Category: Sin, Word: DEMONS
October 9, 2015 | by: Kendell Easley, prepared by Dave Maniquis | 0 Comments
Posted in: 52 Words
“If I drive out demons by Beelzebul, who is it your sons drive them out by? For this reason they will be your judges. If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.” (Luke 11:19-20)
DEFINITION: A demon is any of the wicked spirit creatures, without physical bodies, opposed to God. They are also called unclean spirits, evil spirits, and angels who sinned (therefore, fallen angels). There is only one Devil, but there are multitudes of demons.
Old Testament information about demons is sketchy, with King Saul’s affliction being the most extensive example (1 Kgs. 16:14-23). Their origins are not discussed, but they were certainly created by God. Many evil spirits are permitted by God to do their dirty work among human beings. Yet some are so wicked, due to unnamed abominations, that God has permanently imprisoned them until their final demise (2 Pet. 2:4). Additionally, some evil spirits appear to be condemned temporarily to “the abyss” (Lk. 8:31; Rev. 9:1-11). Their ultimate end will be eternal fire, the final destination of Satan, demons, and unregenerate humanity (Matt. 25:41).
The most extensive information about demons in Scripture occurs in the Gospels. Jesus frequently encountered individuals in bondage to demons, and one hallmark of His ministry was His authority to drive out evil spirits on command (exorcism). He always prevailed over demons, one of the evidences that the kingdom of God had arrived. His death and resurrection guaranteed final doom for demons, just as it did for the Devil. The Book of Acts shows that the apostles continued to exorcise demons as evidence that they were clothed with Jesus’ power. Throughout the centuries exorcism has been a more or less regular Christian practice. Demons have no physical bodies and are therefore invisible to humans, but they possess knowledge (Mk 1:24) and the ability to make certain choices (Mk 5:6-10). The descriptions of demons in Revelation note locust-like creatures and then later frog-like spirits (Rev. 9:1-12; 16:13-16). According to the Epistles, evil spirits seek to corrupt sound doctrine; especially that Jesus is God’s Son in the flesh (1 Tim. 4:1-5; 1 Jn. 4:1-3).
The work of demons has been observable in two ways especially. First is demon activity in psychic mediums that claim to communicate with the dead or to tell the future (1 Sam. 28:1-25; Acts 16:16). Second is the demonic presence behind idolatry. Paul wrote that when pagans make sacrifices, “they sacrifice to demons” (1 Cor. 10:20). The biblical warnings against idolatry and consulting mediums are therefore serious indeed.
Humans possessed by demons exhibit symptoms such as great strength, behavioral abnormalities, and physical defects (Lk. 8:26-30; 13:11-17). Demons are “junior” tempters under the Devil, and as such they urge humans into idolatry, immorality, and other violations of God’s commands (Rev. 9:20-21). Believers are the dwelling place of God’s Spirit, so they cannot be “demonized” in the same way as others, yet many a Christian has endured demonic onslaught. The remedy is to use the spiritual armor God has provided (Eph. 6:10-20) and to be led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:12-17).
REFLECTION: How much do you agree that demons lie behind psychic phenomena and idolatry? Why? Have you ever thought you were being bothered by a demon? What did you do?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I acknowledge Your power over all the evil spirits. Help me to focus on Your power and not the power of the enemy—or my own impotence in the face of evil. Amen.
Dave Maniquis is a Teaching Elder at Restoration Church. He holds a BA in History from Rutgers University and an MA in Biblical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary. He enjoyed a 23-year career in the U.S. Government, working and traveling extensively in Western and Eastern Europe. He has been a Christian for most of his adult life and has been involved in church planting, overseas as well as here in Port Orange, teaching the Bible and speaking into others’ lives with the Gospel. He is married to Maureen and they have two wonderful sons, Dylan and Evan.