Introduction

“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. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or magician with the same delight” (Lewis, C.S. The Screwtape Letters. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1941, p.3). When it comes to the question of the existence of the devil and his demons, people frequently have one of two reactions: They dismiss him altogether, and even laugh at such a prospect as a personality known as the devil. Or, they have an exalted view of him, ascribing far more power to him than he has, and attributing far more deeds to him than he has ever done.

A recent Gallup poll revealed that 70% of Americans believe in the devil. Half of those surveyed believe that he is a personal force, while the other half believe that he is an impersonal force. Is the devil merely a force? Or is he an intelligent “spirit being” with a distinct personality? Someone once asked the great evangelist Charles Finney, “Mr. Finney, do you believe in a literal devil?” Finney replied, “You try opposing him for awhile and you’ll see if he’s literal or not.” There is one place where we can find a balanced view of who the devil is. You will find it in the pages of God’s Word, the Bible.

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