C-17°|F2°The Biblical Names of Satan C-17°|F1°How we may unmask the enemy In the previous entries we established that we have an enemy behind the scenes and this enemy is satan who is a fallen angel that commands a host of other fallen angels. We studied commentaries that led us to conclude that satan is the original instigator of sin and he is an evil that existed before The Fall. We also stressed that despite external instigation, humanity has free will and we are hence always held accountable for our choices. Then in the last entry we clarified that a Christian cannot be demon possessed but we can nevertheless be influenced by the spiritual realm in varying degrees. Through biblical examples we found out that even Jesus closest disciples were not impervious to the devil s influence. We need to appreciate our vulnerability and be vigilant No one is so close to God that we cannot be influenced by the demonic realm. Other than Jesus, no one is so holy that he cannot be used by the devil. When we are not being tempted and deceived, we may be used as the devil s unsuspecting agents. It is a point of humility that we realise this so we may be wary of participating in the enemy s schemes. While the devil is not behind every bush (he s not omnipresent), we need to be aware we are vulnerable to a prowling adversary. Knowing our weakness makes us vigilant; and vigilance is an attitude we are exhorted to maintain as believers (1 Peter 5:8). It is precisely because of our vulnerability that Paul teaches believers to put on the armour of God and stand firm in righteousness, truth, peace, faith and our assurance of salvation even as we wield the Word of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). It would not be unreasonable to say that our vulnerability is principally rooted in ignorance (2 Corinthians 2:11; Hosea 4:6). We don t have to be afraid of the devil but we need to know he is there and we ought to understand how he functions. We are better equipped to discern and resist the enemy s snares when we are informed of his devices. Satan would like nothing more than to remain hidden to work in stealth. Thankfully, God did not leave us ignorant. The Bible provides sufficient knowledge to help us in our warfare and we have been given the countermeasure to unmask the enemy. In the spiritual realm, names correspond to the nature of the entity and the Bible refers to satan by many names. Each reveals something about the nature of our ancient enemy and intimates to us his schemes. Below is a list of the names of satan that has been consolidated from the sources named under the bibliography. Please note that the scriptural references mentioned are not exhaustive. The names & character of satan, Lucifer or Angel of light (Isaiah 14:12 KJV; 2 Corinthians 11:14) - "Lucifer" appears only once in the Bible in Isaiah and it is a Latin word interpreted from the Hebrew word "Heylel" meaning the shining one or "morning star". Perhaps we can also say "angel of light", which is satan s original nature prior to his fall. He is still able to masquerade in this form of beauty to ensnare Christians. Since his fall, Heylel has been referred to primarily as satan which perhaps reflects the notion that his nature is no longer one of light but of darkness. We need to be aware that people claiming to be servants of God may actually be agents of deception, sometimes unwittingly and sincerely believing they are doing God s work (Matthew 24:11-12; 24). ,"satan" or "adversary" or "enemy" (Job 1:6-7; Matthew 4:10; 1 Peter 5:8; Matthew 13:39) - The name "satan" means "adversary". He is in direct opposition with God and he works against God s agenda. Satan hates Christ (Revelation 12:13). He hates God s people and he makes war against us (Revelation 12:17; 13:7). Through his lies, satan blasphemes God s names and all of God s Heaven (Revelation 13:6). Satan is our enemy. , devil (Matt. 4:1; Ephesians 6:11; Revelation 20:2) - Meaning "slanderer". The devil works to misrepresent God s character. He may do this by putting doubts in our mind about God s goodness or twisting scripture to undermine who God is. False accusations are also brought against God s people. The devil is the author of gossip and false witness against God s servants. Knowing this, we should refrain from participating in any scheme to discredit others and also avoid people who gossip (Proverbs 20:19; Psalm 101:5; Proverbs 11:9; 1 Timothy 5:13). Gossip causes discord and I believe we have all seen its disruptive effect in our churches (James 3:6). ,"accuser of the brethren" (Revelation 12:10) - satan accuses us day and night before God, criticising what we have done wrong, finding fault with us and condemning us for it. We can be caused to focus on the condemnation rather than the mercy and grace of God that frees us from condemnation (Romans 8:1 NKJV). Jesus blood cleanses us of all our sins and redeems us from every curse of the law (Galatians 3:13). The voice of condemnation, worthlessness (see also "Belial" below) and hopelessness we have all struggled with at one time or other is not of God. The accuser also specialises in influencing obsessive criticism to condemn and tear down believers and satan s vessel or instrument of condemnation is usually another believer (James 3:6). ,"ruler/prince/god of this world" or "god of this world/age" (John 12:31; 2 Corinthians 