Your affectionate Brother.
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” MATT 26:41.
That there is an evil spirit, who is permitted to exert an influence upon the hearts of men, is abundantly evident from Scripture. This truth is referred to in the beginning of the gospel of Christ, where it is said Jesus went up into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. He is often represented in the Scriptures as the father of the wicked. “The tares are the children of the wicked one.” “Thou child of the devil.” He is also represented as putting evil designs into the hearts of men. “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” “The devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him.” “Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart, to lie to the Holy Ghost?” Wicked men are spoken of as being carried captive by him at his will. He is also represented as the adversary of the people of God, seeking to lead them into sin, and, if possible, to destroy them. “Your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” These, and numerous other passages, which might be quoted, fully establish the fearful truth, that we are continually beset by an evil spirit, who is seeking, by every means in his power, to injure and destroy our souls.
When we have to contend with an enemy, it is very important that we should know his character. From the Scriptures, we learn several characteristics of the great enemy of our souls.
1. He is powerful. He has other fallen spirits at his command. Our Saviour speaks of the “fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” He is called “prince of the world,” “prince of darkness,” and “the god of this world.” All these titles denote the exercise of great power. He is also called destroyer; and is said to walk about, seeking whom he may devour. Indeed, so great was his power, and so mighty his work of ruin and destruction in this lost world, that it became necessary for the son of God to come into the world to destroy his works. “For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”