For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
An angel of light
The image of the devil is portrayed as a red-horned creature with a scowling face holding a pitchfork as his forked tail sweeps about in a menacing manner. He may be portrayed as a dark figure with frightening eyes and smooth speech. Smoke seems to rise from wherever he walks. His voice is crackling and deceptive. Children fear him. Adults are lured by him. The world trembles. And that is how Hollywood paints the picture of our Adversary. Truth would suggest another picture.
The apostle Paul dismisses the view of Satan being an ominous being and calls him an “angel of light.” Being the great deceiver the devil does not want us to see him for what he really is. When he appeared to Eve in the garden he came in a cunning manner. His intent was not to scare the woman but to entice her. As an angel the devil would immediately put at ease his victim. Coming in the visage of light the tempter would make a person feel secure in the mistaken belief he was sent from God. It is then, as a roaring lion, he devours his victim.
An angel of light looks like an angel of light. Will the real angel of light please stand up? Satan will not reveal himself so we must reveal him. We believe Satan because we believe an angel of light is truth. But truth is not found in the appearance but in the words. As the father of lies Satan cannot speak the truth. To reveal the devil we have to listen to his words. Eve knew the words of God but she allowed herself to believe another version of the truth. The greatest tool the devil uses on us is not to take us down some dark alley but to show himself in broad daylight and make us believe his word is good. Liar. He does not mind us believing in God as long as we also listen to his words. Liar.
The greatest lie embraced by man is that Satan does not exist. He is the master craftsman to masquerade as an angel of light to deceive the saints. He is real, he is powerful but he is defeated. We are not saved by angels but the Son of God. Truth is found in Jesus not angels. Salvation is by the blood of God’s son not angels. Remember that Satan portrays himself as an angel because he knows he cannot portray himself as the Son of God. When an angel of light whispers in your ear today remind the devil of his destiny.
Satan does not here fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Temptation)