The Origin Of Satan

In John 8:44, Christ said to his unbelieving Jewish audience: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. 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.”

Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary, (Chicago, IL: The John C. Winston Publishing Co., 1944), p. 592-593 states the following: The Hebrew word Satan simply means an “adversary,” and is so used in 1 Samuel 29:4; 2 Samuel 19:22; 1 Kings 5:4; 1 Kings 11:14,23; 1 Kings 11:25; Numbers 22:22,32; Psalm 109:6. Satan is also called “ho diabolos,” “the devil.” The derivation of the word in itself implies an endeavor to break the bonds between others and “set them at variance.” The common usage adds to this general sense the special idea of setting at variance “by slander” (cf. 2 Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3). Satan’s general object is to break the bonds of communion between God and man, and the bonds of truth and love which bind men to each other. The slander of God to man is best seen in the words of Genesis 3:4-5. They attribute selfishness and jealousy to the Giver of all good. The slander of man to God is illustrated in the book of Job (Job 1:9-11; Job 2:4-5). With these thoughts in mind, let us look at some thoughts presented in God’s Word concerning the origin of Satan:

God Created Satan

1) God is the only eternal self-existent being represented in the Bible (Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 44:6,8; Isaiah 45:6,21; Revelation 1:8). Satan is not self-existent. Satan must have, therefore, had a point of origin (Romans 11:36; Colossians 1:16; John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2).
2) God is the Father of all spirits including Satan’s (Job 12:10; Ephesians 2:2; Hebrews 12:9).

Was Satan Created Good Or Evil?

1) All God created was good (Genesis 1:31), therefore, God must have created Satan “good.”
2) God is “good” (Matthew 19:17) therefore He must have created Satan “good”. Satan, like every man (who possesses free moral agency), can “choose” to do good or evil (Joshua 24:15; Isaiah 6:15-16).

Indications Of Satan’s Fall

1) Satan did not abide in truth (John 8:44).
2) Satan “fell” into condemnation (1 Timothy 3:6).
3) Angels (demons) were cast into Hades when they sinned (2 Peter 2:4).
4) Angels didn’t keep their own domain. They abandoned their proper abode and were cast down (Jude 6-7).
5) War in heaven against Satan’s army vs. Michael & angels…Satan was cast “out” of heaven (Revelation 12:7-9).

The Devil Is Not “Lucifer”!

1) Isaiah 14:12-15 refers to the king of Babylon – not the Devil.
2) In Isaiah 14:12, “Lucifer” is translated “day star” (marginal reading – KJV). The literal translation means, “shining one.”
3) Ezekiel 28:13-19 refers to the king of Tyre – not the Devil (this is a very common false teaching!).

Satan Has Already Lost His War Against God (1 Corinthians 15:54-57; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:12-15; Revelation 1:18).

Historical Victories Of Satan:

1) Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3).
2) Enticing God’s people to worship idols (Leviticus 17:7; Deuteronomy 32:15-17; Psalm 106:36-37; Revelation 9:20).
3) Murder of Jesus Christ (Luke 22:3).

Note: Every time a Christian gives up on “the faith” (Romans 1:5) or “the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4), and falls away (1 Timothy 1:18-20), it is because of the corruption of doctrine; i.e. “doctrines of devils.” (1 Timothy 4:1-4).

Think about it! According to The Encyclopedia Of American Religions (1989), “There are on the order of 1,200 Christian organizations in North America.” The apostle Paul by inspiration declares that “There is one body” (Ephesians 4:4) or “church” (Ephesians 1:22-23). Who will we believe – man or the inspired word of God? (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Major Defeats Of Satan In The Bible

1) War in heaven – cast to earth (Revelation 12:7-9).
2) God “tests” Job with the Devil – “you think Job is good, take away blessings…he will curse you” (Job 1:11-12; Job 2:4-6).
3) Temptation in wilderness with Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11).
4) Cast out demons during Jesus'; ministry (Luke 10:17-20).
5) Sinless death & resurrection of Christ (Colossians 2:14-15; Hebrews 2:14-16; 1 John 3:8; Revelation 1:18).
6) Every time a “sinner” becomes a Christian (Acts 26:18: Colossians 1:13), “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God…” (Luke 15:10).

Satan Was “Bound” By Christ (Psalm 72:9; Matthew 12:29; Isaiah 53:10; Luke 10:17; Acts 2:34-36; 1 Corinthians 15:25-28; Colossians 2:15; Ephesians 4:8; Revelation 20:1-6).

