Demons Satan is not omnipresent; he can only be at one given place at any given moment. So how does he work in tempting the whole world to sin? How is his evil presence felt at many places at the same time? He has his minions working for him. In the Old Testament, “shedhim” was translated “devils.” In the New Testament, “daimonian” is translated “devils” 60 times; “pneuma” (spirits) is used 43 times (familiar spirits, unclean spirits, evil spirits, seducing spirits). Deuteronomy 32:17, “They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.” Psalms 106:36-37, “And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.  Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,” 1 Corinthians 10:20-21, “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.” These passages suggest that real demonic beings existed behind the idols of the pagans. Today demons are actively working to carry out Satan's plan of promoting false religion in the world and false doctrine in the Church. Believers are warned to be on guard against these teachings, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (I John 4:1). "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils" (2 Tim. 4:1). Who are demons? Where did they come from? There are several theories as to just who or what demons are. One theory is that they are spirits of deceased wicked persons. Josephus, the Jewish historian, believed demons to be “the spirits of the wicked that enter into men that are alive” (Flavis Josephus, Wars of the Jews). This was a popular Greek belief. It has no foundation in biblical teaching. The Bible view of the wicked dead sees them confined, separated from living humans and in conscious torment (Psa. 9:17; Luke 16:19-26; Rev. 20:13). This leaves us with three main views of the origin of demons: 1. They are the disembodied spirits of a pre-adamic race on earth. 2. They are the offspring of angels and women described in Genesis 6:1-4. 3. They are fallen angels. We will take these theories in order. 1. Disembodied spirits of a pre-Adamic race: This view understands Satan as originally ruling over a perfect earth and a pre-Adamic race of people. When Satan sinned against God, this race of people was somehow involved in his rebellion. They lost their bodies and became disembodied spirits or demons. This concept distinguishes between all angels, both good and bad, and demons. This theory is based upon what is known as the “gap theory” of Genesis 1:1-2. Some believe there is a gap of time between the first two verses of the Bible. Genesis 1:1 is the original creation of the earth and verse 2 (after a period of time) begins a “re-creation.” Several word studies are used in this view. The Hebrew word “bara” means “to bring into being” (create); it is used only in verse one to show the original creation of the earth, in verse 21 to show the creation of whales and other living creatures, and 7 other times in Genesis referring to the creation of man. In the other instances in the first chapter “asah-to make out of already existing material” (made/make) is used, thus a re-creation of existing material. It is said the word “and” is used 148 times in Genesis 1-2 and separates the 102 different acts of God, if this is carried to verse 2 the “and” there would separate that verse from verse 1 and make it an entirely different act. The phrase “without form” in verse 2 is from the Hebrew “tohu” which means “waste, desolation.” The Hebrew for “void” is “bohu (empty, ruin, void)” and the word translated “was” is from the verb “to become” and not “to be.” Thus the second verse would say “And the earth became desolated and empty.” The proponents of this view say this corresponds with Jeremiah 4:23-26 which they see as Jeremiah‟s view of the original earth after judgment came upon it. Another view which they see as corresponding with Jeremiah‟s picture is in verse two “. . .and darkness was upon the face of the deep. . .”. Of this it is said, “In Scripture, all instances of obscuring the sun and bringing darkness, and the two past cases of universal floods are revealed to be the result of judgment, not creation” (Dake‟s Annotated Reference Bible). The command to Adam and Eve “. . .Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. . .” (Genesis 1:28), is the same command given to Noah and his sons, “. . .Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1). Thusly if the command means to replenish the earth (fill it again) rather than to plenish (fill) the earth there would have had to be inhabitants here before. Another passage of Scripture seen to support this view is Ezekiel 28:11-19. Here it is stated Lucifer had been in Eden the garden of God, and was the anointed cherub that covereth. This, it is said, means he was a ruler over the earth before the time of Adam and Eve because by their time he was already a fallen creature. The pride of Satan exhibited in Isaiah 14 was because of the authority he had on the pre-Adamite earth. A passage in the New Testament used in this view is 2 Peter 3:5-7. Here the “. . .world that then was. . .” is said to refer to the pre-Adamic world which was destroyed. The reasons given are: the word translated “world” in verse 6 is “kosmos” and refers to the world system (or social system) and not the physical earth. After the flood of Noah, it is said, the social system was carried on by Noah and his family. Reference is also made to the statement concerning the heavens and earth “which are now.” “No reference in Scripture can be found of a change in the heavens and the earth in Noah‟s day, as in Adam‟s day. This proves that the world that then was had to be before Adam‟s day because the heavens and the earth, which are now came into existence at that time and not at the time of Noah” (Dake‟s Annotated Bible). Several other Scriptures are used to support this view but the above mentioned are the most prominent. This view distinguishes demons, as disembodied spirits, from angels who are supposed to have spiritual bodies as do the children of the resurrection (Luke 20:36; 1 Corinthians 15:44; 2 Corinthians 5:2,3). So demons seek desperately a body to inhabit. There are several oppositions given to this view: “Against this view is the plain fact that nowhere does the Bible even hint at the existence of a pre-Adamic race. Indeed, the Lord declared that Adam was the first man (Matt. 19:4). Also, the Scriptures nowhere indicate that deceased people are free to return to earth” (Basic Theology, Charles C. Ryrie). “Most of the evidence seems to be conjectural . . . the Hebrew “waw” consecutive in Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was,” is a continuative storytelling device that gives no hint of a break at all. Furthermore, it is extremely doubtful that the verb in verse 2 could be translated „became‟” (The Early Earth, John C. Whitcomb, Jr.). “The rigid distinction between angels and spirits which this view demands is highly questionable since Scripture refers to angels as spirits (Psa. 104:4; Hebrews 9:22) and sometimes uses the term „angel‟ for the spirit of man (Matt. 18:10; Acts 12:15)” (Demons in the World Today, Merrill F. Unger). 