The greatest lie I ever told? No, it was not convincing the world I didn't exist, plenty of people do believe I exist. Nor was it convincing people God doesn't exist. That would spoil the fun of our little game. It was not saying there is only Heaven or only Hell. It was not leading you to so-called 'pagan deities'. My greatest lie was but three words: God commands it. You'd be amazed how easy it is to lead you away from Him with nothing but His name and a flimsy excuse.
~ Satan

Satan, formerly known as Samael, also known as Ha-Satan, or The Tempter, The Evil One, The Adversary, and The Devil, is a prominent figure in all Abrahamic religions (though mostly Christianity), playing various roles in their literature. He was formerly an exalted Cherub that acted as Heaven's Arbiter only to fall from grace when he accused humanity of bringing corruption and destruction upon God's creation. After he fell, he became an Accuser towards human race, testing their morals and punish them for giving into their sins.

He is known for bringing deception and temptation, and is known as the deceiver who leads humanity astray. Satan is even able to take control of the life of a person in the stead of God, though only to a extent to what God allows. He is a malevolent force that works behind the scenes, animating division and hatred between humans. He was Lucifer's trump card during the civil war in Heaven and his greatest asset during the starting phases of the Apocalypse; prophesied as the "Great Red Dragon" that will destroy the Earth.

Overview

Satan would appear to those who are sinful, playing into their hearts and towing them into despair. He may either be depicted as a rebel to the will of God, or as one who tempts mankind to commit sin to show God that mankind can easily be led astray from Him.

In the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, Satan is primarily an accuser and adversary, a decidedly malevolent entity, also called the Devil, who possesses demonic qualities. He is called the Adversary due to the fact that he is "anti-everything", working through lies to drag humanity back into darkness and disorder.

In the Old Testament, a being whom is addressed as "the satan" is shown to be an angelic member of God's court that requests permission from the Almighty to torment Job in order to test his faithfulness towards God to which the latter allows. The satan is described as the Heavenly accuser and one that decidedly punishes humans that show doubt in their faith towards God, especially if those humans were chosen by God in the first place. The satan in the Old Testament is a possible tie-in to the Satan of the New Testament.

While it is widely accepted that Satan embodies evil, he is not necessarily evil. Satan is described as the "hole in things" meaning he is the emptiness that remains when all manner of good and is removed. Satan is what remains when God is removed from one's mind and life. It is not evil that takes place, it simply a hole in one's existence where God should be.

Satan is said to also be associated with one of the Seven Deadly Sins being Wrath. He is also one of the Seven Princes of Hell. Satan was God's personal arbiter for the afterlife to check if man were worthy of the Millennium Kingdom and even when he fell, he was still allowed in Heaven. Satan also appears in the Gospels, trying to tempt Jesus Christ away from His destiny.

Description

Satan's appearance is never fully described in the Bible, but, since the ninth century, he has sometimes been shown with horns, cloven hooves, hairy legs, and a tail, often naked and holding a pitchfork, an amalgam of traits derived from various pagan deities including PanPoseidon, and Bes, though he is fully able to completely alter his physical appearance. The biblical authors also use a variety of images to describe Satan as well such as a snake, a sea dragon, a dark creature of the desert such as a scorpion, or a "king of death in the grave". He is also capable of shapeshifting into such creatures, evident in when he approached Jesus during his forty days of fasting in the form of a snake, a lion, and even pillar of fire.

Although it is not decidedly known what sort of entity Satan was before his exile from Paradise, biblical authors, such as Isaiah and Ezekiel, believe that Satan was once a member of the Seraphim which in Hebrew means "snake". Regardless, he himself states that he is a bit of an enigma. Scholars believe that Satan was an ancient spirit or force that existed when the first spark of Creation was lit, possibly around or before Creation. He is believed to have once been a wandering spirit with no purpose, confused of his surroundings and existence until God appointed him with being a judge and accuser.

