The Origin of Satan

Well, given the holiday, I thought there would be nothing more appropriate to discuss today than this. Hahaha, relax it’s a joke. I know if you celebrate Christmas you’re probably in horror that I would say that, but don’t worry, I know this holiday has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. Though perhaps it does have something to do with one of Satan’s plans of mass deception, but that’s debatable speculation, and I digress. But there’s something important to be learned here, which will continue to help us in carefully studying the Word just like the Bereans did in Acts 17:11. What we’re going to learn here, is that we should not follow the Scripture on the basis of traditional or even present man-made teachings as some do, and follow the Scripture on the basis of what it states and indicates. As Paul so eloquently states in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.”

The common presumption that has been taught is that Satan was an angel in heaven who got too prideful and was banished from heaven by God. What’s interesting is I’ve yet to find this direct story anywhere in Scripture. Now some point to Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 as proof of this happening, but the context has to be considered of whose being spoken about in those verses. In Isaiah 14:4, it makes a beginning statement that the words are being directed to the King of Babylon, so the verse that people point to in verse 12 about the fallen star, that’s being directed to the King of Babylon.

There’s no mention in this chapter whatsoever of Satan. Ezekiel 28:2 similarly states that the words are being directed to the King of Tyre. So verses 11-18, are not describing Satan, but are words being directed to the King of Tyre. And again, Satan is never directly mentioned in these verses. If we go back to Isaiah 14:12 for a moment, in the KJV, some have attached the word Lucifer to mean Satan, but looking at the Hebrew translation of the word Lucifer, it actually means morning star. Newer translations translate it as such. Satan to my knowledge of all Scripture I’ve ever read was never referred to as a morning star.

To further bring thought on this traditional concept that Satan was once a good angel, let’s consider these verses. 1 John 3:7-8 states “Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 Everyone who commits sin is a child of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.” John 8:44 states, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Now the first verses we looked at said the Devil, who is Satan just to be clear because Scripture shows he’s referred to as both Devil and Satan based on Revelation 2:20, has been sinning from the beginning. The second verse stated that he was a murderer from the beginning. Now if he was both a sinner and a murderer from the beginning, it seems to leave no room for Satan to have ever been good. Based on these verses, it seems difficult not to conclude Satan was always evil.

I have one last scriptural analysis for consideration. What if we were to presume that it’s true that Satan was in fact an angel once? Let’s consider these verses. 2 Peter 2:4 states, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;” Jude 1:6 states, “And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,” Theoretically, based on these verses, if Satan was ever an angel who sinned against God or did not keep his own abode, he would be in a pit of darkness eternally bound until the day of judgment. But numerous verses show that Satan is an active force in this world throughout Scripture in the times then and in times now. So it would be difficult to conclude that Satan was ever an angel, because if he was, then he wouldn’t be an active evil force in the world right now, because it seems doubtful an angel could do much evil if they were eternally bound under darkness until the Day of Judgment by the all-powerful God we serve.

With all of that said, that’s all I have for you today. I hope this helps you to think more about how you read Scripture, and make sure you’re following it the way it’s given to you, and not by the lens of whatever tradition you were raised in has taught you to see it. May God bless the true followers of Christ.

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13 thoughts on “The Origin of Satan

  1. It takes our OWN understanding to figure out what the ancient Bible writers were trying to tell us…and i do believe the religions have NOT figured it out…yet. Remember, we are told…”Ask ME of things concerning my sons,” not a preacher of any kind…anyway that’s my current belief.

    • Hi babarahs. Thank you for your comment. Yes, we certainly have to analyze the text carefully to understand the meaning we’re supposed to gather from it. And I believe it’s helpful to continually ponder things and leave our minds open to different possibilities. Hopefully we’ll all come as close to the accurate truth that God desires of us to know.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  2. Hi factbasedtruth,

    I’ve spent a lot of time daydreaming on this topic. Here’s some of what I have considered:

    The creator God is the only being eternal in the past. He is before all things, and in Him all things have their being.
    Everything was created through God the Son, no being apart from Him exists without Him creating it. Aseity is the nature of God alone.
    Therefore the Adversary is not eternal in the past. He is a created being.

    Upon the completion of creation, God declared that everything was “good”
    This means at the end of the creation week, there was no sin present, or creation would not be “good”

    God is truth and cannot lie. (see Hebrews 6:18, also John 14:6 and 7)
    The Adversary is the father of all lies, as you have stated.
    This means lies have their origin in God’s enemy, not in God.
    That lies (and every other form of sin) are abhorrent to God, and contrary to His nature is evidenced,
    1. In the fact that He is good
    2. In the fact that He will punish sin forever (see Matthew 25:41)
    So we can see that the evil nature of God’s enemy came from himself, and not from God.
    This means, having been created good, the adversary changed.
    It is impossible to maintain God’s goodness, and the record of Scripture, and believe otherwise, as far as I can see from the logic of the case.
    Also consider that it is very different to believe God created something that became evil than to believe He created something evil.
    To reinforce this, see Romans 1:30. In this list of things contrary to God’s nature, we find sinning people became “inventors of evil things”
    So we can see clearly that God enemy started as something good, and became evil of his own accord.

