D89 - Satan was an archangel who rebelled against God
In Luke 10:18, Jesus described the scene:
‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’
Rev 12:4 says,
‘His (Satan’s) tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth.’
Effectively, Satan rebelled and took one third of the angels with him to earth..
Satan did not want to worship God but to be worshiped (Matt 4:9)
D90 - Satan has a personality
Like God, Satan also has a personality. He is crafty, knows the Scripture and uses deception. In the Temptation of Jesus, it showed him speaking to Jesus in half-truths.
NB: If believers do not know their Scripture well, they will be tripped by the same half-truths from Satan.
In John 10:10, Satan is described as a ‘thief’ that comes ‘to steal, and kill, and destroy.’ He thrives on being evil.
In John 8:44, Jesus addressed him out as a murderer and a father of lies; he lies without guilt.
Satan has many names, each listing his attributes. He is called:
- Satan – Mark 4:15 – or in Greek, satanas, that is an adversary, Satan,
- The tempter (Matt 4:3, 1 Thes 3:5),
- The prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2),
- The god of this age (2 Cor 4:4),
- The prince of this world (John 12:31),
- The ruler of darkness (Eph 6:12),
- A roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8),
- The dragon (Rev 12:7),
- The deceiver (Rev 20:10),
- Apollyon – The destroyer (Rev 9:11),
- Beelzebub – Chief of evil spirits (Matt 12:24),
- Belial – Demon (2 Cor 6:15),
- The evil one (Matt 13:38),
- The accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10),
- An angel of light (disguised) (2 Cor 11:14-15),
- A father of lies (John 8:44),
- A murderer (John 8:44),
- The enemy (Matt 13:39).
He holds onto evil characteristics. His names describes who he is.
D91 - Satan is powerful but not more powerful than God
Satan is powerful. Paul, in 2 Thes 2:9, made it clear that the coming lawless one (the Antichrist)
‘by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders.’
Matt 24:24 confirms that at the end of times,
‘false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect (that is, Christians).’
NB: Astonishingly, even Christians can be deceived by these false messiahs.
Rev 13:12-15 talks about a second beast at the end times who ‘performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people’, and who could ‘give breath to the image of the (first) beast, so that the image of the (first) beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the (first) beast to be slain.’
In many parts of the world, we can witness the actual manifestation of demonic power. But God is more powerful. Here are some reasons:
- Satan is a created being. God is the Creator – Acts 4:24,
- Satan had to seek God for permission to test Job and even Peter – Job 1:6-22, Luke 22:31. See also D36, Jesus is more powerful than Satan,
- We can resist the devil and he will flee from us – James 4:7,
Satan will ultimately be thrown into the lake of fire – Rev 20:10 –
See also D102, Satan will be defeated for good and forever.
D92 - Satan is the prince of the world
‘all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.’
In 2 Cor 4:4, Satan is called the ‘god of the age’. The Greek word for ‘god’ is theos or a god and the word for ‘age’ is aion or an age/ a cycle of time especially of the present age as contrasted with the future age.
In Eph 2:2, Satan is addressed as the prince of the power of the air. Again, the Greek word for ‘prince’ is archon and ‘air’ is aer or the lower air we breathe/ air.
1 John 5:19 says that
‘the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.’
Yet, we discover that after Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus said in Matt 28:18 that ‘all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him (Jesus).’
How do we reconcile these verses? Who rules the world?
Consider this imperfect analogy –
- Satan has a leasehold on earth and its atmosphere (1 John 5:19). That is why 2 Cor 4:4 called him the god of the age and Eph 2:2 addressed him as the prince of the power of the air.
- He is powerful (See D91, Satan is powerful but not more powerful than God) although not as powerful as God; see 2 Thes 2:9, Matt 24:24, Job 1:6-22, Luke 22:31-32 .
- Eventually, Satan’s lease will expire and he will have to surrender the earth to Jesus; see Rev 19:11-16.
- But do not expect him to go quietly. He will throw a great outrage on the earth before being forced to exist. Read Rev 12:7-12 (D272 – The Great Tribulation begins when Satan is kicked out of God’s presence).
- Meanwhile, Christians are mighty as the owner (God) has given us ambassadorial recognition (2 Cor 5:20) to operate great things on earth (John 14:12).
Nonetheless, because he is still the prince of this world, children of God are not immune from the harm by Satan.
The Apostle James, the brother of John and one of Jesus’ three closest disciples, for example, became the first Christian martyr when he was killed by a sword under the instruction of King Herod (Acts 12:2).
Satan still has a lease on the earth.
D93 - Satan is the father of lies
The term that Jesus used in Matt 12:27 is ‘Beelzebul’ or the Greek word Beelzebul which stands for the chief of evil spirits or Satan.
One of Satan’s popular tools is deception. Please see D95, Satan’s key weapon is to cause us to doubt.
D94 - Satan will tempt us continuously
Jesus had just endured an intense time of temptation from the devil. It is termed as ‘The Temptation of Jesus’. And Jesus had not caved in despite Satan’s best effort.
Yet, in Luke 4:13, Scripture reports that
‘When the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.’
Satan was not yet done.
The same is with us. Satan will tempt us continuously, devouring the weak. Hence, the Apostle Peter could say,
‘Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour’ (1 Peter 5:8).
That was why Paul, in Eph 6:11 reminded us to
‘put on the full armor of God that you (we) may be able to sand against the schemes of the devil.’
D95 - Satan's key weapon is to cause us to doubt
Just like the passage in Genesis during the days of Adam and Eve, one of Satan’s most powerful weapons is doubt. In Gen 3:1, the serpent (the devil) said to the woman,
“Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’”
In Matt 4:3-11, at the Temptation of Jesus, the devil (also called the tempter) did a similar take when he said,
‘If you are the Son of God ….’
He started by putting in a doubt for Jesus.
If we observe Matt 4, you would have seen a negotiation pattern taken by Satan. Doubts shake our faith.
D96 - Satan can masquerade as an angel of light
In 2 Cor 11:14, Paul explained that Satan could masquerade/ disguise himself as ‘an angel of light’, describing some of these people as false apostles.
In Matt 24:24, it describes how these false christs may even mislead the elect (Christians/ God’s chosen ones).
D96 describes a group of religious leaders whose mission is to deceive us. Can it also include perceived ‘Christian’ leaders?
D97 - Satan is not to be worshiped
In Matt 4:9, the temptation of Jesus, Satan sought even Jesus to worship him, promising him a great reward.
The Bible has made it clear – Believers only worship God and no one else; not an angel, not a man, not a sport, not a car, not a spouse, and definitely not the devil.
Within the Ten Commandments, Commandment #1 states – ‘You shall have no other gods before me’ (Ex 20:3).
D98 - Satan can grant power to people that worship him
During the Temptation of Jesus, Satan showed his hands that he was prepared to grant his followers great powers.
Satan told Jesus, ‘All these (the kingdoms of the world and their glory) I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me’ (Matt 4:9). Satan could grant Jesus all that he was promised without the need for blood, sweat and tears of the cross.
Satan is powerful. See D91, Satan is powerful but not more powerful than God. It is therefore unsurprising that we see such powers manifested on earth.
As believers, discernment is required to distinguish good and evil power. The occult is very real.
See also S11, Practice sorcery and witchcraft.
D99 - Satan is our accuser
D100 - Satan has access to heaven for now
Rev 12:8 –
‘But he was defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.’
Satan lost his battle and in v9, it says that he was hurled to earth together with his (fallen) angels. In v12, it says that ‘the devil has come down to you (the earth) in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short.’
That is the time of Satan’s wrath which we will discuss further under the section on Second Coming.
What it does imply from Rev 12:8 is that Satan still has access to heaven although one day, that will cease. And it will not be a comfortable scenario for us on the earth when that happens.
This explains why in Job 1:6, it describes a time when ‘the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord’ and how Satan belittled God’s praise of Job. And it accounts for why Jesus had to intercede on our behalf – D50, Jesus intercedes on our behalf with God.
One day, Satan will be kicked out of heaven completely but that day has not yet arrived.
We will never understand why it is possible for Satan to present himself to God but could only share what the Bible shows.
D101 - Satan needs God's permission before he can act
In Matt 8:31, when Jesus was casting demons out of a man, they had to seek permission from Jesus before entering into a large herd of pigs. Jesus could also prevent the demons from speaking (Mark 1:34, Luke 4:41). And in the Old Testament, Job 1:6-12, when Satan was accusing Job, Satan had to make a request to God.
Satan can ONLY act with God’s permission.
See also D50 – Jesus intercedes on our behalf with God, for more information.
D102 - Satan and his subjects will be defeated for good and forever
The day when Jesus was born was the beginning of the end for the devil. 1 John 3:8 explains that the Son of God came to
‘destroy the works of the devil.’
The resurrection of Christ also spelled the beginning of the end of death and the devil. Heb 2:14 says that
‘by his (Jesus) death, Jesus might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.’
Eventually, Satan and his subjects will be destroyed. In the distant future and at the end of the age, God promises us that
‘the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur’ (Rev 20:9).
D103 - Demons are real
Demons are fallen angels who follow Satan. They are a big number since Rev 12:4 revealed that one-third of God’s angels followed Satan in rebellion.
The Greek word for demons is daimonion or an evil spirit/ demon/ heathen deity. Here are some of their characteristics:
- They can make their abode in a person like the possessed man in Mark 5 who had many demons Mark 5:9.
- They can have many names Mark 5:9,
- They can prevent a person from seeing or speaking – Matt 12:22. They can torment a person (Luke 8:27).
- They can cause sicknesses Luke 13:10-13,
- They can induce convulsions – Luke 9:42,
- They can oppress (or overpower) a person – Acts 10:38,
- They can speak through a possessed person – Luke 4:34
They are real and we can still see some of their manifestations today.
D104 - Demons can cause all sorts of sicknesses
D105 - Demons are subject to Jesus and his disciples
Demons are subject to the voice of Jesus. Mark 5:12 sees the demons entering a herd of pigs after receiving permission from Jesus.
That included the disciples of Jesus. Mark 6:13 says that
‘they (Jesus’ disciples) drove out many demons and healed many of the sick.’
Believers have the presence and authorization of the Holy Spirit to drive out demons.