What does the Bible say about the devil? The Bible uncovers the person and plan of the evil one sometimes called Satan. Let us first see discuss the evil one and then later his 'henchmen' the demons.
The devil has two kinds of powers. (1) He has his own power by virtue of how God made him. Satan was the angel with the highest power and beauty. (2) He also has stolen power over man and the earth originally given to Adam. Let's deepen our understanding of Satan by discussing him through these two topics.
(1) Satan's own powers
The prophet used a description of the devil to identify the sins of the city kingdom of Tyre. Tyre was not in existence during the Garden of Eden. We know, though, of one stealthy creature that was there: the serpent. He deceived Eve. Adam assented with the evil one's plan to do contrary to what God the Maker had said.
Let's note what Ezekiel 28:12-17 says about this evil one.
Super wise (Ez 28.12)
From this description, we find that this one was of extraordinarily beauty. We also see, however, that he was created (Ez 28:13). He was not eternal but had the same limitations as us. He is totally dependent upon God for his existence and purpose.
Satan was in God's presence. He was the 'anointed cherub' in the presence of God. Satan had full access to God's presence. Truly he was most glorious and powerful. He was also 'blameless in your ways from the day you were created.' It could not have been elsewhere. If he stood in God's presence, then he had to be holy and righteous. Notice what happened, though.
"Until unrighteousness was found in you" describes the change of heart and devotion. At one point he praised and reflected God's glorious light, but then he turned to focus on his own praise and glory. Ezekiel 28:17 says, "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor." Once he focused on his own beauty and wisdom and not the source of the gifts, he became corrupted. He thought more of himself than God who gave and maintained such powers. We see this same pattern in Romans 1:18-32. His course changed quickly after this.
After the devil's delusion about himself, the Lord kicked Lucifer out of God's glorious presence. No longer did he reflect God's glory (Lucifer means light), but tried to have others adore him. Note how he used his 'secret knowledge' to bait Eve. He hates truth and light. He lives on lies, deceit and darkness. Note what Jesus says about the Devil.
These are strong words about the devil. It would be good to evaluate what Jesus said here and evaluate the dark powers around us to see if they could in any way be connected.
Along with Satan, numerous other angels 'fell.' They went along with Satan's scheme. Angry Jewish leaders called Jesus, "Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons" in Luke 11:15. Jesus then interchangeably used Satan and Beelzebul in verses 19-20. The demons were Satan's workman who did most of the 'dirty' work. These demons used to be angels but fell when Lucifer defected and became Satan.
(2) The Devil's Stolen Powers
The devil is powerful on his own. He also managed to steal certain authority from man. People do this all the time by stealing inheritance rights and slandering others.
The Devil and his influence
Jesus' statement, "You are of your father the devil" shows that the devil has great influence over many people's lives if not all. By calling him a 'father,' it seems that the devil is responsible for breeding his own corruptness into the lives of mankind. Like children, men imitate the evil one. They have the same evil nature.
The scriptures declare this takeover occurred when the devil sucessfully tempted Adam and Eve. He got Adam and Eve to think about themselves different from how God thought of them.
Who is influenced by him? Anyone who says lies. Have you ever said a lie? Do you deceive others? Do you draw attention to yourself?
The Devil, a Murderer
The devil is a murderer. Ezekiel 28:16 says that he was filled with violence. Knowing that Adam and Eve would die if they ate that fruit, the devil deceived them so that they would eat of it. He was a murderer from the beginning.
The devil wanted mankind's authority no matter what consequences it brought to mankind. He was self-focused. He wanted what he wanted and didn't give a care about those who had to suffer because of it. This is a powerful statement. All the millions of people that are dying around us are dying because of the devil's desire to steal something that belonged to Adam and Eve.
Since this dark power is so intent on profiting himself, do you really think he cares for you? Do you think he will allow you to steal his powers and privileges without gaining more from you? No.
Do you wish the death or anguish of others? Do you get real mad at people at times? Then the devil's spirit is in you. You might want to read more about the power of God's love.
The Devil is a Liar
Don't believe him. Don't ever believe a word of Satan.
He can't speak the truth without the intention to deceive, distort and destroy. He knows God's Word but misuses it to cause confusion and disobedience. He is so clever that we need our Lord to protect us from him. Don't trust his words that suggest, "It won't make a difference." "A little won't hurt." "Just this time." These are the phrases by which he gains a deeper influence on your life.
Now just think a bit. Do you lie? When you lie, you are trying to get things in illegimate ways. You are willing to steal from others to gain what would please you. Do you exaggerate numbers so to get false attention? This in a sense is the 'blood' of the devil in your life. His spirit is in you operating. The consequences are great. The more you think that you can get away with lying, the more you are deceived. Try understanding more about the importance of truth and a person's integrity by the series, "Truth not Deception."
Jesus' model prayer in the Sermon on the Mount records a very interesting phrase, 'Deliver me from evil.' Actually, an equally if not more faithful translation is 'Deliver me from the evil one1.' The William's translation says, "But save us from the evil one."
This phrase 'The evil one' is repeated again in Matthew and used several times in 1 John.
At times we have seen how the evil one or Satan has himself confronted God's people. Usually he uses his demon assistants, but in important cases he himself encounters man such as David, Job, Jesus, Peter, Judas and Ananias.
We need deliverance from his powerful presence. Without deliverance, we will fall. Peter stood because Jesus prayed for him. We are not saying that Satan 'entered' everyone like Judas, but we do see that he is crafty and would lead us astray if possible. No wonder Jeus wants us to pray to be protected from the pernicious one.
Whenever you see yourself lying or willing to hurt others to gain your own way, you must see that you are under the influence of the evil one. What is worse, you cannot escape by yourself. You are trapped. The more you give into his ways, the more you share his evil ways. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can rescue you from the devil's grasp.
Is it possible that this is just a force? No. Death is not natural. Satan murdered from the beginning and thus brought man under his power by death. If death were natural, people would not cry about it. We know there is something wrong with it.
In the next page we will read how Satan often influences people through his demons.