Copyright 1994 - 2023 Bill's Bible Basics
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October 7, 2023
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October 7, 2023
Satan Is Not Omnipresent Like Our Heavenly Father, Can Satan Possess People?, We Must Search The Scriptures To Confirm Our Beliefs Are Correct, Led By Holy Spirit In Our Understanding, Proliferation Of False Doctrines, Judas Possessed By Satan During Passover Meal, Original Koine Greek And Latin Words, Apostle Peter's Carnality And Jesus' Rebuke, First Century Israelites Looked For A King Messiah, Was Peter Possessed?, Jesus Beheld Satan's Fall From Heaven, Jesus Knew The Devil Was Coming To Possess Judas, A Celestial Battle And Satan's Fall, Satan Has Walked To And Fro Since The Garden Of Eden, Jesus Is A Prince, Other Good And Evil Spiritual Princes And Dark Forces In The Bible, Closing Remarks, Suggested Reading
A commonly held belief amongst Christians is that unlike our Heavenly Father, Satan is NOT omnipresent. In other words, the Devil cannot occupy more than one place at the same time. He is limited, unlike the limitless God we Christians serve and worship. Another related belief which certain Christians also embrace, is that Satan does not possess people. Rather, he leaves that dastardly deed to his lesser demons. However, personally, I take issue with this latter point, and I will now explain to you why this is so.
As I have taught for many years now, in regards to Christian doctrine, we ALWAYS need to look to the Scriptures to either confirm our beliefs, or to reveal their inaccuracy. Only by so doing can we to some degree guard ourselves against the trap of falling into doctrinal error, and even falling under deception. In looking at the Scriptures, we find a number of examples where the First Century Christians did this very thing, and advised us to do the same as well. Following are a few sample verses for your consideration:
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH."
2 Timothy 2:15, KJV
"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, WHETHER THOSE THINGS WERE SO."
Acts 17:10-11, KJV
"Prove [test, examine] all things; hold fast that which is good."
1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
1 John 4:1, KJV
Not only do we need to search the Scriptures in order to verify that our beliefs and doctrines are accurate and true, but as we do so, we must also make certain that we are Spirit-led in our understanding. Please consider these two verses as well:
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
John 16:13, KJV
Another very good reason why it is so imperative that we diligently follow this practice of examining the Scriptures, is because as many of us already know, the current state of modern Christianity is quite dismal to say the least. One of the ways in which this truth becomes rather obvious is by the appearance and proliferation of many wild, strange and totally unbiblical false doctrines. As I have pointed out in a number of other articles, this is nothing new. In fact, this problem has existed since the First Century when Jesus first founded His Church. In examining the New Testament, we find such warnings as the following:
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:"
Ephesians 4:14-15, KJV
"Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein."
Hebrews 13:9, KJV
"As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do."
1 Timothy 1:3-4, KJV
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"
1 Timothy 4:1, KJV
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"
2 Timothy 4:3, KJV
So as you can see, not only do we need to confirm our own beliefs against the Scriptures, but we also need to watch out for any false doctrines which may possibly infiltrate our Christian circles.
Returning to our main topic, in this particular case, there is clear Scriptural evidence to support the belief that Satan can indeed possess human beings. He may not do it often, but he does do it. Or maybe he does it more than we even realize. A case in point is Judas Iscariot, who I also discuss in the article called "Did Jesus Know Everything, and the Fate of Judas Iscariot". Consider what we are told in the Gospel of John when Jesus sat down to partake of His final Passover meal with the Apostles:
"And after the sop Satan entered into him [meaning into Judas]. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly."
John 13:27, KJV
Now please note that the original Koine Greek word which is used in that verse is "Satanas", which itself is derived from the Hebrew word "Satan". For those of you who may not be aware of it, this word basically means "adversary". So the Apostle John clearly tells us that Satan entered Judas, and not just some lesser demon, as some people would like to believe. Likewise, we have the following verse regarding the Apostle Peter which is found in the Gospel of Matthew:
"But he [Jesus] turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men."
Matthew 16:23, KJV
As you also may probably already know, this terse exchange occurred when Peter rebuked Jesus, after the Lord informed His followers that they were going up to Jerusalem where He would be crucified. Peter was still thinking with his carnal mind and human wisdom, and thus acted accordingly. Following are the previous two verses which provide the background for Matthew 16:23:
"From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee."
Matthew 16:21-22, KJV
As I point out in a few other articles, at that particular point in time, neither Peter, nor the other Apostles, fully understood Jesus' mission. Quite to the contrary, similar to the Zealots, they thought that He would defeat the Romans, and restore Israel to its former glory, with Himself as its King Messiah. In fact, that is precisely what we find them asking the Lord in the following verse, just prior to the Lord's return to Heaven:
"When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."
Acts 1:6-7, KJV
To continue then, when Jesus informed them in Matthew 16 that He would be crucified in Jerusalem, Peter could just not handle that truth. He thought that they were going to Jerusalem so that they could proclaim Jesus king. Thus, in his foolish haste, Peter rebuked Jesus, only to have the Lord turn right around and strongly rebuke him in return. What a lesson in humility that must have been for poor Peter!
