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Demons and Oneness of Allah
Hear, O Israel:
The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
Deuteronomy 6:4 (NIV)
You believe that there is one God.
Good! Even the demons believe that
— and shudder. James 2:19 (NIV)
انت تؤمن ان الله واحد.حسنا تفعل.والشياطين يؤمنون ويقشعرون
Summary: A fundamental tenet of a true religion is the faith of monotheism, i.e., the Oneness of Allah (Tawhid). However, Shaitan and all the demons believe in the Oneness of Allah too. Yet, they will find their eternal destiny in the flames of hell. So, entrance into al-Jannah (Heaven) requires more than affirming the faith of Monotheism. According to the prophets and apostles, it requires atonement for sins and a personal relationship with Allah.
Monotheism is a basic truth that is explicitly taught and defended in the Old and New Testaments. It is a common theme through out the entire Bible. The Holy Scriptures teach numerous other truths too. For example, the scriptures affirm that Allah is the sole Creator of the Universe. All of these truths are vitally important, and human beings are expected to believe them. In addition, there have been numerous individuals in the course of world history who believed these truths, but who never learned these truths from a prophet or a prophet?s writings. The basis of their belief was that the natural creation itself teaches these truths.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Psalms 19:1-3 (NIV)
King David wrote in the Psalms that a fool says in his hearts, “There is no God” Psalms 14:1, because the truth of Allah is so obvious from creation’s order and design. The Apostle Paul quoted approvingly from pagan Greek poets who believed many excellent truths about Allah (Acts 17:28).
As important as the truth of monotheism or Allah?s Oneness is, it has no salvific value in itself. Believing and defending this truth will not permit entrance into al-Jannah. A person might believe that Allah is Creator, All-Mighty, Supreme, Infinite, Just, One, Lord of the Worlds and still be cast into the flames of Hell. The Apostle James pointed to some individuals who were very proud of their belief in Allah?s Oneness. The Apostle was quick to reply, “Even the demons believe that.” Basically, these individuals thought they could ignore the practical instructions of the apostles and prophets because they believed in Allah?s Oneness.
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder. James 2:19 (NIV)
Shaitan and all his hosts of demons are pure monotheist and believe in the Tawhid or Oneness of Allah. Demons are not atheists or polytheists. They believe in the existence of an Allah. Hence, they believe in theism. Even more than mere theism, demons believe in ‘one’ Allah. Thus, demons believe in pure monotheism. They do not believe in polytheism. Jews, Christians, Muslims, and the infernal demons all belong to the great faith of monotheism. So, it is no wonder that demons have no reason to hinder the preaching of pure monotheism to all the world’s population. Yet, they would do everything they could to oppose the gospel of salvation being preached to lost sinners. One form of demonic opposition is the blasphemy laws that some Muslim countries have legislated the freedom to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Salvation and entrance into al-Jannah (heaven) depends upon the forgiveness of sins. This is true for Muslims as well as professing Christians. A person might claim to be a Christian and worship Christ as King, Lord, Teacher, Prophet, and Master and still become fuel for the flames of hell. As sinners, we all must first make sure that our sins have been atoned. The sinner needs to be cleansed from his or her sins before he or she can enter glory. The essential and universal message of the divine prophets is the necessity of atonement for our sins and a personal relationship with Allah.
Believing the truth of Allah?s Oneness has no redemptive value. If it did, then all the demons would be saved and be welcomed into al-Jannah. Even though demons believe in Allah?s Tawhid, they will find themselves in the flames of hell forever! Vastly more important than Allah?s Oneness is Allah?s Salvation of sinners. After the Judgment of the Last Day, every person in hell will believe in Allah?s Oneness. What good will it do them believing in Allah?s Oneness when they are in fiery torments? Absolutely, nothing! The vital question is not Allah?s Oneness, but the question of your many sins and the Final Judgment.
Your begging entrance to al-Jannah because you believed in Allah?s Oneness will be utterly worthless. Allah will reply, “Even the demons believe that.” Dear sinner, your belief must rise higher than the faith of Shaitan. Shaitan was a pure monotheist long before Ibrahim. The constant message of the ancient prophets was the necessity of atonement for sins. Are your sins atoned by the death of another? This is the message that began with Adam and Eve and continued throughout all the divine prophets and apostles. May Allah give you the grace and humility to accept the message of the ancient prophets and apostles. You need desperately to have your sins washed away. Allah loves you and desires that you come just as you are to the cross of Calvary in repentant and faith.
July 3, 2004
Adam Clarke, Clarke’s Commentary NT, Thessalonians. – Revelation, Vol. 6B – 1, page 651.
Verse 19. Thou believest that there is one God. This is the faith in which these persons put their hope of pleasing God, and of obtaining eternal life. Believing in the being and unity of God distinguished them from all the nations of the world; and having been circumcised, and thus brought into the covenant, they thought themselves secure of salvation. The insufficiency of this St. James immediately shows.
