Who is the devil?

Originally the devil was named Lucifer, one of the angels that worshiped God. He fell because of pride. The devil is the origin of evil, the force behind evil today, and the personification of evil.

How does the devil carry out his work?

First, the devil opposes the will and work of God. Second, he tries to destroy all that is good. And third, the devil imitates the work of God. His desire is to be like the Most High (Isa. 14:14), and some of his work is to counterfeit righteousness and the work of God.

How does the devil imitate God?

First, there is a satanic Bible, and there is a church of Satan. There are also satanic ministers who do the work of Satan (2 Cor. 11:15). During the future Tribulation, it is the devil who will send the Antichrist, who will be a “substitute Christ,” to perform miracles just as Jesus did.

What is the primary source for correct information about Satan?

We learn about Satan from the Scriptures, because the truth of the Bible is accurate. Because the very nature of Satan/the devil is to deceive, he will mislead people about his identity and purpose.

Does the devil have a tail and horns and wear a red suit?

No! In the Middle Ages, an actor in a play acted out the role of Satan, or the devil, with a red suit, horns, and a pitchfork. Since secrecy is one of the characteristics of Satan, it is understandable why so many believe the caricature of Satan. Satan is very happy for you to have a wrong or humorous view of his nature.

What is the nature of the devil?

He is a real person with a personality; he has intellect, emotion, and will. He doesn’t have a body but has manifested himself physically. The devil has great power, but he is not omnipotent. He has great wisdom, but he is not omniscient. He is seemingly everywhere present to tempt believers, but he is not omnipresent.

Since God could not create anything evil, where did the devil come from?

God originally created Lucifer with the power of “free will” so that he could voluntarily worship and exalt God. But Lucifer used his power of choice to exalt himself. First it was pride (“lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil” [1 Tim. 3:6]). Second, in unbelief, he rebelled against God. Lucifer did not believe that God could know what he was doing or judge him. Third, in self-deception, Lucifer actually believed he could wrestle the throne away from the Almighty. Finally, there was an unwillingness on the part of Lucifer to abide in the stead where he had been placed by the Creator. After the fall Lucifer is also called “great dragon . . . that serpent of old . . . the Devil and Satan” (Rev. 12:9).

What are some names or titles of the devil?

His original name before the fall was Lucifer (Isa. 14:12). He is also called Satan (Job 1:6), Apollyon (Rev. 9:11), Beelzebub (Matt. 12:27), the old serpent (Rev. 20:2), the evil one (John 17:15), the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4), the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10), and father of lies (John 8:44).

If Satan is the “god of this world,” who is in his kingdom?

First, Satan directs the angels who fell during rebellion against God. Second, he controls the hearts of unregenerate men (Luke 8:44) and the world system that is in association with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:15–18). The kingdom of Satan denies the supernatural (Eph. 2:2) and opposes all that God is and does.

Why does God tolerate the devil?

Many would think that an all-powerful God would go ahead and destroy or kill Satan, or at least get him out of the way. But if there were no devil to resist us, we could not show God our love for Him by resisting the devil (James 4:7). By resisting temptation from Satan, we demonstrate our love for God and build up our Christian character.
If there were no devil, we would not see the mighty power of God or how He can demonstrate Himself in the face of evil and temptation.
If there were no devil, we would not receive crowns, or rewards, for resisting Satan and overcoming temptation. And if God destroyed Satan before the end of the world, then God would not be faithful to the timetable that is written in Scripture. God has promised to bruise Satan’s head (Gen. 3:15), but He will not do it before His appointed time. God has a “fullness of time” when He will do what He plans to do (Gal. 4:4).

Does the devil have wings? Can he fly?

Many pictures show the devil as a demonic character with wings. This is because originally the devil and his demons were angels. Because of the misconception that angels fly, the devil is depicted as also having wings and flying. But remember that many times when angels appeared to individuals in the Old and New Testaments, they were often mistaken for normal people. They did not appear to be superhuman, nor did they have wings. Therefore, most evangelicals teach that neither angels nor the devil have wings. However, both cherubim and seraphim are pictured as having wings (Isa. 6:3), and they fly (Ezek. 1).
No one knows for sure if the devil has wings, but he probably does not. He does not need to fly; apparently he can travel at “the speed of thought.”

