Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Satan: The Arch Enemy of Man: Part I: Who Is Satan?

Is there such a being as the Devil? Is he red in color, has horns and a forked tail and carries a pitchfork? And what about Lucifer and Satan; are these names of other evil beings or do all these names apply to one evil essence? Is the Devil the product of religion or Hollywood, or is he the figment of our imaginations?
This is the first installment of a three-part series on “Satan: The Arch Enemy of Man.” The papers will follow in this order: Who is Satan? – How Satan Works – What is Satan’s Destiny?
Satan is real – there is no doubt about that. But he wasn’t first called Satan (which in the Hebrew language means “adversary”), he was named Lucifer. There are two passages that give us a clear description of Lucifer (Hebrew meaning: “Day Star”):
Isaiah 14:12-15 12 " 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! 13 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; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.”
Ezekiel 28:15-19 15 “You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity (sin) was found in you. 16 "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. 17 "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. 18 "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. 19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror, And shall be no more forever." ' "
Like all angels, Lucifer was created by God (Psalm 148:2, 5) to serve the Lord. Sin originated in the heart of Lucifer due to pride. And it was pride that drove him to rebel against God and become His adversary; thus, God changed his name to Satan.
He is far more than the caricature of a red devil with a pointed tail and a pitchfork. When it is to his advantage the Evil One can display himself both in horrid realism and in ghoulish reality. There are other times when Satan will portray himself as a holy man or even an angel of light (II Cor. 11:14). Satan can appear like the well dressed gentleman in the pew or the nicely dressed lady standing in the aisle. He is well versed when it comes to quoting the Bible (Matt.4:6), but herein he betrays himself – he will inevitably quote the Scripture out of context. He will place a satanic spin on the Scriptures and interpret it contrary to how God meant it.
In trying to understand who Satan is, it is good to know the meanings of his names. Satan is a Hebrew word, it means ‘accuser’ or ‘adversary.’ Devil is a Greek word, it means ‘slanderer.’ From the word ‘devil,’ we get the English words diabolical, or diabolic. Indeed, Satan is the Diabolical One. In Ephesians 2:1-3, he is listed as “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience (v.2b). To those people who reject Jesus and His Word, the Devil is their god – “the god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4). Satan is the father of those who hate Jesus and the Holy Scriptures (John 8:44). He hates all mankind, especially genuine children of God.

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