Question: I was always taught from Isaiah 14 that Satan was a fallen angel originally named Lucifer. Recently I’ve learned that this isn’t so, for the one being spoken of in Isaiah 14 is obviously “the king of Babylon” (verse 4). Then was Satan created by God as he is now, the most evil of creatures?
Response: Satan was not created by God as he is now. God does not create evil beings. Satan was originally as the Bible describes him in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 and elsewhere. He is a fallen cherub with great power and cunning. The cherubim seemed to be the angels closest to God, guarding even His very presence—and Satan was originally the chief cherub. Psalm:99:1 says of God, “He sitteth between the cherubims.” (See also Genesis:3:24; Exodus:25:20, 37:9; Ezekiel 10; Hebrews:9:5, etc.)
Yes, the king of Babylon is being addressed in Isaiah 14. However, what is said about him could not apply solely to him but ultimately only to Satan. For example, when did the king of Babylon have a position in heaven from which he fell? At times the Bible addresses Satan through ungodly earthly rulers to show that he is the real power behind them, just as he will be the power behind Antichrist, of whom it is said, “The dragon [Satan] gave him his power and his seat and great authority” (Revelation:13:2). In fact, all these despotic and evil rulers are types or symbols of Antichrist.
That Satan is being addressed through such kings is clearer in Ezekiel:28:2-19. Here the “prince of Tyrus” is being addressed: “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering. . . . Thou art the anointed cherub [highest order of angel] . . . and I have set thee so. . . . Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created till iniquity was found in thee” (verses 13-15). Obviously, none of this was true of the literal “prince of Tyrus” but only of Satan, who inspired and directed him in his ungodly activity.
Note the similarities in Ezekiel 28 to what is said of “the king of Babylon” in Isaiah 14: “I am a God, I sit in the seat of God. . . . Thou [has] set thine heart as the heart of God,” etc. Clearly Satan is being addressed as the power behind both the king of Babylon and the prince of Tyrus. Isaiah 14 does indeed present Satan’s fall.
Satan is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians:4:4). Christ did not dispute his claim to ownership of the world system when, in the temptation in the wilderness, Satan offered to give the kingdoms of the world to Christ if He would bow down and worship him (Matthew:4:8,9). Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 carry the same message.