People’s beliefs concerning Satan range from the silly to the  abstract—from a little red guy with horns who sits on your shoulder urging you  to sin, to an expression used to describe the personification of evil. The  Bible, however, gives us a clear portrait of who Satan is and how he affects our  lives. Put simply, the Bible defines Satan as an angelic being who fell from his  position in heaven due to sin and is now completely opposed to God, doing all in  his power to thwart God’s purposes.

Satan was created as a holy angel.  Isaiah 14:12 possibly gives  Satan’s pre-fall name as Lucifer. Ezekiel  28:12-14 describes Satan as having been created a cherubim, apparently the  highest created angel. He became arrogant in his beauty and status and decided  he wanted to sit on a throne above that of God (Isaiah  14:13-14; Ezekiel  28:15; 1 Timothy  3:6). Satan’s pride led to his fall. Notice the many “I will” statements in  Isaiah  14:12-15. Because of his sin, God barred Satan from heaven.

Satan  became the ruler of this world and the prince of the power of the air (John 12:31; 2  Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians  2:2). He is an accuser (Revelation  12:10), a tempter (Matthew 4:31  Thessalonians 3:5), and a deceiver (Genesis 3; 2  Corinthians 4:4; Revelation  20:3). His very name means “adversary” or “one who opposes.” Another of his  titles, the devil, means “slanderer.”

Even though he was cast out of  heaven, he still seeks to elevate his throne above God. He counterfeits all that  God does, hoping to gain the worship of the world and encourage opposition to  God’s kingdom. Satan is the ultimate source behind every false cult and world  religion. Satan will do anything and everything in his power to oppose God and  those who follow God. However, Satan’s destiny is sealed—an eternity in the lake  of fire (Revelation  20:10).