DEMONOLOGY : Satan And Demons

DEFINITION

 

In Christian theology, demonology is the study of Satan and demons.  It includes the study of such topics as the origin of Satan, his former position, his fall, results of his sin, his present location,  his activities and attributes, and his names.  It also includes the original position and fall of demons,  their attributes, their names, the organization of demonic forces, their activities, and the final destination of Satan and demons.

 

THE ORIGIN OF SATAN

 

Satan was originally created by God:

 

            All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.     (John 1:3)

 

For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him.  (Colossians 1:16)

 

God does not create evil.  Satan was perfect when he was originally created by God, but was given a free will to choose good or evil:

 

            Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created till iniquity was found      in thee.  (Ezekiel 28:15)

 

THE FORMER POSITION OF SATAN

 

The Bible describes the original position of Satan in Ezekiel 28:12-17.  Read this passage in your Bible before proceeding with this lesson.  When Satan was originally created, he was an angel of God.  He was one of the Cherubim class of angels and was holy, wise, beautiful, and perfect.  He was the leader among the cherubs and is called a “guardian” or “covering” cherub. His name was originally Lucifer which means “light bearer” (Isaiah 14:12).  He was given a position on God’s holy mountain and apparently led in worship (Ezekiel 28:13).

 

What a brilliant, beautiful picture of Satan in his original position is given in the Word of God.  He was decked with precious stones set in gold (Ezekiel 28:13; Exodus 28:15-21). He is described as a gem of precious stones, but a gem has no light of its own. It is not beautiful in a dark room.  Its beauty is in its ability to reflect light from without.  When God created Lucifer, He made him with a capacity to reflect the glory of God to a greater degree than any other created being.  God was the light that made Lucifer radiate beauty.

 

THE FALL OF SATAN

 

Satan did not retain this glorious position, however.  The Bible describes his rebellion and fall:

 

How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning.  How art thou cut down to the ground which didst waken the nations. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north;  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to Hell, to the sides of the pit.  (Isaiah 14:12-15)

 

Thine heart was  lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hadst corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness. (Ezekiel 28:17)

 

Satan’s fall from his angelic position occurred because of pride and rebellion demonstrated in five wrong attitudes.  Satan said:

 

-I WILL ascend unto Heaven:  He wanted to occupy the abode of God–Heaven–desiring equal recognition.

 

-I WILL exalt my throne above the angels of God: He not only desired to occupy God’s abode, but he also coveted His rule over the angelic hosts.

 

-I WILL sit also upon the mountain of the congregation:  According to Isaiah 2:2 and Psalms 48:2, this is the center of God’s earthly rule.  Satan desired to rule the earth as well as the angels.

 

-I WILL ascend above the heights of the clouds:  The clouds speak of the glory of God.  Satan wanted God’s glory for himself.  (The following verses document clouds in relation to the glory of God:  Exodus 13:21; 40:28-34; Job 37:15-16; Matthew 26:64; Revelation 14:14-16.)

 

-I WILL be like the Most High: God has many names by which He is known.  Why did Satan choose  this particular  name?  He selected this title because it reflects God as “possessor of Heaven and earth” and Satan coveted that position.

 

RESULTS OF SATAN’S SIN

 

Here are the terrible results of Satan’s sin:

 

Banishment From Heaven.

 

Because of his rebellion, Satan was cast out of Heaven by God:

 

            …I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God…I will cast thee to the ground…      (Ezekiel 28:16-17)

 

Corruption Of Character.

 

Lucifer, once created for God’s glory, became Satan with a character that opposed all God is and does.

 

Perversion Of Power.

 

Satan’s power was once used for God’s glory, but now it is disruptive and destructive.  According to Isaiah 14 he weakens the nations (verse 12), causes the earth and governments to tremble (verse 16), and prevents those taken as his prisoner from finding any relief (verse 17).

 

Destined To The Lake Of Fire.

 

Satan is destined to end up in the lake of fire (Isaiah 14:15).

 

Defection Of Other Angels Of God.

 

When Satan fell from Heaven he did not fall alone. He took with him a portion of the angelic

host of Heaven who participated in his rebellion against God.  This group of angels are now part of an evil force of demons.

 

Entrance Of Sin In The Universe.

