Renewalists believe that Satan is real and attacks people, but in Christ they can have victory over the evil spirit being.
As noted in other posts, certain modern interpreters of the Bible seem to be embarrassed by the Scriptures about Satan and demons. They therefore try to demythologize the Scriptures below; that is, they try to strip them out of the Bible or explain them away, because they believe they are myths. They have drunk too deeply from anti-supernatural biases embedded in the Enlightenment (1600-1800+).
However, Renewalists believe in the infallibility and authority of Scripture and therefore interpret these Scriptures, below, as expressing divine truths and reality. Demons and Satan are real.
So let’s get started.
Here’s a quick definition, which is expanded in the post Q & A about Satan and Demons:
He is an evil spirit being, an archangel that fell before man’s fall.
Let’s first understand the basics from the Bible about Satan and demons, and our victory over them.
Cumulatively, these names reveal his evil character or nature and his evil activities.
I.. Names for Satan.
It means “adversary.” In Job 1:6 Satan is shown walking into a heavenly council room, with the “sons of God,” who are believed to be angels in this context. So Satan does have access to heaven on some level, accusing us, but Jesus is our paraclete or our stand-by helper, who intervenes and stops the accusations.
In Zech. 3, the prophet Zechariah got a vision about Joshua the high priest standing before the LORD, and Satan accusing him (Zec. 3:1). Joshua was dressed in dirty clothes, and the LORD put new ones on him. This is an image of what God does for us at salvation. He takes off of us our robe of our unrighteousness and puts on us the robe of righteousness of being in Christ—his righteousness, not ours.
The accuser of the brothers and sisters have been hurled out of heaven, by the salvation, power, and authority that God brought through the Messiah (Rev. 12:10).
This name literally means “slanderer.”
The Spirit led Jesus to go out into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, who slandered Scripture and Jesus’s identity. Jesus passed the temptations with Scripture (Matt. 4:1-11). There is a lesson here for us. We cannot fight the devil with our intellects. Spiritual battles are won with spiritual weapons. We must fill our minds with Scriptures and use them. Personally I like Eph. 6:16, which says to raise the shield of faith, which quench the fiery arrows of the enemy. I pray that verse nearly every day. It works!
In heaven Satan is called the devil, the ancient serpent, who leads the whole world astray (Rev. 12:9). This explains why the devil still has authority on earth. He has jurisdiction over unsaved people’s lives.
D.. Deceiver of the whole world
It is his evil work, and he still has jurisdiction over people’s lives because they have not (yet) surrendered to God through Christ (Rev. 12:9). This explains why he is still on the loose and on the prowl. When the last person is called to receive the gospel, then the end of this present age will arrive (Matt. 24:14).
E.. Ancient serpent
This name in Rev. 12:9 refers to the Garden of Eden, when the serpent tempted Eve.
F.. A spirit now at work in the sons of disobedience.
Eph. 2:2 teaches that Satan attacks everyone who is not submitted to Christ through his salvation. Satan was defeated at the cross (Col. 2:13-15), but he still has authority and power and jurisdiction over those areas that have not surrendered to Christ.
G.. Ruler of the kingdom of the air
This title comes from Paul’s statement that Satan rules the air (Eph. 2:2). I don’t take this literally, like oxygen and hydrogen and so on. It means he has jurisdiction and power and authority above humans who live outside of Christ.
This name is derived from his activity in tempting Jesus, so he is called the “tempter” (Matt. 4:3).
And Paul calls him by the same name, because he was concerned that persecution would make the Thessalonian new believers fall away from Paul’s gospel (1 Thess. 3:5).
I.. Evil One
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus called Satan the “evil one” (Matt. 6:13). An apt description.
John calls him by the same name when he explains why he is writing his epistle to “fathers,” “children,” and “young men” (1 John 2:13).
It originally meant Baal-Zebul (“Exalted Baal,” a false god), and the word “Beelzebub” is a mockery of this false god and means “lord of the flies,” taken from a garbage heap, where flies were attracted (Matt. 12:24).
2 Cor. 6:15 teaches that this name comes from Hebrew for “scoundrels” or “troublemakers” (belliyya’al) (Deut. 13:13), which was later used for Satan. (2 Cor. 6:15).
L.. The murderer from the beginning
Jesus called him that (John 8:44), and no doubt this refers to Cain, when he killed his brother. Satan inspired him. Wanton death and destruction comes from Satan (John 10:10).
M.. Father of lies
Jesus said the truth is not in Satan, and he speaks his native language—no truth, but falsehoods (John 8:44). “Father” speaks of Satan procreating and leader of lies.
N.. Prince or ruler of this world
In John 12:31, it says now is the time for the prince of this world to be driven out because Jesus was about to die on the cross. When that happened, Satan’s doom was sealed, but right now, since billions of people have not surrendered their lives to Jesus, Satan still has jurisdiction over them. The real spiritual warfare is won by declaring the gospel and getting as many people saved as possible.
In John 14:30, Jesus says an interesting statement. He says the prince of this world is coming, but he has no hold on Jesus, because Jesus does exactly what his Father has commanded. But what has his Father commanded? His death on the cross. So Satan has a hand in Jesus’s death by evil men, but Satan has lost control over the significance of Jesus’s death—the satisfying the demands of justice by his sacrificial death, his resurrection and ascension and glorification.
O.. Prince of demons
The Pharisees gave the devil this title (Matt. 12:24), but it reflects the truth that Satan leads the demons, so there is a hierarchy of sorts.
