Naming the Enemy (Satan)

  • In Ephesians 6:12 God’s word declares that the Christian’s ultimate battle “is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
  • Among these spiritual forces of evil the Bible makes clear that there is a chief figure, Satan, who seeks to oppose the work of God and His people. Throughout Scripture this evil being is given a variety of names.
  • The name “Satan” is a Hebrew word which means, “the adversary”. This name is also used in biblical Greek meaning, “adversary or opponent” (Matthew 16:21-23).
  • Satan has also been known in church history as “Lucifer”, a reference to his pre-fall name as an angel of God. The name Lucifer is not actually recorded in the Bible, but was a Latin Vulgate translation of the Hebrew word, “Helel ben-shahar”, which means, “son of the morning” (Isaiah 14:12).
  • Satan is also identified as “Beelzebub”, the prince of demons (Matthew 12:22-32). Beelzebub is the Greek form of the Hebrew word “Baal-Zebub”, which means, “the lord of the flies”. The Israelites used this word as a form of ridicule against the Canaanites’ false god, Baal.
  • The term, “the Devil” is another common name for Satan. This term comes from the Greek word “Diabolos”, which means, “adversary, false accuser, or slanderer” (Matthew 4).
  • Regardless of the name used, Satan has ultimately been defeated by the cross of Christ (Colossians 2:15). His days are numbered and one day God will rid the Cosmos of Satan for all eternity (Revelation 20:10).

For more information on Satan and all the Bible’s teachings on him, please check out The Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.