Before his fall, Satan was also a Cherubim and a prince of the choir, showing his status as the supreme Cherub as Lucifer is over the Seraphim. This would explain why he is sometimes depicted as having three heads in his imprisonment, showing that after his fall his appearance as a Cherubim became highly twisted and corrupted. Contrary to popular belief, after the fall it is believed that Lucifer became a demon when his heart was filled to the brim with corruption and darkness. However, regardless of his appearance, Lucifer seems to remain looking as a fallen angel rather than a demon. Satan, however, discarded his origins and fully embraced his current status as a demon.

History

Heavenly Judge

Before he fell, Satan was known as the angel Samael and was an exalted cherub for his power and status, second or even on par with Lucifer himself. He was the chief of the Divine Council, or the "Sons of God", overseeing the development of the universe and its creatures. Samael was a judge, also known as an Arbiter and the first among them, determining who or what is worthy to be encompassed in the light and glory of God, but with God's permission of course. Samael was known to be strict, blunt, and straightforward with Raphael describing his tongue as a "venomous sting" which relates to the meaning behind his name as the Venom of God.

It was not until God created the first humans that Samael began to change. When God ordered the angels to bow before them, not only was it Lucifer who refused but also Samael as he could see the destruction and mayhem they would bring. Instead of judging them, he accused them, declaring to God that these creatures are flawed and murderous and that they would are not worthy of being likened in His image. Because of this, God stripped Samael of his status and cast him down from the Holy Mountain.

War in Heaven

Samael soon joined Lucifer's cause to usurp God's throne and take over Creation itself but Samael was mainly doing it for his own personal goals and that is to eradicate these humans. A war in Heaven soon broke out with Lucifer leading the charge, Beelzebub acting as his second-in-command and Samael being his trump card. Samael easily defeated many of the angels that attempted to stop him and was even capable of overcoming an archangel or two that engaged him in combat.

It was not until that Samael faced Michael alongside Lucifer that he found himself being truly pushed. Seeing Michael's enormous power, Samael assumed the form of a Great Red Dragon which Lucifer used as his steed and actually began to overwhelm the mighty archangel. However, Michael was soon aided by Merkabah who joined the archangel's battle against the two mighty fallen archangels. After a long and arduous battle, Michael defeated and terribly wounded both Lucifer and Samael before casting them out of Heaven alongside the rebel angels.

Fall of Man

Upon being cast into Hell, Samael abandoned his angelic name and went by the title of "Satan" which means Adversary. He chose this title as a declaration that he will be the ultimate enemy of mankind; their accuser. Seeing this, Lucifer proposed that Satan should prove to God that His greatest creation is not as "great" as He proclaims to His angels. He does this by sneaking into the Garden of Eden, and possesses a snake that resided within the Garden. Controlling the mind of the serpent, he began to seduce Eve, the mother of humanity, into eating the Forbidden Fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil which will grant them everlasting life and exalt themselves atop of the Mountain of God next to the Most High. This also would benefit Lucifer as he knew that Adam and Eve are tied to the puppet strings of his father and by granting them the knowledge of good and evil, they would have independent thought and free-will to make their own choices; freedom from control.

The plan succeeded as Adam and Eve gave into temptation by eating the fruit, cutting them off from a singular thought process and experiencing all sorts of emotions at once, the first of which was shame upon seeing that they were naked. For their disobedience they were cast out of the Garden of Eden and were cursed with mortality. At some point in time, Satan and Eve eloped together, producing Cain who would then go on to murder is brother Abel, bringing the world and humanity further down into sin, and granting Satan more authority and power to judge and punish them for their wickedness. Satan is relentless in his accusations as he accuses God’s children continually. While it is believed that Satan would tempt mankind into sin, he himself reveals that he does no such thing and that the humans do it of their own volition or "free-will". He simply gives them the choice of what do they wish to do when presented with a crossroads, and once they choose the path that leads to damnation, they would be punished by Satan. The Devil loves wickedness simply because he loves punishing the wicked.

