In the beginning, God created the world and appointed us, humans, to rule over His creations with goodness and love. Everything was created with beauty, love, generosity, and truth. Until in Genesis 3, we can read the first evil came in the form of a serpent, assumed by many to be Satan, appeared to ruin God’s created perfection, bringing everything into darkness and chaos. The bible speaks about devils and demons several times. It also provides abundant evidence about them. Although these biblical demons are not seen by human eyes, they are realities, and their works are often manifested through the works of humans. Some religions do not believe in demons and teach that “devils” do not exist. But certainly, the word of God only speaks of the truth and it conveys everything we need to know about the forces of our enemies.
On the other hand, some people may choose to avoid and not to talk about Satan and his demons because they may find this subject quite disturbing. But as Christians, understanding the nature of your enemy may be vital. We can read in 1 John 5:9 that the world “lieth in wickedness.” The works of evil are everywhere. They are not just fictional characters in a red suit with a long tail and pointy horns carrying a pitchfork. They are also not just scary-faced creatures depicted in popular movies during Halloween. The Bible warns us to be wise and be fully aware of them to avoid the traps they prepared that can lead us off track to our purpose.
Biblical Facts About Demons
Are you afraid of the unseen forces of darkness? Do you fear the things that they can do to you? Do you know what you need to do to resist them? We know for sure that demons are our chief opponents in this world. If we are going to fight and stand firm against them, we must know their ways and have knowledge about what they are planning. There must be some questions you want to have answered regarding this topic. So, here are some biblical facts about demons.
What are Biblical Demons?
The word “demon” is derived from the Greek word “daimon”, meaning a “spirit” or a “spiritual being”. It is found more than 75 times in the Greek New Testament. The term demon is usually associated with evil or evilness but originally, it is a spiritual being that influences the character of a person. In the Bible, demons were also angels who joined Satan to rebel against God. They were cast out from heaven, along with Satan, as punishment. They continue to exploit humanities with their greed and selfishness and take advantage of the weakness of our mortal bodies. These evil spirits continue to influence humans on earth to deceive and bring harm.
1. Demons are “Fallen Angels”
Angels have their own free will and can feel certain emotions like desire. The desire to rule the world with their own wisdom made these angels fall from God’s grace. They are angels who did not keep their first estate and left their habitation (Jude 1:6). They are also the angels who joined Satan in the rebellion because of their desire for power. Once they joined Satan, these fallen angels became the minions of Satan. Jesus even said in Luke 10:18 that He saw Satan, the leader of the demons, fall like lightning from heaven.
2. The Biblical Demons are Spiritual Beings
Demons are not human entities. Nonbelievers do not acknowledge the existence of demons because they do not see them with their naked eye. But the truth is, demons are realities and they are spiritual beings that once were angels. This is the reason why they can possess and inhabit humans and animals and cause them to harm or bring them to do evil. In other words, we will not be able to see our enemies as they act and work through us to bring us harm. But only God can help us be rid of them.
3. They are “Destroyers”
More than anything else, demons are great destroyers. They deceive, disguise, lie, and tempt us, to tear us down physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They aim to spoil and corrupt the creations of God and bring darkness and chaos back. Demons seek to destroy fellowship between men and demolish the relationship of God to His children. However, they only destroy to the limit of their ability through the permission of God.
4. The Leader of Demons
Perhaps we are already familiar with the leader of all demons and evil forces as we have countlessly heard and seen his name in different books including that of the Bible. Satan is the commander and chief of all demons. In fact, the word Satan is not a name. It is a title given, meaning “the adversary,” in Hebrew. He is the mastermind of the rebellion alongside with the other angels who chose to fight against God. He is also the serpent who tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.
5. The Name Lucifer, the Morning Star
When Satan was created, he was not “Satan.” He was created as an angel, a beautiful cherub. The Bible doesn’t state Satan’s name. But because Lucifer is a Latin name which means “a bright light” and the Bible uses the descriptive phrase meaning “Morning Star” pertaining to Satan, the name stuck and the Devil is often referred to as Lucifer.
