A Powerful Broadcast

Ephesians 2:2 references the devil’s power and influence upon the world. Notice: “Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.”

Did you grasp this? Satan has the power to use the “air” to broadcast—through his spirit—an attitude of disobedience. His spirit sends moods, feelings and attitudes of hostility into people’s minds. These “work” to bring disobedience. This “air power” gives the devil tremendous influence, allowing him to send thoughts of deceit, anger, pride, hatred, vanity, jealousy, lust, greed, envy and confusion directly into people.

His cunning has been so seductive he has even been able to convince most that he does not exist!

The devil is immensely more powerful than most realize. Look at what his position as the world’s god permits him to do: “The god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ...should shine unto them” (II Cor. 4:4).

Satan blinds and deceives on a staggering scale. The result is a world filled with disobedience—filled with lawlessness.

You can now better understand the “children of disobedience.” Like Christians with the Holy Spirit, these people are also inspired and guided by the spirit of this world’s god. Satan broadcasts a spirit of rebellion against—and disobedience to—God’s Law.

A deceived world knows nothing of this understanding!

If you listen to the radio, you choose a station that plays what you want to hear. People browse radio or television stations, and of course the internet. Eventually something interests them, and they stop and listen by choice. They have control over what they hear or watch.

It is not the same with Satan’s station. The world—and you—do not decide to tune into the devil’s broadcast. No one sets out to be deceived. But every person on Earth is automatically tuned to Satan’s wavelength! His wickedness, hostility, rebellion, deceit and selfishness are continually “on the air.”

Therefore, it is really Satan’s nature that is labeled as human nature. In fact, once it is injected into people, Satan’s nature becomes natural to them. It becomes their nature—now, again, human nature.

It is critical to see how this spirit works. It is the single most important key to understanding how Satan can deceive and manipulate now over eight billion people. Of course, Satan injects his attitudes into an unsuspecting mankind—it has no idea what he is doing. The devil does not announce his intentions audibly.

Just as God the Father has children, Satan is also a father with his own children! In one of the most profound verses in the entire Bible, Jesus said this to His listeners: “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do” (John 8:44). On one occasion, Paul labeled a man: “You child of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13:10).

Notice that “children of the devil” are enemies of righteousness and the ways of God. This is sobering, but it is what being Satan’s children means!

What is righteousness? “All Your [God’s] commandments are righteousness” (Psa. 119:172). Satan’s children hate and are enemies of God’s laws—His Commandments. Remember, they are “children of disobedience.”

The Christian resists Satan, who is active at every turn. But it is not through human strength or effort that this can be achieved. Notice: “Brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you 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 [more accurately translated in the Greek, wicked spirits] in high places” (Eph. 6:10-12).

The Tempter

In Matthew 4, we read about Christ’s confrontation with the devil. Verse 1 said Jesus was “to be tempted of the devil.” Verse 3 called the devil “the tempter.” Because Christ was immensely hungry after 40 days of fasting, Satan tried to tempt Him into “turning stones into bread.”

The devil appeared in the form of a serpent in Eden and successfully seduced Eve through temptation (Gen. 3:1-6). Verse 1 reveals how the devil tempts people into disobedience and sin. It says, “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” The serpent, the devil, deceived Eve by tempting her with the beauty of the tree of which God had forbidden her to eat. He made captivity look attractive.

Temptation never comes from God. James 1:13-15 says: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.”

Temptation always originates from “the tempter,” working on the lusts of people. The devil recognizes exactly where human nature is vulnerable, where people can be “enticed” so that “sin is conceived,” making death the final result (Rom. 6:23). Remember, the devil is a killer, seeking to murder those he deceives and tempts into sin. He kills through deceit and the pulls of temptation. Ephesians 6:11 warns of the “wiles of the devil,” while Revelation 2:24 warns of the “depths of Satan.” II Corinthians 2:11 warns not to be “ignorant of his devices.” Christians are constantly on guard for his schemes.

The full picture of exactly how the devil has captured the entire world should now be coming clear. II Timothy 2:26 speaks of those who “recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him [to do] his will.” These verses reveal that sin opens the door to capture. Verse 25 speaks of God “giving them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” as the key to deliverance from captivity.

After repenting of doing the devil’s will, Christians seek and practice doing God’s will for the rest of their lives.

Satan’s Influence Will Be Eliminated

Satan will one day be restrained from influencing the nations. Revelation 20 opens with a mighty angel binding him “a thousand years” by “casting him into the bottomless pit,” where he is shut up (vs. 1-3). This angel then “set[s] a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the 1,000 years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season” (vs. 3).

Paul referenced a time when Satan’s broadcast is eliminated when he said, “the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Rom. 16:20). This is God’s promise to all true Christians—and all humanity—because Satan has persecuted the former and deceived the latter for thousands of years.

The apostle Jude stated that Satan and his demons will be cast out of the universe into a place where the Bible explains there is no light, and describes these wretched beings as “wandering stars to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 13). The “prince of this world” and his angels will get what they deserve—what they brought on themselves. The one once known as the “light bringer” chose darkness. God will give him complete darkness.

Hebrews 2:5 describes the Earth as also being under the “subjection of angels” now, but makes clear they will not have this position in “the world to come.”

Additional verses in this chapter explain what will happen after the fallen angels are replaced. Notice: “What is man, that you are mindful of him?...You made him a little lower than [or inferior to] the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor...You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him” (vs. 6-8).

Next, speaking of Christ, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (vs. 9-10).

Grasp what you read. These verses contain the promise of a staggering potential available to you. True Christians—those who are part of the only Church that Jesus Christ built—are called to inherit “all things” and be “crowned with glory and honor,” offered to them by the calling of God and sacrifice of Christ—“the Captain of their salvation.”

All things” means all things. Nothing will be excluded from this inheritance.

Satan, who we saw earlier is also called the “tempter,” offered Christ rulership over “all things” in Matthew 4:9 if He would “fall down and worship him.” Christians are promised rulership over the same “all things”—but only on the condition that they worship the true God—and in the manner that He commands. This includes understanding and practicing all of His laws and truths. It also includes understanding all the important aspects of Satan’s origin, history and temporary role within God’s master purpose for mankind.

To learn more about the devil, and how God’s people resist him, you will want to read our truly eye-opening booklets, A World in Captivity and Who Is the Devil?, as well as our inspiring book The Awesome Potential of Man.

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