Watchman: Daily Devotional, Is There Demonic Activity in the World Today?
It's fascinating to read through the Gospels and Acts and look at difficulties that appeared to be medical or psychiatric concerns but were attributed to demonic activity by Jesus and the disciples. While we may accept that the guy who dwelt in the Gerasenes' graves (Mark 5) was possessed, the silent youngster with seizures (Mark 9:14-29) appeared to have epilepsy. And the guy in Matthew 12:22 was labeled as possessed by a demon simply because he was blind and deaf. Modern medicine would explain such things away, yet Jesus did not correct the people when they blamed medical problems on a demon.
Other incidents were definitely the product of demonic activity, frequently because those who were possessed spoke things they should not have said. A guy yelled in a synagogue "What are you doing here, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to eliminate us? I recognize you as the Holy One of God " (Mark 1:24). According to Mark 3:11-12, "When the unclean spirits saw him [Jesus], they prostrated themselves before him and cried out, 'You are the Son of God!' And he specifically instructed them not to make him known." Later, Paul cast out a demon from a little girl who had been used to make money by men through her divination (Acts 16:16-18).
Is there still demonic activity going on? If so, how much so?
There is undeniably demonic activity in the world today. We don't know how much. Job 1—2 gives an excellent insight of what demons can do. Satan tempted the Sabeans to murder Job's slaves and steal his cattle and donkeys, while the Chaldeans stole his camels. He sent fire from heaven to kill Job's animals and shepherds, and a wind to destroy the building in which Job's children were housed, killing them all. When Satan saw Job's faith, he cursed him with a severe, painful skin ailment.
Daniel reveals more evidence of demonic activities in the earth. An angel tells in Daniel 10:11-14 that his arrival was delayed due to the "prince of Persia," a demon who supposedly wielded enormous spiritual power over the nation of Persia. In fact, Paul later refers to Satan as the "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4). There is no reason to believe that such authority has been or will be revoked until Satan is imprisoned for a thousand years following the Tribulation (Revelation 20:1-3).
So we know demons may cause violence, financial ruin, illness, and even death. They also have the ability to sway nations. However, there are several widespread views that the Bible does not support.
The Bible does not blame all calamity to demonic activities. A person who is tormented by fear does not necessarily have a "fear spirit." Someone who is unable to handle their finances is not necessarily being plagued by a "spirit of poverty." Someone who is unable to find a spouse is not necessarily haunted by a "spirit of rejection." While it is possible for devils to pay special attention to a person, the Bible does not state that every adversity is a direct outcome of spiritual warfare. Our world is flawed, and we should anticipate part of that brokenness to manifest in our lives.
On a global scale, while it is likely that devils are driving human organizations to wreak destruction over the world, the Bible does not say that Christians should focus their energies on putting a stop to those efforts. The entire world will be governed by demonic activity in the end times. This will signal Christ's glory and victory. Our time would be better spent reaching out to souls rather than fighting the Illuminati.
There are two things to keep in mind when it comes to demonic activities nowadays. The first is that when we look for it, the activity appears to be at its peak. Seeking demons is insane, and in the Old Testament, such attempts were punished by stoning (Deuteronomy 18:9-12). Demons are the enemy of God's children, and they only desire to hurt us (1 Peter 5:8). Spirit guides, tarot cards, Ouija boards, palm reading, horoscopes, and "ghost hunting" are examples of modern-day dalliances. Demons are our adversaries (Ephesians 6:12). Attempting to associate with them invites destruction.
The Bible also makes it plain that God is sovereign over devils and has the power and authority to prohibit their activity. Job 1 and 2 demonstrate that Satan could not touch Job without God's consent. In truth, God can use demonic activity to accomplish His goals, such as encouraging us to return to Him (1 Corinthians 5:5) or teaching us how to trust Him more totally (2 Corinthians 12:7). But we have a say. Jesus tells us in the Lord's Prayer to pray that God will deliver us from evil, most likely alluding to Satan. We can pray to God to keep us safe from demonic activity (Matthew 6:13).
The Bible does not tell us how to exorcise someone or cast out demons. It also does not emphasize that we are expected to. The New Testament emphasizes the importance of not allowing demonic activity to lead us to reject God's sovereignty over our life. According to James 4:7, "So, submit yourselves to God. If you resist the devil, he will flee from you." This does not refer to a spiritual attack that produces physical harm, but rather to a sinful temptation. Job, once again, serves as an example: "In all this, Job did not transgress or accuse God of wrongdoing" (Job 1:22). We have no influence over the spiritual powers; all we can do is pray for protection and resist temptation to sin.
The purpose of demonic activity is to pull people away from God, either by preventing unbelievers from coming to Christ or by leading Christians into sin to the point where their spiritual walk becomes a hindrance rather than an encouragement to others (1 John 5:16). Not all difficulties with health, well-being, relationships, or government are demonic in character, but those that are are intended to draw us away from God. When we choose to follow Christ regardless of the distractions, we fight demonic activity.
There are two primary issues to address regarding spiritual warfare and the Bible. First, does spiritual warfare exist? Second, what does the Bible say about engaging in spiritual warfare?
The Bible is very clear on the existence of spiritual warfare. Peter warns "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). Our adversary or enemy, the devil, refers to Satan, who is a real entity, not a mythical creature or invention. Other titles of Satan include the tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5), the wicked one (Matthew 13:19, 38), and the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10).
Three of Satan's titles indicate his authority in this world: the ruler of this world (John 12:31), the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4), and the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). Satan also transforms himself into "an angel of light," a description that highlights his capacity and inclination to deceive (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Spiritual warfare, the idea that humans battle in some way with supernatural powers, is also the testimony of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18. Here, Paul notes that believers battle against the devil's schemes and that this is a spiritual battle, not a physical one. We are to be fully aware of Satan's evil plans (2 Corinthians 2:11). Paul further describes the warfare in which we are engaged as we battle throughout our lives "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against th
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