At any rate, what I wish to call to your attention, is that in Matthew 16:23, it is the same Koine Greek word "Satanas" that is used in the verse. Now, we can debate whether or not Satan actually entered into Peter, or simply influenced his thoughts, or only oppressed him. Personally, I honestly don't know the answer to this question. There isn't enough evidence to outright say that Satan possessed Peter, in my opinion.
However, in contrast, with regards to the incident involving Judas Iscariot at the final Passover feast, the meaning is very clear. The verse in fact states that Satan entered into the man. Furthermore, after conducting a bit of Bible study, I now suspect that Jesus actually foresaw Judas' possession by Satan. Consider the following verses where we learn that Jesus actually saw Satan fall from Heaven -- or be cast out from Heaven -- and that He knew that the Devil was coming. He was, after all, a Devil on a mission to kill the Son of God:
"And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."
Luke 10:18, KJV
"Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out."
John 12:31, KJV
"And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me."
John 14:29-30, KJV
"Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged."
John 16:9, KJV
Of course, as I also point out in the article called "Satan: His Origin, Purpose and Future", there are other verses in the Scriptures which confirm that Satan was cast down from Heaven by the Archangel Michael and his Angels, due to his sins of pride and rebellion. Consider this group of verses:
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!"
Isaiah 14:12, KJV
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."
Revelation 12:7-12, KJV
"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season . . . And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
Revelation 20:1-3, 10, KJV
"Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished . . . ride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
Proverbs 16:5, 18, KJV
Let us not forget that Satan was already on the Earth during the time of Jesus' ministry, as is very clearly evidenced by Matthew 4 where Jesus is repeatedly tempted by the Devil as He fasts in the wilderness area of the Jordan River valley. In fact, as I point out in the series called "Satan: King of Tyrus, King of Empires", Satan has been going to and fro in the Earth since the Garden of Eden.
So who is this "prince of this world" of whom Jesus speaks in John 14:30 above? Well, considering that Jesus saw Satan fall from Heaven, the answer seems rather obvious to me. If that is not enough to convince you, consider that in other places in the Bible, spiritual entities, both good and evil, are referred to as princes, just as Jesus himself is called the Prince of Peace. Consider the following group of verses where our Lord and Savior is referred to as a prince:
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6, KJV
"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."
Daniel 9:25, KJV
"And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses."
Acts 3:15, KJV
"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."
Acts 5:30-31, KJV
"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,"
Revelation 1:5, KJV
Now consider also the following set of verses which mention the prince of Tyrus -- who happens to actually be a symbol or allegory for Satan -- Michael the Archangel who is also referred to as a prince, the demon princes of Greece and Persia, and other wicked spiritual principalities which all rule this present world under their god, Satan:
"Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:"
Ezekiel 28:2, KJV
"Then 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. But 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 . . . Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But 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."
Daniel 10:12-13, 20-21, KJV
"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book."
Daniel 12:1, KJV
"But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils."
Matthew 9:34, KJV
"But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils."
Matthew 12:24, KJV
"And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils."
Mark 3:22, KJV
"Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:"
Ephesians 2:2, KJV
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
2 Corinthians 4:4, KJV
"For 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."
Ephesians 6:12, KJV
So as I mentioned earlier, my personal understanding is that Jesus not only saw Satan coming, but He also knew in advance that the Devil would possess Judas' physical body. Why would Satan do this? I suspect that it is because this was one job which he did not want to leave to a lesser demon. He wanted to nail Jesus himself. No pun intended. That is my personal take on the matter for what it is worth. I have provided the Scriptural evidence for your consideration. Now you decide what you want to believe.
Concerning Judas Iscariot, if you are wondering what I have come to think of him, then I invite you to read my article entitled "Did Jesus Know Everything, and the Fate of Judas Iscariot", which you will find listed below in the suggested reading list.
With these words I will bring another article to a close. I trust that you have found it informative, and I hope that it has been a blessing in your life as well. If so, if you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or with any other social network, I would really appreciate if you would take the time to click or tap on the corresponding share buttons which are found on this same page. Thank you so very much! May God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this article, or which contain topics which are related to this article. All of these articles are likewise located on the Bill's Bible Basics website:
A Conversation With the Devil
Demonic Possession and Sickness: A Biblical Perspective
Did Jesus Know Everything, and the Fate of Judas Iscariot
Did the Devil Make You Do It?
Gargoyles: Satan Loves Church Buildings!
God's Golden Teeth, or Satan's Delusion?
Greater Works Than These Shall He Do . . . and Satan Did Too
Holy Qur'an and Islam: A Doctrine of Devils?
Humility in Our Understanding of God's Word
Judgment of Azazel: Scapegoat of the High Priest
Nature of the Alien: ETs, Demons or a Government Plot?
Nostradamus: Prophet of God, or Messenger of Satan?
Origin of Demons: Spirits of the Nephilim?
Satan: His Origin, Purpose and Future
Satan: King of Tyrus, King of Empires
The Judgment of Angels, Demons and Men
What Happened to the Evil Spirits Known as Legion?
When Was Satan Cast Out of Heaven?