P.. God of this age or world
Satan is referred to as a god (2 Cor. 4:4), but it is not what people think. Satan is behind the worship of gods; in fact, they worship Satan. In any case, he has blinded people so they don’t receive the gospel. It takes the Spirit’s power over time to break through this blindness. Never give up praying for and talking to your loved ones who are outside of Christ.
Q.. Angel of the Abyss
The abyss is an underworld cavern, which some believe is bottomless (Rev. 9:11). Satan has authority over this, as well. 2 Peter 2:4 says fallen angels were not wiped out into nonexistence, but were put in hell to await judgment.
R.. Abaddon or Apollyon
This is a personification of destruction (Rev. 9:11; Prov. 15:11), and Apollyon means “Destroyer.”
II.. Activities of Satan.
Cumulatively, these activities reveal his evil character and evil strategies.
A.. Past activities:
He was originally created good, as all angels were (Gen. 1:31).
He led a revolt of angels in heaven (2 Pet. 2:4; Rev. 12:7-8). Now he is a fallen archangel.
He tempted Eve (Gen. 3:1-7).
He incited David to sin (1 Chron. 21:1-2).
He attacked and afflicted Job (Job 1:6-19; Job 2:1-10).
He tempted Jesus (Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13).
He was involved in putting Jesus to death (Luke 22:2; John 14:30-31).
B.. Present activities:
He afflicts people with illness (Job 2:7; Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38).
He steals, kills, and destroys (John 10:10).
He is the father of lies (John 8:44).
He does evil to people (Job 2:6-8; Matt. 13:38-39; Luke 13:11; Luke 13:16).
He tempts believers to sin (1 Chron. 21:1; Matt. 16:33; Acts 5:3; 1 Thess. 3:5; 1 Pet. 5:8).
He tries to keep people from true worship (Matt. 13:19; 1 Pet. 5:8-9).
He thwarts the spread of the gospel (Matt. 13:19; 2 Cor. 4:3-4; 1 Thess. 2:18).
He wants people to worship him (Matt. 4:9; Luke 4:5-7).
He masquerades as an angel of light to deceive people (2 Cor. 11:14).
He uses many schemes (2 Cor. 2:11; Eph. 6:11).
He persecutes the church (Rev. 2:10; Rev. 12:13-17).
He works through false teachers (2 Thess. 2:9-10; 1 Tim. 4:1-2).
He tries to separate believers from Christ (Rom. 8:38-39).
He does evil to people (Job 2:6-8; Matt. 13:38-39; Luke 13:11; Luke 13:16).
He holds the power over death (Heb. 2:14-15).
He empowers people to work signs and wonders to empower a lie, to deceive people (2 Thess. 2:9).
C.. Future activities:
He will be bound in the millennium (Rev. 20:2-3).
He will be set free during the great tribulation (Rev. 20:7-0).
He will empower the Antichrist to work signs and wonders to empower a lie, to deceive people (2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 13:2-4).
III.. Victory over Satan.
A.. We already have it in Christ
God has power over him (Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-6; Luke 22:31-32).
Christ’s disarming Satan was prophesied in Eden (Gen. 3:15).
Christ came to destroy him (1 John 3:8).
Satan’s destruction is demonstrated in Christ’s victory over Satan’s temptation (Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13).
Satan’s destruction was demonstrated by driving out demons (Luke 4:40-41; Luke 10:18; Luke 11:20).
The cross of Christ guaranteed or sealed his defeat (John 12:31-33; Col. 2:15; Rev. 12:11).
We must pray daily for deliverance and protection (Matt. 6:13; Luke 11:4).
We must serve the Lord (1 Tim. 5:13-15).
We must resist his temptations by being in Christ (1 Cor. 7:5).
We must submit to God and then resist the devil (Jas. 4:7).
We must raise up the shield of faith (Eph. 6:16).
Repentance and knowing the truth about Jesus and the gospel takes us out of the snares of the devil (2 Tim. 2:24-26).
We have overcome (past tense) the evil one (1 John 2:13; Rev. 2:10-11).
We overcome him by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev. 12:10-11).
Christ prays for the victory of our faith (Luke 22:31-32).
IV.. Final Defeat of Satan.
A.. It is a done deal in God’s sight
Satan’s defeat was prophesied by Paul (Rom. 16:20).
Fallen angels were not wiped out into nonexistence, but were put in hell to await judgment (2 Pet. 2:4).
Satan will be bound in the millennium (Rev. 20:2-3).
Final defeat at Christ’s return and judgment (Matt. 25:31; Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10; Rev. 20:14).
Satan and his demons will be thrown in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:7-10).
So how does this post help me get closer to God through Christ?
How you can grow in Christ is not to obsess over the spirit world or be frightened of Satan and his demons. You can have victory over them in every moment of every day.
The best way is to follow Jesus’s example, when he was attacked (Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13). He used Scripture. When I was attacked, I did not rebuke Satan at every minute, though sometimes I did have to rebuke a spirit. The real victory came when I submitted to God (Jas. 4:7) and quoted Eph. 6:16, which speaks of a shield of faith that quenches the fiery arrows of the enemy. So every day I quote it and pray like this: “Lord, today I lift up over my mind a shield of faith, which quenches the fiery arrows of the enemy.” Then I may tack on “particularly against spirits of despair, anxiety, discouragement, fear” (and other things). And it works! The Satanic influence on my mind is minimal or nonexistent.
Also praying in the Spirit—prayer language or prayer languages (formerly and archaically called “tongues”)—is also effective. It builds up one’s spirit, which in turn builds up one’s faith (1 Cor. 14:2-5).
Written by James Malcolm
At that link, look for the NIV Study Bible