2. The unnatural offspring of angels and antediluvian women. Two premises are necessary to establish this theory. The first is that the “sons of God” of Genesis 6:2 are fallen angels who had intercourse with mortal women, producing a mongrel race, partly human and partly angelic; and that this race became disembodied spirits or demons after their bodies were destroyed in the flood. The first premise is based upon an interpretation of Genesis 6:1-4. There it is stated “ . . .the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose” (vs. 2). Two major interpretations of the “sons of God and daughters of men” prevail. First, these were the sons of Seth, and the daughters of Cain. In other words, the sons of the godly line of Seth intermarried with the godless daughters of Cain, the result being a godless race. This is based in large part on Genesis 4:26 “And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.” It is assumed that the line of Seth was godly and the line of Cain ungodly and they lived apart up to a time shortly before the flood when they then began to intermarry and produce a wicked generation. The second view of this passage is that the “sons of God” were angels who married the “daughters of men”, mortal women. The name translated “sons of God” is “Bne-Ha-Elohim.” This title is used five times in the Old Testament; twice in the sixth chapter is Genesis (vv. 2, 4) and three times in Job (1:6; 2:1; 38:7). In each of the passages in Job it obviously refers to angels, so there would be no reason to have it refer to mortals in the other passage. The result of this union were giants (nephilim), mighty men (gibbor), and men of renown (anashim-ha-shem) Genesis 6:4. The word “nephilim” appears only three times in the Old Testament, in the verse just mentioned and twice in Numbers 13:33 “And there we saw the giants (nephilim), the sons of Anak, which come of the Giants (nephilim); and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” This was the report of ten of the twelve spies to Moses when they returned from Canaan. Genesis 6:4 says, “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that. . . .” i.e. after the flood. If these giants were the same type offspring (between angels and mortal women), that would be one explanation for God calling for the extermination of the Canaanites when the Israelites entered the land. The objection to this premise of angels being the sons of God is based on the words of Jesus concerning the redeemed in Heaven. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven (Matthew 22:30; cf. Mark 12:25; Luke 20:35-36). Clarence Larkin answers this objection, “It says they do not marry in Heaven, not that they do not have the power of procreation, but that it is not the nature of „Holy Angels‟ to seek such a relationship. But it does not follow that if they have the power they will not use it in a fallen state. What these passages teach is that angels do not multiply by procreation. Angels as far as we know were created „en masse,‟ and as they are immortal, and never die, there is no necessity for marriage among them. Marriage is a human institution to prevent the extinction of the race by death. If the bodies of the dead are to be resurrected, as the Scriptures clearly teach, the inference is that those bodies will be male and female. . .As the bodies of the Righteous dead after they have been resurrected and glorified are immortal, and shall never die again, there will be no necessity for the Righteous in Heaven to marry, and therefore the marriage relation will be discontinued, but it does not follow husbands and wives will not know each other „as such‟ in the other world” (The Spirit World, Clarence Larkin). The second premise in this view is that the offspring of this unnatural alliance became demons. The objections to this premise is again “once men (or mongrel offspring) die, they do not re-enter this world but are bound, awaiting the final judgment (Luke 16:26; Hebrews 9:22)” (Angels, Elect and Evil, C. Fred Dickason). 3. Unconfined fallen angels: Many hold the view that demons are the angels who fell with Satan and are unconfined therefore free to roam the earth. In the 10th chapter of Luke, Jesus sent out seventy disciples. When these seventy returned they said, “. . .even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” Jesus then said, “. . .I beheld Satan as lightening fall from heaven” (vs. 18). He identified the devils with Satan. Satan is a fallen angel and the devils are associated with him. In another passage, Matthew 12:24-26, the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out devils by Beelzebub. Jesus said, “And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?” (vs. 26). Once again the devils are identified with Satan. Revelation 12:3-4 symbolically states that when Satan fell he drew a third part of the angels with him and cast them to earth. We know that some demons are confined in the underworld. The underworld consists of hades (hell), mnemeion (the grave), gehenna (lake of fire) and abussos (the bottomless pit). Some angels are confined in the abyss (the bottomless pit): In the account of the demon possessed man of the Gadarenes—Luke 8:30-31, “And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.  And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep (abussos).” The fifth trumpet judgment—Revelation 9:2, “And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.” Revelation 9:11, “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.” Another name given for the place of confinement of the fallen angels is “tartarus.” 