Paganism Sixteen

(NOTE: Some of the themes of these articles may not be appropriate for young readers. Please keep that in mind when sharing this information).

It is written:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Having seen some of the many evidences which demonstrate that the Bible is the Word of God, we now return our attention to more specific subjects relating to paganism.

As we have noticed, the Bible teaches that there are multiple gods and goddesses.

Yet who are these beings?

To answer that, we must look at a being known in Scripture as Satan. We will see that the identity of the gods and goddesses is tied in directly to this person.

Some people teach that Satan is not a real person, and that he is simply a manifestation of the dark impulses of mankind. Others, subscribing to a position known as dualism, teach that Satan is some kind of eternal and evil counterpart to God.

Is Satan a real person?

“The Bible isn’t ambiguous on the reality of Satan. He’s there in the beginning in Genesis 3:1, tempting Eve. He’s there in the middle in 1 Chronicles 21:1, inciting David to take a faithless census. He’s there in the end in Revelation 12:9, hurled from heaven along with his fellow rebels to the earth. We’ve already explored many other passages that indicate his existence and his activity. I would encourage you to simply read through many of these passages, one right after the other. There’s an enormous amount of biblical material on Satan and demons, leaving no doubt in Scripture that he’s for real. Jesus certainly thought Satan was real. He referred to Satan twenty-five times and had a personal encounter with him in Matthew 4:1-11. Someone has calculated that 25 percent of Jesus’s actions, parables, and miracles had to do with demons. I don’t know if that’s an exact figure, but it’s close. Jesus clearly thought demons were real. The letters and records of the early church in the New Testament were always written with the awareness of that context. Even Jesus’s opponents knew Satan was “the prince of demons” (Luke 11:15 NIV). We’ll examine his multiple titles in the coming pages, but the sheer number of them is a powerful testimony to the biblical assumption of his existence. This isn’t a fringe topic in the far corners of Christianity. In many modern cultures, Satan’s existence is well known (and pretty easily seen). Western culture’s reluctance to acknowledge his presence can be attributed to the fact that he has disguised himself well. Somehow he has convinced us that he’s a cartoon character (a man dressed in a red suit and carrying a pitchfork), or a football mascot (Red Devils, Blue Devils, Sun Devils), or just a philosophical metaphor for evil (the dark side of “the Force” or the secret desires of human nature). Metaphors are hard to confront in prayer, so it is often in his best interest to deceive cultures into believing he’s a figment of our imagination. As the senior devil in C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters instructs the junior devil, “Suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them) he therefore cannot believe in you.”2 Satan is always content to hide in the shadows of a worldview if he can exploit that worldview to his own ends.” (Chip Ingram, The Invisible War: What Every Believer Needs To Know About Satan, Demons, And Spiritual Warfare, 45 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Books)

Satan is definitely a real person friends.

But that leads us to the next important question: who exactly is Satan?

And perhaps more importantly: who does Satan PRETEND to be?

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