SATAN AND THE DEMONS
All Bible quotes from the World English Bible unless otherwise noted.

 

Satan and his minions are recognized primarily in Christianity and Islam: Christians refer to them as Satan and the demons (a.k.a. Unclean spirits), whereas Islam refer to them as Iblis and the Shaytans. Although most of Christianity teaches that Satan and the demons are living, sentient beings, some sects believe that Satan isn't a real living being, instead teaching that “Satan” is merely the human tendency to sin.

SATAN'S SENTIENCE

According to the Bible Jesus Christ himself considered Satan the Devil to be a real, living, sentient being even to the extent of exchanging words with him (Matthew 4:1-11, Matthew 12:24-26, Luke 22:31, etc.) Scripture also tells us that the Archangel Michael himself had a dispute with Satan and rebuking him at Jude 9. And – interestingly enough – Scripture also shows us two occasions in which God Himself had face to face conversations with Satan (Job 1:6-12, Job 2:1-8). The fact that God, Jesus Christ, and the Archangel Michael could exchange words with Satan strongly supports the idea of Satan being a living, intelligent creature.

SATAN'S NAME

The word “Satan” is not his actual name, it is merely his title. According to Strong's Hebrew Lexicon, the word “Satan” is defined as follows:

Word #7853 satan saw-tan' a primitive root; to attack, (figuratively) accuse:--(be an) adversary, resist.

Word #7854 satan saw-tawn' from 7853; an opponent; especially (with the article prefixed) Satan, the arch-enemy of good:--adversary, Satan, withstand.

In other words, “Satan” is simply a title identifying his position as The Adversary, much the same way that the title “The Fuehrer” identified Adolf Hitler.And, just as Adolf Hitler had his own personal name along with his title, this Satan also has his own personal name.

According to the Bible, Satan's personal name is actually “Beelzebub”. The translation of this name is literally “Lord of the Flies”(Be'el = Lord, Zebub = flies). This personal name for Satan was known among the Pharisees in Jesus' time, as shown when they falsely accused Jesus Christ of being a servant of Beelzebub, and referring to Beelzebub (a.k.a. Beelzebul) as being the ruler of the demons (Matthew 12:24, Luke 11:15-20). Therefore, just as we associate Adolf Hitler as The Fuehrer, we likewise associate Beelzebub as Satan.

OVERVIEW

Satan and his demons are the very embodiment of evil throughout the Bible. The word “demon” originates from the Greek word “daimon”, which is defined in Strong's Greek Lexicon as follows:

Word #1142. daimon dah'-ee-mown from daio (to distribute fortunes); a dæmon or supernatural spirit (of a bad nature):--devil.

Word #1140. daimonion dahee-mon'-ee-on neuter of a derivative of 1142; a dæmonic being; by extension a deity:--devil, god.

The Devil (in contrast to “a devil”) is the same as Satan, which is confirmed when Jesus refers to The Devil as Satan (Matthew 4:1-11). However, as described above in Strong's Lexicon, both Beelzebub and his demons can all be categorized as devils.

Many people wonder why God would create evil beings such as Satan and the demons. However, the real question should be: Would God create such things?

No, He wouldn't.

Keep in mind that God is love (1 John 4:8), and love does not work evil to others (Romans 13:10, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 2 Timothy 2:24). Therefore our Almighty Father is not the one who created evil entities.

If God did not create Satan and the demons, then where did they come from?

The Bible tells us that Satan was once an angel in heaven in association with the other angels. So the question is, what led to Satan's fall from Grace?

