Demon Spirits

battle warriors
Painting by French artist Sébastien Bourdon (2 February 1616 – 8 May 1671)

What Christ Does For Us


Matthew 10:1
And when he had called unto his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Matthew 25:41 (Jesus speaking)
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

The incident in Mark 5, below, describes the Gadarene demoniac. Thousands of demons exercised destructive power in his life. The demons caused him to be socially outcast, verse 3, below, and he was uncontrollable, verses 3 and 4, and he did himself harm, verse 5.

Mark 5:3-5
3Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 4Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. 5And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
Mark 5:12-15
12And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. 14And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. 15And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

In the previous chapter Christ had just calmed the sea and made the furious billows to sleep at His feet. At the other side He is again face to face with a perishing soul caught in a hurricane of wicked spirits. This poor soul dwelt among the tombs. He had often been bound with fetters and chains, but the chains had been plucked asunder and broken in pieces. No man could tame him.

Night and day he was in the mountains and in the tombs crying and cutting himself with stones. No one had the strength to subdue him, so they finally gave up and let him live among the tombs: naked, continually shrieking and constantly cut and bruised by the stones of the mountainside.

Not every sinner is in the outward condition of this demoniac. Of course, inwardly they are all in the same bondage to Satan.

Jesus always distinguished between sickness, disease and demon possession. Never did He line up the sick to cast the demons out of them, nor did He ever speak of a true believer as demon-possessed. When He came up against demons, He dealt directly with the demon, recognizing its reality.

In the Scripture that follows, the man ran and fell on his knees before Jesus, but before Jesus cast the demons out, he interrupted Him with words that expressed not worship, but rejection. Then, though the demons recognized Jesus for who He was, he accused Jesus of coming to torment or torture him.

Probably in order to let the disciples see how badly this man was bound, Jesus asked the demon for his name, although Jesus already knew. The answer came back “Legion.” A Roman legion was an army unit of about six thousand men. The demons then begged not to be sent away.

Luke 8:26-39 records the same story and I believe the words “to not be sent away” indicate they were afraid of being sent back to hell.

Luke 8:26-39 (Jesus speaking in verses 30 and 39)
26And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. 27And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. 28When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 29(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) 30And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. 32And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. 33Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. 34When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. 35Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 36They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. 37Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. 38Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away saying, 39Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

Jesus healed the man, casting out the demons. What a change now! This poor devil-driven man who wandered day and night in the mountains and graveyards has now found a resting place at the feet of Jesus. No man could tame or bind him, but the grace of God was sufficient for him. Now clothed and in his right mind, the demons who were cast out went into the herd of swine and they ran into the water and were “choked”…verse 33.

Because of their fear of the supernatural, the Gentiles began to beg Jesus to leave. The former demoniac had followed Jesus down to the ship and begged to go with Jesus, but Jesus told him to return to his own house and show how great things God had done for him. He went his way and shared throughout the whole city what Jesus had done for him.

We have another incident recorded in Scripture in

Luke 10:17-20 (Jesus speaking in 18, 19, 20)
17And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

The seventy returned with tremendous joy. They had gone forth in faith and obedience. The results were beyond their expectation. No demon had been able to stand against them when they spoke in the name and authority of Jesus.

What Christ does for us is even more a cause of rejoicing than what He does through us. Victories over Satan would be meaningless if we were not made citizens of Heaven through His precious blood.

Colossians 2:14, 15
14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
1 Timothy 4:1, 2
1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Jude 1:6
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

We must approach the study of demons with care, using wisdom, sound judgment, and biblical information. A previous lesson in this series was about the holy angels, those spirit creatures who worship and obey God.

This lesson considers what the Bible says about the spirit creatures, the demons, in contrast to the holy angels. Demons are created beings. They are spirit beings who seek to destroy.

Matthew 24:11 (Jesus speaking)
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mark 13:22 (Jesus speaking)
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

In days gone by, slaves were branded with a mark identifying them as belonging to a certain owner. These false teachers bear upon their conscience the very brand of Satan, marking them out as his property. God is always searching for men who will be His instruments in the world, but the terrible fact is that the forces of evil are also looking for men to use. Here is the terrible responsibility of manhood. Men may accept the service of God or the service of the devil. Man makes the choice.

Not all storms come from our physical environment; however, another environment surrounds us, an unseen world dominated by Satan, the prince of the power of the air, but Jesus was Master in this realm too, and brought His peace to those He delivered.

If we expect Jesus to meet our physical needs, we must first permit Him to cure our spiritual ills. From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He was concerned about the whole man’s body, soul and spirit. His work of teaching, saving and healing were very closely intertwined. Our body, mind, nervous system, emotions, and spirit are so closely connected that it is impossible for something to affect one without affecting the others. It’s well-known that a cheerful disposition enhances one’s general well-being, and that a negative individual’s worried outlook can even produce symptoms of physical illness. Since the spiritual side of man is the real self, this part of his nature is the most vital of all.

Regarding Personal Agents of Satan

Like Satan, personal agents of Satan desire that their existence, personality and power should not be recognized. In this way the agents of Satan are able to operate unhindered in the lives of people because if people do not recognize it is demons who are oppressing them, they have no recourse of power against the demons.

There are some people who see a demon behind every tree, so to speak. To them, every circumstantial problem is caused by a demon; every disease has a demon, and every emotional problem is demon related, but the Bible does not support these claims.

Demons cannot possess a “born again believer.” A born-again Christian has the Spirit of Christ living within and His Spirit is victorious over any other spirits that seek to possess the believer; however, this does not keep demons from surely attacking and oppressing believers. If a Christian has an area of life not totally surrendered to the Lordship of Christ, this area may become fertile ground for demons to harass and manipulate for evil and destructive purposes.

While demons are real and their destructive power is real, we must never forget that Jesus has soundly defeated them. We have powerful weapons at our disposal through faith in Christ to defeat the oppression of demons.

The mighty Word of God is able to help us discern and overcome these attacks. We do not have to live in fear of demons, because we are protected by the blood of our all-powerful Lord.

1 Peter 1:7-9
7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

The joy of the believer is to be constant.

2 Corinthians 6:10
As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Luke 10:20 (Jesus speaking)
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

One of the great truths that God’s people neglect is that He wants His people to be rejoicing disciples. The Gospel has been called good tidings of great joy.

Luke 2:10
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

The Fruit of the Spirit is one Fruit. It is manifested in nine ways: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. Among these Paul mentions in his letter to the Galatians: joy.

Galatians 5:22, 23
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Not only should Christians have joy, but it should be abundant.

1 Timothy 4:1, 2
1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

The times in which we live are revealed in Scripture. We are not ignorant of Satan’s efforts to deceive and destroy. The devil will cause people to depart from the faith. This departure is not simply a minor difference of interpretation over certain doctrines or passages of Scripture. This departure means to abandon the true faith revealed in the Word and in Christ.

The apostasy will come in two forms:

First, people will follow the teachings of seducing spirits. Seducing means to lead astray, to cause people to wander from the straight and narrow path.

Secondly, the apostasy will come through human teachers, possessed by demons. Such teachers have had their own conscience seared to the truth of God’s Word and they will teach, and are teaching, things contrary to God’s Word and which originate in hell itself.

Author: Nannie Mae Jordan   (Transcribed by Joyce Carter   Transcribed and Formatted by Jerry Knight)

 

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