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Where the devil did Satan come from?

Is the story of Satan in the Bible? Many people say, incorrectly, that the story of Satan, the devil, is not in the Bible. While the story of Satan may not be exactly where you would expect to find it, the story of Satan and his fall from grace is in fact recorded in the Bible.

The Origin of Satan

The name Satan appears in the Bible (NIV) 47 times. In addition the name/term Devil appears 33 times and the name Beelzebub is in the NIV a total of 9 times. The most complete version of the story of Satan and his fall from heaven can be found in the book of Revelation written by Saint John. 

"And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they did not prevail, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world, he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." Revelation 12:7-9 (NAS)

This shows several very important aspects of Satan a.k.a. the Devil. The first is that he was at one time an angel in heaven. In this story it does not tell us why Satan waged war, only that the war took place. We also learn that Satan was not alone in his fight against God. Apparently an undisclosed number of other angels rebelled against God and joined forces with Satan. These we would know as demons who do Satan's bidding. Another very important fact reveled is that the Satan who is at the center of this story is the same Satan that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. The phrase 'the serpent of old' is a direct reference to the story found in the Book of Genesis when we are first introduced to Satan. 

Demon / Satan/ Woman

It is also interesting that Satan was thrown down to earth, not hell. Was this intentional or meant to show Satan will dwell on earth until the end of days. We know from scripture there is a hell, a place of torment and torture which was prepared for Satan and his followers. In Matthew 25:41 we get confirmation of this fact.

"Then He will also say to those on His left, "Depart from Me, you accursed people, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels."  Matthew 25:41 (NAS)

Satan is just one of the better known names for 'the devil'. He is also often referred to as Lucifer, Beelzebub, Prince of Darkness and at times, the Beast. The name Beelzebub comes from the name Baal-zebub who was a deity worshipped by the Philistines. The name means 'Lord of the flies' or 'Lord of the dung'.

One of the best known and often used names for the devil is Lucifer. This is actually a non-biblical name and comes from Roman Mythology. The name is from the Latin 'Light-bringing or morning-star' which is generally considered to be a reference to Venus as the morning star. Lucifer is the son of the personified dawn, the goddess Aurora. The name was not associated with the devil until the middle ages.

The association comes from the Old Testament story of Satan's fall from heaven. In the Book of Isaiah he refers to Satan as the star of the morning, thus the association with the morning star. 

"How you have fallen from heaven, you star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to earth, You who defeated the nations!" - Isaiah 14:12 (NAS)

Many scholars believe there is another story of Satan's fall recorded in the Old Testament. In the Book of Ezekiel the story of the king of Tyre is recorded along with what many believe is a reference to Satan. While some believe the story in Ezekiel 28:11-19 is a direct reference to Satan, some argue the story is that of a human ruler. 

In this story we also may learn the sin that drove Satan to rebel against God. The verse tells us Satan was corrupted because of his own splendor. It would appear Satan became enamored with his own beauty, influence and power until he believed he deserved the same honor and glory as God. His 'pride' was the sin that drove Satan to rebel and was the reason he was cast out of heaven and had a special place, hell, created for him and all those who desire evil over good. 


Satan's Power and his Role as Accuser 

We see time and again that Satan has power, though limited, to affect the lives of believers. This is not limited to the weak or what we might call common people. The saints, such as the Great Missionary Paul had his plans and intentions interrupted by the will of Satan. One instance of this interference is recorded in the writings of Paul.

"For we wanted to come to you - I, Paul, more than once - and Satan hindered us." - 1 Thessalonians 2:18 (NAS)

We learn in the Book of Job that Satan has access to God. We also see that Satan must ask God's permission before testing Job. In Zechariah we see that Satan will stand as accuser over the righteous.

"Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right to accuse him." - Zechariah 3:1 (NAS) 

The devil continues to have power to influence and affect the lives of believers and to underestimate that power is a grave error. This is not to say Satan has free reign over us and controls the ultimate outcome. We have the power of prayer and the Holy Spirit on our side and God has the final say in all matters. 


Satan's Ultimate Demise

In the end times Satan will lead a great revolt against God and his followers. He will deceive many and along with the false prophet  and the beast will bring the world and its inhabitants to near extinction. Satan will be cast down into the pit where he will be bound for a thousand years. After this time Satan will be released and test the followers of Jesus even further. Satan will ultimately be defeated and the forces of God will prevail.

"...and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." - Revelation 20: 9-10 (NAS)

It should be pointed out that while Satan is sometimes referred to as the beast, this is an incorrect title when you are looking at the story from the Book of Revelation. In the Book of Revelation we are clearly told there will be three separate entities which will join forces in the final battle between good and evil. The first of these is the dragon, which represents the devil. The second of these is the false prophet, or the antichrist. This will be a flesh and blood human, perhaps a false prophet or misguided preacher. The final member of the evil trio will be the beast. The beast will be a political power, a country or ruler, who will wage a massive war. While these three will have enormous power and will deceive many, they will ultimately be defeated.

So, the story of the Satan is recorded in the Bible, from start to finish. It is a story of pride, rejection, treachery, the defeat of evil and the ultimate Power of God. 

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