The Reality of Evil, Satan, Demons, and the Devil
Not only does the Bible teach the reality of God, Jesus the Christ (Y’shua Messiah), and the Holy Spirit, but it teaches the reality of enemies to both God and people such as Satan and demon spirits of all kinds. The truth of this area of our situation is that we are dealing with someone, not something. That someone is Satan, who has a rival kingdom in the heavens. Our enemies are persons without bodies; we can’t see them, but we are instructed to know about them and their schemes.
How does the Bible throw light on this problem of evil? The biblical answer is connected to Satan and his disciples and his role in the fall of the head of all humankind, Adam.
The sin-cursed world system, led by Satan, is diametrically opposed to the kingdom and rule of God. Satan’s kingdom (government system) is by nature deceptive, often masquerading as a place of light, happiness, success, health, and healing. 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 informs us that, “…Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness…” Their basic plan is to ensure that people, especially their primary enemy—the body of Christ—does not believe their existence, their aptitude, or their capability to influence a Christian; to make the things of Satan not appear as what they really are. Deception.
Revelations 12:9-10 graciously informs us about who all the Devil and his disciples have been deceiving, their primary method of deception, how often, and about their future: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, who deceives the whole world…And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren [includes sisters] is cast down, who accused them [our brethren] before our God day and night.”
Notice above who our enemy accuses and how often. And note that he accuses us in three ways: he accuses God to us (Gen. 3:1, 4, 5), he accuses us to ourselves, and he accuses others to us (Gen. 3:10-13).
Second Timothy 2:24-26 states: “The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those who oppose themselves [their new self in Christ]; if God perhaps will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him [the devil] at his will.”
Demons are real and need to be taken
seriously, even if many claims about evil spirits are fabricated or
exaggerated. And unless we have a biblical view of God, humankind, and the
spirit world, we will not have the perspective to understand the evil that
plagues our personal lives and our world. Satan and
demons have not faded from the scene. They continue their evil activity. The
Bible warns that their activity will reach new heights in the future (Mark
13:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Timothy 4:1).
1. Know Satan's devices (2 Cor. 2:11).
2. Give him no place (Ephes. 4:27).
3. Resist him (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
4. Be sober and vigilant lest he devour them (1 Peter 5:8-9).
5. Put on the whole armor of God (Ephes. 6:11-18).
6. Overcome him by the Word (Matthew 4:1-11; 1 John 2:14).
7. Overcome him by the blood of Christ and testimony (Rev. 12:11).
8. Overcome him by Christ and His name (Ephes. 1:19-22; 2:6; 2 Cor. 2:15).
9. Overcome him by birth of the Spirit and faith (1 John 2:29; 1 John 3:9; 1 John 5:1-4,18).
10. Overcome him by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1-13; Galatians 5:15-26).
And ultimately after Jesus’ return and millennial rule, Satan and his disciples will be defeated; God will throw Satan and his angels into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7–10; Matthew 25:41).
Now note that denial is the primary characteristic of demonic outworking—sin—shortcoming continued (Gen. 3:12-13; 2 Cor. 11:14,15; Rom. 1:18-22; 2:1, 21-23; 7:11; Heb. 3:13; 1 Jn. 1:8; Mt. 23:24-28; Mk. 6:4-5; Lk. 6:41-42; 19:42; Jn. 9:41; 11:47-53; Jas. 3:14; Tit. 1:16; Rev. 3:1,17).
And the Pharisees are pictured in the New Testament as religious people who saw themselves as respectable and righteous. And yet Jesus pointed repeatedly to their denied sins and the danger of not facing themselves (Lk. 11:39-40).
Thank God, we may recognize (Heb. 5:14) and then recover ourselves from of the trap of the devil, when he ensnares us (2 Tim. 2:26).
Our Enemy’s Hostility Structure and Its Working Components
Thank God, we don’t have to guess about our enemy because his hostility structure and its working components have not changed. For we read in the book of Ephesians thirty-plus-years after the Lord Jesus ascended to the Father, His Holy Spirit recorded at 6:10-18. He informs us and commands us regarding Satan and his hierarchy of demon spirits: “Finally my brethren, be strong [acquire strength] in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil [false accuser, slanderer; Satan or his spirit rebels].”