What is your favorite name for the devil?

The devil has many names. He is called Satan, the devil, Beelzebub, Lucifer, the evil one, murderer, a liar, the prince of the power of the air, and the god of this age. However, one favorite name is one that is not found in Scripture. It is counterfeiter. Lucifer fell because his ultimate desire was “to be like the Most High God.” He wanted to be Jehovah El Elyon, the possessor of heaven and earth. Since the devil wants to be like God and rule a kingdom like God, he has created false religions, false Bibles, and false salvation (2 Cor. 11:13–15). He wants to have a religion, but it is a counterfeit religion. As counterfeit money is a replica of real money, the devil is a counterfeit of the real God, and offers counterfeit supernatural experiences. Remember, no one makes counterfeits of play money or worthless money. They make counterfeits of the real thing.

Has anyone actually seen the devil?

While many people think the devil will manifest himself, in polls taken of audiences, very few claim to have seen the devil. But at the same time, many have claimed to see angels (Heb. 13:2). The one person who saw the devil physically on the earth was Jesus (Matt. 4:1–11). The devil manifested himself to Jesus in the wilderness and tempted him with the well-known temptation to make stones into bread, to jump off the temple mount, and to worship him so he (the devil) could give Jesus the kingdoms of the world.

Can the devil know our minds?

The devil is not omniscient; he does not know all things present, nor does he know anything future. He does not know what you are thinking; therefore, there are times when you pray that you might not want to pray out loud lest the devil knows what you are asking. However, the devil is brilliant, and he can “read our minds” like a wife can “read” her husband’s mind. He has past knowledge of us, and he knows our inclinations, so he quite often knows what we are thinking. This ability helps him “guess” what will happen in the future.

Is it true, “The devil made me do it”?

That statement was made famous by the comedian Flip Wilson, and many repeat it as gospel fact. Actually if you think, The devil made me do it, you make your accountability for your sin the responsibility of the devil. That way, it’s very easy for people to not take responsibility for their actions.
We are tempted to sin by (1) the lust of the flesh, (2) the lust of the eyes, and (3) the pride of life. These all come from the devil, which he uses in tempting us. However, our sin comes from within; everyone has a sinful nature. We want to satisfy our physical needs contrary to God’s law (lust of the flesh). We have been guilty of seeking possessions apart from God’s law (lust of the eyes). And we often take credit for ourselves, contrary to God’s law (the pride of life). So rather than saying, “The devil made me do it,” we should take responsibility by confessing our sins, asking God to forgive us by the blood of Jesus Christ, and repenting, turning from sin to God.

What did Jesus do to the devil on the cross?

God predicated that “the seed of the woman” would crush “the seed of the serpent.” On the cross, Jesus received a “heel bite” which was the equivalent of physical death. As painful as this was, Jesus rose again on the third day; the heel bite was not permanent. However, Satan received a “head blow,” which means permanent destruction.
As Jesus was facing the Cross, He said, “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (John 12:31). In the context of the Cross, Jesus was describing Satan being cast out from God’s presence. Also on the night before He died, Jesus said, “The ruler of this world is judged” (John 16:11). In essence, the death of Jesus on the cross was a “judgment” of Satan. The Cross was Satan’s judgment, and eventually he will be cast into the lake of fire.

If Satan is judged, why does he still have “bite and poison” to destroy lives?

Even though Satan was judged by the Cross, that judgment will not be carried out until the future coming of Christ in judgment. Just as a sentence is handed down to a criminal in a court of law, so Satan received the death sentence at God’s court of law, the Cross judgment. Just as a criminal is told, “Ye shall hang by the neck until dead,” the punishment of Satan was announced. However, just as in the American legal system there is a period of time between judgment and execution, so in God’s legal system is there a period of time between Satan’s judgment by the Cross and God’s carrying out Satan’s “execution” in the lake of fire (Rev. 20).

Towns, Elmer. 2003. Bible Answers for Almost All Your Questions. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.