This study will demonstrate biblical support for the existence of Satan and his demonic host, describe their nature, and support the claims in the statement.
The word demon or demons is found about seventy-five times in the New Testament, and other designations are employed for them, as well. In no case are they presented as imaginary or fictitious, not even by the Son of God, Himself. In Mark 7:29, Jesus used the term quite literally: And He said to her, For this saying go, the demon has gone out of your daughter.
Satan, too, is a demon, and he is mentioned numerous times in both testaments, as will be seen below.
Angels were created by God before He created the heavens and the earth; but one-third of them became demons when they rebelled against God. Their rebellion will be addressed below.
Demons are not the disembodied spirits of a pre-Adamic race as at least one writer tried to prove. The Bible speaks of Adam as the first man (1 Corinthians 15:45, 47), and its explanation as to the origin of demons contradicts, and therefore nullifies, that writer's claim. What, then, are demons?
Demons are angels; and everything that the Scriptures teach about the nature of angels - except for holiness - is true of demons. Demons are angels, but unholy ones; ones that have chosen to rebel against God and have retained their defiled, sinful nature since that time.
A simple definition of demon is: A demon is an unholy, rebellious, thoroughly depraved angel bent on destroying the plans, the works, and the people of God; indeed, all people.
The holy angels are referred to as an innumerable company (Hebrews 12:22), and they are but two-thirds of the original number of holy angels. One-third (Revelation 12:3-4) of the original number joined Satan in his rebellion against God. Surely their huge number is made up of all three classes of angels: cherubim, seraphim, and the lowest rank of angels called, simply, angels.
Are the demons organized in ranks?
As a foundational consideration, it is instructive to remember that there are rankings among the holy angels: the cherubim are the highest order, the seraphim are next, and the rank and file angels are next; and each functions in its own realms of service. It is also helpful to remember that the Anointed Cherub had preeminence over all the other angels before his fall, and that Michael is the military commander over the rank and file angels (Revelation 12:7).
There are scriptures that refer to demon powers in various ways as over against powers of flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). They are: Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:21, 3:10, 6:12; and Colossians 1:16 and 2:15. Combining their designations from these scriptures, they are: principalities, powers in the heavenlies, world rulers of the darkness of this age, spiritual wickedness in high places, thrones, dominions, authorities. This author has been unable to determine whether each of these designations can apply to all demons, or whether each refers to demons with particular assignments or levels of authority. Nevertheless, other passages do indicate that there are demons of greater and lesser authority.
1. Demon King and Subjects
Other scriptures clarify the picture somewhat. Matthew 12:24 and Luke 11:15 call Satan the prince of demons, Ephesians 2:2 refers to him as the prince of the powers of the air, and Revelation 9:1-11 states that the demonic horde that will ascend out of the bottomless pit during the Great Tribulation will have a king over them. This relationship between Satan and his demons will remain active until the end of the Great Tribulation, at which time he will be bound in the Abyss for a thousand years. It will likely be reactivated briefly at the end of the thousand years when he will be loosed "to deceive the nations" and gather them to battle against the Lord, after which he will be cast into the Lake of Fire and Sulfur prepared for him and his angels (Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10; Matthew 25:41).
2. Demon Rulers Over Nations
Daniel speaks of the Prince of Persia (Daniel 10:13) and the Prince of Greece (Daniel 10:20), demon warriors who battled the archangel Michael.
Parenthetically, this causes one to wonder whether there might be a demon prince over all the world's governments. Would that include Israel? On the one hand, the same passage that speaks of the demon princes of Persia and Greece also names the holy angel Michael as the Prince of Israel. On the other hand, both in ancient times and in modern, Israel has had its share of demonic activity. In this regard it differs from no other nation. Note that Revelation 11:15 does not differentiate between Israel and the other kingdoms of this world: The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ. And He will reign forever and ever.
In the future, the kingdoms of this world will come under the direct dominion of Christ; but for now, they are all under the dominion of Satan and his host. It just may be that Satan has assigned his own prince over Israel just as God has assigned His.
Thus far, we can conclude that there are at least three rankings of angels: Satan the king or prince, rulers over nation (designated in other ways, as well), and rank and file demons. It seems likely that, since there are demonic rulers over nations, there are rulers of lesser authority over cities and other municipalities, as well; but, to my recollection, scripture does not spell this out.
To sum up, there are three clear ranks of demons, and there may be more. In descending order of authority, they are: king or prince, rulers over nations, and all other demons. It is also possible that the original levels of authority granted to cherubim, seraphim, and rank and file angels are retained in the demonic realm. Satan certainly has retained his. Scripture does not appear to make demonic rankings any clearer than this.
Most of the attention in this study is given to Satan, not to his underling demons, because he is representative of all demons in his nature and goals. It must be understood, however, that the vast majority of all demonic activity is carried out by Satan's underlings, not by Satan himself. In common conversation, when it is said that Satan did a particular work, it almost always means that he was in charge of the work, not that he actually carried it out himself. It is like saying that Hitler killed six million Jews. It is understood that he, personally, did not do the killing, but that he gave the order for it, and that the hands-on work of killing was actually carried out by others under him in rank. Unless Scripture specifically identifies Satan personally as the one carrying out a specific activity, it should be assumed that that activity is carried out by one or more of his underling demons.
