This article begins a new series. After the series of articles on the Devil has run its course, other “revelations of Scripture” could treat such subjects as Antichrist, Sin, Grace, the Last Days, etc.
The devil! Yes, we hear his name fairly often. It is commonly used in the attempt to add emphasis to language. In spite of the name being frequently spoken and heard, very little thought is given to the devil himself.
That is exactly as the devil would have it. He has found it good strategy, also in the spiritual realm, to be underestimated or even unnoticed by the adversary. The devil is happy to be considered only a myth.
Reliable information about the devil is readily available. It comes from one specific source which is ignored by most people. That is because the devil has succeeded in spreading the lie that that source is not to be taken seriously. The source is the Bible.
In Scripture God reveals the truth about the devil. God knows the devil well because He made him. We read at the end of the creation account: “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished” (Gen. 2:2). Just before that we are told: “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Gen. 1:31).
God made the devil, but God made him good. The devil was one of the created spirit beings we know as angels. However, the devil was not satisfied with his position. He incited the same dissatisfaction in other angels. Jude 6 speaks of “the angels who did not keep their proper domain; but left their own habitation.” Peter refers to them as “the angels that sinned” (2 Pet. 2:4).
Not long after creation, the devil showed his hatred of God. He attacked God’s foremost visible creatures — Adam and Eve. By deceit he led them into sin. Since that time, the devil has continued to direct his cunning and strength toward the temporal and eternal destruction of the children of God. His special goal is to destroy their faith in Jesus as the Savior. It is important that we believe this if we are to have a correct understanding of sin and grace.
Jesus, the Son of God and true God Himself, referred to the devil a number of times. He cast out devils from people possessed by them. He Himself was tempted by the devil. The devil and his legions do exist. We are to be aware of this and to be on guard against the devil.
As we shall see in future articles, we have good reason to fear him. We do well to heed the warning: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).
— Pastor em. Keith Olmanson