Satan is a created Being. He was originally called Lucifer which means shining One. Evidently he was in some degree charged with the protection of God's throne. But from this exalted position he fell because of pride. His sin was to set up his own will in opposition to the will of God. Under God's judging hand, he became the diabolical creature we know today as Satan (Ezek. 28:11-19; Isa. 14:12-17). How long ago this was we do not know.
When Adam and Eve were created and placed in the beautiful garden it was Satan who tempted them to sin. Exhibiting his true character, he not only expressed doubt in God's Word, but charged God with evil intentions. Thus, from Adam and Eve Satan falsely wrested the right to hold dominion over the world (Gen. 3:1-7; Rev. 12:9; Eph. 2:2).
Contrary to general opinion, Satan is not now in hell. He is in the world working in and through the children of disobedience, and tempting and inciting the children of God to sin. Evidently, he is at the head of a vast host of demons who do his will and serve him. Although he possesses none of the attributes of deity, still he is a dreaded force to be reckoned with by the child of God. Satan's power and authority are exercised only within God's permissive will (Eph. 6:10-12; I Pet. 5:8; John 8:44).
Greatly misunderstood are Satan's aims. Instead of aiming to be a fiend, his purpose is to be "like the Most High." Nor is Satan the direct cause of every sin, for human sin is said to come from the recesses of the human heart (Isa. 14:14; Mark 7:18-23).
The world's picture of Satan is not that of Scripture. There he is said to be able to subtly masquerade as an angel of light (II Cor. 11:14).
However, while the doom of Satan is sealed by the work of Christ on the Cross, the execution of that sentence is still future. In the midst of the coming Tribulation period Satan will be forever cast out of heaven. Then when Christ begins His thousand year reign of righteousness, Satan will be sealed in the bottomless pit. His final doom will come after he has been loosed for a "little season" when he shall be cast into the lake of fire forever (John 12:31; Rev. 12:7-9; 20:1-3, 7, 10).
From Believer's First Bible Course by William W. Orr. Wheaton, Ill.: Scripture Press, 1956.
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