October 9, 2015
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
“Do you mean to tell me that demons are an example of what faith is all about?! ” That question came when this teaching was presented in a church Bible study. The answer? “Yes, but don’t forget, there are positive examples and negative examples. This is a negative example – what faith is not! ”
Here’s our scripture from James 2:19: “You believe that there is one God, you do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble! ” Demons believe? Have you ever heard someone say concerning ghosts or UFOs, “Of course I believe in them! I saw one, I really did! ” It would make interesting studies on the subjects of ghosts or UFOs, but that’s for another time. The point is, Satan and his demons believe that there is one God because they have seen Him and interacted with Him! More than just believe, they know without a doubt that the One Mighty God exists!
But let’s start with who demons are. While there are other theories, most Bible scholars agree that demons are the fallen angels – those who joined in Lucifer’s rebellion and fell from grace and goodness to become evil and malicious. Lucifer was “…the anointed cherub who covers…,” so described in Ezekiel 28:14. (See Ezekiel 28:12-19). Apparently, he was a mighty angel – perhaps the mightiest and highest angel ever created! But he was not satisfied with his exalted position under God Almighty and set his sights on overthrowing the Triune God, and taking God’s place over all creation! (See Isaiah 14:12-15).
Lucifer may have been assigned to earth to oversee the Lord’s beautiful creation recorded in Genesis 1. This would include His highest creation – “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion…over all the earth….” (Genesis 1:26). But instead of working to keep all creation upon the earth in tune with its Creator, Lucifer incarnated in the serpent and coerced Eve and Adam to bow to his allegiance instead of God’s! Ever since, he has been “…the god of this world…” (II Corinthians 4:4), pulling the strings of all societies on earth – of all mankind! (See Luke 4:5-7; John 8:44).
Demons – if they are the angels who joined in Lucifer’s rebellion – may be one third of all angels, according to Revelation 12:4 and 9. When Jesus was arrested in the garden, and Peter tried to defend Him, the Lord said in Matthew 26:52 and 53: “Put your sword in its place….do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?” A Roman legion at full strength was 6,000 soldiers! If Jesus could have called twelve legions of angels, that’s 72,000 angels! If Satan has one third of the angels under his control, the 72,000 represents two thirds that did not rebel! The other third – demons – would then number 36,000, at least! I say, at least, because Jesus said he could call more than twelve legions of angels That’s a lot of angels! That’s a lot of demons!
And demons – having been angels, and in the direct presence of God – know that God is real! Yes, they believe in God completely! But the caveat of their “belief” is what Paul points out in II Corinthians 5:7: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Demonic belief is based on sight, not faith – so it is not saving faith!
Faith is defined this way in Hebrews 11:1 and 6:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
seen….But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes
to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who dil-
igently seek Him.
And it is only by faith that we can be saved and reconciled back to God through our Lord Jesus Christ!
• Romans 4:22, 24, 25 – “…righteousness…shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.”
• Galatians 2:16 – “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”
• Galatians 3:6 (quoting Genesis 15:6) – “…Abraham ‘believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ ”
• Ephesians 1:13 – “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
• Ephesians 2:8 and 9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
C. I Scofield, has this summary note about faith connected to Hebrews 11:39:
The essence of faith consists in believing and receiving what God has revealed,
and may be defined as that trust in the God of the scriptures and in Jesus Christ
whom He has sent, which receives Him as Lord and Savior and impels to loving
obedience and good works.
So our first example of faith is demons – a negative example! Live your Christian life as a positive example of faith!