Satan opposes God as the chief of all fallen angels by deceiving, tempting, and lying. Satan only has the access and ability that God permits him to have.
Satan was created at the same time as all the other angels and because God said that His creation was good, we can infer that Satan had not fallen yet.
There is a reference to the angels worshiping God in joy at the creation of the stars.
Job 38:7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Notice it says, “all” the sons of God. This is a reference to the angels. It is also used of man, but in this text, it is clearly speaking of the heavenly host and the usage is implying that God is speaking of all that He had created.
Angels are created spiritual beings. They are created by the only one who creates life. The Scriptures tell us that they are created by God.
Nehemiah 9:6 "You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.”
Genesis 2:1 “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.”
Notice the little phase in this text “all the host of them.”
John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
John tells us that ALL things where created by Jesus and, in case that is not enough, everything that is made was made by Him. By this, it is clear the host of heaven, angels, were created by the Triune God and, by this text specifically, Jesus.
Colossians 1:16 “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”
Angels were not only created by Him, but they were created for Him. He sustains and upholds them.
What Kinds of Angels Are There?
The Bible tells us of two kinds of angels: elect angels and fallen angels (demons). Elect angels are those whom God ordained to not fall but to serve and to enjoy God and His ways. Fallen angels (demons) are evil angels who sinned against God and now continually work evil in creation; There is no redemption for fallen angels.
1 Timothy 5:21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.
Because this is a study of Satan, I want to turn from the elect angels and focus on the fallen angels of whom Satan is the leader.
The word demon/demons is used 122 times in the New Testament. It is used three times in the Old Testament. All three uses of the word link demons to idolatrous worship.
Leviticus 17:7 So they shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to goat demons, after whom they whore. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.
Deuteronomy 32:17 They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded.
Psalm 106:37 They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons
The Scriptures do not speak about how the angels fell or what caused them to rebel towards a good, loving, and gracious God or why they would follow a tyrannical leader like Satan.
We must remember that Satan is an angel and nothing more.
The first of the angels to rebel was Satan who was promptly thrown out of heaven along with myriads of fallen angels who followed his lead.
The Bible says they “did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling” (Jude 1:6) in contrast to “the elect angels” (1 Tim. 5:21) who were given grace to remain sinless.
Now, unlike mankind, who fell as a result of our federal head (Adam), each apostate angel fell by his own personal choice.
Satan is spoken of more often in Scripture than all of the other evil angels combined and out of twenty-nine references in the Gospels, Jesus spoke of him twenty-five times.
He is “the prince of demons” (Matthew 12:24), the undisputed ruler of a host of evil spirits that inhabit the cosmos as surely as humanity inhabits planet earth.
He is “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), which includes all unregenerate humanity and all fallen angels.
He is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), the whole world order that rejects the Creator and substitutes the creature.
The Bible refers to him fifty-two times as “Satan” and thirty-five times as the “Devil”.
His many titles give us great insight into the work of Satan. Let’s look at those as a way to see the depth of how truly evil Satan is.
The Work of Satan
To focus on the work of Satan, turn with me to Genesis chapter 3.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
1-Satan confuses us with what God really has done.
Genesis 3:2-4 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
2-Satan tries to blur our consequences.
Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
3- Satan attacks how we view God.
Satan also uses things like:
Doubt—questioning God’s Word and His goodness.
Discouragement—looking at your problems rather than at God.
Diversion—the wrong things seem attractive so that you will want them more than right things.
Defeat—feeling like a failure so that you don’t even try.
Delay—putting off doing something good and God-honoring so that it never gets done.
Satan wants nothing more than to offer up the trap—bait us with wealth, pleasure, fame, acceptance, and so on!
He is like an Eskimo wolf hunter.
According to tradition, this is how an Eskimo hunter kills a wolf:
First, the Eskimo coats his knife blade with animal blood and allows it to freeze. He then adds layer after layer of blood until the blade is completely concealed by the frozen blood. Next, the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up. When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent and discovers the bait, he licks it, tasting the fresh frozen blood. He begins to lick faster, more and more vigorously, lapping the blade until the keen edge is bare. Feverishly now, harder and harder, the wolf licks the blade in the cold Arctic night. His craving for blood becomes so great that the wolf does not notice the razor-sharp sting of the naked blade on his own tongue, nor does he recognize the instant when his insatiable thirst is being satisfied by his own warm blood. His carnivorous appetite continues to crave more until, in the morning light, the wolf is found dead on the snow!
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
The Limitations of Satan
Praise God that Satan is not unleashed and out of control. He is under the sovereign authority of God almighty.
All things are under God’s rule and control and nothing happens without His direction or permission. Providentially, He is a God who works not just some things, but all things after the counsel of His own holy will. God's purpose is all-inclusive and is never thwarted. It is not merely that God has the power and right to govern all things, but He does so always and without exception. God is the “Supreme Being” who answers to no one and who has the absolute right to do with His creation as He desires.
Daniel 4:35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
What we must understand is, Satan is not a formidable foe of God’s. God and Satan are not on an even playing field engaged in the cosmic battle of all battles. You have maybe seen modern pictures portraying Satan and Jesus arm wrestling. This is nonsense; this is unbiblical. Satan was created and is ultimately ruled by Jesus.
Colossians 1:16 For by him [Jesus] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities …
In Job, we read that Satan only did what God allowed him to do to Job.
Satan is not omniscient. Nowhere in Scripture does it give Satan the power to read minds or know anything exhaustively. Satan is on a leash with his power. God limits how far, or what, Satan can do to Job. We should see the sovereignty of God in this and also see that nothing comes to us without the express permission of God. We have no need to fear Satan or his demonic host because they are controlled by a sovereign God. We are called to be alert for the work and the temptation of Satan, but we need not fear him.
God promised the defeat of Satan in Genesis 3:15 and on the cross, Jesus conquered sin and death on behalf of the redeemed people of God.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (NIV) … "Death has been swallowed up in victory." "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
While we are still at war with the work of the flesh, the temptation of sin, and the powers of darkness, we are claimed and secure in the victory of Jesus Christ. We fear no one but God. We need to remember God is sovereign—Satan is not!
The Destiny of Satan
Finally, Satan is destined for eternal destruction. Satan and all his fallen angels will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.
Revelation 20:9-10 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Armor up, Brothers and Sisters in Christ! We endure this fight knowing our bloodied Champion has already claimed our victory and that He stands supreme over all things, including our adversary. Praise the Lord!