During the apocalyptic period from 200 B.C.E. to 100 C.E., there were numerous books that were created, called the pseudepigrapha, a collection of false writing, telling of visions and revelations of the end of the world-connected with the problem of evil. In the apocalyptic period, the Jewish people were deeply concerned with evil, why it occurred, and why God allowed it to happen. One such text from the apocalyptic period was called the book of Enoch, in which the author writes in the words of Enoch (a great man from the book of Genesis who was lifted to heaven by God), who had a vision of Sheol (the underworld) and sees certain angels who lusted after the daughters of men and had left heaven in a fallen state. These fallen angels were now called Watchers for their interest in women defiled them before God and was done in direct defiance of God.
These fallen angels, Belial, Mastema, Azazel, Sammael, Satanail, and Semyaza, had one leader, Satan, who orchestrated their fall from heaven. Satan and his band of Watchers were punished by God for their evil actions and outright defiance and were banished for all eternity from heaven. This story explains the reasoning for the definite barriers between God and Satan, with God being righteous and the devil being evil.
The next evolution in building the devil's character is witnessed in the New Testament's Synoptic Gospels and the book of Revelations. In the New Testament there are numerous narratives of Jesus casting out people possessed with demons. In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus is tempted in the desert by the devil himself; this depiction elevated the devil to a definite symbol of an evil tempter, and Jesus makes references to the devil and the coming age where the devil will tempt humans into taking his path (Mark 13: 1-31).
In the New Testament the devil becomes a central figure in the book of Revelations, which foretells the devil and his army of demonic servants battling with Jesus and his army of righteousness in a cosmic endtime battle between good and evil.
The devil, with his demonic and evil characteristics that were so graciously awarded to him through the centuries by humans out of fear and as a way to explain evil in their world, has maintained an element of fear through his powers even in the modern Western world. The devil was created from Pan and other figures that were well-known to the ancients. Through this process of taking what they know and putting a face to evil, the devil continues to be re-invented in modern times as new faces of evil emerge.
The image of the devil remains today a symbol of evil and is used to explain the divine balance of good and evil. The devil will continue to be the figure through which moral decisions are reconciled, ensuring that the world seeks a path toward righteousness, steering clear of this symbol of evil from ancient times to end times.