1) Satan has power (1 Peter 5:8), but it is limited (Ephesians 6:11; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9).
2) Satan is “bound” like a Pit Bull is chained to a pole (Revelation 20:1-2). He is “powerless” unless we enter his “circle” (1 Peter 5:8).
3) Satan cannot “force” us against our will or possess us (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 2:9).

The Devil & His Demons Know That God Has Won & They Are Damned (Matthew 25:41; John 16:11; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6).

Note The Following:

1) Matthew 8:29 – “Have you come here to torment us before the time?”
2) James 2:19 – “demons believe God is united and tremble” (Grk: “tremble” literally: “to bristle up the hair”).
3) Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28 – “do not torment me”.
4) Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34 – “have You come to destroy us”?

The Devil Will Attack You Today In One Of Five Ways:

1) Keep you out of the church (Hebrews 10:25).
2) Get Christians back into the world (Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 10:26-39; 2 Peter 2:20-22).
3) Render Christians useless (1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; 1 Timothy 5:14-15; 2 Timothy 2:17).
4) Disrupt or corrupt worship and doctrine (2 Corinthians 2:17; Gal. 1:6-10; 2 Peter 2:3).
5) Cause trouble and division among brethren (Proverbs 6:14, 19; Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13).

Conclusion

We as faithful and obedient children of God are instructed by the inspired apostle Paul, to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” In order to properly execute this instruction, we are to “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The elements of that armor are found in verses 14-17. Without the “whole armor of God,” we fall prey to the devil’s “wiles” (“schemes” – NIV).

On the other hand, unfaithful and disobedient men (and women) will suffer the same fate as the Devil (Matthew 25:41; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9; Revelation 14:9-11; Revelation 20:10, Revelation 20:14-15; Revelation 21:8,27).

Mike Riley is a member of the Montana Street church of Christ in El Paso, Tx and is the author at Gospel Snippets.

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35 Comments

  • Bill Clark says:

    During our bible study, the question of specific references in the bible as to the origin and nature of satan came up. Can you help? Someone said they think the bible says: he was an archangel, second to God, most beautiful angel,more powerful than Michael or Gabriel, wanted to be God. I cannot find any specific reference to his origin. Your help would be appreciated.

  • Bill,

    The only Bible references I can provide regarding the origin and nature of Satan are the ones I provided in the following portion of the article:

    God Created Satan

    1) God is the only eternal self-existent being represented in the Bible (Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 44:6,8; Isaiah 45:6,21; Revelation 1:8). Satan is not self-existent. Satan must have, therefore, had a point of origin (Romans 11:36; Colossians 1:16; John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2).

    2) God is the Father of all spirits including Satan’s (Job 12:10; Ephesians 2:2; Hebrews 12:9).

    From our Lord’s testimony, we know that Satan was murderer “from the beginning” (John 8:44). He is among those angels who “sinned” and are now reserved for judgment (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6).

    Thank you for your comment and ask that you share these articles with others of your acquaintance.

    Yours In Christ,

    Mike Riley

  • Andrew Stuart says:

    Thanks for this artical, I think it needs to be more widely published as too many “born again, washed in the blood of the lamb” type christians (myself included in that description!) All to easily buy the fairy story that Satan was an archangel and twist Isiah 14:12 to suit.

    My question is, whom did Satan murder? Jn 8:44

    your reply eagerly awaited.

    • ray pittman says:

      i would like to know who did satan actually murder? and why there must be a reason other than he wanted to be above GOD. please forward reply to email address.

    • ronan doak says:

      Andrew, interesting question. I have a hunch the writer of John had Cain in mind. According to the story of Genesis, Cain was the first murderer. His punishment was to wander the earth, right? I consider that and the statement attributed to Satan in Job (about him wandering the earth) and a wonderful way to tie Cain with Satan as regards his being a murderer ‘from the begining’…

  • DR.RW SINCLAIR STOUFUS says:

    The greatest misconception in traditional Christianity is as it has always been; too many continue to defile themselves at the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” The vast worldview of most believers is skewed toward some ongoing divine drama of good versus evil. The truth is the duality of conciousness has created the manifestation of these opposing forces. All wars, strives contentions and division are the seed of this distorted reality. Jesus warned if our eye be single our whole being woulfd be illuminated with his light….however if “evil” or dualistic full of darkness and how great that darkness.

    In honesty there IS no evil where man is not present. God is and alway has been sovereign in his rule and masterful in his plan. Everything that has ever happened concerning any “fall” of angels or humans is all part of his design. In the end he will reconcile alll things according to scripture.

    How do you support the claim that Satan was created inherently good and his nature was corrupted when Christ said: “He was a murderer FROM THE BEGINNING?

