10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DEMONS AND SATAN by Graham A. Cole for Core Christianity
1. Demons are fallen angels.
Sometimes our theology textbooks state that sin first came into the world with the sin in the garden, but already there was a fall before the human fall. The serpent came into the garden from the outside and with evil intent (Gen. 3:1–2). The serpent questioned God’s goodness by insinuating that God was withholding something good from his human images. Later in Scripture, the devil is described as “that ancient serpent” (Rev. 20:2). How much more we would like to know about all this. However, Scripture is addressed to us and not to angels. What we do know is that Satan leads an army of rebellious angels (Rev. 12:7–8), who are now cast out of heaven. Demons are these fallen angels. Demons are not ministering spirits, but spoilers.
2. Demons have a leader.
Satan is their leader. Was he a cherub gone wrong or was he an archangel gone wrong? We do not know for sure. Michael and his angels defeat him and his angels in battle. So, he was defeated by an archangel (Rev.12:7). Scripture has a number of titles in addition to “Satan” and “devil” that sum him up. Millard J. Erickson provides a handy summary of them: “Several other terms are used of him less frequently: tempter (Matt. 4:3; 1 Thess. 3:5), Beelzebul (Matt. 12:24, 27; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15, 19), enemy (Matt. 13:39), evil one (Matt. 13:19, 38; 1 John 2:13; 3:12; 5:18), Belial (2 Cor. 6:15); adversary (1 Peter 5:8), deceiver (Rev. 12:9), great dragon (Rev. 12:3), father of lies (John 8:44), murderer (John 8:44), sinner (1 John 3:8).
3. Satan and his demonic entourage have limitations.
Satan and demons are powerful spirits, but they are not omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent. Regarding omnipresence—demons can leave a man and enter pigs (Mark 5:13). Regarding omniscience—angels, and we can safely surmise fallen angels also, do not know the day and hour of the return of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:36). Regarding omnipotence—no angel, ruler or power can separate the believer from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:38). In some Christian circles, devilish power, knowledge, and presence are inflated.