Satan's Demons
Dr. Joe Temple

Satan Rules Over A Kingdom of Demons

Please turn with me to the gospel of Matthew, chapter 12. We are continuing our discussion in the series on the Devil, his origin, his destiny, and his work. It is impossible to discuss the work of the Devil without recognizing that the Devil is the head of a well-organized kingdom of varying degrees of influencing power, which is able to make the effectiveness of the Devil felt throughout the world. Notice verse 22:

Matthew 12:

22Then was brought unto him [that is, unto Jesus] one possessed with a devil,…

May I pause long enough to suggest that you change the word devil there to demon , for so it is in the original text. There is only one Devil mentioned in the Scripture. There are many demons. So to continue our reading:

Matthew 12:

22Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
23And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
24But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
25And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
27And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
28But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
29Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
30He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

This incident that we have read occurred toward the end of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, when the common people were becoming more firmly convinced that Jesus Christ was the Son of the living God.

In this particular incident, when He healed before their very eyes by casting out the demons who were causing the dumbness and the blindness, the people said, “Is not this the Son of David?” They were asking that question, not with a sense of doubt, but rather with a sense of assurance, saying, “Can there be any doubt? This is the Son of David.”

To the Jews, of course, the phrase or title, the Son of David , was just another way of saying, “Is not this the Son of God?” The Pharisees could not let the people begin to believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God because if they did, then the cause of the Pharisees would be lost.

So they said, “Well, really, we cannot deny what you have seen here. You have seen something happen. We cannot deny that. We are glad that you can see what has happened. But we want to tell you how it really happened. It did not happen by the power of God. And it did not happen because this individual is related to God. It happened by the power of the Devil, Beelzebub. This individual, Jesus of Nazareth, cast out these demons by the power of the Devil.”

The Lord Jesus Christ answered their argument by pointing out their own foolishness and said to them, “How utterly foolish. If I am casting out demons by the power of the Devil, then the Devil is breaking up his own kingdom. That would be a foolish thing to do, indeed.”

So from this incident, there comes to our minds the statement that we need to accept as an established fact—that Satan rules over a kingdom of demons. Satan has a great host of individuals who are subject to him, who are participating in the work that he is doing, and who are going to suffer the final doom that he suffers.

Fallen Angels

Turn in your Bibles, please, to chapter 25 of the gospel of Matthew, in which is recorded the story of the judgment of the nations, presented under the symbolism of the sheep and the goats. When the nations of the world are arraigned before God and the Lord Jesus Christ to be judged for their treatment of God's chosen people, the nation of Israel, He is going to say to the goat nations, in the pronouncement of their sentence, what is recorded in Matthew, chapter 25, verse 41.

Matthew 25:

41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Notice the last statement: “prepared for the devil and his angels.” Satan is ruling over a vast kingdom of fallen angels.

Turn in your Bibles please, to Revelation, chapter 12, that you may see that I have not made the statement without foundation of fact when I say that the demons over which Satan is ruling in this present hour are fallen angels. Of course, the Bible is full of references to the ministry of good angels. It is wise for us to keep in mind that the world is full of the activity of fallen angels. In Revelation, chapter 12, verse 4, we read these words:

Revelation 12:

4And his tail [that is, the tail of the dragon who is described in the preceding verses, and who is identified in verse 9 of this chapter as the Devil himself] drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

This is a chapter of symbolism and a book of symbolism, and we do not have time to discuss the entire chapter. A careful study of the book of Revelation will reveal that the stars which are referred to here are the angels who once were in Heaven. According to this verse of Scripture, when the Devil was cast out of Heaven (That same thing is described in chapter 14 of the book of Isaiah.), the Devil took with him from Heaven one-third of all the angels in Heaven. Those angels became the subjects of Satan's kingdom.

It would be difficult for our finite minds to try to fathom the number of angels that the Devil brought out of Heaven with him. The Bible speaks of ten thousand thousands of angels. Actually, that is not an accurate translation of the original language. A better word would be myriads ,—myriads and myriads of angels—which means a numberless number of angels. There are not enough numbers to begin to count the angels in Heaven. One-third of that numberless throng became the subjects of Satan's kingdom. It indicates the numberless number of demons (fallen angels) who are the subjects of the kingdom of Satan.

