What does the Devil look like?
Have you ever seen movies such as Insidious, The Conjuring, or even The Exorcism of Emily Rose? Hollywood has its ways of portraying demonic spirits, or the devil in general, with unnatural movements and appearances to instigate fear on our end.
The thing is, shows and other movies depict the devil to be different at times such as being a red character with horns, a tail, and pitchfork as well (just think of that one scene in Emperor’s New Groove where Kronk was talking to an angel version of himself on the left side of his shoulder, and a devil version of himself to the right).
But have you ever wondered what the devil actually looks like, or what he does? Interestingly enough the Bible explains it in a different way, and who knows, it may affect us more than we think.
Etymology of the Devil
Let’s first start off with understanding this entity by looking at the etymology of the word “devil”. In looking at the origin of the word, we can break it into its Greek origin diaballein which further breaks down into “dia” meaning across, and “bellein” which means to throw. All in all, it means to slander, attack, or to throw across. This Greek word eventually evolved into the word diabolos which means accuser or slanderer as well.
This is important to keep in mind because names typically have a meaning and hence a purpose. This is something we can see further within the Bible as we examine his origin, characteristics, and overall duty.
The Origin of the Devil
In understanding the origin of the devil, a few examples that can help in studying that is in Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28, and 2 Thessalonians 2. We need to remember that he didn’t start off as evil, but rather as a guardian cherub or archangel of God named Luciel (of light) who was blameless, full of wisdom, perfect in beauty, and a model of perfection.
The problem was that Luciel grew a heart of pride, and that made him want to be like God or one wiser than Him, hence making him wicked in God’s eyes. As Luciel’s heart grew to be corrupted and sinful, God expelled and drove him out from where God dwelled. Those under Luciel also fell, which is why in now being the devil or Satan as well as demons, they carry out the work of going against God’s work.
It doesn’t stop there.
Masquerading as Servants of Christ
The devil had an attitude of wanting to be like God and hence made him copy certain things that God did such as performing signs, miracles, and wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9) as an example. This is a concern to have because if we ourselves are not equipped with God’s Word as a standard to distinguish which words and actions come from Him, then we can easily be deceived by the devil himself.
As stated in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, the devil disguises himself as an angel of light. This is why when he deceives, it may not be that easy to recognize him and his works through people who belong to him. They make themselves seem like servants of righteousness instead. It’s not the picture we may have originally envisioned compared to the beginning in thinking about his appearance.
Who does the Devil use?
Furthermore, to continue his work of slandering and going against God, the spirit of the devil uses flesh to help carry out his work as well. This is why when we look at Matthew 23 or John 8:44, Jesus calls the religious leaders, like the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law, as children of the devil because they do the same thing the devil does in lying and being hypocrites. They led people away from God rather than towards Him.
As a result, the devil instigates and takes advantage of fostering evil desires for us to eventually manifest that into actions of sin and death. This is why a predominant portion of Jesus’ ministry at the time of the First Coming was to preach in order to help guide people back to the truth after being deceived for the most part.
Why else do we think God’s chosen people and prophets with the duty of conveying God’s truth were killed as well? It’s because the devil uses people to stop the work of God.
The Devil’s Work Today
It’s a pretty gruesome thing to process in understanding a little better how the devil carries out his work let alone what he really looks like according to the Bible. The thing is, this still affects us today because as we even see in the book of Revelation such as Revelation 12:9 or Revelation 20:2 for example, we see that the spirit of the devil still exists and leads the whole world astray. God will ultimately reign and defeat the devil, but we need to ask ourselves whether we will remain as part of the world led astray or those who will not.
How to Equip Ourselves Against the Devil
Knowing about the devil through these means isn’t enough, but if we know and understand God’s word, then that’s what will allow us to be saved and set us free from the sins the devil easily tempts us in as seen in 1 Timothy 2:3-4 and John 8:31-32. This is why Jesus was able to overcome the temptations of the devil while being tempted in the desert in Luke 4.
We can’t just stop at acknowledging this, but rather develop a determination to not be deceived by the devil but distinguish and follow what’s of God’s instead.
We must take initiative to equip ourselves in understanding God’s word and it’s never too late! There are still opportunities to learn such as a great bible study, or a fellowship with those who are passionate in teaching God’s word with reason. This is our opportunity to grow.
Upon knowing the devil a little more, but more importantly how to combat it, we are those who can be encouraged and even curious to fill our minds with more knowledge. Let’s not succumb to what the devil desires but rather choose the side of victory in understanding the Word. This will allow us to not fear the devil but have him fear us instead knowing we will have life while he will have eternal condemnation.