ESSENTIAL TRUTHS - SATAN
Does Satan really exist?
Satan is commonly portrayed as a caricature. He is portrayed as having red skin, cloven hoofs, horns, a tail, and carrying a trident. This caricature was created by the church in medieval times to ridicule Satan in an attempt to attack his pride, with the goal of repelling him.
The Bible describes Satan in a much more sophisticated way. Satan is an angel who was created good, but then rebelled against God. In his rebellion, Satan became a fallen angel, battling against God and human beings ever since. In Scripture, Satan means “adversary”. We also refer to him as the devil. Scripture also refers to Satan as the prince of darkness, the father of lies, a roaring lion seeking those he may devour. Satan seeks our destruction by attempting to lead us to reject God as our Father, and the Son as our Saviour. His main tool is deception, casting doubt on the word of God, so that we would believe his lies rather than the truth of God’s word. Satan uses the forces of nature around us and within us, the manipulation of nations, other people, (including even other Christians are sometimes used as his instruments to lead people astray).
Although Satan is powerful, fearsome and seeks to destroy us, we should neither be overtaken by fear, nor ignore his power or existence. We should be aware that he is a powerful enemy, but he is a defeated enemy. Satan may be stronger than us, but Christ is stronger than Satan.
“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Satan is still a finite creature, limited in space and time, without divine powers or attributes. He is a higher order of being than humans, but is still a creature. We should never think that Satan is God’s evil equal. Satan is not divine, but has infinitely less power than our God and Saviour. Satan is also defeated, Christ’s death on the cross won the victory. Satan’s head has been crushed by Jesus Christ, his power greatly diminished, and he will be completely destroyed at the appointed time. We can see the reduction in his power as we compare the time before Christ’s death, when the people of God were found primarily in one nation (Israel) to the time after Christ’s death where now God’s people are found in all tribes and nations. We rejoice as Satan has been defeated, and the Holy Spirit fills the earth, growing the church of Christ.
“Satan is a loser who will soon be destroyed.” - John van Eyk