Typically, human beings have a wide variety of views on Satan. Some people think of him as a silly cartoonish character with a pointed tail and horns, while others think of him as a force, or an abstract concept of evil. The Bible gives us a very clear picture of who Satan is, what he is like, and his goals and aims concerning humanity. In a nutshell, Satan was once a holy angel, but fell from heaven because of a desire to usurp God’s power, and he is now God’s enemy who opposes Him, His purposes, and His people with every ounce of his considerable strength.
Isaiah 14:12 indicates that Satan’s name, when he was a holy angel, was Lucifer. In Ezekiel 28:12-14, we get a description of Satan as one of the cherubim and the highest of the created angels. However, he became proud of his beauty and position and for some reason decided that he wanted to take God’s place and sit on his throne as the highest being (Isaiah 14:13-14; Ezekiel 28:15; 1 Timothy 3:6). Because of his pride and sinful desire to take the sovereignty which is only rightfully God’s, he was cast from heaven. Satan’s desire for power was very strong, as can be seen in Isaiah 14:12-15, but He could not overcome God or take His place, and as the last few chapters of Revelation reveal, in his quest to defeat His Creator, he will not be successful in the end.
Today, Satan is the ruler of this world, and is called the “prince of the power of the air” (John 12:31; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2). He is also called “the accuser” (Revelation 12:10), he tempts humans to sin against God as he did (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5), and he deceives humanity about the truth, especially the truth about God Himself (Genesis 3; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:3). He lies about God’s character and purposes, he tells fallen humanity that it can save itself without God’s grace, and he does all he can to separate us from God and undermine God in our eyes, using his powers of deception. Actually, the name “satan” means “adversary” or “one who opposes.” He is also known as “the devil”, which means “slanderer.”
Still, despite all he knows about God and the truth, Satan continues to attempt to raise himself above God and take His throne. Satan is behind all the false religions and cults, all the false gods and lies that pull people away from the Lord. Satan disguises himself as “an angel of light” which makes his deception all the more powerful (2 Corinthians 11:14). Human beings often see his lies as good, pleasant and seemingly right (Proverbs 14:12), when in truth they are traps that have sealed the doom of millions throughout history.
However, despite his plans and all his efforts, Satan’s destiny is irrevocably sealed—he will spend eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).