Theology: The Devil – DEMONS

INTRODUCTION

 

Satan the father of the lie has fostered a lie that is the lie that won’t lie down until he lies down in the lake of fire and that lie is this; Satan is a lie. Many religions today do not believe in Satan. Indeed, some of our mainline denominational ministers deny the reality of hell and Satan.

 

Theosophy: “There is no personal devil. That which is mystically called the devil is the negation and opposite of God. The devil is not to be confounded with Satan, though they are sometimes spoken of in Scripture as if they were identical. In such cases Scripture presents the popular belief.” (Taken from: “Satan Is No Myth”; Sanders, J. Oswald; Copyright 1965, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago; Moody Press. Used by permission. p 75-76)

 

Theosophy is a movement that was started by Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in 1875. It contains reincarnation, and is somewhat similar to Hinduism and Buddhism.

 

Unity School Of Christianity: “There is no personal devil.” (Taken from: “Satan Is No Myth”; Sanders, J. Oswald; Copyright 1965, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago; Moody Press. Used by permission. p 75-76) Unity was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in 1889. Their headquarters is in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. They believe in positive thinking and feel that prayer and thought can lead to health and prosperity.

 

Spiritism: “There is no devil and no evil spirits. All spirit people of wisdom know that there is no fearful devil. All spirits in the other world are nothing else but the souls of those who have lived here.” (Taken from: “Satan Is No Myth”; Sanders, J. Oswald; Copyright 1965, Moody Bible Institute of Chicago; Moody Press. Used by permission. p 75-76)

 

Such blind people, these must be, to avoid and overlook such a large number of Scriptures. I have a series of sermons and studies on Satan and have not dealt with the subject in great detail. All of this Scripture that has been presented in previous studies on Satan must be over looked if you are to believe Satan doesn’t exist.

 

Even within our mainline denominations there are many that will not accept a literal hell and Devil. God is a God of love, so how could he create a place like hell, or let a being like Satan roam the earth. Most feel that information about hell and Satan are figurative and not literal, thus allowing them to assign some generic, less gruesome interpretation to the references.

 

We will be dealing primarily with demons in this section; so let’s see what demons are like.

 

DEMONS

 

Scofield has a note page 1003, of his reference Bible concerning demons. If you have this available, take time to read through it. He assumes that the creatures mentioned in 2 Peter 2:4; Jude six are not part of the created angelic host. If these creatures are not the fallen angels, then you must believe that there is a created host of demonic creatures. The fact that the demons Christ dealt with did not want to be bound, would indicate that they were the same as the creatures Peter and Jude referred to. (Luke 8:31 “And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.”) One is left to wonder from the terminology if the demons are out only at the good pleasure of God for His own purposes. The fact that the fallen angels are in bounds in the abyss would move one to observe that the demons must be fallen angels.

 

If they are fallen angels then it would also follow that the fallen angels are enjoying their freedom, only in that they are limiting themselves to that which is allowed.

 

Demons Are Spirits: Matthew 12:43,45 Mentions unclean spirits. A part of the spirit world — angelic host if you see the whole. They are, it would seem, fallen angels. They are spirit beings but the term spirit is used of the Holy Spirit as well as man’s spirit — both saved and lost, so this is little help in knowing what the demons are. They are similar in nature to the Spirit and man in that they are immaterial and nonphysical.

 

Demons Vary In Wickedness: Matthew 12:45

 

 

“Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself”

 

This shouldn’t surprise us. Man, in the spiritual realm, varies in wickedness. We have in our race riots the people that are killing, looting, and burning, while people of their own neighborhood are helping the police. We observe also in murder cases the person that murders, and then there are those that kill, and mutilate.

 

Demons Are Satan’s Emissaries: Matthew 12:26-27

 

“And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I, by Beelzebub, cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges.”

 

The Jewish leadership believed in demons, partly because of the nature of demon possession in their time, but there must have been some knowledge of it from other sources. What a research project. How did the Jew of Christ’s time know of Satan and demons? Send me a copy if you make such a study.

 

Demons Are Numerous: Mark 5:9 “My name is Legion; for we are many.” Legion in the Roman army meant three to six thousand soldiers. In this case there were “about two thousand” swine that ran into the sea. The term can also indicate “many”. (legion is the Greek “legeon” (Strong’s number 3003) always translated legion and only appears four times in the New Testament.

 

Needless to say, there are more than enough of them around to allow the Devil to do the work that he desires to do. He is not limited in work to do, nor helpers to do it.

 

Demons Can Enter And Control Man And Beast: This point is shown in one passage where the Lord cast demons out of a man and they requested to enter into swine. (Mark 5:2-5; Mark 5:11-13; see also Acts 8:6-7; Acts 16:16-18)

 

Mark White, a missionary to China for 25 years, tells of over three hundred cases of demon possession with which he himself was connected. He details the conversation with demons.

 

 

“Who are You? The reply came in the Maori tongue: Offspring of the serpent. There proved to be nine demons and they gave their names as

they came out. The last was an English speaking demon though the woman herself could not speak English. It resisted, begged to be allowed to go into a child present in the room threatening to injure the patient’s body if compelled to come out. At last it meekly said “Yes, I will come out.’ The woman was thrown bodily off her seat into the middle of the room. This woman then lived a normal life for many years.”

