In Jesus Christ’s teachings and ministry He often confronted demons and their activities, i.e., demonic possession of individuals, Transgender, pedophiles, homosexuals, rapist, murderer’s, liars, those that commit adultery, child abuse, greed, you get the picture (Matthew 12:22-29, 15:22-28, 25:41; Mark 5:1-16). Christ demonstrated His power over demons and, furthermore, He gave His disciples power to cast out demons (Matthew 10:1)
Demons are fallen angels, as Revelation 12:9 indicates: “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Satan’s fall from heaven is symbolically described in Isaiah 14:12–15 and Ezekiel 28:12–15. When he fell, Satan took some of the angels with him—one-third of them, according to Revelation 12:4. Jude 6 also mentions angels who sinned. So, biblically, demons are fallen angels who, along with Satan, chose to rebel against God.
Some of the demons are already locked “in darkness, bound with everlasting chains” (Jude 1:6) for their sin. Others are free to roam and are referred to as “the powers of this dark world and . . . the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” in Ephesians 6:12 (cf. Colossians 2:15). The demons still follow Satan as their leader and do battle with the holy angels in an attempt to thwart God’s plan and hinder God’s people (Daniel 10:13).
Demons, as spirit beings, have the ability to take possession of a physical body. Demonic possession occurs when a person’s body is completely controlled by a demon. This cannot happen to a child of God, since the Holy Spirit resides in the heart of the believer in Christ (1 John 4:4).
Types of Occult Satanic Worship in the Bible
There are many ways Satan is worshipped through occult means that includes demon worship:
Divination was one of the specific practices named by Moses in his prohibition on occult worship (Deut. 18:10). Often this practice included the killing of a chicken or some small animal, and on occasions to observe its liver to determine the state of affairs and direction of the immediate future (Ezek. 21:21). Divination is an illegitimate means of determining the will of God. The Christian desiring to know the will of God should consult the Scriptures, not the stars (Ps. 119:9).
A second occult practice of today was also banned by God. ‘Necromancy’ is an effort to communicate with and interrogate the dead. As the Bible teaches the dead are unable to communicate with the living (Luke 15:27-31), it only stands to reason that those who claim to have this ability are lying or are themselves deceived. In either case, the necromancer was considered an abomination unto the Lord (Deut. 18:11, 12).
The use of magic formulas and incantations was also forbidden. Today it is popular to distinguish between white and black magic, but leading biblical scholars agree that both forms of magic find their source and strength in demonic power. Those who practice magic are under certain limits as to what they can accomplish (Dan. 4:7). Even when it appears that magicians are able to duplicate the power of God, they still fall short of what God is able to accomplish (Exod. 7:11, 12).
Closely related to magic is sorcery. Magic usually relates to accomplishing specific acts-such as rods becoming serpents-whereas sorcery relates more closely with calling upon demons to create situations around people. Thus the enchanter or sorcerer is one who uses incantations or omens. Their practices may have also included the use of mood-changing or mind-altering drugs. This has led some Bible scholars to denounce the use of such drugs because they are used as part of occult worship.
Around the world today, there exists a growing number of those who call themselves witches. Witchcraft is directly opposed to God (Dent. 18:10). When Saul became the first king of Israel, one of his first acts was to ban the practice of witchcraft from the kingdom (1 Sam. 28:9). A witch is one who makes use of magic and sorcery to accomplish the will of demons.
One of the oldest forms of the occult still practiced today is astrology. Contemporary astrology is a combination of what astrological cults practiced in Babylon, Egypt, and Canaan. In Canaan, astrology centered around the bull. The worship of the golden calf, child sacrifices to Molech, and Baal worship were all part of Canaanite astrology. The Old Testament is very clear to prohibit God’s people from involvement there.
In Egypt, God challenged the astrological gods of Egypt in sending ten plagues which directly attacked the authority of those gods. The highest of the Egyptian gods was Ra, the sun god. Three days of darkness was a direct indictment against the religion of Egypt.
What Are The Works of Demons
Several activities are identified in the Bible in which demons may be involved. Sometimes they are responsible for the physical disease or mental suffering. While not all mental disorders are demonic in origin, some apparently are. Demons are also credited with tempting people to engage in immoral practices. They are the originators and propagators of the false doctrines taught by heretical religious groups. The Bible also teaches that some people were possessed by demons. Demons are committed to evil, yet God will use them to accomplish his plan at the end of the world.
Demons Unknowingly Do The Will of God
It must be frustrating to demons after they had accomplished some evil scheme to later find out that they were carrying out the will of God. Satan did not realize what God wanted to do in Job’s life when he caused him physical suffering. Also, God used ‘an evil spirit’ to accomplish his will in the life of Saul, Israel’s first king (1 Sam. 16:14).
On another occasion, God used ‘a lying spirit’ to deceive the false prophets of an evil king (1 Kings 22:22, 23). At the end of the Great Tribulation, demons will be used by God to gather the nations of the world to battlefields of Armageddon (Rev. 9:16). God is able to use even demons to accomplish his will.
