Lucifer’s personal rebellion led to an angelic insurrection in heaven as one-third of the heavenly host followed him and were banished from the third heaven—God’s personal abode. The shining one became the fallen one, the prince of demons, and his followers, demonic angels. Therefore, in spiritual warfare, we face a well-organized army arrayed in ranks—rulers, powers, world forces of darkness, and spiritual forces of wickedness.

The name Satan means adversary and devil means slanderer. He is our adversary and is called the accuser of the brethren who accuses us night and day before God. We can gain great insight into our opponent if we pay attention to the names the Bible affixes to our enemy. He is called the evil one, the tempter, the prince of this world, the god of this age, the prince of the power of the air, the old serpent, the dragon, the worthless lawless one (Belial), and the lord of the flies (Beelzebub).

Just remember the devil is not the Hollywood horned figure with a pitchfork. Instead he is a master of disguises and deception. It seems he can appear in different forms depending on the temptation or deception. The apostle Paul tells us he can even materialize as an angel of light—one of God’s elect angels. He is a powerful creature who lost his authority, but not his power or abilities when he fell.

Jesus tells us he is a cold-blooded murder and a liar. He wants to kill you and he will even quote Scripture to you in the process, but he will always twist its meaning and make it a lie. Satan is a liar. Demons lie. That’s what temptation does. It lies to you, telling you God is holding back something you should have. A temptation is nothing more than the presentation of an illegitimate solution for a legitimate need. A temptation is a lie perpetrated against us by the father of lies.

Jesus also calls Satan a thief and in John 10:10a he discloses the enemy’s sole purpose: “The thief comes only to steal, kill (the word is slaughter), and destroy. . . .” The idea that you can make a deal with the devil is ludicrous. It is laughable if you think you can outsmart him. He makes no deals except the ones that will benefit him and eradicate you.

He is a formidable foe with great power but no authority. We are not called to outsmart him or even outfight him. He is far stronger than we are on the physical level. He is mentally faster and far smarter than we are. Therefore, we must learn to live, breathe, and walk in the victory of Jesus Christ, who has given us both his authority and his power.