Posts Tagged 'Satan'



Luke and Satan

devil

Luke 11:14-22

Jesus, during His earthly ministry, was clever and always in charge in spite of what those who were trying to stymie His work thought.  In language not unlike Exodus 8:19, Jesus answered His critics in such a way that made it almost impossible to conclude that God was NOT at work in His work.

This is the finger of God, they exclaimed to Pharaoh. But Pharaohs heart was hard and stubborn, and he wouldnt listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.  (Exodus 8:19  TLB)

No matter the evidence, there are people, like Pharaoh and some the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, who would just never believe the truth.  In Luke 11, these men accused Jesus of casting out demons using the power of Satan.  Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but people obsessed with religion will always sound ridiculous in the light of the simplicity of God’s truth.

This is a familiar story in the life of Jesus; it’s seen in Matthew and Mark (Matthew 12, Mark 3) with slight variations.  A demon-possessed man who had lost the ability to talk had been set free and as a result, started talking.  Those who had witnessed this miracle – or it might be more accurate to say these miracles –  were amazed.  But mixed in with this sense of amazement was a nagging doubt and perhaps some fear.  Matthew’s account records this reaction from some:

The crowd was amazed. Maybe Jesus is the Messiah! they exclaimed.  (Matthew 12:23  TLB)

And here, the reaction of some bordered on outright hostility:

No wonder he can cast them out. He gets his power from Satan, the king of demons!  Others asked for something to happen in the sky to prove his claim of being the Messiah.  (Luke 11:15, 16  TLB)

So, the crowd was definitely divided.  Some thought that perhaps this Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, some thought He was a much darker Person, getting His power from Satan.  Still others wanted to a sign.

There will always be the “sign-seekers” in our midst; people who are indecisive and unable to form an opinion, even when the truth is right in front of them.  This kind of people always want more proof or evidence.  It’s odd that they would want to see a sign in the sky when demons were cast out on earth.  They had the proof or evidence right in front of them:  a man had been set free from demonic possession and he started talking.  A man’s life and heart had been changed.  But these religious types wanted more, like they always do. 

In this story we see another truth, later stated succinctly by Paul:

For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodiesthe evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world.  (Ephesians 6:12  TLB)

1.  The real enemy

No wonder he can cast them out. He gets his power from Satan, the king of demons!  (Luke 11:15  TLB)

In the original, Jesus is accused of getting His supernatural powers from “Beelzebub.”  Who or what is that?  Sometimes in the New Testament, Satan is referred to as “Beelzebub,” but where did that name come from?  The answer is found back in 2 Kings 1:2–

Israels new king, Ahaziah, had fallen off the upstairs porch of his palace at Samaria and was seriously injured. He sent messengers to the temple of the god Baal-zebub at Ekron to ask whether he would recover.  (2 Kings 1:2  TLB)

In the New Testament, “Baal” is replaced with “Beel,” leading to “Beelzebub,” which means “lord of the dwelling.”  We can see why this name for Satan is used in connection with demon possession!

In Luke, these religious leaders were saying that Jesus was using Satan’s power to drive these demons out of the unfortunate man.  And in Mark’s account they even went so far as to accuse Jesus of being possessed by Satan Himself!

We can only imagine how humiliating this must have been for Jesus to go through.  Here He was, the One sent from Heaven to heal the sick, restore the oppressed, and seek the lost being called “demon possessed” by so-called religious wizards of smart.

But what of Satan?  What do we know about him?

(a)  His character

In verse 21, Satan is described as being “strong and armed.”   The strength of the devil is in the nefarious nature of his character:  he is a liar and a deceiver and he is cunning.  But his real strength lies in our weakness; he knows our Achilles’ heel and he is an expert at exploiting it.  As he did with Eve in the Garden, Satan comes to us in wisdom and in friendship, often appearing exactly opposite to his true self.

God never sent those men at all; they are phonies who have fooled you into thinking they are Christs apostles.  Yet I am not surprised! Satan can change himself into an angel of light, so it is no wonder his servants can do it too, and seem like godly ministers.  (2 Corinthians 11:13-15a  TLB)

(b)  His condition

In addition to his craftiness, Satan is described by Jesus as being “armed.”  His armor is the darkness, not the light; he does his best, most effective work under the cover of darkness.

