Origin of the Devil

By: Elder Allen Daniels

All men agree that evil exists in the world, but not all men believe that there is a Devil (Satan).  Yet the Scriptures teach that Satan exists as a highly intelligent, powerful force for evil.  The Bible tells us Satan was instrumental in tempting our parents Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to disobey God.  Satan accused Job, he personally tempted Jesus during His ministry, and even today goes about as a roaring lion seeking those he may devour.  He is called the Prince of the Power of the Air.  So where did Satan come from, and why does God allow him to continue (for now at least) roaming up and down in the earth?


First, it is important to point out that Satan, no matter how powerful, is still a created being, and is not equal to God.
Notice the following Scripture:

Col 1:16-17   “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” 

These verses of Scripture are complimentary to John 1:3, “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”  The “him” in the text is none other than Jehovah God of the Old Testament, who at the appointed time of the Father became flesh to redeem his people from their sins.  In order to understand this subject, we must start with these Scriptures.

 

Go with me to Gen 3:1  “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

 

I think we will all admit there was more involved here than just a “natural” creature (a beast of the field).  Our Lord said to Peter…”Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”  (Matt 16:22-23)  I don’t think that any of us will say that Jesus was saying that Peter was actually Satan, but that He was addressing the spirit by which he spoke.  Peter had just contradicted the Lord’s words and had actually rebuked him saying “be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” This is the same spirit by which Satan spoke through the serpent in the Garden of Eden.  “And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Gen 3:1). By this statement he planted the seed of doubt in her mind; then in verse 4, he spoke a direct contradiction to God’s words.   “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” 

 

Notice what Jesus said about the devil in John 8:44; “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.”

Now we have already established that he is a creation of Jehovah.  We know God is not the author of sin and according Gen 1:31, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”  .  Satan was not made a sinner; therefore, we must conclude that he fell sometime before God made man for he was there to tempt Adam and Eve in the garden.  In Ephesians 2:2 he is referred to as  “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience..”   Remember our text in Col 1:16 that God created heavenly things and earthly things, visible things and invisible things, principalities and powers: all things were created by him, and for him.      

 

It is important that we keep these thoughts in mind as we examine Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28.  Both of these scriptures are speaking of Satan, although they are addressed “indirectly” to two different earthly kings.   Let us notice in Isaiah 14:4Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon...”  This wicked man was Satan personified.  In this proverb, God was speaking “directly” to Satan.  He is called Lucifer in verse 12.  The Hebrew word for Lucifer is heylel (hay-lale)  which means: in the sense of brightness; the morning star. (This definition will become very important when we look at Ezekiel 28.)  Now look at Isaiah 14:12:  “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!”  The point I want to make here is that he fell from heaven.  What caused his fall?  The next few verses tell us. 

 

Let us notice the five I wills” that Lucifer said  (verses 13 & 14) :

  1. I will ascend into heaven; 
  2. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; 
  3. I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north;
  4. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; 
  5. I will be like the most High 

   

Now let us go to Ezekiel 28:1-2 “ The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:”  This sounds very much like Isaiah 14, doesn’t it?

 

Now read with me verses 12-15:  “12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 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. 14 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. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

 

“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God;,... in the day that thou wast created.”  We must pause here to ask a couple of questions:  When was the king of Tyrus in the Garden Of Eden?  When was he created?  The obvious answers are that he was never there and he was not created, but he was born like all other sons of Adam; therefore, we must conclude that God was not speaking to the king of Tyrus, but to the one who was directing and controlling him: “…the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan”.  (see Rev 20:2

 

Notice now in Ezekiel 28:14:  “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.”  Does this sound like an earthly king?  Notice verse 15 ” Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.“.”  The point I want to make here is: God created him perfect, not evil and wicked, but then he sinned, and then he fell.

 

Notice verses 16 and 17:  “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.”  In other words, because of thy arrogance and thy pride (thy beauty and thy brightness): “I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.”  (Remember Isaiah 14)

   

Let’s look at a couple more verses in Job 1:6-7    “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence camest thou?  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”  My point here is this:  Satan is not in Heaven any more, but he was cast down to the earth.  He is the god of this world, who blinds the minds of God’s children which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (See 2Cor 4:4).  

 

These verses are in complete harmony with Revelation 12:9  “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. ”  Peter and Jude spoke of the angels that sinned and cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.  They kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation.     (See 2Peter 2:4 and Jude 1:6)

 

The main objection to this view of Satan’s Origin, seems to be that he was cast out of heaven.  Paul speaks of the third heaven in 2Cor 12:2, “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”  In accordance with this verse, we see that there are at least three heavens; therefore, we must concede that he was cast out of one of these heavens.  I think we can all agree that there is no sin in eternal heaven (the abode of God).  If there is sin there, then we really don’t have much in which to look forward.  Are we going to have to battle the same lusts and temptations there as we do here on earth?  I don’t think so.  All is perfect in Heaven’s glory world.  If there is no sin in heaven, how can we say that Satan lusted after the throne of God?  I do not argue that Satan wants the glory that only belongs unto God; but, I do not believe that Satan ever occupied a place in eternal heaven.  

