Have you ever wondered, Why is there so much evil? Bewildered people all over the world watch the news wondering why evil is so prevalent. Many never realize that Satan is the source of evil—a sinister force who has influenced people to be evil from the beginning of time. His sly strategy is to distort the truth of God and to lead the whole world astray.
“That ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan … leads the whole world astray.”
In both the religious and secular worlds there is a growing recognition of, and interest in, demonic activity. The Bible recognizes the reality of this activity: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [human beings], but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
Demons, also called in Scripture “unclean spirits” (Luke 4:36) and “deceiving spirits” (1 Timothy 4:1), are totally evil, invisible, intelligent spirits.
Like Satan, demons fell into condemnation through pride, and are the adversaries of both God and humankind. Though real and active, the devil and his messengers (demons) are often blamed for many things for which they are not guilty. Some Christians tend to blame all erratic behavior on “demon possession” when, actually, most of it is the result of humankind’s sinful, selfish nature. Also, sometimes individuals who are on drugs or who are mentally ill will appear to be afflicted by demons.
The Christian who desires to be used by God to help people with spiritual problems might do well to heed the admonition of the apostle John: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God” or “the spirit of the Antichrist” (1 John 4:1, 3). Thus, demons must be discerned, tested, resisted, and rejected by believers. (1 Corinthians 12:10; Ephesians 4:27; 6:10–18; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8–9; 1 John 4:1–6.)
Through the victory of Jesus Christ over Satan and his demonic assistants, and in the mighty name of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, the child of God can overcome Satan and his demons. (Matthew 8:16–17; 12:28; Mark 16:17; Acts 19:15.)
Do you remember in your early school years when you were assigned to a competitive team in sports? The obvious objective was to defeat your opponent. The team you played hard to defeat was viewed as “the adversary.” In later years, sport strategies became more sophisticated, and coaches began to make serious studies of the adversaries, including watching films of their opponents. Today you have an adversary. This is no game—it is real. You need to know your adversary, Satan—the enemy of your soul. His one determined objective is to defeat you and to destroy God’s plan for you.
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8
He didn’t. God created “Lucifer, son of the dawn”—an angelic being who, because of rebellion against God, was cast out of heaven. Only after he sinned did he become “Satan,” which literally means adversary. Only then did he become the adversary of God and of all that is good.
“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” Isaiah 14:12
“The accuser of our brothers, who accuses them [believers] before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” Revelation 12:10
“For Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
2 Corinthians 11:14
“They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.”
“The devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast...
Our resources against the hosts of wickedness are:
“Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”
“The devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8
“The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”
2 Thessalonians 3:3
“Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."
“Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings”
1 Peter 5:8–9
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world”
1 John 4:1–6
1 John 3:7–10