‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: Matt. 25:41


Old and New Testaments agree that Satan is a personal being, not a “force” or “evil influence.” The OT indicates that Satan was created by God as a ruling angel called Lucifer, with great powers. But pride led Lucifer to rebel against God (cf. Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:12-15). Warped now by sin, Lucifer is transformed into Satan, which means “enemy” or “adversary.” He leads other angels into rebellion and together they form a spiritual army struggling to thwart God’s plans and to corrupt his people.

Various names given to Satan in Scripture reveal his character. He is called “destroyer” (Rev. 9:11), “the evil one” (Matt. 13:19, 38), “deceiver” (Rev. 12:9), the “father of lies,” “murderer” (John 8:44), “tempter” (1 Tess. 3:5), and the “ancient serpent” (Rev. 12:9), which is a reference to the role that Satan played in the fall of humankind (Gen. 3).

Satan is not omnipotent or omnipresent, nor does he have other attributes of God. But Satan is a powerful being who directs “his angels” (Matt. 25:41), the demons of the NT, in the struggle against God. Satan is also called the ruler of this world, for he has succeeded in building into human society his own warped values and principles of relationship (cf. John 12:31; Eph. 3:2,3: Col. 1:13; 1 John 2:15-17).

In spite of Satan’s powers and his influence, Satan is a limited being, who operates only within a framework permitted by God. His ultimate fate is assured. Jesus announced that “eternal fire” has been prepared for “the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41), and Revelation graphically portrays his prophesied doom (Rev. 20:7-15).


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