 

The majority of fundamentalists believe that demons cannot indwell a believer. Merril Unger and Charles Ryrie are the only current writers that I have run across that would disagree with this. Unger writes strictly from

an experience level, and Ryrie is illogical in his presentation if you think seriously at all about what he presents.

 

Demons Seek Embodiment: They not only seek it but may well require it for any peace of existence. Scofield mentions that they seek embodiment, and indicates that he believes that they are powerless if not (p 1003). I think I would make it even more than this — it seems to me that they are in misery when outside of a body.

 

Matthew 12:43-44

 

“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.”

 

There seems to be something undesirable in their existence.

 

Mark 5:7-12 vs. 7 “I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.” This was in the context of being cast out.

 

Luke 8:31 “And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.” This would indicate that they had the possibility of being cast into the pit with the rest.

 

Other references that you might want to study in relation to possession: Matthew 4:24; Matthew 8:16,28,33; Matthew 9:32; Matthew 12:22;

Mark 5:15-16; Acts 8:7; Acts 16:16.

 

Christ seemingly had power over their geographical location:

 

 

Mark 5:10 “And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.” It is evident that the Lord controlled their destination. The question that might arise is whether Christ had this control because of His being God, or if all believers can control the destination of demons. I suspect personally that it was the Lord’s deity that was in play.

 

Demons Are Unclean, Sullen, Violent And Malicious: They are not beings that one should desire to have for friends. They cause trouble and suffering for those that have a relationship to them. Matthew 8:28; Matthew 9:33; Matthew 10:1; Matthew 12:43; Mark 1:23; Mark 5:3-5;

Mark 9:17,20; Luke 6:18; Luke 9:39.

 

Demons Recognized Christ As God: The demons are wiser and more knowledgeable than the lost of the generations since Christ walked the earth. They knew who He was. Matthew 8:31-32; Mark 1:23-24; Acts 19:11-20; also James 2:19.

 

Demons Are Powerful: Acts 19:11-20 shows that the demons have power over the lost even in the outward physical realm. Their power is great enough to overpower men.

 

It is also interesting that there is never an attack of this sort recorded in scripture toward a believer. Indeed, in all of the reading I have done I have not found any case of it in the personal stories that have been related.

 

Demons Fear Being Out Of A Body: They seem to know they will be tormented, indeed it would seem that they could have been cast into the abyss by the Lord. Matthew 8:29

 

“And, behold, they cried out, saying, what have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?

Art thou come here to torment us before the time?”

 

The time is to be understood as the day of judgment of the demons. Luke 8:31 “And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.” “Deep” would indicate the pit.

 

Demons Affect People Physically: They can cause mental and physical problems for those that they indwell. Matthew 12:22; Matthew 17:15-18; Luke 13:16.

 

 

Demons May Find Manifestation In Asceticism/Forbidding To Marry Etc: 1 Timothy 4:1-3 speaks to the fact that forbidding to marry is a doctrine of the devils.

 

Demons Can Influence By Causing Departure From The Faith In The Believer: This is done via the false doctrine and teaching that is brought forth upon the world. The believer listens to, and accepts this false teaching and is drawn away from the truth 1 Timothy 4:1.

 

Demons Are In Conflict With Spiritual Christians:

 

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,

but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

 

We find that 1 Timothy 4:1-3 mentions some will be drawn away by “seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons,”

 

A CHRISTIANS RESOURCES ARE

 

Prayer And Fasting: Matthew 17:21 “Howbeit, this kind goeth not out except by prayer and fasting.”

 

The Whole Armor Of God: Ephesians 6:13ff

 

Exorcism In The Name Of Jesus Christ: Acts 16:18 Paul cast the demon out of the maid that had disturbed the work of Paul.

 

There are some theologians that believe the demons will rise from the abyss in the end time and quote Revelation 9:1-11,20 which describes the locust from the bottomless pit. This may indeed be the demons that have been bound, even though the text does not state this. What a thought. Even more demons to assist in the work of the Devil.

 

OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING DEMONS

 

By observation we can see that the demon activity has vastly decreased after the cross. Indeed, after the book of Acts there is little mention of evil spirits or demons. We might also observe that there is no record of strong demon activity before the Gospel accounts either.

 

 

These two observations would lead one to think that the demon activity of the Bible may have been directly linked to the fact that Christ was here on earth preparing to reconcile man to His Father.

 

Note might be taken in the New Testament, that nowhere are Christians told to cast out demons, nor are they given specific power over the demons. Matthew 28:18ff and Acts 1:8 would indicate that we have all the power that is needed for the life we are to live in this age. If we ever come up against demons I believe it is evident that if we need power we have it. We have the victory over the demons, in that Christ has died on the cross and they are subject to the judgment that is upon them.

 

They have no power over the Christian that I can see, indeed the opposite is strongly indicated. The worst that they can do for the Christian is to hinder his ministry, or oppress them. Oppression usually comes when the believer is not walking with God however at times he oppresses those that are really doing a good work for the Lord.

