WHO IS SATAN?
II Corinthians 2:11 says "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
Before we discuss some of the devices of Satan, we first need to know who he is. The name "Satan" comes from a Hebrew word signifying an adversary, an enemy, and an accuser. In God's Word, we discover that Satan is God's enemy and is against all for which God stands. He is the archenemy of good.
Surprising as it may seem to some, Satan was not always evil. In the beginning, he was an angel created in perfection and beauty. Angels were given a will with a free moral choice, and "Lucifer" (Satan's name before he was cast out of heaven) chose to do evil and rebelled against God. He was cast out of heaven to the earth because of his sin. His present domain is limited to the earth and hell.
Isaiah 14:12-15, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine 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 thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."
Satan's sins were pride and covetousness. He desired God's throne and set his will against God's will. Five times he said, "I will" in this portion of Scripture.
This is still man's sin today: the refusal to do God's will, with the same attitude of "I will." Satan chose to rebel and it brought him down to hell. Men are making the same choice today and those who rebel will ultimately go down to the pit (hell) with the devil.
Lucifer had been gifted with beauty and had walked upon the holy mountain of God. But even with all this, he was not content with his position and by trying to usurp God's authority, sin entered into him when he attempted to overthrow God's kingdom.
Ezekiel 28:12-19, "...Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more."
From these verses, we see that God did not create Lucifer evil, but made him perfect. By Satan's own choice, he became evil and was cast out of heaven.
SATAN CAST OUT OF HEAVEN
The Lord never meant for evil to exist. It was simply the opposite of good, and since it takes a free will for evil to come into existence, Lucifer was the first created being to exercise his will against God. Since that time, others have followed. Satan caused a third of heaven to fall with him by influencing other angelic beings to make war against God (Revelation 12:4a). They too were cast out of heaven. They have since become evil spirits due to their choice. They now roam the earth, with Satan as their leader and master. These invisible supernatural beings still have power, but it is directed toward evil works of darkness. Satan is still ruling in the earth today, not only over the evil spirits, but also over evil men who choose the same path of rebellion against God. He is the dark prince of this world. We can see a glimpse of his evil wisdom, strength, glitter, and his inevitable end by reading the previous passages. We must remember that he has only limited power, but nevertheless he does have power, and those who do not know him and his devices inevitably become his victims.
JESUS DEFEATS SATAN
Those who are "born again" and filled with the Spirit of God have no need to fear this evil foe as he has been defeated by our God. Jesus defeated him and stripped him of his power two thousand years ago. Jesus paid the price of our sins on the cross and then rose from the dead bringing life to all who would follow Him. Satan's authority has been taken away from him. We now have authority over him through Jesus Christ. "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" (Revelation 1:18).
Revelation 12 records the account of Satan's overthrow by Christ. We are first given a vision of what takes place in heaven, then the Bible reveals the earthly scene:
Revelation 12:7-12, "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."