When I was speaking at the local mission a few weeks ago I asked how many of those in attendance believed in a real devil. Only several hands went up. Many people do not believe in a real Satan or demonic activity. Does Satan and satanic activity really exist, and to what extent can it influence your life, if you allow it to? How else might one explain the cause behind the evil in the world and the tendency for human beings to do sinful things?
The occult has become more and more a part of the world's culture. Words like wizard, witchcraft, sorcery, magic, and spells, are not just words of fiction. All one has to do is to google these words and all kinds of information and pages will appear. There is a Church of Satan, and there are real witches. There is even a Witches' Voice, Inc.
The Bible mentions many of the same words associated with Satanism. See Deuteronomy 18:10-11, II Kings 21:6, II Chronicles 33:6, Malachi 3:5, Galatians 5:20, Isaiah 8:19, and Revelation 21:8. Each of these passages has a warning to avoid.
Warning is also given to "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." In Ephesians 6:11 it says, "Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil."
If demonic influence is not real and there is no real Satan, then why does the Bible have so much to say about it, and so many warnings to heed?
Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, was himself, demon possessed! This is mentioned in Luke 22:3. "And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve." Then in John 13:2, we are told that at the last supper before the crucifixion that the devil had "already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him."
Even Jesus had a battle with Satan, which is recorded in Matthew 4: 1-11. Jesus was put to the test by Satan, through temptation. Jesus, of course, because he is the perfect Son of God, withstood the temptation without faltering. Not so, with sinful human beings.
If Jesus had a battle with Satan, who are you and I to think that there is no such thing as demonic influence?
It can go beyond influence and temptation. There are people in the Gospels who were possessed by demons, and Jesus cast them out. Are people in the present time possessed by demons? I have an acquaintance who told me about a friend who was demon possessed and who actually heard the AUDIBLE voice of the demon. Thankfully, the demon was called out of that person in the name of Jesus.
Deception is also a big part of satanic activity. Satan is called the "angel of light" in II Corinthians 11:14. He is also referred to as a deceiver. He has been fulfilling this role very well ever since he deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden. There is coming a time soon when Satan will also be in control of an actual human being, in the person of the anti-Christ.
Satan is real and so is his kingdom. He does not want people to come to the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. He does not want Christians living a victorious life. He does not want people to come to a knowledge of the truth.