(Having laid before you your high calling and the great doctrines of the gospel, I will now show you the enemies that oppose you and how you can overcome them.) (Eph. 6:11-18)
“Amor;” original Greek word: panoplia, full armor of a heavily armed soldier, described in Eph. 6:13-17; Lk. 11:22.
“Wiles;” original Greek word: methodeias, methods — the different means, plans, and schemes used to deceive, entrap, enslave, and ruin the souls of people.
12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [human beings; ourselves], but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
“Struggle;” original Greek word: pale, refers to warfare in general between us followers of Jesus and spirit rebels who are against God. It literally means wrestling “to displace.” At the time of apostle Paul’s writing, the winner of a wrestling match in the Greek sport of wrestling did not “pin” his opponent as in our contemporary sport of wrestling. Rather, the winner actually “displaced” his opponent. Thus, we are to victoriously displace Satan’s disciples.
1. Original Greek word: archas, chief rulers or beings of the highest rank and order in Satan's kingdom (Eph. 6:12; 1:21; Col. 2:10)
2. Original Greek word: exousias, authorities, those who derive their power from and execute the will of the chief rulers (Eph. 6:12; 1:21; Col. 2:10)
3. Original Greek word: kosmokratoras, world-powers of the dark world, the spirit world-powers; territorial (Dan. 10:13-21; Eph. 1:21; 6:12; Col. 1:16-18)
4. Original Greek words: pneumatika, tes, ponerias, spiritual wicked forces; those of the numerous nearby, familiar, personalized lower-ranking wicked spirits of Satan in the heavenlies—the higher ranges of spiritual things (Eph. 6:12; 1:21; Col. 1:16-18; see also Leviticus 19:31; 20:6; Deut. 18:11; 1 Samuel 28; 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24; 1 Chron. 10:13; 2 Chron. 33:6; Isaiah 8:19; 19:3; 29:4)
13 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
(Considering the fact that you have such enemies (Eph. 6:12), be clothed with armor of God. It will make you invulnerable and victorious (Eph. 6:13-18)).
“Having done all, to stand” is a military phrase; we stand, ready to do battle again.)
14 Stand therefore having your loins [girdle] girt about with Truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness (in defense; protective) (Compare with Isa. 11:5; 59:17);
15 “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;”
Protective; being prepared; readiness. It is the gospel of making peace with God and of readiness to meet Him.
16 “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked [protective; in defense].”
Original Greek word belos, dart, or any missile thrown, as the javelin, spear, arrow, or stone from a sling. As applied to Christian warfare they refer to evil thoughts, lusts, passions, and temptations of various kinds (1Cor. 10:13-14; 2Cor. 10:4-6; Jas. 1:13-15; Rom. 6:12; 1Jn. 2:15-17).
17 “And take the helmet of salvation [in defense; protecting our thinking], and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God [offensive for conquest],”
Original Greek word: machaira, sword, to destroy our enemy and bring his surrender. Besides the sword other weapons of offense were used — the spear, lance, battle-axe, club, bow and arrows, and sling.
18 “Praying always with all prayer and petition in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and petition for all followers of Jesus.”
Obviously, “our weapons are not carnal” (2 Cor. 10:4).
There are demon spirits or groups of demon spirits behind the health issues, unholy traits, and doctrinal errors known among humankind. This can be proved abundantly but we will give passages here to prove to your satisfaction that such beings exist. Note the following Scriptures proving their existence:
Demons or Unclean Spirits
1. Definition and usage of the terms devil and demon
(1) Two Hebrew words are translated "devil": shed (original Hebrew word), "a spoiler"; "destroyer"; "a malignant, evil spirit" (Deut. 32:17; Psalm 106:37); and satiyr (original Hebrew word), "shaggy, hairy one"; "kid"; "goat"; "satyr"; "devil" (Leviticus 17:7; 2 Chron. 11:15). Devils are the "familiar spirits" of the O.T. (Leviticus 19:31; 20:6; Deut. 18:11; 1 Samuel 28:3,9; 2 Kings 21:6; 23:24; Isaiah 8:19; 19:3), and the supernatural spirits behind witchcraft, or sorcery.
(2) The word "demon" is not found in the King James Version of Scripture, but the Greek verb daimonizomai (original Greek word) (to be possessed by an evil spirit; be demonized) and the nouns daimon (original Greek word) and daimonion (original Greek word) refer to evil spirits, demons, or devils below.
