Isaiah 14:13-14: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
In part one of this lesson, we asked the question: Where did Satan come from? According to the Bible, Satan was originally created as an angel named Lucifer. Lucifer was beautiful, wise, and powerful, and he had a position of leadership in Heaven before he was cast out because of his sin against God.
On last week, we asked the question: What was Lucifer’s sin? Scripture tells us that Lucifer lifted up his heart with pride. He began to think that he was fit to rule the world. He wanted to set himself above God in power and authority, and, apparently, he was able to convince one third of the other angels in Heaven that he would make a better ruler.
The Bible reveals that there was a great battle in Heaven when Lucifer tried to overthrow God. A part of the prophetic book of Revelation states: “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon… And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth… And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
As we consider this issue today, most of us would agree that it was foolish for Lucifer to try to do what he did. How could a created being ever think that he could overpower his Creator? It sounds absurd to us, but that is what pride did to Lucifer.
Let’s examine the issue of pride a little further. Before he sinned, Lucifer had loved God and enthroned God as King in his heart. When pride took over, Lucifer began to love himself. He no longer chose to have God on the throne of his heart. Instead, he put himself on that throne. This sin of pride led to self-love. Self-love led to self-will and self-will led to rebellion against God. No longer was Lucifer content to be the highest angel under God. Now he wanted to be God! God saw what was in his heart and cast Lucifer down from his exalted position. His name was changed from Lucifer (light bearer) to Satan, which means “adversary.” Thus, Satan began his career of opposing God, and he has been opposing God ever since.
The philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas wrote: Inordinate self-love is the cause of every sin. This was initially epitomized by Lucifer, and he has employed it successfully on humanity for thousands of years, steering people away from the one true and holy God.
Although Satan was the first angel to rebel against God, many other angels followed him in his rebellion. These angels are called “fallen angels” while those who remained true to God are called “holy angels.” Satan, along with these fallen angels, set up a kingdom opposed to God and His kingdom. Ever since the time of Satan’s rebellion, there have been two kingdoms in the universe—the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan.
These two kingdoms are exactly opposite in character. Satan’s kingdom is the kingdom of darkness; God’s kingdom is the kingdom of light. Satan’s kingdom is the kingdom of lies, wickedness, and hate while God’s kingdom is the kingdom of truth, righteousness, and love. In his foolish pride, Satan still feels that he can overthrow God and corrupt God’s plans in the earth.