What does the Bible teach about angels, demons and Satan?
A. The existence of angels
1. Jesus believed in their existence. He taught that the angels which watch over our children, always behold the face of the Father (Matt. 18:10). He also believed that the angels would gather the elect at the second coming (Matt. 24:31).
2. The apostles believed in their existence.
a. Paul taught that believers would one day judge angels (1 Cor. 6:3).
b. Peter believed that many angels had once sinned (2 Peter 2:4).
c. Jude considered this to be true also (Jude 6).
B. The nature of angels
1. They are created beings (Col. 1:16), (Ez. 28:14,15).
2. They are spirit beings (Heb. 1:14), (Ps. 104:4).
3. Though they are spirit beings they have appeared to men visibly, and even in human form (Gen. 19:1,5), (Luke 1:26)
(John 20:12). Yet they are not glorified human beings or the spirits of the departed (Heb. 12:22,23).
4. Angels do not marry (Luke 20:35,36).
5. Angels do not die (Luke 20:35,36).
6. Angels are greater in power and might than human beings
(2 Peter 2:11)(Ps. 103:20).One angel killed 185,000 Assyrians in one night (Ish. 37:36).
7. There are various rankings of angelic beings.
a. There are Archangels (Jude 9)(1 Thess. 4:16). The term archangel means, the first in rank or power of the angels (Strong's Concordance).
b. Other rankings of angels are called Authorities, Powers and Principalities (1 Peter 3:22), (Eph. 6:12).
Also there are angels called Seraphim. These angels also surround the throne of God, each having six wings, crying "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord" (Is. 6:1-3).
d. Other angels are called Cherubim. These angels also surround the throne of God. They are called The Living Creatures (Ez. 1:5,6)(Ez. 10:15,20)(Rev. 5:6). They have the appearance of a man, yet they have four faces and four wings. There are also four wheels with each of the four faces, the color of beryl (green). The rim of each wheel is covered with eyes (Ez. 1:15-21). It's interesting to note that Satan was a Cherub (Ez. 28:14).
8. Angels are not proper objects of worship (Rev. 22:8,9).
9. All the angels are commanded to worship Jesus (Heb. 1:6).
10. The number of angels? They are an innumerable host
(Rev. 5:11), (Matt. 26:53), (II Kings 6:17), (Ps. 68:17).
C. The ministry of angels toward believers
1. They minister to the heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14).
2. They protect those who fear God (Ps. 34:7)(2 Kings 6:17).
3. They deliver God's servants (Acts 12:7-11).
4. They give direction to God's servants (Acts 8:26), (Acts 10:3).
5. They comfort God's servants (Acts 27:23,24).
D. The ministry of angels toward unbelievers
1. They can bring God's judgment and destruction (Gen. 19:1,13).
2. They can bring a pestilence (II Sam 24:15-17).
3. They can bring sudden death (Acts 12:23).
E. The ministry of angels in the life of Christ
1. They announced His conception (Matt. 1:20-21).
2. They announced His birth (Luke 2:10-12).
3. They ministered to Him after His temptation (Matt. 4:11).
4. They declared His resurrection (Matt. 28:5-7).
5. They will accompany Him at His second coming (Matt. 25:31).
(2 Thess. 1:7,8).
A. The origin of demons of devils
1. The word translated devils or demons refers to supernatural demonic or evil spirits (Strong's Concordance).
2. Since angels are good spirit beings, demons are evil or fallen spirit beings. Satan is an angel that sinned against God. He is called the "Prince or Ruler of demons" (Matt. 12:24). Jesus said, that "everlasting fire was prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41). There were many angels that fell with the devil (2 Peter 2:4).(Jude 6). Notice (Rev. 12:9) the devil is cast out with "his angels". Demons then, are fallen angels.
B. The cause of the fall of these angels
1. They kept not their proper domain (Jude 6).
2. They sinned (2 Peter 2:4).
3. They fell by pride (Is. 14:12-15).
C. The work of demons
1. They oppose the purposes of God (Dan. 10:10-14).
2. They afflict people (Luke 13:16)(Matt. 17:14-18).
3. They battle against God's people (Eph. 6:12).
4. They seek to inhabit the physical bodies of human beings
(Matt. 17:18)(Matt. 15:22).
