Satan is usually pictured with horns and a pitchfork, wearing a red suit. He is shown as the master of Hell, supervising the suffering of sinners. This image is popular but completely wrong. According to the only dependable authority on these matters, the Bible, Satan will only be in the bowels of the earth as a prisoner. When he is in Hell, he will be suffering in the fire just like everyone else there.
The Bible says, "And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him to keep him from deceiving the nations any more until the thousand years were ended." (Revelation 20:1-3 All Bible quotations are from the NIV) "And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Revelation 20:10)
Revelation 20 describes where Satan will be in the future. Right now, Satan is roaming the earth. "The Lord said to Satan, 'Where have you come from?' Satan answered the Lord, 'From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.' " (Job 1:7) The Apostle Peter warned, "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
It would be easy to avoid Satan if he was dressed in a red suit and carrying a pitchfork. But, "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14) Satan is also called Lucifer, which means "light bringer". Satan's method is very subtle. His method is like setting a trap with an attractive temptation as bait. "But each one one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin: and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (James 1:14)
Thank God, we do not have to battle against the temptations of Satan on our own. "And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)
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© 1999-2017 Rodney A. Smith
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