6 occurrences in 6 dictionaries

Reference: Devil


A fallen angel; and particularly the chief of them, the devil, or Satan. He is the great principle of evil in the world; and it is his grand object to counteract the good that God desires to do. He exerts himself, especially with his angels, to draw away the souls of men from embracing salvation through Jesus Christ.

His name signifies the calumniator, or false accuser; as the Hebrew Satan means the adversary. But the Scriptures give him various other appellations descriptive of his character. He is called, "The prince of this world," Joh 12:31; "The prince of the power of the air," Eph 2:2; "The god of this world," 2Co 4:4; "The dragon, that old serpent, the devil," Re 20:2; "That wicked one," 1Jo 5:18; "A roaring lion," 1Pe 5:8; "A murderer," "a liar," Joh 8:44; "Beelzebub," Mt 12:24; "Belial," 2Co 6:15; "The accuser of the brethren," Re 12:10. He is everywhere shown to be full of malignity, cruelty, and deceit, hating God and man. He is ceaselessly active in his efforts to destroy souls, and uses innumerable devices and wiles to adapt his temptations to the varying characters and conditions of men, enticing wicked men, and even good men at times, as well as his own angels, to aid in his work. Almost the whole world has been under his sway. But he is a doomed foe. Christ shall bruise the serpent's head; shall dispossess him for the world, as he has done from individuals, and at length confine him for ever in the place prepared for him and his angels, Mt 25:41.

The word "devils" occurs frequently in the gospels; but it is the translation of a different Greek word from that used to denote the devil, and might be rendered "demons." The Bible applies the other word only to Satan-"the devil, and his angels, who are like their leader in nature and in actions. There are many examples in the New Testament of persons possessed by demons. These are often called demoniacs. Some have argued that these were afflicted by natural diseases, such as epilepsy, insanity, etc., and were not possessed by evil spirits. But our Savior speaks to and commands the demons who actuated the possessed, which demons answered and obeyed, and gave proofs of their presence by tormenting those whom they were obliged to quit. Christ alleges, as proof of his mission, that the demons are cast out; he promises his apostles the same power that he himself exercised against those wicked spirits. Campbell says, "When I find mention made of the number of demons in particular possessions, their actions so particularly distinguished from the actions of the man possessed, conversations held by the former in regard to the disposal of them after their expulsion, and accounts given how they were actually disposed of-when I find desires and passions ascribed particularly to them, and similitudes taken from the conduct which they usually observe, it is impossible for me to deny their existence."

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(Gr. diabolos), a slanderer, the arch-enemy of man's spiritual interest (Job 1:6; Re 2:10; Zec 3:1). He is called also "the accuser of the brethen" (Re 12:10).

In Le 17:7 the word "devil" is the translation of the Hebrew sair, meaning a "goat" or "satyr" (Isa 13:21; 34:14), alluding to the wood-daemons, the objects of idolatrous worship among the heathen.

In Deut. 32:17 and Ps 106:37 it is the translation of Hebrew shed, meaning lord, and idol, regarded by the Jews as a "demon," as the word is rendered in the Revised Version.

In the narratives of the Gospels regarding the "casting out of devils" a different Greek word (daimon) is used. In the time of our Lord there were frequent cases of demoniacal possession (Mt 12:25-30; Mr 5:1-20; Lu 4:35; 10:18, etc.).

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(Greek) "the accuser" or "the slanderer" (Job 1:6-11; 2:1-7; Re 12:10). In Hebrew Satan means "adversary." The two-fold designation marks the two-fold objects of his malice - the Gentiles and the Jews. There is one one Devil, many "demons" as KJV ought to translate the plural. Devil is also used as an adjective. 1Ti 3:11, "slanderers"; 2Ti 3:3, "false accusers." Peter when tempting Jesus to shun the cross did Satan's work, and therefore received Satan's name (Mt 16:23); so Judas is called a "devil" when acting the Devil's part (Joh 6:70). Satan's characteristic sins are lying (Joh 8:44; Ge 3:4-5); malice and murder (1Jo 3:12; Genesis 4); pride, "the condemnation of the Devil," by which he "lost his first estate" (1Ti 3:6; Job 38:15; Isa 14:12-15; Joh 12:31; 16:11; 2Pe 2:4; Jg 1:6).

He slanders God to man, and man to God (Genesis 3; Zechariah 3). His misrepresentation of God as one arbitrary, selfish, and envious of His creature's happiness, a God to be slavishly-feared lest He should hurt, rather than filially loved, runs through all pagan idolatries. This calumny is refuted by God's not sparing His only begotten Son to save us. His slander of good men, as if serving God only for self's sake, is refuted by the case of "those who lose (in will or deed) their life for Christ's sake." Demons, "knowing ones," from a root daemi, to know, are spirits who tremble before, but love not, God (Jas 2:19), incite men to rebellion against Him (Re 16:14). "Evil spirits" (Ac 19:13,15) recognize Christ the Son of God (Mt 8:29; Lu 4:41) as absolute Lord over them, and their future Judge; and even flee before exorcism in His name (Mr 9:38).

