Satan's Origin and Destiny
by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Forerunner, "Bible Study," October-November 1995
Most, if not all, of the cultures of the earth express a belief in some kind of evil being. This belief is often personified as a supernatural, godlike being who takes great pleasure in cruelty and perversion. As the god of the Underworld, Hades or hell, the Egyptians had Seth; the Greeks, Pluto; the Romans, Dis. The Western world, of course, calls this personal embodiment of evil Satan the Devil. With him come countless other wicked beings known as demons.
Where did Satan come from? Some cultures, philosophies and religions believe that good and evil have always existed in a dualistic balance like yin and yang or light and darkness. Others believe that God created the Devil to test mankind and preside over the eternal punishment of the wicked. What is the truth? Using the "here a little, there a little" principle (Isaiah 28:9-13), we can uncover Satan's origin and destiny in the pages of the Bible!
Comment: God originally created the earth with such perfection and beauty that the angels shouted with joy! Our Creator does all things in an organized manner and completes all His works in exquisite splendor. But the earth had somehow become formless and chaotic so that God had to refashion it before man could be created.
Comment: "Lucifer" means "Light-Bringer" or "Day Star." Ezekiel calls him "the anointed cherub who covers," which means he was one of the chief angels whose wings covered God's throne in heaven. He is specifically shown to be a created being, possibly the most beautiful, wise and perfect of God's creations.
But this mighty angel grew proud and vain in his beauty. He began to become envious of God's authority over the universe, and over maybe millions of years, he schemed to induce other angels to support him in an attempt to overthrow God. When he finally led one third of the angels (Revelation 12:4) to war against God in heaven, God cast him and his angelic troops back to the earth (Luke 10:18).
3. How did Lucifer become Satan? Ezekiel 28:15-17.
Comment: God had created Lucifer a perfect spirit being, but He also gave him free moral agency, that is, the ability to choose to follow good or evil. Lucifer chose to become Satan the Devil, the Adversary, by allowing sin to mold his character. His rebellion against God sealed and hardened his evil nature, and now he opposes all that is good, right and godly (Matthew 13:38-39; I Peter 5:8; Revelation 9:11; 12:9-10).
4. Are Satan and his demons bound to this earth? II Peter 2:4; Jude 6.
Comment: When God cast them back down to earth, He placed restrictions on their powers and limited them to "their proper domain" or "first estate," that is, the earth. Here, they await their judgment for their rebellion. "Hell" in II Peter 2:4 is tartaroo, a place of restraint for the wicked. Though Satan himself may appear before God's throne in heaven, he and his demons can do only what God allows (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7).
5. Is Satan "the god of this age [world, KJV]"? II Corinthians 4:4.
Comment: By blinding the minds of men to the true gospel of God, Satan has set himself up as a counterfeit of the Creator God. As the prince of the power of the air, he broadcasts his evil, rebellious attitudes to all humanity, and except for a few whom God has called out of his deceptions, the whole world lives under his sway (Ephesians 2:1-3; I John 5:19; Revelation 12:9).
Comment: When Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and died for the sins of men, He qualified to dethrone Satan. The "god of this world" has been defeated! However, he remains active among us until the King of kings returns and sets up His government on earth.
7. Will Satan attempt to ruin God's plan before Christ returns? Revelation 12:7-9, 12-17; 16:12-16; 19:17-21; 20:1-3.
Comment: The Devil will again go on the offensive against God with the same results: He is cast back down to earth. In his anger over his defeat, he will savagely persecute God's people and gather the armies of man to fight against Christ when He comes. He and his human agents will be soundly defeated, and Satan will be bound in the bottomless pit for a thousand years.
8. What is Satan's ultimate fate? Revelation 20:7-10.
Comment: After the thousand years of imprisonment, Satan will be released for a short while. During his parole, he will again unite some of the nations and take them to war against God's people. But this rebellion will be summarily ended when God sends fire out of heaven to destroy them. Because he is spirit and cannot die, the Devil will then be sentenced to eternal torment in the Lake of Fire. Finally, God and man will be rid of their chief enemy, and peace will flourish for all eternity!