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ORIGIN AND SIGNIFICANCE OF SATAN AND DEMONS: PART TWO

       

Demons in the Old Testament:

        In the OT, there is a Hebrew word shed/shedim (pronounced shade) that is translated into the English word “demon” in the NIV, RSV, NKJV, NET and other English translations.  The KJV translates this word as "devils."  This word appears only twice in the Hebrew Scriptures and appears to relate to the worship of idols.  Its definition in Hebrew Lexicons shows it to mean “to rule” and by extension can mean lord or master.

       Deuteronomy 32:17: They sacrificed to demons (shade), which are not God-- gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your fathers did not fear.

       Psalm 106:36-37: They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons (shade).

       The context of these passages make it clear that it is the worship of false gods and idols that is being addressed.  Deuteronomy 32:16 records that Israel made God jealous with their foreign gods and angered Him with their detestable idols. There is nothing in the Lexicon definition or Scriptural usage of shade that suggests fallen angels or supernatural Beings are being referenced here.   

       Another Hebrew word rendered as "demon" in some English translations is sa'yir (pronounced "saw-eer."   This word appears 59 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and is most often rendered as "goat" or "kid of a goat." This word has a basic meaning of "hairy" or shaggy."  For example in Genesis 27:11 Esau is said to be a hairy (saw-eer) man.  This word is rendered "demons" in the NKJV translation of Leviticus 17:7 and 2 Chronicles 11:15.

       Leviticus 17:7: "They shall no more offer their sacrifices to demons  (saw-eer), after whom they have played the harlot. This shall be a statute forever for them throughout their generations.'' '

       2 Chronicles 11:15: Then he appointed for himself priests for the high places, for the demons (saw-eer), and the calf idols which he had made.

       The KJV renders saw-eer as "devils" in these two passages. Most English translations render saw-eer in these two passages as "goat idols" or "goat demons."  Some translations leave the Hebrew word untranslated.  Only in these two passages is this Hebrew word used in relation to worship.  By context, it can be seen to reference worshiping "goat gods."   There is nothing here to suggest these are fallen angles or supernatural Beings of some kind. 

       It is evident the Hebrew words that are sometimes rendered  "devil" or "demon" in English, do not carry the meaning in the Hebrew language that they do in the English language. These English words have come to mean supernatural evil Spirits that roam the earth creating all sorts of havoc. This is not the meaning that comes across in the Hebrew words which have been rendered into the English words "devil and demon. In fact, the OT view is that the false gods and idols represented by these Hebrew words have no reality.  They are not real entities but are humans creations.  Therefore, to worship them is an affront to the one true God.  

       While evil spirits as personages called demons are not seen in the OT, "evil spirits" are spoken of.  We see this in Judges 9:23 and several times in 1 Samuel 16.  However, the "evil spirit" spoken of is seen as coming from God as a mental affection  and not as some evil entity possessing someone. This is reflected in the fact that some translations, such as the NKJV, use the phrase"ill will" in place of "evil spirit."    An examination of the Lexical definition and contextual usage of the Hebrew words that are translated "evil spirit" or "ill will" suggest a supernatural influence placed upon a persons thinking but not an actual possession of a person by a Spirit Being as seen in the NT.  

       We do see Scripture accounts of God sending/allowing "Spirits" to affect the lives of humans. Satan was allowed to raise havoc in the life of Job. A Spirit was sent by God to entice Ahab to go to war and get himself killed. This Spirit became a "lying Spirit" in the mouths of Ahab's prophets telling Ahab he would be victorious (1 Kings 22). However, there is no evidence that an evil Spirit personage actually possessed Job or Ahab's prophets.  The context of these accounts indicate a Spirit power influencing human thinking and causing certain events to occur but not actually possessing individuals as is seen in the NT.  

       In the Hebrew Scriptures we are warned to avoid owb (pronounced obe). This Hebrew word is translated "familiar spirit"  or "spiritist"  in most English translations. Some believe this has to do with being possessed by an evil spirit which is thought to be a demon.  This Hebrew word has nothing to do with being possessed by an evil spirit. The Hebrew Lexicons show it to mean the art of communicating with the dead through magical incantations. It is instructive that the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) often renders obe as ventriloquist.  A ventriloquist has the ability to create voices other than their own.  One can see how an obe could deceive someone into thinking they are communicating with the dead.       

