All dominion rightly belongs to Jehovah. He had given man dominion over the things of earth. Lucifer observed Adam and Eve, the perfect ones, in Eden; and knowing that they were endowed with authority from Jehovah to multiply and fill the earth, he conceived the thought in his own heart or mind that he should have a dominion of his own, and that he could have this by separating man from God and by inducing him to come under his (Satan’s) dominion. The prophet Isaiah gives us some light upon this subject when he says: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit”—Isaiah 14:12-15.
Thus we see that Satan had an ambitious desire to be like the Most High. God manifested his justice toward Lucifer by expelling him from his presence and has decreed that he shall be ultimately destroyed. (Ezekiel 28:14-18; Hebrews 2:14) When Lucifer was expelled from the presence of Jehovah because of his wickedness, he thereafter was and is known by the names of dragon, that old serpent, the devil, and Satan. (Revelation 12:9) In Genesis 3 he is spoken of as the serpent. The name dragon means devourer; Satan means adversary; devil means slanderer; while serpent means deceiver; and all these names indicate the characteristics of Satan, the evil one.
According to the Genesis account, the old serpent, the devil, deceived Eve in this manner: As we have heretofore observed, Jehovah had told Adam and Eve that they must not eat of a certain tree in Eden, known as the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Appearing to mother Eve in the capacity of a serpent, a deceiver, the devil said to her in effect: ‘Hath God said that ye shall not eat of every tree in Eden?’ To this question Eve responded: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die”. The old serpent, the devil, replied: “Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil”. In other words, he told Eve that Jehovah was trying to keep her and her husband in ignorance and thus take advantage of them. Doubtless the devil himself ate of the fruit in the presence of Eve and then deliberately lied to her by saying: “Ye shall not surely die”—God knows that you will not die. And by this means he induced mother Eve to eat of the fruit—which was a violation of God’s law. We know that Satan is a liar, because Jesus said of him: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”—John 8:44.