As "unclean" they can tempt man with unclean thoughts. They and their master Satan are at times allowed by God to afflict with bodily disease (Lu 13:16): "Satan hath bound this woman these eighteen years" with "a spirit of infirmity," so that she was "bowed together." Scripture teaches that in idolatry the demons are the real workers behind the idol, which is a mere "nothing." Compare 1Co 10:19-21; 1Ti 4:1; Re 9:20. Compare De 32:17, Hebrew sheedim, "lords" (1Co 8:5); Ac 16:16, "a spirit of divination" (Greek of Python, an idol); Ac 17:18, "a setter forth of strange gods" (Greek: demons); 2Ch 11:15; Ps 106:37; Le 17:7. Idolatry is part of the prince of this world's engines for holding dominion.

Our word "panic," from the idol Pan, represented as Satan is, with horns and cloven hoofs, shows the close connection there is between the idolater's slavish terror and Satan his master. The mixture of some elements of primitive truth in paganism accords with Satan's practice of foiling the kingdom of light by transforming himself at times into an "angel of light." Error would not succeed if there were not some elements of truth mixed with it to recommend it. Corrupting the truth more effectually mars it than opposing it. Satan as Beelzebub (Mt 12:24-30) is at the head of an organized kingdom of darkness, with its "principalities and powers" to be "wrestled" against by the children of light. For any subordinate agent of this kingdom, man or demon, to oppose another agent would be, reasons Christ, a division of Satan against Satan (involving the fall of his kingdom), which division Satan would never sanction (Eph 6:12-13).

Demons are "his angels" (Mt 25:41; Re 12:7,9). Natural science can give no light when we come to the boundary line which divides mind from matter. The Bible-asserted existence of evil among angels affords no greater difficulty than its manifest existence among men. As surely as Scripture is true, personality is as much attributed to them as it is to men or to God. Possession with or by a demon or demons is distinctly asserted by Luke (Lu 6:17-18), who as a "physician" was able to distinguish between the phenomena of disease and those of demoniac possession. The Spirit of God in the evangelists would never have sanctioned such distinction, or left people under a superstitious error, not merely connived at but endorsed, if the belief were really false. There is nothing wrong in our using the word "lunacy" for madness; but if we described its cure as the moon's ceasing to afflict, or if the doctor addressed the moon commanding it to leave the patient alone, it would be a lie (Trench, Miracles, 153).

In Mt 4:24, "those possessed with demons" are distinguished from "those lunatic" (probably the epileptic, but even this caused by a demon: Mr 9:14, etc.). Demons spoke with superhuman knowledge (Ac 16:16); recognized Jesus, not merely as son of David (which they would have done had their voice been merely that of the existing Jewish superstition), but as "Son of God" (Mt 8:29). Our Lord speaks of the disciples' casting out of demons as an installment or earnest of the final "fall" of Satan before the kingdom of Christ (Lu 10:18). People might imagine the existence of demons; but swine could only be acted on by an external real personal agent; the entrance of the demons into the swine of Gadara, and their consequent drowning, prove demons to be objective realities.

Seeing that physical disease itself is connected with the introduction of evil into the world, the tracing of insanity to physical disorganization only partially explains the phenomena; mental disease often betrays symptoms of a hostile spiritual power at work. At our Lord's advent as Prince of Light, Satan as prince of darkness, whose ordinary operation is on men's minds by invisible temptation, rushed into open conflict with His kingdom and took possession of men's bodies also. The possessed man lost the power of individual will and reason, his personal consciousness becoming strangely confused with that of the demon in him, so as to produce a twofold will, such as we have in some dreams. Sensual habits predisposed to demoniac possession. In pagan countries instances occur wherein Satan seemingly exercises a more direct influence than in Christian lands. Demoniac possession gradually died away as Christ's kingdom progressed in the first centuries of the church. There are four gradations in Satan's ever-deepening fall.

(1) He is deprived of his heavenly excellency, though still having access to heaven as man's accuser (Job 1-2), up to Christ's ascension. All we know of his original state as an archangel of light is that he lost it through pride and restless ambition, and that he had some special connection, possibly as God's vicegerent over this earth and the animal kingdom; thereby we can understand his connection and that of his subordinate fallen angels with this earth throughout Scripture, commencing with his temptation of man to his characteristic sin, ambition to be "as gods knowing good and evil;" only his ambition seems to have been that of power, man's that of knowledge. His assuming an animal form, that of a serpent, and the fact of death existing in the pre-Adamite world, imply that evil probably was introduced by him in some way unknown to us, affecting the lower creation before man's creation. As before Christ's ascension heaven was not yet fully open to man (Joh 3:13), so it was not yet shut against Satan. The old dispensation could not overcome him (compare Zechariah 3).