(3) The word "devil" is also used of Satan, the prince of demons (Matthew 9:34; 12:24). He is the chief devil and the original source of evil in the universe. There are many demons, but only one prince of demons. The Greek word for devil used in connection with Satan is diabolos (original Greek word), meaning adversary, false accuser, slanderer, devil. It is used of people and translated false accuser and slanderer in 1 Tim. 3:11; 2 Tim. 3:3; Titus 2:3. It is translated "devil" once as applying to Judas when he became an adversary of Christ (John 6:70). In 34 other places it is translated "devil" and used of Satan as the chief adversary of God. Satan has an angelic body and cannot physically enter anyone (Luke 22:3), and demons are spirits without bodies capable of possessing the bodies of both animals and people.
2. The nature of demons
(1) They are evil (Judges ; 1 Samuel 18:9-10).
(2) They are intelligent and wise (1 Kings 22:22-24; Acts 16:16).
(3) They are powerful (Mark 5:1-18).
(4) They are without bodies capable of forcefully influencing the bodies of both animals and people (Rev. 16:13-16).
(5) They are not angels (Acts 23:8-9).
(6) They are not human, for they affect people and can be cast out (Matthew 10:8; Mark 16:17).
(7) They are individuals (Mark 16:9).
(8) They have knowledge (Matthew 8:29; Luke 4:41; Acts 19:15).
(9) They have faith (James 2:19).
(10) They have feelings (Matthew 8:29; Mark 5:7).
(11) They have fellowship (1 Cor. 10:20-21).
(12) They have doctrines (1 Tim. 4:1-3).
(13) They have wills (Matthew 12:43-45).
(14) They have miraculous powers (Rev. 16:13-16).
(15) They have emotions (Acts 8:7).
(16) They have desires (Matthew 8:28-31).
(17) They more or less have names (Mark 5:9; Luke 8:30; Luke 10:18)
(18) They can influence a Christian (Rev. 12:10b; 1 Tim. 3:6,7; 4:1; 2 Tim. 1:7; 2:26; 4:1-3; Ephes. 6:12; Mt. 16:16 – 23; Mk. 8:33; Lk. 22:3; 2 Cor. 7:1)
(19) They trouble you (Hebrews 12:15)
(20) They defile others (Hebrews 12:15)
(21) They have other soul and spirit faculties.
3. The work of demons
(1) Affect people and cause denial (2 Corinthians 11:14,15; Romans 1:18-22; 2:1, 21-23; 7:11; Hebrews 3:13; 1 Jn. 1:8; Matthew 23:24-28; Mark. 6:4-5; Luke 6:41-42; 19:42; John 9:41; 11:47-53; James. 3:14; Titus 1:16; Revelation 3:1, 17; 12:10b)
(2) Dumbness and deafness (Matthew 9:32-33; Mark 9:25)
(3) Blindness (Matthew 12:22)
(4) Grievous vexation (Matthew 15:22)
(5) Lunacy and mania (Matthew 4:23-24; Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 5:1-18)
(6) Uncleanness (they are called unclean spirits 20 times; Luke 4:36)
(7) Supernatural strength (Mark 5:1-18)
(8) Suicide (Matthew 17:16; John 10:10)
(9) Hypocrisy, pretending (Matt. 23:28; 7:5; Mark 7:6; Luke 12:1)
(10) Convulsions (Mark 9:20)
(11) Lusts (John 8:44; Ephes. 2:1-3; 1 John 2:15-17)
(12) Counterfeit worship (Leviticus 17:7; Deut. 32:17; 2 Chron. 11:15; Psalm 106:37; 1 Cor. 10:20; Rev. 9:20)
(13) Error (1 John 4:1-6; 1 Tim. 4:1)
(14) Health issues and diseases (Matt. 4:23-24; 8:16-17; Acts 10:38)
(15) Torments (Matt. 4:23-24; 15:22)
(16) Deceptions (1 Tim. 4:1-2; 1 John 4:1-6)
(17) Lying (1 Kings 22:21-24)
(18) Enchantments and witchcraft (2 Chron. 33:6)
(19) Heresies (1 Tim. 4:1)
(20) Wickedness (Luke 11:26)
(21) Fear (2 Tim. 1:7)
(22) Love of the world (1 John 2:15-17; 1 Cor. 2:12)
(23) Bondage (Romans 8:15)
(24) Discord (1 Kings 22:21-24; Matthew 13:36-43)
(25) Violence (Matt. 17:15)
(26) Betrayals (John 13:2; 1 Kings 22:21-23)
(27) Oppression (Acts 10:38)
(28) Sin (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8)
(29) Persecution (1 Peter 5:8; Rev. 2:10)
(29) Jealousy (1 Samuel 16:14; 18:8-10)
(30) False prophecy (1 Sam. 18:8-10; 1 Kings 22:21-24)
(Hebrews 12:15). Bitterness includes these progressive steps:
(32) Every other evil they possibly can, to work against people and God.