 

When Satan rebelled, sin entered the universe.  As a result, there were two actions God could have taken:

 

-He could have struck down Satan and killed him, but if God had brought down the first enemy in this way, there would always have been  the possibility of another rebellion.  The history of Heaven would have been marked with similar disasters.

 

-The other action was the one which the Bible indicates that God took. The claims of Satan to superior power should have their complete trial on earth in the span of eternity we call time.

 

When God created the first man and woman, the trial on earth began.  The story of the temptation of Adam and Eve by Satan and their fall into sin is recorded in Genesis chapter three.  The battle is still underway on earth.  That is what spiritual warfare is all about.  Satan is still seeking power, position, and worship. But he is already a defeated foe.  Jesus overcame the power of Satan through His death and resurrection, and Satan’s final destiny is already confirmed in the Bible.

 

 

 

SATAN’S PRESENT LOCATION

 

Satan is present in the world in spirit form:

 

And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou?  Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.  (Job 1:7)

 

Be  sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.  (1 Peter 5:8)

 

Although Satan is present in the world, he is not omnipresent, which means he cannot be every place in the world at one time as God can. This is why he employs a host of demons to accomplish his plans.

 

SATAN’S ACTIVITIES

 

Satan has access to the presence of God and operates on the earth, including the “air” or region above the earth:

 

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.  And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou?  Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.  (Job 1:6-7)

 

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.  (Ephesians 2:2)

 

Satan is a murderer (John 8:44); an adversary (1 Peter 5:8); a liar (John 8:44); and accuser of believers (Revelation 12:10).   He tempts believers (Acts 5:3);  plants counterfeits among believers (Matthew 13:38-39); tries to defeat believers through demonic activity (Ephesians 6:12); and incites persecution against believers (Revelation 2:10).  We may summarize the activities of Satan by noting that they are always directed against God, His plan, and His people. He will attack you in the areas of your worship of God, the Word of God, your Christian walk, and your work for God.

 

Satan works in the lives of unbelievers by blinding their minds to the truth of God’s Word (1 Corinthians 4:4); snatching the word out of their hearts (Luke 8:12); using them to oppose the work of God (Revelation 2:13); and deceiving them (Revelation 20:3).

 

THE ATTRIBUTES OF SATAN

 

Unlike God, Satan is not omniscient (knowing all things).  If Satan could foresee the future he never would have allowed Jesus to die on the cross.  He would have known that the death of Jesus would overthrow his power and provide a way of escape from the bondage of sin for all mankind.

 

Satan is not omnipotent (all powerful).  Jesus said the power of God within you is greater than the power of Satan. For those who believe in Jesus, Satan is already a defeated foe (John 12:31). He is strong only to those who yield to him.  His power is limited by the power of God (Job 1:10-12) and he is only able to overcome a believer as they yield control to him.

 

Satan is a spirit, but he also has attributes of a real personality. The Bible teaches that he is:

 

Intelligent And Subtle.

 

            But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so your        minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)

 

Emotional.

 

            And the dragon was wroth with the woman… (Revelation 12:17)

 

Self-willed.

 

            And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive    by him at his will.  (2 Timothy 2:26)

 

Powerful.

 

            …Prince of the power of the air… (Ephesians 2:2)

 

Deceitful.

 

            Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the         devil.  (Ephesians 6:11)

 

Fierce And Cruel.

 

            Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about,    seeking whom he may devour.  (1 Peter 5:8)

 

Deceptive.

 

            And no marvel:  For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

             (2 Corinthians 11:14)

 

 

 

THE NAMES OF SATAN

 

The Bible gives many names for Satan which reveal more about his nature and activities. Satan was originally called the “anointed cherub” and “Lucifer” before his rebellion.  Other names for Satan are:

 

Abaddon (Hebrew word for a destroying angel):      Revelation 9:11

Accuser of the Brethren:                                             Revelation 12:10

Adversary:                                                                  1 Peter 5:8

Angel of bottomless pit:                                             Revelation 9:11

Angel of light:                                                             2 Corinthians 11:4

Apollyon (Greek word for destroyer):                        Revelation 9;11

Beelzebub:                                                                  Matthew 12:24; Luke 11:15; Mark 3:22

Belial:                                                                          2 Corinthians 6:15

Deceiver:                                                                     Revelation 12:9; 20:3

Destroyer:                                                                   Revelation 9:11; 1 Corinthians 10:10

