Author: Ron Graham
Satan, The Devil
—The Devil’s ABC
The Bible teaches plainly that there is a Devil, and we have to deal with him. "Be on the alert. Your adversary the Devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith" (1Peter 5:8-9). This lesson is an ABC of the Devil to get us started.
A ~Angels Who Fell
The Devil has angels (Matthew 25:41). Where the Devil and his angels come from is not entirely clear, however it is probable that they are the angels who sinned and did not keep their rightful place (Jude 1:6, 2Peter 2:4).
It is also more than likely that the Devil’s angels are the same beings called "demons" or "unclean spirits" (Matthew 12:22-29, 1Timothy 4:1, James 2:19).
God’s angels "are ministering spirits sent forth to render service for the sake of those who inherit salvation" (Hebrews 1:13,14). We may safely assume that the angels of the Devil work in opposition to this.
These malignant angels are probably what Paul referred to, when he warned us to take up the full armour of God because "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12-13).
B ~Binding of Satan
The Devil has a dominion or kingdom (Matthew 12:26, Colossians 1:13). He is a ruler with great power (Ephesians 2:2). He roams like a roaring lion (1Peter 5:19). He has the whole world in his grip (1John 5:19). However his power is not unlimited. He has been bound (Revelation 20:1-3).
The death of Jesus on the cross broke Satan’s rule over us (1John 3:8, Hebrews 2:14). This does not mean the Devil is inactive, but it does mean that we can resist him and win (James 4:7).
The Devil is not literally bound, because he has schemes to pursue (2Corinthians 2:11, 2Timothy 2:26, Ephesians 6:11). However, he can be crushed under our feet (Romans 16:20).
We can escape his dominion (Acts 26:18). We can deny him an opportunity (Ephesians 4:27). God always makes a way to escape temptation (1Corinthians 10:13). We have the armour to defend ourselves (Ephesians 6:11). Satan has fallen! (Luke 10:18).
C ~Chapters on the Devil
This lesson quotes numerous passages regarding the devil, but your reading the following chapters will give you extra insight into the Devil’s nature, work, and destiny.
D ~Descriptions and Names for the Devil
Below are some of the names and descriptions used in the Bible to refer to the Devil.
The Devil This comes from the Greek διαβολος diabolos and means false accuser, slanderer, one who maligns (Luke 16:1, 1Timothy 3:11, Acts 13:10).
Satan This name means Adversary (Zechariah 3:1, 1Samuel 1:6, 1Peter 5:8).
Beelzebub Speculated as meaning "lord of the flies" a heathen deity (Matthew 12:24).
The ruler of this world This is a somewhat ironic title since as such he is a usurper. God is the real ruler (John 12:31).
The prince of the power of the air This refers to the Devil as the chief of the demons (Ephesians 2:2).
The evil one A simple straightforward description (1John 5:19).
The serpent of old A reference to the form which Satan took in the garden of Eden (Revelation 12:9, Genesis 3:1).
Lucifer? This is not really a Biblical name for Satan at all, although almost universally believed to be. (See note on Isaiah 14:12-15).
E ~Escaping the Devil
There are three ways that help us to resist and escape the Devil...
- 1. Put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-17).
- 2. Take the way of escape that God provides with every temptation he permits (1Corinthians 10:12-13).
- 3. Gain a full insight into the depraved and malignant nature of the Devil. You may notice that the word Devil is only the word "evil" with a "D" for dedication! You had better believe that the Devil is totally committed to evil, though he disguises himself as an angel of light (2Corinthians 11:14).