Is Satan an Archangel or Even an Angel?

03 May

Some believe Satan is an archangel, but one may search Genesis and read on until the end of Revelation, but one would never read that Satan is an archangel. In order to discover any information about Satan being an archangel, one must read extra-biblical literature. It simply is not in the Bible. So, If the Bible is the source of our information about spiritual matters, Satan cannot be an archangel!

What about an angel? If Satan is not an archangel could he be an angelic being? Well, 2Corinthians 11:14 might be claimed by some to say so.

2 Corinthians 11:14 KJV (14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

However, when one considers the context, 2Corinthians 11:13 says men were troubling the church at Corinth, claiming to be apostles, yet Paul calls them false apostles. No one would conclude from this Scripture that by virtue of their power to transform their appearance, they became actual apostles. They were not apostles at all, for Paul calls them false apostles” and later (v.15) refers to them as ministers of Satan, who transformed themselves to appear as though they were ministers of righteousness.

Using this same reasoning, can we say for certain that verse-14 claims Satan is an angelic being when it calls him an angel of light? This, itself, is an oxymoron. How could we ever believe, by the virtue of his power of deception, that Satan is an angel of light. The whole idea of his power to transform his appearance is for deception or to impersonate a reality. The act of transformation does not make Satan or his ministers the real thing. However, if Satan is not an angel of light, could this Scripture be construed to indicate that he is at least an angelic being? That is, could Satan be one of those spirits that God created before He created mankind (Job 1:6; cp.38:4, 7)? Nowhere else in Scripture are the words Satan, devil, serpent, wicked one or dragon associated with the word angel. Many believe Job chapters one and two and Revelation chapter 12 show that Satan is an angelic being, but even in these Scriptures Satan is not called an angel or an archangel. They do not say he is not an angelic being, but the point is, these Scriptures cannot be used to support the assumption that he is, indeed, an angel.

The word satan comes from the Hebrew satan (H7854) and simply means “adversary” or “enemy.” Christians have used the word for a title of a rebellious angelic being, but we cannot prove that this being was ever angelic, if we use only God’s revealed word. In 1Samuel 29:4 David is called the Philistine’s satan (H7854). In 2Samuel 19:22 one of David’s close associates acted as his satan by giving him bad advice. 1Kings 5:4 reveals that God gave Solomon peace on all his borders, and he had no satans or enemies! Later, however, God stirred up several satans, because of Solomon’s unfaithfulness (cp. 1Kings 11:14, 23, 25). We can even find that the Angel of the Lord, who later became Jesus Christ, was Balaam’s satan or adversary (H7854, cp. Numbers 22:22, 32)!

In each of these cases the same Hebrew word is used. Therefore, just because we see the word satan (H7854) in Scripture, it does not necessarily indicate some evil and powerful being is revealed in the text. On the contrary, what would we do with David or the Angel of the Lord in the Scriptures above? For that matter, what would we do with Peter? The Lord called him a satan when Peter tried to say Jesus was wrong about the necessity of dying on the cross (Matthew 16:23). Who would believe that Peter was Satan personified?

The facts are clear, if we consider Scripture as accurate testimony. Not only can’t we prove Satan is an archangel, but we cannot even say he is an angel. 2Corinthians 11:14 simply cannot be used to show he is an angelic being. The context places this proposition in doubt, and there are no other Scriptures in the whole Bible that would claim Satan is an angel. So, why all the hype concerning this being we call Satan (see: The Invincible, Omnipresent Satan)? Why do we give him such godlike powers like omnipresence and omniscience? Every time we claim Satan knows our thoughts or more than one person claims Satan tempted him at the same specific time, we attribute godlike powers to this being we have assumed was a mere angel or archangel. Where do we get this understanding? It certainly is not from the Bible!

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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Satan


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