1 Peter 5:8
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
What do you know about Satan?
What is the primary witness of the reality of the existence of the devil and the demons? Is it experience or stories – NO it is the testimony of God in His Word, the Bible. Those who construct stories about Satan are just his agents who are out to deceive and so conceal his identity. It is necessary to know from God who the devil is so that you are not deceived. He is cunning and deceitful, with the aim of seeking someone to devour.
If you Google the images of Satan, you will see grotesque images of tailed, horned bloodstained creatures! The reality is that the devil is far different from what he is usually depicted to be. He is usually like the angel of light so that he may deceive. I think that the images used of Jesus while on earth in the 'Jesus Film' may be a better representation of the devil, since we know from Scripture that Jesus did not have he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him (Isaiah 53:2). In view of this, it is very interesting then that we are given images of a very handsome man! This is reason why I have chosen not to use any such images for this blog post.
The Lord Jesus made 25 references to Satan/devil. Since the Lord came to destroy the works of the devil - sin (1 John 3:8), He had to very meticulously identify him. Satan is the devil’s proper name – Matt. 4:10; Luke 10:18. The veracity of the words of Christ should suffice in proving the existence of the devil. Every NT writer and 19 of the books make reference to him. He is also called:
· the devil (Matt. 4:1; 13;39; 25:41; Rev. 12:9; 20:2);
· Beelzebub (Matt. 10:25; 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15);
· the ruler of this world (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11);
· the prince of the power of the air (Eph.2:2)
· the evil one (Matt.13:19; 1 John 2:13)
He is a created spiritual being with moral judgment and high intelligence but without physical bodies. Satan is shown as the ‘head of demons’ or prince of demons (Mk. 3:22,23) and the name Satan means adversary. He is the slanderer or the accuser of brethren as in Job 1:6; 1Ch. 21:1; Zech. 3:1.
The Bible explicitly show three personality attributes of the devil:
a) He is intelligent – he is a lying schemer and crafty (Eph. 6:11)
b) He has emotion – he has burning anger (Rev. 12:12)
c) He has a will – he desired to exalt himself over God (Isa. 14:13-14)
A. The devil is limited: He is a created being. Job’s story makes it clear that
(1) the devil can only perform God’s bidding. He cannot go beyond God’s permission. In fact
(2) the demons are kept in eternal chains (Jude 6) and the devil himself can be successfully resisted by any Christian through the Christ-given authority (Jam. 4:7; 1Peter5:8).
(3) The power of the devil and the demons is less than that of the angels (Jude 9). Therefore,
(4) the devil doesn’t know the future – only God can! (C.f. Isa. 46:9-10). Since the angels do not know the time of Christ’s second return (Mark. 13:32), far less the demons.
(5) He cannot read your mind or thoughts, only God and Christ can! (Gen. 6:5; Psa. 139:2; Isa. 66:18; Matt.9:4; Mark 2:8; Luke 6:8). There is not a single Scripture to show that the devil has such ability. Remember King Nebuchadnezzar’s wise men, enchanters, magicians etc. could not show the king his dream because they depending on the devil for their powers, they were as limited as their master – not so Daniel who depended on God (Daniel 2:27-28).
Demons on the other hand are evil angels who sinned against God and who now continually work evil in the world.
Where Satan and the demons there when everything that God created ‘…was very good’? (Gen. 1:31) NO! However, by the time of Genesis 3 Satan was in existence. (2Pet. 2:4; Jude 6). Notice that their sins had something to do with pride and rebellion – not keeping within their own position but left their proper dwelling. Cf. Isa. 14:12-15; Ez. 28:11-19
B. Satan is the inventor and designer of sin because he was the first to sin – he sinned from the beginning (1 John 3:8). We are told that he is the father of all lies (John 8:44) and is the murderer from the beginning. So he tempted Eve – Gen. 3:1-6; 2 Cor.11:3.
C. Satan is in opposition to God and His Work: He tempted Eve to sin against God and always seeking to destroy the work of God. He also tempted Jesus with the same aim (Matt. 4:1-11). Usually he and the demons use lies or deception, murder and other destructive tactics such as blinding people from the light of the gospel (2 Cor. 4:4). He constantly uses temptations, doubt, guilt, fear, confusion, sickness, envy, pride, slander etc. in order to hinder Christians from being effective witnesses of the gospel.