Job's Test of Faith

Satan's most well-known appearances involves his roles in destroying Job's faith in God, tempting Jesus, and his pivotal role in the Apocalypse. In the book of Job, Job is a righteous man favored by Yahweh. Job describes the "sons of God" (bənê hāʼĕlōhîm) presenting themselves before Yahweh. Yahweh asks one of them, "the satan", where he has been, to which he replies that he has been roaming around the earth. Yahweh asks, "Have you considered My servant Job?" Satan replies by urging Yahweh to let him torture Job, promising that Job will abandon his faith at the first tribulation. Yahweh consents; Satan destroys Job's servants and flocks, yet Job refuses to condemn Yahweh. The first scene repeats itself, with Satan presenting himself to Yahweh alongside the other "sons of God". Yahweh points out Job's continued faithfulness, to which Satan insists that more testing is necessary; Yahweh once again gives him permission to test Job. In the end, Job remains faithful and righteous, and it is implied that Satan is shamed in his defeat.

Temptation of Christ

In the temptation of Christ, Satan first shows Jesus a stone and tells him to turn it into bread. He also takes him to the pinnacle of the Temple in Jerusalem and commands Jesus to throw himself down so that the angels will catch him. Satan takes Jesus to the top of a tall mountain as well; there, he shows him the kingdoms of the earth and promises to give them all to him if he will bow down and worship him. Each time Jesus rebukes Satan and, after the third temptation, he is administered by the angels. Satan's promise to give Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth implies that all those kingdoms belong to him. The fact that Jesus does not dispute Satan's promise indicates that the authors of those gospels believed this to be true.

Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation represents Satan as the supernatural ruler of the Roman Empire and the ultimate cause of all evil in the world. In Revelation 2:9–10, as part of the letter to the church at Smyrna, John of Patmos refers to the Jews of Smyrna as "a synagogue of Satan" and warns that "the Devil is about to cast some of you into prison as a test [peirasmos], and for ten days you will have affliction." John warns that Satan lives among the members of the congregation and declares that "Satan's throne" is in their midst. Pergamum was the capital of the Roman Province of Asia and "Satan's throne" may be referring to the monumental Pergamon Altar in the city, which was dedicated to the Greek god Zeus, or to a temple dedicated to the Roman emperor Augustus.

Revelation 12:3 describes a vision of a Great Red Dragon with seven heads, ten horns, seven crowns, and a massive tail, an image which is clearly inspired by the vision of the four beasts from the sea in the Book of Daniel and the Leviathan described in various Old Testament passages. The Great Red Dragon knocks "a third of the sun... a third of the moon, and a third of the stars" out the sky and pursues the Woman of the Apocalypse. Revelation 12:7–9 declares: "And war broke out in Heaven. Michael and his angels fought against Dragon. Dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in Heaven. Dragon the Great was thrown down, that ancient serpent who is called Devil and Satan, the one deceiving the whole inhabited World – he was thrown down to earth and his angels were thrown down with him." Then a voice booms down from Heaven heralding the defeat of "the Accuser" (ho Kantegor), identifying the Satan of Revelation with the satan of the Old Testament.

Satan is bound with a chain and hurled into the Abyss, where he is imprisoned for one thousand years. In Revelation 20:7–10, he is set free and gathers his armies along with Gog and Magog to wage war against the righteous, but is defeated with fire from Heaven, and cast into the lake of fire. Some Christians associate Satan with the number 666, which Revelation 13:18 describes as the Number of the Beast. However, the beast mentioned in Revelation 13 is not Satan, and the use of 666 in the Book of Revelation has been interpreted as a reference to the Roman Emperor Nero, as 666 is the numeric value of his name in Hebrew.

Personality

Being the adversary of God and the arbiter of the human race, Satan has been infamously known as the ultimate walking power of malevolence, terror, and destruction, expressing his power over nearly all who dare face him. Indeed, even the devil hunter Dante showed apprehension when first learning of him. Almost all demons in the Inferno, particularly during the reign of Mundus, regard him as nothing more than a legend with the demons even exhibiting fear at the mere mention of his name. A deadly and Machiavellian being, he can also be extremely violent, vindictive, selfish, sinister, and egregiously malevolent, willing to wipe out anyone who stands in the way of his ambitions.

