By Greg Holt
“If you choose not to believe in the existence of Satan and his demons, then you also choose to disbelieve the very Word of God; effectively, you are calling God a liar. You also choose to place yourself in an extremely dangerous position.”
If I asked you, “do you believe in Satan”, what would be your answer? Did you know that many who call themselves “Christian” do not believe in Satan? What about demons? Many that do believe in Satan do not believe in demons. These beliefs are not only dangerous and wrong, more importantly they are unbiblical.
As believers in Christ, it is important that we believe Satan is real, and so are his angels which we refer to as demons. Satan and the demons are in fact all fallen angels, created beings that used to serve God in Heaven. What we do not need to do is to see demons hiding behind every bush, and blame Satan for every little thing that goes wrong in life.
I am amazed and at the same time saddened that people who believe in God, do not believe in Satan. Why on earth would I be saddened over this? If you choose not to believe in the existence of Satan and his demons, then you also choose to disbelieve the very Word of God; effectively, you are calling God a liar. You also choose to place yourself in an extremely dangerous position.
The Word of God tells us about Satan and his angels who are the demons. The fact that they are real is testified to not only in the bible but also by the early church fathers:
Origen wrote: “In regard to the devil and his angels and opposing powers, the ecclesiastical teaching maintains that the beings do indeed exist; but what they are or how they exist is not explained with sufficient clarity. This opinion, however, is held by most: that the devil was an angel; and having apostatized, he persuaded as many angels as possible to fall away with himself; and these, even to the present time, are called his angels.” 1
Saint Athanasius “And once more, if the devil, the enemy of our race, having fallen from heaven, wanders about our lower atmosphere, and there bearing rule over his fellow-spirits, as his peers in disobedience, not only works illusions by their means in them that are deceived, but tries to hinder them that are going up (and about this the Apostle says: According to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience); while the Lord came to cast down the devil, and clear the air and prepare the way for us up into heaven” 2
Hippolytus of Rome “47. For John says, “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” That is the half of the week whereof Daniel spake. “These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the Lord of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire will proceed out of their mouth, and devour their enemies; and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy; and have power over waters, to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their course and their testimony,” what saith the prophet? “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them,” because they will not give glory to Antichrist. For this is meant by the little horn that grows up. He, being now elated in heart, begins to exalt himself, and to glorify himself as God, persecuting the saints and blaspheming Christ, even as Daniel says, “I considered the horn, and, behold, in the horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things; and he opened his mouth to blaspheme God. And that born made war against the saints, and prevailed against them until the beast was slain, and perished, and his body was given to be burned.” 3
From the Word of God we can see that Satan is very real and so are his demons.
Job 1:6 “One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.”
Job 2:3-7 “Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” 4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 6 The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” 7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.”
1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Even Jesus Himself had interaction with Satan on Earth (Jesus would have been there of course in heaven when Satan appeared before the throne as in Job 1:6). Matthew 4:1-11 tells the story of Jesus temptation by Satan. Some regard this as a mere story; it is not a story but the truth of what really happened when Christ went into the desert to be tempted of Satan. What was the point of this temptation of Jesus? Surely this is just a story, after all if Jesus is God, then Satan could not possibly tempt Him with food though He was hungry along with the other things that happened during the time of Jesus temptation – right? It bears mentioning here that Jesus was also human, and His human side was open to temptation. Temptation is not sin; giving in to the temptation is where the sin occurs.
In part two, we will look at Jesus temptation and how Satan interweaves himself into our world.
1. Neil T. Anderson, The bondage breaker®, (Oregon, Harvest House Publishers, 2000), pg. 116
2. Saint Athanasius, On the Incarnation
3. Saint Hippolytus, The Sacred Writings of Saint Hippolytus