There are a lot of questions and a lot of speculation regarding the origin and role of Satan. There are two passages we’ll being with. I John 3:7-8 identifies Satan as a sinner from the beginning, and Hebrews 2:14 describes him as one with power of death. Each step in the fall of Satan is a step toward Christ’s goal to defeat evil.
When entering into this study, some of what we will be drawing out of scriptures will be speculation. The Bible does not give us every detail about our adversary, but there are lessons to learn from an examination of this material.
- Created. Satan is a created being. Colossians 1:15-17 makes it clear that all, seen and unseen, were created by God through Christ. Also, the last chapter of Genesis 1 reinforces the totality of God’s creation. It is safe to draw from these passages that Satan too was created – possibly as an angelic being.
- Sin & Fall. Jude 5-6 warns of the fact that those chosen of God can fall from grace, and the author goes as far as to illustrate angels that have been cast away due to disobedience. II Peter 2:4 reinforces this illustration. I Timothy 3:6 describes pride as the sin of the devil. In Ezekiel 28, God is condemning the king of Tyre of exaulting himself. Notice verses 13-19, and you will see some descriptions that may be referring back to Satan’s fall. Isaiah 14:12-19 also uses very similar language. These come together to paint a composite picture of angels that have rebelled and have been cast away.
- Cursed. Genesis 3:14-15. Though cast down, Satan is apparently still active, and he is also depicted as being in Heaven before God. Job 1:6 and 2:1 descibe Satan coming among the sons of God. Furthermore, in Zechariah 3, Joshua is being symbolized as a high priest with Satan set as His adversary. Satan set himself as adversary to God’s plan to reunite man and God.
- Defeated. Matthew 4:1-11 records Satan’s defeat in tempting Jesus. Matthew 12:25-29 illustrates Jesus’ intention to defeat Jesus as does Matthew 16:18. Luke 10:17-19, John 12:30-31, John 16:33 reinforce this effort. Finally, Revelation 12 paints a vivid picture of Satan being defeated at every turn.
- Bound. Revelation 20:1-3 illustrates Satan being restrained, and Romans 16:20 gives a specific example of a congregations whose works will harm the devil. Still, passages like James 4:7 and Ephesians 6:11 warn us that Satan is still active in this world. Though restrained, he is a formidable foe.
- Cast Away. Revelation 20:10 records the final defeat of Satan as the final judgment comes. Matthew 25:41 speaks of eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
The Bible may be scarce in detail, but we can see a story here of one created being who wished to elevate himself to equality with God. He became God’s adversary, was cast away from Heaven, still active in the world, but destined to defeat at the hands of Christ. Christ has made it possible for us to resist Satan, and we can choose to do so if we choose Christ over the temptations of His adversary.
lesson by Tim Smelser