...but one night as he slept, his enemy came and sowed thistles among the wheat.  (Matthew 13:25  TLB)

In Ephesians 2, Paul describes Satan as a “prince of the air,” and the lost of this world are under his control:

You went along with the crowd and were just like all the others, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air, who is at work right now in the hearts of those who are against the Lord.  (Ephesians 2:2  TLB)

Satan’s armor is the exact opposite to that of God’s.  His belt is the belt of deceit – he has been a liar from the very beginning.  Satan does not tell the truth.  His breastplate is that of wickedness – he is wicked from his innermost being; there is no good thing in this creature.  He wears boots of cruelty and his shield is the a shield of doubt and faithlessness.  On Satans head is the helmet of damnation and his sword is the vile imagination of his heart.  But the Christian has a different kind of armor:  Ephesians 6:11-18.

(c)  His occupation

Further, we are told Satan guards his palace.   What is his palace?  Its the unredeemed heart!  He guards it even as he owns it.  He guards those hearts that belong to him by continually whispering lies into the persons ears.  I dont need to go to church,I dont need God right now,Before I die, Ill get right with God, and things like that.  This is Satans occupation, and hes expert at it.

And the sad part is, the more anxious the captive heart is to leave, the closer Satan guards that heart.  Only the power of One greater than the captive can set that captive heart free!

2.  The only deliverer

...until someone stronger and better armed attacks and overcomes him and strips him of his weapons and carries off his belongings.  (Luke 11:22  TLB)

Of course, the stronger someone is none other than Jesus Himself.  Didnt Jesus previously prove Himself the stronger of the two in during his period of temptation?  Of course Jesus is stronger and better armed.  There is no contest between Satan and Jesus.

(a)  His character

Christs character is bound up in His Word, which is strong. Nothing can stop Gods Word from accomplishing that which He wants it to accomplish.  Christ the deliverer is strong enough to overcome any obstacle that stands in His way; any physical obstacle or supernatural one.  His word is strong and His work cannot be undone because it is built on a firm foundation.  Not time, not eternity, not any power of this world or the unseen world can ever hinder any part of Christs work.  Jesus Christ, the great deliverer, has come to seek and to save the lost and with Him,  nothing is impossible.

(b)  His style

Our Lord is the aggressor:  He attacks, wrote Luke.  When Jesus confronts the powers of darkness, He is not some meek, milquetoast, namby-pamby, scrawny pacifist!  He aggressively and without mercy destroys the enemys hold on the hapless, hopeless heart.  It must be this way according to Genesis 3:15-

From now on you and the woman will be enemies, as will your offspring and hers.  You will strike his heel, but he will crush your head.  (Genesis 3:15  TLB)

Thats God talking to Satan in the Garden of Eden.  As far back as then Satan knew he was on the losing end of history.  But the point to take home is this:  Jesus attacks, He does not wait around to be attacked.  Just as David went out to fight Goliath, so Jesus attacks our enemy.  David fought on behalf of Israel, and so Jesus fought on our behalf. 

I have trodden the winepress alone. No one was there to help me.  In my wrath I have trodden my enemies like grapes.  In my fury I trampled my foes.  It is their blood you see upon my clothes.  For the time has come for me to avenge my people, to redeem them from the hands of their oppressors. I looked but no one came to help them; I was amazed and appalled.  So I executed vengeance alone; unaided, I meted out judgment.  I crushed the heathen nations in my anger and them stagger and fall to the ground.  (Isaiah 63:3-6  TLB)

(c)  His victory

The great Deliverer attacks and overcomes Satan and strips him of his weapons.  What a picture of the victorious Christ!  We go back to Genesis 3, which promises the final victory of Jesus and final defeat of Satan.  Satan’s helmet was broken and crushed; his armor of darkness and dread has been destroyed.

Since we, Gods children, are human beingsmade of flesh and bloodhe became flesh and blood too by being born in human form; for only as a human being could he die and in dying break the power of the devil who had the power of death.  (Hebrews 2:14  TLB)

In death, Jesus broke the power of the devil!  It’s in the past tense; it’s something Jesus already did.  No human being needs to be under the sway of Satan any more.  The Bible clearly teaches that he is a defeated enemy.  Unfortunately, Satan is still around, trying desperately to convince people that he still has power.  The only power Satan has over anybody is the power they willingly give him.  The truly sad thing about mankind is that we prefer the darkness.  Many people give themselves over to Satan; they allow him to rule their hearts.  In spite of the fact that these people are miserable, Satan has duped them into thinking that HE, not Jesus, is what’s best for them.