       The Hebrew Scriptures also instruct us to steer clear of yidd'oniy (pronounced yid-deh-o-nee). This word is often rendered "wizard" in English translations.  Some see being a "wizard" is to be possessed by a demon.  This Hebrew word is defined as "one who knows."  It is often used to designate one who thinks they know the future and goes about proclaiming what they think they know.  It is often used of false prophets.  No apparent demon precession here.

       In view of the foregoing, it should be seen that we must be very careful in drawing conclusions as to what is demon possession.  Demon possession, which is generally defined as coming under the influence/control of some evil supernatural power, can easily be confused with humanly produced dynamics of behavior.  While influence/control by an evil supernatural power is certainly possible, it appears that when the the Hebrew words discussed above are looked at in their context and their Lexical definitions are taken into account, we are not here looking at behavior generated by demon possession. 

Demons in the New Testament:

       In the NT, the word demon is translated from the Greek word daimonian (pronounced dahee-mon'-ee-on).  In its various tenses, this word occurs 79 times in the NT.  The KJV consistently renders this word into English as devil or devils.  Every other translation I consulted renders this word as demon or demons

       The Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich Greek/English Lexicon of the NT and other early Christian literature identifies this word as describing deity, divinity and evil spirits.  The general definition is that demons are beings who occupy a position somewhere between the human and the divine.  This Lexicon provides dozens of references to daimonian being used in this manner in early Christian literature and secular writings of the first century.  In essence, Greek Lexicons define this word in terms of how it is used in Greek literature.             

       The word demon doesn’t present a set image to the mind such as the word dog, cat or table.  Even though many attempts have been made to picture what a demon looks like, Scripture makes no such identification. It appears that present views of what a demon looks like come not from the Bible but from ancient mythology. Almost every ancient culture, and many contemporary cultures as well, have grotesque looking creatures that are seen as adversarial to mankind and are often seen as Spirit Beings of some sort or another and referred to as demons.  Almost every ancient culture, and some contemporary ones, have everything from war demons to storm and disease demons.  Demonology is seen to be historically present in most religions of the world.

       How are we to understand what a demon is within the framework of Christian theology?  Some believe the word demon simply describes the presence of various human conditions of disease and mental illness caused by physiological/psychological malfunctions.  For example, it once was believed that conditions such as epilepsy were demon possession.  With the advent of drugs that can control epileptic seizures and other such conditions, it is now realized that such conditions often have physiological dynamics that can be medically addressed resulting in relief from the symptoms associated with the condition.  If such conditions were caused by demon possession, the logical question would be why demons should be affected by drugs. 

       Some believe that when Jesus cast out demons he was simply correcting various conditions caused by physiological/psychological malfunctions and wasn't actually dealing with spirit powers that were the cause of such conditions.  The Scriptures, however, reveal demons are much more than symbolic of human disease.

       Of the 79 occurrences of daimonian, in its various tenses in the NT, several dozen occurrences refer to someone being processed by a demon.  Several dozen more NT Scriptures speak of Christ casting out a demon or demons.  While we see people being relieved of a physical or mental problem after having a demon cast out, it is apparent from the recorded accounts of these exorcisms that the reason a person was having a problem is because of the presence of an evil spirit called a demon in some manner affecting that person. 

       Matthew 8:16: When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.

       Matthew 8:28-31: What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?" Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, "If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs."

      Matthew 10:7-8: As you go, preach this message: `The kingdom of heaven is near.'  Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

      Mark 1:34: and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

       In the passage from Mark, we see healing the sick cleansing leprosy and even raising the dead are events different from casting out demons.  Not all healings involved casting out demons.  It is apparent, however, that many did involve casting out demons.  

       Luke 4:33-34: In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, "Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!"

       Luke 4:40-41: When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.   Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.

       James 2:19: You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.

