It is very hard to detect. Colorless and odorless, it may catch its victims unawares. Perhaps over half of all deaths by poisoning worldwide may be traced to this single culprit: carbon monoxide. However, there is no need to panic. There are ways to detect that gas and to protect yourself. Many people wisely install warning monitors and then carefully heed any alarms.
Like carbon monoxide, Satan is invisible, very hard for humans to detect, and extremely dangerous. But God has not left us without help. You need not fear Satan if you take advantage of the following gifts God offers.
The power of choice. James 4:7 tells us: “Oppose the Devil, and he will flee from you.” Although Satan is powerful, he cannot force you to do things that you do not want to do. You have a choice. First Peter 5:9 says: “Take your stand against him [the Devil], firm in the faith.” Remember, Satan left after Jesus firmly rejected the three temptations. (Matthew 4:11) You can likewise choose to resist Satan’s efforts.
Divine friendship. James 4:8 encourages us to “draw close to God.” Jehovah personally invites you to cultivate a close friendship with him. How can you do that? The best way to start is to learn more about him from the Bible. (John 17:3) What you learn about Jehovah will move you to love him, and that love will, in turn, motivate you to do his will. (1 John 5:3) As you draw closer to your heavenly Father, how will he respond? James continues: “[God] will draw close to you.”
The promise of protection. Proverbs 18:10 reads: “The name of Jehovah is a strong tower. Into it the righteous one runs and receives protection.” Of course, that does not mean that God’s personal name is some kind of good-luck charm. Rather, it means that those who truly revere God’s name can call on him for protection at any time.
A practical example. Acts 19:19 tells us something enlightening about newly converted Christians in Ephesus: “Quite a number of those who practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them up before everybody. And they calculated their value and found them worth 50,000 pieces of silver.”* Those Christians destroyed any objects associated with spiritism, regardless of monetary value. That example can do us a lot of good today. This world is steeped in the occult and spiritism. Even spiritistic items and practices that seem innocent may invite demonic influence. It is vital to keep such things out of your life, at any cost.—Deuteronomy 18:10-12.
Rogelio, mentioned in the opening article of this series, did not believe in the Devil during his first 50 years. But then he reconsidered his views. Why? “For the first time in my life, I obtained a Bible,” recalls Rogelio. “Knowledge from the Scriptures convinced me that the Devil exists. That same knowledge now protects me from falling victim to his influence.”
“Knowledge from the Scriptures convinced me that the Devil exists. That same knowledge now protects me from falling victim to his influence”
Would you like to see the day when Satan no longer exists? You can. The Scriptures foretell a future time when the Devil, who misleads so many, will be “hurled into the lake of fire and sulfur.” (Revelation 20:10) Of course, physical fire and sulfur cannot harm an invisible spirit creature. Therefore, the lake of fire must represent eternal destruction. Satan will be gone forever. What a joyful time that will be for lovers of God!
In the meantime, keep learning all you can about Jehovah and his ways.* Imagine being alive when it can, at last, truthfully be said, “Satan does not exist!”
If the silver piece in question was the Roman denarius, the sum would have equaled the combined daily wage of 50,000 average workers—a substantial amount!
For more information about Satan and spiritism, see chapter 10 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? Ask any of Jehovah’s Witnesses for a copy.