What Does the Bible Say About Demons?
Do you know how demons came to be? And did you know there are different types of demons? After studying angels, God’s agents, in last week’s program, this week brings us to Satan and demons, his agents. Chris teaches us everything God’s Word tells us about our enemies to equip us for spiritual warfare with them.
Demons do Satan’s bidding and reflect his character: slanderous, deceptive, proud, evil. Yet when they face off against Jesus in Scripture, they’re no match for Him, and neither is Satan! As threatening as they are, we have nothing to fear from demons when we walk by the Spirit. Take encouragement from this week’s teaching knowing you can defeat the Devil and his demons!
If you missed last week’s show, you can Listen Now!
Steve Conover: Welcome to The Friends of Israel Today. I'm Steve Conover. With me is our host and teacher Chris Katulka And we're so glad you joined us today. Last week, we looked at what scriptures taught about angels. Chris, where are we headed this week?
Chris Katulka: Yeah. Last week we looked at angels and this week we're going to look at demons and Satan. I think it's important to know this because we have to know who our enemy is. We have to know who God has called us to stand up against or else if we don't know who our enemy is, he has every ability to attack us. We got to stand ready. We have to know who we're dealing with. We're going to be looking at demons and Satan today.
I also want to encourage our radio and podcasts listeners to visit our website foiradio.org.
Steve Conover: Yes, we have all of Chris's teachings about the scripture and Israel and the Jewish people. Plus interviews of our field workers, both locally and internationally and you'll hear all about the amazing ministry the Friends of Israel is doing around the world. As you browse our website, you'll find a link to our most popular page that features trustworthy and accurate news on Israel and the Middle East. You'll want to find our news page and don't forget while you're there, you can support our ministry by clicking on the donate button to help us continue teaching biblical truth about Israel and the Jewish people. Again, visit foiradio.org. That's foiradio.org.
Steve Conover: In the news, Saturday Night Live's Michael Che jokingly said on the Weekend Update "Israel is reporting that they've vaccinated half of their population and I'm going to guess it's the Jewish half." The comment immediately received criticism. The Anti-Defamation League said, "This joke not only missed the mark, but crossed the line, playing into an antisemitic trope in the process."
Chris Katulka: Here's my take on this, Steve. Have you ever heard of the phrase, it's funny because it's true? Well, when Michael Che wrote those words about Israel and the Jewish people, he was trying to get a laugh from something that he thought was true, but no one's laughing because it's fake news. And in fact, it's anti-Semitic. He should do some research. Israel and the Jewish people are not intolerant racists. Instead, every Israeli, irrespective of their race, creed, ethnicity or color will receive a vaccine. Additionally, contrary to what you may have heard, Israel is providing vaccines for Palestinians and Syrians, while inventing new medicines to tackle COVID-19 globally. Really the joke is on Saturday Night Live.
We're continuing our series on angels and demons. Now remember, we're not talking about some Dan Brown novel, we're looking at what the Bible teaches about angels and demons. Today, I want to show you how Satan and demons appear throughout the scriptures. It's pretty easy to spot the first sighting of Satan. You don't have to be a Bible scholar. He can be seen right away in the very beginning, deceiving Eve to disobey the Lord, our Creator. Satan is both his proper name and his name has meaning. The word “satan” means accuser. It means hinderer or tempter. Satan is seen in the wisdom literature of the Bible as well.
The entire book of Job is about Satan tempting Job to act unrighteously. Remember, Satan wanted to prove to God that Job was a righteous man, only because God overly blessed him. And so Satan was arguing, if you remove that blessing, if you remove his family, which he considered his blessing, his job, his wealth, his health, then he'll surely curse you, God, and embrace an unrighteous attitude toward you. That Satan's tempting Job.