       These passages of Scripture all show demons to be a lot more than some kind of metaphor for a physical, mental or spiritual disease.  It appears that demons are Spirit entities and their leader appears to be Satan. These Spirit entities are seen in Scripture as not only influencing human thinking and causing human disease but they apparently can possess physical Beings in the sense of living within them as seen in the episode of Christ allowing demons possessing a human to relocate in a herd of pigs. 

       Matthew 12:24-26: But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons." Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?

       Jesus doesn’t dispute the Pharisees’ designing Beelzebub (another apparent name for Satan) as being the prince of demons.  Jesus actually identifies Beelzebub as Satan and the demons as being of Satan’s kingdom.  We have previously discussed Satan offering Jesus the kingdoms of this world.  Are Satan and the demons ruling over the kingdoms of this world?  If so, how does this coordinate with 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6 which we briefly discussed earlier?  

       2 Peter 2:4:  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell (Greek tartarus), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;     

       Jude 6: And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

       Tartarus is a Greek word which appears only this once in the NT and is generally translated hell in English Bibles.  It is defined in Greek as a subterranean region where the wicked dead are being punished.  In Greek mythology it is seen as located below Hades and a place were rebellious supernatural beings were confined.  It is in this sense that Apostle Peter appears to be using this word.

       Peter and Jude appear to be referencing an event that had already taken place at some point in the historical past.  If the angels that sinned are demons and they are being held in some kind of prison, why are they seen as being so active in the NT?  Why do many people today believe demons are responsible for much of the havoc in the world? 

        What positions of authority, or estate as the KJV renders it, did these angels abandon and when did this happen?  Is what we see in Revelation 12:3-5 and 12:7-9, as covered earlier, related to 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6?  Here we have an arch angel, Michael, doing battle with the dragon which Revelation 12:9 identifies as Satan.  However, this event seems to have taken place at the time of Christ’s birth (Revelation 12:4).    

Summery:

       So what can we conclude at this point about the origin and significance of Satan and the demons?  The Scriptures speak of a Being having significant power who is seen as a slanderous adversary and the enemy of righteousness.  This Being appears to presently have or had control over a group of angels who apparently share his adversarial nature.  This Being is seen to be, or to have been at some time in the past, in possession of the kingdoms of this world.

       In Job, this Being is seen as allowed by God to test Job.  In the NT this Being is seen as testing Christ and being an adversary to Christ and to the developing church after Christ ascended to the Father.  In the Revelation this Being is seen as engaging in war in heaven and deceiving the whole world.  Except for in Job and Zechariah, there are no other OT Scriptures that speak of Satan as a named individual.  Virtually nothing is said in the OT about demons.  There is no demon possession seen in the OT.   While there is a lot of evil activity seen in the OT, such activity is not associated with Satan or with demons.

       Then we have the episode with the serpent and Eve.  We have an animal in the Garden that Scripture shows was one of the animals God made.  It’s called a serpent, We can reasonably assume Adam named this animal serpent (snake) as we know from Genesis the second chapter that God had directed Adam to name the animals in the Garden.  This animal called snake is seen as able to express thoughts and communicate with Eve, an ability we certainly don’t see in snakes today.  This talking serpent deceives Eve into eating the forbidden fruit and committing sin. 

       The Gesenius Hebrew Lexicon shows the English word serpent is taken from the Hebrew word nachash which means to hiss. Strong's Hebrew Lexicon agrees with this definition.  This Hebrew word appears 31 times in the OT.  In reviewing the various contexts in which it is found, it appears to always indicate a literal serpent or a representation of a literal serpent.  In view of its root word which means "to hiss," it appears the serpent is an animal that hisses and as such corresponds to our present day knowledge of a snake as a hissing creature.

       Bullinger, in his Companion Bible Appendix 19, defines nachash as "to shine or "a shinning one."  Bullinger then goes on to postulate that it was a shinning Being that appeared to Eve and not a literal serpent. Bullinger believes the accounts in Isaiah 13 and Ezekiel 28 reflect the presence of a shinning Being in the Garden which he assumes was Satan.  Bullinger's conclusions, however, are speculative. Defining nachash as "to shine" or "a shinning one" is not what is seen in Hebrew Lexicons. Associating the events described in Isaiah 13 and Ezekiel 28 is problematic as discussed in Part One of this series. The question before us is this:  Was the creature that spoke to Eve an actual animal called a serpent or was the serpent only a figurative representation of a Being that came to be known as Satan the devil?         

