On Sunday, September 20th, we will be studying through Genesis 3 (which will be found at www.refugesanger.com/teachings), the chapter where we get our first look at Satan, also called the Devil. Because there is just not enough time with the focus of the sermon to go into detail on the origins of Satan, this blog will attempt to add those details. This is not meant to be an exhaustive look or theological textbook describing him, but one to give you additional information the sermon won’t give to help you in your knowledge of the Word.
In Genesis 3, we get our introduction to Satan. Though the text does not tell us that the serpent is Satan, the rest of the Bible does let us know this (Revelation 12:9 & Revelation 20:2 are two such verses). The name “Satan” means “accuser” or “adversary” and we see that name used in Job 1:6 & Job 2:17. The term “devil” means “slanderer”. He is also called “the dragon”, “the old serpent”, “prince of this world” (John 12:31), “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), “Lucifer” (Isaiah 14:12), and “Beelzebub” (Matthew 12:24). Part of what he does now is stand before God as an accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). We know he is a real being (not just work of imagination as non-believers claim, which Satan is probably fine with being not believed) as even Jesus was tempted by him (read Luke 4)
Ezekiel 28:12-19 gives a prophecy regarding the king of Tyre but is referring to Satan (as we know the king of Tyre was never in the Garden of Eden). In this passage we find out that he was created beautifully (might have even been the “worship leader” in Heaven due to his “timbrels and pipes”) but was cast out because iniquity was found within him. Part of this iniquity was pride concerning his beauty. But we also know, from Isaiah 14:12-14, that his pride caused him to think he could take God’s place and he sought to do just that. Revelation 12:4 speaks of the dragon (Satan) drawing a third of the stars of heaven (representing angels) to the earth, and so many commentators believe a third of the angels followed Satan in his rebellion towards God. So he went from Lucifer (“morning star”) to Satan (“accuser”) after he was cast out. We know he is still allowed access to God’s throne to accuse Christians and he is a real being looking to destroy/devour Christians (1 Peter 5:8). At the end of the age, however, he will be bound before the 1000 year reign of Christ on earth (Revelation 20:2) before being released after the 1000 years and ultimately thrown into the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:10).
Now the question of when he fell and was cast out, we do not know. It probably happened sometime between the time of Genesis 2 and Genesis 3 as angels were created beings made during the Creation Week and all was very good at the end of that week. We do not know how long time passed between Genesis 2 & 3, but we do know Adam and Eve were used to God walking in the midst of the Garden so there had to be at least some time one can assume.
Satan is not God’s equal or even adversary, as he is just another created being and can only do that which God allows him to be able to do (see Job 1-2). We as Christians are told not to fear him because He who is in us is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world (1 John 4:4). We are told to resist him (1 Peter 5:9) and in doing so he will flee from us (James 4:7). Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:11-20 to take on the full armor of God so we can stand against him as we are engaged in a spiritual war against the fallen angels. Our place is not to argue with him or try and command him, but like Michael the archangel, say “the Lord rebuke you” and give it over to Jesus (Jude 1:9).
Conclusion: He tempted Eve in the Garden and continues to try to accomplish his will to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10) in our lives. We do not need to live in fear but rather need to understand we are in a battle and there is not neutral ground, so we must stay in the Lord, who desires us to have abundant life, and walk in the Spirit. The devil cannot make us do anything, but he and our own flesh is too strong for us to try and battle against on our own and thus we need the power that is abundantly supplied in and through Jesus Christ.