It’s the biggest news most people have never heard:  Satan has been defeated.  Satan  has no real power.  For the Christian, this verse should engraved on our hearts:

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  (1 John 4:4  TNIV)

This incident ends with an oft-quoted verse:

Anyone who is not for me is against me; if he isnt helping me, he is hurting my cause.  (Luke 11:23  TLB)

The crowd that witnessed the miracle(s) and heard what Jesus had told the religious types needed to hear verse 23.  Some in the crowd may have thought Jesus was the Messiah.  Some were on the fence.  Others were in outright opposition to Jesus.  The thing is, when it comes to Jesus, nobody can be sitting on the fence; neutrality is just not an option.  Jesus never, ever compromised with Satan, and we shouldn’t either.  But by the same token, we must be FOR Jesus, we can’t be “sort of for Him, sometimes.”  And we must be actively serving.  If we are not, we will be opposing Him.  In the Kingdom of God, there are no “lukewarm,” part-time Christians.

MAN AND HIS SIN PROBLEM

eden apple

Throughout the days of Creation in Genesis, after each thing and creature God created, He pronounced them as being “good.” Yet in looking around at our world, we would be hard pressed to say everything in it is “good” today. There is sickness, crime, violence, disease, and trouble all over. God certainly never created any of those things, so the question thinking people ask is, Where did evil come from? Naturally the Bible tells us.

1. Sin is real

In spite of man’s best efforts to dismiss the reality of sin, sin is real. Over the centuries since the Fall, man has created ingenious ways to excuse or justify his sin. Here are some of the more familiar philosophies man has developed in response to the sin problem.

Atheism

The atheist believes there is no God; if there is no God, then it follows there can be no sin. Man may harm others, and he may harm himself, but since there is no God, his evil acts are not sin.

But the Bible teaches something very different. It teaches that all wrongdoing, regardless to whom it is directed, is really directed against God, and therefore all wrongdoing is sin.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. (Psalm 51:4)

Determinism

This philosophy teaches that man has no real freedom of choice. He thinks he does, but in reality his choices are determined by outside forces or laws. Determinism teaches that a person is not always responsible for his wrongdoings.  Man, according to the determinist, is just a helpless slave to his circumstances.

Once again, the Bible teaches something completely different. Man was created with a free will and is able to choose between good and evil. This is implied in every exhortation and command.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4)

Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. (John 7:17)

One of the consequences of determinism is the notion that “sin” is a sickness and the “sinner” should be pitied, not punished for his wrongdoing.

Hedonism

Hedonism, a philosophy named after a Greek word for “pleasure,” is a philosophy that teaches the most important thing in life is for the individual to be happy, no matter what. Behind this philosophy is the desire to lessen the severity of sin, blurring the line between right and wrong. In our society today, the most common expression of hedonism is in the area of marriage and relationships. Many a marriage, even Christian marriages, has ended when one partner claims they are unhappy and would be happier with someone else.

The problem with modern hedonism, practised by many ignorant Christians, is that the individual justifies his sin, claiming that the evil act he just committed may be wrong for some, or may be wrong sometimes, but that in his particular case, what he did wasn’t really sinful.

But the Bible never allows for exceptions in the case of sin. When it comes to sin and human behavior, there are no “special circumstances” whereby an evil act may be justified.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Isaiah 5:20)

Evolution

Those who believe in evolution think sin is nothing more than man giving into the base behavior common to his less evolved ancestors. If man evolved from animals, then sin is merely “animal-like” behavior and eventually, in time, all that “animal-like” behavior will be evolved out of man.

The Bible teaches that man was created by God in God’s image. Man did not grow out of an animal and is not the product of a random collection cells.

2. The essence of sin

The beginning of sin is temptation, even though temptation to sin in NOT sin. Jesus Himself was tempted, yet because He never gave into those temptations, He is said to have lived a sinless life. Temptation to sin is all around us. There is no way to avoid temptation. Therefore, the problem of sin runs much, much deeper than any temptation.

Temptation

a. Two trees in the Garden

Genesis 2 is a remarkable chapter. In it, we have all the background information on man’s Fall. This chapter tells us what man’s first home was like. It speaks of man’s intelligence and his first occupation in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2 speaks about the first couple and the first wedding. It speaks also of two trees, which some have called “the two trees of Destiny.” In the Garden of Eden was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life.

