Question: I was always taught from Isaiah 14 that Satan was a fallen angel originally named Lucifer. Recently I’ve been taught that isn’t so, for the one being spoken of in Isaiah 14 is obviously “the king of Babylon” (v 4). Then was Satan created by God as he is now, the most evil of creatures?
Answer: 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 cherubims seemed to be the highest order of angels closest to God, overshadowing His very dwelling place—and Satan was originally the chief cherub [2 Kgs 19:15; 1 Chr:13:6; Heb:9:5, etc.]. Psalm:99:1 says of God, “He sitteth between the cherubims.”)
Satan still has access before the throne of God (Jb 1:6; 2:1) as the “accuser of our brethren” (Rv 12:10). The day is yet future when “that old serpent the devil” will be cast out of heaven (Rv 12:9). Until then, he continues to accuse the believers “before our God day and night” (Rv 12:10).
Yes, the king of Babylon is being addressed in Isaiah 14. However, much of what is said could not apply to him at all, but 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” (Rv 13:2). In fact, all these despotic and evil rulers are types 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 closest to God]; and I have set thee so: thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (vv 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 many similarities in Ezekiel 28 to what is said of “the king of Babylon” in Isaiah14: “I am a God, I sit in the seat of God...” (v 2), “thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God” (v 6), etc. Clearly Satan is being addressed as the power behind both the king of Babylon and the prince of Tyrus.
Satan is “the god of this world” (2 Cor: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 (Mt 4:8-9). Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 carry the same message.