All we need to do is to notice a number of incidents when the Lord Jesus Christ was on the earth and was about to free individuals who were possessed with demons. Before He cast the demons out of the individual, He would ask, “What is your name?” And through the lips of the demon-possessed individual came the word, “legion, for we are many.” Every time the demons were asked, that answer was given. It indicates the numberless number of demons who make up the kingdom of the Devil.

To say that Satan is the ruler over a vast number of demons tells only part of the story because the Bible divides the demons which make up the kingdom of Satan into three different classes. I would like for us to notice them, so that we may become familiar with the kingdom of our chief enemy.

Chained In The Prisonhouse Of Darkness

Turn in your Bibles, please, to II Peter, chapter 2. Here we are introduced to one group of these demons and to what is said about them. Perhaps it would be good for us to begin with verse 1:

II Peter 2:

1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation [or condemnation] slumbereth not.

Notice this next verse:

II Peter 2:

4For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
5And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
7And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
8(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
9The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Look at verse 4 again:

II Peter 2:

4For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

This verse of Scripture tells us that some of the angels sinned. Because they sinned, God put them in prison and chained them until the judgment of that great day. You say, “Well, I do not quite understand that because if the angels who were cast out of Heaven were all chained and put into prison, and yet people are possessed and influenced and tormented by demons, how can it be?”

We are making a very hasty mistake when we assume that the sin of these angels is a reference to that sin which Satan committed when he was cast out of Heaven. Turn with me to the epistle of Jude. You will see, I trust, that the sin for which these angels were chained was not the sin of rebellion against God while they were in Heaven. But rather, it is another sin of fallen angels that was so terrible that God had to take angels whom He had cast out of Heaven and chain them because they dared in their fallen state to commit the sin that is recorded here in the epistle of Jude. Notice verse 6:


6And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the [that] great day.

This verse of Scripture is talking about this same group of angels. What does He say about them? He says two things about them. They left their first estate. That is, they were cast out of Heaven. And that was bad enough in itself, but they left their own habitation. The word that is translated “habitation” here comes from a Greek word which means that “they left their own sphere of operation.” They left their own practices and began to do something that was absolutely contrary to the nature of angels. Because of that sin, God chained them in the prisonhouse to wait for the judgment of that great day.

What was this thing they did? These angels were guilty of a thing contrary to them and to their nature, as described in verse 7 of the epistle of Jude:


7Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

For those of you who are familiar with the story of Sodom and Gomorrha, remember that the inhabitants of these two cities were guilty of such a strange perverted sexual sin that God found it necessary to blot those two cities from the earth.

These angels were guilty of just such a strange, unusual sin act. Where is the record of that, and how do we know that? If you will turn with me in your Bibles to the book of Genesis, chapter 6, we are going to take only a passing glance to show you why these angels were chained. We do not have time to examine the chapter in detail:

Genesis 6:

1And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
2That the sons of God…

This is a phrase for angels. Elsewhere in the Bible, angels are called the sons of God.

Genesis 6:

2That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

The angels cohabited with the daughters of men (with human women), and so awful was this sin that immediately the Lord said:

Genesis 6:

3And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
4There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

That is, unusual, strange monstrosities were born from the union of fallen angels and human women. God found it necessary to cleanse this earth with the flood.

Because the angels dared to do this thing, God chained them in the prisonhouse of darkness. So not all of the one-third of angels that came from Heaven are free. Some of them are chained because of their sin.

Chained In The Bottomless Pit

Turn with me, now, to the book of Revelation, chapter 9, and notice another group of these fallen angels and see what is their particular place at this particular time. You will notice in verse 1:

Revelation 9:

1And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

Actually, this verse of Scripture reads: “And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star which had been cast to the earth: and to him was given the key to the bottomless pit.”

This star immediately becomes a person in our understanding because the star here is the symbol of the angel. Some angel who had been cast to the earth was given the key to the bottomless pit; that is, the prisonhouse where fallen angels are kept.

The rest of this chapter tells how when he opened the door of the prisonhouse, a great host of demons came swooping out to torment the people that lived upon the earth. You will notice that because this thing occurred, we are led to believe that these very demons are so awful and so terrible that it is necessary for God to keep them incarcerated until the time when they are to be used, which is yet in the future. Will you look at verse 14:

Revelation 9:

14Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
15And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

There are four more of the fallen angels who have been chained, waiting until the Tribulation period when they will be turned loose to wreck the human race that is then alive upon the earth.