Satan was so proud of his beauty, intelligence, position, and power that he became so ambitious to desire to be the highest. He was so impressed with himself that he decided to be like God. And because of that pride, he was cast out from heaven and became the archenemy of God. Names for the Lucifer are numerous, and he’s referred to as the Prince of Darkness, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, Lord of the Flies, and Father of Lies.
6. Satan Convinced 1/3 of His Fellow Angels to Join Him
Eve was tempted by the Devil when he appeared at the Garden of Eden. He convinced her to eat the fruit that God forbid them to consume. Despite all the goodness that God had shown her, Satan managed to bring our her desire for other things. The lack of contentment to what God has given leads them to sin against Him. With this same tactic, the Devil was able to convince one-third of his fellow angels to follow him. He awakened their hidden desires for more power and blinds them with greed. Hence, they were cast out of heaven with him and are known as Fallen Angels.
Characteristics of Biblical Demons
Demons have their own characteristics that are similar to that of angels—as they were once were. And because they turned their backs to God, they become the opposite of what they were made to be. Instead of being the servants of God and witnesses of His great power and love, they became ministers of evil. These characteristics can be passed down to people that choose to follow them. Meaning, the bad attributes of demons can manifest to people as well. If we allow them to cloud our thoughts, they can dwell in us and we will become like them.
So as the saying goes, it is important to know your enemy so you will know how to deal with them and eventually defeat them. Below, listed the characteristics of demons that were mentioned in the Bible.
7. Demons Believe in God
What can you say about people who do not believe in God when even demons and evils do? Demons are completely aware of the existence of God and the power He holds. They are also afraid of Him because they know what God will do them when the right time comes.
8. Demons are Limited
Although demons are powerful and can do almost everything to thwart our purpose, they are also limited. They completely under the authority of God. It means we do not need to fear them for God is in control. Neither demons nor Satan can be considered equal or opposite to the Lord. They cannot be all-knowing and be present in all places at a time. Demons are technically powerless in front of God.
9. Demons are Liars
The devil is a liar. Satan is the father of lies, according to the bible. He does not know any languages except for the language of lies. He speaks of lies even in the beginning in the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve. Demons lie to deceive and cause harm. They are incapable of speaking the truth and there is no truth in him.
10. Demons are Thieves
More than deceivers and liars, they are also thieves. We can read in John 10:10 that a thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. They can rob the gift of eternal life from us by destroying our faith and killing our purpose in life.
11. Biblical Demons Attack the People of God
We can read several verses in the Bible about how Satan tried to attack the people who are close to the Lord. We can see in 1 Chronicles 21:2 how he provoked David and how he blocked Paul’s way and hindered him in returning to Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 2:18. Demons will try to destroy anyone who they see as a loyal and faithful people of God to separate us from Him.
12. Demons are Poised to Attack
Both angels and demons may be watching over us but they have a very different reason why they are observing. Angels watch over to help God protect us but demons are also likewise, observing and just waiting for the right time to attack. They roam, walk like roaring lion, and seek the earth to find whom they can devour.
13. Demon’s Intellect
Demons are initially created as angels. They were all given exceptional intelligence that they can use. By studying the scriptures, we can see clearly that demons have this kind of intelligence. They can indwell and possess humans and use their vocal apparatus to scare and terrorize and to deceive. Demons can also know specific things that they can use to harm people. They observe and predict. And they speak of lies and convince. Although there are a lot of things that demons can do, it is still not enough and not even comparable to our God.
14. All Bad Things are of Satan
Sometimes we wonder why people do wrong. They are aware that some things bring harm but they decide to do it anyway. For example, we all know that cigarettes are bad for the body. Most people who smoke are fully aware of how harmful it is, but Satan manipulates them into thinking that their stress will lessen when they consume it. Others think it’s cool. There will give a lot of excuses, which Satan injected into their brains, to proceed with it no matter what. When in fact, there are a lot of alternatives for those excuses without consuming what’s bad for them (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). People of a sane mind will not voluntarily harm their health. We do bad things to others and even to ourselves because Satan can manipulate our minds.
What Can Demons Do?