       Nothing is said in Genesis, or anywhere else in the OT, as to the serpent being or representing Satan, the Devil or being a dragon.   Only in the Revelation do we see the serpent associated with an individual called the Devil and Satan.  In the NT we see Satan and demons possessing people and making people do very unusually things.  If Satan and demons can possess people, it isn’t farfetched to see Satan, the apparent leader of demons, possessing a snake. However, is this what Satan did?  Did Satan possess a snake or is the snake only symbolic of the cognitive Being called Satan being present in the Garden of Eden?

       Some have questioned how a serpent could talk and express itself in language.  As it turns out, talking animals are not all that unusual in Scripture.  We have the account of God causing Balaam’s ass to talk.  It is not far fetched to believe Satan, being the powerful individual Scripture reveals him to be, possessing a snake and talking through it.  Demons possessing animals is seen in the account of Christ allowing them to enter a herd of pigs (Matthew 8:31-32).

       Some believe Satan had his origin in the Garden of Eden.  It is believed God placed the adversary in the Garden for the very purpose of enticing Eve to eat of the forbidden tree and commit sin.  It is believed God predestined the serpent to deceive Eve and have her commit sin.  Under this perspective, the serpent is seen as only symbolic of Satan and Satan is believed to have appeared as himself in the Garden.

       At first glance this perspective appears problematic because the serpent is cursed above all the livestock and all the wild animals and made to crawl on its belly and eat dust.  The Scriptural view of Satan is certainly not of an animal crawling around on its belly eating dust. In view of the Scriptural record of Satan possessing humans, it may be more reasonable to see Satan possessing the serpent to bring about the deception of Eve.  However, if this is the case, it raises the question of why the serpent is cursed if it was only a vehicle through which Satan worked.. 

        The fact that the serpent is cursed and told there would be enmity between his seed and the women’s seed is indicative of the serpent being symbolic of Satan and Satan not being a literal serpent but a personage of a far different nature who appeared before Eve.

       It is instructive that in Revelation 20:2, we see it said “the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan ….”  Here the serpent is plainly called the devil or Satan.  This would indicate the serpent in the Garden, whether symbolic or actual, was  Satan himself. In Isaiah 65:25 is a prophecy about a coming idyllic time when “the wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food.”  It is interesting that the serpent is seen as continuing to be condemned to eating dust in contrast to an apparent transformation of other of the animals.  While this entire passage in Isaiah may be metaphorical, it is interesting that the serpent is still seen as eating the dust of the ground which is what it was made to do after the Garden event.  Could the serpent spoken of here be Satan and this passage is showing Satan continues as God's adversary even after an apparent transformation in living conditions for other created creatures?  Does this indicate the serpent is symbolic of Satan and not actually Satan?    

 Did Satin Exist Prior To The Six Day Creation?

        Is there evidence Satan existed prior to the six day creation?  Because Satan said he was given the kingdoms of this world and offered them to Christ in exchange for Christ worshiping him, some believe this indicates he pre-existed the six day creation.  However, it could also be said that with Adam and Eve yielding to Satan’s deception, mankind came under the rule of Satan and in this manner Satan had power over the kingdoms of this world.  Satan shown as having authority over the kingdoms of this world does not do away with the possibly of he having his beginning during the six day creation. 

        Most Christians, however, believe Satan came into existence prior to the creation recorded in Genesis.  It is believed he originally was a high ranking angelic Being in the Government of God. At some point in the historical past this Being sinned along with numerous other angels and was cast out of the heavenly realm. The fact that the devil purportedly shown to have fallen under condemnation (1st Timothy 3:6) is believed to show he at one time was OK with God but did something that brought him into condemnation.  As previously covered, however, the passage in 1 Timothy may not be speaking of Satan's condemnation but of prideful humans being punished by Satan.

       Since both 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6 speak of the punishment of angels who at some point in the historical past have sinned, there must have been some sort of disobedience involving angels which brought about God casting them from His presence. 