The devils also believe, and tremble. It is well to believe there is one only true God; this truth universal nature proclaims. Even the devils believe it; but far from justifying or saving them, it leaves them in their damned state, and every act of it only increases their torment; φρισσουσιν, they shudder with horror, they believe and tremble, are increasingly tormented; but they can neither love nor obey.
Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1871)
19. Thou–emphatic. Thou self-deceiving claimant to faith without works. that there is one God–rather, “that God is one”: God’s existence, however, is also asserted. The fundamental article of the creed of Jews and Christians alike, and the point of faith on which especially the former boasted themselves, as distinguishing them from the Gentiles, and hence adduced by James here.
thou doest well–so far good. But unless thy faith goes farther than an assent to this truth, “the evil spirits (literally, ‘demons’: ‘devil’ is the term restricted to Satan, their head) believe” so far in common with thee, “and (so far from being saved by such a faith) shudder (so the Greek),” Matthew 8:29; Luke 4:34; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Revelation 20:10. Their faith only adds to their torment at the thought of having to meet Him who is to consign them to their just doom: so thine (Hebrew 10:26, 27, it is not the faith of love, but of fear, that hath torment, 1 John 4:18).
Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: Hebrews to Jude, vol. 13, Baker Book House Edition, Grand Rapids, MI, Reprint of 1884-85 edition, James, pages 45-46.
[Thou believest that there is one God] One of the great and cardinal doctrines of religion is here selected as an illustration of all. The design of the apostle seems to have been to select one of the doctrines of religion, the belief of which would — if mere belief in any doctrine could ? save the soul; and to show that even this might be held as an article of faith by those who could be supposed by no one to have any claim to the name of Christian. He selects, therefore, the great fundamental doctrine of all religion,? the doctrine of the existence of one Supreme Being,? and shows that if even this were held in such a way as it might be, and as it was held by devils, it could not save men. The apostle here is not to be supposed to be addressing such an one as Paul, who held to the doctrine that we are justified by faith; nor is he to be supposed to be combating the doctrine of Paul, as some have maintained, (see the Introduction); but he is to be regarded as addressing one who held, in the broadest and most unqualified sense, that provided there was faith, a man would be saved. To this he replies, that even the devils might have faith of a certain sort, and faith that would produce sensible effects on them of a certain kind, and still it could not be supposed that they had true religion, or that they would be saved. Why might not the same thing occur in regard to man?
[Thou doest well] So far as this is concerned, or so far as it goes. It is a doctrine which ought to be held, for it is one of the great fundamental truths of religion.
[The devils] The “demons,”– [ta (greek 3588) daimonia (greek 1140)]. There is, properly, but one being spoken of in the New Testament as “the devil”– [ho] (greek 3588) [diabolos] (greek 1228), and [ho] (greek 3588) [Satan] (greek 4566)– though “demons” are frequently spoken of in the plural number. They are represented as evil spirits, subject to Satan, or under his control, and engaged with him in carrying out his plans of wickedness. These spirits or demons were supposed to wander in desert and desolate places, <Matt. 12:43>, or to dwell in the atmosphere, (Notes, <Eph. 2:2>); they were thought to have the power of working miracles, but not for good, (<Rev. 16:14>; compare <John 10:21>); to be hostile to mankind, <John 8:44>; to utter the pagan oracles, <Acts 16:17>; to lurk in the idols of the heathen, <1 Cor. 10:20>; and to take up their abodes in the bodies of men, afflicting them with various kinds of diseases, <Matt. 7:22; 9:34; 10:8; 17:18; Mark 7:29-30; Luke 4:33; 8:27,30>, et soepe. It is of these evil spirits that the apostle speaks when he says that they believe.
[Also believe] That is, particularly, they believe in the existence of the one God. How far their knowledge may extend respecting God, we cannot know; but they are never represented in the Scriptures as denying his existence, or as doubting the great truths of religion. They are never described as atheists. That is a sin of this world only. They are not represented as sceptics. That, too, is a peculiar sin of the earth; and probably, in all the universe besides, there are no beings but those who dwell on this globe, who doubt or deny the existence of God, or the other great truths of religion.
[And tremble] The word here used [φρισσουσιν (grk 5425)] occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means, properly, to be rough, uneven, jaggy, sc., with bristling hair; to bristle, to stand on end, as the hair does in a fright; and then to shudder or quake with fear, etc. Here the meaning is, that there was much more in the case referred to than mere speculative faith. There was a faith that produced some effect, and an effect of a very decided character. It did not, indeed, produce good works, or a holy life, but it made it manifest that there was faith; and, consequently, it followed that the existence of mere faith was not all that was necessary to save men, or to make it certain that they would be secure, unless it were held that the devils would be justified and saved by it. If they might hold such faith, and still remain in perdition, men might hold it, and go to perdition. A man should not infer, therefore, because he has faith, even that faith in God which will fill him with alarm, that therefore he is safe. He must have a faith which will produce another effect altogether– that which will lead to a holy life.