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16, 17)

Notice neither tree is described as being sinful. Man was given complete freedom to satisfy his need for food with just one caveat: he could not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Why? Was there something evil about the tree? Was there something wrong with its fruit? No there wasn’t.  Did God put that tree there to tempt Adam and Eve?  Absolutely not!  God did not then and He would not now ever tempt anybody to sin.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone… (James 1:13)

That one tree was placed in the Garden of Eden to provide a test whereby man could freely choose to serve God in obedience, developing the kind of character that mirrors God’s.

b. The source of temptation

Many people miss the point of what happened in Genesis 3. Many people think man was tempted by the tree of knowledge, but the Bible does not say that.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, `You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? ” (Genesis 3:1)

The temptation to sin came, not from a tree, but from the serpent, Satan. Now, we don’t see serpents running around whispering into the ears impressionable young women today. Today, Satan works through other people. For example, we read this in Matthew 16:22, 23–

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

What was Peter doing? He was trying to convince Jesus to find another way to fulfill His mission without having to die. There wasn’t an evil bone Peter’s body, Satan was working through one of Jesus’ friends and Peter didn’t realize it.

c. The subtly of temptation

Temptation to sin is always subtle. Rarely is temptation obvious. In the Garden, Satan first went to Eve. She was “the weaker vessel,” which modern Bible readers often misunderstand. Eve was “the weaker vessel” because she never directly heard the prohibition from God. She heard it second hand from Adam. Satan twisted God’s words and caused Eve to doubt three aspects about God and God’s prohibition:

  • Satan convinced Eve that God was withholding something very good from her. In effect, she began to doubt the goodness of God.

  • Satan convinced Eve that God didn’t really mean what He said. She began to doubt His righteousness.

  • Satan convinced Eve that God was jealous of man; that He didn’t want man to become as smart as He is.

3. The guilt of sin

Adam and Eve both knew they bore responsibility for their actions. It is true that Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent, but inside they knew what they did was wrong. They saw their nakedness and tried to cover themselves. They tried to hide from God. No, these two people knew what they did was wrong.

The one who sins is the one who will die. (Ezekiel 18:4)

Just as Adam and Eve tried to hide among God’s creation, so man, especially Christians, will hide either in the pleasures of sin or in the midst of God’s blessings.

4. Judgment of sin

When man sinned, God pronounced three separate judgments, Genesis 3.

The Serpent

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.” (Genesis 3:14)

The curse seems to suggest that originally the serpent may have been beautiful and may have walked upright. Because it became an instrument for man’s fall, it was cursed and degraded in appearance. But why was the serpent cursed if it was only a tool in Satan’s hands? Peter was a similar tool, yet he wasn’t cursed. It’s because of verse 15:

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

God would use the serpent’s curse as a type and a prophecy of the curse upon Satan and the powers of evil. Adam in particular, but all men in general, needed to see the horrendous repercussions of what Satan did when he tempted man to sin. This is also meant to be an encouragement to man. Even though man sinned, man remained an upright creation. The serpent, however, did not. In other words, even though the curses upon men and women were about to come, there would be hope.

The woman

To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. ” (Genesis 3:16)

This seems to suggest that originally bearing children would not have been painful for women. The second part of the woman’s curse must be viewed in light of man’s curse.

The man

Work had already been appointed for man (Genesis 2:15), but the penalty for his sin was that the work would suddenly become hard and lifelong. It would be disappointing and it would be arduous. The curse on man was certainly far-reaching, affecting even the environment.

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, `You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)

But notice within the marriage relationship between men and women, while the curse upon women would be that “her desire would be for her husband” alone, man was not similarly cursed. His desire, within that relationship, would NOT just be for his wife. That does not excuse infidelity or thoughtlessness or selfishness, but it may explain why there exists between men and women a sort of “great divide” in their ways of thinking and in their expressions of emotions.

Finally, notice there is a death penalty associated with sin. Man was created with capacity of not dying physically; he could have lived indefinitely in his present body and state had he not sinned.

While the relationship that existed between God and the first couple suffered on account of their sin, their communion with God was restored, “sort of,” thus overcoming spiritual death. But it was now a different kind of communion. Man could approach God, but only through prayer and repentance. For man to return to God in a personal way, he must now do so through death.

SATAN, DEMONS, AND FALLEN ANGELS

index

Satan, Demons and Fallen Angels

Some people don’t believe in a personal devil. Yet, when we look around at the evil in the world today, it’s hard to believe that man’s imagination is able to conceive of it all without help.

There is evil and wickedness in the world. Admittedly, much of it comes from “man’s inhumanity to man.” But a lot of it has its origins in the spirit world. The Bible makes it plain that not only is there a personal devil, but also demons and fallen angels. Where did these spirit beings come from? Where are they now? What are they doing?

