by Matt Slick
Yes, Satan, the devil, is real. The word "Satan" comes from the Hebrew which literally means "adversary." The first mention of the term Satan is found in the book of Job 1-2 (adversary of Job), which is one of the oldest books in the Bible. Satan is also found in Zechariah 3:1-2 (accusing Joshua the High Priest) and 1 Chron. 21:1 (moving David to number Israel). Satan is the leader of the evil forces. He is known as Lucifer, which is the name of the fallen Angel who opposes God and mankind. He is also known as Beelzubul, the evil one, and the devil. So, yes, the devil is real.
Most of the information about Satan comes from the New Testament where he is also known as the devil (Greek, diabolos). Satan seeks to undo the work of God (Mark 4:15) and cause evil (John 13:2, 27). He is the father of lies (John 8:44) and the deceiver (Revelation 12:9). He can disguise himself as an angel of light (2 Cor.11:14), use various schemes to deceive people (2 Cor. 2:11), tempt (1 Cor. 7:5), misquote Scripture to induce people to sin (Matt. 4:6), can make people sick (Luke 13:16), take away the good seed of God's word (Mark 4:15), and hinder missionary work (1 Thess. 2:18). However, Satan, along with all the demonic forces, has been judged (John 16:11) and faces a future judgment where he will be cast into hell (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10).
Many Christians are terrified by the aspects of Satan working against them. One of the most important verses about him is 1 John 4:4 which says, "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world." The Holy Spirit indwells believers (Romans 8:11), and because of the cross of Christ we are promised ultimate victory in Jesus and if we resist the devil he will flee from us (James 4:7).