The Devil by Dr. Grant Richison
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil
walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may
devour." 1 Peter 5:8
The word "devil" is not a proper name but a functional
title. It comes from two words through and to throw. This
conveys the idea to strike through. Therefore, "devil" comes
to mean to thrust through, as thrusting a sword through the
body of someone. The Devil is one who traduces, calumniates,
slanders, accuses and defames.
The word "devil" also means adversary. The idea "adversary"
meant an opponent in a lawsuit (Matthew 5:25; Luke 12:58;
18:3). The idea then is to accept a complaint against
someone for a legal review. The Devil--who is actively and
continuously hostile toward us legally accuses us before
The Devil would place cancerous thoughts in the minds
of people about us. If he can make us disillusioned by these
personal attacks on us, he might draw us into apostasy.
The word "Devil" occurs thirty-eight times in the New
Testament. The word does not occur in the Old Testament; it
is strictly a New Testament word. The Devil is in the Old
Testament but under a different name.
Principle:Christian need to grasp their legal rights before
Application:We can laugh at the Devil and not take him
seriously. However, he takes us very seriously. The Devil is
just as real as Jesus Christ is. If you do not believe in
the Devil, it is because you probably do not believe in
Jesus Christ. The Devil is not like Santa Claus or the
Easter Bunny. He is a real person.
The Devil launches litigation against our souls. He accuses
us before God Himself. As our antagonist, the Devil maligns,
slanders and falsely accuses us. Occasionally he mentions
our name in a very unfavorable light to God. He accuses us
and slanders us (Revelation 12:9,10). However, the Devil is
a disbarred accuser. Every time he mentions our name before
God the Lord Jesus steps forward and appeals to His blood
(Hebrews 2:14,15; 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2). Justification means
we are legally right before God forever. Case dismissed.
We have three enemies: the world, the flesh and the Devil (1
Corinthians 16:9). The world is our external foe, the flesh
is our internal foe and the Devil is our infernal foe. God
expects us to come off the field of battle victorious over
all three foes (1 John 5:4). Do not become broken and old
before your time. These three foes will take their pound of
flesh if we allow them.
"Walks about" means goes about as a course of life. The
Devil's course of life is to destroy the dynamics of every
Christian life. He ranges far and wide in search of prey.
The Devil stalked Job,
"And the LORD said to Satan, 'From where do you
come?' So Satan answered the LORD and said, 'From going to
and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on
it'" (Job 1:7).
"And the LORD said to Satan, 'From where do you come?' So
Satan answered the LORD and said, 'From going to and fro on
the earth, and from walking back and forth on it'" (Job
Principle:The Devil's range can reach into our lives.
Application: The Devil uses stealth. He stalks every
Christian. He is now on the loose. He is on the prowl
looking to trap you in his devices.
The Devil always seeks opportunities to undermine our
Christian walk. He is constantly on the prowl. He is not
omnipresent for he can only be in one place at a time.
However, he has a massive infrastructure of emissaries
(demons) who do his bidding. They seek to seduce every one
The Devil says, "I am looking for the spiritually naive.
I'm patrolling the earth for simple souls who think that I
am not real." The idea that the Devil walks about in a red
union suit, having a forked tail and cloven hoofs and
carries a pitch fork is a religious fairy tale. He
camouflages himself with this idea
The Devil "seeks." That is what the Lord Jesus came to
"For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save
that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).
"Devour" comes from two words to drink and down coming to
mean to gulp or swallow down. "Devour" means to cause
something to pass through the mouth and into the stomach--to gulp down.
The Devil not only wants to nibble on Christians, he seeks
to devour them completely. He wants to consume them
completely. He wants to devour Christians by destroying
their faith so completely that they wholly cease from
walking dynamically with God. He wants to ruin their
testimony. The Bible presents the Devil as a ferocious beast
Principle:The Devil seeks to destroy our testimony totally.
Application: The Devil wants to swallow Christians whole. He
is interested in their total destruction.
"Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not
ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11).
Jesus came seeking sinners; now the Devil seeks saints. He
looks for Christians with their guard down. He could not
keep Christians from becoming Christians, now he wants to
make them ineffective Christians. He will do everything in
his diabolical power to render them ineffective. He wants an
impotent Christian and an impotent church. He will slander,
hinder and handicap you. He will do everything in his power
to keep you from sharing Christ with a non-Christian. He
lost you but now he seeks to make sure that no one around
you will come to Christ.
The Devil is not interested in nibbling on us, he seeks
to gulp us down. He looks for those who play into his
clutches. He lurks in the spiritual bushes waiting for the
Christian to come along. Do you have a spiritual mine
detector? If we do not stay on the path, he will have a
booby trap waiting to deform us for life.
"And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself
into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if
his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of
righteousness, whose end will be according to their works"
(2 Corinthians 11:14-15).
"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to
stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11).
The Devil seeks to destroy the testimony of the
Christian and to delude the non-Christian (Colossians 2:8).
He wants to blind them to the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
"But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled
to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age
[the Devil] has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light
of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of
God, should shine on them" (2 Corinthians 4:3- 4)..
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Dr. Grant C. Richison
Grant Richison is a native of Detroit MI, and a graduate of William Tyndale College, Dallas Theological Seminary and Luther Rice Seminary where he earned degrees of Bachelor of Religious Education, Th.M. (Theology), D.Min. (Ministry).
Grant served two churches in the U.S. and Grant Memorial Baptist Church in Winnipeg, MB for 20 years. That church grew from 300 to 2000 during his pastorate. In the last years of his ministry in Winnipeg, 300-500 people made professions of faith per year. He taught part-time at three Canadian seminaries and served on a number of national boards.
Grant joined Campus Crusade because of his passion for evangelism. Previously the Director of Leadership Ministries, he is presently accomplishing his vision through several ministries of Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada. He also served as the Interim CEO of Campus Crusade for Christ, Canada.
He writes the popular Today's Word daily devotional, as well as many messages on our site.
Dr. Richison is available for speaking engagements anywhere in the world.