Evil and Demons

Evil

At first it might seem that if God created all things, then evil must have been created by God.

However, evil is not a “thing” like a rock or electricity. You cannot have a jar of evil. Evil has no existence of its own; it is really the absence of good.

For example, holes are real, but they only exist in something else. We call the absence of dirt a hole, but it cannot be separated from the dirt. So, when God created, it is true that all He created was good.

One of the good things God made was creatures who had the freedom to choose good. To have a real choice, God had to allow there to be something besides good to choose.

So, God allowed these free angels and humans to choose good or reject good (thus creating evil or the lack of God’s presence/purpose). When a bad relationship exists between two good things we call that evil, but it does not become a “thing” that required God to create it.

Perhaps a further illustration will help. If a person is asked, “Does cold exist?” the answer would likely be “yes.” However, this is incorrect. Cold does not exist. Cold is the absence of heat. Similarly, darkness does not exist; it is the absence of light.

Evil is the absence of good, or better, evil is the absence of God. God did not have to create evil, but only allow for the absence of good.

God did not create evil, but He does allow evil. If God had not allowed for the possibility of evil, both mankind and angels would be serving God out of obligation, not choice. He did not want “robots” that simply did what He wanted them to do because of their “programming.” He wanted children in His image.

God allowed for the possibility of evil so that we could genuinely have a free will and choose whether or not we wanted to serve Him.

If this sounds confusing, just remember that as finite human beings, we can never fully understand an infinite God (Romans 11:33-34).

Romans 11:33-34
33  Yes, God’s riches are very great, and his wisdom and knowledge have no end! No one can explain the things God decides or understand his ways. 34  As the Scripture says, “Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been able to give him advice?“

Sometimes we think we understand why God is doing something, only to find out later that it was for a different purpose than we originally thought.

God looks at things from a holy, eternal perspective. We look at things from a sinful, earthly, and temporal perspective. For instance, why did God put man on earth knowing that Adam and Eve would sin and therefore bring evil, death, and suffering on all mankind? Why didn’t He just create us all and leave us in heaven where we would be perfect and without suffering? Asking that, we forget that God knows our pain (aka Jesus) and grieves for those He loves.

These questions cannot be fully answered this side of eternity. What we can know is whatever God does is holy and perfect and ultimately will glorify Him (i.e. Will be as He planned it).

Demons

As addressed above, demons are fallen angels, as Revelation 12:9 indicates: “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.”

Satan’s fall from heaven is symbolically described in Isaiah 14:12–15 and Ezekiel 28:12–15.

Ezekiel 28:12-15
12  “Human, sing a funeral song for the king of Tyre. Say to him: ’This is what the Lord GOD says: You were an example of what was perfect, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13  You had a wonderful life, as if you were in Eden, the garden of God. Every valuable gem was on you: ruby, topaz, and emerald, yellow quartz, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and chrysolite. Your jewelry was made of gold. It was prepared on the day you were created. 14  I appointed a living creature to guard you. I put you on the holy mountain of God. You walked among the gems that shined like fire. 15  Your life was right and good from the day you were created, until evil was found in you.

When he fell, Satan took some of the angels with him—one third of them, according to Revelation 12:4. Jude 6 also mentions angels who sinned. So, biblically, demons are fallen angels who, along with Satan, chose to rebel against God.

Some of the demons are already locked “in darkness, bound with everlasting chains” (Jude 1:6) for their sin.

Jude 1:6
6  And remember the angels who did not keep their place of power but left their proper home. The Lord has kept these angels in darkness, bound with everlasting chains, to be judged on the great day.

You can see why the demons shook with fear when confronted by Jesus.

Others are free to roam and are referred to as “the powers of this dark world and . . . the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” in Ephesians 6:12 (cf. Colossians 2:15). Keep in mind that we are speaking of organized entities both in spiritual and physical realms. Some can be the governments that exist while others are the forces behind those governments.

The demons still follow Satan as their leader and do battle with the holy angels in an attempt to thwart God’s plan and hinder God’s people (Daniel 10:13).

Daniel 10:13
13  But the prince of Persia has been fighting against me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the most important angels, came to help me, because I had been left there with the king of Persia.

Demons, as spirit beings, have the ability to take possession of a physical body. Demonic possession occurs when a person’s body is completely controlled by a demon.

The entrance of Christ into the physical realm changed that old order. Christian faith has pushed such things back into the darkness from which it came.

This cannot happen to a child of God, since the Holy Spirit resides in the heart of the believer in Christ (1 John 4:4).

1 John 4:4
4  My dear children, you belong to God and have defeated them; because God’s Spirit, who is in you, is greater than the devil, who is in the world.

Jesus, during His earthly ministry, encountered many demons. Of course, none of them were a match for His power: “Many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word” (Matthew 8:16).

Jesus’ authority over the demons was one of the proofs that He was indeed the Son of God (Luke 11:20). The demons who encountered Jesus knew who He was, and they feared Him: “‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ [the demons] shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’” (Matthew 8:29). The demons know their end will be one of torment.

Still, Satan and his demons now look to destroy the work of God and deceive anyone they can (1 Peter 5:8; 2 Corinthians 11:14–15).

1 Peter 5:8
8  Control yourselves and be careful! The devil, your enemy, goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat.

The demons are described as evil spirits (Matthew 10:1), unclean spirits (Mark 1:27), lying spirits (1 Kings 22:23), and angels of Satan (Revelation 12:9).

Satan and his demons deceive the world (2 Corinthians 4:4), spread false doctrine (1 Timothy 4:1), attack Christians (2 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Peter 5:8), and combat the holy angels (Revelation 12:4–9).

The demons/fallen angels are enemies of God, but they are defeated enemies. Christ has “disarmed the powers and authorities,” and He has “made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15). There Christ broke their power over mankind.

As we submit to God and resist the devil, we have nothing to fear. “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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