Term meaning literally accuser, 1 Ptr 5:8; in Scripture usually a descriptive name of Satan; also used in the plural for the fallen angels (demons [see Demon], evil spirits, unclean spirits), the chief of whom is called Satan by way of eminence (Mt 12:2426). Satan himself, for whose subjugation Christ came, is the originator of all wickedness (Eph 2:2), an opponent of the kingdom of God. He is the tempter of the faithful (1 Ptr 5:89); he led Eve into sin and so became the originator and king of death (Heb 2:14). Originally created good, the evil spirits fell through their own fault (2 Ptr 2:4). That the devil is a personal being is clear from the Gospels and Epistles. Jesus calls him evil one and enemy (Mt 13:19, 28; 1 Ti 5:14). Other terms: Adversary (1 Ptr 5:8), Satan (Lk 22:31), Beelzebub or Beelzebul (Mt 10:25; 12:24; Mk 3:22; Lk 11:15, 18, 19), prince of devils and demons (Mt 12:24), ruler of this world (Jn 12:31; cf. Eph 6:12). Everlasting punishment was prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41). See also Demonology; Demoniac Possession.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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