In the Scriptures, Satan is identified by various designations, including names, titles, descriptions and animal-like representations, which, in themselves, tell quite a lot about him. I felt it most instructive to sort these out under headings having to do with his original nature, his original positions, his present nature, and his present positions.
1. The Original Nature of Satan
In reference to the one we commonly call Satan and the Devil, Scripture assigns him no negative designation in his original, sinless state, only positive ones. They are:
The Anointed Cherub. Ezekiel 28:14 begins, You were the anointed cherub... As to the nature of his spirit body, Satan was a cherub, and always will be.
Day-Star, and Son of the Morning. These two designations appear in Isaiah 14:12: How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning!
The King James translates the original Hebrew word for day-star into the Latin Lucifer which, like other designations of Satan, including Satan itself, hides its meaning. What's more, the designation Lucifer has a most negative connotation, whereas the original Hebrew for Day-Star and Son of the Morning have very positive ones. The only biblical designations that properly apply to Satan before his rebellion are Anointed Cherub, Day-Star and Son of the Morning. Day-Star has also been variously translated as Morning-Star and Shining-Star. According to Dr. Fruchtenbaum, "The correct title is day-star, son of the morning. The Hebrew emphasizes him as being the shining one. It emphasizes how he was in his original state:" (Fruchtenbaum, Dr. Arnold G. Radio Manuscript # 077, Satanology: The Doctrine of Satan. San Antonio: Ariel Ministries Press. P. 14.)
In addition to his special anointing, which we'll consider shortly, Ezekiel 28:12 reveals how he was the shining one: Son of man, lift up a lament over the king of Tyre, and say to him, So says the Lord Jehovah: You seal the measure, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
He was the shining one by virtue of his special anointing and by the fact that he was filled to angelic capacity with wisdom and perfection in angelic beauty.
2. The Original Positions of Satan
The Anointed Cherub that Covers. Ezekiel 28:14 begins, You were the anointed cherub that covers... In Ezekiel 10:1, we see the throne of God hovering above the cherubim; but in 28:14, we see the Shining One covering, or hovering above, or spread out over, the throne of God. His having been anointed shows that He was especially endowed by God for his breathtakingly glorious role as the covering cherub. This title also reveals a second position held by this cherub.
Cherubim are the highest order of angel, and this cherub was The Anointed Cherub, indicating that he had preeminence over all other cherubim and all the seraphim and rank and file angels, as well. In other words, he had preeminence over the entire angelic host.
Ezekiel 28:13b reveals yet another facet of his position as The Anointed Cherub that Covers: The workmanship of your tambourines and of your flutes was prepared in you in the day that you were created.
These musical instruments were in him as he hovered above God, above the seraphim (Isaiah 6:2) and above the other cherubim (Ezekiel 10:1). It is the picture of a worship leader who led the entire company of angels in the worship of God.
To sum up, three positions are included in the title The Anointed Cherub that Covers:
3. The Present Nature of Satan
Satan is not a red-skinned humanlike creature with a checkered jacket, horns, forked tail and pitchfork stoking up the flames of hell and tormenting its inhabitants. This is myth except for the fact that he'll be there.
a. His Basic Nature
b. His Goals
c. His Means of Achieving His Goals
d. How He Employs His Means
4. The Present Positions of Satan
a. In Relation to Other Demons
b. In Relation to the Present World System
5. Views Concerning Satan
For Part 2 of this study, please go to Spiritual Warfare; but first...
If you are not a Christian, I respectfully ask you to consider my appeal.
The Bible says that if you have not invited Jesus into your life to be your Savior, you are in the grip of the Devil, though you may not realize it. Satan does not always come as a roaring lion. Sometimes he comes as an angel of light. He is the Arch Deceiver. You may think that he does not exist, or that you have power over him, or can control your dabbling in the occult if that is the case with you. Yet, Scripture - even Jesus Himself - affirms that he does exist and that you have no power over the him if you are not one of Christ's; and that when you die, you will die with your sins unforgiven, and will be cast out of God's holy presence and into Hell. This is grievous, but eternal, truth.
Believing in Jesus is winning the ultimate and eternal victory. God sent Jesus from Heaven to die as a sacrifice for your sins upon the cross. He then raised Him from the dead to live with Him in Heaven once again so that He might fill you with Christ's resurrection victory and eternal life. Here on earth you will know His presence, His guidance, and victory over the Devil's temptations and grip; and when you die, you will be with Him in Heaven.
What is required of you? No penance and no amount of righteous living can wash away your sin. Simply admit to God that you are a sinner, and believe:
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
~ Romans 3:23 ~
16. God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
~ John 3:16-18 ~
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
~ 1 Peter 2:24 ~
9. If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10. for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11. For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."
~ Romans 10:9-11 ~
The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
~ 1 Corinthians 1:18 ~
I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.
~ Romans 1:16 ~
20. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21. [God] made [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 ~
Ask God to show you if this is true. If your heart is quieted and you will listen to His Word within your spirit, you will hear. Then simply welcome Jesus into your life to be your Savior. God will forgive you for your sins and you will be filled with the Holy Spirit, Who will make your spirit eternally alive in Christ, and you will be His forever.
With all the love of One who went to the cross for you, Jesus said,
Let your hearts be turned from sin, and have faith in the good news.
~ Mark 1:15, BBE ~
Please read my personal story.
Blessings to you!
Please proceed to Part 2, Spiritual Warfare. Thank you.