The Bible says, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, who didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12).
Is Satan real? Is he a real person, or is he, as some people believe, just a force or power or personification devised to express their idea of evil?
If we accept the Scriptures as revelation from God, then Satan is a real person. Only the Bible (KJV) speaks of Satan as a created being with intellect, emotion, and will, and not as a “principle of evil.”
Satan was Lucifer (lux, lucis, = light, fero,= to bring), “son of the morning,” or light bearer, the guardian or protector of the Holy Throne of God, the highest rank in the angelic world when he was created by God.
God gave Lucifer his name when He created him sinless with sound and total moral integrity and exalted him to high position and power. Satan (accuser, slanderer) was the name Lucifer got for himself when he sinned by rebelling against the Almighty. Lucifer was the most beautiful creature God made, but that didn’t keep him from becoming a devil.
Satan had only one name, Lucifer, when he was created. But since his “pre-cosmic Fall” which led to the cosmic fall, the fall of man, he’s been given some 30 different titles or aliases that are mentioned 174 times in the Bible. And none of them are good.
Lucifer fulfilled God’s purpose and plan before his fall. Now he has his own purpose and plan that he, along with his legions of fallen angels, is working to fulfill. This great host has formed a kingdom of evil, of darkness, to fight against God, to oppose His order, to frustrate His plan, and create chaos.
The nature of Satan’s personality and character as shown in Scripture reveal that he is real. Personal pronouns are used of Satan which reveal personality (Job 1:8, 2:1-2; Zechariah 3:2). Personal characteristics are ascribed to Satan (1 Timothy 3:6). Personal actions are ascribed to Satan (1 Chronicles 21:1; Psalms 109:6; Zechariah 3:1; Matthew 13:19, 39; John 8:44; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8).
Satan has real power and authority (Luke 11:21-22; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; 1 Peter 5:8). Satan has a purpose and the words that are used to describe and to designate him tell us of his purpose.
He is the “devil” which means “traducer” which means to lower the reputation of, to defame and slander. An “adversary” (1 Peter 5:8), “accuser of the brethren” (Revelations 12: 10), “the tempter” (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5), “liar,” and “the father of lies” (John 8:44), to name a few.
Satan is not omnipresent. He can go anywhere, but cannot be everywhere at the same time like only God can. Satan is not omniscient. He knows more than we do but is limited in knowledge and does not know all as only God does. Satan is not omnipotent. He has more power than we do, but is limited in power and is subject to God (Job 1 and 2).
Satan has never been to Hell. His headquarters is not in Hell. His base of operation is the “world (Satanic) system,” the church and false religion (2 Corinthians 4:4, 11:13-15; Mark 7:4; Galatians 4:8-10; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:1-4). One day he with his angels and all the unsaved will be assigned to Hell for eternity (Revelations 20:10-15).
James H. Cagle lives in Ray City, Ga., and is a former Hamilton County resident.