4:4) - Without getting too academic with the details, it should be noted that the Greek origin of the words translated as "god" and "world" actually differs in the two verses. The best translations respectively would be either "ruler" or "prince of this world" (worldly system or order) and "god of this age". The designations tell us that Satan is the ruler behind the worldly system and he has elevated himself to be god of the unredeemed whom he has blinded - but this is only permitted for an age or a period of time. The world system distracts mankind from God when we allow it to master us. Like money, the things of the world are not necessarily evil per se, but when we idolise it or become drawn by it we become drawn away from God. ,"Beelzebub" a.k.a. "ruler/chief/prince of demons" (2 Kings 1:2; Matthew 12:24; Luke 11:15) Meaning "lord of the house" or "lord of the flies". Other Jewish meanings attributable to the name are "lord of dung" or "god of filth". This is also another rather apt description of satan s character, the ruler and chief of demons and uncleanness. It would not be too much of a stretch to infer that filth includes every form of depravity, pornography, obscenities and the like - all are attributable to Beelzebub. ,"prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2) - This is another title indicating satan s leadership over the evil spirits that carry out his orders and implement plans opposing God and God s people. , liar (and the father of it) (John 8:44) - He is the original liar and inspirer of lies who deceives the whole world (Revelation 12:9). Through deception he causes us to stumble, to make the wrong choices, to doubt and have wrongful thoughts and beliefs about God. He counterfeits the moves, power and blessings of God and he is the author of confusion and every stronghold of wrong thinking we may have. He is also the sponsor of false religions. He usurps worship meant for God and those who do not come into the saving grace of Christ worship fallen angels (unknowingly) through idolatry, other gods or by bondage to the worldly system (Revelation 13:8; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Scripture teaches us that pagan gods are actually demons (Deuteronomy 32:17; 1 Corinthians 10:20-21; Revelation 9:20). ,"murderer" (John 8:44) - It can be said that Satan murdered the human race through deception and this account is told in Genesis 3. As we study Genesis 4 we also find reason to finger satan as the instigator of Abel s murder. Cain was warned that "sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it" (Genesis 4:7 NASB). Commentators will explain that the imagery here personifies sin as a crouching beast ready to pounce should Cain, being unable to master it, open the door. Cain chose to murder his brother at the instigation of the crouching beast. Just as Jesus teaches us that adultery is committed in the heart (Matthew 5:28), murder is also committed through hate for a brother (1 John 3:15). I think we can reasonably extend satan s influence of murder to encompass the elective termination of pregnancies. , "roaring lion" (1 Peter 5:8) - We are told that satan is like a roaring lion. This imagery of a ferocious and hungry predator of great strength is much like the imagery of sin as a crouching beast discussed immediately above. Peter tells us that satan is a predatory beast seeking to devour the weak or unwary; the notion being that we need to be careful of satan s opportunistic nature. It should also be noted here that scripture also compares God Himself to the image of a Lion and Lion of the Tribe of Judah symbolises Jesus. Imagery of the Lion is applied to God and Jesus in terms of the creature s majestic boldness, bravery and as a symbol of royalty and kingship (Hosea 5:14; Revelation 5:5). ,"evil one" or "wicked one" (1 John 5:19) - This is a description of satan s character or his work. Thayer s Lexicon explains that Biblical use of the word evil or wickedness encompases strife, torment, disease, hurtful malice and mischief. It is sobering to note John s conclusion that "the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." ,"tempter" (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5) This is indicative of satan s constant purpose to instigate people into making sinful choices. The tempter presents the most luring circumstances and evokes the most arresting considerations towards satisfying the impulse to sin. Satan often distorts and perverts our God given desires and entices us to fulfil them wrongfully (e.g. sex, ambition). ,"Belial" (1 Samuel 2:12 KJV; 2 Corinthians 6:15) - Old Testament usage of the name "Belial" was indicative of "worthlessness" or "hopeless ruin", a characterisation of Satan and his influence. Belial is also the name of a false god. ,"Abaddon" or "Apollyon" (Revelation 9:11) - This Hebrew name and its Greek equivalent are both quoted within in the same verse. It means "destroyer" and it is a proper name given to "the angel-prince of the infernal regions, the minister of death and the author of havoc on the earth" (Thayer s Lexicon). The title stresses the intent of satan to bring death, destruction and chaos into the world. ,"dragon" and "serpent" or "serpent of old" (Revelation 12:4,7; Genesis 3:1; Revelation 12:9) - Thayer s Lexicon describes the dragon as a great serpent, fabulous animal . In the Bible, dragon