Satan: What is his origin, name and/or titles?
People sometimes wonder why God would create someone like Satan. What they fail to realize is that he’s not always been the evil creature he is now. But we do have a passage of Scripture that seems to say he’s always been as he is now. This subject of “the devil” comes up when Christ, during His earthly ministry, is addressing some “religious” people called the Pharisees. Notice His accusations.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer [ANTHROPOKTONOS = manslayer] from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. [Emphasis added]
But was he created this way? There are those who claim he was, but upon what do they base their claim?
You’ll notice that in the John 8:44 passage, the word for murderer is literally manslayer. Apart from the Greek text there would be no way for us to know that. What we must see here is that man didn’t even exist in “the beginning” mentioned here. There was only God and the angels, including Satan. The murdering took place some time after the creation of all the angels.
There’s another important passage that clearly tells us God did not create Satan or any angel as a sinner. Here we find a record of Satan’s fall.
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. [Emphasis added]
Here we have the five “I will” statements of Satan. All this represents the beginning of sin. At some point Lucifer began to think he could be like God. Satan’s sin was self-exaltation. He desperately wanted to be like God, but independent of Him. Here in this passage Satan is called Lucifer, son of the morning. Lucifer means light bearer, and is the name given to the planet Venus, the morning star.
We find that angels in the Bible are often referred to as stars.
7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? [Emphasis added]
Many other passages tell us this same thing [Jude 13; Revelation 1:20; 8:10,11; 9:1].
Satan goes by many titles. Most believers don’t doubt that the “serpent” in the Garden of Eden that tempted Eve was Satan. But this same party is also called Belial in II Corinthians 6:15 and Beelzebub in Matthew 12:24-28. Therefore, there’s nothing strange even about him being identified as the king of Tyrus or of Babylon or as Lucifer. But in every case, Satan wishes to be in charge. He desperately wants to be God.
The apostle Paul identifies Satan’s basic sin being that of pride. He mentions this when he discusses the qualifications for church leaders.
I Timothy 3:6
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. [Emphasis added]
So, yes, Satan has many names or titles in Scripture. Here’s a complete list and some comments about each of them.
- Satan: This name is used for him nineteen times in the Old Testament and thirty-six times in the New Testament.
II Corinthians 2:11
11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. [Emphasis added]
The word itself means accuser or opponent. In the King James Version of the Bible, he is also spoken of as our adversary.
I Peter 5:8
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: [Emphasis added]
- Devil: This name occurs thirty-five times in the New Testament.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. [Emphasis added]
This is a translation of the Greek word, DIABOLOS, meaning slanderer or traducer. The word is translated false accuser and slanderer in the KJV. It is also translated devil or devils from the Greek word DAIMONION.
- The Great Dragon and The Old Serpent: Two passages in Revelation help us understand the identity of these.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. [Emphasis added]
The other passage is Revelation 20:2. Additionally, he is referred to as the serpent in Genesis 3:1,2,4,13,14 and II Corinthians 11:3.
- God of this age: The apostle Paul uses this title for him.
II Corinthians 4:4
4 In whom the god of this world [AION = age] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. [Emphasis added]
- Prince of this world: Jesus Christ uses this title for him in three passages.
31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. [Emphasis added]
Here are the other two—John 14:30 & 16:11. It is a title that is used for Satan and his system for governing the world. We are to love neither of them.
I John 2:15
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [Emphasis added]
- Beelzebub: Jesus Christ identifies Satan as Beelzebub.
18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. [Emphasis added]
He is called the prince of demons [other fallen angels]. There are many references to him [Matthew 10:25; 12:24,27; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15,18-19. The name Beelzebub is of Chaldean origin and means, lord of flies [II Kings 1:2,3,6,16], and is identified as the god of Ekron. Baal worship was common in Canaan and was known to be Satanic, and therefore Satan is called Baal-zebub.
- The King of Tyrus: In Ezekiel 28:12-19 there’s mention of an earthly king.
12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
This next part of this passage describes Satan’s beauty. He by no means looks like he’s typically depicted. He’s a creature of immense beauty.
13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created [this last part of the verse seems to be speaking of his impressive voice].
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain [kingdom] of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
This tells us Lucifer held the rank of “the cherub that covers” and was the most powerful of all the cherubim. You need to get it out of your mind that a cherub is a chubby cheeked little angel with cute wings and a halo who floats on a cloud and plays a harp. A cherub is a powerful creature. If you were to see one, you’d be extremely impressed. After Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, two of these powerful cherubs were placed there to guard the way to the tree of life.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more. [Emphasis added]
The one who rules over this king is identified as Satan. The first verses of Ezekiel 28 are addressed to the Prince of Tyrus. A comparison of this passage with II Thessalonians 2:3-10 makes for an interesting study. Just as the Prince of Tyrus claims to be God, receiving his power from Satan, so it will be with the one coming in the Tribulation period [the man of sin—the anti-Christ] who claims to be God.
- Lucifer: The Hebrew word, HEYLEL is rendered in most Bibles as Day Star. Satan is an imposter. He is the one known as the anti-Christ, a false Christ. Jesus Christ is stated to be the light of the world. Satan and his followers are counterfeits, presenting themselves as ministers of righteousness.
II Corinthians 11:14-15
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. [Emphasis added]
Please notice that his “ministers” are said to be ones of righteousness, not unrighteousness. This tells us that his greatest followers are “righteous and religious” people. Even in the case of our Lord during His earthly ministry, His greatest opposers and enemies were the “religious” scribes and Pharisees. It wasn’t the “tax collectors and sinners.” [See Matthew 23 cf. Luke 15:1]
It is Christ who is spoken of as the bright and morning Star, the true Day Star [Numbers 24:17; II Peter 1:19; Revelation 22:16]. As he was originally created, Satan was a lucifer, a light-bearer.
In conclusion, Satan is not at all the way he is typically depicted. To this day he’s a creature of tremendous beauty and power. But only through the Scriptures would we know this, as it is with so many other things. He’s done a magnificent job of fooling nearly the whole world about not only his appearance, but what he seeks to accomplish. Only through the teaching of the Bible can people become wise to his identity and the things he and his vast organization of other fallen angels wish to do through their influence of mankind. To get additional information on all this, I encourage you to go to my article entitled, Satan: What are the basics about him?