THE ORIGIN OF SATAN
We know that God existed from all eternity. The Bible begins with the statement, "In the beginning God....." (Gen.1:1). Those are the first four words in the Bible. That is referring to the ages of eternity past - so far back that our minds cannot even understand it, because our minds can only comprehend time. God existed before time began.
But Satan did not exist before time began. Satan is a created being. But does that mean that God created an evil being? No. That would be impossible. God can never create anything evil. Everything that He creates is perfect. Even Adam and Eve, when they were created were perfect. Likewise, Satan too when he was created, was perfect. He was known then as `The morning star', or Lucifer (Isa.14:12). That name has a bad connotation now. But it was not so, way back then when he was first created.
He was created as the head of the angels, to lead the angels in the worship of God. God gave him many supernatural abilities and powers when he was created. But then he fell into sin and became Satan.
But Satan still has those powers today, because God did not take them away from him when he fell. We may wonder why God didn't take away those powers from the Devil. The reason is that God doesn't usually take back the gifts He gives. Even we human beings would not normally take back a gift that we have given to another - even if that other person turns against us one day! And so Satan uses his power to harm people. And that is why people who get in touch with him can do supernatural things through witchcraft.
It is written concerning Satan, "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning (that was his name - the shining one), O son of the dawn" (Isa.14:12)
As the head of the angels, Lucifer was in God's presence constantly. Why did he fall away? The reason is given in the next two verses (Isa.14:13,14) "Because you said in your heart `I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God....I will be like the Most High'.... Nevertheless you will be cast down into hell."
Lucifer was more gifted, more beautiful and had more supernatural abilities than all the other angels. He led the angels in the worship of God - until pride entered his heart. He then began to think, "Only One Person is above me, and that is God Himself. I will rule over Him as well."
That was really a stupid thought that came into his heart. How could he ever ascend above his Creator? But that is how Satan is - quite foolish in many of the things he does and thinks, even though he is so clever!! Many clever people in the world too do a lot of utterly foolish things, spiritually speaking. The more we study about Satan, the more we will see how stupid he is in many of the things he does.
Satan was not happy to be where God had placed him. He wanted to ascend to the place where everyone would worship him! He did not say so. He just began to have such thoughts in his heart. We read that in verse 13. But God looks at our hearts, and he looked at Lucifer's heart, and saw what he was aiming at.
There is a difference between temptation and sin. Temptation comes initially as a thought in the mind. It is only when we agree with that thought however that we sin. If, on the other hand, we reject the thought immediately, we do not sin.
For example, have you ever had an evil thought of doing something to pull another person down in the eyes of others, so that you can appear as a better person?
Do you know who was the first person to have such a thought? It was Lucifer. Whom did he want to pull down? Not the angels, because they were already below him. He wanted to pull God down. To pull people down in order to get on top yourself is the very spirit of Satan.
Why do I say that you must know your enemy? Because when such a thought enters your mind, you should recognize that your enemy is trying to get in. The roaring lion is waiting to devour you.
It did not take many years for the highest archangel to become the devil. No. Only a moment. He did not fall gradually, step-by-step. No. He came down like lightning, as Jesus said - in a moment (Lk.10:18). One moment, he was the shining one. As soon as he began nourishing the thought of becoming like God, immediately he became the devil.
How long does it take for an angel to become a devil?. Not even one second. Just a moment. How long does it take for a really good person to become like the devil? Just a moment. That's all. Remember that.
Another passage that tells us about the origin of Satan is Ezekiel 28. There we see Satan called "the king of Tyre" (Ezek.28:12). There are demon powers behind the rulers of this world and at that time Satan himself was behind the ruler of Tyre. And the Lord spoke to Satan who indwelt that human ruler.
The Lord reminded Satan of the time when he was in the garden of Eden (Ezek.28:13) This tells us that Lucifer was in Eden before Adam and Eve were there. And the Lord reminded Satan of how he had been "perfect in his ways from the day he was created until sin was found in him" (v.16,17).
Lucifer's heart was lifted up primarily because of his beauty. Is your heart ever lifted up when you look into the mirror and see how good looking you are compared to others? Beware of that. Thank God for the good gifts he has given you. There's nothing wrong in having a good-looking face. But there is everything wrong in being proud of it. For then you open the door to Satan.
Another reason for Lucifer's pride was his cleverness. Do you know that the most intelligent among all created being is Satan? There is nothing wrong with being intelligent. We can use our intelligence for the glory of God. But we have no right to be proud of it. We don't have to be stupid to serve the Lord. No. Thank God for your intelligence, and thank God for your beauty, but never be proud of either.
The third reason for Lucifer's conceit was that he had the highest position among all created beings. He failed to recognise that all these three things that he was proud of - his beauty, his cleverness and his position - were all gifts of God. And that is what many human beings - and many Christians too - fail to recognise. And that's how Satan gets a foothold in their lives, and finally destroys them.
So we see that all the sin in the world originated with pride. Not with murder or adultery but with pride. And that's why salvation came through Jesus humbling himself. The way of humility is the way of deliverance from all of Satan's schemes and wiles.
In Lucifer, we also see the origin of the spirit of discontentment with one's appointed lot in life. If we could look at this world from God's point of view, we would see the world full of grumbling, complaining, murmuring people everywhere - a spirit that they have all imbibed from Satan.
The spirit of rebellion against authority is yet another thing that originated with Lucifer. There was only one authority that Lucifer had above him - and that was God. And he rebelled against that authority. He wanted to be above that authority and to push God down. Do we find that spirit in the human race? The spirit of rebellion against authority is what has led to numerous revolutions in countries and what has caused strikes in factories. And in these days, we find that rebellious spirit even among students - not only among college students, but among school students as well, and even among small children in a home.
All this is a sure sign that the world is deteriorating. Disrespect for teachers, and for parents and even for elder brothers in the church is rife everywhere. Never forget that it was this spirit that changed the best of the angels into a devil. And this spirit can change a good boy or girl into a devil even today.
God never makes anyone evil. It is when we open ourselves to the spirit of Satan that we make ourselves evil.
And now notice one final characteristic about Lucifer. When he fell, he didn't fall alone. He had company. We read in Revelation 12:4 that he dragged down one-third of the other angels along with him. They too foolishly joined him in his spirit of pride, discontentment and rebellion. It is the same today. Where one person is evil, he is not content to remain evil by himself alone. He wants to drag others down with him into his misery and evil, as well. A root of bitterness in one person can infect many others, if those others are not watchful (See Heb.12:15).