Despite where you’re from or what you believe, you’ve heard of him in one form or another. He may have been called Satan, the Devil, Lucifer, or some other name or description, but no matter which name you use, they all have one common theme – bad news. The name “Satan” means “adversary,” “opposer,” or “arch enemy.” Simply put, as the Joker is to Batman, Satan is in like manner, the enemy of God – only the Joker isn’t real, and he doesn’t hold a candle to the level of wickedness and evil scheming that Satan is capable of.
The devil is a liar, and he is a deceiver. He’s the meanest of the mean and the most low-down, dirtiest being, that you and I could ever have the misfortune of meeting. However, he wasn’t always that way. So, what happened? Where did he come from? What does he want? Well, he came from God. Believe it or not, Satan, or Lucifer as he was called back then, was created by God, and was indeed a beautiful creature. He was an angel. But He wasn’t just any old angel. He is believed to have been the highest-ranking angel. I suppose you could say he was kind of what we would call “a big shot” in Heaven.
Most people believe and agree, that it’s Satan who is described in the book of Ezekiel, chapter twenty-eight, where it is reported that he was the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect beauty (Ezek. 28:11:16). He was perfect in his ways and he was covered with every precious stone, including the diamond, the sapphire, the emerald and gold. It’s widely believed that he may have even overseen the musical worship in Heaven. However, despite all the beauty and all the authority he possessed, he still wasn’t satisfied. All these things weren’t enough for this now-fallen angel. He wanted more – much more.
The Fall of Lucifer
So, how did he become so mean and evil? The short answer is pride. Yes, pride. One of, what is referred to as, “the seven deadly sins.” Pride, which is basically the worship of one’s own self and achievements, is considered the worst sin of all. Why? Well, for starters, it’s the sin the devil committed, and that automatically shoots it to the top of the list. That should really close this little Q & A right here, but to go a little further, pride is said to be the root cause of nearly every other sin.
Let’s just throw some out as examples, shall we? Consider murder, greed, and envy. Think about what the true motives behind these sins could be. What might be the root cause that would lead a person to commit these sins? Yep. You guessed it. It’s their P-R-I-D-E. So, the more Satan began to consider his amazing beauty and splendor, the more he became conceited. He started to think much more of himself than what he was, which was simply a created being.
We’ve all probably met at least one conceited person in our lifetime. Recall a conversation you had with that person. You may remember that at some point during the chat, after turning away briefly to roll your eyes at the wall, you secretly wished that they would just stop talking. Yes, I know. Horrible, right? But it can be quite annoying to listen to someone who has nothing to talk about other than themselves. Now, consider how many times worse the devil’s conceit had to be.
The Bible teaches us that Lucifer was so lifted up with pride, in other words he had his head so far up in the clouds, that he wanted to be in the place of God. He wanted the throne and he wanted to be worshiped (Isaiah 14:13-4). Apparently, he thought he was better than the One who created him, but he found out he wasn’t even close. After successfully convincing one-third of the other angels to join him in his futile attempt to overthrow the powerful and almighty God, he and those that foolishly sided with him were kicked out of Heaven, never to return (Rev. 12:3-9). What a way to fall, right? And what a great fall that must have been. Here is the truth: whether in Heaven or on earth, or any place beneath or in-between, there is none who can stand against the Everlasting God. None.
Does Satan Have Influence Today?
Don’t be fooled. Satan has power here on Earth. He’s working around the clock looking for every opportunity to wreak havoc and destruction in our lives. He’s on the prowl. The Bible says that He walks around like a roaring lion looking for someone he can devour (1 Peter 5:8). The fact is, he can have a major influence on the everyday choices we make, such as whether to be selfish or give, whether to lie or tell the truth, and whether to love or hate.
You may imagine a cartoon scene where a miniature devil with a pitchfork sits on someone’s shoulder, while opposing an identical-sized angel, with a floating halo on the opposite shoulder. The angel tries its best to persuade the person to do the right thing, while the devil usually pleads its case by prompting the person to consider all the ways they can selfishly benefit from wrong-doing. Then, they both “poof” into a little cloud and disappear, leaving the person to make a difficult moral decision. Although not as cute as the cartoon devil, Satan sweetly whispers lies to us, in a desperate attempt to get us to believe them.
His goal is to get us to sin against God. Not only that, but if he successfully convinces us to sin, he likes to make us feel guilty about it. He hopes we’ll get to the point where we feel much too unworthy to approach God and ask for forgiveness. As a result, we’ll grow further away from God, and drift more and more into sin. Satan knows that if we continue in willful sin, the end for us is death. He has no mercy toward us and he has no concern about our well-being.
What Is His Goal?
Think about it. If you were facing a definite and impending doom, how would you react? And what if lying on top of that huge mound of negativity, was the fact that you had to witness others, whom you consider to be lesser than yourself, freely receiving and enjoying those things that you once enjoyed, but will never have again? How would you feel? What incentive would you have to keep with moral standards? What reason would you have to be kind and care for others?
Well, the devil is angry. I take that back, he is absolutely furious. He’s not sitting back quietly on the sidelines watching things play out. No, he’s going down kicking and screaming. He absolutely hates us, because we have an opportunity to enjoy the sweet fellowship of God, both on Earth, and even more so when we reach Heaven. He is the sorest of all losers. He hates God and he knows how much God loves us, so he wants to get back at God by completely destroying us – both body and soul. He doesn’t want us to have a relationship with God, and He doesn’t want us to experience Heaven. He knows that he’s doomed for all eternity, and he’s looking to take as many of us with him as he can. Sadly, he’s increasing his soul count daily.
So, how is he accomplishing this? If Satan is so horrible, then how in the world does he even appeal to us? I’ll tell you how. He does it with deceit, lies, and temptation. Just as he tempted Eve in the garden of Eden, he continues to try and tempt us today. He dresses up sin and makes it look pretty, desirable, and appealing to our senses. He makes it look good enough to take a big bite out of it. He lies to us and tells us that the crimes that we’re committing against God won’t lead to consequences.
He says that “a little bit of this or a little bit of that won’t hurt.” But again, Satan is the father of lies. His sole mission, and his only intent, is to steal, to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10). He seeks to steal our joy, peace, and happiness, he seeks to kill our hope, faith, and mortal bodies, and he’s looking to destroy our souls by keeping us in sin, which will result in our eternal damnation. Let’s get real for a moment. Satan even had the guts to try and tempt Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11), so we’re not excluded from his path of destruction. Also, he successfully convinced a third of the angels in Heaven to rebel with him against God.
Therefore, my friend, how much more are we subject to believe his lies and fall for his deception? How are we to successfully go up against such a deceitful and compelling power? The answer is, we don’t. At least not alone. The battle is not ours, but this battle belongs to the Lord. We’re just caught in the middle of it. But we do have a choice to make. We must pick a side. If we choose to follow God and put our trust in Him, then we’re already victorious. That’s because if God is on our side, then we are on the winning team. God. Doesn’t. Lose.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10 (NKJV)