Today we are going to talk about a fallen angel...The Devil
The Devil is known by many names, including Satan, Lucifer, Mephistopheles, Beelzebub,
the Evil One, and the Prince of Darkness. According to ancient scriptures,
he was originally one of God's foremost angels. But pride and envy caused him to revolt
against God, and he was thrown out of Heaven. Despite this humiliation he remained defiant,
and sought revenge by trying to tempt people away from Godand convert them into his own worshipers.
One of his favorite ways to tempt people is to give them fantasies of future wealth.
He knows that many people will eventually be overcome by greed and turn to dishonest methods
to achieve their goals. As a master of deceit, he can even entrap people who think they have
Because of his evil nature, artists usually depict him as a loathsome repulsive creature. Paintings often show him with horns, fangs, hooves, scaly skin, red eyes, and a tail. Since he was originally an angel, he is sometimes given wings. Medieval artists often gave him the legs and hindquarters of a goat. But no one knows what he really looks like, because he can disguise himself by magically taking on any appearance he chooses, or even by fading into invisibility. In fact many people think of him as a supernatural spirit rather than a physical being.
People often ask why God allows him to pursue his evil activities. One possible answer is that God doesn't have full control over his former angel. Another answer is that God permits him to tempt people in order to test their faith and devotion. But the first answer implies that God isn't truly all-powerful. And the second answer makes God the ultimate tempter, and the ultimate cause of much of the pain and suffering that people experience.
The Devil is often identified with the serpent that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. Later in the Old Testament he appears in the Book of Job, where he is an angel called Satan living at the Court of Heaven, but slyly stirring up trouble. By the period of the New Testament he has been thrown out of heaven, and is showing himself to be the true Evil One.
The Devil Tempts Jesus
His evil nature is depicted very clearly in the gospels, especially in the famous temptation of Jesus. As described in Matthew 4:1-11, this temptation took place in a wilderness area where Jesus had gone to meditate and fast. As he meditated, Satan approached him and challenged him to prove his powers by turning stones into bread and by leaping from the roof of the Temple in Jerusalem. Of course Jesus didn't need to prove anything, and he refused both challenges. Then, for the ultimate temptation (Matthew 4:8-10):
The devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will fall down and worship me."
Jesus said to him, "Away from me Satan! For it is written, Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only."