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What Is the Origin of Satan?

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Fascination with who Satan is and how he operates is both abnormal and dangerous. However, desperately attempting to avoid any and all conversation on the subject is also harmful because it leaves a person almost completely ignorant of truth and of the tricks of Satan. The apostle Paul spoke of the need for believers to be informed about the arch-enemy of Jesus. That information should come from biblical scripture which neither goes too far in teaching about Lucifer nor leaves out what is vital to know on the important subject of the powers of darkness. Paul wrote, "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices" (KJV, II Cor. 2:11). Rejection, even by "Christian" leaders, of sound biblical teaching on the devices of Lucifer should cause suspicion concerning the motivation for that rejection. Preoccupation, on the other hand, with what takes place in the satanic kingdom should also be cause for concern.

Lucifer in the Beginning



The Bible provides a glimpse into the origin of Satan for the purpose of teaching vital truths, not for us to be intrigued. Many people actually believe that Satan, called by various descriptive names such as the Devil, "that old serpent," Lucifer, and the dragon, was created evil; he was not. Therefore, it's incorrect to say that the origin of Satan is evil; that is not what the Bible says. The scripture of Ezekiel 28:12-17 reads, "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. 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. 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. Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 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...."

Some say that this scriptural passage refers not to Satan, but to Adam, the first man, or to the wicked king of Tyrus. However, neither Adam nor the king of Tyrus can fit everything described in the passage; but, Lucifer can. For example, while Adam was in the garden of Eden, he was not a cherub which is a type of angel. Adam he was a man. The king of Tyrus neither lived in the garden of Eden nor was he a cherub. The message of defeat is certainly indirectly to the king; but, it speaks directly to the spirit behind that wickedness. Although Adam was perfect in his ways until he fell from grace, he did not fall as a result of being lifted up in pride over beauty. But, such is the case with the fall of the entity to whom the passage refers. Adam coveted a prohibited wisdom, this entity was lifted up because of his beauty. Finally, Adam wasn't cast out of the "mountain of God;" rather, he was cast out of the earthly garden of Eden--big difference. If Adam can't fit the description of the entity of whom the passage speaks, certainly no other man can; that leaves the angels to be considered.

There are undeniable signs that point us to the thought that Lucifer is the entity referenced in Ezekiel 28:12-17. First, Lucifer is an angel (II Cor. 11:14). Remember, "angel" doesn't necessarily mean holy because angelic beings can be unholy. The confusion usually stems from the fact that the angelic beings who fell are referred to by other names such as demons, devils, and the powers of darkness. The scripture of Revelation 12:7 says, "...Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon fought and his angels." Clearly, the beings who sided with Satan in this war were angels. The passage also says to the entity, "...Thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness." The name "Lucifer" means light bearing which is why he has been called the "day star." No scripture tells us that Adam shined like a star. Why would we think that the wicked king shined at all? Although Moses' face was so bright that he had to wear a veil, he was not a cherub, he had never been in the garden of Eden, and he was not a king.

The origin of Satan is not evil. Scripture says that he is a created angelic being and that God is who created all things. We are reminded by the book of Genesis among others that God called his work of creation good. Ezekiel 28:12-17 lets the reader know that Lucifer was made beautiful, wise, powerful, and as bright as a star. He was given precious stones, instruments to make music, and was placed in the paradise of the heavens. One more very important point to remember is that he was also made with free will to choose to continue in obedience to God or to rebel. He chose rebellion and made war. No, the origin of Satan is not one of the creation of an ugly, wicked being, rather of a perfect being who let iniquity set up in his heart which led to the sealing of the fate that awaits him and his angels. Man, on the other hand, still has a chance if he hasn't committed the unpardonable sin. He can invite Christ to live in him and he can choose to shun iniquity at all costs. This is only one of many truths found in the biblical account of the origin of Satan.

Related Reading:


Why Didn't God Destroy Satan?

Free Will and Evil

What Is the Origin of Evil According to the Christian Bible?

NOTE: The second link (Free Will and Evil) answers the question of how man can be assured that evil won't rise again even in the new heaven and earth as all beings will still have free will.


