I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
On November 5, 1979, Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini delivered a speech in which he used the phrase “the Great Satan” to describe the United States as Iran’s great adversary. According to the Scriptures, however, Satan is more than a figure of speech. He really exists.
Although the Bible does not describe his origin in detail, evidence suggests that he is a fallen angel. Some scholars believe passages like Ezekiel 28:12–19 and Isaiah 14:12–14 use the king of Tyre and the king of Babylon as an analogy for Satan, and that these texts reveal details of Satan’s fall.
When Satan fell, a large number of angels fell with him (2 Peter 2:4). God prepared the eternal fire of hell for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41). The demons know that this will be their final destiny (Matt. 8:29; Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28). Although Satan is called “the prince of demons” in Scripture, Jesus gave His disciples authority over them (Luke 9:1).
Satan is a personal being. He tempted Christ in the wilderness, and he is our enemy as well (1 Peter 5:8–9). His strategy with Jesus was the same he employed in the garden with Adam and Eve. Satan twisted God’s Word in an attempt to persuade Jesus to disobey. Like our Lord, we are to resist the devil with faith by submitting ourselves to God (James 4:7).
Satan is a powerful adversary but is no match for God. His ultimate defeat has been secured by Christ. He already stands condemned and will eventually be driven out of this world altogether (John 12:31; 16:11). Those who belong to Jesus need to be on their guard against Satan’s strategies, but they do not need to live in fear of him. He is an enemy—but a defeated one. The weakest believer can overcome Satan by relying on Jesus Christ.
Apply the Word
We can err by dismissing Satan or regarding him too highly. We should not take the threat posed by Satan lightly. He seeks our destruction. But we should not fear him either. As Martin Luther wrote: “The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure, one little word shall fell him.” Jesus is that Word!