       Some have associated the sinning of angels with what is recorded in Genesis 6 about the sons of God having relations with the daughters of men.  It is believed the sons of God are angels who left their heavenly dwelling to co-habitat with humans and were punished for this by being cast into tartarus.  Genesis 6 does speak of the sons of God marrying the daughters of men.  However, the phrase “sons of God” is often applied to humans in Scripture.  In Matthew 22:30, Christ indicated angels are gender neutral.  Therefore, there is no good Scriptural evidence to support the perspective that angels can or did have sexual relations with humans. Plus there is the obvious question of how Beings of "spirit composition" could have sex with Beings of material composition.     

       Since it is believed Satan is a fallen angel and the Genesis creation account gives no hint of the serpent/Satan being a fallen angel, it is generally believed Satan must have pre-existed the Genesis creation.  It is believed Satan and a band of angels who were at one time OK with God, sinned and were consequently cast out of the heavenly realm and landed on planet earth.  As discussed earlier, many believe the events described in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 are reflective of the fall of Satan. 

       In view of this, it is interesting that in the book of Job, Satan appears with other angels before God in the heavenly realm and when asked what he has been doing, he replies he has been roaming around the earth (Job 1;8-7).   This indicates Satan was regulated to being on the earth but also had access to the heavenly realm. 

       Some feel Satan could not have had his origin at the time of creation because after God finished the six day creation, God is seen as reflecting on all He had created and calling it very good.

       Genesis 1:31:  God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.

       The Hebrew word translated “very” is an intensive or superlative in the Hebrew language which accentuates the word good which shows God telling us that what He created was really very good.

       Therefore, God sees His six day creation, which included man and the animals, as being extremely good.  In Genesis 3:1, we see the serpent as one of the animals God had made.  So it appears the serpent was created along with the other animals on the sixth day of creation and was part of the overall creation that God, in Genesis 1:31, proclaimed as being extremely good.  Yet we find this good animal called a serpent an adversary and bringing about the evil of sin by successfully seducing Eve into disobeying God. 

       We must realize, however, that we don’t now how much time passed between the creation and the tempting of Eve.  It is generally assumed Eve was tempted shortly after she was made from the rib of Adam.  The fact is we simply don’t know how much time passed before the temptation occurred. It could have been years. A timeline is not provided in Genesis as to when these events took place. Given sufficient time, the serpent, as a created animal with cognitive skills, could have lived in the Garden for some time and had fallen from grace with God and become God’s adversary.  At some point thereafter, the serpent could have enticed Eve to disobey God.  However, if this were to be the case, it would not provide any insight into the origin of demons. The existence of demons in association with Satan appears to place into serious question the perspective that Satan had his origin in the Garden. There is no association of fallen angels (demons) with the events in the Garden. 

       On the other hand, is it possible that an angelic fall from grace occurred after the events in the Garden. I earlier quoted Christ saying that he saw Satan fall from heaven like lighting. When did this occur?  Christ says this in response to His disciples casting out demons. Christ appears to be associating the fall of Satan with the casting out of demons?  In the book of Job, Satan is seen as being in heaven and also roaming the earth. Was Satan at one time an agent of God simply doing God's bidding?  Was Satan an angel of rank in the heavenly realm who was sent to earth to facilitate the temptation of Eve at God's request.  Did God allow Satan to test Eve just like He allowed Satan to test Job?  Did the fall of Satan and other angels occur many millenniums after the Garden event?  Did the fall occur at the time of the birth of Christ as is indicated in Revelation 12?  If so, this could explain why there is so much demon activity recorded during the time of Christ while none is recorded in OT history. 

Conclusion:

       The Scriptures reveal there were angels who sinned, there was war in heaven between Michael and his angels and the dragon and his angels, the dragon is seen as being cast down to earth with his angels, angels are seen as not keeping their first estate.Jesus sees Satan fall from heaven and the devil is seen as condemned.  The Scriptures are not clear as to the time frame for these events.  In view of all this, it may be prudent to not take a dogmatic position as to the dynamics associated with the origin of Satan and the demons.        

