According to many religions the Devil is an evil spirit that opposes God or good spirits. Devils are supposed to tempt people to be wicked. The chief tempter is called the Devil and may command many lesser devils. In Judaism and Christianity, the Devil is also known as Satan. In Islam, the religion of the Muslims, the Devil is known as Iblis. Sometimes the religious belief in devils is combined with folklore about ghosts and demons. Most Oriental religions do not accept a single supreme Devil, such as Satan or Iblis. These religions teach that countless devils of equal rank try to harm human beings.
In the Old Testament, the Devil is a shatan, a Hebrew word that means opponent. The Devil serves as a kind of accuser or prosecutor in God’s heavenly court. In the Book of Job, which dates from about the 600’s to the 400’s B.C., God permits the Devil to test the faith of Job by overwhelming the man with misfortunes. Through the centuries, the Devil became an increasingly evil figure. By the time of the New Testament, he had become the opponent of God and had been expelled from heaven because of his rebellious pride. Since then, the Devil has spitefully tempted humanity to turn against God. In Christianity, the Devil also rules hell, where he and his followers punish the damned.
In many works of art and literature, Satan and other devils are portrayed with animal features, particularly bat’s wings, split hooves, and a barbed tail. These features probably symbolize the beastly lust and passion that the Devil represents. Many modern theologians consider the Devil to be a symbol of the power of evil, of the worst qualities of human nature, or of the destructive forces in the universe.
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The evil the Devil possesses is very powerful, it is used to try and deceive people, make people do what they do not want to do.