Saturday, November 24, 2007
"How Do Demons Attack The Church?"
In 25 years of ministry I have seen demonic activity in a variety of ways. The most chilling account I will share happened when I was leading a team of street evangelist in Song Tan, Korea. We went down an alley called “Aragon Alley”, it was dark and there where night clubs on either side of the alley. As we witnessed and handed out tracts to the GI’s and Koreans on the street, I noticed a man staring at us in a doorway, every where we walked he glared at us. I started towards him and my pastor (who normally didn’t go with us) grabbed my arm and said wait! In my zeal I didn’t notice the man was growling like an animal. In a low guttural voice he said “You cannot stop me!” and he kept growling. We just ignored him and kept walking and witnessing to people. Later I asked my pastor why didn’t we approach him, and that is when I learned that it wasn’t always smart to engage the enemy publicly and also he helped me realize it was just a diversion from our mission…winning souls! That was a rare occasion when the enemy presented himself openly. As scary as that was it is IN THE CHURCH where the enemy really distracts and distorts the truth and deceives many.
Demons are evil spirits that are opposed to God and God's people. They appear to be fallen angels: 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6 and are primarily referenced in the New Testament.
• Matt. 4:24, "And the news about Him went out into all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, taken with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them."
• Matt. 8:28, "And when He had come to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs; they were so exceedingly violent that no one could pass by that road."
• Mark 3:22, "And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, 'He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.'”
• Luke 4:35, "And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him without doing him any harm."
• John 8:48-49, "The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me"
Demons seem to be able to cause illness, paralysis, blindness, and violence combined with great strength in the one possessed. Demons apparently strongly desire to reside within people (Matt. 8:28) and even animals (Matt. 8:32).
In the future there will be a judgment of the demonic forces: Matt. 8:29, "And behold, they cried out, saying, “What do we have to do with You, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”
At least some of the angels that sinned long ago have been bound and put away:
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; (2 Pet 2:4)
And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home -- these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. (Jude 1:6)
It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." (Rev 9:14)
Pagan religions "sacrifice to demons":
They sacrificed to demons, which are not God -- gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your fathers did not fear. (Deut. 32:17)
They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons. (Psa. 106:37)
Thousands of demons grouped together inside one person begged Jesus:
The demons begged Jesus, "If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs." (Mat 8:31)
A Christian has spiritual authority to drive out demons:
He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (Mat 10:1)
Some people know this as "exorcism." Note: a wooden cross and/or holy water is NEVER used, in the Bible, to drive a demon out of a person.
Some spirits (demons) are more wicked than other ones:
Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation. (Mat 12:45)
Jesus cast out demons or evil spirits:
The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching -- and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him." (Mark 1:27)
For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. (Luke 8:29)
Jesus drove out demons by the Spirit of God:
But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Mat 12:28)
Demons know Jesus is the Son of God, unlike some people:
Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, "You are the Son of God." (Mark 3:11)
Evil spirits can speak through a person! In our dark day, some might call this by the New Age term "channeling" and the person with the [evil] spirit a "channeler." Devotees of "spirit guides" need to ponder what Scripture says about a spirit being speaking through a person.
A fortune teller might be possessed by a demon spirit:
Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her. When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone ... (Acts 16:16-19)
When the demon spirit was cast our of that girl, her special powers to predict the future were totally gone. This was also apparent to the owners of that slave.
Unlike some people, demons believe there is a God and "shudder":
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that -- and shudder. (James 2:19)
Mary Magdalene had seven demons in her before she became a Christian:
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. (Mark 16:9)
And also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out (Luke 8:2)
Evil spirits can torment people:
Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed. (Acts 5:16)
Worshiping demons will be a characteristic of the end of this age:
The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons , and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood -- idols that cannot see or hear or walk. (Rev 9:20)
Evil spirits in John's vision looked like frogs: Frogs are creatures of the night and they lurk in darkness, often you can hear frogs and never know where they are.
Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. (Rev 16:13)
This does not mean that a frog is a demon!
Demons can perform miracles:
They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. (Rev 16:14)
NOTE: Demons can produce miracles! Not all spirits are from God. Some spirits are deceitful and are trying to mislead us:
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. (1 Tim 4:1)
There are many ways in which demons can deceive people, but the more common ones are through occult involvement, Ouija boards and séances. Dear reader, don't ever dabble with such, even out of curiosity or amusement. If you have already, ask God to forgive you and renounce all such behavior.