Category: What are the names of Satan?


Satan was an angel created by God who turned against God’s authority (Isaiah 14:13) and became  the head of a kingdom of evil spirits called demons, his “angels” (Matthew 25:41). His power  both in the heavenly realm and on earth is great and should not be  underestimated. However, while Satan and his forces are formidable enemies,  Jesus Christ crushed Satan’s power, fulfilling the prophecy of Genesis 3:15. The cross of  Christ won the victory (John 12:31).   “The prince of this world now stands condemned” (John 16:11),  and Jesus will one day destroy Satan’s power completely and purify creation (2 Peter  3:10).

Satan’s power in the heavenly realm / spirit  world:
Satan’s power has repute in the spiritual realm (Jude 9), where he has access to the presence of God (Job 1:6). The book of Job  provides insight into the relationship between God and Satan. In Job 1:6-12, Satan stands before God and reports that he  has been “walking up and down” on the earth (v. 7). God asks Satan if he has  considered godly Job, and Satan immediately accuses Job of insincerity—he only  loves God for the blessings God gives. “Stretch out your hand,” Satan says, “and  strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face” (v. 11).  God grants Satan permission to affect Job’s possessions and family, but not his  person, and Satan leaves. (The rest of the book is from Job’s perspective,  providing an example of how to deal with suffering.)

This is an  important passage because it shows Satan’s place in the spiritual realm. He is  able to accuse God’s people in His very presence, and Jude 9 shows that even Michael the archangel needs the  Lord’s help in overcoming him. However, Satan is obviously restrained from  enacting his full fury; he is still a created being under God, and his power is  limited.

Satan’s power on the earth:
Job 1 also  reveals that Satan does enact evil and cause direct harm on the earth. The most  well-known and important of his actions on earth occurred in the Garden of Eden.  Genesis 3 tells of Satan’s temptation of Eve, the “mother of all the living” (v.  20), and her subsequent first sin. It was this act, and that of Eve’s husband  Adam, that brought sin into the world, and it is the reason all humankind must  be redeemed from sin in order to be with God.

One day, Jesus met a woman  who had been “crippled by a spirit for eighteen years” (Luke 13:11). Jesus attributes the infirmity to Satan, who  had kept her “bound” (verse 16). Satan’s power was real, but it was easily  overcome by our Lord: “he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened  up and praised God” (v. 13). Jesus’ miracle was a clear demonstration of His  authority over Satan.

Since his instigation of evil on earth, Satan has  been named as the “prince,” “god” or “ruler” of this world (John 14:30; cf. John 12:3116:11; 1 Corinthians 2:6, 8; 2  Corinthians 4:3-4; Ephesians  2:2; Colossians  1:13). He is the enemy of God and truth (Matthew  13:24-30; 2  Thessalonians 2:9-12), and he does everything he can to tempt individuals  (Genesis 3; Luke 22:31Matthew 2:3; 1 Timothy 3:7). and larger  groups of people (1  Thessalonians 3:5; Revelation  2:10). He “leads the whole world astray” (Revelation  12:9). Satan accomplishes this by various means, including appealing to  man’s pride (1 Timothy  3:6; 1  Corinthians 4:6), interfering with the transmission of truth (Matthew 13:18-22, 38-39)  and placing false believers within the church (1 Timothy  4:1-2; 2 Timothy  3:1-9; Revelation  2:9; 3:9). In  John 8:44, Jesus says that  Satan “is a liar and the father of it.”

God still grants Satan some  authority in this world, which means that his power is not yet completely  broken—except in one area: his power of death. Hebrews  2:14-15 says that Jesus came as a man to die in order to “destroy him who  holds the power of death – that is, the devil,” a power Satan had held “from the  beginning” (John 8:44).  The salvation Jesus provides has released us from Satan’s stranglehold. Death  has lost its sting (1  Corinthians 15:55).

Satan’s power – the  conclusion:
The Bible says that “the whole world is under the  control of the evil one” (1 John  5:19), and we must “be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil  prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Yet Christians  have a great hope, for Jesus Christ (John 16:33)  and our faith in Him (1 John 5:4)  have overcome Satan’s evil. “The one who is in you is greater than the one who  is in the world” (1 John  4:4).

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Satan is a spiritual being who led a heavenly revolt against God and was  subsequently cast down into the earth (Luke 10:18).  His personal name, “Satan,” means “adversary.” This name indicates Satan’s basic  nature: he is the enemy of God, of all God does, and of all God loves.

He is also called “the devil” in the New Testament. The word “devil” means  “false accuser” or “slanderer.” Satan plays this role in Job 1–2 when he attacks  Job’s character.

In Matthew  12:24, the Jews refer to Satan as “Beelzebul,” an epithet derived from  “Baal-Zebub” (“lord of the fly”), a false god of the Philistines in Ekron (2 Kings 1:2-3, 6).

Other titles of  Satan include the tempter (1  Thessalonians 3:5), the wicked one (Matthew  13:19, 38), the  accuser of the brethren (Revelation  12:10), and—three titles that point to Satan’s authority in this world—the  ruler of this world (John 12:31),  the god of this age (2  Corinthians 4:4), and the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). Second Corinthians  11:14 says that Satan transforms himself into “an angel of light,” a  description that highlights his capacity and inclination to deceive.

There are a couple of passages which refer to the judgment of earthly kings but  may very well also refer to Satan. The first is Isaiah  14:12-15. This is addressed to the king of Babylon (verse 4), but the  description also seems to fit that of a more powerful being. The name “Lucifer,”  which means “morning star,” is used here to describe someone who sought to  overthrow God’s very throne.

The second passage is Ezekiel 28:11-19,  addressed to the king of Tyre. As in the “Lucifer” passage, this prophecy  contains wording that seems to go beyond the description of a mere mortal. The  king of Tyre is said to be “anointed as a guardian cherub,” but he was laid low  by pride and “expelled” by God Himself.

In addition to providing names  and titles of Satan, the Bible uses various metaphors to reveal the character of  the enemy. Jesus, in the parable of the four soils, likens Satan to the birds  that snatch the seed off the hardened ground (Matthew  13:4, 19). In  another parable, Satan appears as the sower of weeds among the wheat (Matthew 13:25, 28). Satan is analogous to  a wolf in John 10:12 and a roaring lion in 1 Peter 5:8.  In Revelation  12:9, Satan is the “great dragon . . . that serpent of old”—obviously, a  reference to the serpent who deceived Eve (Genesis  3:1).