Theme: What is the truth about the devil?
Know: The devil and other demons are real. God created them as good angels, but they rebelled against God and were cast out of Heaven. They seek to oppose the work of God and hinder a believer's walk with Christ.
Think: Be constantly alert to the spiritual warfare going on at all times in my world.
Do: Seek to identify the activity of satan in one's personal life and in current world situations. Understand how to prepare and be victorious against his attacks.
A helpful article on angelology can be found at https://bible.org/article/angelology-doctrine-angels
Notes and questions:
B1 Starting questions (from the book):
- People sometimes refer to someone (especially a child) as a "little devil." What do you think they mean by this description?
- What visible images come to your mind when you think of the devil?
- How would you describe or define a demon?
- Do you think the devil and demons are active in our world today? Explain
B2 Why are some people enamored with the devil and darkness?
B3 Are the devil and demons real, which many in our scientific world reject?
B4 "When the LORD gives you rest from your pain, torment, and the hard labor you were forced to do, you will sing this song of contempt about the king of Babylon and say: How the oppressor has quieted down, and how the raging has become quiet! The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers. It struck the peoples in anger with unceasing blows. It subdued the nations in rage with relentless persecution. All the earth is calm and at rest; people shout with a ringing cry. Even the cypresses and the cedars of Lebanon rejoice over you: “Since you have been laid low, no woodcutter has come against us.” Sheol below is eager to greet your coming. He stirs up the spirits of the departed for you — all the rulers of the earth. He makes all the kings of the nations rise from their thrones. They all respond to you, saying: “You too have become as weak as we are; you have become like us! Your splendor has been brought down to Sheol, along with the music of your harps. Maggots are spread out under you, and worms cover you.” Shining morning star, how you have fallen from the heavens! You destroyer of nations, you have been cut down to the ground. You said to yourself: “I will ascend to the heavens; I will set up my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount of the gods’ assembly, in the remotest parts of the North. I will ascend above the highest clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” But you will be brought down to Sheol into the deepest regions of the Pit. Those who see you will stare at you; they will look closely at you: “Is this the man who caused the earth to tremble, who shook the kingdoms, who turned the world into a wilderness, who destroyed its cities and would not release the prisoners to return home? " (Isaiah 14:3-17, HCSB)
- The first part of this passage deals with the king of Babylon. Starting at verse 12 (italicized) the wording changes slightly; while others stop the description of satan at verse 15 instead of verse 17. No human ruler could be described this way. What is the attitude of the devil in this passage? What activities does he do? What will be his judgment?
- Does God allow this attitude? How is God's attitude different?
B5 "Now I want to remind you, though you know all these things: The Lord first saved a people out of Egypt and later destroyed those who did not believe; and He has kept, with eternal chains in darkness for the judgment of the great day, the angels who did not keep their own position but deserted their proper dwelling." (Jude 1:5-6, HCSB)
- What does believing have to do with punishment or blessing?
- Where did the angels once live? What did they leave?
- What happens to us if we no longer believe?
- Who can help us? "Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen." (Jude 1:24-25, HCSB)
B6 "in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient." (Ephesians 2:2, HCSB). Who is this ruler?
B7 Three verses on satan's activity.
- "Satan stood up against Israel and incited David to count the people of Israel." (1 Chronicles 21:1, HCSB)
- "One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them." (Job 1:6, HCSB)
- "The LORD said to Satan: “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! May the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Isn't this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?" (Zechariah 3:2, HCSB)
B8 What are some false ideas of where the demons came from and how and when they were created.
- Were they a race of beings created before the creation of the universe, then fell from God's grace? There is no passage interpreted in the plain, normal sense indicates this. Some have adopted the "gap theory" to explain and harmonize long ages according to modern science opinions.
- Some have believed that demons came from the "sons of god" who married the "daughters of men" in Genesis 6:2. Angels are purely spirits, not flesh. Some believe that the sons of god were real, human men who were possessed by evil spirits.
- Satan and the fallen angels are created.
