Scriptures of all religions testify to demonic beings and powers. Their chief is known by various names: Satan, Lucifer, Iblis, Mara, Samael, Beelzebub and Angra Mainyu, among others. Some of them we met in the accounts of the human Fall and the origin of evil. yet the Devil is continually active, drawing people’s hearts to do wickedness. While rationalists have difficulty accepting the reality of the Devil, a glance at the history of the twentieth century and its horrors makes plain that the capability of human beings to inflict evil on one another transcends reason. Pope Paul VI said of the Devil,
We know that this dark and disturbing spirit really exists, and that he still acts with treacherous cunning; he is the secret enemy that sows errors and misfortunes in human history… who finds his way into us by way of the senses, the imagination, lust, utopian logic, or disorderly social contacts in the give and take of life.
The Devil’s hooks are many and various. scriptures teach that when a person desires to do a small evil, the Devil has a claim and can influence him to do something far worse. conversely, people on a religious path experience the Devil’s temptations precisely at the point where they are about to make great progress.
Belief in the power of the Devil does not imply dualism, although in some religions—Zoroastrianism most notably—God and the Devil are in eternal rivalry. For the monotheistic faiths that teach the goodness of God’s creation, the demons themselves are resultant beings, angels who fell from their original status as God’s servants to become the enemies of God. Father Moon explains that the fall of the angel Lucifer occurred at the human Fall, at which time he becomes Satan, the powerful demon who asserts dominion over human beings. Following these are passages describing the Devil’s nature and the various temptations and stratagems he uses to capture human beings. We should be aware that the key to overcoming Satan is to purify ourselves of every characteristic that resembles him—selfishness, arrogance, greed, craving for sensual pleasures—and instead live a life fixed on God and eternity.
And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Revelation 12.9How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you said in your heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the depths of the pit.
Isaiah 14.12-15 (KJV)
And when We said to the angels, “Bow your-selves to Adam,” they bowed themselves, save Iblis; he said, “Shall I bow myself to one whom You have created of clay?” He said, “What do you think? This [creature] You have honored above me, if You defer me until the Day of Resurrection I shall assuredly master his seed, save a few.”
Said We, “Depart! Those of them that follow you—surely hell shall be your recompense, an ample recompense! And startle any of them whom you can with your voice; and rally against them your horsemen and your foot [soldiers], and share with them in their wealth and their children, and promise them!” But Satan promises them naught, except delusion.
The Lord God spoke to Moses, saying, “That Satan… is the same who was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying, ‘Behold, here am I; send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that not one soul shall be lost. Surely I will do it; therefore give me my honor.’
“But my Beloved Son, who was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said to me, ‘Father, Thy will be done, and the glory be Thine forever.’
“Therefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give to him my own power; by the power of my Only Begotten [Christ], I caused that he should be cast down; and he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice.”
Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4.1-4 (Latter-day Saints)
And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by Him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day; just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.