    Jesus, when talking about the devil’s nature in John 8 is very clear that it his own-and contrary to His own-so our Lord’s words about what Satan was “in the beginning” cannot be construed that God gifted Satan with his errant ways. Jesus’ ministry evidenced this in that He “came to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8) and “went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.” (Acts 10:38)
    Yes Satan fell quickly. That is to my mind a fair interpretation of “from the beginning,” so as to not produce a contradiction in God’s Word, or to charge God with wrong.

    If I had time right now, I would go into the interpretation of the Isaiah and Ezekiel passages, but I think the considerations I have presented here give a good framework for understanding the existence of God’s enemy. I would also spend time on why God in His foreknowledge, love and wisdom allowed the fall of Satan. Maybe I just will, given some more time

    Blessings,

    Nova

    • Hi Nova. Thank you for your comment. I would suggest to you it can be simultaneously true that God’s creation of the devil was good, but also that he was created evil. Consider the creation of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. A created thing that is stated to have knowledge of evil in it, thus an element of evil in it, but still good, because Genesis 1:31 states, God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. But beyond this point, even if it were the case the devil were once good, there is no direct statement “the devil was an angel” in scripture to my humble knowledge.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • Hiya factbasedtruth,

        I would certainly agree inasmuch as God’s foreknowledge of Satan’s fall, and His divine wisdom in allowing this to happen are completely good and for the eternal good of everyone who believes. With an enemy to oppose God, man’s moral agency would be tested (he would have real opportunity to use his will). God’s plan to have a family made of members like the Son of God could not be realised without either the fall of Satan or the tree of knowledge.
        What I am trying to say is that I agree on the outcome, but I contend on the way in which this happened.
        I don’t believe that an righteous end justifies an unrighteous means, so God must be righteous with His dealings with His world.
        With the tree of knowledge of good and evil, I would contend that the tree and its fruit had no element of evil whatsoever, it simply contained knowledge. The evil was created in disobeying God’s command to “Not eat from that tree.” In knowingly going along with the deception, Adam created evil in the human race, as at that time it was limited to the devil and his angels.
        I love talking about this type of topic. I always feel I have to contend for whatever position shows God to be greater. I would ask you to reconsider your idea that God can be good and create something evil. I don’t think that is a morality we can emulate, especially given Romans 1:30 listing inventors of evil as contrary to God’s nature.
        I know this doesn’t prove that the devil was once an angel. I don’t believe that anyway, I believe he was once a cherub, but there’s a lot more typing to go into that part of the argument. It is the part of the argument which I’ve written about that is most interesting to me. Given time I might delve into the references concerning that

        Blessings,

        Nova

      • “With the tree of knowledge of good and evil, I would contend that the tree and its fruit had no element of evil whatsoever”

        I’m a little confused in how you can make this statement that the tree had no element of evil in it when evil is in it’s very name. I’m person that tries to stick my understanding to as close to what the text states as possible. If it merely stated the tree of knowledge, I would be more inclined to your current conclusion. Do you understand how a specific word stated of the tree would make one think that’s what the tree has in it? Much like how one would conclude an apple tree has apples in it. Thoughts?

        “I don’t think that is a morality we can emulate, especially given Romans 1:30 listing inventors of evil as contrary to God’s nature.”

        I think this would go back to my earlier statement, that perhaps it can be simultaneously true that God can create something with evil in it, and it can be good, just as he said of everything he created in Genesis 1/2 that it was good, including the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Is it possible this is perhaps something true that may just be beyond our finite understanding?

        “I know this doesn’t prove that the devil was once an angel. I don’t believe that anyway, I believe he was once a cherub,”

        So I’m curious, what brings you to the conclusion the devil was a cherub? Look forward to hearing your answer and enjoying this engaging discussion.

        Peace in Christ. 🙂

      • Hi again =)

        The understanding of how something may contain the knowledge of a thing, and not contain that thing can be easily shown from the discourse in Romans 7.
        First looking at Romans 3:20, we find that “by the Law comes the knowledge of sin.” In discussing believers freedom from the Law in Romans 7, Paul asks the question (verse7), “Is the Law sin?”; the answer: “certainly not…” In verse 8 he goes on to describe how sin works in relation to the Law, that sin is the guilty one. Verse 12 upholds the law-the thing that brings the knowledge of evil-as “holy, just, and good.” All the blame for sin is placed on sin.
        These verses make it plain to me that something containing the knowledge of sin without having any element of sin, else the commandment would not be “holy, just and good”
        The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is what gives us our conscience, which is in turn the Law written on our hearts. The conscience (that is con-with; science-knowledge) is a good thing. The thing that was wrong was disobeying God. That was the sin. That was not given to them by eating the tree, but was created by believing the serpent’s words over God’s. The tree, being knowledge, cannot be evil in and of itself, just like law and conscience are not evil in and of themselves.
        If the tree had been called the Tree of Good and Evil your argument would stand, but because it is the Knowledge (I want use italics) of Good and Evil, it cannot be held that the tree contained evil. The view that to seems to fit the length and breadth of the Bible is that sin is rebellion against God, and something that God cannot and will not be party to, something that He punishes. It seems to fit very well with that view that sin is was created by rebellion against God rather than an act of God.

