Who Exactly is Satan?
Nothing brings about as much intrigue, mystery, and fear as the word “Satan”. This disgraced angel appears in Abrahamic religions, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
Satan appears as the opposition to God in the Bible. And his is, therefore, the representation of all evil and sin.
Satan goes by many names: Fallen Angel, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Perdition, Shaitan or Jinn (specifically in Islam, where evil spirits can take many forms). To many, Satan is perceived as the Antichrist, the Prince of Darkness. And the Devil – derived from the Greek word “Diabolos“.
According to The Bible
God created angels before he created the human race. Lucifer, now called Satan, was once an angel. But Lucifer and other angels decided to disobey God and rebel against his authority. This caused God to cast Lucifer and the other rebellious angels out of heaven.
This is backed up by the Old Testament in Isaiah 14: 12 – 17:
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!… For you have said in your heart, ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also on the mount of the congregation, in the recesses of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Hell, to the sides of the pit“.
All three Abrahamic religions consider Satan the dark entity that enticed Eve into sin. Causing her to get banished from paradise and a life of misery.
So, Satan’s considered a real entity, cast down into the invisible spirit realm (or Hell). He acts as the Devil and is the antagonist to God’s presence.
Is Satan the Nemesis of God?
There is some contradictory evidence in the Bible about Satan’s existence and what Satan is.
According to the Hebrew Bible, God, or Yahweh (YHWH), has enemies. But God’s biggest enemies are not fallen angels or demons but humans.
Yes, it is true that someone called “Devil” or “Satan” acts as the spreader of evil across God’s creation. But, according to these scriptures, YHWH has no other nemesis apart from humans. YHWH is the reason behind good and bad, curses and blessings. And within this heavenly court of YHWH is where Satan originates.
For in Hebrew, śāṭān means “adversary” or “accuser”. This term does not refer to an evil heavenly entity. But rather to both humans and celestial beings. When referring to a celestial being, it is written as the Hebrew word ha-satan – The Accuser. It is not a name for a specific Satanic figure but rather a title given.
The role of The Accuser is someone who considers humans unworthy. And he collects evidence to support his cases before presenting them to YHWH.
Whether you believe Satan to be God’s nemesis is up to you. But the Hebrew scriptures and modern Bible seem to have some contradictory writings.
Why Do People Worship Satan?
Satan’s followers are often considered outcasts of society. They surround themselves with evil and practise blood magic or dark rituals. But, there is a fair amount of misconception. Below, we discuss why some people decide to become Satanists. And what exactly this belief entails.
What is a Satanist?
Christians believe that Satanists are people who worship the Devil. And that they consider Lucifer as the one true God.
And although there is some truth to this, modern Satanism is slightly different. Those who are part of the Temple of Satan do not worship the Devil. But rather, don’t believe in God (or any higher being) and reject authority. Satan takes on a purely metaphorical role. One of an angel that rejected God’s authority and was ruled over.
Why worship Satan?
People decide to become Satanists because of their own life choices. But here are some reasons why some people turn to Satanism.
Many traditional belief systems no longer seem to serve people. A lot of Satanists actually grew up in organized Abrahamic religions. But found that these religions no longer answer the questions they have. Or are dominated by close-minded and conservative people.
Neither the Church of Satan nor the Satanic Temple actually believes in Satan. That is just something portrayed by pop culture and the media. In fact, Satanists are essentially atheists. There is no heaven or Hell, no spiritual being greater than humans. And all people, races, genders and sexualities are embraced. It’s a welcome that is missing in many other religions.
Satanists do not worship any external deity. But it is rather about worshipping yourself, indulging instead of abstaining.
The Satanic Bible, written by Anton Szandor LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, states, “If everyone had a particular time and place for the purpose of indulging in their personal desires, without fear of embarrassment or reproach, they would be sufficiently released to lead unfrustrated lives in the everyday world.”
This dogma has found appeal to many people. Especially those raised in a conservative Christian tradition seeking to break free.
Young people also tend to rebel against authority. And of that, Satan has become a symbol. Lucifer is said to have rebelled against God’s authority in heaven. He rebelled against God’s dominion over humans, causing him to be cast out.
Today, more and more teenagers are seeking independence. And traditional organized religion seems to be the opposite of that. Turning to Satanism is an easy way to rebel against the authority of parents or the church.
Finally, some people become Satanists because they are curious about everything mysterious. They seek out everything different from the norm. And joining a Satanic congregation most certainly fits the bill.
And although Satanists are not the blood-drinking, animal-sacrificing, pentagram-worshipping, dark-cloaked pale figures that modern media has led us to believe some practice magic. But it’s far from conjuring bunnies out of hats. The magic is not so much casting spells and bewitching people but rather about how they live their lives:
- Lesser Magic: It focuses on living your life and doing certain daily activities to get what you want. It could be something as pure as wearing something to boost your confidence. Or gently manipulating someone to get your way.
- Greater Magic: This is about your own energy. It gives you space to process physical and emotional processes and refocus your energy.
Is there a difference between the Church of Satan and the Satanic Temple?
Yes, there are two different Satanic “churches”. The Church of Satan was founded by Anton LaVey in the 1960s and is a more old-school belief system. The Satanic Temple is the primary Satanic organization. It aims to preserve people’s liberty.
What does Satan look like?
Satan has taken many forms over the years. Spanning from a horned beast, an angel, an older man with a tail, a serpent, and a draconic, winged beast.
Does the New Testament refer to Satan?
Satan is referred to throughout the Bible. Including in Peter 5:8, where it is written, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”