We have noticed that some of the angels who were cast out of Heaven were chained in the prisonhouse of darkness because of their sin, and they are still imprisoned until the judgment of that great day.

We have noticed that some others of them were chained in the bottomless pit because of their very awful nature, awaiting the day (which is yet in the future) when they will be turned loose on the human race.

Free To Do The Bidding Of Satan

Turn in your Bibles, please, to the book of Ephesians, chapter 6. We are going to see that a great host of these fallen angels are still free to do the bidding of the Devil. The Devil still has, at his fingertip command, a great host of fallen angels, or demons, who are ready to obey. Notice in verse 11:

Ephesians 6:

11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Here the apostle is saying, “We are in a battle. Do not think that in this battle we are fighting against ordinary human beings. We are not! We are fighting against a very well-organized (a very delicately-organized) kingdom that belongs to the Devil.” He said, if you will look at verse 12 again, permitting me to suggest some translations that are more accurate: “We are fighting against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of this world's darkness—against the rulers of the world's darkness and against wicked spirits in the heavenlies.”

Now, I have not made these changes at my own intuition. That is the exact rendering of the original language.

The Pre-Eminent Ones

Let us stop for a moment and examine these words of which the kingdom of the Devil consists. Look first at the word principality . That is a translation of a Greek word which means “pre-eminent ones.” So the kingdom of the Devil is made up, first, of some pre-eminent ones—some leaders. There are some leaders among the fallen angels which make up the kingdom of the Devil. They have more authority. They have more power. They have more effectiveness than some of the others.

You will remember when the Lord Jesus Christ was on the Mount of Transfiguration. At the conclusion of that visit, He came down from the mountain. He was met by the disciples who had not gone out to the mountain with him, and who were in great disappointment. They had tried to cast demons out of a little boy, and they had failed miserably. The Lord Jesus Christ cast the demons out. Then the disciples said, “Why? Why couldn't we cast these demons out? You have given us authority over demons. We have had success before. Why couldn't we cast out the demons in this instance?”

The Lord Jesus Christ said, “This kind of demon is different from anything with which you have dealt. This kind of demon comes out only by fasting and by praying. Ordinary efforts cannot deal with this kind of demon. These are the pre-eminent ones, and it takes more power to cast them out than it does for ordinary demons.”

It might be well for us to remember that these demons are continually making war against us. When we are having a more difficult time than we do at other times, we need not dismiss it and say that maybe it is our imagination. We might need to recognize that the Devil has appointed to thwart us in our spiritual growth some pre-eminent ones—some principalities. You do not need to expect to win the victory over them as easily as you would over some of the lesser ones.

Certain Authority Delegated To Certain Demons

Glance at verse 12 again, and notice the word power . The kingdom is not made up of only pre-eminent ones. It is also made up of powers. Now the word from which this word power comes is a word that speaks of those to whom has been delegated certain authority. So we are reminded that the Devil has not only pre-eminent ones in his kingdom, but he has also certain ones to whom he has delegated certain authority over certain things.

Turn with me in your Bibles to the book of Daniel, chapter 10, for an illustration of this thing that we are talking about. In chapter 10 is the story of an incident that follows a prayer recorded in chapter 9, when Daniel had been in prayer for twenty-one days. Daniel was wondering why the answer to his prayer had not actually come. I think we will just look at this chapter for the moment and see if we can't find an illustration of what we are talking about. Let's begin with verse 10. Daniel said:

Daniel 10:

10And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
11And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
12Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.

Now notice this verse:

Daniel 10:

13But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

Gabriel, an archangel, started with the answer to the prayer of Daniel. On the way, he was intercepted by a fallen angel to whom had been delegated the rule of the country of Persia. Why did this fallen angel try to intercept the answer to prayer? Because the answer meant the downfall of the country of Persia. And so, this fallen angel tried to intercept. Michael came to help Gabriel, and the battle was won. Then you will notice farther down in the chapter, verse 20:

Daniel 10:

20Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia [the fallen angel]: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.
21But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.

Michael, the good angel, was designated the guardian of the nation of Israel by God. And the Devil had appointed one of his angels to watch over Greece and another angel to watch over Persia. The Devil had given them the authority of the rule of these particular lands and countries.

