As Christians we are to put on the whole armor of God. (Ephesians 6: 10ff). We are not just to put on the armor but the Bible says we are to put on the whole armor of God. The reason we are to put on the whole armor of God is because of the devil. We are to put on the whole armor of God because of the wiles of the devil (6:11). We are to put on the whole armor of God because we are not in a physical fight, but we are in a fight against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (6:12). We are to put on the whole armor of God to be able to stand in the evil day (6:13). We are to use the shield of faith to be able to quench all the firey darts of the wicked (6:16). We understand all of the warnings about this person, but we still have not answered the question at hand; who is the devil?
Could the devil be a fallen angel? “For God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” (2 Peter 2:4). I could be that pride was the sin that caused this fall. Listen, “Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6).
Could the devil be the serpent? “Not the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden” (Genesis 3:1). “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9). “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).
Could the devil be a lion? “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Is the devil a father? “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44)
Could the devil be other people? “But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou are an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matthew 16:23). “And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Somon’s son, to betray him” (John 13:2). “Let not man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempeth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed (James 1:13-14). “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness: whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15). While discussing martial relationships Paul mentions Satan tempting one of the marriage partners (1 Corinthians 7:5 “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency”); how would the devil do that? Would that not be in the form of another person? What else could it be?
Could it be that the devil is a discourager of young Christians? Acts 5:1-11 tells of a husband and wife who were trying to impress someone but in the end all knew their lie. Do you think that the devil was trying to use this event to discourage the young Christians from doing their work that God requires of them? It did not have it desired effect if that is the case, notice carefully verse 11, “And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.”
This may be true for young Christians, they may be easily discouraged, but what about seasoned Christians, could they get easily discouraged because of what the devil is doing in the guise of other people? Notice what Paul says, “Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us” (1 Thessalonians 2:18). How was Paul hindered from coming unto them? Events or people could have been the cause from an outward appearance but truly it was the devil. Why did the Lord have to appear to Paul at Corinth? “Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city” (Acts 18:9-10). Paul was being attacked by Jews and by erring brethren that demanded that the Gentiles be circumcised. This was discouraging and yet Paul needed the encouragements to help him along his Christian walk. Yes, even seasoned Christians can get discouraged.
Could it be that the devil also uses natural events? As Paul was on his voyage to Rome, it was the time of year when it was dangerous to travel. Paul told the captain and the owner of the ship that this was so, but the decision was made to travel on. When the storm came upon them and had lasted fourteen days, Paul encourages all the people on board the ship. Why was it that they needed encouraging? Could it be that the devil was trying to get at Paul through these events? The Lord would not allow that to happen, and we can not let the devil get advantage of us, we must remain strong. 2 Corinthians 2:11 tells us, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” The devil will use any way he can to discourage Christians young and older to leave the faith. We cannot let that happen
Now let us consider that the devil can take many forms, animals, people and events and try to discourage every member here, we cannot let that happen, for if it does he wins and we lose. Who wants to lose heaven, I don’t; therefore remain encouraged!