The devil and his demons have reign over the earth and hope to destroy the relationship man has with God out of jealousy. While they have some power, they are nowhere near as powerful as God and have limitations to what he can do to humans. Take a look at what you need to know about the devil and his demons and how Jesus came to save us from the destruction he seeks to cause.
What are demons?
In the Bible, demons are often referred to as devils, mostly in King James Version. While the Bible does not give a direct definition of what demons are, experts agree demons are fallen angels as they believe in God (Jude 6:6). 2 Peter 2:4 gives a clear look into the nature of demons, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.”
Additionally, in Matthew 25:41, where Jesus talks in parable, he states, “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. For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger, and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes, and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison, and you did not look after me.”
Jesus makes it expressly clear the devil has his own set, one-third, of the angels who fell (Revelation 12:4). When Satan chose to rebel against God, he took one-third of the angels with him, and they, like Satan, hate mankind because we sin and do not receive the same punishment the devil is destined for if we choose to follow God (Jude 1:6). Furthermore, humans are not messengers but created for the purpose of love, while angels were created to do God’s bidding. Fallen angels or demons now do Satan’s bidding and will reap the same punishment in the end.
Who is the devil?
Satan is an angel, a beautiful angel created by God to serve His purposes like all angels as messengers and God’s workers. When the devil fell, he became the enemy of God (Isaiah 14:12-15). Satan did not want to be subservient to God but be equal. God gave Satan domain over the earth (1 John 5:19) until his eternal punishment (Revelation 20:7-15).
Next, the devil is an incorporeal being not bound by space or matter. However, Satan is not omnipotent or omniscient, but he has wisdom and great knowledge of God as all angels do. Based on his ability to take one-third of the angels with him away from God and sway the minds of man with ease, Satan is persuasive and cunning as well.
Most importantly, Satan is prideful and dangerous to man as his mission is to remove people from God out of anger. Satan even brought about the first sin of man when he convinced Eve and Adam to eat the apple (Genesis 3). Therefore, people who choose not to follow God by default choose to follow the devil.
Origin of demons
Demons, like Satan, originate from the heavens along with the other angels. They were originally angels who chose to side with Satan and fell to earth to serve Satan (Revelation 12:9). The Bible refers to demons in many ways, such as demons, evil spirits, and devils. Hebrew and Greek translations suggest demons are powerful entities that are incorporeal beings outside of space and matter. Like Satan, they are not omnipotent or omniscient, power reserved only for God.
Overall, the Bible gives very little information about the origin of demons as they are not the focus. The devil controls demons as they must have found the situation in the heavens as unsatisfactory as Satan. They purposefully chose to go against their Creator, God and chose to follow Satan and work for him on earth.
Origin of the devil
Satan originated as a creation of God. While God cannot create evil, He gave angels some form of freedom of will; otherwise, Satan could not have rebelled against God. Instead, the devil chose to leave God’s presence and leave his position of honor and leadership in heaven. His pride blinded him and let him exercise his free will to cause a rebellion against God. He was cast out of heaven for his sins, and now he wants revenge on God’s favorites, humans (2 Peter 2:4).
1 Timothy 3:6 says, “He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.” We know not just where Satan started but also where he will end. Furthermore, we know his purpose on earth, to continue his rebellion on earth and lead humans away from God because he does not want us to enjoy life in eternity with God.
Names of demons
Demons are often not mentioned in the Bible, as they are only workers for the devil. However, they do have a few names, starting with angels, their first classification before they left heaven to follow Satan (Jude 1:6). The Bible also lists them as devils in several locations (Leviticus 17:7, Psalm 106:37, Matthew 4:24).
In Psalm 78:49, they are called evil angels and as evil spirits in several other verses, including Judges 9:23, Luke 7:21, and Acts 19:12-17. Sometimes they are even called Legion as they are Satans workers (Mark 65:9, Luke 8:30). However, they are often referred to as spirits with additional adjectives to amplify their deviousness, such as unclean spirits.
Name of the devil
Satan has had many names over the years, starting with an angel or messenger of God. We may never know his celestial titles, but we have many names attributed to him. In Job 1:6, we see the first listing of his name as Satan; however, he appears in the scriptures in Genesis 3 as a serpent.
Other names for the devil include the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), Apollyon (Revelations 9:11), prince of the world (John 14:30), Beelzebub (Matthew 12:27), and many other names. Several of the names are quite familiar such as adversary (1 Peter 5:8), deceiver (Revelations 12:9), evil one (John 17:15), Leviathan (Isaiah 27:1), Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12), prince of demons (Matthew 9:34), and father of lies (John 8:44). He has even been called morning star in Isaiah 14:12 as he was once a light created by God before he fell.
Works of demons
Originally, as angels, the demons were meant to serve God’s purposes as messengers and other functions. However, now they serve Satan working daily in society by hindering people’s walk with or to God. The demons follow Satan’s orders to monitor, control, and manifest outcomes through nefarious means.
Additionally, demons have some control over physical illness (Matthew 9:32-33), and they have the ability to oppress and possess humans (Mark 5:1-20). Their ultimate goals are to temp people away from God and toward a life of sin and damnation (1 Corinthians 7:5). Furthermore, they can cause mental disease (Luke 9:37-42) and many forms of inner monologues to take people away from God.
