Demons are evil spirits that are part of a highly organized satanic kingdom on earth and in the heavenlies. This kingdom is ruled by Satan and has a specific hierarchy of power (Ephesians 6:12, Ephesians 2:2; Matthew 12:24-27). The definition of the Greek word for demon, daimonion (Strong's #1140) gives us more clues about what a demon is:
the divine power, deity, divinity
a spirit, a being inferior to God, superior to men
evil spirits are the messengers and ministers of the devil
Origin: There are two theories about demonic origin that I'd like to highlight. Both theories hold that demons are created beings who rebelled against God:
Fallen angels: Satan, formerly Lucifer, was the “covering” cherub of the throne of God (Ezekiel 28:14-16). When he sinned by pride, he persuaded a third of the angels to rebel against God (Revelation 12:4). Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven to earth (Isaiah 14:12, Ezekiel 28:16-17, Luke 10:18). This theory proposes that demons are the “fallen angels.”
Disembodied spirits: Isaiah 14:12,16,17,20 suggests that Satan was the leader of a race of beings prior to Adam. Ultimately this race was destroyed by God with a worldwide flood, explaining the condition of the earth in Genesis 1:2 (dark and covered with water). This theory proposes that demons are the disembodied spirits of the pre-adamic race.
Regardless of their origin, the fact is that demons exist today just as during Jesus' ministry. The Bible gives us much guidance on how to deal with them under the authority of Jesus Christ.
Characteristics of Demons:
The demons that we encounter on earth seem to prefer to inhabit bodies (Revelation 18:2, Matthew 12:43-44, Mark 5:12).
Communal: Demons often live and work together. Jesus explained that when re-inhabiting a former host person, a demon will take seven spirits more wicked than himself and reoccupy the person (Matthew 12:43-45). Examples of communal demons are found in Mark 16:9 (Mary's seven demons) and Mark 5:9 (man with a legion of demons).
Demons have intellect and will (Matthew 12:43-45; Mark 5:6-13)
Demons vary in level of wickedness (Matthew 12:43-45; Mark 5:6-13)
Vary in power level and endurance: they require rest (Matthew 12:43-44; Mark 5:6-13); some are only routed through prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21, Mark 9:29)
Recognize that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and those operating in his authority (Mark 1:24-26; Mark 5:10-13; Acts 19:15)
Capabilities of Demons
Can travel (Matthew 12:43-45)
Can cause sickness, disease, fever, physical abnormalities, mental torment, alterations of voice
Can fight with God's angels (Daniel 10:13,20; Revelation 12:7)
Can influence human events (Revelation 16:13-14)
Can speak through a person’s voice and see through their eyes (Acts 19:15)
Can affect the "state" of their host person (Matthew 12:43-45) ranging from total possession (Mark 5:2-8) to periodic influence (Mark 9:17-18). They are able to influence the emotions, thoughts and actions of their host toward destruction. Examples include the Gerasene demoniac cutting himself in Mark 5:5 and the boy who was being thrown into the fire in Mark 9:22.
Can invigorate people with extraordinary strength (Acts 19:16)
Can deceive people and draw people away from the truth, enticing them by their own desires (2 Chronicles 18:20-22, Luke 4:1-13, James 1:14 inferred, Acts 5:3)
Why do demons access humans?
To fulfill their master’s mission: Satan, also known as Beelzebub, is the ruler of all demons (Luke 11:15-20; Matthew 12:24-27). Satan’s mission is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Likewise, demons will try to steal, kill and destroy whatever they can ( Luke 11:17-18). They will also attempt to take people captive by deception to do the Satan's will (2 Timothy 2:25-26).
They desire a body: Bodies apparently offer demons rest and/or shelter. Jesus explained that after being cast out of a body, an unclean spirit goes through dry places seeking rest and finds none. It tries to return to the person it left (Luke 11:24-26; Matthew 12:43-45).