      • Hello. Apologies for the very delayed response. At a brief glance I would grant that your argument seems valid without having taken a longer glance at those verses. Even with this part of my argument that I’m humble enough to admit that you’re probably more right than I thought on this point regarding the tree, I still think my other argument stands that Satan was never stated to be an angel, or cherubim, or anything that scripture never directly stated him to be, such as a serpent or the great dragon. If you have a verse that states that, then I’d certainly be willing to change my mind on that point as well. And just out of curiosity, is there a specific story or verse you can point to that shows or expresses satan being good at one point in time?

      • Hi again. Thanks for the courteous and engaging discussion. It has certainly been helpful for me in reinforcing my understanding of this topic. For my conscience, the argument from God’s goodness is strong enough beyond doubt to prove that God’s adversary was once good. Having established this point, we can move on to the rest of the scriptural data available to us.
        This is actually a rather large study, so I will try and keep it as simple as possible. I may also have to retract what I said about Satan being “a cherub not an angel” as we would commonly use those terms interchangeably, and there is enough in scripture to suggest that is fair.
        I believe the position I hold is the best explanation for all the word of God has to say about this topic. I believe I rightly handle the word of truth, but follow along and see what you think.
        1. Did Satan fall? Jesus said He saw Satan fall. Luke 10:18 “I saw Satan fall from Heaven like like lightening.” Satan was in God’s dwelling place, but he fell.
        2. Can perfect beings sin? Yes. Adam and Eve were declared by God to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31) and yet they sinned. **Actually, this verse answers your question of whether Satan was good. Everything was declared “very good” in this verse. 2 Peter 2:4 showed us that some of God’s messengers (angels) sinned, and were “cast down”
        3 What are principalities? Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 2:6,8; Ephesians 1:21, 2:2, 3:10, 6;12; and Colossians 2:15 all talk about spiritual authorities which Jesus defeated at the cross. These are authorities in Satan’s kingdom set up to rule over humanity in order to keep us from God’s purposes for us. They are not in God’s order, but rather a rebel kingdom set up against the will of God. They cause sickness and disease, (Luke 13:11; Acts 10:38) They cause deception and blindness to the things of God (2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Timothy 2:26) They tempt believers to sin (1 Corinthians 7:5) They resist prayers being answered. (Daniel 10:13) This verse is worth spending some attention on. Daniel prayed and performed a partial fast for three weeks, awaiting an answer from God. When the heavenly messenger arrived, he informed Daniel that the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” had been resisting him on his course to give Daniel the message. We see the language in Daniel generally referring to “princes” as spiritual authorities, and “kings” as human leaders.
        4 What about the King of Tyre? In Ezekiel 28 we see two separate prophesies, the first against the “prince of Tyre” and the second against the “king of Tyre” I **believe (I cannot prove to one who wishes to believe otherwise) that the best explanation of this scripture is as follows: unlike Persia and Greece at the time of Daniel, the ruling spirit of Tyre was Satan himself. Jesus refers to him as “THE ruler of this world” John 12:31 also “the god of this world” 2 Cor 4:4. So, when the earthly leader was referred to, he is addressed as “prince” and the spiritual entity, Satan, is referred to as “king.” I do not believe it is fair to hold the things said about the “king of Tyre” could refer to a human. Especially that he was ” in Eden, the garden of God (verse 13) seeing Eden was destroyed if not before, then during Noah’s Flood. Also I no human since Adam and Eve has been “created” (verse 15). A study of the Hebrew Scriptures reveals cherubim (plural of cherub) to be heavenly beings which are servants of God. Attempting to make this apply to a human removes the clarity and simplicity of Scripture, something my conscience will not allow me to do. So, we see the Chief Cherub, who was perfect from the time he was created, who was before the throne of God, who was in the Garden of Eden, who later sinned and fell.
        There is more scriptural data available on this subject, but to really dig deep would be the subject of a small book, not a blog post. I believe my view is both cohesive and informative, as well as faithful to the scriptures. For me to change my view, I would have to see superior insight on the big picture of Satan’s kingdom as well as better explanations of the scriptures we have available to us.
        I shall leave this here. Thank you for your time.

        All the best,

        Nova

      • Regarding whether God can simultaneously be good and create evil, my argument from Romans 1:30 was to point out that we draw God to contradiction if an action He calls evil (ei the inventing evil in that verse), He has already done Himself. That would be like the father who cusses and drinks, then beats his son for cussing and drinking. An obvious contradiction.

        “Is it possible this is perhaps something true that may just be beyond our finite understanding?”
        Here I’m not so much arguing what is ‘possible’ but where the weight of evidence lies. To me there seems to be stronger evidence on the side of God not creating evil, but it rather being created through rebellion against God’s will.

        Blessings,

        Nova

      • I guess to state what I see to be true another way is: God is never an agent for evil. God created space for independent action, and the choices of other agents created evil. Because the agency of separate beings from God is a real thing, God can never be charged with wrong. (for what it’s worth)

        Blessings,

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