Scriptures

Satan And The Fallen Angels

Introduction

It’s often overlooked, ignored or even completely denied that the Scriptures tell us that there are what we call ‘fallen angels’, that’s angels who rebelled against God, and now continue to work against God and His creation, although at one time they were faithful to God.

Satan

Satan has many names in the Bible, including the names Lucifer and the Devil and in Scripture he’s usually referred to as the opposite of God. However, a careful reading of the Scriptures tells us this isn’t the case, we must remember that God created Satan as an angel, and so he only has the power of an angel, which means that he has nowhere near the power or authority of God.

The name Satan means ‘adversary’ or ‘enemy’ and sure enough he is truly the enemy of God and all mankind. We also must remember that Satan was created by God as a good angel called Lucifer, which means ‘Light Bearer’ or ‘Morning Star’, and he was possibly even one or the chief cherub. This could mean that he may have been one of, if not the most important angel, we simply don’t know

But as we read throughout the Scriptures we quickly see that this position wasn’t enough for him, he wanted to become God and have total power. Just as God give us humans free will, he gave the angels free will too, sadly, he rebelled against God and there was a massive battle in heaven. The good news is that Satan lost and along with his followers, was thrown out of heaven.

The account of his rebellion and the war in heaven is described in the Book of Revelation.

‘Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born.’ Revelation 12:4 ‘Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down— that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.’ Revelation 12:7-9

These passages tell us that Satan wasn’t alone and led a rebellion against God taking as many as a third of all the angels with him. The original pure angelic state of Satan and how he changed is also described in Ezekiel and Isaiah.

‘The word of the LORD came to me: ‘Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So, I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendour. So, I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. By your many sins and dishonest trade, you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So, I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.’ Ezekiel 28:11-19

‘How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.’ Isaiah 14:12-15

Please note that the ‘earth’ referred to in the above passages could also mean ‘deep, utter darkness’, like a ‘grave’, and away from God’s light, rather than to here on planet Earth. But from these passages we can see that God had created Satan as a beautiful and powerful angel, but through his pride and greed he became totally evil.

Please also note that in the reference from Ezekiel, Satan is referred to as ‘The King of Tyre’, which was a city that was located in what is now Lebanon.

In other words, God was either saying through Ezekiel that Satan was manipulating the human ‘Ruler of Tyre’ and that Satan was the real king of that city and the human ruler was just his puppet or God was saying that the king of Tyre was displaying the same attitude as Satan had, which is probably more accurate.

When it comes to knowing when the rebellion and war in heaven took place, we simply don’t know. Some believe it happened sometime between the creation of the Earth and the tempting of Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden, but we can’t be sure.

We do know however, that it was Satan, in the form of a serpent or snake, who tempted them and caused them to sin.

‘Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.’ Genesis 3:1-6

Notice how the serpent tempted Eve with the same temptation he failed to achieve, to become like God. Isaiah 14:12-15. Because of this, Satan is sometimes called or referred to as a snake, serpent or dragon, as we mentioned earlier from Revelation. It’s also interesting that that God put cherubim, two or more angelic beings of the same original status as Satan, to protect the Garden of Eden.

‘After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.’ Genesis 3:24

We’ve read from the first human, Satan has been trying to stop people following God and he and his followers are still doing it today. In his first temptation, he used pride and greed, the same sins as he was guilty of when he rebelled against God.

We must realise as Christians that Satan and his followers will try everything they can to stop people from knowing God and Jesus because they know that God has the total power and will ultimately have the victory.

Like me mentioned earlier, Satan is called many other names, all of which speak of his evil character now and what he tries to do. Please take a moment to read the following passages which describe his character and how he works.

Revelation 12:9-10 / 1 John 5:19 / Matthew 13:37-39 / John 8:44 / 1 Peter 5:8 / John 12:31 / John 14:30 / John 16:11 / 2 Corinthians 4:4

The devil not only hates God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but he hates everyone, especially Christians and he will try everything possible to stop us from knowing God better and walking in loving fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. If he tried to get Jesus to follow him, Matthew 4:1-11, we better know that he will try it with us.

The good news is that Satan has lost that battle and he and his evil angelic followers, have also lost the overall battle for the universe. Satan thought he had won, when he, thought he’d, managed to get Jesus killed, but he was very wrong. Jesus came back to live and defeated the power of death and Satan forever.

And although Satan knows he’s lost the war and is well aware of his final fate and destination, he still tries to stop people knowing about God today, in an attempt to take as many people with him on the Day of Judgement.

‘And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.’ Revelation 20:1-3

‘Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ Matthew 25:41

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."

Psalm 37:4

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