“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence….[R]emember that the devil is a liar” (IX of Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis)
We must not live in ignorance. Satan was once the mightiest of angels; he is no fool. Why would he waste his time prowling after those who already reject God? His primary goal is to capture us, the believers who are seeking after God. His mission is to lead us astray, and he does so by offering us a counterfeit truth. His role as the crafty deceiver is evident from the beginnings of human history, and Adam and Eve are a single instance of his undeniable effectiveness. The serpent offered Eve a false reality by planting a seed of doubt that perverted God’s truth.
In Challies’, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, he points to the evil White Witch in Narnia who “could make things look like they aren’t.” She is unable to create and relies on imitation. The winter in Narnia is a perversion of real winter, and the food she gives Edmund is a perversion of ordinary food. Narnia provides insight as to how evil functions in our world. The result is “a counterfeit, exactly like the real thing but a cheat. … Evil can only parody goodness, it cannot invent new forms of real beauty and joy. That is why in fairy tales you have to beware of attractive disguises—nice old crones selling apples in the forest, say, or angels of light” (Devin Brown, Inside Narnia). Satan cannot create, and because of this he is limited to counterfeiting what is already created. He twists and perverts what is meant to be true.
Satan can pervert anything that God has created. Lewis drives home this point in Letter 9 of Screwtape Letters as Screwtape advises his devil apprentice on how to lead humans astray:
“Never forget that when we (demons) are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s (God’s) ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His (God’s) invention, not ours. He (God) made the pleasures, yet all our research has not enabled us to produce even one. All we can do is to encourage humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy (God) has produced and indulge them in ways which He has forbidden. We always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least mindful of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever-increasing craving for an ever-diminishing pleasure is the formula. It is more certain; and it’s better style.”
Satan is not stupid: he is subtle and crafty, and he knows our weaknesses; he and his army of fallen angels cause chaos and seek to lead us astray. We must be humble enough to recognize that we are in the midst of a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12) and use the armor of God (Ephesians 6:13) as our defense.
We have no business entertaining Satan, in any form he may take. Ghosts, Ouija Boards, and the like—why are we so ignorant that we fail to recognize that these are some of the most obvious devices of the devil? There is no such thing as a “good ghost” and nowhere does God tell us that he will speak through material objects. Simply put: if it doesn’t have a body, it is bad. On earth we have bodies that “are a temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:19). And in heaven, we are promised new bodies that “bear the likeness of the Man from heaven” (1 Cor. 15: 49). The Bible never states that we will be body-less. Satan and his demons are wholly spirit; they have never had nor will ever be able to have a body. We will never be caught in limbo. “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.”(1 Cor. 15:51) If it is of God, it will have a body; if it doesn’t you have no business with it.
Do not entertain the devil. Satan is not stupid, and he is out to get you.