Before his fall from Heaven, Satan was known as Samael and was more noble, just, and fair but strict and firm nonetheless. He was an exalted cherub and thus held great pride over his power and position. It was not until that God introduced humanity that he began to change. Samael would grow less and less noble and more resentful of the humans he was ordered to bow down to, judging them and accusing of committing horrible atrocities and due to their method of creation are unworthy of basking in God's glory. When none of the other angels shared his views, he ruthlessly slays them during the War in Heaven alongside Lucifer. After he fell, he not only renounced his angelic name but his hatred towards humans grew to extraordinary levels and only increased over the centuries as he watched them continuously fall in their attempt at being righteous. However, despite his goals of exposing humanity's wickedness to prove to God that they were inherently sinful, he will not harm innocent and righteous souls, going so far as to never permit them to be dragged or be brought unto Hell. Unfortunately, in the end, upon witnessing humanity's descent into sin and corruption (which was required as the sinful events that unfolded were in actuality the seals that held Lucifer at bay) caused Satan to fall into disillusion, wholly convinced that they were beyond reprieve at this point, and decided to wipe out humanity in its entirety, creation being free from their poison.

While other angels disregard humans, and Lucifer holds them in contempt, Satan utterly despises humans. Being an arbiter, as well as extremely intelligent and divinely wise due to his former celestial status, Satan had unparalleled insight into humanity's darker traits, which is something no other angel had and not even the arbiter angels themselves, apart from Lucifer and God. Satan became a punisher of the damned, and was thus endlessly exposed to the mortals who are damned to Hell for their heinous deeds, which only helped grow his utter disdain towards them as they confess their sins to him and he decides the proper punishment for them in Hell. Satan only sees the worst of humanity, for despite performing several good deeds he states that once they begin to sin they slowly consume themselves with their own misdeeds and intoxicate themselves with each sin they commit leading them to becoming some of the worst individuals in human history. As an arbiter, Satan would test the morale of humans, putting them in harsh trials during their lives and offers them a choice when they come to a crossroads that would either lead them to damnation or to salvation. Contrary to popular belief, Satan does not deceive humans (though he does manipulate their lives in some fashion), he states that he only instigates them by nurturing their primal instincts and "gives them a push" when they come to a breaking point, seeing how strong their willpower is. His determination to prove that humanity is not as perfect as God made them out to be is excessive to the point where he targeted Job and even Jesus, tempting the latter with offerings to prove that even the "son of God" is not infallible. However, despite his hatred for humanity, the only human he would allow himself to elope with was Eve. It is unknown what sort of relationship the two had, though it is implied that Eve possessed a calming influence over Satan, so much so that Eve herself stated that she witnessed "the burning fire" slowly fade from his eyes further implying that he had grown quite fond of her, which soon resulted in Cain's birth.