1. Satan, the Devil

There are two man passages of Scripture that tell us most of what we know concerning Satan’s origin: Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-19. The idea that Satan is a hideous-looking, horned and cloven hoofed creature is not Biblical. His name at his creation was Lucifer, meaning “the light-bearer,” suggesting that he was, in the beginning, the most beautiful and glorious angel ever created.

His fall from grace is given in the context of history (especially in the Ezekiel passage). Two historical kings from two historical kingdoms had blasphemed against God and forced their people to worship them as gods. God, speaking through His prophets, gives a series of warnings to His people and the people of these two historical kingdoms. The essence of these warnings is simple and direct: if God punished the arrogance and prideful blasphemies of His highest angel, Lucifer, no mere human king will escape that same punishment for those same sins.

Satan has been described as a “superhuman being” because in some ways he appears to be far more powerful than any mortal. But as we study this very real personal devil, we must remember what the New Testament teaches:

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

His character

The devil’s character is made known by his names.

  • Satan means “adversary.” Throughout the Bible, we see Satan as God’s adversary and also man’s. He stands opposed to the will of God and he continually seeks to hinder God’s purposes. Not only that, Satan actively seeks to destroy the Church of Jesus Christ through false teaching from within and persecution from without.

  • Devil means “slanderer.” What an apt name for one who lies about God (Genesis 3:2-5) and man (Job 1:9; Zechariah 3:1, 2; Luke 22:31).

  • Apollyon and Abaddon are Greek and Hebrew (respectively) words meaning “destroyer.” They are applied to Satan in Revelation 9:11. He seeks to destroy the works of God and God’s people.

  • Serpent. In both Genesis and Revelation, Satan is referred to as a serpent.

  • Tempter (Matthew 4:3). The Devil tempts God’s people to commit sin and acts of rebellion. God, on the other hand, tests our faith for our good.

  • The prince and god of this world. This is how he is referred to in John 12:31 and 2 Corinthians 4:4. This is a good name because it describes the Devil’s sphere of influence: our world.

His activities

Satan’s names best describe what he does. This list also applies to demons and fallen angels.

  • Nature. Satan constantly does these things:

    • Opposes the work of God, 1 Thessalonians 2:18

    • Hinders the Gospel, Matthew 13:19

    • Possesses, blinds, deceives and ensnares the unsaved, Luke 22:3; 2 Corinthians 4:4

    • Afflicts people, Job 1:12

  • Tempts Christians, 1 Thessalonians 3:5

  • Sphere. Satan’s sphere of activity is the world, but he is not only to be found among the wicked and unsaved. He is known as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14) so it makes sense that he, for example, attends church services and gatherings of believers. In fact, his agents, demons, have been referred to as “ministers of righteousness” in 2 Corinthians 11:15.

  • His driving force. We can understand why Satan hates God so much. But why man? He hates man because God loves man so much. Even the vilest of sinners still bears the stamp of God. Satan especially detests Christians because more than sinners, we remind him of Jesus Christ and we are everything he is no longer and can never be again.

  • His limitation. Satan is not like God. In fact, he is more like man than like God. All of his powers are limited. Satan is definitely strong and powerful, but he is already a defeated foe and he is only strong to those who do not resist him, James 4:7. His power is limited by God Himself. For example, he cannot tempt (Matthew 4:1), afflict (Job 1:16), kill (Job 2:6; Hebrews 2:14), nor touch a Christian without God’s permission.

His Destiny

From very early in the history of the world, Satan’s destiny has been revealed:

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

Since the Garden of Eden, Satan’s career has been on the downhill skids. He is as aware of this as we are. Here is a being, kicked out of Heaven, living and functioning in a world only temporarily his, knowing his days are limited. During the Tribulation he will cast down (not out) of the heavenly realms to the earth (Revelation 12:9) and during the Millennium he will be locked away in the bottomless pit, and finally, after the thousand-year reign of Christ, he will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10). Knowing all this makes Satan the most miserable and pathetic of all God’s creation.

2. Fallen angels

Some people believe fallen angels are demons. This may or may not be true; the Bible is silent as to the origin of demons. For the purposes of this brief study, we consider fallen angels and demons to be separate and distinct from each other. Understand, however, that other Bible teachers may or may not agree with this view. However, while Bible scholars may be divided as the origin of demons, all agree that they are real.

As we know, God created angels at some point in the dateless past, possibly during His work in Genesis 1. Like man, it seems that angels were give the power of free choice, just as man. Under the influence of Lucifer, a large number of them, swollen with pride and flush with rebellion, sinned and were cast out of Heaven, John 8:44; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6.

