Satan and the Bible Part 2
It was William Shakespeare that wrote the famous words: "What's in a name." Well to the ancient Hebrews a name was far more than a way to distinguish one person from another. A person's name was the equivalent of the person himself. It signified his worth, character, authority, will and ownership. That is why it is so important, in doing a biblical study of Satan, to know what the Bible names him. In getting to know the names of our ancient foe, we will have a better understanding of the type of personality that we are up against.
This name is applied to this fallen angel 19 times in the Old Testament and 36 times in the New. It is a Hebrew word which means accuser or opponent. It also means adversary. He is the adversary of God and His people. He is the accuser of the believers in the Lord. One example of his accusations is when he stood before God in the book of Job, and told the Lord that Job would turn from Him if Satan was allowed to harm this man of God. Satan has always used believers to try to thwart the plans of God. (Zechariah 3:1; Matthew 4:10; Revelation 12:10 and 20:2).
II. The Devil
This name is a translation of the Greek word diabolos and is used 35 times in the New Testament. It means slanderer (Matthew 4:1; Ephesians 4:27; Revelation 12:10 and 20:2).
III. The Evil One
We see this used of Satan in John 17:15 and I John 5:18-19. Of course this indicates that he has an evil character and this evil nature pervades the entire world system which is under his control.
IV. The Old Serpent
It is as a serpent in the Garden of Eden that Satan first appeared to mankind. This characterization follows him into the New Testament. Aside from Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 this name is used of him in Genesis 3:1, 2, 4, 13, 14 and in II Corinthians 11:3. It is used to indicate his guile and craftiness.
V. The Great Dragon
This characterization emphasizes his fierce nature, especially in conflict. Satan is ferocious in his attacks against believers ( Revelation 12: 3, 7, 9 and 20:2)
The word is of Chaldean origin and literally means "Lord of the Flies." This name designates Satan's position as chief of the demons (Luke 11:15), In the Old Testament it appears four times as Baal-zebub (II Kings 1: 2, 3, 6 and 16). Baal-zebub is identified as the god of Ekron. Baal worship was common in Canaan in those days and was considered Satanic. Therefore, the name.
VII. The King of Tyrus
Found in Ezekiel 28:12-19, this refers both to the earthly king and to the angelic ruler who controlled him. As you read this section, it becomes quickly apparent that no earthly king could completely fit the description given here. It seems to be to this passage that Paul was referring when he spoke of the qualifications of an elder, that he not be a novice, "lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil" (I Timothy 3:6). This section indicates that Satan served in the presence of God (v. 14), was perfect (v. 15), became guilty of the sin of pride (V. 17), began to deal in iniquitous trade (V. 18) and is therefore destined for judgement (Verses 16,18 and 19).
The Hebrew term, (heylel), is rendered in many versions as Day Star. We get our English word Lucifer from the Latin, and it means Light bearer. Satan, of course is a fraud. He is a false Christ. Jesus is the light of the world. However, we see in II Corinthians 11:14,15 that Satan appears as an angel of light, and his ministers as ministers of righteousness. Christ is the true bright and morning Star, the true Day Star. Of course, Satan must have been a light bearer before his fall.
IX. The Tempter
From his temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden, to his temptation of Christ in the wilderness, Satan has always tried to tempt the Lord's people to sin against God. He tried to tempt Christ to get the glory due him without the suffering of the cross. And he continues to tempt the believers to immorality today. (Matthew 4:3; I Thessalonians 3:5 and I Corinthians 7:5).
X. The Ruler of this World/god of This World/ Prince of the Power of the Air/The Spirit that Now Works in the Sons of Disobedience
These are all titles to indicate Satan's position over this world. He is the ruler of the world system that is opposed to the God of the universe. Everything and everyone that goes contrary to the will of God is in the control of the god of this world. This rule is awesome and fearful but the Bible teaches us that: "Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world." (I John 4:4).
All of the names that we've studied here confirm the reality of Satan's existence, and also reveal his character and much about his work. What we must never forget is that he is a powerful, intelligent and clever creature. We cannot ever underestimate the power that we are up against. In fact, without God, we are totally helpless to fight him. Thank God that the battle isn't something that we must fight alone. For the battle belongs to the Lord.