 

As for Isaiah 14, as you read through those verses, you will see that it is a parable taken up against the king of Babylon. The subject of the parable does not change.  As for the word heaven, we must ask, “Which heaven is under consideration?”  (How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!)   Jesus said in Luke 10:18,  “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”  Jude 1:6 speaks of some angels which kept not their first estate, but left their habitation.  2Peter 2:4 speaks of some angels that sinned and were cast down to hell.  John writes (Rev 12:9) of Satan ( the great dragon) was cast out ( of heaven) ,” ….that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceived the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”    

 

The scriptures do not say which heaven, so let us for the moment deal with what we know.  Satan’s domain is now the earth.  That is what he told the LORD in Job 1:7, “Whence camest thou?…From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.”  That is where he is now confined.  And his purpose is to deceive, tempt, and lie to God’s children.  He had already “fallen” by the time he was deceiving our mother Eve in the garden.

 

As previously stated, Isaiah 14:4-15 and Ezekiel 28:1-19 are speaking of Satan before his fall and these verses give the reason for his fall.  When Satan sinned, there were (some) angles that sinned also and were cast out with him.  These are his servants, some of whom disguise themselves as “ministers of righteousness” for the purpose of preaching false doctrine and Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  He is a spiritual being (invisible to us), and he can quote Scripture as well as any preacher and has actually preached in some church pulpits. (see 2Cor 11:13-15)

 

Now concerning the statement, “there is no sin in heaven“; it must be qualified.  Which heaven?  The Scriptures are very clear, there was sin in one of them at one time; however, I agree, there is no sin in the “third heaven”: the eternal abode of God, where Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father.

 

The question remains, what shall become of Satan and those angels that sinned? Again the Scriptures are very clear on this point also.  The Son of God did not take on himself the nature of angels; therefore, the angels which sinned have no redemption provided for them, but are held in reserve with the devil for eternal punishment at the last day; at which time they shall be cast into the lake of fire along with all those whose name were not found written in the book of life.  “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”  (See Rev 19:20 and Rev 20:10-15)  Jesus did not come to save these, but He came to save His people from their sins.  He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; therefore, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  None shall be lost; they cannot fall again. They are kept by the power of God and preserved by the blood of their precious Redeemer.  Who is he that condemneth?  Who can lay a charge against any for whom Christ died. (see Rom 8:28-35)  They have been justified by His precious blood; therefore, according to Ephesians 1:4, they stand before God in love holy and without blame.

 

In closing, I must address one more point which I have actually heard from some of our Primitive Baptist members; that is, that Satan (the devil) is really just a “state of mind” (a figment of our imagination).  Or as stated by others, that we are all fallen creatures of Adam and the devil is just our sinful nature.  I would like to address these thoughts in the remainder of this article.

 

Concerning our fallen nature, the Apostle Paul writing under divine inspiration stated:  “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.   Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.   I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (Romans 7:18-21)

 

I think it is very needful for us to recognize our sin nature and our depravity in Adam because of sin, but to say that our fallen nature is the “devil” personified is gross error.  Granted, the devil sometimes (more often than I like to admit) has his way with me, but if I am one of God’s born again children, I have Christ in me the hope of glory.  (Colossians 1:26-27)

 

Satan works on our fleshly mind and desires and tempts us to sin.  James 1:13-15  says:  “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lusts, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin:  and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” 

 

However, let us not equate this condition and temptation to be the devil himself.  Let us not equate our sinful nature with being the devil; because, to do this, is to deny the actual literal existence of Satan (the devil); and by so doing, we give him (the devil) an advantage over us.  God forbid that any of us would forget for a moment or be persuaded otherwise that Satan, that old devil, is a real being and not just a figment of our imagination.  He is not the flesh, but he tempts us through our flesh. 

 

Let us consider the following scriptures and thoughts: Jesus was tempted by a very real devil and not just  “a state of being“.  Matt 4:1  “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” Jesus did not have a sinful nature as we have, yet he was tempted by the devil.  Now notice in Matthew 4:3,  “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”  This was a real conversation between two persons (Jesus and the devil).

 

In Jude 1:9 we read the following: “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, dust not bring against him a railing accusation, but saith, The Lord rebuke thee.”  I must ask the question, are Jesus and Michael in the above Scriptures dealing with a figment of their imagination or with something that was just in their minds (a state of being)?

 

Finally, let us notice the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:11-12, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  Our enemy is not flesh and blood, but according the Apostle Peter, he is a very real being:  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”  (1Peter 5:8-9)

 

We could cite a lot more Scriptures, but I think these are sufficient to prove my point: the devil is very real and should not be taken lightly, but at the same time, let us not forget, through the power of the Holy Spirit given to us in regeneration, we have the means and authority to overcome his evil devices, as so stated by the Apostle John in 1John 4:4; “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”; therefore, we are admonished in James 4:7 to “Submit yourselves to God, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Posted On: 9 Dec 2016 by WAD
Original written 5 Jul 1997

 

 

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