Satan: Part One


Satan was not always what he is now. Where did Satan come from and where did sin begin? Dr. Donald Barnhouse explains.

God did not create Satan as he is now, for certainly Satan is very bad indeed. Where did Satan come from then? Surely he could not make himself, and besides we know that God created all things. The answer is that Satan was not always what he is now. When he was made by God he was like everything else that God ever made—perfect and good.

In Ezekiel 28, beginning with the twelfth verse, we find a description of this being as he was when God made him, “full of wisdom, perfect in beauty.” In the next verse we find that every precious stone was his covering—this may refer to the palace in which he lived, or to his clothing. Evidently he was a master of music, for it speaks of “tabrets and pipes.” God says too (v.14) that he was the anointed cherub, which means that he had a very high place in God’s kingdom. It seems that he was the highest of all the angels and ruled over all of them for God. His name was Lucifer, we find in Isaiah 14:12, and he was called “the son of the morning.” Lucifer means “light-bearer,” or “day-star,” and is a very beautiful name. Yet the wonderful angel who bore this name became our worst enemy.

Isaiah 14:13-15 tells us how it happened. The angel who had always worshipped God and ruled the universe for Him ceased thinking how wonderful God was, and began to think of himself. His heart was lifted up because of his beauty (Ezekiel 28:17). Probably he thought how nice it would be if all those angels who had been worshipping God so faithfully would worship him instead. The moment that these thoughts entered his heart he had sinned, and this was the very first sin that was ever committed. Before, everyone had been perfect. Man had not yet been made, and all the angels were sinless. Of course God was absolutely perfect. So, with Lucifer’s pride the first sin entered the universe. Do you wonder that God particularly hates the sin of pride?

In Isaiah we read what Lucifer said: “I will ascend into Heaven; I will exalt my throne above the clouds... I will be like the Most High.” Lucifer wanted to take God’s place! He would have been glad to put God off His throne, and to have taken it for himself. Of course he could not do it, but the sin of wishing to was there just the same.

Of course after he had sinned, he could not keep on ruling for God. He lost his beautiful name and became the Devil, or Satan. He could not live in Heaven with God, but was cast out. The Lord Jesus, in Luke 10:18 said He saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven. God did not take away all his power, for he is not chained today, but goes about doing his evil work. Many people belong to him, and belong to his kingdom, instead of to the kingdom of God. He hates God and hates all those who belong to God. In fact he does not even love those who belong to him, but does them all the harm he can.

It is a sad story, for sin always makes sadness. But it explains to us where Satan came from and where sin began. We are glad to know that Jesus conquered Satan when He died on the cross, and that someday all his evil work will be over, and he will be put out of the way forever and ever.


  • What was the first sin?
  • Why is Lucifer so bad?
  • How does Satan still have power today?


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