There are many reasons why a person may experience physical illness. Sometimes it is the result of God’s judgment for sin (1 Cor. 11:30). On other occasions, the same sickness may come as a result of breaking some health law and exposing oneself to germs or viruses. It may come from God as his means of ending a person’s life in a natural way. On other occasions, demons may be the reason a person experiences physical suffering.
Several specific physical afflictions are attributed to demons in the Bible. Jesus cast a demon out of a dumb man who immediately began to speak (Matt. 9:32, 33). On another occasion, a blind man began to see when the demon went out of him (Matt. 12:22). Job was afflicted physically with boils covering his body, the result of satanic activity (Job 2:1-10). Demons may have been the messengers that carried out Satan’s commands to smite job. Of course, afflictions are not always symptoms of demon activity, but demons are capable of and do occasionally cause physical pain and suffering.
Various forms of mental diseases can also be attributed to demons. In at least two cases of demon possession treated by Jesus during his ministry, the demons had so affected the minds of the victims to cause abnormal behavior. One man lived among tombs, a practice considered unclean during this time, and created a disturbance day and night (Mark 5:4, 5).
A young boy possessed with a demon involuntarily went into an apparent convulsion when he encountered the presence of Jesus (Luke 9:37-42). In both instances, the victims engaged in some form of self-destruction and physical mutilation of the body. After the demon was cast out of the person, the apparent mental problem disappeared.
For the Christian, our final moral code of ethics is the Bible. Those who oppose God would also oppose, the morality of the Bible. Demons are instrumental in leading both the saved and unsaved into moral compromise. One of the often-used names for demons in the Bible is ‘unclean spirit,’ an appropriate name, as they tarnish everything they influence. When Israel left Egypt, God gave them the land of Canaan. One of the reasons God wanted them in a separate land was that the heathen nations had given themselves over to unclean spirits and had become: corrupted (Lev. 18; Deut. 18).
Paul discussed one main work of demons when he warned young Timothy of conditions “in the latter times.”
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons. 1 Timothy 4:1
Demons are the source of many organized doctrines of the false cults. Even in the early church, there were false apostles (Rev. 2:2) and false doctrines (Rev. 2:14) that had to be opposed.
The Bible teaches the coming of the antichrist during the Great Tribulation but, by the end of the first century, John wrote, “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18). The word ‘anti’ had a twofold designation; first, it meant ‘against’ Christ, but the secondary meaning was the most evident, it meant “in substitution for,” or “instead of,” Christ. The existence of ‘antichrist’ leaders throughout the church age is the result of demon activity.
Their main activity is to foster a ‘substitute religion’ in place of Christ and his doctrine.
One of the chief difficulties of living for God today is not the social pressures or inconvenience of life; it is the spiritual battle in which we are engaged. Our enemies are demons. Paul observed, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12). The phrase “the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil” refers to demons and their activities.
Part of the work of demons, particularly as it relates to the Christian life, is doing battle with Christians on the spiritual level. This condition is the reason behind the apostolic imperative, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Eph. 6:11). Without spiritual help from God, the Christian is unable to win the battle against demons.
‘Demon possession’ is not a biblical expression, yet the idea of demon control is more than simply a carry-over of ancient superstitions. Demon possession, as we understand it, occurs when God permits demons to possess a person and control his mind or body. On many occasions, demon possession resulted in mental derangement. In most cases recorded in Scripture, the person possessed was apparently responsible for being possessed.
Understanding Demon Possession
There is much confusion about demon possession. Demon possession is the culmination of a volitional rejection of God and a volitional acceptance of Satan and his demons. A person does not become possessed by demons on a casual basis.
Demon possession is the opposite of the filling of the Spirit just as some Christians are more effective when filled with the Holy Spirit, so some unbelievers have greater demonic power as a result of their demonic possession. The same word is used of the Holy Spirit controlling in Ephesians 5:18 as Satan’s control of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5.
Demon possession and demon activity is more commonly recognized in third world countries. However, there is increasing evidence of demonic activity in our Western society because of its waning Christian influence. As our nation turns from God and more people worship Satan and demons, there will be more evidence of demon activity in our society.
Many have conjectured about whether or not demons can ‘possess’ or ‘influence’ believers. Since the Bible is silent concerning Christians being ‘possessed,’ it has much to say concerning demons’ possible influence on us and of our need to be aware of their desire to adversely affect our wall with God.
Can Christians Have Demons?
The short answer is no. Satan and his demons may tempt us, but they cannot dwell within us.
If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:15-17
Thus, you see, the Holy Spirit lives in every child of God. Additionally, Jesus says in verse 23: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
Not only does the Holy Spirit dwell in every Christian, but the Father and the Son, through the Spirit, dwell in every Christian. No demon, nor the devil himself, can dwell in a Christian if the Father and the Son or the Holy Spirit are dwelling in that Christian. God and the devil cannot dwell in the same place or in the same person.