At this present time, fallen angels are to be found in various places. Some are in Hell (2 Peter 2:4), and some are in the world (John 12:31; 14:30; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:4, 7-9).

Exactly what evil angels are doing is not specifically addressed but rather inferred in Scripture.

He unleashed against them his hot anger, his wrath, indignation and hostility—a band of destroying angels. (Psalm 78:49)

It is implied that these “destroying angels” were sent to torment wicked people. They also try to separate believers from Christ.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers… (Romans 8:38)

Fallen angels oppose the work of angels:

Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. [13] But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. (Daniel 10:12-13)

It may very well be that the reason some of our prayers today seem slow in being answered is because of spiritual interference.

Fallen angels work with Satan in carrying out his plans in this world.

“Then he will say to those on his left, `Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'” (Matthew 25:41)

There is no hope for the redemption of these fallen angels; their fate is sealed: Hell has been specifically prepared for their eternal punishment.

3. Demons

The Bible does not tell us where demons came from. As was stated earlier, some think that fallen angels became demons, other believe demons are their own created class. This study takes the latter position. Demons, unclean spirits, and evil spirits are one and the same and are not fallen angels.

While we don’t know why, where, or when they were created, the Bible does tell us much about what they do in our world.

  • They inflict disease. Job 1:5-10; Matthew 9:33; 12:22; Luke 9:37-42; 13:11, 16. Thanks to the prologue in Job, we know that when God permitted Satan to inflict disease upon Job, He set definite limits beyond which Satan could not pass. It is unwarranted to suggest that Satan and demonic spirits cause all disease, for the Bible clearly teaches they do not. However, they do cause, through influence, human beings to desire things that may hurt them and cause damage to their bodies. Demonic oppression causes man to think incorrectly, speak in error, and act out of ignorance.

  • They cause mental disorders. Mark 5:4, 5; Luke 8:35. It should be stressed, though, that NOT all mental problems are caused by Satan and demonic activity.

  • They lead people into perversions. Matthew 10:1; 12:43; Mark 1:23-27; 3:11; 5:2-13; Luke 4:33; etc. Satan and demons lead people into all kinds of moral and ethical impurities. In Leviticus 18:6-30, we read a long list of sexual sins and declares that because of these sins, God would punish the Canaanites by kicking them of their land. In Deuteronomy 18:9-14, we learn that it was because of their spiritism and idolatry that they were cast out.

  • They spread false doctrine. 1 Kings 22:21-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 1 Timothy 4:1. Satan and demons lead people astray through false and misleading theology. They twist the words of Scripture and cause preachers to preach and teach out of ignorance, if not outright intentional deception.

  • They try to stunt spiritual growth among Christians. Ephesians 6:12.

  • They possess human beings and even animals. Matthew 4:24; Mark 5:8-14; Luke 8:2; Acts 8:7; 16:16.

  • They are sometimes used by God in carrying out His purposes. Judges 9:23; 1 Samuel 16:14; Psalm 78:49.

4. The destiny of all spirit beings

In bringing this study of angels, demons, and Satan to a close, we need to discuss their future. Just like man has an eternal destiny, so also do all spirit beings.

Angels

It seems as though “good angels” will continue to serve God throughout all eternity. In the New Jerusalem, for example, John saw angels at the 12 gates of the city (Revelation 21:12).

Fallen Angels

Evil or fallen angels won’t fair so well in the future. The Bible teaches clearly they will end up in the Lake of Fire (Matthew 25:41). Meanwhile, many are kept in chains and in darkness until their day of judgment (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). At the coming of Christ, believers will have a part in condemning fallen angels (1 Corinthians 6:3).

Satan and Demons

We have already discussed the future of Satan, and it seems that the future of his minions is linked to his; his punishment will be theirs. Their destiny involves torment for all of eternity.

Martin Luther famously said:

The devil is the ape of God.

Satan, in other words, is the enemy of God who is always trying to copy or counterfeit God’s works. Demon possession, for example, is a terrible counterfeit of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; demon-inspired utterances are a copy of the gifts of the Spirit. Those who are indwelled by demonic spirits have great strength, counterfeiting the power of the Holy Spirit. Satan himself tries to appear very appealing to man; he comes as a friend, but the only thing he is interested in is stealing your soul and making you miserable. The Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to deliver man from the power of Satan and his evil agents and to put them under the care and control of God’s Holy Spirit.


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