God allows them to for judgment purposes: Saul's tormenting spirit (1 Samuel 16:14); lying spirit & Ahab (2 Chronicles 18:19-22); Jehoram's fatal illness (2 Chronicles 21:12-15)
To oppose God's plans and purposes: Demons are often sent to try to block or thwart God's servants. This can manifest in many ways including depression, sickness, confusion, temptation, doubt, etc. The purpose is usually to weaken faith (2 Timothy 1:5-9), since faith is the key ingredient for fighting spiritual warfare.
How do demons access humans?
Our sin gives them "legal" right to enter: Sin gives demons footholds in us for oppression. Jesus told the sick man, “Go and sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you” (John 5:5-14). Bible examples of other sin footholds for demons: 1 Samuel 15:22; 1 Samuel 16:14; Luke 22:3-6; Acts 5:2; 1 Timothy 6:9-10; Numbers 5:18-30.
Curses from sin (1 Samuel 14:24; Numbers 5:18-28; Genesis 9:24-25; 2 Samuel 6:20-23): Our sin can bring curses upon us and our descendants. Demons are empowered to work according to these curses. For example, patterns of sexual sin like divorce or adultery can often be traced down through family histories.
Trauma: Spirits of fear can access us during traumatic events. Since faith acts a shield, fear (faith's opposite) weakens the shield when we doubt God will protect us. This leaves us vulnerable to a spirit of fear. One of Satan's principal objects is to take people into bondage to fear (Romans 8:15; Hebrews 2:14-15).
Violated oaths (Numbers 5:18-28; Matthew 5:33-37; James 5:12): If we break an oath that we have taken, we can bring a curse on ourselves, giving evil spirits right of entry to execute the curse on us.
Idle words/word curses (James 3:6,8; Mathew 12:35-37; 2 Timothy 2:16-17): Our words can be used powerfully for good or evil. They can be used to edify or destroy a person. Idle words can enact a curse on ourselves or those we've spoken to. Examples of idle words: "This job will be the death of me," "You'll never amount to anything in life," "I hope he rots in hell," "I'm bound to get cancer since it's in my family history." When a curse is spoken, demons are empowered to work according to what was said.
Satanic assignment: The Bible mentions instances where Satan asked for God's permission to oppress people (Job 2:1-7; Luke 22:31). If granted permission, Satan may assign his forces to work evil against a person.
Judgment: In some cases God may allow demons to afflict a person when they have failed to receive "the love of the truth" and/or have delighted in evil. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 describes this situation where God sends a powerful delusion on rebellious people so that they will believe the devil's lies. "Lying spirits" are the typical demons specializing in deception that may gain entry in this case.
Broken spiritual covering/being delivered to Satan: This can occur when a person leaves or is expelled from the body of Christ. When a church "delivers" a person to Satan, they withdraw fellowship and spiritual covering from the person in hopes that the person will repent from his sin and return to God (1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Timothy 1:20). Once out of fellowship, the person is vulnerable to demonic attack targeting the flesh.
Broken faith: Since faith is our shield in spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:16), any lack of faith could make us vulnerable to attack. With a weakened shield, Satan's darts may wound us, giving demons a foothold. Doubt is a common tool Satan uses to destroy faith and breed confusion (James 1:6-8).
Friday, December 12, 2008
There are many principles revealed in the Bible for destroying lust. It’s usually not as simple as, "just don’t do it." The main principle is that through Jesus Christ, we gain supernatural power to put lust to death. With that in mind, I've listed 10 points on destroying lust below. I encourage you to study each one and consider how you can apply it in your life. For further study, I recommend taking our online course Freedom Journey.
