Why What You Know About Satan Might Be Mostly Myth

Contrary to the opinion of some, Satan doesn't resemble this character.
Contrary to the opinion of some, Satan doesn't resemble this character. (YouTube)

Make me a profile of Satan. What does he look like? What does he do? From where does he do it? The classic image—the one you likely envision—is a red guy with horns and a pitchfork, orchestrating all the evil in the world from his command center in hell.

I'm not sure where it came from, but this pervasive image of Satan is nothing more than myth. The devil is not red with horns and pitchfork. And while he does orchestrate evil, he doesn't do it from hell.

Where in the World is Satan?

Surprising to most people, the Bible doesn't say Satan's home is in hell or that he's ever been there at all. Quite the opposite, actually. Jesus revealed that hell is the place prepared to destroy Satan, not his home (Matt. 25:41). The Bible also claims the devil will not see hell until after his final rebellion at the end of time when he's thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:7–10).

This obviously begs the question: If the devil isn't in hell, where is he, and what is he doing? Well, accordingly to Scripture, he's in one of two places doing one of two things: on earth or in heaven, opposing or accusing.

It's true: Peter revealed that as an adversary, Satan prowls like a lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Pet. 5:8). And John divulged that the devil continues to go between heaven and earth to bring accusations about you and me before the Lord (Rev. 12:10).

Why Does This Matter?

As I detail in my book, Silence Satan, this all matters so you are aware of the source of your struggles and how to handle them. Rather than blame these on the weather or a chemical in your brain, many of the temptations and obstacles you face are the result of a devil trying to get you to slip up or trip up in order to report to God about how you messed up.

But here's great news: If you're a Christian, when the devil attempts to report your mistakes to God, it falls on deaf ears. An incredible word of victory that John proclaimed just after he revealed Satan's whereabouts is that "They [Christians] overcame him [the accuser] by the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 12:11a). Yes, because you're covered by the pure, spotless DNA of Jesus, God sends Satan away, giving no ear to his accusations. But too often, when the devil returns to earth, we become his audience. Accordingly, many of the mind games and much of the guilt and shame you experience are the result of giving ear to the things God doesn't.

Silence Satan

So next time you hear the voice that nags "Look what you've done" or "You're too much of this" or "You're not enough of that" silence it with the truth: "Shut up, devil! You are defeated by the blood of Jesus!"

Kyle Winkler equips people to live in victory. His mobile app, Shut Up, Devil!, is the No. 1 spiritual warfare app; and his recent book, Silence Satan, has helped thousands shut down the enemy's attacks, threats, lies and accusations. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Get daily encouragement from Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.

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