4. The abilities of demons
(1) They affect Christian individuals and groups (Rev. 12:10b; 1 Tim. 3:6,7; 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 1:7; 2:26; 4:1; Ephes. 6:12; Mk. 7:21-23; 8:33; Mt. 16:16 – 23; Lk. 22:3; 2 Cor. 7:1;)
(2) They teach (1 Tim. 4:1).
(3) They steal (Matt. 13:19; Luke 8:12).
(4) They can fight (Ephes. 4:27; Ephes. 6:10-18; 1 Peter 5:8).
(5) They can become fierce and wrathful (Matt. 8:28; Rev. 12:12).
(6) They can tell fortunes (Leviticus 20:27; Acts 16:16).
(7) They can be friendly (they are called familiar spirits 16 times; Leviticus 20:6,27).
(8) They go out and come back into people as they will, unless cast out and rejected (Matt. 12:43-45).
(9) They travel (1 Kings 22:21-24; Mark 5:7,12).
(10) They speak (Mark 1:34; Mark 5:12; Acts 8:7).
(11) They imitate the departed dead (2 Samuel 28:3-9; 1 Chron. 10:13; Isaiah 8:19; Deut. 18:11).
(12) Satan, who causes sicknesses by demon oppression, can take off what he puts on without opposing himself or casting himself out. When he can damn a soul by getting a person to deny the essentials of the Bible that will save the soul, then it is to his advantage to deceive by taking away the sickness. Many accept false religions that promise healing and other benefits. Satan cooperates with these religions, which he himself has founded to deceive men. He heals people without their faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. Such people naturally think that they are in the true religion. They reject Christ and see no need of getting saved from sin or following Christianity. They will be damned for doing so, Satan having won their souls. Demons can go out and come back into a person of their own accord (Matthew 12:26; 43-45). Satan in the last days will thus deceive men by giving them power (Matt. 24:24; 2Thess. 2:8-12; Rev. 13:2; 16:13-16; 19:20).
(13) They can do many other things when influencing bodies.
5. They are called
(1) Devils (Mark )
(2) Familiar spirits (Leviticus 20:6)
(3) Unclean spirits (Mark 1:27)
(4) Evil spirits (Luke 7:21)
(5) Seducing spirits (1 Tim. 4:1).
6. General facts about demons
(1) They are subject to Christ and made subject to true believers’ exercised authority by the atonement, the name of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 8:16-17; 12:28; Mark 16:17; Luke 10:17; Acts 19:15).
(2) Thousands of them can affect one person at the same time (Mark 5:9).
(3) They must be discerned, tested, resisted, and rejected by believers (1 John 4:1-6; 1 Cor. 12:10; Ephes. 4:27; Ephes. 6:10-18; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
(4) They have more than ordinary intelligence (Matt. 8:29).
(5) Their rightful place is in the abyss (Luke 8:31; Rev. 9:1-21).
(6) They have personality (Luke 8:26-33).
(7) They are without physical bodies (Matt. 12:43-45).
(8) They are Satan's emissaries (Matt. 12:26-29).
(9) They are numerous (Mark 5:9).
(10) They can enter into and affect both people and animals (Mark 5:1-18), and they seek embodiment (Matt. 12:43-45; Luke 8:32).
(11) Demon possession and demon influence are different (cp. Matt. 4:23-24 with Matt. 16:21-23).
(12) Demons know their fate (Matt. 8:31-32) and recognize those who have power over them (Acts 19:13-17).
(13) They fear God (James 2:19).
(14) They inflict bodily maladies (Matt. 8:16-17; 12:22; 17:15-18).
(15) They wage war on believers (Ephes. 6:10-18; 2 Tim. 2:26).
(16) They influence people (1 Tim. 4:1-5; 2 Peter 2:10-12).
