Point 2 - Understanding Satan & his cohorts – Ephesians 6:12

    Apr 25, 2021 | by Pastor Michael Carter

    Point 2 - Understanding Satan & his cohorts – Ephesians 6:12

    Satan – He was originally named Lucifer; son of the morning star Isaiah 14:12-15
    He was an anointed cherubim created by God with beauty and musical abilities Ezekiel 28:11-17. Many believe that he was instrumental in the worship in heaven. As such, he had a front row seat witnessing the adoration and worship of God. This may have led him to desire to be worshipped like God. He perverted his beauty and abilities into pride and led a rebellion to oppose God, becoming Satan. the word Satan means adversary or one who opposes God. 

    - Mark 3:22. A pagan Philistine god worshiped in the ancient Philistine city of Ekron during the Old Testament 2nd Kings 1:2. It is a term signifying “the lord of flies or the lord of dung” This name referenced the god of the fly that was worshipped to obtain deliverance from the injuries inflicted by insect. The term was used by ancient Jewish leaders as an epithet for Satan.

    Unclean Spirits - Mark 5:10 / Mark 1:23-26
    The term unclean spirit and demon seems to be interchangeable in scripture. There is no clear difference in their definitions. An unclean spirit or demon is “unclean” in that it is wicked and lead people to do unnatural, harmful, lascivious things to themselves and others. We find them inflicting people with convulsions, leading them to do immoral things. Often suicidal, having no regard for their bodies and exhibiting a heightened level of strength.

    Spirit of divination - Acts 16:16-19
    These spirits are often encountered in psychics, fortune tellers, palm and card readers. They know information but not all and they certainly don’t know the future. They convey information to what is called a medium. The medium implies or allude to other information to the hearer to deceive them. And because people can be vulnerable, gullible and ignorant, looking for answers, they feed into it. They are dangerous. These people and places should be avoided.

    Spirit of fear – 2nd Timothy 1:7
    This is not our natural fear that we experience when facing certain things, challenges or circumstances. Nor is it the fear we all should have in regards to our respect for God. This spirit of fear causes bondage and other debilitating behavior. It can shut a person down and cause them to disengage society and life. Please note that just because someone displays these symptoms, does not mean that they have a spirit of fear. Don’t assume anything. Be led by the Spirit of God and His gift of discerning of spirits as God wills. They are to be discerned and cast out; bring liberty to the person. 

    Principalities - Ephesians 6:12  
    The word prince here means commander. These are the first class of celestial beings in the devil’s kingdom. Often, they are designated according to a concept or area. There is a possibility that most nations on earth have one or more of these demonic principalities assigned to them attempting to influence that nation. Notice what the messenger angel said to Daniel in explaining the delay to his prayers in Daniel 10:12-13. This was not a regular fallen spirit. It was a principality that he encountered.

    Powers - Ephesians 2:2
    These are celestial beings that are usually mentioned in conjunction with principalities. An interesting parallel to explain their differences is to compare them to the military.
    The principalities would be the chief of staff. And the powers would be the army, navy, marines and the air force. The devil directs them to impact the order of our society concepts and ideologies.

    Rulers of darkness 
    These are celestial creatures under Satan’s leadership. They are rulers of this worlds systems. They rule over territories. Returning to our military analogy, they may be majors or colonels in Satan's evil organization. 

    Spiritual wickedness in high places 
    They are spiritual wickedness; highly refined and sublimed evil; disguised falsehoods in the guise of religion. By virtue of the name assigned to them, they are dangerous demonic forces that impact regions.

    Understanding their range and abilities

    Satan is called the ruler of this world. John 12:31 / John 14:30  
    However, he is not the ruler as in the owner who has all power and authority. That would be God. The enemy does not have all power, nor does he have all authority. He is the ruler of this worlds system. God is a God of order. Therefore He has allowed humanity to develop social and governing systems. The enemy has infiltrated our systems. To that extent the enemy has influence and authority.

    Thankfully, God’s kingdom will eventually be in dominion - Matthew 6:10 / Revelation 11:15
    At such time, the kingdoms of this world will be under the kingdom of God. Ultimately, God owns it all and is in control. So the enemy can only go but so far. However, at present, the enemy’s system and the governments of men are the systems currently in dominion. Therefore, the enemy and his cohorts are still in play, influencing these systems, warring against God and His people.  

    What are they capable of doing?
    Here is where many believers misunderstand Satan and his cohorts. They attribute their abilities to be God like. God is omnipotent, omniscience and omnipresent. THEY ARE NOT! Please stop giving Satan all that glory and credit. They all are spiritual beings that operate similarly to humans. They just move a lot faster and are smarter than we are. But they are not to be equated to any attribute of God.

    They are not all knowing, nor can they look into the future, like God.
    If they were all knowing and could look into the future, they would have knew who Jesus was and killed Him. Looking through the Old Testament, we find the killing of first born males by evil leaders. This was an attempt by the enemy to find and kill Jesus. They knew Jesus was coming, but didn’t know who He was until God revealed Him to all Matthew 3:17. And had they knew about God’s ultimate plan of salvation through Jesus they wouldn’t have crucified Him. 1st Corinthians 2:6-8.
    The enemy doesn’t know everything, and they don’t know our future. Those are God’s attributes.