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Comments/Comentarios:

Would greatly appreciate if you would read my article on lucifer.http://heatherbergscontroversy.blogspot.com/2012/07/lucifer-who-me-there-is-wide-spread.html
by: Heather
Posted on 2012-08-06 18:26:23


To Heather:

Your article teaches that God is the Creator of evil, which is not what the Scriptures teach. Many people mistakenly believe that the holy God of Israel created evil simply because of what they read in Isaiah 45:7. Here is an excerpt from our article, What Is The Origin of Evil According to the Bible?, which brings to surface the improper use of Isaiah 45:7 to say that God created evil:

When he says, "I make peace and create evil," he is not speaking of bringing the essence of evil into existence, rather he is speaking of his authority to create any situation he wants. Isaiah 45:7 in the Paraphrased Bible reads, "I send good times and bad." This is the meaning of "I make peace and create evil." Notice that "create evil" is directly contrasted with "make peace." "Make peace" is not speaking of bringing peace into existence; why would "create evil" mean bringing evil into existence? Isaiah 45:7 is not explaining the origin of evil.

Also, remember that "create" is used to refer not only to creation power but also to the changing of things and situations in other passages of the Christian Bible. For example, king David prayed, "Create in me a clean heart, O God..." (Psalm 51:10). David was not asking God to use his power of creation to literally bring into existence for him a new heart/mind. He was asking God to clean his existing heart. So, we see that "create" is used in scripture to refer to changes in situations as well as to God's power of creation; the context of the passage reveals how "create" is to be understood.

What Is the Origin of Evil According to the Bible? can be accessed here.
Thank you for taking the time to comment.
Heavenly Manna
by: Heavenly Manna
Posted on 2012-08-07 20:47:56


I very much appreciate your response. It was thoughtful. My use of Isaiah 45:7 where it says the Lord creates evil, this was a very small part of my blog post. But let's clarify that word create in that verse. It is the Hebrew verb bara' and it literally means to create. Bara' (create that is used in Isaiah is the EXACT same word used in Genesis chapters 1 and 2 when it speaks of the Lord creating heaven and earth, whales, man, etc.

But like I said this was a very small point in my post about why lucifer is not Satan.

Your reply also made me think of something else that is very important:


If you believe the devil was created as a beautiful angel of light, that the one time Lucifer reference in Isaiah 14 is speaking of Satan, and that as a holy angel he fell from heaven, this leaves you with two dilemmas.

You have believe two things about Satan that are not based in scripture.

You have to believe Satan, after falling from heaven as an angel, went back as an evil being (negating God's power to permanently cast someone out of heaven).
You have to believe Satan fell from heaven twice.


The first couple chapters of Job give some great insight into the relationship between God and Satan. What we are looking at here is that Satan is in heaven speaking with God and he is evil. He is there with other beings and he is something completely different.



Job 1:6-12

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”

So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?"

So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!"

And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.




Job 2:1-7

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord. And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?”

Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause."

So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!"

And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life."

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.



These two chapters in Job are very interesting. Satan roamed the earth and was also allowed in heaven. He was antagonistic towards God and towards His people. He was most definitely walking in his role as an adversary. He was not yet cast out of heaven.



In Luke 10 Jesus sends out over 70 men in His name. They are sent to heal the sick and do mighty works to show people the hope and freedom of the gospel. It is only through the power of Christ that Satan lost his place in heaven.



Luke10:17-19

Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name."

And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.


Satan, the adversary who was evil from the beginning, had always been allowed in heaven as we see in Job. He was completely defeated at the cross through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It wasn't until Christ defeated Satan that his place in heaven was abolished.

Thank you for your time.
by: Heather
Posted on 2012-09-07 18:17:36


Although most people are not interested in the original Hebrew words behind the translation of the English Bible, let's deal with your point for just a moment. Why would the word for literal creation NOT be used to refer to the creation of a situation? Situations are real. They literally exist. War is just as real as a piece of paper. The paper is tangible; the war is not. Does the fact that the paper is tangible and the war is not make the war any less real than the paper? No, it does not. Salvation is not tangible, but it is so real that Jesus died that we might obtain it. The Hebrew word for literal creation should be used. It only makes sense, because it's referring to God's literal creation of a situation, not to a figurative creation.

Regarding your question of how a kicked-out-of-heaven Lucifer (Isaiah 14) could be the same Satan who is seen in heaven in the second chapter of Job is answered in our recently published article, When Was Satan Kicked out of Heaven? Please follow the link to that content that answers your very good question--one that we believe others have. Thank you for taking the time to comment/ask questions.
by: Heavenly Manna
Posted on 2012-09-07 22:54:43


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