1. Confess, repent from and renounce your sin of lust to God
2. Make no provision to fulfill lust: "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts." (Romans 13:14 NKJV)
3. Walk by the Spirit: "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16 NKJV)
4. Put lust to death by the power of the Holy Spirit: "For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live." (Romans 8:13 NKJV) (see also Colossians 3:5)
5. Reckon yourself with Jesus - alive to God and dead to sin: "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:24 NIV) (also Colossians 3.5 and Romans 6)
6. Flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace: "Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." (2 Timothy 2:22 NIV)
7. Deny lust and live righteously: "11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:11-13 NKJV)
8. Invest your time, energy and efforts in God’s will, not in lust: "1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God." (1 Peter 4:1-2 NKJV)
9. Apply the truth to the lies: (John 8:31-32, Psalm 51:6); see truth and lies about sex sin
10. Submit to God, resist the devil, draw near to God: "7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." (James 4:7-10 NKJV)
I have heard PREACHERS say stupid things like, “I don’t know the Bible that well but I am filled-with the Holy Ghost and fire!” This person is a prime candidate for deception and a good whipping from the devil! The Bible say’s in I 1st Timothy 4:4 “In the last days some shall DEPART from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits and DOCTRINES of devils.” The Devil will fill your head with HIS doctrine (teaching) if your head isn’t already filled with sound Bible doctrine. Martin Luther unlike other priest actually studied the Bible for truth and not to support a man made lie. We must as individual believers have reformer’s courage to stand up to the church when it strays from the truth of scripture. I know it sounds crazy to say stand up AGAINST the church, I am of course talking about organized denominational/non-denominational institutions that profess to be of Jesus Christ, yet stray away from the truth of Jesus Christ. I have seen enough heresy in the church in the last 25 years of my life to make ones head spin and the majority of it went unchallenged.
We allow “preachers” to say anything in our pulpits and we say AMEN! We are afraid to be attacked for standing up for the truth. In 1980 I was stationed at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. While there I heard a Baptist preacher (Who was also a Freemason) tell a group in Bible study that “all roads lead to Rome” meaning every religion can get you to heaven. I was a new believer, but I knew this was wrong! I challenged him, because NO ONE else would say a word. He was a popular preacher and I was a new convert so you can imagine whose side everyone lined up on. My point is this, when you hear false preaching or teaching SAY SOMETHING! The Apostle Paul was the new kid on the block (Read Galatians) yet he challenged and corrected the Chief Apostle Peter for treating the Gentile believers wrong.
Ministers are NOT infallible, only the Word of God is! No matter how popular or how powerful a preacher is, they are NOT above reproach!
But we will continue to devote ourselves steadfastly to prayer and the ministry of the Word. (Acts 6:4 Amp)
This is one of the key verses in the Bible to help a novice minister be a successful tool for the Master. Preaching has nothing to do with popularity, titles, or position. The successful minister is the one that realizes that sharing God’s Word is a divine call and privilege that can’t be done in one’s own strength.
The Apostles took this charge so seriously that they knew total devotion to prayer and study was paramount. A preacher that doesn’t devote his life to prayer and study is a potential false prophet. Satan loves preachers that say “I’m too busy to study” or “I don’t think preachers need formal Bible training.”
The gospel preacher must devote his (or her) life to purity of doctrine. Paul warned Timothy to avoid fables and old wives tales. It’s very easy for preachers to get involved in the “flavor of the month” teachings. In last 20 years we have been bombarded with the “faith” message, “prosperity gospel”, “Spiritual Warfare”, and “Prophecy”. Every one is an “Apostle” or “Bishop”; no one is simply a Gospel preacher. Don’t get caught up in trends and hype. Be lead by the Holy Ghost and walk in your calling. I have been preaching 23 years. I have done the work of an evangelist, and served in pastoral capacities, but I am called to teach. My anointing is that of a teacher. It would be foolish to try and be anything else. I live to study and teach the Word of God. We need more “Martin Luther’s” in the church today. Too much of our teaching today is unbalanced. We have churches teaching crazy things like you have to speak in tongues to be saved, Christians should never get sick, or you can only be saved in MY church! Wake up saints and speak out against false teaching! There are churches that teach everyone has a demon, yes some people need demons cast out! However some problems are not demon powered but human error! Teaching the truth can solve more problems in the church than by casting out a “demon”.
Monday, December 8, 2008
No, angels are not glorified human beings. Matthew 22:30 explains that they do not marry or reproduce like humans, and Hebrews 12:22-23 says that when we get to the heavenly Jerusalem, we will be met by “myriads of angels” and “the spirits of righteous men made perfect”—two separate groups.
Angels are a company or association, not a race descended from a common ancestor (Luke 20:34-36). We are called “sons of men,” but angels are never called “sons of angels.”