WE BELIEVE in the personality of the devil who, by his influence, brought about the downfall of man, and now seeks to destroy the faith of every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ – Gen 3:1-15; Matt 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8; John 13:2.
Apart from the Godhead, no other personality is given as much coverage in the Bible as the devil. Whereas it is important not to give the devil undue prominence, the Scriptures also tell us not to be “ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor 2:11).
1. His personality.
The Bible speaks of the devil as a personality not a mere evil influence. He is described as having a will (Is 14:13-14), having knowledge (Job 1:9-10), performing acts (Job 2:7), having reason (Job 1:9-11), desiring worship (Matt 4:2).
2. His origin.
God created Lucifer, which means “the morning star”. Lucifer, out of his own free will became satan, which means “opponent, arch enemy, adversary”. Ez 28:12-19 gives us a picture of the devil’s existence before his fall. Is 14:12-17 describes his fall which can be summarised as pride and selfishness. In 1 Tim 3:6 Paul describes satan’s fall as “being lifted up with pride”.
3. The names of the devil.
1. Lucifer Is 14:12 – Morning star
2. Satan Job 1:6 Opponent, arch enemy, adversary
3. Devil Matt 4:5 Accuser, slanderer
4. Serpent Rev 12:9
5. Dragon Rev 12:9
6. Beelzebub Matt 12:24 Dung god, lord of the flies
7. Belial 2 Cor 6:15 Worthless, destruction, wickedness
8. Tempter Matt 4:3
9. Wicked one Matt 13:19
10. Evil one Jas 4:11
11. Prince of this world Jn 12:31
12.Prince of the power of the air Eph 2:2
13. God of this world 2 Cor 4:4
14. The accuser Rev 12:10
15. Angel of light 2 Cor 11:14
16. Murderer Jn 8:44
17. Father of lies Jn 1:44
18. Roaring lion 1 Pet 5:8
19. Abaddon/Apollyon Rev 9:11 Destroyer
His names reveal his nature. The Christian must always be on guard against the enemy and never give him a foothold to destroy what God has done in our lives.
1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
The devil’s defeat.
1. He was removed from his exalted position, (Is 14:12-14).
2. He was cursed in the Garden of Eden, (Gen 3:14-15).
3. He was thwarted by Christ in the wilderness, (Matt 4:3-10).
4. He was defeated on the cross by Jesus, (Rom 16:20).
The devil’s destiny.
1. The devil has great power but only God is omnipotent.
2. The devil has a lot of knowledge but only God is omniscient.
3. The devil has a huge network of demons but he is limited to where he can be at one time, only God is omnipresent.
4. The devil’s power is still subject to the will of God, (Is 1:10; Job 2:4-6; Luke 22:31; 2 Cor 12:7-9).
5. We need to resist the devil, (James 4:7).
6. We need to remember that Jesus is interceding on our behalf, (Heb 7:25; Luke 22:31,32).
7. We need to be vigilant, aware of the devil’s plans, (1 Peter 5:8).
8. We need to deny the devil any foothold in our lives, (Eph 4:27).
9. We need to understand that God has given us everything we need to stand in the spiritual warfare against the schemes of the devil, (Eph 6:10-18).
10. When the enemy comes to us as “the accuser of the brethren” reminding us of our past, then we need to stand up in God’s authority and remind him of his future.
Finally, we don’t have to be afraid of him, he needs to be afraid of us. We are part of God’s victorious army, the devil is the leader of the losing force. At the end of it all, we win and he loses. Now that is the perspective we need to keep.
Teaching Copyright (C) 1999 John Iuliano (M.A. Min). All rights reserved. Published here with permission.