(17) All unbelievers are more or less in league with them (Ephes. 2:1-3).
(18) The only resources against them are prayer and the whole armor of God (Matt. 17:21; Ephes. 6:10-18).
(19) There are demon spirits or groups of demon spirits behind the health issues, unholy traits, and doctrinal errors known among humankind (Gen. 3; Mt. 16:16 – 23; Mk. 8:33; Lk. 4; 22:3; 2 Cor. 4:4; 7:1; Ephes. 2:2; 6:12; 1 Tim. 3:6,7; 4:1; 2 Tim. 1:7; 2:26; 4:1-3; 1 John 5:19; Revelation 12:9-12; 20:10).
…Disease germs, which are closely allied with unclean spirits, are really living forms of corruption which come into the bodies of people bringing us to death. Just as refuse breeds maggots, so mankind in his fallen state of corruption breeds germs through unclean living and through contact with corruptions in the fallen world. Germs are agents of Satan, corrupting the bodies of his victims through unclean spirits that work invisibly in people.
(20) They must be cast out or resisted in order to experience relief from them.
7. Traffic with demon spirits is forbidden in both testaments (Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Deut. 18:10; 1 Chron. 10:13-14; Isaiah 8:19; Luke 4:41; Acts 16:16; 1 Tim. 4:1-5; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 4:1-6).
1. SATAN (the Adversary)
God's Purpose in Allowing Satan to Continue
1. To develop character and faith in the believer (James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:7-13; 5:8-9; 2 Peter 1:4-9; Jude 1:20-24)
2. To keep the believer humble (2 Cor. 12:7)
3. To provide a conflict for saints that they may be rewarded through overcoming (1 John ; 4:1-6; Rev. 2:7,11,17, 26-28; Rev. 3:5,12,21)
4. To demonstrate the power of God over the power of Satan (Mark -20; 2 Cor. 4:7-11; Ephes. 2:7; )
5. To use him in afflicting people to bring them to repentance (1 Cor. 5:1-6; 2 Cor. 2:5-11; Job 33:14-30)
6. To purge man of all possibility of failing in the eternal future (Rev. 21)
Matt. 25:41: “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.’”
Eph. 1:21: “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.”
Eph. 3:10: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.”
Eph. 6:11-17: “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [human beings; ourselves], but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
Rev. 12:7-12 (See above)
Matt. 4:23-24: “And Y’shua (Jesus) went about all Galilee, teaching in their
synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner
of health issue and dis-ease among the people. And his fame went throughout all
Matt. 10:1-7: “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of health issue and dis-ease... 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Matt. 12:22-29: “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, ‘Is not this the son of David?’ But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘This fellow does not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.’
Y’shua (Jesus) knew their thoughts, and said unto
them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and
every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast
out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them
out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the
Mark 5:6-13: “...But when he saw Y’shua (Jesus) afar off, he ran and worshipped him, and cried with a loud voice, and said, ‘What have I to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the most high God? I adjure you by God, that you not torment me. For Jesus commanded him, ‘Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.’ And Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ And he answered, saying, ‘My name is Legion: for we are many.’ ... 12 And all the devils begged him, saying, ‘Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.’ And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea...”
1 Tim. 4:1: “Now the Holy Spirit spoke expressly, that in latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils...”
1 John 4:1-6: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Y’shua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that does not confess that Y’shua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and it is already in the world even now. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God does not hear us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
There are demon spirits or groups of demon spirits behind the health issues, unholy traits, and doctrinal errors known among humankind, including believers. They must be cast out or resisted in order to get relief from them.
Introduction to Reversing Satan’s Rule
Be strongly encouraged to review this excellent introduction to reversing Satan’s rule by Pastor Tony Evans.
Satanist-Turned-Evangelist, John Ramiraz, Gives You an Inside Look into Satan’s Hidden Kingdom
Many people, including Christians, deny or minimize the devil’s power. John Ramiraz, as a third-ranked high priest of a satanic cult New York City, didn’t have that luxury. Satanist-turned-evangelist, John Ramiraz, gives you an inside look into Satan’s hidden kingdom. Enjoy his 14-minute video testimony here. And enjoy his 37-minute video testimony here.
John is also now the author of several important books. Enjoy!
Demons on a Leash
Further Biblical Perspective on Satan’s Role
How does the Bible throw light on this problem? The biblical answer is connected to the fall of Satan and his angels and his role in the fall of the head of all mankind, Adam.
