If living in this sin-cursed world gets you down, there’s good news. Satan—the father of lies, deceiver of nations, and despiser of men’s souls—will one day be judged. Although many people doubt his existence or consider him a myth or symbol of wickedness, Satan is very real indeed. Both Old and New Testaments verify his existence, and the New Testament speaks of his end.
God created Satan as the highest of all angels. In his original state, he was perfect in wisdom, beauty, and in all his ways (Ezek. 28:12, 15). Granted special privileges from God, he dwelt in God’s presence to proclaim God’s holiness (v. 14) and was appointed guardian over the entire angelic host.
The prophet Ezekiel called him the “anointed cherub” (v. 14); and Isaiah called him Lucifer, meaning “brightness” or “a shining one” (Isa. 14:12). God gave him enormous power to function throughout the universe.
Scripture does not explain exactly how Satan fell but simply reveals “iniquity was found in [him]” (Ezek. 28:15). Precipitated by pride, his heart became lifted up because of his beauty, resulting in the corruption of his nature and wisdom (v. 17). His pride then led to rebellion, causing him to seek the establishment of his throne above that of the Most High God (Isa. 14:13–14).
Satan’s fall brought God’s immediate judgment. Lucifer lost his beauty and holiness, his power was restricted, he was stripped of his privileged position near God’s throne, and he was cast from heaven to Earth and ultimately banished from God’s presence (Ezek. 28:16–17). His depraved nature filled him with violence and has destined him for the Lake of Fire (Mt. 25:41). Jesus spoke of seeing Satan fall like lightning from heaven (Lk. 10:18).
Although Satan’s position and power have been restricted, he is still extremely mighty; and his activity extends throughout the universe. His major objective is to overthrow God and His program, gain worship for himself, and annihilate all who possess faith in Jesus Christ. He works through a host of fallen angels known as demons. It is believed that, when Satan fell, one-third of all the angels God created followed Satan into wickedness (Rev. 12:4).
Satan and his demons are cunning and formidable, but they have been defeated by Jesus Christ; and their doom is sealed. Although Satan bruised Christ’s heel (Gen. 3:15), Christ will crush Satan’s head and win total victory over him. Christ became human to destroy the Devil and his works (1 Jn. 3:8), a feat He accomplished on the cross (Heb. 2:14).
Although Satan has been judged (rendered powerless), the ultimate implementation of his sentence is still future. During His earthly ministry, Christ demonstrated His power over Satan when He cast demons out of individuals and confined demons to the abyss.
The Bible mentions four judgments of Satan and his demons:
- Some demons are temporarily bound in the abyss (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6; Rev. 9:1–3) while others are bound in the Euphrates River (Rev. 9:14–19).
- During the Great Tribulation, Michael the archangel will fight against the Dragon (Satan) and his angels (demons) and cast them from heaven to Earth, forever terminating Satan’s access to God (12:7–9).
- During the Millennium (Messianic Kingdom), Satan and his demons will be confined to the bottomless pit for the entire thousand years (20:1–3).
- Jesus said the Lake of Fire was created especially for the Devil and his angels (Mt. 25:41, 46). Satan and his kingdom of demons will meet their final judgment when they are cast alive into the Lake of Fire, to be tormented throughout eternity (Rev. 20:10).