Very early in the Scriptures, in Genesis 3, we are informed about the devil.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD [Yahweh] God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’
“Crafty” is defined as clever at achieving one’s aims by indirect or deceitful methods. Cunning, guileful, wily are synonyms. The word “serpent” is a metaphor used to describe his deadliness and cunningness, not his appearance. At the very end of the Bible, the serpent is defined as the devil who is called Satan. Again, attention is drawn to his deceiving ways and the impact he has on the whole world.
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world [inhabited earth]; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Eternal destruction in the lake of fire is his certain destiny.
Revelation 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Even with his annihilation foretold, we are reminded he is the great deceiver. Until his end, he is civilization’s adversary with whom we need constant supernatural assistance to overcome.
1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
24 - The shrewdness of the evil one is apparent in the Gospels as the main opponents to Jesus, God’s Messiah, were the religious leaders. The man revered as the holiest person in Israel, the only person in the world who was permitted to enter the holy of holies was one of the most sadistic people in human history. Religion and government are the two major institutions that influence society the most. From these sources, people are guided to determine their morals, values, and justice. The men in charge--Annas, Caiaphas, Herod, and Pilate--were responsible for the immoral, horrific, and monstruous torture and death of Jesus. These overseers should have been delighted and supportive of the one who helped their people to be released from captivity and freed from oppression.
The devil deceives and manipulates people to “call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). Most people have been and still are deceived but not Jesus for he knew exactly what or who was behind those who opposed him.
John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Matthew 12:24 - Based upon the context, Beelzebul is another name for Satan. He is the ruler of the demons.
25-26 - Jesus acknowledges that Satan has a unified kingdom. Whether we believe it or do not, acknowledge or ignore it, the unseen reality is Satan is the god of this age and deceives the whole inhabited earth.
2 Corinthians 4:4 in whose case the god of this world [age] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Surely God did not intentionally create the evil one, so what happened? Satan was originally created as a cherub (plural cherubim). Cherubim are first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 3:24. God drove Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden and “placed cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” Resemblances of cherubim were prominent in the tabernacle and later in the temple. Golden statues of cherubim were placed over the mercy seat on top of the Ark of the Covenant, and they were embroidered on the curtain that separated the holy place from the holy of holies. They were also painted on the walls in the temple. Obviously, God wanted the Israelites to know about them and their close proximity to Him. Ezekiel 1:5-11 provides a physical description of them.
5 Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form.
6 Each of them had four faces and four wings.
7 Their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf's hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze.
8 Under their wings on their four sides were human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them,
9 their wings touched one another; their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward.
10 As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle.
11 Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies.
12 And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went.
Ezekiel 12:10 reveals that these living beings were cherubim, and they were full of eyes all around.
Revelation 4:6-9 - They are the closest living beings to Yahweh. The following is a brief summary of the little that is communicated about cherubim.
The most famous painting of cherubim was done by Raphael from the Sistine Madonna’ done between 1513 and 1514.
- Closest spiritual beings to Yahweh before ascension
- First occurrence is they are guarding the tree of life.
- They worship Yahweh.
- Many eyes indicate they can see all around.
- Four or five faces: lion, eagle, bull, human, and cherub. Each face represents the head of their domain or kingdom.
- Seems to indicate the cherubim are the overseers of all God’s created beings.
- Wings - mobility
- Travel with Yahweh, His transport
- Based upon Satan’s actions, they are very powerful.
- They are grossly misrepresented in art.
Ezekiel 27 reveals that Tyre was extraordinarily rich and powerful as the cross-roads of the west and east. As the greatest port city, its influence was felt all over the world. Baal worship originated from Tyre and Sidon and spread worldwide from there. The king of Tyre, like Nebuchadnezzar, must have thought himself to be Elohim. Chapter 28 condemns Tyre and compares the king of Tyre to Satan.
Ezekiel 28:12-15 - Tyre was the richest city.
Revelation 12:3-4 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.
And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.
Revelation 5:11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands
2 Peter 2:4-5 and 1 Peter 3:18-20 show that some of the fallen angels from the time of Noah were put in prison until the day of judgment. In the workbook His Story God’s Purpose of the Ages, Appendix Two titled Why Such Evil?, you can gain more detailed information on this subject. This workbook is available at Amazon.
Jude 1:6 And angels who did not keep their own domain [Greek arche, meaning beginning or origin] but abandoned their proper abode [Greek oiketerion, meaning habitation or dwelling], He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
Greek word oiketerion, translated “abode,” is used only here and one other place:
2 Corinthians 5:1-2 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling [oiketerion] from heaven.
“The earthly tent which is our house is torn down” refers to the destruction of the human body with death. The “house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” refers to the resurrected bodies we receive when Christ returns. We will be given a body like the one Jesus had when he was raised from the dead. The body may be the same as what the angels have. Now in this human “house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling [oiketerion] from heaven.”
The disobedient angels left their dwelling in heaven and/or their spiritual bodies to have their dwelling on earth. These evil angels (spoken of in Jude) were some, but not all, of those who originally joined the devil. Obviously, there are still many evil demons at work in the world. The fallen angels who left their proper abode may mean they forsook their spiritual body to inhabit human bodies. The Gospels repeatedly show that demons live inside people.
27 - “Children” refers to their disciples or followers. From what Jesus said, we can conclude that the Pharisees’ disciples cast out demons (Acts 19:13 and 14), or at least supposedly they did. Our Lord's argument was: If the man who casts out demons proves himself thereby to be influenced by Satan, then your disciples, and you who taught them, are also in league with the devil.
28 - Jesus did not cast out spirits with his human ability, rather by God’s spirit. We can do the same because we too have the spirit of God.
32 - The blasphemy was speaking against the spirit of God which in essence is God Himself. They were saying that Yahweh was Satan!!
43-45 - The understanding about demons was apparently not as ambiguous or obscure as today for Jesus used it as an example about their generation.
Here we see clearly that demons want to live in people.
Mark 5:10 And he began to implore Him earnestly not to send them out of the country [space].
Now there was a large herd of swine feeding nearby on the mountain.
The demons implored Him, saying, "Send us into the swine so that we may enter them."
“Country” could be translated “space.” In Luke it says, “Imploring him not to command them to go away into the abyss.”
Jesus had and has complete authority over demons.
Revelation 12:7-17 - The future for the demons is the same as for Satan--utter annihilation in the lake of fire. However, at the end of the age, they will have a formidable assault on humanity.