How could a good and powerful God allow evil spirits to trouble us since the very beginning?
First, let’s recall several truths about the nature of God, the limitations on fallen angels, and God’s final judgment.
The God Factor. The same Bible that presents the inception and continuation of sin and evil also presents God as One who is holy, righteous, and perfect in all His ways and who hates evil (Deuteronomy 32:3–4). He is sovereign, omnipotent, and in control. He has no potential successful rival (Isaiah 41:4, 43:13; Revelation 4:11). Evil did not rise up apart from His control; otherwise, He would not be God.
It seems best to say that God, for good reasons, allowed evil to come into being. Believers confess that God is the Author of a plan, a perfect plan, that included allowing His creatures to choose to sin (Isaiah 45:7; Acts 14:16). His ultimate good purpose must be best served by such a plan.
Perhaps He allowed angels to sin so that He might give a concrete example of the wretchedness and degradation of sin. Perhaps He used the test to gain a group of angels to serve Him from choice and love while others fell. By this means He could show in specific form His hatred and judgment of sin, as in Pharaoh’s case (Rom. 9:17–18). We would never know the magnitude of God’s grace in preserving most of the angels and in the costly redemption of unworthy, sinful man. The price of our redemption is the death of the eternal Son of God, who became our God-man Redeemer.
Moreover, Scripture reveals that God is sovereign over these evil spirits and has always limited the expression of their sin and its devastating effects. He allows it for only a finite time until His coming judgment. Further, He controls the magnitude of Satan’s evil even within that time frame (Psalm 11:4–7, 96:1–13; Romans 2:1–16).
The Judgment Factor. God in His righteousness has condemned sin in the fullest sense. He has judged it throughout human history. He also judged it in awesome dimensions in the sacrifice of His eternal Son, a sacrificial punishment more than all creatures combined could ever suffer. Ultimately, God will forever punish Satan, his demonic hordes, and all other evildoers in the lake of fire, and He will banish sin forever from the universe when He makes all things new in the new heavens and earth (Revelation 20:10–15, 21:4–5).
So scripture guarantees that God is in full control of His creation; He will judge all evil.
Demons Through the Ages
Demons have always opposed God, His purposes, and His people. In the Old Testament days, demons brought attacks against God’s nation, Israel. Demons also oppose the Church, Christ’s body.
They promote false doctrine and divisions, they produce false teachers and followers, and they incite persecution. No other religion of the world receives such opposition and deadly persecution. Satan and demons hate the Messiah—the Creator who became the Savior—and anyone who follows Him.
Satan and demons have not faded from the scene. They continue their evil activity. Their activity is more blatant in some places than others, but their presence is still experienced worldwide. The Bible warns that their activity will reach new heights in the future. The pinnacle of satanic activity will be embodied in Antichrist and his program (2 Thessalonians 2:9). However, Satan and his minions will ultimately be defeated, and God will throw Satan and his angels into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7–10; Matthew 25:41).
God will create new heavens and a new earth in which believers will enjoy His presence and provisions forever. Throughout eternal ages, righteousness will permanently rule on earth (2 Peter 3:13); and Satan, demons, and human evildoers will be forever punished. By God’s goodness and grace, those who place their trust in Christ will enjoy a wonderful world where there are no more fears, tears, pains, or deaths. There will be no recycling of evil. Evil will be forever banished (Revelation 21–22).
Demonic Activity in Our Lives and Our World
According to the Bible, demons are real spiritual and personal beings, not just forces or phenomena in the physical and psychological realm. Various Bible passages (above) reveal that they have intellect, emotions, and will. They think, hate, and choose plans of action against God, Christ, and mankind. They especially hate believers in Christ because believers belong to Christ and are foes of Satan.
The Scriptures provide many details about demons. They are spirit beings created by God and responsible to God (Colossians 1:16). They are creatures limited in space, time, and powers. They have become morally perverted and are called “unclean spirits” (Matthew 10:1) or “evil spirits” (Luke 7:21). They promote immoral and sensuous lifestyles (2 Peter 2:1–18). They cause false teachers of depraved minds to oppose the truth and appeal to carnal and selfish impulses (2 Timothy 3:6). They sow false followers of Christ in the world (Matthew 13:37–42). They blind the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing God’s salvation through faith in His Son (2 Corinthians 4:3–4).
