Even The Demons Believe– and Tremble! (James 2:19)

by Steven Chan
4 July 2010

The Bible says in James 2:19-20: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” The devil appears to have some things in common with believers.

One thing common between the devil and believers, as highlighted in the afore-stated scripture is that the devils also believe that there is one God. In that sense, the devil shares one common belief with believers. That puts the devil closer to the believer than many of our friends who do not even believe that there is a God, let alone that there is really only one God.

The devil also knows the Scriptures – and that’s one more thing in common with believers – although one wonders whether some of us know the Scriptures as well as the devil! During the temptation episode as recorded in Matt 4:6, the devil said: “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” He was able to quote Scriptures that applied to the situation.

In Matt 8:29 the Bible records that the demons possessed man “suddenly cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” 2 Peter 2:4: “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;” Jude 6: “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;” The devils also know that there will be a coming “judgement of the great day” and they knew that when Jesus was on earth then, it was not yet time for their judgement yet.

But they differ from us in one major aspect: John 8:43-46: “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil , and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.” The devils don’t believe the truth and they speak lies.

Christians do not have fellowship with the devils even though we share some common beliefs. Much as we need to emphasize what we share in common with others, we should not be blind to differences that truly matter. Note what the Bible says in 1 Cor 10:20-21: “I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.” Brethren, let’s seek to know the truth and obey it. The devil does not share that all important element.