Q: Where did the devil come from? Has he always existed? And is he just as powerful as God? Sometimes I think he must be, since evil seems to be winning most of the time. — W.Q.
A: Only God is eternal; only God has always existed, and only God will always exist. And only God is sovereign and all-powerful (even if we don’t always see his power at work). God alone is “the high and exalted One … who lives forever, whose name is holy” (Isaiah 57:15).
Although the Bible doesn’t tell us exactly where the devil came from, he apparently existed before God created the world (as did the angels). He actually may have been one of the angels God created until he rebelled and tried to take God’s place. The Bible says, “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God. … I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to the realm of the dead” (Isaiah 14:13-15).
Never forget, however, two important truths about Satan. First, he is a very powerful spiritual being who is absolutely opposed to God, and he will do everything he can to block God’s plans. He tempts, he deceives, he destroys and he even kills when it suits his purpose. The Bible says, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Second, never forget that the devil is a defeated foe! By his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ overcame the power of sin and death and Satan and hell. And some day his victory will be complete; Satan will be bound and his power destroyed, and Christ will rule forever and ever. Is your hope and trust in him?
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or visit www.billygraham.org.