Demons promote primitive religions, magic, superstition, and worship of evil spirits. They are the dynamic behind idolatry and their devotees, whether worshipers of the gods Marduk, Asher, Zeus, Jupiter, Apollo, Ra, Diana, Aphrodite, or a host of lesser manmade deities. Witchcraft, sorcery (including human health remedies) and astrology are among the earliest false religions that they have inspired in the minds of men. Satanism stands out among their more recent promotions.
The Bible reveals that demons may invade and seek to control humans (Luke 22:3–4). The Greek word for “demon possession” denotes “demon-caused passivity.” It is used of an internal control manifest in either physical or psychological problems.
Demonic Opposition to Believers
Demons—those rebellious angels who followed Satan—especially target true believers who are a threat to them. At least sixteen passages in the New Testament address demonic opposition to Christians. Perhaps their greatest deceptive device is that of counterfeiting (2 Corinthians 11:13–15). Satan imitates some of God’s powers (as did the magicians in Pharaoh’s court) and distorts God’s message.
Christians must beware of any changes to the gospel of God’s saving grace in Christ. Satan promotes legalism, as well as license (Galatians 5:1–4, 13–14). So Christians must guard their lives by following God’s truth and depending upon the Holy Spirit, lest they let their sinful desires overrule God’s will.
Demons tempt and seek to lead true believers astray from following Christ (2 Corinthians 11:13–15). They promote rebellion and posit slander against God and men (Genesis 3:1–6; Revelation 12:9). They abhor the grace of God and attack the character of God by causing people to think of Him as dominating, restricting, and vengeful. They attack a Christian’s confidence and commitment to Christ, and in their place they insert accusing thoughts.1 They tempt people to lie, to commit sexual sins, to be preoccupied with this world’s values, to rely on human wisdom, to be proud in spiritual matters. They bring discouragement and division, both doctrinal and relational. They incite persecution, prevent service, and infiltrate the church. In each case, we have a choice to make—to give in or stand firm in Christ.
Satan is the Evil One
Satan is “the evil one” (1 John 3:12), and his power is perverse.
Satan and demons align themselves against God and mankind, spreading evil throughout the whole world like an aggressive cancer.
Some people have proposed that there was an earlier creation before Genesis 1:1, when Satan sinned and occasioned judgment from God, thus causing the disorder described in verse 2. Rather than “the earth was formless and void,” they translate it “the earth became formless and void.” However, careful analysis of the Hebrew shows that this interpretation is untenable, and no prominent English translation follows it.* Genesis 1:2 is a parenthetical statement in the flow of the narrative, describing the initial condition of the earth, when God first made it.
The first three days of Creation Week do not describe a renovation of a ruined, chaotic earth but the establishment of environments that God would fill with stars, animals, and humans on the last three days of Creation Week. Satan’s introduction of demonic activity into the world apparently came after the creation described in Genesis 1 and 2.
* The most thorough refutation of the gap interpretation, with careful attention to the Hebrew, is Weston Field’s Unformed and Unfilled (Burgener Enterprises, 1997).
God’s Provision in Our Battle
Every believer is engaged, either knowingly or unknowingly, in direct conflict with Satan and his demons. This is the point of Paul’s warning in Ephesians 6:10–18. If we Christians submit to God, we can depend upon His strengthening for this conflict. We must avail ourselves to God’s provision of spiritual armor.
We should consider ourselves already equipped with the first three pieces of armor, which we received as a result of our position in Christ. We have the belt of truth because we are in Christ, who is the truth of God, and we need not seek truth within any other religion or philosophy. We have the breastplate of Christ’s righteousness through justification by faith. Our feet are covered by the non-slip shoes of peace with God, which we received through the blood of Christ. When we run into opposition, we must remember that God is not against us. He is for us!
In everyday life, we must consciously take up the next three pieces of armor. The shield of faith is confidence in God, His character, and His Word that wards off demonic lies. We must put on the helmet of the hope (certainty) of deliverance in the battle, for we are on the winning side. We are never to give up. Wielding the sword of the Spirit means living by and applying the appropriate sayings of scripture when we face the enemy, just as the Lord Jesus did when He was tested (Matthew 4:1–11).
