The devil does many things. The Bible ascribes many characteristics to him.
1. He is a liar. “… for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). Thus, every lie in the world is of the devil. He uses many lies to deceive people. He will cause anything to be said in order to gain people for hell. And, oh how often he achieves his purpose!
2. He is a murderer. “He was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). He deals in the murder of the souls of his victims — not just their bodies. He is the great soul destroyer.
3. He is as a roaring lion. “… the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). His intent is to devour people — he is stalking you and would devour you if he can!
4. He transposes himself into a messenger of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:14). He doesn’t show his true form or true nature — he disguises to deceive and to devour and to murder.
Beware of the Devil! But, what can we do to off-set his evil influence?
1. Be sober in your thinking and vigilant in your attitude (1 Pet. 5:8). We can ward off many of Satan’s vicious attacks by being watchful for the adversary. The Lord says, “Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41). Paul warns: “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit ye like men, be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13).
Vigilance is the price we have had to pay for every inch of ground that we have gained in “restoring the ancient order.” Let us constantly be on the guard lest Satan should gain an advantage.
2. We must resist the devil. “… and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7). But how can we resist him? We are not left alone and to our own judgment in this matter. We are told how to resist the devil. Read 1 Peter 5:9: “Whom resist steadfast in the faith.” Here is God’s own way for us to resist the devil: in the faith. What is the faith? It is the gospel of the Son of God. It is the truth! We resist the devil by using the truth — the sword of the Spirit.
Jesus said: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed: and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). If we continue in the truth, we thereby resist the devil, and he will flee from us. But if we become inactive in the faith, if we depart from the faith or fail to contend for it, we thereby yield to the devil and lose our only soul.
Thus, we can easily see our responsibility. It is twofold:
1. We must know the truth (the faith). How do we get knowledge of it? It comes to all alike — through study of the word of God. Let’s get busy in Bible study so that we can resist the devil.
2. The other is that we must get busy in the faith. We read of certain people who “labored in the gospel.” Paul said their names were in the book of life (Phil. 4:3). Therefore, we must know the word and do the word (Jas. 1:22-25).
Let’s get busy! The devil never sleeps. Attend every service of the church and be on guard every day of our lives.
By Forrest D. Moyer