Here is your guide to understanding Satan and demons, and what role they play in the visible and invisible universe.
1. Satan 101
There are many names used in the Bible that refer to Satan. Satan is an archangel whose original name was Lucifer, which refers to “day star” or “morning star.”
Although Satan is often referred to by the pronoun “he,” in reality, angels have no gender.
Satan was the highest of all angels, but he wanted to be on equal footing with his Creator – God.
“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; I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
– Isaiah 14:13-14
Satan was cast out of heaven and his name became Lucifer. Satan is also referred to as “the devil,” and Beelzebub, among other names.
Satan is also sometimes referred to by nicknames that are based on his behaviors such as “the accuser,” because he is always accusing mankind before God.
He is also known as “the adversary” as he has been constantly adversarial towards God’s plan for creation.
Satan is also called “the deceiver” as he constantly tries to trick and manipulate mankind towards going against God’s rule by sinning.
Here is a list of some of the biblical nicknames for Satan and where to find them:
The devil has many nicknames in the Bible. Some of them are:
- Satan (1 Chronicles 21:1; Job 1:6)
- The great Dragon (Revelation 12:9; Isaiah 27:1)
- The serpent (Genesis 3:1)
- The accuser (Matthew 4:1)
- The God of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)
- Unclean spirit (Matthew 12:43)
- The father of lies (John 8:44)
- The deceiver (2 Corinthians 11:3)
- Adversary (Job 1; 1 Peter 5:8)
- Tempter (Matthew 4:3)
- Prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2)
- Roaring Lion (1 Peter 5:8)
- Prince of this world (John 14:30)
- Ruler of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12)
- Tempter (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5)
- Murderer (John 8:44)
- Prince of devils (Matthew 12:24)
2. Angels and Demons: 101
Demons are the names given to angels who were cast out of heaven along with Satan. The Bible tells us that a third of the angels were cast out in a war of rebellion where Satan and his angel followers tried to defeat God.
“Then a war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels fought back. but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And 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.”
3. It is Satan that has rule on Earth
One thing that many people do not understand is that when the angels of God cast Satan down to the Earth, Satan was given dominion and rule over the planet.
Jesus understood that Satan was in charge of Earth. When Satan tried to tempt Jesus, what Jesus doesn’t say is very telling.
Consider the following Scripture when Jesus is tempted by Satan:
“Again, the devil took him [Jesus] to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’'”
– Matthew 4:8-10
Jesus doesn’t argue with Satan that he does not have the authority to give “all the kingdoms of the world to him.” Why? Because Jesus knows that Satan is the ruler of the world!
Instead, the only point Jesus argues with Satan about is worship. Jesus’ only argument is that all are to worship God and serve Him only.
4. Humans are in the middle of spiritual warfare between Satan and God
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, 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.”
Satan still believes he will ultimately gain the upper hand and win a victory in a spiritual war against God that has been going on even before Adam and Eve were tempted in the garden of Eden.
“Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8
However, Satan will ultimately be defeated. The reason Jesus was born and crucified was to defeat Satan and sin.
“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.”
– 1 John 3:8
5. The powers Satan and his demons have over mankind
Angels are messengers, called “ministering spirits” in the Bible. God gave them the power to communicate with us by putting messages in our thoughts.
However, fallen angels aren’t bringing us messages from God, these demons are bringing us messages from Satan. These messages are intended to cause us to sin and to separate us from God.
The only power that Satan and his demons have over mankind is that of temptation. Satan cannot make anyone do anything against their will. The old saying of “the devil made me do it” is false.
Even though people can become demon-possessed, they ultimately submit their will over to demonic influence. Possession doesn’t happen all at once.
It is a long process of relinquishing one’s will until they allow the influential motivations that are put into their thoughts by demons to become their own thinking – they no longer resist temptation.
But we can resist the power of Satan and his demons by simply not yielding to temptation.
“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
– 1 Corinthians 10:13
Just remember that when tempted, pray to Jesus for protection.
“For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”
– Hebrews 2:18
“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
– Matthew 26:41