Whether we call him Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub - or whether we are afraid to speak his name at all the destroyer is still on his job.
- Is the devil real?
- Can he assume different shapes?
- How much power does he have?
- If God is all-powerful, how could the devil have rebelled against Him and taken up dominion on earth?
- Is the Devil Real - How does the devil work?
The Bible, taken literally, clearly states the devil exists. Satan is mentioned by name in 47 passages (NIV). The devil is mentioned in 33 more. He is described as the one who tempted Adam and Eve into original sin in the Garden of Eden; he is the one who tempted Jesus in the desert.
Some people don't believe the Bible is literally true. When they ask, "Is the devil real?" they must rely more on personal experiences in the world. No one can deny that there is evil in the world. How are we to discern whether this is simply the result of human nature, as opposed to evidence of some outside force at work?
Here, again, it is interesting to look at the way Satan worked in the Bible and compare that with the issues we face in day-to-day living. When Satan tempted Jesus, he appealed to three things:
- the lust of the flesh
- the lust of the eyes
- the boastful pride of life.
First he challenged Jesus, after a 40-day fast, to use his powers to make food and satisfy His fleshly needs. Then he challenged Jesus to look at the world from a high place and offered Him dominion over all He saw. Finally, he tempted Jesus to throw Himself down from a tower, saying that surely, as God's son, He would be saved - an appeal to pride.
Whatever temptations we face, they seem to fall into these categories:
- Pornography, adultery, gluttony all appeal to lusts of the flesh.
- Materialism and the quest for power appeal to the lust of the eyes.
- When we strive to reach spiritual heights, we are threatened with the sinful pride of believing WE are more important than God.
Perhaps the devil doesn't appear to us in person. Perhaps he doesn't caper about with a pitchfork, with horns and a forked tail. But we may know he is there by the way he acts, just as we may know a skunk is near through its unmistakable stench.
Is the Devil Real - What is our response?