 

The main spiritual battles are not waged with demon possessed people but with the temptations that we lay upon ourselves by responding to the environment that God allows us to enter into. The people we are with etc. The devil will make those situations as neat and innocent as possible yet our lusts can carry us into great sin. This is not to say that we might not one day come up against demon possession.

 

Oppression: I would like to talk for a few moments about the oppression of believers. Oppression is the pushing down or burdening of a person by some power or authority. Dictators oppress their people.

 

Oppression can be illustrated by a car. If you are a car and you are a believer, then the Holy Spirit is the one controlling you. He is the driver. At times the devil finds you and puts you in the middle of a demolition derby. The Holy Spirit is within, and the devil, nor the demons can ever get in, but they can really bounce you around with the other cars in the derby.

 

We are the temple of God 2 Corinthians 6:16 so we cannot be possessed by an evil spirit.

 

 

Someone has said, “The devil loves to fish in troubled waters.” Let him find a floundering or slipping Christian and he will be at work quickly. A loose living Christian is a prime candidate for oppression.

 

I would like to give you some examples of oppression that I have seen in recent years. One is a young girl in high school that was given the lead in the school play entitled “Rosemary’s Baby.” The play was a story of a girl having a baby by the devil.

 

Her parents and the girl were all “Christians” but they thought little about the part. As the girl progressed through the practice etc. she starting becoming depressed. As time went on the depression deepened very quickly and she ultimately tried to commit suicide. Oppression is not to be toyed with. It is serious business for the lax believer.

 

I once heard an account from a missionary in South America that had reached a tribe with the Gospel, and some had been saved. The missionary lived a little distance away. One night an empty hut became alive with voices and activities. The Indians could see no one in the hut, but things came flying out the door and vile swearing was to be heard. The Indians called the missionary and he came. They all sat around the hut singing hymns and praying. Soon all was quiet and nothing more ever happened.

 

One further account and I will move on. This account is not unlike many I’ve heard and read about. It indicates that the Devil has power to oppress even Christians that are walking with the Lord closely. The oppression is great as you will see.

 

A young Christian who went home one night after visiting friends, was bothered by a spiritual situation he and his friends were in. He had a surprise confrontation with the devil that evening.

 

He set about to pray that God would send two people burdened for the same thing, to pray with him. As he started to pray a sudden fear came over him. He had the feeling that if he asked for the men something would happen. He hesitated for a long time then began to pray — again the fear came. He asked God’s help in this and finally asked God for the two men and as he finished the fear began to intensify. He continued asking God’s help and soon the fear went away and he fell asleep.

 

 

As you can see Satan didn’t want these three to pray, as he knew it meant problems for him. The story doesn’t end here with the devil in defeat, as he tries once again. The man awoke later that evening shaking and crying in fear. In fear of what? Nothing. He could see in the room, there was nothing there. He got out of bed and turned the lights on and sat at his desk still shaking and crying. He knew now it was the devil and he wanted to pick up his Bible, but as he tried the fear intensified. He tried several times. Finally he began to pray, again asking that God would step in, and very soon after, the terror passed. This was Satan’s second try to stop the prayer group. The following evening the man received the answer to his prayer. Two friends had been talking about the same thing and the following day they met for prayer.

 

Demons can be dealt with in the same way you deal with Satan. If they begin to bother you, get on your knees and pray — claim the victory that the blood of Christ provided.

 

As I have mentioned, don’t go looking for them, but if they show up, don’t run. Stand your ground and seek the help of the one that can put them running, God.

 

Remember that song we sang as kids. One door and only one and yet the sides are two. I’m on the inside on which side are you? If you are on the inside of the door of salvation then you cannot be possessed. If you are on the outside then beware.

 

SOME MISCELLANEOUS TEXTS FOR FUTURE STUDY

 

Demons are spirits: Matthew 8:16

 

Demons are intelligent: Matthew 8:29; Luke 4:41; Mark 3:11

 

Demons are unclean: Matthew 10:1; Mark 3:11; Acts 8:7 Demons have no fellowship with Christ: Mark 5:7 Demons can cause blindness: Matthew 12:22

Demons can cause illness: Luke 13:11-17; Matthew 9:33

 

Demons can cause insanity: Luke 8:26-36

 

 

Demons can control the mind: Luke 8:35 Demons can control speech: Matthew 8:29 Demons can cause dumbness: Matthew 12:22 Demons can control at any age: Mark 9:21

Demons can carry out God’s plan: 1 Samuel 16:14; Revelation 9:1ff; 16:1ff

 

Demons are many: Mark 5:9

 

Demons are a kingdom: Matthew 12:26

 

Demons are vicious: Acts 19:11-20; Matthew 8:28

 

Demons are wicked: Matthew 12:45

 

Demons can cause suicidal tendencies: Mark 9:22 Demons have supernatural strength: Luke 8:29 Demons need a body to indwell: Matthew 12:43 Demons believe in Christ: Luke 8:28

 

They are, they can do, and they may be many things, but they are no- match for the Lord and Savior that we have as a personal friend and helper. Trust in Him and they will not sidetrack you.[1]

 


[1] Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

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