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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
From The Baptist Challenge, September 2015
Question: If the devil causes so much trouble in the world, why then did God create the devil?
Answer: Yes, the devil has always caused problems in heaven as well as on earth, and I assure you, he’s far from through. To be as simplistic as possible in answering your question, the truth is, God did not create the devil.
The word “devil” means “accuser” or “slanderer,” but this does not by any means completely describe this malignant personality. His vile character is described by the various names given to him in the Bible. To name a few, he is called “Satan” 54 times, which means adversary or opponent. He is called “Beelzebub,” the prince of evil spirits. He is called a “liar,” a “murderer” (John 8:44), “Apollyon” (destroyer), “Dragon” (monstrous), “Serpent” (subtle, clever, sly), “roaring lion” (animal of prey), “angel of light” (thing of beauty in order to deceive), etc. Is it no wonder that he is so capable of causing so much trouble in the world?
Permit me to give you more details about the “prince of darkness.” He is a created spirit that had the name Lucifer. He is a cherub that is said to be anointed. His original position was near the very throne of God (Ezek. 28:13-17). Being a free moral agent, he exercised a rebellious will against God his creator by desiring to take over the throne of God, and by so doing, he fell and became the immediate adversary (Satan) of God, and then in time, of man (Isa. 14:14-16).
He wants to take God’s place; he desires to be worshiped, honored, adored and glorified. His exact words are, “I will be like the Most High” (Isa. 14:14). He tempted Eve with the same principle of attaining god-hood by declaring, “Ye shall be as gods” (Gen. 3:5). He boldly stated to our Lord that he would give Him the kingdoms of this world if He (Christ) would only “bow down and worship me” [Satan] (Matt. 4:9). As you can see, he desires creature worship.
During the Tribulation Period, Satan’s “man” known as the antichrist will exhibit Satan’s god-seeking desires by setting himself up “as God” (2 Thess. 2:4). Through the permissive will of God, he is presently in charge of this world’s system (Kosmos), a civilization without the true and living God. To show his authority over the world, he is called “the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4), the “prince of this world” (John 12:31), and the “prince of the air” (Eph. 5:8).
The foolish notion that he is penned-up in “hell” is quickly done away with when we read scriptures like Job 1:7 where we are told he goes “to and fro in the earth ... walking up and down in it” and “he goeth about as a roaring lion” (1 Pet. 5:8).
We need to know how to “resist the devil” (James 4:7). To “resist” successfully, we must not be ignorant of his devices” [purposes, thoughts] (2 Cor. 2:11). We must be aware of his intentions. He hates God, and therefore, to get to God he persecutes and seeks to corrupt the lives of God’s people (2 Tim. 3:12; John 17:14). Our real enemy is not “flesh and blood,” but spiritual in nature (Eph. 6:10-17). We can “stand against the wiles (trickery, craftiness, cunning) of the devil” (Eph. 6:11), if we depend upon the power of God’s might (Eph. 6:10).
Satan “deceiveth the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). He blinds the eyes of unbelievers to the truth of salvation (2 Cor. 4:3-4), by taking the Word of God out of their hearts (Matt. 13:19), and skillfully attacks the Bible full-time in various ways through the agency of his ministries (2 Cor. 11:13-15). He is the enemy of our souls. The lost will spend eternity with him in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10, 15).