Nature of Satan

The Temptation of Christ
 (1854) by Ary Scheffer

The great dragon …, that serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world.

Revelation 12:9.

“Surely you don’t honestly still believe in the devil?” From time to time Christians have to answer this question, whether it is asked in amazement or scornfully. Let us make three comments on the subject:

  1. If we consider what an influence the occult and esotericism have nowadays with all their dreadful consequences, one can hardly deny the existence of demonic, devilish beings. We do not mean the existence of a devil as he is portrayed in many pictures and legends. That ridiculous, gruesome being with horse’s hooves, a tail and a trident who torments people in hell with a host of subordinate devils is pure fantasy. He is not the devil as the Bible describes him.
  2. Satan, God’s great adversary really exists; God says so in His Word. He is sometimes given symbolical names in the Bible: the great dragon because of his cruelty, the old serpent because of his cunning. But he has other names that denominate persons: the devil (causing confusion), Satan (the antagonist). In other places he is called “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
  3. There is One who has conquered the devil and deprived him of his power: Jesus Christ, the Son of God. And all who believe in Him as their Saviour have been freed from Satan’s power. This all resulted from Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection. For this He deserves eternal thanks.

Image: By Ary Scheffer – [1], Public Domain,