10 Crazy Beliefs About Satan, the Devil and Demons:
My denomination and culture taught me certain ideas about the invisible world. It was filled with evil spirits, demons, and devils where a king of darkness named Satan lived. After many years of doing "spiritual warfare" I began to see things differently. Here are just a few "crazy" ideas I used to believe about satan, the devil and demons. Have you ever thought about this?
# 1, Demons Control People.
If demon possession means one is no longer in control then why did the man with “legion”(numbering 2000) in him run to Jesus and throw himself at his feet? Jesus didn't tell him to come, invite him or influence him or the demons in any way to get there. The man did so by his own free will. (See my article Love, Demons and Mental Illness and The Surprising Origin of Demons )
# 2, The Serpent in the Garden is Satan.
Though Genesis teaches that all the animals created in the garden were very good. There is no story that teaches satan possessed a snake.
# 3, Satan was the Prince of this World Being Cast Out.
Yet, it refers to the Roman and Jewish governors (1 Cor 2:6,8); the Mosaic law’s authority (Col 2:14-17); the bondwoman, the Law, Jewish system (Gal 4:30). Caiaphas was the prince of the priests (Wycliffe) and “THIS world” was their Jewish world/life/system. The high priest ripped his garment accusing Jesus of blasphemy but the tearing of the priestly garment disqualified him from the priesthood (see Leviticus). After Judas left, Jesus said the prince of this world cometh, then Judas, sent from the priests comes representing them.
# 4, Paul was Afflicted with a Thorn in the Flesh by Satan because of his Great Revelation.
Or God allowed Satan to give this to him to keep him humble. Therefore, the implication is the more you know God, the more dangerous it is.
The messengers of satan. In context were people who persecuted him. They were real people who were a pain in the butt! They were Jews aligned with the Law causing him trouble. This thorn is a figure of speech from the OT (Joshua) of the people they failed to drive out who were a thorn in their sides.
It never says God gave this thorn.
Paul prayed for them to be removed, but God wanted them to hear Paul’s message so he gave Paul both the message of grace and the experience of grace that was sufficient for the situation.
# 5, A Fallen Angel named Satan Transforms himself into an Angel of Light.
Meaning anything good from any other religion or any thing contrary to denominational doctrine must be evil. Beware of anything not “Christian”! (2 Cor 11:13-15)
Always read in context... We read in verse four of the same chapter that some PEOPLE were teaching a false gospel and false Jesus. The verses themselves speak of false teachers/apostles. Satan was the Jewish religious legal system in many references in the NT. The Jewish Legal priesthood or Judaizers (believers who said everyone must convert to Judaism) was trying to pretend it was the “angel” which in Greek literally means "messenger" of light (truth).
It does not mean we can call good evil because it is not “Christian”.
Consider this... if this is a dark fallen angel that is an unredeemable, evil creature how exactly could it change its very being into light?
# 6, When you are Tempted, it is an Invisible being called Satan Tempting you into Sin.
So "Resist the devil and he will flee from you". Focus on fighting the devil so you can win over temptation. Right?
But... James actualy says in chapter 1 that we are tempted when we are led away by our own desires and enticed.
More accurately James is saying do not focus on the devil at all! Rather total focus is on submitting to God’s good news.
Not to mention that the devil is a Greek word that means false accuser. Who was the accuser in the NT? Judaism and sometimes the Romans. Luke 21:12,15, “They will lay hands on you... delivering you up to the synagogues (which Jesus called synagogues of satan) and into prisons, and be brought before kings and rulers (Romans)... but I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your ADVERSARIES (satans) shall not be able to gainsay or resist.”
# 7, Satan is a Fallen Angel kicked out of Heaven sometime after the Creation of the Garden.
Think through this. God created everything good. But a high ranking angel rebels and is kicked out.
Yet supposedly of all places God throws him into the garden? The omniscient God thinks this is a good idea to throw an evil angel into his good creation?
He’s kicked out but in Job and Zechariah God changes his mind and lets him back in?
But in Jesus's temptation he’s back on the earth. (BTW check out my YouTube video on this Did Satan Really Tempt Jesus in the Wilderness?)
But the “prince of the world” is cast out again... wouldn’t that be out of the world? This taking place first at the cross?
But in Revelation he is cast out of heaven again and woe to the inhabitants of the earth (Gk word is used for the land of Israel/Judah).
Yet, in Jude 6 it appears he was chained with “eternal chains” back in Genesis.
And Hebrews 2:14 says the devil was destroyed by the death/resurrection of Jesus.
Also take into account that the Lucifer story is speaking of a literal king in that day and when speaks of him falling from heaven the author quotes an ancient myth of a false god to speaking of his falling from heaven. Has nothing to do with an origin story for satan.
The word satan just means adversary. It is even applied to God and the Angel of the Lord as being a satan in several OT passages.
# 8, An Invisible Spiritual Evil Being is the Father of Lies and a Murderer from the Beginning.
Jesus said you (Jewish religious Pharisees) are of your father the devil (lit. false accuser) who is the father of lies and was a murderer from the beginning.