    Furthermore Isaiah declares:
    Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].

    Isa 54:16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

    Amo 3:6 shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done [it]?

    If I may quote you:
    He is among those angels who “sinned” and are now reserved for judgment (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6).
    What specific scriptural support supports that speculation?

    Cheers:
    Professor RW Sinclair Stoufus

    • ronan doak says:

      I agree with you Dr Sinclair. Most people do not want to accept that God is sovereign over all and He created everything. They think ‘lucifer’ corrupted himself (how is that even possible) and refuse to stare facts in the face that either God created Satan as ‘evil’ or God created the choice between good and evil – which means He still created evil. Anyway one wants to cut it, if we still subscribe to the belief that God is the ultimate creator and there is none beside Him, the origin of evil has to be from God. The alternative is that God somehow has a brother we do not know about and this brother created evil. Then we would now have to ask where God’s father would be hiding etc and I am not sure we are ready to go down that path…

  • Engr Alabi S.A says:

    If God is love and justice, how then can the above verses (Isa. 45:7; 54:16; and Am.3:6) be explained in terms of love and justice and in the believe that God is ultimately going to punish all evil doers? There are problems here! I don’t think God created Satan because Bible says that everything created by God is good; but Satan has been ‘a murderer from the begenning’ according to the Bible. Moreover the Bible speaks of God being as being called ‘Jealous’, suggesting Satan as being God’s rival from timesless past. Again Jesus, in the parable of ‘wheat and tares’ spoke of some as being children of the devil, indicating that Satan has his own children just as God has His. God, however is mightier. If this is not the case, I do’nt think last-day judgement is justified.
    God bless

  • Brad says:

    While I understand the simplicity of Satan being a fallen angel, I have a major issue with a perfect God creating a perfect heaven where a perfect angel can become evil just because of own Free Will. God and all other angels also have Free Will yet reside as completely Holy creatures within a perfect realm that is supposed to be protected and totally cleansed of the evil that is isolated in the physical world and hell.

    Therefore, as a deep believer in the Trinity’s power and the evil influence of Satan, I have spent countless hours trying to reconcile the origin of Satan according to the Bible and the impossibility of his origination from a perfect angel in a perfect heaven.

    In short, I have developed a theory that I am sure will raise eyebrows and garner admonishments of blasphemy. To be clear, I believe that the first sin on earth was the Genesis for the future entity that would one day become Satan. Now let me first state some basis points.

    One, God did not create evil although He created the angel that would eventually become the author of evil.

    Two, God allows evil to exist today to help fulfill His overall plan.

    Three, heaven, while not eternal before creation, does not necessarily contain a linear timeline for the angels who inhabit it.

    Four, an angel is not the same as a human spirit in heaven. It is fundamentally a different creature already residing in heaven.

    Five, God has perfect Foreknowledge (Omniscience)

    Six, God has perfect Holy Power (Omnipotence)

    To begin, while I understand that the scriptures say Satan was already present before creation and tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden, I contend that because of God’s Omniscience (Foreknowledge) and His Omnipotence (Total Power to…ALLOW) He permitted a sinful, betrayal minded spirit who died on earth to not only enter heaven, but enter it as the pre – creation angel who would eventually fall and become Satan. In other words, the existence of Satan and his evil influence is a self fulfilling, cyclical occurrence that loops from one point in history, (the death of this specific individual), backwards into pre creation heaven, and then forward from the Garden into the sins of generations until it reaches that same period in history when this specific individual died.

    So who is this person I believe died and eventually become the pre – creation angel that would one day betray God? Who in the Bible both believed and communed with God the Son yet also betrayed Him? The answer is obvious; Judas. In fact, the parallels between the snake in the garden trying to destroy the First Adam and the snake inside Judas’ heart trying to destroy the Second Adam are undeniable. Just like Satan’s fall in heaven was a “unique” circumstance, so was Judas’. Not another mortal soul written about in scripture can lay claim to being a personal friend of Jesus yet also being the catalyst for His death, again suggesting that Judas was a “unique” circumstance when it comes to his salvation vs. his sin nature.

    Further, has anyone ever read a scripture that claimed Judas went to hell? I never have. Here was a guy who betrayed Christ for personal gain just as Satan betrayed God, yet believed in and communed with the very person he betrayed. We know that one requirement for entrance into heaven is belief in Christ which Judas had. And we also know he tried to give the money back which would demonstrate the other requirement for salvation which is repentance. Those two factors alone should have granted him entrance into heaven regardless of his shame and suicide.