God emphasizes in His Word the Holy Spirit lives within those who have repented of their sins, have accepted Jesus as their Savior, and have thus been born into the family of God.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. Romans 8:9
The Holy Spirit who lives in a born-again child of God bears witness with that person’s spirit that he is a child of God. If the devil or a demon lived in that Christian and possessed that Christian, the Holy Spirit could neither dwell in that person or bear witness that such a person was a child of God.
What Will Happen To Demons?
When Jesus encountered a demon-possessed man during his earthly ministry, the demons asked, “Have you come here to torment us before the time?” (Matt. 8:29). Demons understand something of their eternal destiny, The phrase, “before the time” could mean that they feared premature expulsion from the man, but it probably meant premature judgment to hell. The destiny of demons can be summarized in three phases of confinement.
Some demons are currently confined. John described the release of some of these demons in Revelation 9 during the Great Tribulation when they will come from the bottomless pit to afflict the people. Jude identified another group of demons whom God “he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6). Apparently, the crime of these angels was so horrendous that they will never again experience any degree of liberty (2 Pet. 2:4).
During the Great Tribulation, there “are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.” (Rev. 16:14). As demons are in part responsible for the battle of Armageddon, it is reasonable to expect they would be prevented from making war during the millennial reign of Christ.
While their millennial destiny is not specifically identified in the Bible, most commentators would agree that they would be confined with Satan their leader in the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:3). They certainly are not active during Christ’s reign on the earth.
One of the key thoughts to keep in mind when attempting to understand hell is to remember it was never the will of God that anyone should go there (1 Pet. 3:9). When confronted with that truth, the obvious question is, “Why did God create hell in the first place?” The answer to that question is found in Matthew 25:41. Hell was “prepared for the devil and his angels.”
A man will only go to hell by choice, his choice as expressed by his rejection of Christ. Demons are apparently aware that someday they will be eternally confined to the lake of fire (Matt. 8:29).
Christians Become Judges
The Bible also teaches that angels are not exempt from judgment. Paul asked the Corinthians, “Do you not know that we are to judge angels?” (1 Cor. 6:3). Toward the end of the age, it will be our responsibility as Christians to represent God in the role of judge.
It may be that during the Tribulation, the millennial kingdom, or eternity to follow, we will serve as judges similar to the judges who ruled before Israel’s first king. As judges, we will be given a position of authority over angels.The following two tabs change content below.
Jesus, during His earthly ministry, encountered many demons. Of course, none of them was a match for the power of Christ: “Many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word” (Matthew 8:16). Jesus’ authority over the demons was one of the proofs that He was indeed the Son of God (Luke 11:20). The demons who encountered Jesus knew who He was, and they feared Him: “‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ [the demons] shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’” (Matthew 8:29). The demons know their end will be one of torment.
Satan and his demons now look to destroy the work of God and deceive anyone they can (1 Peter 5:8; 2 Corinthians 11:14–15). The demons are described as evil spirits (Matthew 10:1), unclean spirits (Mark 1:27), lying spirits (1 Kings 22:23), and angels of Satan (Revelation 12:9). Satan and his demons deceive the world (2 Corinthians 4:4), promulgate false doctrine (1 Timothy 4:1), attack Christians (2 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Peter 5:8), and combat the holy angels (Revelation 12:4–9).
The demons/fallen angels are enemies of God, but they are defeated, enemies. Christ has “disarmed the powers and authorities,” and He has “made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15). As we submit to God and resist the devil, we have nothing to fear. “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
The devil perverts the word of God. We have already seen that the main object of the devil is to change what God has said. All this began with Eve. God said, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 17). The devil told Eve, “Ye shall not surely die” (Gen. 3: 4). Again, be reminded that sin is lawlessness and righteousness is God’s word (Ps. 119: 117). The devil is skilled in misapplying scripture (cp. Matt. 4: 6, 7, see Ps. 91: 11, 12). The servants or ministers of the devil appear righteous and true, adding to the devil’s ability to deceive the naïve (2 Cor. 11: 13-15). However, these men can be known “by their fruits” (Matt. 7: 15-20). Hence, the Christian is to “test” those who come to him, determining if they have “the doctrine of Christ” (I Jn. 4: 1, 2 Jn. 9-11).
Beloved, the devil should not ever be underestimated. He is cunning, intelligent, and an opportunist. He is also without pity and compassion. He wants you and he will do whatever he can to have you! However, with God’s help, you can prevail. Learn the word of God and apply it to your life. Ascertain what God requires of you in order to acquire and maintain salvation and use God’s word to put the devil to flight. Those who presently serve the devil, alas, will forever be with the devil (Matt. 25: 41, 46, see beginning with verse 31 following). (Be sure to also read, “The Truth about the Devil” and “The Devil is Limited.”)
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