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)
If you have questions or comments, please email me.
© 1999-2015 Rodney A. Smith
This article may be downloaded and printed as long as no changes are made to the text, and proper credit is given to the source:
Avoiding stupid mistakes.
Can we really trust the Bible? by Chuck Colson
Can you believe the New Testament?
God Sends Rain on the Just and the Unjust.
How To Pray For A False Teacher
In All Things, God Works for Good.
Jesus, Humble Servant
Moses and God
No One Wins an Argument.
Our Triune God: God the Three in One
Reasoning With a Bible Thumper
Romans Road to Salvation and Sanctification.
Salvation: Walking Through Life Holding Onto the Father's Hand
Same Sex Marriage and the Bible
Satan, the Devil
The Condensed Bible Story. The main characters and events of the Bible condensed into six pages.
The Evolution Story. Scientific reasons why I stopped believing in Evolution and started believing in Creation.
The Old Man and the Flood
The Right Church
When Will the Rapture Be?
Where Do Babies Go When They Die?
Where Do We Go When We Die?
Would God Allow Suffering?
You Can Take It With You!
You're Too Late.