(see also SATAN)
God indeed has the Devil in a chain, but has horribly lengthened out the chain.
That there is a devil is a thing doubted by none but such as are under the influence of
On a recent trip to Haiti, I heard a Haitian pastor illustrate to his congregation the
need for total commitment to Christ. His parable: A certain man wanted to sell his house
for $2,000. Another man wanted very badly to buy it, but because he was poor, he couldn't
afford the full price. After much bargaining, the owner agreed to sell the house for half
the original price with just one stipulation: He would retain ownership of one small nail
protruding from just over the door.
After several years, the original owner wanted the house back, but the new owner was
unwilling to sell. So the first owner went out, found the carcass of a dead dog, and hung
it from the single nail he still owned. Soon the house became unlivable, and the family
was forced to sell the house to the owner of the nail.
The Haitian pastor's conclusion: "If we leave the Devil with even one small peg in
our life, he will return to hang his rotting garbage on it, making it unfit for Christ's
Dale A. Hays, Leadership, Vol X, #3 (Summer, 1989), p. 35.
Christians must not fear or ignore the devil. Both positions are dangerous. The hog
nosed snake is an evil looking reptile which responds to the threat of danger with two
ruses. First, it impersonates a pit viper, coiling and striking and hissing viciously. If
this fails to intimidate the attacker the snake turns belly up, opens its mouth and lolls
its tongue out, playing dead. If it is picked up and placed right side up it simply turns
over and resumes the death ruse again. It seems to realize that if it cannot bluff, it has
to mimic death.
Richard Lovelace, Demon Possession, ed. J. Montgomery.
Writing in Moody Monthly, Carl Armerding recounted his experience of watching a wildcat
in a zoo. "As I stood there," he said, "an attendant entered the cage
through a door on the opposite side. He had nothing in his hands but a broom. Carefully
closing the door, he proceeded to sweep the floor of the cage." He observed that the
worker had no weapon to ward off an attack by the beast. In fact, when he got to the
corner of the cage where the wildcat was lying, he poked the animal with the broom. The
wildcat hissed at him and then lay down in another corner of the enclosure. Armerding
remarked to the attendant, "You certainly are a brave man." "No, I ain't
brave," he replied as he continued to sweep. "Well, then that cat must be
tame." "No," came the reply, "he ain't tame." "If you aren't
brave and the wildcat isn't tame, then I can't understand why he doesn't attack you."
Armerding said the man chuckled, then replied with an air of confidence, "Mister,
he's old--and he ain't got no teeth."
Carl Armerding, Moody Monthly.
Theologians tell a story to illustrate how Christ's triumph presently benefits our
lives: Imagine a city under siege. The enemy that surrounds they city will not let anyone
or anything leave. Supplies are running low, and the citizens are fearful. But in the dark
of the night, a spy sneaks through the enemy lines. He has rushed to the city to tell the
people that in another place the main enemy force has been defeated; the leaders have
already surrendered. The people do not need to be afraid. It is only a matter of time
until the besieging troops receive the news and lay down their weapons. Similarly, we may
seem now to be surrounded by the forces of evil -- disease, injustice, oppression, death.
But the enemy has actually been defeated at Calvary. Things are not the way they seem to
be. It is only a matter of time until it becomes clear to all that the battle is really
Richard J. Mouw, Uncommon Decency, pp. 149-150.
Two 6 year olds struggled with the problem of the existence of the devil. One boy said,
"Oh, there isn't any devil." The other, rather upset, said, "What do you
mean, there isn't any devil? It talks about him all the way through the Bible!" the
first replied, "Oh that's not true, you know. It's just like Santa Clause, the devil
turns out to be your dad."
G. Lewis, Demon Possession, ed. J. Montgomery.