Billy Graham: Satan is a powerful enemy we don’t always recognize

06/25/2014 7:00 AM

06/24/2014 12:26 PM

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: What does the devil look like? I know he’s often pictured in a red suit with horns and a pitchfork and all that, but if he actually appeared to us I’m not sure we’d recognize him. What do you think? — J.Y.

DEAR J.Y.: For centuries people have tried to picture what Satan must look like, and I find it interesting that he’s almost always portrayed as something repulsive, evil and violent. Anything that pictures him as cute or harmless is misleading, for he’s anything but that.

In reality, however, the Bible doesn’t tell us what Satan looks like — and with good reason, for he’s not limited to any physical form or image. Instead, Satan is a powerful spiritual force that pervades the whole creation, far greater than any person or beast or other creature.

Satan is not as powerful as God, nor is he eternal like God; someday his power will come to an end. But don’t limit him to the mental image you may have of a pitchfork-carrying person in a red suit.

At the same time, the Bible indicates that at times Satan and his demons may take on human form. In his attempts to deceive us, the Bible says, he may even seem like a messenger from God: “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). If our lives are built on Christ and his word, however, we will not be deceived.

Satan’s goal is to keep us from Christ, because he knows only Christ can deliver us from hell and take us safely to heaven. Is your faith and hope in him? “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

© Tribune Media Services 6/26

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