Understanding Satan and his role through the ages seems to be one of the most difficult things for a Christian thinker to do. I’ve read about Satan within multiple works of theology, overviews of the spirit world, secular works on angels and angel-like beings, and so on–not too mention sermons and lessons which taught about him–and there is so much contradictory information given about Satan that it’s amazing anyone makes any sense about him at all.
I’ve done my own studies, and have come to still different conclusions than the majority of works which I have available to me teach. I don’t believe Satan is or was ever an angel. I don’t believe Satan was ever named Lucifer nor was he a cherub nor is he merely a force of evil. I don’t think we know much about Satan’s origin at all except that from the beginning he has been a murderer, there is no truth in him, and that he is that primeval serpent. Was he created evil, to be the adversary of God and His people? I think it’s a possibility, but that raises even more questions. :P
Another thing I’ve noticed is that there is a progression throughout the Bible. Satan seems to grow. In Genesis, he is a lowly serpent. It does not say he took the form of a serpent. It does not say he possessed a serpent or threw his voice or anything else. It says he was the serpent–he is the old serpent, as he is described twice in Revelation. He begins small and subtle.
By the time Job rolls around and through even to the prophets, Satan has grown, and would seem to fit the description of the Leviathan, the great sea monster (or, sea dragon). Only God is said to be able to tame Leviathan–this cannot be said of any normal creature, for man has dominion upon the earth.
Time passes, and Satan has grown and is eventually revealed to be the prince of the power of the air. It is said that he disguises himself as a messenger or angel of light, but he is still not said to be an angel in the “host of Heaven” sense. He is also said to walk about as a roaring lion, but he is not said to be a lion. In Revelation, especially verse 12, he is the mighty dragon, full-grown and waging war against Heaven. He has angels, but he himself is not one. Satan is a minister to no one, but he has servants who are ministers or servants to him. The old serpent has become the dragon. From the dust of the earth to the sea to the heavens surrounding, Satan’s influence has been great upon Earth.
I can’t say these brainstorms will hold up to testing, for they are mostly just that–brainstorms. I realize the passage about God conquering Leviathan in Isaiah 27:1 may refer to what Ezekiel 29:3 does, referring simply to Pharaoh as the dragon of the sea. Which leads me to even more brainstorming which I’m sure to be thinking about as I head off to sleep, which is where I’m headed very soon. Good night. :)