The devil exists in many religions. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, Lucifer was created by God to be the chief angel, the one leading worship. His name at creation was Lucifer, in Hebrew, ‘helel,’ meaning ‘brightness,’ or ‘son of the morning.’ The name occurs once in the Hebrew Bible: Isaiah chapter 14. The passage includes a description of the fall of Lucifer.
12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation, On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
When Lucifer allowed his pride, arrogance, and ambition to lead him to challenge the Most High, he was cast out of heaven, along with a great number of the angels joining in his rebellion. Lucifer was thrown to earth; and his name became Satan, meaning ‘adversary’ in Hebrew.
And we know the story of how Satan visited Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He lied to them, and tempted them to sin, by misrepresenting God’s instructions. He told them they could certainly eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that they should disobey God and eat, that God was lying when He said they would die if they ate. They disobeyed God, ate, and became aware of good and evil; and the intimate loving relationship they had with God died. They ran away, hiding from God, ashamed of their behavior and their nakedness, cast out of the garden because of their sin.
Satan, ‘The Adversary,’ had become the enemy of God, and the enemy of humankind, his hatred for both having no limit. Jesus referenced Satan many times during his three-year teaching ministry, calling him the father of lies.
We learn from these accounts that God hates pride, arrogance, selfish ambition, and rebellion, and that he hates all forms of sin, including disobedience, presumption, and spreading falsehood. He is the God of love. He is also the God of justice and judgment. He cast out Lucifer forever and has waged war against him for eons. He cast out Adam and Eve, waging war on their behalf ever since in order to bring them home. That war was won at the Cross.
The Scripture contains many passages warning us of Satan, his power, his overall strategy, and the tactics he uses. His mission on earth is to contradict God at every turn and convince people of several things. Satan works to convince us that he does not exist. He works to persuade us God does not exist. And with those who hold on to belief in God, Satan works to diminish our faith, or leave us wondering if God is really trustworthy. The overall strategy is to destroy God’s effort to bring us back to Eden, to instead lead us to hell.
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom