“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
– 1 Peter 5:8
Do you believe in the devil? If so, what exactly do you believe about him? Unfortunately, for many people they are absolutely clueless when it comes to their greatest adversary, the devil. This can be seen by some of the false things they say about him.
Here are four wrong things people say about the devil:
- “He is not real.” Many people believe that the devil is nothing more than a made up creature from the human mind. They view him as no different than a character found in Marvel comics or Lord of the Rings. Some even say that he is nothing more than a symbol of evil. And yet, the Bible teaches something different. According to the Bible the devil is just as real as God the Father and God the Son Jesus. He was there in the beginning tempting Eve (Genesis 3:1-5; Revelation 12:9). He tempted the Lord in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus preached about him over and over again (Matthew 13:39; 25:41; Luke 8:12; 22:31-32; John 8:44). You can’t reasonably believe in Jesus while refusing to believe in Satan. Jesus said the devil is real!
- “He is Lucifer.” This is another common misunderstanding about the devil. The idea comes from Isaiah 14:12 (KJV). But a simple study of the context reveals the truth. In Isaiah 14:4, we learn that the “Lucifer” mentioned in verse 14 is actually the king of Babylon (probably a reference to King Nebuchadnezzar). The King of Babylon would be humbled and brought low by God. The devil is called by many names in the Bible (ex: Satan, the tempter, the evil one, the serpent of old), but “Lucifer” is NOT one of them! This misunderstanding has come from an abuse of Isaiah 14.
- “He is equal to God.” While the devil may want you to believe this statement, it is wrong. The devil is nowhere close to being equal to God. He does not possess the qualities of deity. Unlike God, the devil is not all knowing (he did not know the outcome of the trials he put on God’s servant Job). Unlike God, the devil is not omnipresent. God is able to be everywhere all the time (Psalm 139:7-12). The devil is not! In fact, when Satan is resisted there is some sense in which he will flee from us (James 4:7). Unlike God, the devil is not all-powerful. God is sovereign and has unlimited power (Psalm 135:6). The devil is limited in what he can do. He could only do to Job what God allowed (Job 1:12). He had to ask permission to test Peter (Luke 22:31). God will not allow him to tempt us beyond what we are able to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). Unlike God, the devil is not from everlasting to everlasting. God has no beginning and no end (Psalm 90:2). At some point the devil was created and chose to rebel against God.
- “The devil is not a real threat in my life today.” This is the main lie Satan wants you to believe. But the Bible says otherwise! Scriptures say that the devil is very interested in you. In fact, he is the greatest threat you have in your life! He wants to be your spiritual father (John 8:44). He is scheming against you (2 Corinthians 2:11). He wants to seek and devour you (1 Peter 5:8). He wants to hold your soul captive and deceive you into doing his will (2 Timothy 2:26).
Satan is indeed a strong enemy. He is more powerful than us (Ephesians 6:12). But, thankfully, he is not more powerful than God! When we are strong in the Lord, and dressed in His armor, we will defeat the devil every time (Ephesians 6:10-11)! The devil knows this already. Do you?
– Shawn Jeffries