Devil (means slanderer):                                             1 Peter 5:8; Matthew 4:1

Dragon:                                                                       Revelation 12:3

Enemy:                                                                        Matthew 13:39

Evil One:                                                                     1 John 5:19

God of this world:                                                      2 Corinthians 4:4

King of Tyrus:                                                             Ezekiel 28:12-15

Liar, father of lies:                                                      John 8:44

Murderer:                                                                    John 8:44

Prince of the devils:                                                    Matthew 12:24

Prince of this world:                                                   John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11

Prince of the power of the air:                                    Ephesians 2:2

Satan (means adversary):                                            John 13:27

Serpent:                                                                       Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 1:3

Tempter:                                                                      Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5

Roaring Lion:                                                              1 Peter 5:8

Ruler of darkness:                                                       Ephesians 6:12

Spirit that works in the children of disobedience:      Ephesians 2:2

 

You can recognize the power of Satan from his attributes and names. Because he is a deceptive, powerful enemy the Bible warns:

 

Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.  (1 Peter 5:8)

 

Neither give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:27)

 

 

 

 

THE ORIGINAL POSITION AND FALL OF DEMONS

 

God originally created all of the angels, some of which later became demons:

 

All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.  (John 1:3)

 

For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him.  (Colossians 1:16)

 

Demons were originally like the other angels of God with the same attributes and positions as the good angels. When Satan rebelled against God, a portion of the angels participated in his rebellion, so God cast them out of Heaven, along with Satan. They were no longer good spiritual beings (angels), but were evil spiritual beings (demons):

 

And there was war in Heaven:  Michael and his angels fought against the dragon (Satan); and the dragon fought and his angels. And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in Heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:  he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.  (Revelation 12:7-9)

 

If demons are not “fallen” angels, then we have no other Biblical explanation for their existence. Satan cannot create his own forces, because all things were created by God.  There are two groups of these fallen angels.  One group is actively opposing God and His people on earth. Another is confined in chains:

 

            For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to Hell, and delivered      them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment…(2 Peter 2:4)

 

And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. 

(Jude 6)

 

The leader of both the confined demons and active demons is Satan, who is called the “prince” of devils  (Matthew 12:24).

 

THE ATTRIBUTES OF DEMONS

 

In their original sinless condition,  demons had the same attributes as the good angels previously discussed in this chapter. In their present evil state these demons:

 

-Are spirits:                                         Matthew 8:16; Luke 10:17, 20

-Can appear visibly:                            Genesis 3:1; Zechariah 3:1; Matthew 4:9-10

-Can speak:                                         Mark 5:9, 12; Luke 8:28; Matthew 8:31

-Believe:                                              James 2:19

-Exercise their wills:                            Luke 11:24; 8:32

-Demonstrate intelligence:                  Mark 1:24

-Have emotions:                                  Luke 8:28; James 2:19

-Have recognition:                              Acts 19:15

-Have supernatural strength:               Acts 19:16; Mark 5:3

-Have supernatural presence:              Daniel 9:21-23

-Are eternal:                                        Matthew 25:41

-Have their own doctrine:                   1 Timothy 4:1-3

-Are evil:                                             Matthew 10:1; Mark 1:27; 3:11; 1 Timothy 4:1-3

-Know their destiny:                           Matthew 8:29

-Recognize Christ:                              Mark 1:24

 

THE NAMES OF DEMONS

 

Demons are called evil spirits six times and unclean spirits 23 times in the New Testament. They are also called devils (Mark 1:32) and the devil’s angels (Matthew 25:41).

 

THE ORGANIZATION OF DEMONIC FORCES

 

Let us review how God organized His angelic host…

 

For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: All things were created by Him, and for Him. (Colossians 1:16)

 

Satan is an imitator, not an originator.  He has organized his demons in a structure similar to that of God’s forces:

 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against  powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  (Ephesians 6:12)

 

Satan has organized his forces into:

 

Principalities: Satan has apparently divided the world into principalities.  A principality is the territory or jurisdiction of a prince. Satan has placed a prince over each principality.  The prince of the power of Persia is mentioned in Daniel 10.  This is how Satan works on a national level influencing governments and nations.

 

Powers and rulers of darkness of this world: These two categories of demons are at work in the social, political, and cultural systems of the world.

