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The Doctrine of Satan and Demons

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Who is Satan?

The word satan is the Hebrew transliteration of the word adversary. Therefore, Satan is the one who opposes God. Satan, is the most powerful of the fallen angels. Satan, also known as Lucifer and the Devil, is said to be the one who entered the Garden of Eden and convinced Eve to disobey God.

There is debate among scholars regarding the time of the fall of Satan. Some say that he fell when he moved Eve to disobey God. Others state that Satan fell sometime before that and merely manifested his adversarial nature in the Garden. Still others say that there was a great battle in heaven long before the Garden of Eden and that Satan took one third of the angels with him.

"And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.4And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth..." (Revelation 12:3-4).

Of course, the first mention of the devil is found in the Garden of Eden, but it isn't until the post-exilic period (538 B.C.) that the figure of Satan is more prominently displayed: Job 1-2 Zech. 3:1-2; and 1 Chronicles 21:1.1

Satan is mentioned in the gospels many times:

" Matthew 4:1, "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."

" Mark 3:23, "And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand."

" John 13:2, "And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him."

The motive for Satan's rebellion may very well be found in the following verses.

" "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." (Isaiah 14:12-14).

In the future, there will be a judgment where the devil will be cast out :

" "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12:9).

What are demons?

Demons are evil spirits that are opposed to God and God's people. They appear to be fallen angels: 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6 and are primarily referenced in the New Testament.

" Matthew 4:24, "And the news about Him went out into all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, taken with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them."

" Matthew 8:28, "And when He had come to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs; they were so exceedingly violent that no one could pass by that road."

" Mark 3:22, "And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, He is possessed by Beelzebul, and He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons."

" Luke 4:35, "And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Be quiet and come out of him! And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him without doing him any harm."

" John 8:48-49, "The Jews answered and said to Him, Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon? Jesus answered, I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me"

Demons seem to be able to cause illness, paralysis, blindness, and violence combined with great strength in the one possessed. Demons apparently strongly desire to reside within people (Matthew 8:28) and even animals (Matthew 8:32).

In the future there will be a judgment of the demonic forces: Matt. 8:29, "And behold, they cried out, saying, What do we have to do with You, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?"

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"When to seek God has become life and to glorify God has become self, then you have truly found God."