D. Can a Christian be demon possessed?
1. What does the Scripture teach? The Bible declares an absolute no to the concept that a Christian can become demon possessed!
a. Scripture teaches very clearly that if you are born of God, which means that you do not practice sin (the word sin in this verse is in the present tense), you will keep yourself (present tense), and the wicked one does not touch you (present tense) (1 Jn. 5:18). The word touch means to grasp or lay hold of you (Strong's Concordance). Therefore, if you are truly a Christian, born of the Spirit, then the wicked one Satan cannot lay hold on you to possess or control you.
b. Paul also tells us what God does for believers. But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. (2 Thes. 3:3). The word guard means to watch closely like someone who is in police custody. If the Lord allows the evil one to inhabit a believer as some teach, then He is not faithful to His promise to guard us. Both cannot be true.
c. Paul tells us that Jesus has delivered us (to rescue or draw to ones self) from the power of darkness (Gr. word for power = the influence, authority, or right), but the Father has translated us into the kingdom of the Son (Col. 1:13). No demon has any right or authority over a child of God because you have been rescued from Satan’s kingdom.
d. If we are in Christ we are positioned far above all principalities, powers, mights and all dominions
(Eph. 1:20-21). Your position in Christ is either secure as this verse states, or it is not.
e. We have all authority over Satan's supernatural power (Luke 10:19). This is God’s promise to his disciples. If a demon can control a Christian, then this promise is not true.
f. Jesus Christ in us, is greater than anything or anyone in this world (1 Jn. 4:4). Again, this statement is either true or not true.
g. Jesus can't live in the same temple as Satan, as light and darkness can't dwell together (2 Cor. 6:14-16). Light and darkness are absolute opposites of each other. If a demon can inhabit a Christian then darkness has overcome the light. That is physically and spiritually impossible.
h.It is important to note that every place in Scripture where the word demon possessed (daimonizomai) is used there are two common denominators. First, every reference in the Bible where this word is used, it refers to a demon inhabiting a person’s body. Second, every reference where it is explicitly stated that a person is possessed, this person is a non-Christian.
2. Why do people believe this erroneous teaching?
a. Because it's easier to seek a quick deliverance from a demon, than the long term answer of putting off the flesh and true discipleship. Putting off the flesh requires death to self (Rom. 6:6-14). To reckon yourself alive to God requires absolute surrender. The more a person concentrates on getting deliverance from demon’s on a weekly basis, the less that person will pursue what it requires to mature in Christ.
b. Because people believe others' experience and testimony instead of the testimony of the Word of God. People will say, but I saw this or that happen, and will allow experience to become superior to the clear teaching of the Word of God.
3. But, what about verses of Scripture that seem to teach that a Christian can be demon possessed.
a. One of the most important principles used for interpreting Scripture or any written document is this: Whatever is explicitly stated always takes precedence over what is implied or doubtful. See the difference between the statements Jesus made concerning himself (John 14:28; John 8:24). The clear and explicit teaching of Christ is that He is the great I AM, which means that He is God come in the flesh (Ex. 3:14). When Jesus taught that the Father was greater than Him, He was referring to His position as the Son, submitted to the will of His Father.
b. Therefore, is Paul teaching that he is demon possessed in 2 Corinthians 12:7, when he declares that he had been given a messenger of Satan to buffet him? No! What is he saying? First, notice that Paul said this affliction was to buffet him, which means to strike him. Paul does not say that this messenger possessed him. The Apostle is recognizing that the physical affliction God allowed in his body was used by Satan to humble him and keep him from arrogance, because of the revelations he had received. Paul believed that Satan is the originator of many (not all) physical aliments (Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38; Job 2:6-7). God obviously allowed Satan to deal with Job’s body just as He did with Paul. But, if Paul the Apostle was demon possessed, why wouldn't God deliver him when he prayed? This would be totally contrary to all the teaching of Scripture concerning God’s rescue and deliverance of His children.
c. Was the Apostle Peter demon possessed? Peter had contradicted Jesus telling Him that He didn't have to go to the Cross. Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men" (Matt. 16:23). First, notice that Jesus didn't cast a demon out of Peter! If there was a demon inside of Peter, I am sure Jesus would have delivered him at that moment. What Jesus did was to speak to the power and authority that was behind the idea and lie in Peter’s mind, that the Messiah does not have to go to the cross. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). This is one of the ways he fights against the children of God. All believers must wrestle against Satan’s lying and condemning work that attempts to rob them of God’s blessings and promises (John 10:10).