Besides who they are, we should know what demons do so we can recognize and resist their attacks altogether. As spiritual beings, they hold powers that we, humans, do not have. They have the ability to control us and manipulate our thoughts. The Bible described them as “roaring lions”—always observing and ready to devour. That is why Scripture says that we should always be alert and vigilant (1 Peter 5:8). Know what they can do and what we can about it as you read through this article.
15. Demons can Possess a Man
Demons are spiritual beings. Just as angels can appear as humans, demons can inhabit and live in humans. For example, Jesus healed and restored a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute (Matthew 12:22). Once this man was healed, he could then see and speak. Demons can possess people to cause them harm and make them do evil. The Bible describes them as deceiving and impure spirits. They can also cause physical maladies to bring people in agony. Additionally, many of them can take and possess a single body at the same time.
16. Demons are Powerful
Ephesians 6:12 says that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but spiritual forces. These spiritual forces are of great powers and rulers of darkness and evil. Even Satan, their leader, is very powerful. Meaning, we are not battling with our physical and immortal bodies, but we are fighting with our faith and spirit as we resist the forces of darkness through God. Because even Satan and his demons fear God and they know their limitations behind the powers that they hold.
17. Biblical Demons and their Free Will
The root of evil in man is their own free will. God gave us the gift to decide on our own and obey Him without forcing us. Satan, along with other fallen angels were once good. But with their own free will, chose to reject and rebel against God. They decided to have their dominion over the creation of God instead of doing what just God permitted them to do. As aforementioned, they were once the angels of God who chose to become angels of Satan due to their disobedience.
18. Demons are Deceitful
Demonic spirits can perform and create signs to deceive the world. Demons also teach people wrong beliefs through the wrong teachers that will cause some people to lose their faith and follow deceiving spirits to enter. Their goal is to propagate and spread false teachings to separate us from the truth.
19. Demons can Inhabit Animals
Demons can possess people. And aside from that, their ability is not only limited to humans, they can also inhabit animals. This is proven to have happened in Matthew 8:30-33 when the demons went into the herd of pigs from the possessed man. However, this was allowed to happen by Jesus, the son of God. Jesus ordered the evil spirits to go out of the men’s bodies and the demons begged Jesus to send them into the pigs as they left the body of the men.
20. Demons Obstruct our Salvation
All the schemes used by demons are to draw us further from God and obstruct our salvation. While angels celebrate our salvation, the forces of evil prevent it. They want us to reject God, separate from Him and have the same eternal punishment as them.
21. Demons Blind Minds
Demons are not entirely targeting those who only believe God but also the unbelievers. Blind minds do not see the truth that is why they continue to entice the minds and upset the hearts of those who do not believe so that they will continue to not see the light of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
22. Demon’s Disguise
Demons are deceitful workers. They can transform and mimic into false apostles of Christ and angels of light for people to believe them. It is one of their ways to propagate false teachings that aims to instill false beliefs. That is why we must be aware of their disguise and be careful for they are deceivers.
23. Demon’s Temptation
We can see in Matthew 4:1-11 how the Devil tempted Jesus several times. The Devil dared to go as far as to tempt the Son of God. Temptations are Devil’s work and we can encounter it a lot of times in our lives to destroy and harm us. Although there will be times that it will be hard to resist, we must always remember what Jesus did when the devil tempted Him.
Misconceptions About Biblical Demons
Literature and fictional works often depict demons far from what they are. These images that were created for entertainment had become some sort of truth that clouded our beliefs about them. Even their appearance that always appears as a hideous beast is not true. Demons are deceivers and they often take the form of what pleases their prey. Though demons are more powerful than humans, it does not mean that we are helpless against them. They are also creatures who are subject to God who deeply loves and cares for us.
24. Demons can’t Read Minds
Demons are not as powerful as you think they are. There are certain things that they cannot do like reading our thoughts and minds because they are not omniscient. They just linger around, waiting for the right time to act during your weakest moments. For example, when you start to use your money in gambling, you will begin with a small amount. It can be the right time for them to use you and work on you to put your larger amounts of money until you lose big. They will try to tempt you and make you do things you know that are not right without you being aware of it until things turn twisted enough to ruin you. That is why we need to resist them right from the very start.
