Demons – answers to a few questions
What are demons?
Demons are created beings who are former angels (Colossians 1:16) that chose to rebel against the authority of God and be allegiant to Satan. According to John’s Revelation, there was a great war in heaven. It is believed Satan led one-third of the angels in revolt against God. Satan lost and was cast out of heaven (Jude 6; Revelation 12:7-9). It is believed that each angel/demon is created individually; in other words, they do not marry or have children like us (Matthew 22.30). They are not born, and do not die.
Can demons get saved?
No. Jesus only atones for the sins of Adam’s race. The fate of demons is sealed (Matthew 25:41; Hebrews 2:16-17).
How many demons are there?
We don’t know for sure. The Bible says there are myriads upon myriads of angels, thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. That means there are a lot (Revelation 5:11).
Why are there so many demons in Jesus’ day?
The Old Testament mention of demons is infrequent. When reading the Gospels, we find the mention of demons increases dramatically. The Bible does not tell us what brings on the sudden change. We can speculate that the presence of Jesus as the Messiah is the reason. Perhaps Satan summons a host of demons to Jesus’ geographic area to make life for Jesus as difficult as possible. We have no reason to believe there are fewer demons today than there was in Jesus’ day. Certainly, the existence of evil today is as prevalent.
What is demon possession?
Demon possession happens when a demon exercises control of a victim, and the control may not be resisted. The demon dwells within the person. Examples are given in the Bible showing it is possible for multiple demons to possess one person (Mark 5:1-20).
There are identifiable characteristics of demon possession in the Scripture. There is extreme physical distress. Another personality is present, which can speak and understand human communication. And, the personality displays a supernatural knowledge of spiritual matters.
Demons possess people in our day. Ask any Christian with experience in law-enforcement or has exposure to psychiatric clinics if they believe in demon possession. They do (the ones that I have talked with). Though demons are created, finite beings, their power and cunning should never be underestimated.
What is the relationship between sickness and demon possession?
We can be sick without having demon possession. Sickness is not always related to demon possession. Christians may get sick. Peter’s mother-in-law has a fever, and Jesus does not cast out a demon but rebukes the fever (Luke 4:39). Sickness and demon possession are two separate things.
While we can get sick without demon possession, it is unlikely to have demon possession without manifesting a physical ailment of some sort. The Bible gives examples of people who are inflicted physically with being mute, blind, and deaf because of the manifestation of a demon (Matthew 9:32, 12:22; Mark 9:17-25).
Can a demon possess a Christian?
Christians are possessed by God’s Holy Spirit and may not be possessed by a demon. Jesus said a house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:22-28).
Can a demon influence a Christian?
There is no reason to believe that spiritual powers of darkness idly ignore Christians. Just because we cannot be demon possessed, doesn’t mean that we are exempt from being harassed and seduced by demons. Satan, and his demons, cannot read our minds. Their modus operandi is to deceive and tempt Christians, so we need to beware of their evil influences and walk circumspectly. It is likely that as they deceive and tempt, they make observations to observe our weaknesses, and prey on us accordingly with specific means and methods.
Demons will do whatever they can to sideline a Christian. The Apostle Paul is tormented by a thorn in the flesh, which is deemed to be a messenger of Satan (2 Corinthians 12:7). Many a Christian has fallen from a place of good standing because they succumb to temptations.
We need to be aware of the influences of movies, music, social media, advertising, video games, and many other sources which may easily serve as conduits of evil. We are called to abstain from all appearances of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Unfortunately, many Christians downplay the influence of evil, thinking they cannot have any fun while abstaining. Don’t be seduced by evil practices. Jesus came so that we might have joy.
Are we to cast out demons?
The Bible gives clear instruction on how believers’ ought to interact with the demonic realm. One word sums up the instruction: resist. Even better: flee!
We are to do our best not to give evil spirits an opportunity to coerce our Christian walk (Ephesians 4:27). We are to resist the deceit and temptations (1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7). We are to stand firm in our faith by employing the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11ff).
Even though the disciples cast out demons, it is peculiar that there is not any instruction or guidance on how to cast out demons in any of the epistles. Paul casts out demons in Philippi (Acts 16) and Ephesus (Acts 19), yet he does not instruct the church on how to go about casting out demons in his letters to them.
The absence of instruction ought to make us hesitant to confront demons. In other words, the last thing we need to do is go on a demon hunt. Having said that, if I am ever pressed into a situation where I believe it is absolutely necessary to cast out a demon, I will prayerfully seek the Lord for guidance. I will also keep in mind that Paul, when personally confronted by the messenger of Satan, asks God to intervene on his behalf (2 Corinthians 12:8).
Jesus is Eternally Victorious!
Jesus defeats all the evil forces of darkness with His triumph of the cross (Colossians 2:15). Satan’s reign on this earth is coming to an end, and he and his demons will forever be bound (Revelation 12:12, 20:10). We will live forever in God’s presence without fear of any evil interference (Romans 8:37-39).
For further encouragement:
John Piper gives an excellent message titled, “The Fall of Satan and the Victory of Christ.” You can access it from this link https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/the-fall-of-satan-and-the-victory-of-christ.