SPEAKING OF THE DEVIL
So where did we get the image of the devil with the horns, pointed tail, cloven hooves, and pitchfork? Actually, it comes from the literature of the Middle Ages, which has its origin in Greek mythology. This is a description of the god Pan, or Bacchus, the god of pleasure. He has horns, he runs through the grape vineyard, he is the god of the grape, the god of wine. From his waist down, he is represented as a goat. Let’s take off the Halloween suit of Satan and expose him for who he really is.
In Ezekiel 28 we discover Satan had a beginning (15). God created him as a perfect, wise and beautiful angel (12). He appears to be one of the chief angels along with Michael and Gabriel. Some say he was the worship leader of the angelic choir (13). He was the anointed cherub that covered (14). The cherubim were the “inner circle” of angels who had the closest access to God and guarded His holiness.
At this point Ezekiel does not go into detail about the iniquity found in Lucifer. For this we have to go over to Isaiah 14:11-15. In this passage the five “I will’s” of Lucifer are identified. He began to covet the power and position of God Himself. Not content with his privileged position, he sought to be like the Most High. From the book of Revelation, we find he fostered a rebellion against God with one third of the angels and was promptly cast out of heaven. Lucifer “the star of the morning” was now called Satan (“accuser”) and the devil (“adversary”). The angels who followed Satan became demons who now work with Satan in his rebellion against God, the plan of God, and the people of God.
According to the Bible there is a literal devil that wants to defeat you and then eat you! He started with Adam and Eve in the garden and is still working today. He seeks to blind and bind the unbeliever and find and grind the believer. He knows the way to get back at God for his fall, which is to attack His children and to render their witness ineffective for Christ.
Knowing the power and purposes of Satan can leave a person frightened of the devil and powerless over his ploys. But what we need to know as Christians is that Satan is a defeated foe. He has no power over us because of Christ and the cross (Col 2:14-15). His future is grim. Ezekiel states his judgment: (Isa 14:15) Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. He will be “ . . . cast into the lake of fire forever.” (Rev. 20:10) Since the devil is a beaten opponent and also stands a future judgment, let’s put on the armor of light and fight for the right against our enemy and his system. (James 4:7) Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (1 Pet 5:8-9) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith . . . (Rom 16:20) And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly . . .