Satanas, or Hebrew for Satan means Adversary or opponent, and it carried over into the Greek as diabolos—or devil, which means slanderer. The bible has at least 22 different names for Satan, our enemy. How did they come about?
Who are they, where did they come from, and what do they do? I should not have to say this but I do: the bible alone is our all-sufficient and only inspired source of information regarding these beings. Specifically, to use the book of 1 Enoch to ‘fill in the gaps’ of our knowledge does two awful things at once: it implies that the Word of God is insufficient (See 2 Timothy 3:16-17), and using details from this non-canonical book in this manner is adding to the bible, which is explicitly forbidden, condemned by the Holy One who wrote His Word, and a curse is levelled at those who do (Rev. 22:18-19). It is one thing to use a book to help understand the historical setting, but it is quite another thing to use it as ‘template’ through which the bible is read and interpreted, which is being done in increasing frequency. Details regarding Satan and demons from 1 Enoch are being added to the biblical narrative and that is unspeakably prideful. It must stop now. If bible is silent, then we are to be humble and accept that-Deut. 29:29 29“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
How did the notion of a red dressed character, with a pitchfork, who looks like he just left a Halloween party, become an image of Satan? In Medieval Christianity, they believed that Satan’s main sin was pride, and the image was intentionally meant to mock him as a means of defense. They knew he did not really look like that. They thought it would wound his pride…and insult and repel him… he’d slink away. Unfortunately, the next generation kept the imagery but not the explanation.
Satan and his demons are fallen angels. There are elect angels (1 Tim. 5:21, just as elect humans) and non-elect angels. They were/are all angels, of varying kinds and ranks, and they rebelled—but all angels. Now, there are two and only two kinds of supernatural beings—good and bad angels, with many biblical nicknames, so to speak. Satan and demons are pure evil—utterly depraved.
In Genesis 1:31 God declares His benediction upon on the whole of His creation, and we can assume that would include the spirit realm. So, sometime between 1:31 and 3:1 there was a spiritual rebellion in angelic realm. One possibility is that Lucifer was assigned to guard Adam and Eve, hated the newly revealed plan in which he would be subordinate to them, and his fall was essentially simultaneous with human Fall..or slightly before.
3 When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, 4you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:.’
12 “Howyou are fallen from heaven,
O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
you who laid the nations low!
13 You said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
in the far reaches of the north;c
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’
15 But you are brought down to Sheol,
to the far reaches of the pit.
The prophets often spoke of more than they knew, and I have a hard time seeing how this can only properly apply to human king. Plus, we know that Satan is the ‘god of this world’ so he is the ultimate wicked force behind this human wicked nation (under God sovereignty). But beneath all this is pride. Perhaps in Ezek 28 we have more hints, I don’t know—but we see a guardian cherub in garden. That would place Satan near garden and that he was designed as a warrior.
How Satan, who was sinless and had no external temptation could have sinned is a mystery, but he did.
I think the classic teaching that they fell with him is truth—help explain all the false religion soon after Fall.. I know Heiser and other appeal to Gen. 6:1-4 as fall of angels. However, Dr Wayne Grudem, spent several days studying the ancient Jewish literature on this sin (Midrash, Talmud, Josephus, Philo and apocrypha. Found 18 places where this sin discussed: 9 thought they were humans and 9 thought they were angels. Reading Heiser one gets the impression that it was uniform interpretation amongst second Temple Jews—not true.
I have studied this text and the context is contrast of seed of serpent and seed of woman, leading up to flood, with 4 verses devoted to this episode, with no commentary by Moses. Plus, it says they married and bible says angels do not marry. And this I know: women are being sexually assaulted by demons but they are not getting pregnant. Perhaps it is due to cross species—human with angel….like pig mating with gorilla—not offspring.
What do they do? Destroy and lie. John 8:44/Cain; ‘did God say/”
Demonic influence leads to self-destruction. Any addictive behavior can lead to this. And he hates the truth—exposing his lies, including this.
Satan in OT--6Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satanb also came among them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.
1 Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel (2 Chron. 21:1)
36 They served their idols,
which became a snare to them.
37 They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to the demons; but no mention of exorcisms
NT. Jesus speaks a word and they leave-people marvel. Sign kingdom had arrived.
I have done a study of demons and they are not the spirits of dead Nephillim-that is based on unbiblical source. The bible sees Satan as ‘the prince of demons’, which suggests an identity of nature, but difference in rank. We see this in Matt.9:34 4But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”. Most natural rendering is he is the prince of similar beings. ..not lowly spirits of dead hybrid giants.
“It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” 25Knowing their thoughts, he said to them (Matt. 12:24)
We see in Matt 25 that devils angels are synonymous with what had been called demons and unclean spirits before are eternally sentenced to hell.
Just as God is Lord of Hosts, Satan copies and is lord of his infernal army. Demons, unclean spirits, devils angels, elemental spirits, principalities and powers, cosmic powers,ect are all synonyms for fallen angles subordinate to Satan, as general.
12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. 13 And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. 14 For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) 16And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon..
What do they do? (kill and lie) Gen, 3:1ff ‘did God say..?” Why would brother kill his own brother?
1. Destroy/kill—John 8:44 murderer…occult activities (Hitler diary..today I made covenant with Satan) have you ever seen self-destructive tendencies of people under demonic influence?
2. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Cor. 11:3)
9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
With the rise of occult and fascination with paranormal doors are being opened left and right and our culture is becoming demonized.
3. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Cor. 11:14)—he can be smooth, suave, plausible sounding.
They can appear as anything—they know which buttons to push to attract us
I have encountered directly demons on dozens of occasions. I have had them communicate with me via text and phone calls.
7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothersb has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Hindering truth or effective gospel witness. (temptation, fear, pride, doubt, envy, confusion)
Demons/Satan cannot read minds—but keen observers and transmit information (psychic detectives). They can be in one place at a time.
. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
Today—12—70—whole church. We live in time of Acts. dwell in us”? 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. (Eph 6)
18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
Balance: we fight against the world, the flesh (indwelling sin) and demons. In book of Acts and epistles the usual approach was to deal with sin and obedience. In Corinth with all its problems, he never said to cast out demon of pride, envy, incest, litigation.
26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. (Eph. 4:26-27) Habitual sin can lead to giving devil a foothold.
Can a Christian be possessed? No! But we can so open ourselves through persistent serious sin that we can be so oppressed it almost looks like possession.
Should Christians speak directly to demon or pray to God? Command demon directly…that is NT pattern.
Should we be concerned with generational sins? If there is a long history of addiction, pray that God would break futile ways of life by precious blood of lamb and command any spirits to leave.
18knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
Folks who are dealing with oppression are often very open to gospel. Jesus has won the victory Col 2:15
Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.