Is Satan Real? [Video & Transcript]
Is Satan Real?
In a relatively recent poll, about 40% of self-professed Christians indicated a belief that Satan is not real, “not a living being but is a symbol of evil.” An additional two out of ten (19%) agreed to some extent with that perspective (The Barna Group, 2009). Close to the same division of belief applied to the existence of the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, as a real personage. Both are real.
The silencing of his reality is, in fact, a ploy that he himself authors and enforces. In the words of one writer, “Satan has pulled one great disappearing act” (A. Poelman). And behold, others he flatters away, and tells them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispers in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance (Modern Revelation: The Book of Mormon 1 Nephi (an ancient American prophet), 28:20-22).
And it isn’t accidental. Why would he not remove his trump card from the deck? He hopes we’ll forget him, but he forgets that God holds the whole deck in His hand and overrules all of his attempts to masquerade, deceive, tempt, lure, and overcome His plan of happiness in our lives.
I find this comment by CS Lewis both helpful and true in this context, in his preface to The Screwtape Letters:
There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.
Satan, according to the Savior’s teachings, is one of God’s spirit children gone awry. It was Satan, once called Lucifer, who wished to usurp God’s power and throne in a pre-mortal existence.
You may remember that the Book of Revelation speaks of his demise as a ‘fallen star’; and with reason: He rebelled against the plan of God for each of us to be physically embodied, to come to an earth-school to progress to become as our Heavenly Parents are, and to enjoy their presence in an exalted state with loved ones forever.
Lucifer’s big issue was essentially that he was plagued with pride and drenched in delusion, He sought to override God’s plan. He lacked the faith that the Savior would complete His role as one who would pay, or atone, for our sins and errors as we came to earth, and he wanted His glory. He put forth a plan where salvation would be guaranteed through his kingdom control and manipulation. It died on the table in that pre-mortal council. Each of us was present then. It was, in essence a false campaign promise.
The adversary, as he is also known, then, continues to live as a disembodied spirit. He will never gain access to a body, and is zealously jealous of those of us who have one. Thus, he seeks our destruction and to win as many over to his misery as he can. He has no other objective. He will remain separate and never marry. His goal is to obliterate marriage.
He tempts and entices. As one Christian, Mormon leader avers:
Satan is by no means a far-off, remote figure. He is, by contrast, a familiar if not ubiquitous personage. Late prophet in modern times, Spencer W. Kimball described him as “very much a personal, individual spirit being, but without a mortal body. . . . Yes, the devil is decidedly a person” (The Miracle of Forgiveness [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969], p. 21).
Each of us recognizes that there is an Author of Truth and one of lies, enticement, and deception in opposition. An apostle has asked: “Who has not heard and felt the enticings of the devil? His voice often sounds so reasonable and his message so easy to justify. It is an enticing, intriguing voice with dulcet tones. . . . The prince of darkness can be found everywhere . . . his influence is everywhere.”
We have power over the devil, and he can never make us sin. We must allow his influence in to be influenced by him. But make no mistake. He is real and would have us silence that reality, as is happening in our day. We are not to focus unduly on him, but to be unaware of his strategy while we move through life would be like playing half a game of football—having all offense and no defense. But life is not a game, and the casualties are souls.
A healthy knowledge of God’s plan includes a knowledge that Satan is real, that the power of God is “greater than all the cunning of the devil” but that we must put on our spiritual armor of faith in Christ, to stand apart from him and to follow Jesus Christ, whose ways are the source of truth, life, peace, righteousness and eternal life for each who will come unto Him.
God bless you on your spiritual journey. Please feel free to join us on Facebook, or to Tweet, or post a comment or question on our site, or to call Karen at 185-KNOWGOD-1 with sincere questions or prayer request.