We are told to fear God but also taught to fear the devil, which leads some people to wonder if Satan and God have equal powers…Here is what the Abrahamic religions and religious scholars have to say on the matter.
Satan, the devil, is known by many names. Movies books and television teach us to fear Satan as a powerful being. We fear that the devil can harm us and that demons can possess us. But is this really true?
Conversely, some people believe that Satan is simply a myth, a metaphor for evil, and not a real entity.
The Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) all believe that Satan is a real being that possesses certain powers. The Holy Scriptures of these religions teach that Satan, or the devil, is an angelic being, created by God. The original name of this angelic being was Lucifer, but when he was cast out of heaven by God for rebelling, his name became Satan.
These religions teach that angels have specific duties and powers. Lucifer was one of the most powerful archangels, and when he was cast down to the Earth, now as Satan, God gave him dominion over the Earth with limited powers.
In the book of Job, chapter 1 we learn several things: Satan is the accuser of mankind. That Satan roams the earth continually. (Also see 1 Peter 5:8) That God allows the existence of evil in the world, which he did not create, yet keeps in check. God allows Satan to tempt mankind but not to directly harm humans. God only allowed Satan to harm Job’s belongings, but not harm Job yet.
Holy Scriptures teach that God is an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being. God is all-powerful, with the ability of creation. God is everywhere at once. God is omniscient, with the ability to observe all things at all times past, present, and future.
Einstein and a number of physicists have shown that is theoretically possible to be an observer where our human notion of time and space does not exist. This observer could see both past and the future. With science proving this, the Bible seems less far-fetched and, in fact, accurate.
Einstein once wrote that the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion. In other words, time itself is an illusion. Reality is timeless.
This also concurs with the notion of Holy Scriptures that existence is timeless, that we will live again for eternity and that God and his creation as timeless.
Satan has none of the powers that God has. God created Satan. The Bible teaches that Satan was cast out of heaven along with a third of the angels who rebelled along with him. These fallen angels are now called demons. They work with Satan to tempt mankind.
Angels, as messenger beings, have the ability to influence human thoughts. Demons, being angels, have the same ability and tempt mankind toward rebellious and evil thoughts. However, angels do not possess the ability to override human will.
Humans have to willingly choose to engage in evil. In other words, the cliché saying of “the devil made me do it” is not true. While the devil can use temptation to suggest ideas, a human being still must willingly choose to act out of their own will.
God has the power at all times to stop Satan and demons. However, God has a plan that is laid out in the book of Revelation in the Bible. At some point in the future, Satan will be bound forever and his power will be no more. Until then, God has allowed Satan to have limited powers. It is God’s will for certain things to occur until the time of the end.