2 Peter 2:4, “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell (tartarus), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” Jude also speaks of this, Jude 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.” The most likely explanation of demons is that the confined angels are the most wicked (those who possessed people, etc.), while demons in the world are the other, unconfined, fallen angels. Demon possession Is there such a thing? If so, are we to be on guard against this? The man of the country of the Gadarenes was just mentioned above, also: Matthew 8:16, “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:” Luke 9:42, “And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.” Acts 8:6-7, “And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.  For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.” The answer to the first question is yes, there is such a thing as demon possession. It seems more than one demon can enter into and take possession of one man at the same time; Mark 5:8-9, “For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.  And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.” Demons can cause: Dumbness and deafness (Matthew 12:22) Lunacy and mania (Matthew 17:14-21) Convulsions (Mark 9:20) Wickedness (Luke 11:26) Violence (Matthew 17:15) Supernatural strength (Mark 5:1-4) Some people would attribute all mental illness and all sorts of menace to demon possession. Possession is not something that happens quickly, a person being caught off guard at a weak moment. C. Fred Dickason divides demon oppression into four categories: 1) Simple subjection, which can pass unnoticed. 2) Demonization, which affects a person unknowingly. 3) Obsession, in which the person is almost continually harassed by demons. 4) Actual demon possession by an indwelling demon or demons. Can a Christian become demon possessed? The Bible doesn‟t say. Although demon possession is mentioned frequently in the Gospels, it is mentioned only three times in Acts. The Epistles deal with the Christian life and ministry and in them nothing is said concerning demon possession. There are no guidelines given for exorcism nor is there a warning against demon possession in the Epistles. It would seem that if a Christian has the Holy Spirit indwelling them, a demon couldn‟t possess that same area. Activities directly influenced by demons A cause for greater concern than demon possession, in my opinion, would be activities that are directly influenced by demons. These activities are classified generally under the occult. The occult (from occultus, to cover up, hide) it means hidden, secret, dark, mysterious or concealed. Occultism is not new, archaeological discoveries from Sumeria and Babylon, two of the earliest civilizations; display the occult practices of that day. Other historic civilizations such as Egypt, Greece and Rome show occult practices. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were expressly forbidden to dabble in the occult: Deuteronomy 18:10-12, “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination (seeking to determine the will of the gods by interpreting omens), or an observer of times (soothsaying, attempting to control the future through power given by evil spirits), or an enchanter (interpreting omens, telling the future based on signs), or a witch (sorcery, inducing magical effects by drugs or some other sort of potion),  Or a charmer (conjuring spells, binding other people by magical muttering), or a consulter with familiar spirits (being a medium, one who supposedly communicates with the dead, but actually communicates with demons), or a wizard (being a spiritist, one who has an intimate acquaintance with the demonic, spiritual world), or a necromancer (calling up the dead, investigating and seeking information from the dead).  For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” The occult is generally divided into three categories: 1) Divination—“divinare” (to foresee), this would include astrology, palmistry (palm reading), card laying (tarot cards), crystal balls and Ouija boards. Leviticus 20:27, “A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.” 2) Magic—seeks accomplishment of results beyond human power. Divination taps secret knowledge, whereas magic taps secret power. 3) Spiritism—anything else in the supernatural realm such as mediums, etc. Leviticus 19:31, “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.” Apparitions, phantoms and ghosts are under the category of Spiritism. There is no evidence than any ghost or apparition has ever led anyone closer to God or knowledge of the truth, so we know they cannot be from God. Parallels between the occult—ghosts—UFO‟s Nauseous odors encountered in séance rooms, haunted locations and UFO landing sites. These are also reported in association with “monsters,” e.g. Bigfoot, Loch Ness monster, etc. Falling materials or deposits of substances. Aversion to strong light. Voices heard in the mind. Levitation and teleportation. Decrease in temperatures. Instantaneous appearing, disappearing, enlargement and reduction of phenomena. Similarity in entity characteristics—transparent, incomplete, semisolid or vaporous. Unusual noises or high-pitched sounds. Inapplicability of physical laws. (E.A.I. Mackey, UFO’s and the Occult) Messages from occult sources, ghosts and UFO‟s also have common characteristics: Denial of Biblical truths. Appeals to human pride, either through a system of salvation by good works or reliance upon the “divine” within. Using development of psychic powers and/or contact with higher entities or “ascended masters,” usually through altered states of consciousness; the encouragement to trust these entities for help and protection. The giving of an important mission that only the contacted person or a select few can accomplish. The teachings of eastern and occult doctrines (reincarnation, the divinity of man, the dawning of a new psychic age, etc). Demons are active in our present world. The Bible says that believers wrestle with them, Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” This struggle is a lifelong conflict, so we are to, “. . .take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).
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