is often used interchangeably with "serpent of old" and "satan" enabling us to positively identify the serpent in Genesis 3 as satan. Perhaps the symbolism of a dragon also stresses the cruel, vicious and blood thirsty character of satan in a form that is also at the same time fascinating. As for the serpent, we know that it is denoted as the "most cunning of any beast" and it suggests crookedness, deceitfulness, craftiness or artful maliciousness, all of which are again indicative of satan s nature.All of these names indicate rebellion, filth, destruction and depravity in a malevolent ruler of demons who is adept at using disguise, misdirection and counterfeit to craftily orchestrate wicked outcomes and deceive people into sin. When we think about the corruption of the fallen world we live in and contemplate the names of our ancient foe, it is easy to see who is behind it all. There is much more in the Bible that reveals satan s schemes and character. There are also specifically named false gods and evil spirits but enough about the enemy already. All of this is in such stark contrast to the names of God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit that are progressively revealed to us through Scriptures. God intimates himself to us through each name, revealing a different and special aspect of His Holy and Divine nature. Through understanding the Names of God we come to receive a deeper revelation of His relationship with us. As much as we can be influenced by the enemy and the contrary spiritual realm, we can be influenced more by the Spiritual realm of God that is Holy and Divine. We learn from the bible that saints are guided by angels, prophets are inspired by the Spirit, kings may prophesise and can be stirred to do great deeds, churches are guided by the Holy Spirit and believers are counseled and comforted; and there is much more to be discovered in the Bible. The spiritual realm is unseen but its influence is nevertheless real and we must not forget that it can be of God or of the enemy. We can choose to seek God s Kingdom and opt to obey the prompting of His Holy Spirit. We can choose to be transformed by the renewing of our minds rather than to continue conforming to the pattern of the world that lies under the power of evil. Bibliography Horrobin, Peter. Healing Through Deliverance: The Foundation of Deliverance Ministry. Sovereign World, 1991. Ingram, Chip. The Invisible War: What Every Believer Needs To Know About Satan, Demons and Spiritual Warfare. Baker Books, 2006. Sumrall, Lester. The Believer s Handbook, Whitaker House, 2002. Whyte, Maxwell H.A. Demons and Deliverance, Whitaker House, 1989.
Thank you Doulos for another very practical and useful guide.
To be forewarned about the enemy and his ploy, helps us to be forearmed and if we are not, to find out how we can be.
Now that we know better by your very simple-to-understand blog, we must be more vigilant and focussed that we never be instrumental in being the enemy's agent unwittingly and be a stumbler to another brother or sister in Christ.
May the Lord as in the Lord's prayer "Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil" (Luke 11:4) Amen.
This is another great reminder that we are in a battle and we must be vigilant by watching, praying and keeping God's Word before us.
These are the ways to keep from being deceived. We must learn to pray daily asking God to help us listen ONLY to HIS voice and ask God to help us to see things clearly. This is a great picture of who satan is and like a good soldier, we need to know our enemy.
I remember someone asking me many years ago why there were so many names for the evil one and which one we were supposed to call him. I can't recall the answer I gave at the time, but it is very interesting how God chose to give the enemy so many different names. Whether we call him Satan, the devil, the adversary, Lucifer, the enemy; they all point to a being who is so evil, corrupt and vile that everything he does is designed to hinder the very purpose of God and hurt God's people.
Thanks for your continued diligence in presenting this material. It is much needed and appreciated.
[i]satan is the father of all lies and there is absolutely no truth in him-[/i]...
yet so often we fall into his schemes and believe in his lies which brings lost, death and destructions... he really knows where and how to 'stab' where it hurts most...he would not hesitate to make use of those closes to us or if we are not careful even us as his agents of destructions...he only has one purpose ie to steal, kill and destroy...
[quote]When we are not being tempted and deceived, we may be used as the devil's unsuspecting agents. It is a point of humility that we realise this so we may be wary of participating in the enemy's schemes. [/quote]
Thank God for the abundant GRACE that we first received bec [b][i]we cannot give unless we have first received[/i]...[/b]..that we can also [b]exercise grace[/b] and choose to over look grievances and learn not to take offence.. life will surely be less complicated in terms of our inter-personal relationship when we learn to count our blessings and overlook and strike off any offences.. maybe we will have less 'unnecessary battles of the mind' to fight ...and engage in more productive battles on behalf of those who are in need for us to stand along side with them..?? :wink: