The Devil and His Angels

e31ace2a15a7c70645ad83df9ecd43b0_XL-150x150Have you ever been tempted to do something that you know you shouldn’t do? Have you ever experienced an inner desire — a silent voice within you — suggesting that you do something, and that no one will ever know? What prompts us to have these feelings, or to do things that we somehow know that we shouldn’t do?The devil, or Satan, is usually the one who gets the blame. There are many people that live in constant fear of the devil, and there are many people that are convinced that there is no such thing as a devil. Others are unconcerned whether or not there is a devil — their life is such that even if there was a devil, the devil would be of no concern to them.

The apparent invisibility of the devil is of little importance to those who believe that he exists. They refer to the Bible, which refers frequently to devils, demons, and even provides names for some of the demons: Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Belial, Abaddon, Apollyon. The character of the devil is described frequently:

– the tempter (Matthew 4:3, 1 Thessalonions 3:5)
– the evil one (Matthew 13:28, 39)
– a murderer (John 8:44)
– a liar (John 8:44)
– the father of lies (John 8:44)
– the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)
– prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2)
– the adversary (1 Peter 5:8)
– the deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9)
– the great dragon (Revelation 12:9)
– the ancient serpent (Revelation 12:9)
– the accuser of our brethren (Revelation 12:10)

And yet, despite these impressive references to the devil, the Bible appears to fall short in explanation with respect to several fundamental aspects:
– The Bible nowhere explains Satan’s origins.
– The Bible nowhere explains why such a powerful force of evil is allowed to exist.
– The Bible is almost silent about devils in the Old Testament.

These shortcomings are by no means insignificant. A fundamental question that must be answered is if God is a supreme, all-powerful God, why does He allow a being as powerful as Satan to co-exist with Him? Why would He allow Satan to lead mankind towards chaos, if His own intention was to offer salvation to all mankind? If Satan is a fallen angel, why was he allowed to continue living, and rather not destroyed as were later people who deliberately rebelled against the Almighty God? Why should God allow a rebellious Satan to have a free hand over His creation for thousands of years, and then destroy him at the last time, as asserted by many Christian believers?

These are some of the aspects that must be capable of reasonable explanation if the Bible is the Word of God, and if we are prepared to consider exactly what the Bible does say about the devil and his angels.

The Devil’s Appearance.
If the devil is a being that can influence our behaviour, and can manipulate us as individuals, then he must be invisible when he is acting his role in the lives of people. Can an invisible thing have a shape or image? Can the devil materialise into a visible form if the need arises, and if so, what is the form he takes? What does the devil look like? What does Satan look like?

There are many impressions of what the devil looks like. Although ideas vary, they normally (though not necessarily) include two features in common: Horns and hoofed feet. Over centuries of time there have been numerous drawings made of the devil.

These conceptions of the devil go back in time well to before the Middle Ages; and are traceable to several thousand years BC at least. In Nimrud, a city in ancient Babylon, one of the objects worshipped was a winged, hoofed bull with a human head. The ancient Egyptians had a similar god amongst those they worshipped. So it perhaps not surprising that such imagery exists practically through to our own day of a power that is seen to be so extensive.

If the devil is part of God’s creation, perhaps an unintended part, it would be logical to look at the Bible — God’s Word — to get answers to these things.

The Bible Description.
The Bible is not silent on how it depicts the devil or Satan. In fact, the devil is seen to take on a variety of forms, just as in the past the devil has been sketched in a variety of forms. Some of these sketches are shown alongside the Bible quotes, but are there purely to illustrate how they parallel past thought.

“He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations any more until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be set free for a short time.” Revelation 20:2, 3

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Peter 5:8

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men. ‘ ” Matthew 16:23

In these three instances, the descriptions have been diverse from each other. Admittedly each sketch used above is a person’s interpretation of what the Bible was describing, but a serpent (or snake) is as diverse from a lion as is a man! What then did the Bible expect us to understand from its visual imagery?

When we look again at the quotes from the New Testament of the Bible, we see that the description that the Bible is providing is not intending to be a literal one. For example, we know that the devil is not a lion, and probably doesn’t even remotely resemble one physically. But it may well resemble a lion in its nature — frightening, aggressive, and dangerous. The devil may not physically look like a snake, but it may have similar attributes – stealth, and capable of inflicting death. Peter was accused of being Satan, not because he was Satan, but because he represented the works of Satan.

So what message is the Bible telling us with respect to the devil and Satan?

To obtain the answer, we must open our vision to new horizons that are unshackled from centuries of tradition and beliefs, and look candidly with fresh vision at what the Bible actually says about the devil.

The Devil Destroyed!
It might seem incredible to you, but the Bible claims that the devil was destroyed when Jesus died on the cross.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. ” Hebrews 2: 14, 15

If we limit our view to that of tradition, we cannot make sense of this quotation, for isn’t the devil as active as ever today, and isn’t he to be held in the Abyss for a thousand years sometime yet in the future? How then could the New Testament writer to the Hebrews claim that Jesus’ death destroyed the devil? Since Jesus was only to die once, his death must have achieved its goal at that time. How did he destroy the devil if it is indeed true that the devil exists today? To understand the situation it is necessary to go back to the beginning of mankind as narrated in the opening chapters of the Bible.

The Genesis Record.
The first chapters of the book of Genesis narrate the creation of the earth and the establishment of plants, animals, and mankind. The first human pair, Adam and Eve, were placed in park-like surroundings in the garden of Eden. But all was not destined to remain as paradise:

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ Genesis 3:1

The narrative goes on to relate how Eve listened to the serpent, and then did as the serpent had suggested – she ate from the tree that God had specifically forbidden.

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” Genesis 3: 6, 7

God reacted to this by pronouncing a sentence on each of the players:
“Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the animals!
You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

“I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

“Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it’, Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life…
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.
So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.” Genesis 3: 14–17, 19, 23

This is the Bible record of how sin entered the world, and the Bible reflection on how sin subsequently affected the world. When we look at this record, simple as it is, we see that there are three parties involved in both the incident itself, and the subsequent curse by God: The serpent, Eve, and Adam. There is no mention of either the devil or Satan. If a devil called Satan was involved, then it would appear that he escaped any judgement on his action, and let the serpent take the blame, and to be punished for ever for something that it was not guilty of doing. This would not have been a fair result from an all-knowing God!

The serpent in Eden had been created as the wisest of the animals, apart from man himself. It had obviously been given powers of reasoning and of speech. Following the ‘fall’ of Adam and Eve, it became the serpent, or snake, that we are familiar with today. It also became, in Bible terms, the symbol for everything that the original serpent did to introduce the ‘fall’ of mankind, namely sin. This is demonstrated some thousands of years later when the children of Israel were in the wilderness journey between Egypt and the Promised Land. They encountered there some venomous snakes, and called on God to help.

“The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people.
“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.’ So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.” Numbers 21: 7-9

This pole, which saved the people at that time, itself became an object of idol worship, as recorded in a later narrative:

“He [King Hezekiah] removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)” 2 Kings 18:4

So we begin to appreciate how the serpent, or snake, began to be worshipped as a symbol associated with sin.

Fallen angel.
“But”, say some, “wasn’t Satan a fallen angel, tossed out of heaven before the time of Adam and Eve, and wasn’t it Satan who actually tempted Eve in order that he could get back at God for what He had done to him?”

There are several passages in the Bible that appear to give support to this idea, but when each is examined it is clearly evident that the Bible does not support such a contention.

The book of the prophet Isaiah is one such source, where the prophet has been discussing the future of the king of Babylon.
“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star {KJV: Lucifer}, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations “You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of my God;…’ Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: ‘Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble…?” Isaiah 14: 12, 13, 16

This passage is clearly not referring to a pre-Adam fall from heaven, since his fall is after he has laid low the nations. He is also not invisible, for he is consequently stared at after his fall. The passage logically applies to the person whom the prophet is addressing; namely, the king of Babylon.

A second passage used to support a pre-Adamic fall of Satan is found in the last book of the Bible:

“And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Revelation 12: 7–9

The context of the passage, particularly with the verse that follows, makes it clear that this passage is not dealing with a situation that was before the creation of Adam, but one that was even much later than the birth of Jesus Christ. For the Book of Revelation carries the following explanation in its opening verse:

“The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John” Revelation 1: 1
“Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” Revelation 4:1

Whatever this passage may mean, it does not support a pre-Adam fall of Satan. What it actually does mean will be considered a little later, when we have gained a better understanding of what is referred to by the terms devil or Satan.

What is sin?
A simple question we need answered is the identification of what sin actually is. The Bible gives us several brief descriptions of what constitutes sin.
“All wrong doing is sin.” 1 John 5: 17
“Everything that does not come from faith is sin.” Romans 14: 23
“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” James 4: 17
“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness,” 1 John 3: 4

It is an interesting point, that with these definitions of sin, not one refers to a devil or Satan. The writer James describes the sin process in detail, and yet leaves out any reference to a devil or Satan having any input to the process:

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.” James 1: 12–15

James here presents a logical process that begins with one’s own evil desire, and finishes up with one’s death. If there was a devil to blame, then certainly James did not mention it, although he had opportunity to mention it when he rejected all possibility of the original temptation step as coming from God.

The apostle Paul spoke of a similar situation from his experience. Note carefully his argument.

“For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7: 19, 20

Paul, in effect, states that there is something in the make-up of his flesh, that makes him sin. He refers to it as a ‘sinful nature’. In the previous chapter, Paul had stated:
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all have sinned – for before the law was given, sin was in the world.” Romans 5: 12, 13

It is clear from this passage, that Paul states that sin entered the world through one man, Adam. He does not say that sin entered the world through the devil or through Satan. In fact, throughout his letter to the Romans (in which he forcibly argues the nature of sin and its end result) he mentions ‘sin’ or ‘sins’ 48 times, but makes absolutely no mention at all of Satan, or of any devil. It would be well to reflect on this factor as we consider the subject of sin. The principal book of the Bible that deals with the subject of temptation and sin, Romans, does not mention the devil or Satan within its pages.

To understand why Paul doesn’t refer to Satan in his extensive letter on the subject of sin, we must understand what the word satan means, and how it is used in the Bible.

The word satan is a Hebrew word, and has been transliterated into the English language. This means that the word itself has been left unchanged, but each letter of the Hebrew alphabet that is used has been substituted with the corresponding English letter. The word simply means ‘an adversary’. Since the Hebrew language does not distinguish between capital and small letters, the use of the capital ‘S’ depends solely on the translator’s preference. The New Testament was originally written in Greek, and so when the New Testament writers wanted to express the Hebrew word, they also simply carried it over to their language by transliteration, as we have done into English. And so the Greek meaning is exactly the same as that for the Hebrew word. The Greek alphabet consisted of only capital letters, and again the use of a capital ‘S’ merely reflects the choice of the translators. Knowing these elementary facts behind the word enables us to see why Jesus reprimanded the apostle Peter in the way he did, when the latter tried to negate the crucifixion of Jesus, when Jesus had intimated that it was close at hand.

“Peter took [Jesus] aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said, ‘this shall never happen to you!’
“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.’ ” Matthew 16: 22, 23

Now, in this incident, Jesus was not talking about the intentions of any devil, but the actual and genuine intentions of the apostle Peter. However well-meaning Peter may have intended his remarks, they were in opposition to the declared will of God; that Jesus would have to die for the people.
Peter’s comments were contrary to this mission, and he was therefore inadvertantly acting as an adversary, or in the Hebrew or Greek, a satan.

Consequently, the adversary, or satan, can take on many forms, according to the context of the situation. In one instance the adversary relates to God Himself.

“Satan rose up against Israel and incited David top take a census of Israel.” 1Chronicles 21:1

“Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, ‘Go and count Israel and Judah.’ ” 2 Samuel 24:1

These two passages relate to the same incident, and by understanding that the word ‘satan’ is an adversary or opposing spirit enables us to see that even God can be a satan under certain conditions — even an angel of the Lord, or an ordinary person can be a satan.

“But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose [Heb.: satan] him.” Numbers 22:22
“May my accusers [Heb.: satan] perish in shame;
may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace.” Psalm 71:13

With this understanding in mind, many passages in the Bible referring to Satan become much clearer.

“To the church at Pergamum write:
“These are the words of him who has the sharp double-edged sword. I know where you live – where Satan has his throne Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city — where Satan lives.” Revelation 2:12, 13

So Satan lived in Pergamum! Yes, that Satan did, because Pergamum was the headquarters of the Roman government for that part of the province of Asia, and the Romans at that time were determined to suppress any Christian movement.

The Devil.
The intended meaning and application of the word satan can be understood only when we understand its meaning. To falsely think of it purely as a proper name leads to a completely misleading picture. Similarly, the consideration of the devil leads to a trure perspective of the intended meaning only if we understand the meaning of the word ‘devil’. The devil is not an Old Testament concept, and so is not found as such. We must turn to the New Testament, which was originally written in Greek, in order to understand the word.

There are principally two Greek words that have been translated as devil in the King James version of the Bible, though more modern translations generally distinguish between the two words by using ‘devil’ or ‘demon’ according to whichever of the two Greek words is being translated.

When the word used is ‘devil’ then the translation is from the Greek word, ‘diabolos’, which means ‘a false accuser, a slanderer’. As with the term ‘satan’, the word is used for any occasion where someone is being slandered or falsely accused.

“In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers [Gk.: diabolos] but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” 1 Timothy 3: 11
“People will be lovers of themselves without love,unforgiving, slanderous [Gk.: diabolos], without self-control, ” 2 Timothy 3: 3

It is obvious that these devils were people, just as the satans were also people.

The Demons.
The second Greek word that is frequently translated ‘devil’ in the King James version of the Bible, is the word ‘diamonion’ (or a close equivalent), which is more accurately translated in modern versions as ‘demon’, or as ‘evil spirits’. In every instance of its use, it can be shown to be coupled with some form of disease or malfunction of the body.

“Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.” Matthew 17: 18
“Then they brought to him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.” Matthew 12: 22
“…how God annointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil [Gk.: diamonizomai], because God was with him.” Acts 10 38

The association of ill health with some type of outside agency was a very widely held belief from ancient times, since the micro-organisms that were reponsible for illness could not be seen and recognised until the invention of the microscope and increased scientific knowledge. Even today, children are warned about ‘Bertie Germ’ and the harrm that ‘he’ can do to unbrushed teeth.

The Devil and Sin.
Recall the passage quoted earlier from the book of James:

“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.” James 1: 12–15

James does not blame temptation on any devil, demon, or Satan. He lays the blame on something internal.

‘…but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. ‘

It is well accepted that we don’t have to train children to do what is wrong – it appears to be a natural instinct for them to do what is wrong. What we spend parenthood doing is trying to get them to do things that are good!
Human nature was degraded in the Garden of Eden, and ever since then it has been hostile to God’s will. Human nature urges us to satisfy the natural desires of the flesh. And when these have been satisfied, then the result is death, as James indicated in our text. The result of death comes about through the action of sin.

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned – …” Romans 5: 12

Notice how sin entered the world through one man — Adam — and not through a supernatural devil or Satan; and that this action introduced sin, and death through sin. This relation between sin and death is emphasised throughout the Bible, and it formed the basis on which both sin and death could be removed altogether through Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ and Sin.
There is a passge that relates human nature, the devil, death, and the Lord Jesus Christ:

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2: 14, 15

This passage presents a number of factors that are very relevant to the topic.
The term ‘flesh and blood’ is descriptive of the make up of everyone of us.

“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work in my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? …So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” Romans 7: 21–25

Jesus Christ shared exactly the same nature as us, a body of ‘flesh and blood’.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.” Hebrews 4: 15

The devil has the power of death.
By dying the death that he did, Jesus destroyed the devil.
That the destroying of the devil could only be done by Jesus having identical flesh to ourselves.

Now these factors present to us an astonishing situation, because one would naturally think that something with a strong immortal nature, such as an angel would possess, or God Himself, would best be positioned to destroy the devil. Yet Jesus had to be flesh and blood just like ourselves, and had to himself die in order that the devil might die. How can this astounding sequence possibly be explained?

There is another passage from the same writer that can throw some light on the situation.

“But now [Jesus Christ] has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Hebrews 9: 26

Setting out equivalent factors side by side a parallel is evident:

Hebrews 2: 14 Hebrews 9: 26
By his (own) death By the sacrifice of himself
He might destroy the devil Do away with sin

We can see that ‘destroying the devil’ is equivalent to ‘doing away with sin’. The devil, then, must be an alternative expression for the sinful nature that is inherent in every human being. It is this sinful nature that causes what we term ‘temptation’. Jesus explained it in these words:

“What comes out of a man makes him ‘unclean’. For within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean’.” Mark 7: 20-23

Recall the passage that James wrote on this aspect, and we see that his thoughts reflect exactly what Jesus said.

“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.” James 1: 12-15

Jesus succeeded in destroying the devil when he died, for he crucified his legacy of human nature, ‘sinful flesh’, which , like our flesh, lusted after its own natural desires.

We know that Jesus Christ completely overcame temptation, and was not guilty of any sin. Because of this he rose from the dead, for sin had no hold on him. The promise of God is that sin will be removed from the earth, and this is equivalent to saying that the devil and satan will exist no longer. Neither the devil nor Satan had any existence before sin entered the world.

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned – …” Romans 5: 12

But the Bible has a message of hope, rather than a message of despair.

“For if, by the trespass of one man [Adam], death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5: 17

Sin entered the world through one man, Adam. Sin will be removed from the world by one man — Jesus Christ. He has removed sin from himself, that is, he has got rid of the devil that was in him — he has destroyed it. He has yet to remove it from others, but he will do this when he returns from heaven. In Bible terms, the devil will be destroyed, and Satan will ‘be bound’.

The Devil’s Angels.
“The great dragon was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” Revelation 12:9

We can begin to understand the visionary language used in the final book of the Bible. If the devil and Satan are personifications of sin, that is, are words used to represent sin, then what of the devil’s angels?

The word ‘angel’ comes to our language from the Greek word ‘aggelos’, and means basically ‘a messenger’ On most occasions these angels are messengers from God, but some are messengers from, and to, man himself. The devil’s angels are merely messengers of the devil, or messengers of human nature, messengers that reflect our mortality. The apostle Paul used exactly this term.

“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.” 2 Corinthians 12:7

When Jesus trained his small group of followers, he gave them power to heal sickness.

“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there … The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.’
“He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.’ Luke 10: 8, 9, 17-19

Jesus here associates the demons (which are again equated to sickness) with satan, and the connection is logical, since sickness was one of the things introduced to mankind by the ‘fall’ of Adam from his perfect created state.
Jesus saw a time when not only sickness and disease would be abolished, but all the sin and evil summed up in the name satan would be removed. For when the devil, or satan, is destroyed, then the demons will also cease to exist. At that time, when the Kingdom of God has been established, human nature will be restored to its original state, and illness will be a thing of the past. The Book of revelation concludes with a picture of that time.

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21: 3, 4

What It All Means.
It is clear that the Bible speaks of the reality of satan and of devils.
But it can be seen that what the Bible pictures by these terms is significantly different to what the churches today teach regarding them. The Bible clearly teaches that we are tempted by our own lusts, and that we are individually responsible for actions when tempted. We cannot place the blame for our sins on some outside ‘being’ that tradition conjures up. “Well, it wasn’t my fault — the devil tempted me!” The Bible never allows us to put the blame on someone else.
” all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3: 23

Our devil is inside ourselves; it is in our minds, and in our hearts. If we accept this situation, then we can start to get our devil under control. We must ignore the powerful impulse we each have that urges us to seek our own satisfaction. Instead, we can turn our back on fleshly thinking and seek the spiritual help available from God through the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was tempted just like we are tempted, and therefore he is able to help us
when we ask for help.

“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15: 56, 57

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