Another duty the demons perform is to discourage believers and instill false doctrine in Christians (Revelation 2:14). Overall, they hope to blind the minds of unbelievers and take away God’s power over believers through spiritual battle. They hope to destroy the relationship between God and believers while preventing a relationship from forming between unbelievers with God through abhorrent acts.
Works of the devil
Satan has been at work for thousands of years, seeking to destroy God’s creations and claim reign over the heavens and the earth. He started with opposition to God (Matthew 13:39) before imitating his work and destroying God’s work. Since the creation of man, the devil has sought to destroy our relationship with God starting with Adam and Eve.
Before instigating the fall of man, Satan stole one-third of the angels from God. Over time, he attempted to remove the messianic line leading to Jesus to prevent his own demise (Genesis 3:15, 4:25, 1 Samuel 17:35, Matthew, Matthew 2:16). He even tempted Jesus, trying to sway the Messiah from His Father (Matthew 4:1-11).
Furthermore, Satan serves as an enemy of Israel, seeking to destroy their relationship with God as the chosen favorites because of his pride and jealousy. He even goes after the bile creating false doctrine to lead men astray (Revelation 22:18-19). Satan does all of these acts by imitating God (Isaiah 14:14), infiltrating human lives, destruction, and deception as the great liar and thief (John 10:10). Every act he performs is for the purpose of destroying God’s great works and ruining our chances at salvation because he cannot be saved.
What do we know about demons?
The two most important facts we know about demons are they belong and work for the devil and that through God’s power; they cannot control us. Jesus came to deliver us from sin, which Satan instigated, and he has not left us helpless as he sent the Holy Spirit to act as our counselor (John 14:26). While the demons work hard to prevent us from forming and maintaining a relationship with God, our Creator gives us methods to counteract demonic activity through faith, scripture, and training (Ephesians 6:10-18).
What do we know about the devil?
Like the demons, we also know two important facts about the devil. First, he controls the earth (1 John 5:19) and has the power to influence humans. Second, his time is short, and he will be punished for eternity (Revelation 12:12). God has given us free will because He wants us to choose Him, but Satan has always been jealous of the favor God has shown us and hopes to bring about our destruction.
Instead, Satan, in his pride, believes he deserves our worship despite the fact he knows we will die for all eternity with him. Everything you need to know about Satan Jesus says in John 8:44, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies,” and in verse John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
The powers of Satan and demons
Both demons and Satan have limited power over man. First, they are not omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent. This means they are not everywhere at once, do not know all things, and do not have unlimited power. Sadly, their greatest power comes from men. The words we speak aloud give them the information they need to break us down and ruin our relationship with God.
As Satan and his minions prowl around us seeking information (1 Peter 5:8), and as the masters of deception, Satan uses anything at his avail to bring about our weaknesses to keep us from God. In Proverbs 13:3, we learn that, “Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.” James 3:8 goes on to say, “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.”
Many verses tell us to be careful what we say, such as Psalms 141:3, “The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” As Satan cannot read our thoughts, he depends on the words we speak to find the right way to bring about our destruction. Keep the thoughts you want to keep away from Satan in your head where only you and God have access.
While Satan and the demons have some power as they are not bound by space, time, or matter, they are not as powerful as the one who created everything. They have limitations, and moreover, they are afraid of God. James 2:19 says You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that and tremble.”
Yet, Satan has power over the spiritual world (Job 1:6) and may even still have a relationship with God, such as he did in Job. However, most of his power is on earth with us (Hebrews 2:14-15). The enemy wants to destroy us and our relationship with God for his own prideful purposes, but his power will not last long, and we have defenses against him (1 John 4:4).
How did Jesus defeat Satan and demons on the cross?
Scripture clearly states that a conflict exists between Jesus and the angels, as well as Satan and the demons and that sinners have been captured as prisoners of war. The fact was first established by Jesus himself when he stated at the start of his earthly career that he had come to set prisoners free. Second, Jesus said this because there is no way for Satan to free us from his enslavement or for us to free ourselves. As a result, Jesus came as our victorious warrior and liberator.
Our original parents received the first promise of Jesus as our winner over Satan. God initially presented the good news (or gospel) of Jesus to our sinful first mother, Eve, in Genesis 3:15. God predicted that Jesus would be born of a woman and grow up to be a man who would fight Satan and stamp on his head, defeating him even as the snake struck his heel, killing him, and free people from Satan’s sin, death, and hell via Messiah’s substitutionary death.
In 1 John 3:8, we learn that “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” As a result, the Devil’s and his demons’ authority has already been revoked. Matthew 28:18 makes it clear that Jesus now has complete authority, implying that Satan no longer has any influence over Christians.
Satan fell from heaven along with one-third of the angels seeking to take God’s position. However, Jesus came to deliver us from the reign of the devil and gave us the means to prevent demonic attacks. The power of Jesus and God are far-reaching, while the devil’s time is short and limited. Now that you know who and what the devil and his demons can and cannot do, you can seek a better relationship with God and avoid temptation.