Satan again, is mentioned in the prophets during Israel's history, when they returned to the land of Israel. Satan again is called an accuser and the prophet Zachariah, Satan seeks to accuse the high priest Joshua, the first high priest established after the Jewish people return from exile. This is really important because you can see Satan at work trying to prevent God's people from returning to the land. You can see the accuser at work in a very important person in Israel's history here in this moment, Joshua the high priest. Let's move to the New Testament. Don't forget Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness. Satan entered Judas Iscariot, according to the book of Luke. And we see that Satan, the devil, continues to prowl, looking for someone to devour.
Now later on in the program, I want to deal specifically with the origins and destiny of Satan, but let's focus for a moment on his agents, demons. The evidence for the reality of angels and the reality of demons, overlap with one another. We can see demonic activity in some of the earliest religions. You see spells, incantations, magical text, exorcisms can be found in some of the archeological discoveries that are coming from Sumeria, Babylon, Egypt, Assyria, Greek and Roman times. According to the scriptures, when compared to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, these false gods from various times are associated with demon controlled religion, which ultimately clashed with the faith of the Old and New Testament. In the Torah, the first five books of Moses, Moses says the people of Israel turned to idols and by turning to idols, they turned to demons.
Did you hear that? Listen to what Moses says in Deuteronomy chapter 32 verses 17 and 18. It says this, "They, the Israelites, sacrificed to demons," not God, to gods they had not known, to new gods who had recently come along. Gods your ancestors had not known about. You forgot Israel, the rock who fathered you and put out of mind the God who gave you birth. These demons actually are called shedim in the Hebrew. That's what those are. They're shedim. And they're usually associated with rulers. But here, the idols that Moses is talking about are seen as rulers. And God says that these are demon possessed idols. That you're ultimately worshiping demons. That's what Moses is saying when it talks about idol worship.
Another type of demon from the Hebrew scriptures is se'irim, they're goat-like demons. God commanded in the Old Testament by the law that the Israelites should only offer sacrifices on the altar that's in the tabernacle or the temple in Jerusalem. To offer sacrifices elsewhere is forbidden, but that's what Jeroboam did. Listen, in Second Chronicles 11:15, Jeroboam appointed his own priest, this is King Jeroboam of the northern 10 tribes of Israel after the kingdom split, Jeroboam appointed his own priest, not the Levitical priest, to serve at worship centers and to lead in the worship of the goat idols and calf idols he had made. Again, this goes back to demon worship and you can see that in Second Chronicles, 11:15.
We see demons again appear in the New Testament. This is where we see them acting as Satan's agents. You can see many New Testament writers who are claiming the evil nature of demons. Demons, like angels, are spirit beings who are literally morally perverted. They are invisible beings, but they also have the ability to manifest themselves by even controlling mankind. Remember the Acts 19 passage where an evil spirit inhabited two of the seven brothers of Sceva in Acts chapter 19. It says this, it says that, "The evil spirit leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them so that they fled out of the house naked and wounded." And don't forget about the maniac of the Gerasenes who was controlled by many unclean spirits. It says in Mark 5, that no one was able to bind the Gerasene anymore even with a chain, because he had broken all the shackles and chains, he was completely uncontrollable.
But here's what I love about that account of the demon possessed Gerasene. The power of the demons meant nothing when they encountered Jesus. Remember, Jesus cast the demons out of the Gerasene and they entered into a herd of about 2,000 pigs and then they ran into the Sea of Galilee and they were killed. This is such an amazing account. And it shows that the Son of God has complete control over these demons who come to destroy the lives of even regular people. Jesus the Messiah comes to take back and restore what Satan was seeking to corrupt and destroy.