It was his vainglorious pride and arrogance. He was a very beautiful Cherub, originally known as Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12 - Darby, Douay-Rheims, King James Version, New King James Version, Wycliffe Bible), which means “The Morning Star”, and he became overly proud of his own beauty. This pride caused him to decide he wanted to be worshiped equally to God Almighty to the point that he wanted to establish his own throne. This is told to us at Ezekiel 28:11-19 and Isaiah 14:12-20 :

Ezekiel 28:11-19:

    (11) Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, (12) Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and tell him, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. (13) You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz, emerald, chrysolite, onyx, jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and beryl. Gold work of tambourines and of pipes was in you. In the day that you were created they were prepared. (14) You were the anointed cherub who covers: and I set you, so that you were on the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire (15) You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you. (16) By the abundance of your traffic they filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I have cast you as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed you, covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. (17) Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I have cast you to the ground; I have laid you before kings, that they may see you. (18) By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your traffic, you have profaned your sanctuaries; therefore have I brought forth a fire from the midst of you; it has devoured you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all those who see you. (19) All those who know you among the peoples shall be astonished at you: you have become a terror, and you shall nevermore have any being.

Interestingly, this passage reveals that Satan was a guardian Cherub stationed in the Garden of Eden before the fall of man. This explains his easy access to Adam and Eve and the tree of Knowledge. This may also explain why Eve didn't question the snake speaking to her: She may have recognized it as the guardian Cherub speaking through the snake and felt no reason to fear him. He was an entity she would have been familiar with. Because Satan let his pride grow unchecked he began to contend for the position of God.

This excessive pride that grew in Lucifer/The Morning Star is also described in the book of Isaiah:

Isaiah 14:12-20:

 (12) How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, who laid the nations low! (13)You said in your heart, “I will ascend into heaven! I will exalt my throne above the stars of God! I will sit on the mountain of assembly, in the far north! (14)I will ascend above the heights of the clouds! I will make myself like the Most High!” (15) Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the pit. (16) Those who see you will stare at you. They will ponder you, saying, “Is this the man who made the earth to tremble, who shook kingdoms; (17) who made the world like a wilderness, and overthrew its cities; who didn’t release his prisoners to their home?” (18 ) All the kings of the nations, sleep in glory, everyone in his own house. (19) But you are cast away from your tomb like an abominable branch, clothed with the slain, who are thrust through with the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit; like a dead body trodden under foot. (20) You will not join them in burial, because you have destroyed your land. You have killed your people. The seed of evildoers will not be named forever.

Returning to the passage in Ezekiel, many people ask how one can suppose that the passage is referring to Satan, for the text references "...the king of Tyre".

Finding the answer requires looking into the background of the word “Tyre”:
According to the Strong's Hebrew lexicon, the name "Tyre" is listed as follows:

#6865 Tsor tsore or Tsowr {tsore}; the same as word #6864; a rock; Tsor, a place in Palestine:--Tyre, Tyrus.

#6864 tsor tsore from #6696; a stone (as if pressed hard or to a point); (by implication, of use) a knife:--flint, sharp stone.

#6696 tsuwr tsoor a primitive root; to cramp, i.e. confine (in many applications, literally and figuratively, formative or hostile):--adversary, assault, beset, besiege, bind (up), cast, distress, fashion, fortify, inclose, lay siege, put up in bags.

Now, keeping these definitions in mind, one needs to also look into the background of the word “Satan”. According to Strong's Hebrew Lexicon the word for “Satan” is defined s follows:

#7854 satan saw-tawn' from 7853; an opponent; especially (with the article prefixed) Satan, the arch-enemy of good:--adversary, Satan, withstand.

And looking at it's secondary reference, we see:

#7853 satan saw-tan' a primitive root; to attack, (figuratively) accuse:--(be an) adversary, resist.

One can't help noticing that the root meanings for "Tyre" and "Satan" share a foundation of hostility and opposition. This is why it makes sense that God would symbolize Satan as the King of Tyre in Ezekiel's prophecy since Satan is the king of all hostilities and oppositions. This is likely also the reason that the Cherub Lucifer's title and name were changed to Satan Beelzebub.

*Scripture contains several examples of names being changed when circumstances change. For example, Abram was renamed Abraham (Genesis 17:5) and Jacob was renamed Israel (Genesis 32:28). Likewise, Cherub Lucifer was renamed Satan Beelzebub.