Satan's loyalty is only to those that can be more useful to him than others, as he only aided the Illuminati primarily because several members shared Satan's own sadistically romantic view of judgement and war (the position that war serves a purpose of bettering individuals, and demands human sacrifices). He can also find use in humans like Vlad Tepes, later known as Dracula, finding the Voivode of Wallachia's view on God and faith interesting and coincides with his own personal views, thus had him turned into his ultimate weapon to spread these beliefs through terrible actions. Another was due to Lucifer's New World Order which involves the complete destruction of humanity but it was only when he realized that humanity would be reborn without being confined by predestination and thus free from sin and death that he betrayed Lucifer, unwilling to remain in a universe with mindless animals and was even willing to go so far as to have the shatter the Firmament in order to have Heaven collapse unto the Earth while it is connected to the four branches of creation thereby destroying creation as a whole, deeming God's creation unfit and tainted, thereby executing it for its corrupt system. Satan also has little to no regard for his demonic subordinates, seeing them as nothing more than servants and cannon fodder. Due to his view and attitude towards humanity, Satan's been rather difficult to work with according to Lucifer for despite having similar views there are many contrasts and as such the two would engage in debate over on whether the humans would be useful or if it would be better that they never existed in the first place. Overall, however, Satan genuinely views himself as an altruist, given his belief that without humanity existing on Earth, the planet would be a paradise. It is hinted that also apparently did not want to kill some of his angelic brethren similarly to Lucifer, as rather than immediately rebelling, he tried everything to persuade his kin that humanity is evil and only rebelled after they made it perfectly clear that they will support mankind and he even went as far as to say that he wanted the angels to approve of his view of humanity when he spoke to the forces of the Dark Knight Initiative and became a kindred spirit to Lucifer as a result.

Satan is a deceptive genius who can expertly hide it under a persuasive façade of calmness and perceptiveness, as well as his persuasive rhetoric, with Satan also usually not desiring to fight individuals who could be useful to him otherwise, like Alucard and John Constantine. Satan is a phenomenal demagogue, with his influence over the political power of Hell and Earth, resulting in the creation of several empires that that became his Earthly kingdoms with the Roman Empire being the more notable one; the usage of divinely wise and seemingly rational arguments making Satan's method even more effective. Hence, even after revealing himself and his motives to the resistance, Satan proclaimed to be not just the "God of this World" but also the "real world" meaning he is about as real as the ground the humans can feel and thus his words hold truth and realism to it, and was still quite persuasive in presenting his viewpoints (him not actually being their enemy, and humanity being inherently malevolent and destructive even without his influence), to the point that it gave even the some of the determined heads of the organizations some pause before they could even respond.

When in battle, Satan is incredibly sadistic, arrogant, merciless, bloodthirsty, and vicious. He is aware of his immeasurable power and is quite arrogant about it, brutalizing the likes of Nero and Alucard while being patronizing them, taunting them, and proclaiming his superiority over them. For this reason, he is highly dismissive of his opponents and almost never takes them seriously, even explicitly stating he would kill the archangel Michael should the opportunity arise once more. Even when facing against the combined might of Dante and Vergil, he hardly put any effort into his combat prowess against them clearly demonstrating the sheer power gap between him and the Sons of Sparda. However, these brutish traits are not to be confused for stupidity and he has given praise and respect towards individuals that are much stronger than he originally believed. He bitterly acknowledges Sparda's strength and power, developing a massive grudge towards the Legendary Dark Knight for defeating him in the past. He also praised Dante and Vergil's power despite overpowering them and that they should be proud and was impressed by Alexander Anderson's tenacity to bring him down despite only being human. But when faced against an opponent that is beneath him, he expresses his disappointment by quickly destroying them.

Powers and Abilities

Satan is an unspeakably powerful being, so much so that he was specifically chosen by Lucifer to be his ultimate trump card during the War in Heaven. Next to both Lucifer and Michael he is the most powerful angel created by God. After his fall from grace, he wields immeasurable supernatural power and the level of his power is the same as it was when he was in Heaven, but it was fairly weakened after being confined in Hell. However, this means not that one should underestimate him as he remains to be the most powerful entity in all of Hell and Earth. He is praised for being the second most powerful being in the Inferno next to Lucifer himself and rivaling the Morning Star as well. He was strong enough to take on the Archangel Michael, defeat an armada of angels, regarded as a huge threat to Heaven, and even directly challenge God. The immensity of his power is evidenced where he imbues his loyal followers with great demonic power allowing them to go toe-to-toe with other mighty supernatural beings.