Look, here's the reality about demons in the world today. They are agents of Satan. They promote rebellion. Even in the future tribulation that's coming, demons are still at work to entice men to rebel against God. That when even men are face to face with God's wrath, demons are still deceiving men to not repent, but to fight against God. And demons do the same to people today, they encourage men to embrace their pride and their stubbornness. And by doing so, the lost are deceived into believing that God means nothing. They are to see that they're not sinners in need of a savior. Demons encourage slander, a character of the devil himself. They encourage men to slander God instead of seeing God's graciousness towards sinners. They alter the truth of who God is and for them, God is nothing but more than a restrictive, overbearing deity who doesn't love them. That slanders God's name. They also encourage slandering men. Satan and his demons are busy slandering God's children. See, since demons are able to affect the thoughts of the mind, they can cause self incriminating and condemning thoughts in the minds of believers.
The worst is Satan uses demons to blind the minds of the unsaved. He does this to prevent them from accepting God's amazing salvation of grace through faith. Both Satan and his demons hate God's grace. They are incapable of repenting or being saved themselves. They can't understand God's grace. And the reality is that they don't want to understand it. All of their ways, that's the demons, all of their ways are considered anti-Christ, which denies that the Lord Jesus Christ is fully God, fully man, who went to the cross to die in our place. That is the grace of God and Satan and his demons reject it and fight against it. The truth is even Satan and his demons fear God.
Listen to this, listen to what James 2:19 says about Satan and his demons. He says this, "You believe that God is one, well and good. Even the demons believe that and tremble with fear." Listen, as believers, we have the Holy Spirit in us, convicting us and challenging us and guiding us away from the influence of Satan and his demons. We have nothing to fear because the God that we have total access to through Jesus Christ, our high priest, is the same God the demons fear, as James says.
I want to share with you about the origins of Satan. But before we do this, listen, we're just scratching the surface of the study of angels and demons. We only have a few moments to talk about it, but there is a rich, deep doctrine and study of angels and demons. And it's important because I have my Bible opened in front of me here. And I want to read from you from Ephesians chapter 6, verse 12. It says this, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers and against the powers and against the world rulers of this darkness against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens."
Do you hear what Paul is writing there to the church in Ephesus? He's saying, "If you're looking around at what's going on in the world and you only see humans acting, or you only think of it from a humanistic perspective, you're missing the big picture because the battle isn't against flesh and blood, the battle is what's going on in the background. The battle is what's going on in the things that we can't see. It's the forces working, those spiritual forces of evil that are working and I think it's important for us that we must know who our enemy is. We must know what the battle is beyond what our eyes can see." And to do that I want to encourage you to get Dr. Rennie Showers' book, Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels. If you want to deepen your study of the things that we cannot see and understand how God is at work, I want to encourage you to get this book, Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels. Steve, how can our listeners get a copy of Rennie's book?
Steve Conover: Yeah, I can purchase your copy of Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels by Dr. Renald Showers when you visit us at foiradio.org, that's foiradio.org, or you can call our listener line right now at (888) 343-6940 and someone will return your call during our regular business hours. That's (888) 343-6940. To order in Canada called (888) 664-2584. Again in Canada, that's (888) 664-2584.
Chris Katulka: We've been talking about demons and upfront I want to talk about demons. And I did this on purpose because I wanted to dedicate some time to talking about Satan's origins. Listen, there's a tension that we experience right away in the scriptures between God and Satan. Now, the difference between God and Satan is that God was and is and is to come. God is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the beginning and the end. He is the creator of everything and Satan on the other hand, well, he's just created. I always like to say, "Satan can only copy and corrupt what God has already created." Why? Because he's created himself. Now, Satan wasn't created evil. That's what's interesting. In fact, listen to how the prophet Ezekiel explains it. The prophet Ezekiel is talking about the king of Tyre, an ancient city during Ezekiel's day, and he dives into who the true king of Tyre is. And it's not just the human, it's Satan. And Ezekiel launches into Satan's creation, his origins.