Do not forget that only God can read our thoughts and know the desires of our hearts. Some Bible verses about prayer can help Christians to be strong in the Lord. And it is because our connection with God through our mind and soul can not be tampered by the power of Satan.
25. Demons can’t Predict the Future
The powers that demons possess are limited. No one knows the future except God. Neither demons nor angels have an idea of what will happen next. They rely purely on observations to make predictions using their extraordinary intellect given to them when they were created as angels. They can only sense what can happen in the future but with limited accuracy.
26. Demons are Not to Be Afraid Of
Demons may be powerful and potent but don’t forget that they are already defeated. As mentioned earlier, they are completely limited. We do not need to worry about demons. God is in control of them and they are already bound to eternal punishment. We might as well consider them as our defeated foes.
27. Demons can’t Bring People to Hell
Demons cannot force people to go to hell because they do not have the power to do so; only God has that power. People go to hell because of their own free will to do evil and reject God. Demons only lure and tempt us to do things that are evil and things that can shatter us, but we can choose to follow the right or wrong path. However, there are times that we overtrust ourselves and do the things we believe are right. We are not perfect, as some say, and there are also times that we choose to make wrong decisions purposely, that is why it is important to avoid unjust deeds, for it will be the root of evil. As much as we can, we should repent, and accept God’s love.
Our Ultimate Weapon Against All Demons
We must not be afraid of the work of Satan and his demons for we know that God is fully in control. But one cannot be confident of resisting evil without the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are reminded to stand firm against all enemies for we are soldiers and are fighting against the evil forces of the unseen world. We must put on our shield of faith and helmet of salvation together with the word of God and persistent prayers. Strengthen your faith and raise your voice. Take authority in all evil forces in the name of Jesus. Surely, there will be no enemies that can defeat us.
28. We can Win Against the Devil by Resisting His Will
Ephesians 4:26-27, said that if we let our anger sit in on our hearts longer than it should be, the devil will fain a foothold on us. As humans, it is sometimes inevitable for us to act our of extreme emotions. We can’t help but do things that make us sin in front of God, The Bible warns us not to get carried away by these emotions and let Satan manipulate us into sin. We should hold our faith stronger when adversities come in our way. In that way, we will against him.
The Fate of Demons
The fate of the rebellious fallen angels is already sealed. In Revelation 20:10, it is said that the devil will be thrown into the lake of burning sulfur. They will be chained together with Satan and will be tortured for eternity. The Bible asserts that they will be tormented day and night into the eternal fire forever and ever and they are fully aware of the punishment prepared for them.
29. The Defeat of Demons
Believe it or not, Satan and his demons were already defeated (Revelation 12:7-9). The war in heaven has been fought and won by the Angel Michael and the other angels of God who are against the dragon and Satan. The fallen angels together with their leader, Satan, were defeated and were cast out from and heaven as a punishment.
30. A Demon’s Place
The rightful place for the demons at the present is in the abyss. In Luke 8:26-33, Legion, the devil who possessed the man begged Jesus repeatedly to not order him to go the abyss. The abyss in the bible refers to the unfathomable deep or boundless space. In Jewish theology, it is a metaphorical reference of a place for evil spirits. The Greek term “abyssou” means “bottomless pit.”
A warning About Demons
The word of God has forewarned us several times about Satan and his demons. We can also read in the bible how the nature of the devil works. It is mentioned several times above that they can cause physical, mental, and spiritual anguish. They are powerful spiritual beings that can influence people to the extent that they can control their mental and bodily activities. These may all serve as a precaution to us to recognize easily and resist their evil deeds and not give them the advantage to lead us astray.
The existence of spiritual beings like demons or impure spirits is taught in the scriptures, especially by Jesus as He encountered them when He was on earth. And according to the Bible, there is no such thing on earth that was created without the permission of God. Therefore, even demons who were once angels are created by God. These angels chose to rebel and became the minions of Satan. They may appear powerful and terrifying for us but the bible is clear in telling us that we must not be afraid of the forces of darkness for we have the resources to resist them. God’s strength is enough to stand firm against all the forces of our enemies.