 

THE VERY FIRST SIN

As we can see from the passages in Ezekiel and Isaiah mentioned earlier, Satan committed the very first sin – the sin of pride – when he let his self-importance cause him to act treacherously against God. This gives him the unenviable distinction of being the first creature ever to sin. His wish to be elevated to a god led him to commit the second sin: Deception. By his lies, he was able to draw Adam and Eve away from the True God, causing their deaths, effectively making Satan commit a third sin: Murder (John 8:44). In order to commit this murder Satan needed a sly creature to help him with his sly plan. Scripture tells us that the serpent was the most cunning of the creatures in Eden (Genesis 3:1), which is probably why Satan chose it as his medium.

The Bible makes it clear that Satan was the mastermind behind the serpent's conversation with Eve as spoken of in Genesis 3:1-5. Since the snake spoke the first lie, and Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), it stands to reason that Satan was responsible for the snake's conversation. On account of being used by Satan for evil purposes, the snake was cursed to crawl on its belly from that point on (Genesis 3:14). This event in Eden is probably why Satan is referred to in the Scriptures as being a serpent (Revelation 12:9).

Further details on Satan and the Garden of Eden can be read in Chapter 10 titled “Fall In Eden”

THE DEMONS

The demons are other fallen angels who apparently chose to follow Satan. This is shown in the fact that the Bible refers to the demons as Satan's angels (Matthew 25:41). These cannot be angels that Satan created for himself, because according to Scripture everything was created only by God's power (Genesis 1:1, Isaiah 40:26, Ephesians 3:9, Revelation 4:11), which He gave to Jesus for creative work (Colossians 1:15-17). Therefore, these fallen angels must have come out from the ranks of God's already-created heavenly beings.

Since the Bible actually mentions fallen angels (Genesis 6:1-2 with 1 Peter 3:19-20), we know that this sort of thing happened. Therefore, these demons are a group of angels who chose to follow the fallen Cherub guardian from the Garden. Just as an army general can become corrupt and take some of the lower ranks along with him, so it seems to have happened with Lucifer and his angels.

It is also interesting to note that, although each demon has a personal name (which is why Jesus asked a demon its name at Mark 5:9), Scripture reveals that groups of demons who work together for a common goal are likewise given a name for their collective group, such as in the case of Legion (also at Mark 5:9).

The demons show themselves to be bullies who tend to enjoy possessing people and wreaking havoc in their lives. The Bible speaks of occasions in which Jesus and his disciples cast out demons from people on many occasions. (Matthew 4:24, Matthew 8:16,28-34, Matthew 12:22, Mark 1:32-34, Luke 4:33-35, Matthew 10:1, 8). The demons are also referred to as wicked, unclean spirits (Mark 5:1-10, Mark 6:7-13, Mark 7:24-30).

Causing havoc in our lives isn't the only thing the demons do. They have also insinuated themselves as gods in our world, as the Bible shows us that idol worship is a form of demon worship (Deuteronomy 32:17, Psalms 106:37, 1 Corinthians 10:19-20). This means that they are a direct cause of the false worship that exists in the world.

See Chapter 17 titled “Nephilim” for more details on this.


SCRIPTURAL HOPE

Although Scripture shows that Satan and his demons are evil entities who are more powerful than human beings we need not feel intimidated by their existence. The power of God and the power of Jesus is much stronger than any power that Satan or the demons can wield against us, which is why such power can cast the evil spirits – even multiple evil spirits – away from us (Mark 16:9, Mark 5:2-13). In fact, the Bible clearly reveals that the demons are cognizant that they are helpless against Holy power as shown in places such as Matthew 8:29, and James 2:19 .

CONCLUDING COMMENTS

As we can see from thorough examination of the Bible, Satan is a very real entity seeking to destroy us. He leads an unknown number of demons, and together they instigate misery upon humankind. Despite this constant threat, we have promises from God that He will be our refuge, all we have to do is look to Him for protection.

May the peace of God remain with you.