Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Satan And Demons

   There seems to be in our day an increased fascination with Satan and the demons.  The subject of many advertised movies seems to be increasingly centered around or focused on some evil or wicked scenario that involves the supernatural effect of Satan or demons.  I have also noticed an increased presence of palm readers, open affiliation with the occult, as well as increased public exposure of those who claim to be witches, warlocks, or soothsayers who claim they can predict the future.  One has but to look at the recent lineup of primetime evening television shows to see mind readers, those who can converse with the dead, as well as vampires and werewolves.  What are Christians to think and make of this fascination with the supernatural or spiritual realm?  That is the subject of our thoughts today.

   The first thing we understand from the Bible is that the spiritual world is real.  There are angelic beings, good and bad, that are active in the world around us.  The apostle Paul said, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6.12).  The fundamentals of this verse are straight forward.  Satan has an army of demons who are aligned against God and all that He is doing in the world.  We see here the structure of these demon forces as principalities and powers.  This tells us Satan’s demons are structured much as the angels of heaven are structured.  There are ranks among the demons as well as among God’s angels.  There is a continual battle in the spiritual realm we cannot see. 
   We further understand from the Bible that Satan has but one goal, to kill, steal, and destroy all that is good in the lives of men and women.  Jesus called Satan a thief and a liar.  Jesus said, “The thief cometh not but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10.10a).  The glamorization of demon activity is dangerous.  Satan is a master deceiver and his only aim is to destroy as many lives as possible.  He seeks to keep men blinded from the truth of God’s grace and our need of a Savior.  The proliferation of movies, books, and so called experts on the spiritual realm serve only to desensitize people to the danger and reality of the death and destruction Satan and his demons seek to bring into the world.  It is healthy to have a firm biblical knowledge of the wiles of Satan and his demons, however, it is dangerous to have a familiar attitude concerning these demonic threats.  In the little Book of Jude we read, “Yet Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, the Lord rebuke thee” (Jude 9).  Here we are told how Michael, the archangel, one of the most powerful angels in heaven, would not personally rebuke Satan, but rather committed Satan’s rebuke to the Lord.  Consider this, if the archangel Michael would not personally rebuke Satan, but rather turned him over to the Lord, how much more do we mere mortals need to rely on God to preserve and keep us from the power of Satan?  How dangerous indeed it is for us to delve into demonic things of which we really have no comprehension?  Christians should have nothing to do with witchcraft, fortune telling, future telling, or those who claim they have contact with departed souls.  To delve into areas of magic, mysticism, or the occult is to play right into Satan’s hands.   
   From time to time someone will ask me where Satan and the demons came from?  They will ask me why God would allow Satan and his minions to exist in His creation?  The answer to the first question is Satan was created by God.  Satan is actually a fallen angel.  There was a time in eternity past when he served God as one of His chief angels.  There came a time when pride welled up in Satan and he desired to be like God.  We are told by the prophet Isaiah, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How art thou cut down to the ground, who didst weaken the nations!  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north” (Isaiah 14.12-13).  Satan sinned by wanting to be like God.  Satan rebelled against God and a host of the angels chose to rebel with him.  The fallen angels are called demons.  Satan and the demons are already under the judgment of God and will one day be thrown into the eternal lake of fire.  As to the second question, why God allows Satan and his demons to do what they do, we can only say it is all part of God’s sovereign eternal plan.  God will ultimately receive honor and glory when His plan and purpose for all things is fulfilled.  All sin will receive its just reward, including the sin of Satan and his followers, demonic or human. 
   Let us be on guard against the world’s fascination with Satan and his minions.  Let us give our attention to following Jesus with all our heart, all our mind, and with all our strength.  Satan will do his worst while he has opportunity, but we who are saved by faith in Jesus have the victory.  May Jesus come for His bride, the church, even today.

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