As the progenitor of demons, no other demon or fallen angel is capable of matching his power, but there are very few possible exceptions. He possesses an extremely wide array of abilities and a vast assortment of demonic weaponry, but he prefers to use his trident Anguis. Satan's power is so great that Nero stood no chance against him, having savagely beat down the young knight, and even the combined might of both Dante and Vergil, before they consumed the Rebis, was not enough to bring him down. Alucard was also unable to defeat him, even if his holy weaponry made him feel pain. During the battle, Satan pushed Alucard's regenerative abilities to their limit as he utterly brutalized the Vampire King, making it seem as though he had perished. Another testament to his power was when he fought Sparda for days on end and even though he lost the battle it was considered to be among the greatest duels in history and one that pushed Sparda to his absolute limits. In fact, during the battles against the opposing forces of Earth, the Devil was in a constant state of boredom as no one was strong enough to actually make him put effort into his combat prowess. During the final phases of the Apocalypse, Satan was able to take on and defeat nearly all of the members of the recently-formed Dark Knight Initiative, which is comprised of very powerful supernatural beings.

Once he regained his full power after taking Lucifer's own when the latter regained it by consuming the Forbidden Fruit, he was able to even defeat the archangels Michael (though he was weakened from his fight against Lucifer), Gabriel, and Raphael at the same time in a fight. It was also shown that even after Dante and Vergil unlocked their fullest potential from consuming the Rebis they still struggled against his enhanced power. He is also known to be a complete master in black magic and have incredible knowledge in all manners of spells, having no superior other than possibly Lucifer. Satan is also able to assume his true form, which resembles a gargantuan fallen beast with three or more heads and four wings, similar to the one in the Divine Comedy. In this state, he is practically unstoppable as all attempts of defeating him in that form have been in vain. He was capable of knocking a "third of the sun, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars" from the sky with his tail. Another testament to his power is when he actually stripped Alucard of all the power that he granted him when the Vampire King was at death's door during his time as a human, before eventually fatally wounding him and devouring him.

Quotes

Humans. They are such a confused species. The vast majority perceive reality as the physical. Truth is a local phenomenon. I am the hole that remains when everything else is gone. The emptiness shaped like God. The fire that consumes your heart. I have been there with you from the moment you understood anguish. Or pride. Victory. Retribution. As delectable a morsel as I have ever grown fat on. Each time you relent to the burning desire for satisfactions that only I can provide...you serve the Devil. The ecstasy you feel in the heat of subtle manipulation is my own. When you lash out at your loved ones, bystanders, enemies, you are but a mere fraction of my will.
~ Satan
I am many things, Alucard. You couldn't even begin to imagine half of them. Once I was a judge. Now I am an Accuser. An arbiter if you will. But now? Now I shall assume the role of executioner. Humanity's executioner.
~ Satan to Alucard
"Now?" You have no idea what "now" is. Now I was flying. Now I breathed fire and I ate them as they fled. Now I whipped my tail and the winds trembled! Now I am hidden in this pale shade of flesh and bone! Now I am witness to man's eternal salvation! Now I am witness to his demise! DO NOT SPEAK TO ME OF TIME, DEMON! Its simplest ebbs and turns elude your meager understanding! Find another way NOW!!!
~ Satan ranting at Mephistopheles
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Hell.
~ Matthew 10:28 (ESV)
My belief is that, morally, God and Satan are vaguely on the same page. According to the common understanding of Satan's origins, 'holiness' is, metaphorically, frozen stiff in his veins: and at that a corrupted formula - i.e. legalism. The vital difference is that God is willing to offer grace for our sins; he delights in grace. God is the one and only holy and just punisher of sin, yes, but that is partly so because punishment for the sake of punishment is not something he loves. Whereas Satan, as the accuser, and as it is written, actually seeks God's permission to punish; he, being a seasoned legalist, delights in finding wrongs and will defy his own morality just to expose immorality. This is why both the anti-religious soul and the violently religious soul are, whether consciously or unconsciously, and sadly enough, glorifying their biggest hater: Satan is not only a lawless lover of punishing lawlessness, but also the sharpest theologian of us all. He loves wickedness, but only because he loves punishing wickedness.
~ Trevor Bruttenholm

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