Bible Question:

Where did Satan come from? Did God create him? When he first appeared in Genesis 3:1, he had not previously been mentioned.

Bible Answer:

Where did Satan come from? What happened to him? These are important questions since the Bible teaches that he is the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). 1 John 5:19 tells us that “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” So, we should understand what the Bible teaches us about Satan or the devil. The answer is given in three sections: the creation of Satan, the fall of Satan, the goal of Satan, and the victory over Satan.

Satan Thrown Out of Heaven

Creation of Satan

Satan was created sometime before Adam and Eve. Genesis does not tell us exactly when this happened, but we know this is true since we see Satan for the first time in Genesis 3:1. Adam and Eve are alive, and Satan appears in the form of a serpent.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1 (NASB)

The book of Revelation tells us that Satan, the dragon, or the devil, appeared as a snake or serpent to Eve. Apparently, Satan possessed the animal. Initially, the serpent did not crawl on the ground (Genesis 3:14). Here is Revelation 12:9.

And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Revelation 12:9 (NASB)

In Ezekiel 28:13 we discover that he was a created being – a beautiful angel.

You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The ruby, the topaz and the diamond;
The beryl, the onyx and the jasper;
The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald;
And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets,
Was in you.
On the day that you were created
They were prepared.
You were the anointed cherub who covers,
And I placed you there.
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.
You were blameless in your ways
From the day you were created
Until unrighteousness was found in you.
By the abundance of your trade
You were internally filled with violence,
And you sinned;
Therefore I have cast you as profane
From the mountain of God.
And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub,
From the midst of the stones of fire. Ezekiel 28:13-16 (NASB)

He was the anointed cherub who used to cover God. A cherub is not a baby angel but a powerful angel with wings (Ezekiel 10:2). The word cherubim refers to more than one cherub (Exodus 25:19). They appear for the first time in Genesis 3:24 when God commanded some of them to guard the Garden of Eden to prevent Adam and Eve from returning to the garden. God had removed Adam and Eve  because they had sinned.

So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:24 (NASB)

Fall of Satan

When Satan appears in Genesis, he is a wicked angel; but Satan was not always evil. Initially, he and all of the other angels in heaven were created holy. Their home was heaven. Sometime after his creation, Satan sinned when he wanted to be like God and take control.

How you have fallen from heaven,
O star of the morning, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the earth,
You who have weakened the nations!
But you said in your heart,
“I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”
Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol,
To the recesses of the pit. Isaiah 14:12-15 (NASB)

Both the gospel of Luke (Luke 10:18) and the book of Revelation explain that he was thrown down from heaven along with the angels who followed him. He sinned and became a fallen cherub – an evil cherub.

And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Revelation 12:9 (NASB)

The Goal of Satan

Satan is fighting God. He is trying to defeat God. Yet, he will lose in the end. God is permitting him to try. God has allowed him to have control of this earth for now. The Bible calls him the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), “prince of the power of the air,” (Ephesians 2:2), and “an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). He is responsible for all the false religions in the world. He works against Christ and seeks to prevent people from understanding that the Bible speaks truth (Matthew 13:18-23, 37-40). He comes across as an angel of light – providing truth.


Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth” (John 14:6). We are in a war with Satan over truth and he is doing everything he can to deceive us.

Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:11-12 (NASB)

How should we respond to this evil angel? We cannot in our own power or might. We must use the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) to not fight him, but to resist him (v. 11, 13). When Paul wrote about the armor of God, he knew the readers would search the Scriptures and find these key passages.

And He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.  Isaiah 59:17 (NASB)

These are pictures of a warrior in battle. The armor of God includes defensive armor and not assault weapons. The breastplate of righteousness means that the person is seeking to live a holy life (Isaiah 11:4-5; Isaiah 59:17). The helmet of salvation means you that you are a real Christian (1 Thessalonians 5:8). The girdle of truth is truthfulness (Proverbs 12:19; John 14:6; 2 Corinthians 6:7) and the feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace means you are a real Christian (Romans 5:1). The sword of the Spirit or the Word of God means that you studying the Scriptures (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12 Revelation 1:16; 19:21) and prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and the shield of faith (Romans 4:19), that is we trust God, are how we keep our eyes on God when we are attacked by Satan. We need to know the Word of God in order to be filled with His Spirit. When we resist Satan, he will run (James 4:7). These are the keys to victory. Praise the Lord.

Suggested Links:

Is Satan an angel?
Did God know and plan For Satan to tempt Adam and Eve?
Angels - Good & Evil
Searching For God
Is Satan a serpent, dragon, devil or a cherubim? — The Evil One
Is Satan in heaven right now? — Revelation 12:7-10
Did Lucifer or Satan sin because he was created with sin?
How To Be Filled With The Spirit