(2) From Christ to the millennium he is judicially cast out as "accuser" of the elect; for Christ appearing before God as our Advocate (Heb 9:24), Satan the accusing adversary could no longer appear against us (Ro 8:33-34). He and his angels range through the air and the earth during this period (Eph 2:2; 6:12). "Knowing that he hath but a short time" (Revelation 12), in "great wrath" he concentrates his power on the earth, especially toward the end, when he is to lose his standing against Israel and expulsion shall be executed on him and his by Michael (Re 12:7-9; Da 12:1; Zechariah 3, where Joshua the high priest represents "Jerusalem," whose "choice" by the Lord is the ground of the Lord's rebuke to Satan).

(3) He is bound at the eve of the millennium (Re 20:1-3). Having failed to defeat God's purpose of making this earth the kingdom of Christ and His transfigured saints, by means of the beast, the harlot, and finally Antichrist, who is destroyed instantly by Christ's manifestation in glory, S

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The word came into English from Greek either directly or through its Latin transliteration. Used with the definite article, its original meaning was that of the accuser or traducer of men (see Satan), whence it soon came to denote the supreme spirit of evil, the personal tempter of man and enemy of God. With the indefinite article it stands for a malignant being of superhuman nature and powers, and represents the conception expressed by the Greeks in the original of our term 'demon.' At first the idea of malignancy was not necessarily associated with these beings, some being regarded as harmless and others as wielding even benign influence; but gradually they were considered as operating exclusively in the sphere of mischief, and as needing to be guarded against by magic rites or religious observances.

1. Earlier conceptions.

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(slanderer). The name describes Satan as slandering God to man and man to God. The former work is of course, a part of his great work of temptation to evil and is not only exemplified but illustrated as to its general nature and tendency by the narrative of Gen. 3. The other work, the slandering or accusing men before God, is the imputation of selfish motives,

Job 1:9-10

and its refutation is placed in the self-sacrifice of those "who loved not their own lives unto death." [SATAN; DEMON]

See Satan

See Demon

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DEVIL, Diabolus, an evil angel. The word is formed from the French diable, of the Latin diabolus, which comes from the Greek ????????, which, in its ordinary acceptation, signifies calumniator, traducer, or false accuser, from the verb ??????????, to calumniate, &c; or from the ancient British diafol. Dr. Campbell observes, that, though the word is sometimes, both in the Old Testament and the New, applied to men and women, as traducers, it is, by way of eminence, employed to denote that apostate angel, who is exhibited to us, particularly in the New Testament, as the great enemy of God and man. In the two first chapters of Job, it is the word in the Septuagint by which the Hebrew ???, Satan, or adversary, is translated. Indeed, the Hebrew word in this application, as well as the Greek, has been naturalized in most modern languages. Thus we say, indifferently, the devil, or Satan; only the latter has more the appearance of a proper name, as it is not attended with the article. There is, however, this difference between the import of such terms, as occurring in their native tongues, and as modernized in translations. In the former, they always retain somewhat of their primitive meaning, and, beside indicating a particular being, or class of beings, they are of the nature of appellatives, and make a special character or note of distinction in such beings. Whereas, when thus Latinized or Englished, they answer solely the first of these uses, as they come nearer the nature of proper names. ???????? is sometimes applied to human beings; but nothing is more easy than to distinguish this application from the more frequent application to the arch-

apostate. One mark of distinction is, that, in this last use of the term, it is never found in the plural. When the plural is used, the context always shows that it refers to human beings, and not to fallen angels. It occurs in the plural only thrice, and that only in the epistles of St. Paul, 1Ti 3:11; 2Ti 3:3; Tit 2:3. Another criterion whereby the application of this word to the prince of darkness may be discovered, is its being attended with the article. The term almost invariably is ? ????????. The excepted instances occur in the address of Paul to Elymas the sorcerer, Ac 13:10; and that of our Lord to the Pharisees, Joh 8:44. The more doubtful cases are those in 1Pe 5:8, and Re 20:2. These are all the examples in which the word, though used indefinitely or without the article, evidently denotes our spiritual and ancient enemy; and the examples in which it occurs in this sense with the article, are too numerous to be recited.

2. That there are angels and spirits, good and bad, says an eminent writer; that at the head of these last, there is one more considerable and malignant than the rest, who, in the form, or under the name, of a serpent, was deeply, concerned in the fall of man, and whose head, in the language of prophecy, the Son of Man was one day to bruise; that this evil spirit, though that prophecy be in part fulfilled, has not yet received his death's wound, but is still permitted, for ends to us unsearchable, and in ways which we cannot particularly explain, to have a certain degree of power in this world hostile to its virtue and happiness,

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