The Devil and his Angels

Have you ever been tempted to do something that you know you shouldn’t do? Have you ever experienced an inner desire — a silent voice within you — suggesting that you do something, and that no one will ever know? What prompts us to have these feelings, or to do things that we somehow know that we shouldn’t do?

The devil, or Satan, is usually the one who gets the blame. There are many people that live in constant fear of the devil, and there are many people that are convinced that there is no such thing as a devil. Others are unconcerned whether or not there is a devil — their life is such that even if there was a devil, the devil would be of no concern to them.

The apparent invisibility of the devil is of little importance to those who believe that he exists. They refer to the Bible, which refers frequently to devils, demons, and even provides names for some of the demons: Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Belial, Abaddon, Apollyon. The character of the devil is described frequently:

  • the tempter (Matthew 4:3, 1 Thessalonions 3:5)
  • the evil one (Matthew 13:28, 39)
  • a murderer (John 8:44)
  • a liar (John 8:44)
  • the father of lies (John 8:44)
  • the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)
  • prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2)
  • the adversary (1 Peter 5:8)
  • the deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9)
  • the great dragon (Revelation 12:9)
  • the ancient serpent (Revelation 12:9)
  • the accuser of our brethren (Revelation 12:10)

And yet, despite these impressive references to the devil, the Bible appears to fall short in explanation with respect to several fundamental aspects:

  • The Bible nowhere explains Satan’s origins.
  • The Bible nowhere explains why such a powerful force of evil is allowed to exist.
  • The Bible is almost silent about devils in the Old Testament.

These shortcomings are by no means insignificant. A fundamental question that must be answered is if God is a supreme, all-powerful God, why does He allow a being as powerful as Satan to co-exist with Him? Why would He allow Satan to lead mankind towards chaos, if His own intention was to offer salvation to all mankind? If Satan is a fallen angel, why was he allowed to continue living, and rather not destroyed as were later people who deliberately rebelled against the Almighty God? Why should God allow a rebellious Satan to have a free hand over His creation for thousands of years, and then destroy him at the last time, as asserted by many Christian believers?

These are some of the aspects that must be capable of reasonable explanation if the Bible is the Word of God, and if we are prepared to consider exactly what the Bible does say about the devil and his angels.

The Devil’s Appearance.

These conceptions of the devil go back in time well to before the Middle Ages; and are traceable to several thousand years BC at least.
If the devil is a being that can influence our behaviour, and can manipulate us as individuals, then he must be invisible when he is acting his role in the lives of people. Can an invisible thing have a shape or image? Can the devil materialise into a visible form if the need arises, and if so, what is the form he takes? What does the devil look like? What does Satan look like?

There are many impressions of what the devil looks like. Although ideas vary, they normally (though not necessarily) include two features in common: Horns and hoofed feet. Over centuries of time there have been numerous drawings made of the devil.

These conceptions of the devil go back in time well to before the Middle Ages; and are traceable to several thousand years BC at least. In Nimrud, a city in ancient Babylon, one of the objects worshipped was a winged, hoofed bull with a human head. The ancient Egyptians had a similar god amongst those they worshipped. So it perhaps not surprising that such imagery exists practically through to our own day of a power that is seen to be so extensive.

If the devil is part of God’s creation, perhaps an unintended part, it would be logical to look at the Bible — God’s Word — to get answers to these things.

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    Lea
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    Lea

    Hi Jason, thank you for this information, it clears lots of things up for me. However I was wondering the same question Lisa had back in June. Who is Lucifer?

    Jason
    Guest
    Jason

    Hi Lea, The origin of Lucifer was from the Latin word “lucifer” which meant “light-bringing” and was the word used in the Latin Vulgate translation of Isaiah 14:12. In the Latin language it referred to such things as the moon and the brightest stars. In this instance, the translators of the KJV chose to transfer the word from the Vulgate to their English translation without translating it into English. All modern versions translate it correctly as “Day star” or “morning star”. The Latin Vulgate also used the word “lucifer” in Job 11:17 (the meaning there being “the light of the… Read more »

    Robert
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    Robert

    In regard to whom the Serpent is in Genesis, and alluded to in God’s taunt against the king of Tyre in Ezekiel 28:1ff (v.13) is described in full within John’s Revelation (12:9), in revealing the Dragon. The Serpent of old was a created “”beast of the field”” endowed with special beauty, abilities and status “”until iniquity was found in him.”” The Serpent of old (i.e., the devil, the Satan) was not created as an angel, but was allowed to appear before the “”sons of God”” regarding Job, and tempted Jesus in the wilderness in Matthew 4. The Evil One has… Read more »

    Taught
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    Taught

    The reason Satan isnt responsible for introducing sin is simply because Adam ate the forbidden fruit- or more importantly- disobeyed God. Sin and Death would not have entered the world if he had refused his wife’s invitation to eat. However, the REAL personage of Satan has been denounced and is reserved for judgement. Satan is in many of the O;d Testament scriptures: Gen (obvious); Job (Jehovah spoke right to him and he responded as a person talking boldly about his strolls in the earth and being up to no-good); Psalms (refers many times to the “”wicked one””); Ezekiel (Takes care… Read more »

    Mia
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    Mia

    That is absolutely correct..

    Lisa
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    Lisa

    Hi Jason. Thanks for your detail explanations. but there’s one more thing i still need to know and understand.. If Satan is a formed of human dark thoughts because we are on the low level of existences..So who is the Lucifer that is being called as the Fallen Angel and what is the relation between him and sin. Jesus died and resurrected and then destroyed death. and who is the AntiChrist who’ll come to the world and will be destroyed killed by Jesus in His 2nd Coming? is Lucifer the AntiChrist, what makes him dangerous towards human, if human himself… Read more »

    KB
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    KB

    Oh Yeah, I almost forgot…Who is the God of this world if Satan is just a word that describes adversary? Certainly not our thoughts…please explain..

    KB
    Guest
    KB

    Also, back to Eden. Who or what was the reptile who seduced Eve into trangressing the law? If it was only Eve’s thoughts that tempted her, then why give a reptilian being credit by way of analogy at all? Why not just say SHE had an epiphany and decided to eat the fruit to prove to Adam that nothing would happen to them? Thank you in advance for your consideration.I will post more questions as they come to me.

    KB
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    KB

    “And also, just to be clear, you are saying that there is nor has there ever been an evil being who tempts mankind into sin…there is only God and our minds at war here. when I say mind, I mean our thoughts and nature. Please explain the scripture that states, Woe unto the inhabitants of the earth for the devil has come down among you..Im terrible with quoting scriptures by chapter and verse as well as verbatim, Im paraphrasing here, but I know that’s scriptural. Who is HE? And why is time of the essence to him as he “”knows… Read more »

    KB
    Guest
    KB

    Hi Jason. Thank you for the article..I have a question or two and would appreciate your thoughts or understanding regarding the matter of Noah and the flood. I think I may already know the answer to this, but just for clarification, please explain to me the PURPOSE of the flood. Then explain to me How could Noah (a known sinner in the form of a drunkard) be spared from destruction when Jesus Christ had not yet been born or sacrificed as the ultimate atonement for the sins of all Mankind. In other words, If Noah and his offspring were sinful,… Read more »