    They are not all powerful, nor do they have all authority, like God.
    Consider Satan’s attack on Job. If he had all power and authority he would not have inquired to God about attacking him Job 1:7-11. If he had all power he would have attacked him and anyone else who stands against them for God. But he can’t because he doesn’t have all power or all authority. And certainly, they have no authority over the believer. Luke 10:19

    They are not everywhere at the same time, like God.
    Think for a moment, if the enemy was omnipresent, he would not have left Jesus during the temptation. He would have kept a presence to continually tempt and resist the Lord. Luke 4:13. This is not to say that a person oppressed or possessed by a demon is not present with them all the time. They may be with them all the time, but they are not with them and someone else at the same time. Notice Satan’s response to God inquiry in Job 1:6-7. If he was omnipresent, he would not be walking. He is not omnipresent. He is not everywhere at the same time like God. God is the only being that’s omnipresent; He is everywhere at the same time.

    They are not like God and have none of His attributes.
    Jeremiah 10:6 / 1st Chronicles 17:20
    We do well to not give them credit for things associated with our ignorance, thinking, flesh or choices. Satan and those fallen angels are disembodied spirits. Luke 24:36-39. Yet, they move fast. Daniel 9:21. Some commentaries suggest that they move at the speed of light and above. And perhaps that's one reason we are not able to visually see them. Our eyes cannot capture them, they simply move too fast.  

    How then do they influence and impact people?

    They use various ways of communications and impact people differently. And they cannot make us do anything. Therefore, they have to devise ways to deceive, lure and trick us into doing their will. Keep in mind, they been around for a long time, so their quite good at it. Without God, we absolutely have no chance in this war against them. Let’s look at how they influence and impact lives.

    They influence people through communications.
    Scriptures point out that they speak in a manner that we are able to hear and understand. The full dynamics of this is still to be understood. Yet what is clear is that there is communications between spirit beings and humans. One link between spirit to spirit beings is words. They respond to words and they influence people through communications. 1st Corinthians 14:10 / Psalm 103:20 / Matthew 4:1-11

    They influence us through our sense gates.
    Here is where a lot of their influence occurs. They understand that that our senses are the gateways to our souls and how hearing and viewing content influences and impacts our lives. Notice the impact of what Lot viewed in Sodom and Gomorrah in 2nd Peter 2:8. They may not be everywhere at the same time, but technology is all around us and it enhances and extends their reach and influence. We need to stop thinking that demonic forces are not intelligent. Many of our self destructive, debasing, prejudice disruptive ideas come from them. They are intelligent and they use the resources and technology made available to dispense content that influences people’s souls, hearts and lives.

    They can oppress someone.
    Oppression exists in the soul of a person. It may present itself as mental illnesses. Or other deep debilitating physiological emotional illnesses where there are no chemical or neurological unbalances or addictions. In addition, there are other areas that point to oppression like mental or emotional strongholds. Believers can only be oppressed, but not possessed. At this point the spirit must be discerned, and cast out in Jesus name, bringing liberty to the person. Again, keep in mind, because a person displays these symptoms doesn’t mean they are oppressed by a spirit. We must be led by the Spirit, or the spiritual revealed to us by the gift of discerning of spirits.

    They can possess someone as well.
    Possession exercises complete dominion over the person’s spirit and soul. Those possessed may exhibit those symptoms listed above as well as inordinate physical strength, and other emotional problems, erratic behavior, violent behavior with no concern of their own well being. A single body may be possessed by more than one spirit. As with oppression, the spirit or spirits must be discerned, and cast out in Jesus name, bringing liberty to the person.

    There is the case where Jesus allowed demons to enter into pigs
    . So they do have the ability to enter into animals. Now, what precipitates that, I’m not sure off. But again, they went into the pigs. In regards to demonic activity associated with objects, I have not read or witnessed a spiritual being infiltrating a non living object. So no, most likely spirits are not in your car or your alarm clock. You probably just overslept or need a new car. So, don’t blame the devil.    

    The results of demonic influence are exhibited in several ways in the scriptures.
    Epilepsy - Mark 9: 17-27 / Deafness - Matt 9:32-34 / Insanity - Luke 6:17-19 / Suicidal - Mark 5:1-9 However, this doesn’t mean that every person displaying these symptoms has a demon. This is why spirits must be discerned. There are a ton of reason why someone acts the way they act. Bad behavior doesn’t mean a person has a demon impacting their lives. Don’t assume that anyone has a demon. Demonic influence MUST BE DISCERNED. We will look at this point further later n the teaching.

    Satan desires to swallow humanity in fear, sin, bondage and hate - 1st Peter 5:8
    He desires humanity to reflect his fleshly selfish ways opposed to God's ways. He cares less about humanities eternal destination. He knows his destination and has no problem taking others with him. He only cares about now and how he can pervert and influence humanity. He does it by using people, wiles, devices and anything else he can to steal, kill or destroy humanity. John 10:10

    Their eventual judgment. 
    There is no redeeming chance for the devil and his cohorts and he knows it. God is a God of judgment. And He has declared their sentence. 
    2nd Peter 2:4 / Revelation 20:10 However, their sentence was declared by God, so it will be enforced according to God's timing. Eventually God is going to deal with them as well as humanity, but in His time. In the interim, our task is to engage this war, represent God, exercise His dominion and be a light and salt to the world.

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