    Next, this theory would further explain why Satan, in spite of knowing He would be killed through Christ’s death, would still employ Judas to sell out Christ to the Pharisees. If Judas failed to betray Christ and not enter heaven as the hybrid of forgiven spirit and betrayal minded angel, Satan’s own existence in the past and ability to tempt Adam and Eve in the Garden would have been null and void.

    In conclusion, it is my belief that God, having foreknowledge of Judas’ sin nature, allowed him into heaven after his suicide as a pre – creation angel, therefore allowing him to retain the ability and desire to fall, thus becoming Satan. = A cyclical occurrence that answers how sin entered into heaven without God actually creating it.

    • ronan doak says:

      Interesting thought Brad. It will be difficult to reconcile a tempter already existing to tempt Judas before existing to tempt Adam, but it is an interesting thought nevertheless. I have another thought.
      What is sin and free will? Sin is essentially disobedience to God. Free will gives the ability to choose essentially good over evil. Choosing evil is denoted as sinning. However, for you to exercise free will to choose between good and evil, there must be the choices ‘good’ and ‘evil’. You cannot choose rice if the only options you have are diet coke and noodles. If God created spirits/humans with the ability to sin, then it follows that He created the sin because sinning is a choice.
      Parts of the scripture have God freely admitting evil comes from His hand. Some even show He has command of evil spirits which He sends out to do His bidding (eg tormenting Saul). For some reason we have grown uncomfortable with the idea that God does rule over everything – benevolent and malevolent – and we restrict Him to ruling just the ‘good’ side of life. We have effectively created a god in our ‘image’ (mind) and this is the god we worship instead of the Almighty.

      Just a thought…

  • Peter Heaslip says:

    Good morning,

    Regarding Satan:

    1. Since God made Satan and God knows all things ….. it follows that God knew that Satan would choose to love evil. Thus, even though God re tained His integrity, He employed Satan as an agent
    to introduce evil. All Lawssay that a procurer of harm by an agent is as guilty as if the acted directly. Doesxthis make God guilty?

    2. What purpose was there for angels fora God living in eternity?

    • serima says:

      you got it all wrong brother

      • ronan doak says:

        How did he get it all wrong? What is your opinion about what he said? If you subscribe to the idea that God is Almighty, how can you stomach the proposition that Satan acts outside God’s directive and that Satan has a fighting chance against God? If you say God is omnipotent, how can you even consider that His plans can ever be thwarted? Or is your God simply not powerful enough to compel evil sprirts and even the very devil to do His bidding?

    • leon martin says:

      Here are two possibilities.
      1. Here’s the thing. I think people take creation far too direct and literally. There is the base that god created and that base essentially altered itself and ‘created’ branch offs from its own creation. Meaning: I believe god created ‘good’ and ‘free will’. Through free will and recognition of self, and recognition of what is around itself, created with it, or ‘good’, that free will ‘created’ or realized or essentially chose it’s creator’s opposite creation to what was created besides itself, or ‘evil’. read that closely it’s written a bit bad. but this is what i mean. god created good and free will. free will saw good, understood it, and created evil.

  • cory says:

    Your cyclical Satan/sin story, concerning how it entered into heaven, is quite ridiculous. Have you ever thought of using the words “I Don’t Know”? God is most glorified when we accept our place in his greater story…we are human. Though we have been given the mind of Christ we don’t possess divine attributes (omniscience, omnipotence, etc). Be released from being the divine answer man…be free to be human!

  • THOMAS OBENG says:

    God did not create satan according to the bible. If God had created satan, He would have created sin as well but bible says all that He created was good and perfect.Ezekiel 28:14 says God created him as an anointedcherub, He established him, he was prefect in all his ways until iniquity was found in him and the angel defiled himself. He sinned and therefore God cast him on the ground.So Lucifer was an angel of God who was perfecf like the other angels but he exalted himself like God and rebelled agaist Him hence God threw him from heaven to the earth and he became satan. This is what the bible says concerning the origin of satan.

    • justin says:

      how are we to recognize good without also recognizing evil?
      God had to have had something in mind specifically for satan when he created him.

      remember that ALL things are used to show the glory of God even the evil one.

    • child of God says:

      Ezekiel 28:14 is referring to the Prince of Tyrus, not satan.

