Who Is Satan? What Are His Attributes? And What Is His End?
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season...And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:2-3, 10)
How The World Portrays Satan
Satan is shown in culture as a fork-tongued, grotesque, monstrous being, with horns, hoofs and a forked tail, presiding over hell. He is thought by many to be only mythical or metaphorical, representing a form of evil that is divorced or unique from mankind. None of these things are accurate, in that they are not supported by the Scriptures.
How The Bible Portrays Satan
Satan is a personal being, with attributes. He is brilliant, powerful, personable, and in all ways appealing to the flesh. He is a subtle and crafty liar and murderer. He is the prince of this world, and most of mankind sits comfortably in his lap. He is the ruler of the principalities and powers in the air and high places, and a commander in chief of a realm of fallen angels. He is motivated to keep mankind in darkness as to his true nature, and thus perpetuates through many means the false impression of himself that permeates every culture and clime.
His name is Devil, which means accuser or slanderer. His name is also Satan, which means enemy or adversary; he is the enemy of God. He is also named Beelzebub, which regards him as the head of the demons. He is also called the father of lies, the ruler of spiritual wickedness in heavenly or high places, and the god of this world, where he inspires and directs false religion. He transforms himself into an angel of light, just as false preachers transform themselves as the ministers of righteousness. He is the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.
He is not mythical; he is a being. He has intelligence, memory, knowledge, will, moral character, speech, emotions, and executive and organizing ability. He tempts, accuses, makes war, performs miracles, causes bodily suffering, and works in and through the wicked.
Three times we hear him speak in the Scriptures: First when he beguiled Eve by lying on God, in Genesis 3, telling her, "Ye shall not surely die." Second, when he accused Job before God, and was given leave to test Job's faith in Job 1 and 2 ("Doth Job fear God for nought?...[P]ut forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face"). Third, when he tempted Christ unsuccessfully in Matthew 4 and Luke 4.
Satan was in heaven, and likely very highly placed. His pride caused him to rebel. For that, he was cast out of heaven, and took a third of the angels with him. He knows the Scriptures better than any human ever will; and the demons he directs believe and tremble knowing there is one God.
In the Day of the Lord, Satan and his angels will be cast out of the air, and will be able only to function for a period on the earth. He will raise up the Antichrist, and inspire his actions in such a measure that they will be virtually interchangeable. In the end, Satan and Antichrist will be cast into a bottomless pit, where he will be shut up and sealed that he should deceive the nations no more. He will have one last run after the millennial reign, when he is briefly unleashed, at which time he will try again to mount a rebellion, which will be immediately put down. Then he will be cast into the final lake of fire and brimstone, where he will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Then, and only then, will he be eternally found without hope again of ruling or influencing any part of God's creation.
Satan knows this is his preordained end. He will use everything in his power until that day to try to thwart this plan, to no avail. Like a roaring lion, he walketh about seeking whom he may devour. But the elect of God are not ignorant of his devices, lest he should get an advantage; they submit themselves to and draw nigh unto God, resisting the devil so he flees, lest they be ensnared and taken captive by him at his will.
Isaiah 14:12 - "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"
Matthew 25:41 - "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels..."
Luke 10:17-18 - "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."
John 8:43-44 - "Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
John 12:31 - "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out."
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 - "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 - "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
Ephesians 2:1-2 - "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience..."
Ephesians 6:11-12 - "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
2 Timothy 2:24-26 - "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
1 Peter 5:8-9 - "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world."
James 4:7 - "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
Revelation 12:3-4, 7-10 - "And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born...And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."
Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10 - "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season...And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."