Satan & Demons

3. What's the Best Way to Know Your Enemy?

By Dr. Paul M. Elliott
Scripture teaches us the nature and attributes of God through His many names, and those of Satan in the same way.

From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase

Part three of a series. Read part two.

Scripture teaches us the nature and attributes of God through His many names. The Holy Spirit teaches us the nature and attributes of Satan in the same way. The best way to know your enemy is to know his names, and what they mean.

Satan's names in Scripture give us five categories of information about him: 1.) his origin; 2.) his essential nature; 3.) his specific role as destroyer; 4.) his relationship to this present world as its ruler and friend; and 5.) his relationship to believers as their adversary and enemy. We begin today by examining Scripture passages that speak of Satan's origin.

Lucifer, Son of the Morning

Two passages in the Old Testament speak of the origin of Satan as the highest of God's created angelic beings, his rebellion through pride, his fall, and his ultimate doom:

How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High." Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: "Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?" (Isaiah 14:12-17)

Thus says the Lord God: "You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you. You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever." (Ezekiel 28:11-19)

The name Lucifer means, literally, "light-bearer" or "shining one." The name summarizes the descriptions of the staggering beauty of this creature of God, and his original position in heaven.

The New Testament Explanation

The reference to Satan in these two passages is indirect, through the names of the earthly kings of Babylon and Tyre. Clearly these prophecies spoke of the impending doom of those two kingdoms. But these passages, like a number of others in prophecy, also have a farther-reaching significance. That becomes clear as we compare them with the fuller revelation of the New Testament. We see that their ultimate reference is to Satan:

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time." (Revelation 12:7-12)

Jesus alluded to these cataclysmic events when He said, "I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven" (Luke 10:18).

As we shall see in a later article, Lucifer (along with his ministers) is still able to masquerade as a light-bearer to deceive Christians.

Next: Names That Reveal Satan's Essential Nature

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