       As already discussed, some believe God planted Satan in the Garden to bring about the sin of Adam and Eve.  The origin of Satan is seen as taking place at the time of the six day creation.  Now, if Adam and Eve were predestined to sin which means they had no choice in the matter, God’s command to not eat of the tree is nothing more than a set up to facilitate God’s will that man become a sinner.  Under this perspective the command to not eat of the tree becomes nothing more than pretense to bring about human sin.

        I personally fine this approach very problematic.  To see God instruct Adam and Eve to obey His command not to eat of the tree while at the same time predestinating them to disobey him and eat of the forbidden tree is an absolute oxymoron.  I believe it to be much more Scripturally sound to see God  creating Adam and Eve to do His will which included being obedient to God’s command regarding the trees in the Garden.  God did not predestine the sin of man.  God predestined that man be allowed to sin.  God predestined that He would provide a way out from the eternal consequences of sin.  See the series on this website on Predestination and Freewill for greater elucidation of this issue. 

 What are Satan and the demons doing today?

       What is the role of Satan and the demons in the world today?  Are Satan and the demons as active today as they are seen to be in the world of the NT?  Are they active at all?  If Satan and the demons are the fallen angels that Peter and Jude talk about, it would appear they were already in a state of restraint at the time Peter and Jude wrote.  However, we find Satan and the demons very active in the NT period.  Was Peter and Jude speaking proleptically?  To speak proleptically is to speak of things as already having occurred even though they have not actually yet occurred.  This kind of language is found elsewhere in Scripture. Are we still waiting for Satan and the demons to be silenced?

       If, as is commonly believed, the resurrection of Christ crushed the head of Satan, it would appear Satan would no longer be active.  Yet Paul, a number of years after the crucifixion, speaks of the head of Satan soon being crushed.  This would place the crushing of Satan’s head some time after the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 16:20). The writer of Hebrews indicates the death of Christ facilitated the destruction of Satan.  Apostle John appears to say the same thing.

       Hebrews 2:14-15: 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.

       1 John 2:8b: The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.

       Satan is seen as holding the power of death. The death of Christ is shown to destroy Satan. The word “destroy” is from the Greek katargeo, which means: “to make ineffective, powerless, abolish, wipe out” (Arndt, Gingrich, Bauer, Greek-English Lexicon). The apostle John plainly says the Son of God appeared to destroy the devil’s work.  Has the devil’s work been destroyed?  If the death of Christ destroyed the devil’s work, why is it believed the devil is still working?  Christian clergy are still seen as supposedly casting out demons.  Is such activity a genuine casting out of demons or are there physiological/physiological dynamics involved here that give the appearance of exorcism? 

       As discussed above, drugs are now used to control behavior that once was thought to be demon possession. If demons are truly the cause of aberrant behavior, such drugs shouldn't have any effect. It is believed by some Christians that various health problems are caused by demons.  Yet when drugs are taken or dietary/lifestyle changes are make, the health problem disappears. You would not expect demons to be subject to such  interventions.

       Are Satan and the demons behind much of the evil currently extant in the world as many Christians believe?  Historically, Satan and demons have been seen as the driving force behind much of what is seen by humans as evil. Evil continues to exist. Scripture reveals the death and resurrection of Christ was designed to destroy the works of Satan. Are we, some 2000 years later and counting, still waiting for the death and resurrection of Jesus to do away with the works of Satan?  Or is it possible that Satan and the demons have been destroyed and the continuance of evil subsequent to the Christ event has nothing to do with Satan or demons but is simply the result of our being influenced by thousands of years of human culture which involves making choices that in many cases brings evil results? 

       Determining the current status of Satan and the demons, as is the case with determining the origin of Satan and the demons, is somewhat difficult to ascertain from the Scriptures.  As discussed elsewhere on this website, the first century Christians fully expected Christ to return in their lifetime.  Their anticipated return of Christ permeates the NT narrative.  Scripture shows it is at the return of Christ that Satan and his angels (demons) are thrown into a lake of fire (Matthew 25: 31-41).  This would appear to be there final and complete demise.  When does this occur?  Has this already occurred?  For a comprehensive discussion of the timing of the return of Christ and all associated events, go to When Does Christ Return

         We will address the "Satan's seed doctrine" in Part Three.

PART THREE