God is Sovereignly In-Charge
In facing Satan and demons, we believers can rest in the reality that our Father is graciously and powerfully in-charge. We know He has placed limits on our enemies. He did so in the case of Job, one of God’s children. In the first attack, the Creator allowed Satan only to touch Job’s possessions, not Job himself (Job 1:12). In the second attack, God allowed Satan to touch only Job’s body, not take his life (Job 2:6). After all of his trials, Job recognized the goodness and power of God (Job 42:1–6).
So God limits the demonic attacks in our world today. Satan is on a leash, and we are under God’s protection (Psalm121:5–8). That does not mean we will never face difficulties or trials, for those are part of this fallen world (and sometimes result from the direct attacks of spiritual beings, Ephesians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 12:7–10). But it does mean we can trust God with whatever comes at us in the battle. We belong inseparably to the Lord (Romans 8:31–39). He guards us and keeps us as we trust in Him (1 Peter 5:6–7). We are to submit to God and resist the devil; then he will flee from us (James 4:7).
Our Authority in the Battle
Demons are alive and active today, not to be dismissed or played with. If you suspect demonic activity in your own life or the life of someone you know, the Bible has the answers.
As a result of our trust in Christ, we enjoy the privileged position of co-crucifixion (Romans 6:3–4), co-resurrection, and exaltation (Romans 6:5; Ephesians 1:19–2:3). This means we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies, far above all angelic opponents. We can have victory over them.
To face successfully the evil in this world, no matter what form it takes, we must recognize the reality and schemes of Satan and his minions, take our stand in the strength and authority of Christ, submit our lives to God, put on the full armor of God, and boldly stand on the truths of God in the face of challenges and temptations by our leashed spiritual enemies.
1. Revelations 12:10b; see also C. F. Dickason, Angels: Elect and Evil (Moody Publishers, 1995), pp. 155–159.
The Ministry of Deliverance Prayer
If one would read the Bible book of the Acts, one would have to notice the stark difference between the power of the first century Church and today’s Church.
The owner of this website has been profoundly blessed to be involved with four legitimate, sound, effective “deliverance” ministries. And I have also benefited greatly by participating in formal training by two of the four ministries. And although I have not witnessed any firsthand, I have heard of a couple ineffective and strange deliverance ministries around the USA.
All this to simply recommend a superb introductory overview of the ministry of deliverance prayer: a book entitled When Pigs Move In: How to Sweep Clean the Demonic Influences Impacting Your Life and the Lives of Others by longtime deliverance prayer minister, Don Dickerman. Any and all of Don Dickerman’s books are excellent and sound. Lastly, be strongly encouraged to consider receiving ministry from Mr. Dickerman’s ministry, located less than a half hour drive from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The ministry’s contact information is in any of his books.
Audio Study and Teaching by Bible Teacher Derek Prince
Enjoy these excellent audio studies and teachings about our conflict with evil. Accomplished Bible teacher and author Derek Prince reveals the truth of our situation—that we are dealing with someone, not something. That someone is Satan, who has a rival kingdom in the heavens. Our enemies are persons without bodies; we can’t see them, but we need to know how to deal with them.
Note that Derek's audio teachings are presented in convenient “bite-size” 10-minute segments. And Derek is also well-known as a pioneer in the important ministry recognized as “deliverance” prayer.
The Owner of this Website:
• In the past, did not believe in “such things” – was more or less in a league with them (Ephesians 2:1-3)
• Then, was in agreement with a ‘fear of evil’ spirit when there was disbelief that such things could have a Christian (1 Tim. 1:7; 1 Tim. 4:1-2; 1 John 4:1-6)
• Is currently in the process of cleansing self “from the filthiness of the spirit” (2 Cor. 7:1; 10:5; Ephes. 6:11-12; 2 Cor. 3:18) as “God has [graciously] granted me repentance so that I may know the truth and come to my senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive to do his [the devil’s] work” (2 Tim. 2:24-26)
• And so far, God has provided me with the privilege of more than 400-hours of highly effective “hand-to-hand combat” (or “face-to-face”) deliverance prayer ministry experience.
• So be encouraged … such things are subject to Christ and made subject to believers’ exercised authority by the atonement, the name of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 8:16-17; Matthew 12:28; Mark 16:17; Luke 10:17; Acts 19:15)! God wants you free indeed! (Jn. 8:32)
“Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness…” (2 Cor. 11:14-15) Understand evil and the occult
Thank you also Finis Jennings Dake, Dake Publishing, and their book entitled God’s Plan for Man