What We Teach about Satan

This article explains what we teach about the origin, activity and fate of Satan and the demons.

We teach that Satan is a fallen angel, who rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven. He works with his servants, the demons, to deceive, tempt, accuse, and destroy all of humanity. Ultimately, they will be cast into the lake of fire and suffer eternal damnation.

The Bible reveals that God created the angels before He made the physical universe, however, before God created Adam and Eve, a powerful cherub led a great angelic rebellion against his Creator. Peter wrote, “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment” (2Pet 2:4 NASB).

The Bible refers to the leader of this rebellion as the devil and Satan. The term “Satan” is a transliteration of the Hebrew “Ha Satan,” which means the Adversary. The Bible indicates that a third of the angels followed Satan and became the demons (Rev 12:3-4).

From the time of Adam and Eve until the present, Satan and his demons have been deceiving, tempting and manipulating humans. In Ephesians 2:1-2, Paul said, “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God” (NLT). In 1 Peter 5:8, Peter also warned Christians about Satan, saying, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Satan has deceived the whole world. He controls the governments, the religions, the schools, the businesses and the financial markets on earth, but his reign will come to an end.

At the time of Christ’s return, Satan and the demons will be cast out of heaven. In Revelation 12:9-10, John wrote, “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.’”

Satan will be imprisoned during the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ. In Revelation 20:1-3, John also wrote, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.”

After the Millennium, Satan will deceive the nations one last time, but this rebellion will fail; God will then punish Satan and the demons for their evil. Revelation 20:10 says, “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (NIV). In Matthew 25:41, Jesus describes this lake of burning sulfur as “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

After the second, general resurrection, God will create new heavens and a new earth where righteousness dwells; there is no mention of Satan and the demons ever again.

 

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All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

 


Didactic Ministries

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