Q: Is the Devil real?

If we believe God’s Word, then we have no choice but to accept the reality of his ancient enemy, Lucifer. Scripture speaks about him as a fallen angel, a very real being who leads an ongoing rebellion against God and heaven.

The devil, or Satan, seeks our destruction (I Peter 5:8). Jesus warned that Satan is a liar and “the father of lies” (John 5:44). He accuses people and he accuses the church of God (Rev. 12:10). He has engaged in mighty showdowns with God, as we find in the book of Job, where the life of a successful follower of God is evidence in the battle between them.

Several places in the Bible give sometimes cryptic evidence about the beginnings of this fallen warrior angel. Many scholars find a dual meaning to the Ezekiel 28 passage directed against “the king of Tyre”: You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God. . . . You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. . . . Your heart became proud on account of your beauty.

Isaiah 14 has another of these dual-application condemnation where the prophet addresses a fallen “king of Babylon.” 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! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” (Interestingly, the Hebrew for the phrase morning star is translated “Lucifer” in the Latin Vulgate.)

The most explicit statement about the reality of Satan is found in Revelation 12, where John describes a war in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

When we face temptation by this ancient adversary, we can rejoice that he is a defeated enemy and that God’s promises are a reliable protection against his deceptions.