E. The judgment and destiny of demons
1. They are going to everlasting fire with the devil (Matt. 25:41).
2. They know this is their destiny (Matt. 8:28,29).
3. Satan knows the same (Rev. 12:12).
A. The existence of Satan or the devil
1. Jesus believed he existed (Luke 13:16) (Luke 22:31).
2. John believed he existed (John 13:27).
3. Peter believed he existed (Acts 5:3).
4. Paul believed he existed (2 Cor. 2:11) (2 Cor. 11:14).
B. The position and nature of Satan
1. He is the prince of this world (John 12:31) (John 16:11).
2. He is the god of this age (2 Cor. 4:4).
3. He is the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2).
4. He is called Beelzebub, (a name of Satan, Strong's Concordance), the ruler of demons (Luke 11:15).
5. He is called Lucifer, (the morning star), (Is. 14:12). Stars are often used figuratively to describe angels
(Rev. 1:20), also compare (Rev. 12:3,4) with (Rev. 12:7,9) and (Rev. 9:1,11). Lucifer is a fallen angel (Is. 14:12-15).
6. He is called the anointed cherub, (an angel), that was corrupted by his pride of wisdom and beauty(Ez. 28:12-17).
C. The personality of Satan
1. He is set forth as a murderer, liar and sinner (John 8:44) (1 John 3:8).
2. Masculine personal pronouns used to describe him (John 8:44).
3. Notice the conversations revealed between God and Satan
(Job 1,2) and the temptations of Christ (Matt. 4:1-11). Each testifies to the fact that he is a real person.
D. The power of Satan
1. He has greater power than unbelieving human beings. He takes them captive at his will (2 Tim. 2:25,26) (Eph. 2:2).
2. He blinds men's eyes from the truth of God's Word (2 Cor. 4:4).
3. He controls completely the whole world (1 John 5:19).
4. He can resist God's angels in their work for Him (Dan. 10:1-13).
5. He heads a kingdom which is hostile to the kingdom of Christ (Acts 26:18) (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43) (Col. 1:13).
6. He has the power to do signs and wonders (2 Thess. 2:9,10).
7. He has only limited power, only as God allows (Job 1:10-12).
E. The character of Satan
1. He is our adversary (1 Pet. 5:8).
2. He wants to devour us (1 Pet. 5:8).
3. He is our enemy (Matt. 13:39).
4. He accuses us before God (Rev. 12:9).
5. He slanders God to men (Gen. 3:1-7).
6. He is continually soliciting men to sin (Gen. 3:1-6). (This is done through temptation, lies and condemnation).
7. He is very subtle (Gen. 3:1) (Eph. 6:11).
8. He misuses Scripture (Matt. 4:6).
9. He seeks to undo God's work (Mark 4:15).
F. Our attitude toward Satan
1. Don't be ignorant of his devices (2 Cor. 2:11).
2. Be assured you have all authority over his power and influence (Luke 10:19).
3. Be assured he has been conquered by Jesus Christ and stripped of his weapons (Col. 2:14,15) (John 16:11)(Heb. 2:14).
4. Resist him in faith (1 Pet. 5:8,9).
5. Submit yourself to God, resist him and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
6. Don't give any place to the devil in your life where he might tempt or condemn you (Eph. 4:27).
7. Put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:11-18).
G. Satan's destiny
1. He is under God's perpetual curse (Gen. 3:14).
2. His judgment is sure (John 16:11).
3. The lake of fire awaits him (Matt. 25:41) (Rev. 20:10).