We have an enemy whose sole purpose is to eradicate, annihilate, and wipes us off the face of this earth. He hates our guts with a passion unlike anything we might imagine and he will do anything—anything—no matter how despicable, dirty, dishonest, or debauched it may be. In simple terms, he wants us D-E-A-D!
He is not human, not flesh and blood. He is a spiritual creature, an angelic being who is the embodiment of pure evil. He is wickedness to the nth degree.
Yet most of us have a different picture of who we think he is. Most of us envision a red creature with a pointed little beard, beady black eyes, horns on his head, a pointed tail, and a pitchfork in his hand, who will get you if you don’t behave. Our images are borne out of bedtime tales of the boogey man rather than the Bible.
We have been told his kingdom and the domain from which he rules is hell, which it is not! He does not work out of a corner penthouse office in hell. In fact, he has never been to hell and has no desire to visit. For most people these caricatures are what spring to mind when they think of the devil. This is the enemy most of us think we know, but this is not the portrait the Bible paints.
If we are to stand firm we must know our enemy. We must be able to identify him in a lineup. We must know who he is, what he can do, and what he cannot do. This knowledge, to be useful on the battlefield, must be up-to-date, factual, and realistic, or we will be underprepared, and thus unprepared for his attacks. Both are simply descriptions of defeat.
A famous Chinese general, Sun Tzu, once wrote, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not your enemy, for every victory gained you will suffer a defeat. If you know neither you enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Let that resonate for a moment in your spirit and soul.
Most believers have no clue who they are and even less about their mortal enemy, so they live a defeated life. If we simply recognize and realize what the Bible teaches about Satan, many of us could increase our chances of being victorious on the battlefield from 0% to at least 50%. It is essential that we know our enemy.
Therefore the best place to get our information is not from historical pictures painted by humanist painters, or from the mascots of sports teams, or from Hollywood movies, or speculative fiction, but rather from Holy Scripture.
Satan is an angelic being, one of the cherubim. He was once a part of this angelic order whose responsibility was to guard the very presence of God. He was the chief cherub, according to Ezekiel 28:12-15, the anointed one who covers or guards. He is one of the most powerful angels God created. Don’t forget though, he is still a created being.
He was full of wisdom and exquisitely beautiful. He was known as “the Shining One” In Hebrew or Lucifer in Latin. From his description, it is possible that he was the worship leader of heaven. One thing is for sure, he was the most beautiful angel created and he began his existence in the very presence of God.
—But he no longer enjoys that premier position—things changed!