 

Spiritual wickedness in high places: High places in the Old Testament were where worship occurred.  This is how Satan works in the religious structures of the world.

These organized groups vary in size.  For example, Mary Magdalene had seven demons in her prior to her deliverance. Luke 8:30 mentions  a “legion” of demons.  A legion in the Roman army which ruled at the time of Jesus referred to 6,100 foot soldiers and 726 horsemen!

 

These organized forces of demons…

 

Are united: In  the case of the demonized man recorded in Luke 8:30 the demons were united in their purpose, which in this example was possession of the man. The same is true in Matthew 12:45 and in the case of Mary Magdalene who had seven demons (Luke 16:9).  Jesus spoke of the unity of demonic powers when He said:

 

And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his            kingdom stand?  (Matthew 12:26)

 

Have different degrees of wickedness: This is illustrated by the demon who said he would return with other evil spirits:

 

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a  man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself and they enter in and dwell there: And the last state of that man is worse than the first… (Matthew 12:43-45)

 

Can change their functions: The demon in 1 Kings 22:21-23 declared he would be a lying spirit.  This indicates he was not one previously for he said “I will be…”.

 

Are of different kinds:  The Bible teaches that man has a body, soul, and spirit. There are three major kinds of demons that attack the body, soul, and spirit of man:

 

-Evil or unclean spirits:  They are responsible for immoral acts, unclean thoughts,    oppression, possession, depression, and other strategies of Satan.  They afflict the mind      and the soulish nature of man (Matthew 10:1; 12:43; Mark 1:23-26).

 

-Spirits of infirmity: These spirits afflict the physical body (Luke 13:11).

 

-Seducing spirits:  Seducing spirits afflict the mind, soul, and spirit of man, influencing     him to believe false doctrines as indicated in 1 Timothy 4:1.  These spirits seduce           people to believe a lie and be damned to eternal punishment.  They are spirits of false             doctrine, cults, false Christs, and false teachers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ACTIVITIES OF DEMONS

 

Throughout the Bible, demons are shown as being active on earth.  Since Satan is not omnipresent (present everywhere), he uses demons to do his will and accomplish his purposes throughout the world.  Demons constitute the “powers of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) and the “powers of darkness” (Colossians 1:13) and are all under the control of Satan.

 

Demons follow orders given by their prince, Satan. We can summarize the activities of demons by noting that they are always directed against God, His plan, and His people.  Demons extend Satan’s power by promoting deception and wickedness.  They affect individuals, governments, nations, and the world system. They promote rebellion and slander both God and men.  They promote idolatry, false doctrines, and blind men and women to the truth of the Gospel.

 

These demons attack unbelievers driving them to commit terrible evil acts, to murder, injure, commit suicide, etc.  They affect the mind with emotional problems and the body with physical infirmities.  They demonize people by residing within a person, exerting direct control of the person’s mind and actions.  Demon possession is characterized by unclean spirits (Mark 5:2); fits of rage (Mark 5:4); unusual physical strength (Mark 5:3); resistance to spiritual things (Mark 5:7); and alteration of voice and personality (Mark 5:9).

 

Demons attack believers by temptation, deception, depression, and oppression. They try to keep you in bondage to habits and fear.  They accuse and slander you, create division among the people of God, and attack your physical body.  Demons are used by Satan to attack the Word of God, your worship of God, your walk with God, and your work for God.

 

Unbelievers are defenseless against the attacks of demonic powers, but believers have powerful spiritual strategies for dealing with these mighty spiritual forces of evil.  Believers can protect themselves from demonic activity, be delivered when affected by demons, and have the authority to bring deliverance to others through Jesus Christ.  For detailed studies on spiritual warfare, demonic activities, and deliverance see the Harvestime International Network course entitled “Spiritual Strategies: A Manual Of Spiritual Warfare” available at: http://www.harvestime.org

 

THE FINAL DESTINATION OF SATAN AND DEMONS

 

Hell is prepared for the Devil and his angels.  It will be their final destiny:

 

Then shall He (Jesus) say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41)

 

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)

 

 

 

When Jesus confronted two men possessed by demons, their response was:

 

            …What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to     torment us before the time?   (Matthew 8:29)

 

The demons in the possessed men knew their final destiny was a place of eternal torment and that there was a set time for their banishment there.

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