The prayer warfare is not so much related to your praying to God and God's sending the answer as it is to the conflict that exists in the demon world that is about us.

World Rulers Of The Kingdom Of Darkness

Go to the book of Ephesians, chapter 6, and notice with me in verse 12 another of these words so that you will be able to see how very well-organized is this kingdom of the Devil. To be forewarned is to be fore-armed, and we can better be a match for Satan.

Ephesians 6:

12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, [that is, pre-eminent ones] against powers, [that is, against certain authority] against the rulers of the darkness of this world…

That is literally, as we suggested to you before, “against the world rulers of this darkness.” The Bible calls this age in which we live darkness. God's kingdom is called the Kingdom of Light. The Devil's kingdom is called the kingdom of darkness. We are told that our battle is against the rulers of this darkness—against the world rulers of this darkness.

Turn, please, to I John, chapter 5, and notice verse 19. Therein we will be able to see that this world of ours is not ruled by the dictator of Russia, or by the Queen of England, or by the President of the United States. They are only the people who are before our line of vision. Rather, this entire world is ruled by those demons in Satan's employ who are called the world rulers of this darkness.

I John 5:

19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

When we read that verse just as it is, we might go off and say, “We know that we belong to God, but we know that the world is a wicked old place.” And that would be true certainly, but that is not what this verse of Scripture says. Will you look at verse 18 with me:

I John 5:

18We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

Do you see the words, “wicked one”? Those two words are the translation of the very same Greek word which is translated “wickedness” in that next verse. Why it is translated “the wicked one” instead of “wickedness,” no one knows. But verse 19 of I John, chapter 5, actually says:

I John 5:

19And we know that we are of God, [we Christians are of God] and the whole world lieth in wickedness [in the arms of the wicked one].

The wicked one is the Devil. The whole world is lying in his arms, and he is doing with the world exactly what he wants to do. He has given to certain demons the responsibility of whispering into the ears of the leaders of the world, making suggestions that will go a long way toward thwarting the plan of God upon the earth.

This is not to suggest that all of our world leaders listen to everything these demons have to say. But it is to suggest that if you wonder why some of the rulers of the world do some of the foolish things that they do, why some of the rulers of the world are so undependable, or why this earth of ours is on the edge of destruction, you can find the answer in these world rulers of darkness who have the job of influencing the rulers of the world.

You have a concrete illustration of that in chapter 16 of the book of Revelation. In this chapter, by symbol and sign we are told about an event which will be truly worldwide, and which is going to occur at the end of this age. Revelation, chapter 16, verse 13:

Revelation 16:

13And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

That is, in the future, the Devil, the Antichrist, and the false prophet are going to send out demons. Notice verse 14:

Revelation 16:

14For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Some day, all the nations of the world are going to send armies to surround the city of Jerusalem. Do you know why they are going to do it? Because demons sent out by the Devil are going to whisper in their ears, “It is a good plan to follow.” Only eternity will reveal how many wars on this earth were started at the instigation of the Devil when he sent out these world rulers of darkness to whisper in the ears of world rulers suggestions for the destruction of the world.

Last Division Of Satan's Kingdom

If you will go back with me to Ephesians, chapter 6, we will suggest to you the last division of Satan's highly organized kingdom:

Ephesians 6:

12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities [that is, against the pre-eminent ones], against powers [that is, against those who have been delegated special authority by the Devil], against the rulers of the darkness of this world [that is, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spirits or demons who are actually ruling this world and then], against spiritual wickedness in high places.

This is better translated “wicked spirits in the heavenlies.” It would seem that this last group does not have any special designation permanently. They do not have any special authority or any special task. They hold themselves in readiness to do the bidding of the Devil, that he may bring about your downfall and mine.

If you are foolish enough to think that the Devil is not real, and if you are foolish enough to think that he does not have right at his very fingertips a host of demons whom he can command to do what he wants them to do, you do not know the Word of God very well. I would suggest that we recognize the power and the influence of the Devil and be prepared against him.

Home Bible Studies Books King James
Abilene Bible Church
Dr. Daiqing Yuan Tim Temple Dr. Joe Temple
Some icons on this site used courtesy FatCow Web Hosting