Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
The Bible teaching about demons and Satan is disconcerting to say the least. Us humans seem to have, at times, a fascination that nears obsession with the creatures. It goes in cycles. In the Christian world interest peaks, and then fades – only to gain momentum later. Some churches major on fighting them.
In the popular media they are portrayed in movies, books, and TV. In this brief study, I want to lay out an overview for you. You might want to look at the two studies on angels to gain a wider background on these horrid beings. I don’t want to give them too much space, because I don’t like them - nor they I.
However, Paul said we should not be ignorant of their tactics; consequently, follow me as we gaze for a few moments into that dark and decadent world of demons.
Angels are real. They are spirit beings with intelligence and will, and they are personal, immortal, beautiful and powerful. Fallen angels also exist (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:7-9). Originally, God created angels “good,” because all creation was good at it completion (Genesis 1:31).
Sadly, some angels became corrupt following the creation week. These fallen, wicked creatures know Christ, are unclean, fierce, and they believe the Bible literally (Mathew 8:29; 10:1; 8:28; James 2:19).
Some fallen angels are bound in prison called Tartarus and kept for judgment because of a specific sin (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; 1 Corinthians 6:3; Revelation 10). The rest of the fallen angels are temporarily free to roam earth and the heavenlies under the rule of Satan – who himself is a fallen angel.
The Bible refers to these fallen angels as demons, and Satan’s angels with him as their prince (Matthew 12:22-27; 25:41; Revelation 12:7-9). They are spirit beings without bodies, but for some twisted reason, have an ardent desire to occupy a body (Mark 5:1-13; Luke 11:24-26).
Being great in number, they give Satan the appearance of being all powerful, knowing, and present everywhere – which he is not (Luke 8:30; Ephesians 6:11, 12).
Their General Work
The Bible teaching about these fallen angels indicates they may cause physical and mental disease, personal injury, and lead people into immorality (Matthew 9:33; 12:22; Mark 5:4, 5; Luke 8:35; 2 Corinthians 12:7; Luke 9:38, 42; 1 Timothy 4:1-3). CAUTION: physical and mental illness is NOT always caused by demonic activity.
These depraved creatures spread false doctrine, have power to work miracles, and they encourage idolatry (1 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 13:12-15; 1 Corinthians 10:20). During the life of Christ there was increased demon activity, and evidently there will be at His return (Revelation 9:20; 13:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:9).
This is not to suggest¬ that demons are not very active in the world today. Paul wrote, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the owners, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
One way to classify their work is this: demons serve their monstrous master in two ways. First, there is demon possession. This refers to a demon occupying a human body and is the counterpart of a Christian being filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). The effects of demon possession are varied (e.g. Mark 5:1-5; Acts 16:16-18; 2 Corinthians 11:12-15).
These creatures enter only willing victims who have opened themselves up to their influence. It appears that believers cannot be possessed by demons (1 John 4:4; 5:18).
The second way demons work is by influence outside the body. This takes the form of pressure, oppression, suggestion, and temptation by many methods. This would include temptation to lead people into sin and anti-Christian propaganda.
Their intent is to hinder the purposes of God and extend the influence of Satan. They deceive, discourage, destroy, and divide anything having to do with God, His work and His people. They wage persistent war against Christians (See John 10:10; 1 Corinthians 2:7, 11; 2 Corinthians 11:3, 13-15; Ephesians 4:27-32; 6:12).
Their Leader: Satan
That wicked one is real, and must be taken very seriously (Jude 9). John said of him, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). Paul called him, “the prince of the power of the air,” and placed him at the head of the wicked hordes in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:2; 6:11, 12).
Remember the temptation of Jesus? When Satan offered Him all the kingdoms of this world, Jesus did not dispute that evil one’s claim (Luke 4:5-8).
He is a personal being. There are over 40 titles and names for him (e.g. Isaiah 14:12; Zechariah 3:1; Matthew 4:1; 13:19; Genesis 3:1; Revelation 9:11, chapter 12; Mark 3:22; John 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4). He appears some 52 times in the Bible. Every book of the New Testament mentions him.
This evil enemy of goodness savagely opposes God, and seeks at every turn to thwart God’s purposes. He introduced malevolence into the universe and world and promotes it today. The best explanation of his creation and fall are in Isaiah 14:1-20 and Ezekiel 28:11-19.
This vile agent was originally created by God as a good angel. He originally had a great position with God, and was the protector of God’s throne. He resided in the holy mountain of God, was powerful and perfect in wisdom, beauty, character and conduct (Ezekiel 28:11-19).
Satan became filled with violence, pride, untruth, corruption, and sinned in rebellion. He yearned to share God’s position, control the host of heaven, and God’s chosen people. He craved God’s glory, power and authority (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ephesians 1:20, 21; 2 Corinthians 12:2).
The core of his sin was that he wanted to be like God. He is a master counterfeiter of God’s work. This depraved spirit being exerts power within the realm of nature politics, religion, and the spiritual realm (Job 1:16-19; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Revelation 12:10).
He has preachers, a church and doctrine (1 Corinthians 11:13-16; Revelation 2:9, 13; 2:24; Genesis 3:4, 5). In his corrupt and wicked nature, this depraved individual deceives the world and accuses Christians. He has a passionate hatred for people (Job 4:15-21).
One thing to remember: Satan’s power is limited to only what God permits (Job 1:12).
Satan was cast out from God with the angels who followed him. He now dwells in the heavenlies, exercising influence over the world system. Eventually, he and his fallen angels will be cast down into the lake of fire (Ezekiel 28:14-16; Luke 10:18; Ephesians 6:11, 12; Revelation 12:9; 20:1-3, 7-10).
There you have the very sordid story of Satan and demons. Be watchful, wary, and stand firm in your faith (e.g. Ephesians 4:27; 6:10-19; 1 Peter 5:8-10; James 4:7). Don’t become obsessed with them. Esmie and I wish you all the best. Remember, you are on God’s side, and nothing can separate you from God (Romans 8:1; 28-39).
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. What are your thoughts about demons? Do they exist? Give your reasons.
2. Why do you suppose Satan rebelled against God?
3. Based on Bible data alone, what are some activities of demons?
4. Read Ephesians 4:27; 6:10-19; 1 Peter 5:8-10. Describe a strategy of staying victorious over our wicked enemies arrayed against us.
5. What is Satan’s goal in his war against God?
6. How would you describe the balance of power between God and Satan?
7. Look up and identify five names for Satan. What do they tell you about his activities?
8. Since Satan is temporarily over this world system, where do you suppose the greatest concentration of demonic activity is at? Think of the political, economic, ideological, and media centers.
9. Is Satan’s power absolute and unlimited? Explain, based on the Bible.
10. What stands out to you the most in this Bible study? Explain.<br>
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