Listen to what is Ezekiel 28 says: "The Lord's message came to me. Son of man, sing a lament for the king of Tyre and say to him, 'This is what the sovereign Lord says. You are the sealer of perfection, full of wisdom, perfect in beauty, you were in Eden, garden of God. Every precious stone was your covering. The ruby, the topaz, an emerald, the chrysolite, the onyx and jasper, the sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your setting and mounts were made of gold. On that day, you were created, they were prepared. I placed you there with an anointed guardian cherub. You were on the holy mountain of God. You walked about amidst fiery stones. You were blameless in your behavior from the day you were created until sin was discovered in you."
"In the abundance of your trade, you were filled with violence and you sinned so I defiled you and banished you from the mountain of God. The guardian cherub expelled you from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was proud because of your beauty, you corrupted your wisdom on account of your splendor. I threw you down to the ground. I placed you before kings that they might see you.'"
Listen, Satan, the tempter, the slanderer, the deceiver was created as probably one of the highest rank of highest class of angelic beings. He was full of beauty. He was full of wisdom. He stood in the presence of God and yet he sinned. Isaiah the prophet in Isaiah 14 says this, "Look how you have fallen from the sky O shining one, son of the dawn. You have been cut down to the ground, O conquer of the nations. You said to yourself, 'I will climb up to the sky above the stars of El," that's God, "I will set up my throne. I will rule on the mountain of assembly on the remote slopes of Sefan. I will climb up the tops of the clouds. I will make myself like the most high, but you were brought down to Sheol, to the remote slopes of the pit."
Satan lost his angelic status because of his pride. Did you hear what Isaiah said about him? "You said to yourself, I will climb up to the sky above the stars. I will make myself like the most high." This is exactly how Satan deceived Adam and Eve. He essentially told them that they could be God by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They could be the arbiters of good and evil like God, if not better. Satan led Adam and Eve astray, but can I tell you something? He didn't lead Jesus astray. Jesus remained obedient. He defeated Satan in the wilderness. He defeated Satan in the garden of Gethsemane. He defeated Satan in his death and resurrection and he will defeat Satan once and for all at his Second Coming and Satan's destiny is not power. It's in the lake of fire.
And for that reason, I want to encourage you as we close here, for that reason, "Take peace," Jesus says. "I have told you these things," Jesus writes, "so that in me, you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering." And who controls the world? Satan controls the world right now. "The prince of the power of the air," as Paul says in Ephesians chapter 2. But Jesus says, "In the world, you have trouble and suffering, but take courage, I have conquered the world."
Steve Conover: Chris, in the first segment, as you were talking about demons, I was reminded of the world that C.S. Lewis created with the Screwtape Letters and his picture of the demonic world's ways or tactics of trying to trip us up as Christians. And in that he said, "Indeed, the safest road to hell is the gradual one, the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts." What are the signposts for us as believers to protect ourselves against deception?
Chris Katulka: I think Paul deals with this really well. It's the idea of being controlled by the spirit. Because Satan wants to use the flesh in us to deceive us, to deceive our minds that God doesn't love us and that we can't live a life pleasing to God. And I think one of the fruits that we have, the ability to see that we're not following and being deceived by Satan is by the way that we live. Do we live a life of peace and joy and perseverance? Do we live a life of self control? These elements or these fruits of the spirit are signs that the spirit's at work with us, controlling us and pushing away those deceptive moments where Satan is telling us to embrace our pride, to embrace our stubbornness, to embrace those moments that make us angry. I think that when the Holy Spirit's working with us, it's fighting against those moments of deception. And I think that's why God gave us the down payment of the Holy Spirit to push back against what Satan's at work doing.
Steve Conover: Thank you, Chris. Now, Apples of Gold, a dramatic reading from the life and ministry of Holocaust survivor, Zvi Kalisher.
Mike Kellogg: I know a man who was a habitual drunkard. It's impossible to speak with him because he drinks day and night. I met him recently as he was on his way to the synagogue and he said, "Today, I am going to pay my debt to God." I told him, "I know your great debt. Today, you will empty your bottle and tomorrow it'll be full again." He said, "This is the last bottle. I confess this before you." I said, "True confession can only be made before God." "But how can God forgive me after so many years of sinful living?" he asked.
