Monday, May 23, 2011
Who Is the Devil?
Satan the Devil—where did he come from? (1, 2)
How does Satan mislead people? (3-7)
Why should you resist the Devil? (7)
1. The word "devil" means someone who tells wicked lies about another person. "Satan" means an enemy or an opposer. These are terms given to God's chief enemy. At first, he was a perfect angel in heaven with God. However, he later thought too much of himself and wanted the worship that rightly belongs to God.—Matthew 4:8-10.
2. This angel, Satan, spoke to Eve by means of a snake. By telling her lies, he got her to disobey God. Satan thus attacked what is called God's "sovereignty," or position as the Most High. Satan questioned whether God rules in a worthy way and in the best interests of His subjects. Satan also brought into question whether any human would remain loyal to God. By doing this, Satan made himself God's enemy. That is why he came to be called Satan the Devil.—Genesis 3:1-5; Job 1:8-11; Revelation 12:9.
3. Satan tries to trick people into worshiping him. (2 Corinthians 11:3, 14) One way he misleads people is through false religion. If a religion teaches lies about God, it really serves the purpose of Satan. (John 8:44) People who are members of false religions may sincerely believe that they are worshiping the true God. But they are really serving Satan. He is 'the god of this world.'—2 Corinthians 4:4.
False religion, spiritism,
and nationalism mislead people
4. Spiritism is another way Satan brings people under his power. They may call upon spirits to protect them, to harm others, to foretell the future, or to perform miracles. Satan is the wicked force behind all these practices. To please God, we must have nothing to do with spiritism.—Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Acts 19:18, 19.
5. Satan also misleads people through extreme pride of race and the worship of political organizations. Some feel that their nation or race is better than others. But this is not true. (Acts 10:34, 35) Other people look to political organizations to solve man's problems. By doing this, they are rejecting God's Kingdom. It is the only solution for our problems.—Daniel 2:44.
Resist Satan by continuing to learn about Jehovah
6. Another way Satan misleads people is by tempting them with sinful desires. Jehovah tells us to avoid sinful practices because he knows they will harm us. (Galatians 6:7, 8) Some people may want you to join them in such practices. Remember, though, it is really Satan who wants you to do these things.—1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 15:33.
7. Satan may use persecution or opposition to get you to leave Jehovah. Some of your loved ones may become very angry because you are studying the Bible. Others may make fun of you. But to whom do you owe your life? Satan wants to frighten you so that you will stop learning about Jehovah. Do not let Satan win! (Matthew 10:34-39; 1 Peter 5:8, 9) By resisting the Devil, you can make Jehovah happy and show that you uphold His sovereignty.—Proverbs 27:11.