    • ronan doak says:

      All things God created had PURPOSE. That is why everything He created was ‘good’ and ‘perfect’. Evil has a purpose, even sin. If it didn’t, it would not have been in existence up till now. If you say God did not create evil, you have to submit that evil created itself and thus there is another creator beside God. I think you will agree with me that this is a scary proposition…

  • wayne parker says:

    Isaiah 45-7-tell us in word of GOD-I form the light and create darkness:I make peace and create evil:I the LORD do all things-almighty LORD GOD knew all things and knew the present,past and future-he knew that lucifer would fall and knew that adam and eve would also fall when the tree of knowledge of good and evil was planted in the garden of Eden-he has giving each one of us the opportunity to choose-we are a free moral agency-when lucifer fell his name was call satan or the devil-falling one-he was be cast into the lake of fire with rest of his followers

  • Arif says:

    Hello and praise the Lord
    This is good bible study
    thanks

  • ved says:

    there is NOTHING wrong with the world. it’s OUR JUDGMENTS of GOD’S creation (right/wrong, good/bad, pretty/ugly) all judgments from the EGO, that perceive GOD, and all of creation, as imperfect. Satan is within. Satan is the EGO. It has NO power over GOD or GOD’S creation, which includes EVERYTHING. stop your judgments, and you’ll see how quickly Satan leaves the playing field.

  • peter says:

    would god forgive satan if he asked for forgiveness ? and notice when most people make a cross against the chest it is usually up side down¿

    • ronan doak says:

      Peter, so much for the depictions in movies that evil is usually manifested with an upturned cross.
      I wouldn’t know that there is anything to forgive Satan for. It is my opinion that even Satan does the will of God. If God does not like him sniffing about particular people, I do not see how Satan can sniff about them. Though people usually are not serious when they say God is Almighty, I usually am…

  • serima says:

    the conerstone of christianity is faith. Dont waste your time, just beleave that God created the world and everything in it, and was Happy.worship him everytime and STOP asking questions, thats what he expects from us, and its the very reason for our creation!

    • ronan doak says:

      Faith? Faith in what? The idea of perishing, according to God, has to do with lack of knowledge. Faith is at best superficial if it is not based on sound knowledge. All the patriachs knew this. To worship God, you must know Him else when Jesus told the samaritan ‘you know not what you worship’, he might as well have been talking to you. You only know God if He reveals Himself to you. You cannot know God by proxy, by reading some manual and believing you know Him. You can know ABOUT Him but not know Him…

  • john says:

    sure. you are spot on

  • Peter Heaslip says:

    Hi,

    This is another Peter Heaslip …. not the first one.

    It is sad that some persons want a blind
    (unthinking) Faith. God gave us minds to use
    and is not concerned that we ask deep questions.

    Before the beginning (of the spiritual and
    physical realms) God existed (“before all things, I am”). He then made everthing and knew it was / would be good.

    At the stage things are now, things are not so good. From a human perspective (bound by time) this looks like a contradiction.

    Like the ingredients of an omelette in the bowl, there is a point where it all looks disgusting. But cooked it is delicious!!! We need to wait until God is finished the “cooking” to see the final outworking of His completed plan.

    But God is outside of time …. so the beginning, all history and the end (of this heaven and universe) are (for God) all one thing. The beginning IS the end!!!

    The whole thing is but ONE idea of God.

    Ultimately He is responsible for all that has happened / will happen. That is why He
    “was in Christ, reconciling the world”.

    However from a human existential outlook, we are ourselves responsible for chosing to sin.
    The way to redemption is, therefore, a gift that must be accepted to be held to our credit. It is not automatic.

    Is it possible for Satan (Hitler, Pol Pot,
    Peter Heaslip) to be saved? Yes, absolutely.
    Provided that they understand and confess Jesus to be the Christ (our Saviour) …. see Romans 10:9-10.

    God tempers His Justice with His Mercy.

  • jayan says:

    this was a eye opener. friend put up this question and we were try to search an answer for the origin of Satan. i do see how the concept of lucifer does not work here.
    Q:does it mean that he has end too, like physical end?

  • Gerry Beved says:

    hi, i’m thinking of covering this for a masters dissertation. please could you send me your bibliography. thanx and bless, gerry beves.

  • I enjoyed my first look into the “preachers’ files.” When I am preparing to teach on a subject or book, I usually try to shorten my study time by seekin the work already done by other faith brothers. My study of Satan and Demons begin in two days! This was very helpful.

    Thanks to all.

  • Sarah says:

    This is for George Mansfield, shouldn’t you be doing your your own research instead of cheating and copying the ideas of your brothers? I mean, the Bible verses are there, theology is great to be discussed, however, somewhere in the Bible it says that when we see the Lord all the Mysteries will be solved for us. We are not God, we are simple humans, not divine as arif, serima or ibab claim it to be. Divine would come from God and be infallible. As we see here that everything that everyone wrote down can be found faulty.

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