This was the first time I ever had an opportunity to speak seriously with this man. He said, "When my son was a baby, my wife left us for a rich man. I was poor and bore the full responsibility of raising my son. I'd drink to forget everything." I told him, "You have not found the true answer to your problems. If I told you everything I have been through, you'd kill yourself because the bottle would not be strong enough to make you forget it all. I have experienced the Holocaust and I lost my entire family in the Warsaw Ghetto." "How do you stay so strong?" he asked. "God keeps me from giving up on life. When we turn to him, he will be near to us. John 16:20 says, 'You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.' Would you like to come to my home today? We can talk and get to know one another better."
He and his son came to my home and ate with my family. Before we ate, we thanked our Savior. After the meal, I said to him, "I have told you all of my past troubles and yet I am happy because I have received the Lord as my Savior." He then said, "Yes, I can see you are happy, but Jesus cannot be our God. He does not have the power to help us." I said, "Because you have mentioned Jesus, I would like to speak with you about him." He became very serious and I read Isaiah 53:6, "All we like sheep have gone astray. We've turned everyone to his own way and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." I then asked, "Who is this speaking of, if it's not Jesus?"
Suddenly he started to cry for a very long time. When he regained his composure, he cried, "Oh Lord help me. Take me out of this darkness where I have been for so long." When he opened his eyes, he seemed surprised and asked, "What happened to me? Am I drunk again?" "No. You're well." "Then why have I been weeping? Why am I so weak?" "You are strong now. Now you will know the truth of Psalm 112:1, ‘blessed is the man who fears the Lord.’ If you truly receive him, he will empower you to stop drinking." He started to cry tears of joy.
Please pray that the Lord will keep this man and that he will be able to resist Satan's temptations. And that this family will be reunited.
Steve Conover: Thank you for joining us today. There's so much to learn about angels and demons. In these past two episodes, we've only scratched the surface. Again, to deepen your knowledge of this important doctrine, you can purchase Dr. Renald Showers' book, Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels, by going to foiradio.org or calling our listener line at (888) 343-6940.
Chris Katulka: Steve, next week, we're going to be actually focusing in on ministries at the Friends of Israel. This is a week that I love in our program. It's our ministry highlight week. We're going to be highlighting one of the work of our ministry reps on the field. I think that our listeners are going to really be encouraged by what's going on with The Friends of Israel.
Steve Conover: Our host and teacher is Chris Katulka. Today's program was produced by Tom Gallione. Our theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong. Mike Kellogg read Apples of Gold and I'm Steve Conover, executive producer. The Friends of Israel Today is a production of the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. We are a worldwide evangelical ministry, proclaiming biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah while bringing physical and spiritual comfort to the Jewish people.
Those Invisible Spirits Called Angels
By Renald Showers
What people believe about angels and what the Bible says about them are two very different things! In Dr. Renald Showers’s detailed study, you’ll learn the truth about angels, including:
• What angels are
• How holy angels and evil angels spend their time
• How angels interact with you
You’ll be surprised at what you learn about these mysterious beings! Grab your copy now!
IN CANADA? ORDER HERE!
Apples of Gold: Stronger than the Power of Satan
Zvi stopped to speak to a man who is known in his town as a drunkard. After listening to his sad life story, Zvi explained how he too had experienced heartache. When the man asked him how he had survived and thrived in life, Zvi invited him to his home where he was able to tell him about his relationship with Jesus the Messiah. Listen to find out what happened when the man considered the possibility of finding true freedom in Jesus rather than drinking.
Zvi’s story is available in Elwood McQuaid’s book, “Zvi: The Miraculous Story of Triumph over the Holocaust,” available at our online store.
More stories from Zvi are also available in his book, “The Best of Zvi,” available at our online store.
The Friends of Israel Today and Apples of Gold theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong.
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