All About GodI came across this web site (some time ago in fact), which purports to offer a history of Satan. I found it fascinating how it has to corrupt Biblical verses to support its claims.
The history of Satan is described in the Bible in Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-19. These two biblical passages also reference the king of Babylon, the King of Tyre, and the spiritual power behind the kings.In fact the verses are purely about the king of Babylon and the King of Tyre respectively, and hovering over the links on the web page makes that clear. The author then repeats the usual Christian dogma:
What caused Satan to be cast from Heaven? He fell because of pride that originated from his desire to be God instead of a servant of God. Satan was the highest of all the angels, but he wasn’t happy. He desired to be God and rule the universe. God cast Satan out of heaven as a fallen angel.But the reality is there is no justification for these claims in the Bible.
Satan is often caricatured as a red-horned, trident-raising cartoon villain; no wonder people question the history of Satan. His existence, however, is not based on fantasy. It’s verified in the same book that narrates Jesus’ life and death (Genesis 3:1-16, Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11).The Genesis verses are about a snake; God cursed all snakes because of what that a snake did. The Isaiah and Ezekiel verses have already been dismissed. If we believe the Bible, all we have is that Satan tempted Jesus.
Christians believe Satan acts as leader of the fallen angels. These demons, existing in the invisible spirit realm yet affecting our physical world, rebelled against God, but are ultimately under His control. Satan masquerades as an “angel of light,” deceiving humans just as he deceived Eve in the beginning (Genesis 3).
Jesus Himself testified of Satan’s existence. During His ministry, He personally faced temptation from the devil (Matthew 4:1-11), cast out demons possessing people (Luke 8:27-33), and defeated the evil one and his legion of demon angels at the cross. Christ also helped us understand the ongoing, spiritual war between God and Satan, good and evil (Isaiah 14:12-15; Luke 10:17-20).
Again the same Genesis and Isaiah verses! The verses in Luke need more consideration.
Luke 10:17 The [i]seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” 18 And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”This could mean that Jesus had witnesses the fall of Satan, or it could be prophetic; Jesus had a vision of Satan falling in the future. It could even be figurative; the seventy disciples had been casting out so many demons that Satan's power was diminished, and it was that reduction of power that was like Satan falling like lightning. Given the Book of Revelation, the prophetic interpretation seems most likely, which would indicate that when Jesus was talking the fall from heaven had yet to happen.
Jesus Himself testified of Satan’s existence. During His ministry, He personally faced temptation from the devil (Matthew 4:1-11), cast out demons possessing people (Luke 8:27-33), and defeated the evil one and his legion of demon angels at the cross. Christ also helped us understand the ongoing, spiritual war between God and Satan, good and evil (Isaiah 14:12-15; Luke 10:17-20).Same Isaiah, Matthew and Luke verses. You kind of get the feeling Satan is not mentioned much in the Bible. Or if he is, not in a way that supports this guy's argument. He goes on, discussing Paul's views on Satan, but with nothing more on Satan's history.
Reasoning from the ScripturesHere is a web page called "How Did Lucifer Fall and Become Satan?", by Ron Rhodes, President of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. With a title like that, he must know what he is talking about.
The story of Lucifer’s fall is described in two key Old Testament chapters—Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14. Let’s briefly look at both of these.So the argument here is that because the later verses refer to the king, rather than the ruler, it must be about Satan. Despite ruler and king being synonyms. Wow.
It would seem from the context of Ezekiel 28 that the first ten verses of this chapter are dealing with a human leader. Then, starting in verse 11 and on through verse 19, Lucifer is the focus of discussion.
What is the rationale for the conclusion that these latter verses refer to the fall of Lucifer? Whereas the first ten verses in this chapter speak about the ruler of Tyre (who was condemned for claiming to be a god though he was just a man), the discussion moves to the king of Tyre starting in verse 11. Many scholars believe that though there was a human “ruler” of Tyre, the real “king” of Tyre was Satan, for it was he who was ultimately at work in this anti-God city and it was he who worked through the human ruler of the city.
Some have suggested that these verses may actually be dealing with a human king of Tyre who was empowered by Satan. Perhaps the historic king of Tyre was a tool of Satan, possibly even indwelt by him. In describing this king, Ezekiel also gives us glimpses of the superhuman creature, Satan, who was using, if not indwelling, him.More likely the author is being ironic. At the end of day, this text does not mention Satan.
Now, there are things that are true of this “king” that—at least ultimately—cannot be said to be true of human beings. For example, the king is portrayed as having a different nature from man (he is a cherub, verse 14); he had a different position from man (he was blameless and sinless, verse 15); he was in a different realm from man (the holy mount of God, verses 13,14); he received a different judgment from man (he was cast out of the mountain of God and thrown to the earth, verse 16); and the superlatives used to describe him don’t seem to fit that of a normal human being (“full of wisdom,” “perfect in beauty,” and having “the seal of perfection,” verse 12 NASB).
In his mind if it says "Lucifer", it must be about Satan. And why does this guy think that "Lucifer" is refering to Satan? He does not say, but I strongly suspect it is because that is what Satan is called in these verses!
Of course, he is obliged to use the KJV here. Modern translations do not include the word "Lucifer" at all.
Apparently, this represents the actual beginning of sin in the universe—preceding the fall of the human Adam by an indeterminate time. Sin originated in the free will of Lucifer in which—with full understanding of the issues involved—he chose to rebel against the Creator.There is that verse in Ezekiel that the Bible clearly states is about the King of Tyre again, but Christians routinely twist to pretend is about Satan. What of the Zechariah verses? These date from when the satan was considered to be an angel appointed by God to act as the prosecutor in the divine count.
This mighty angelic being was rightfully judged by God: “I threw you to the earth” (Ezekiel 28:18). This doesn’t mean that Satan had no further access to heaven, for other Scripture verses clearly indicate that Satan maintained this access even after his fall (Job 1:6-12; Zechariah 3:1,2). However, Ezekiel 28:18 indicates that Satan was absolutely and completely cast out of God’s heavenly government and his place of authority (Luke 10:18).
Zechariah 3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and [a]Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”
This is why God merely gives the satan a telling off. God is saying Joshua is a good man who has proved himself, and should not be standing here to be judged.
This is certainly not the reaction of a all-powerful, perfectly good being upon seeing the author of ultimate evil!
It is worth looking at Psalm 109 in this context. Here are two translations:
Psalm 109:6Appoint a wicked man over him, And let an accuser stand at his right hand.KJV
Psalm 109:6Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.
The NASB has translated the word as accuser, and this is exactly what it means in Zechariah 3. The satan was the accuser appointed by God.