The first murder in the bible is where? Do we have some story of satan murdering someone in heaven... another angel? No.
Was a satan possessed snake in the garden what killed Adam and Eve? No, Eve was deceived but according to Paul “death” came through Adam. And that was not even a physical death. God said on the day that you eat of the tree you will surely die. Did he physically die that day? No. He lived to be about 1000 years old.
When was the first murder? It was Cain and Able. Over “religion”, one brother killed the other.
Who were killing the believing Jews in the NT? Their brothers over religion.
Jesus said, Matthew 23:33 “You SNAKES! You brood of VIPERS! How will you escape being condemned to Gehenna? 34Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them YOU WILL KILL and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from THE BLOOD OF RIGHTEOUS ABLE to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36Truly I tell you, all this will come on THIS generation."
Those Pharisees/Sadducees of the religious Jewish Law system were the serpents... they were of their father the false accuser, Cain, who murdered his brother in the beginning.
# 9, Satan lived/lives in Hell to Torment Sinners and had a Tail, Horns, Pitchfork, and is Colored Red.
Lol, really? This image of a satan figure, comes from a mixture of the mythologies in history. For instance, being red came from the Egyptians. The horns and tail arose from the Greek god Pan, and Egyptian god Set. Hades was the god of the Greek underworld of death who kept the dead from escaping. The Mesopotamian god Humbaba was a giant monster associated with fire and death. (see The Real Devil by Duncan Heaster)
And why would he live in hell and torment others but himself not be?
It's a myth friends.
Certainly some Jews believed in a satan figure after being in exile and adopting ideas from other cultures but Jesus showed that the real adversary wasn’t living in Hades, but it was in their religious thoughts about God, their willingness to murder those who represented him. Satan just means adversary.
#10, There is a Hierarchy of Evil Spirits that we Wrestle Against.
Did you know that in Ephesians 6 Paul does not say they wrestled with demons or fallen angels in the passage. We assume so because he says they wrestle not against flesh and blood.
The word principalities is translated "magistrate" in Luke 12:11. In 1 Cor 15:24 the "power" there is the Roman government.
Paul said we were to be subject to "principalities and powers" in Titus 3:1 because he was speaking of earthly governments.
But what about spiritual wickedness in heavenly places? The "heavenly places" under the Law was a synonym for the temple system and its rulers the priesthood. The temple and the ark were called the heavens (2 Sam 15:25, 1 Kings 8:30; 2 Chron. 30:27; Ps. 20:2,6; 11:4; Heb. 7:26).
Heavenly places can also mean positions of authority in the secular world (Is. 14:12; Mal 4:2; Dan. 12:3) (See The Real Devil by Duncan Heaster)
The evil day was the persecution they were going through primarily from the Jewish system as well as the coming Roman attack on Jerusalem in AD 70. The devil, means, false slanderer or false accuser, was the Jewish system in many contexts they were the ones representing the "heavenly places" of the temple yet were a "wicked generation" according to Jesus. So Paul speaks of the institutionalized evil in his day that was fighting against believers.
It does not mean we are to do "spiritual warfare", which by the way is not a phrase even found in the Bible. James says the way to resist the false accuser (devil, religious system) is to submit to God not fight a hierarchy of demons.
And just for fun here is one more...
#11, An Invisible Being named Satan was Praying Against Peter to Sift Him.
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:3-32
He looks at Simon to speak, but he calls them all out... satan has asked for you... you in Greek is plural here so the accuser was asking that all the disciples be sifted. But then turns singular again to say "Peter I have prayed for you that your faith fail not."
The word for "asked" for you all, can mean desired/demanded not "prayed" as some suggest. This word is only used once in the bible.
The word for sift is also only used once in the Bible and can mean to shake/stumble in their faith/confidence.
First of all Jesus KNEW that Peter was going to sin, even deny Jesus himself, and yet Jesus didn't deny Peter. He already planned the restoration of Peter. He wasn't offended by Peter's sin. Nor is God paying attention to our behavior. He is rather focused on US seeing the answer, instead of the problem.
Second, satan here is not an invisible spiritual malevolent being. Rather the accuser is the Jewish religious system of priests. What had they been doing? They were praying/plotting too. They were praying/plotting against the disciples. But Jesus was praying FOR them.
Notice how the religious system and Judas were the "satan" adversary.
Who plotted and prayed adversarially against Jesus and the other disciples? The religious system and Judas.
Who do you think was going to strike the Shepherd... context says it was Judas and the priesthood. Who would try to make them to stumble? Judas and the priesthood.
Matthew 26:3 Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.
14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.
31 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:
‘I will strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
32 But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”
Are you SURE you know who/what satan, devils and demons are?
Have you been involved in "spiritual warfare" movements where the more you focus on the devil, the more warfare you actually get or where there is more talk to the devil than Jesus?
I'm not an outsider, pointing the finger, but an insider who has been through all kinds of "spiritual warfare" over the years. From extensive study, personal experience and insight into this beautiful gospel, I want to share with you THREE HOURS of material that was presented by me at a recent event.
What if you have been shadow-boxing an enemy that doesn't even exist?