- "Son of man, raise a lament over the king of Tyre, and you must say to him, ‘thus says the Lord Yahweh: “You were a perfect model of an example, full of wisdom and perfect of beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God, and every precious stone was your adornment: carnelian, topaz and moonstone, turquoise, onyx and jasper, sapphire, malachite and emerald. And gold was the craftsmanship of your settings and your mountings in you; on the day when you were created they were prepared. You were an anointed guardian cherub, and I placed you on God's holy mountain; you walked in the midst of stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day when you were created, until wickedness was found in you. In the abundance of your trading, they filled the midst of you with violence, and you sinned; and I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I expelled you, the guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you ruined your wisdom because of your splendor. I threw you on the ground before kings; I have exposed you for viewing." (Ezekiel 28:12-17, LEB)
- Psalm 148
- They were created before earth and its inhabitants (Job 38:4-7).
- Jesus Christ created all things (John 1:1-4 and Colossians 1:16).
- Some various views.
- Some feel that there are various orders of beings between God and humanity, almost gnostic.
- God, then angels, then evil spirits, then demons, then man. There are different terms describing similar beings.
- It seems, as mentioned, that it is of a gnostic flavor to think this way. As the aeons are the intermediate steps/beings between God and man. The Scriptures teach God is the highest, then a spirit class of beings, then humanity, then animals, etc.
- There is only one mediator between God and man, who is Jesus Christ(1 Timothy 2:5).
- There are a number of views about demons. Some of these are sinning angels, bodiless souls of a former creation, the offspring of sinning angels and the daughters of men. Most likely they are fallen angels who once inhabited heaven but sinned and joined the devil.
B9 What is the sin that initiated satan's fall? (Pride (1 Timothy 3:6, Isaiah 14:13-14) Why does God hate pride? What is the cure?
B10 What kind of activity does satan do?
- Counterfeit Christianity
- Incite lust
- Many other things
B11 Are we to be alert with an active mind or live with an inactive mind or even a trance? Which do most Christians in the world do today? Why is being passive and not alert so popular? Why are Christians not to have a passive mind but an active mind? What is the difference anyway?
- The difference is in the degree of alertness. As one who is drunk has judgment dampened, lessened, alerted, etc., so also is one with a passive mind, mindlessness.
- There are many terms used as the silence, breath prayers, contemplative prayers, empty the mind, practicing God's presence, etc. . This can be by saying one word, one thought, to block out all other thoughts.
- The Bible states,
- "Be sober; be on the alert. Your adversary the devil walks around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8, LEB)
- "So then, we must not sleep like the rest, but must be on the alert and be self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night." (1 Thessalonians 5:6-7, LEB)
- "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he returns! Truly I say to you that he will dress himself for service and have them recline at the table and will come by and serve them." (Luke 12:37, LEB)
- "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act courageously, be strong." (1 Corinthians 16:13, LEB)
- "Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving," (Colossians 4:2, LEB)
B12 The Bible tells us to resist the devil.
- "in order that we may not be exploited by Satan (for we are not ignorant of his schemes)." (2 Corinthians 2:11, LEB)
- "Put on the full armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the stratagems of the devil," (Ephesians 6:11, LEB)
- "Therefore subject yourselves to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7, LEB)
B13 From the study guide
- What are some ways satan works to hinder and deceive us?
- What do you think are some of satan's greatest deceptions?
B14 How much power do the devil and demons have? (Limited. They cannot overthrow God or God's will).
B15 Who is one man who always overcome the devil? (Jesus). Can you name some examples?
B16 Can anything separate us from God's love? (No, "But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:37-39, EMTV).
B17 How do we overcome temptation? (Avoid the situation is one). How does knowing and memorizing Scripture help us in avoiding/fighting temptation?
B18 How does the devil try to overthrow the church today? (Counterfeit Christianity, internal fighting among members, pride, etc.).
B19 What are some ways the devil tried to overthrow Christians today? (Fear, doubt, addictions, greed, bitterness, etc.).
B20 From the study guide
- Why is pride so dangerous?
- Where does it lead to?
- What is the source of pride?
- How can we be on guard against pride?
B21 Next week:
- Talking with our Father
- Theme: How does prayer work?
- Scriptures: Matthew 7:7-11, Romans 8:26-27, Ephesians 6:18, Jude 1:20, John 14:13-14.