DEMONS: a faithful study
This effort is designed with love, respect, and kind attention. It is purposed to bring us into a more accurate understanding of the matter. I am well aware that it will challenge your current beliefs, for it also had challenged mine. And it took me many years to fight through false indoctrination and finally humble myself before God and accept reality regarding this topic. And so, all I ask is honest attention, and that we genuinely examine the Scriptures together. Even to the point we deny our past affiliation to erroneous notions, in order to now wholeheartedly and soberly accept the evidence of this case in which I shall present.
A bit of background and personal declaration…
I was born in 1976, raised in a place called “Scoudouc” New Brunswick Canada. East Coast. Atlantic. The Mariners side of things. Woodsman, fisherman, hunters, truck drivers, factory workers. Working hard, and playing harder. And as I remember growing up in a family and community which welcomed and embraced sensational beliefs, it was common knowledge and culture to nourish our worldview when it came to the topic of supernatural experience (i.e. ghosts, demons, angels, miracles, etc). A people naturally attracted to proponents (those in favor of) mysticism.
From European descent, our religious forefathers passed on to us the tradition of Catholicism (a religious denomination created from apostasy and political influence - 1 Tim. 4:1-3, birth centuries after the church Jesus had built in Jerusalem - Acts 1&2). This, “Universal Church” (Catholic Church) gave us food (grocery) and education (schooling). And so we trusted in their doctrines. And these teachings embraced and encouraged the sensational idea of personal and direct demon (and/or deistic) activity in the physical realm.
And so, it was furnished upon us from birth, that the supernatural has never ceased, and that demons and their possession of human beings were as real as daylight. This, of course, would further promote our thoughts into the mystic. As those living in constant fear that the movies, books, magazines, music, and denominational perspectives were indeed true and real. We exchanged reality for myth and called myth, truth. And billions of souls this day live in constant fiction. The thought that either the Devil or the Holy Spirit can do things to us which scripture has since revealed, ceased.
It is my greatest endeavor to have you return to God with me, as we step away from the lies we’ve so quickly embraced, understanding full well how warm and comforting it can be under the wing of a dragon. For we must step away from our false sense of security in order to receive the ultimate and complete peace, of Jesus Christ our Lord and Master through His perfect Word, Bible. Who, in Him, we are protected from error.
And so, we first ask ourselves…
WHAT DOES THE WORLD BELIEVE ABOUT DEMONS?
Hollywood movies, books, music, and magazines. They portray demons and demon possession with charismatic entertainment. Obnoxious, over the top, and far from Scriptural accuracy (i.e. 1973’s “The Exorcist” - “the most profitable horror movie ever made” - IMDB). We see therein what the world perceives and teaches as demon possession. Fanciful. Attractive to our carnal fears. Ignorance of the unknown. Curious enterprise. Dark charm. And the captivating power of a “soiree noir.” But is that accurate?
And in like manner, the denominational world follows suit with sensationalism (“the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke interest or excitement”). Fear tactics to produce wealth in false religious positions regarding demons, the Devil, possession.
And these misguided sources (Hollywood & denominations - “demon-nations”) were birth from three defining terms:
- Relativism - “no one can ultimately know objective truth”
- Pluralism - “no one person is wrong, everyone is right”
- Emotionalism - “my feelings are what truly matter, regardless of science, history, facts, logic, reason, Bible.” (i.e. what I’ve personally, religiously, experienced outweighs reality/truth).
And so, when we experience gruesome, barbaric, and most depraved violence. Our knee jerk reaction is to allocate supernatural activity to the event at hand. Because we’ve been birth into this disposition. It is what makes the most sense to us at this misguided moment in our lives.
For example, one who is intoxicated with excessive amounts of alcohol and drugs. At times will act out in public with a force that can only be subdued with numerous police officers. Was this a supernatural moment? Was this man possessed by a demon? Or can it be scientifically explained through the natural process? I respectfully petition your mind toward the latter of the two.
And as we make progress into this study we shall realize that such cases do not stand in fellowship with the recorded accounts found in the New Testament Bible. And along those lines, we ask ourselves…
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT DEMONS?
Absolutely nothing, if you refuse to foremost respect the fact that the Bible is the sole source of inspired information we have from God this day. Without respecting the authority of the Bible you’ll keep coordinating sensationalism with the 3’ “isms,” instead of God. But for this purpose and study, we shall assume that the audience, respects the authority of the Holy Writ.
We must lay down a foundation. When Christ came to earth some 2000 years ago. It was not out of sheer happenstance (coincidence) - Gal. 4:4-7. It was well crafted by the providence of God in order to introduce His power over evil, to save mankind from their sins (Mt. 1:21).
This He did in order to point people to the teachings of the New Covenant which were prophesied by the prophets of the Old Testament. And so God allowed the spiritual realm (demons in this context) to enter into physical reality in order to fulfill His gospel plan. Spoken of elaborately by Zechariah 13.
People needed to see the power of Jesus in order to be drawn to His teachings. So as to confirm that He and His apostles were from God, and not man. This section of history, where God once again intervened with mankind for the last time on earth, was for a specific people living in a specific time. And this fulfilled purpose is now available to us in witness form, the perfect word of God, the completed Book/Bible. Providence in motion.
And so, we move into a section of the inspired text. The demoniac accounts in the Country of the Gadarenes will reveal some answers regarding what the Bible teaches about demons: Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-13; Luke 8:26-39
For this study we shall read Mark 5:1-13
King James Version (KJV)
5 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
2 And when he (Jesus Christ) was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
3a Who had his dwelling among the tombs;
- Naturally what is unclean would be among the dead, according to Old Covenant (ref. Numbers & Leviticus). In this case, the demoniac is dwelling with darkness, uncleanness, death.
- b. and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
4 Because 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.
- supernatural indwelling, possession, and force taking place in this account and context.
5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
9 And he (Jesus) asked him (the demon), What is thy name? And he (demon) answered, saying, My (one entity identification) name is Legion: for we (unclean spirits) are many.
10 And he (a demonic entity) besought him (Jesus Christ) much that he (Christ) would not send them (unclean spirits) away out of the country.
11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding (unclean animals).
12 And all the devils (deceivers, unclean spirits) besought him, saying, Send us into the swine (allow us to remain with what is unclean), that we may enter into them (the swine).
13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine (unclean animals): and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. (what is unclean remained uncleaned, sinful, and drowned. It was never born again).
The world says that demon possession happens behind closed doors in a basement somewhere. It will try to convince us that it takes days, weeks, months, perhaps years to cast out a “demon” by the hand of a priest.
Yet in this recorded account, we see the opposite. What the Bible reveals as demons and their supernatural possession, is not in fellowship with modern depiction.
Another important fact is that the so-called demons of the world do not recognize the truth or the source of spiritual authority. This is why modern-day Satanists are spiritual frauds. For one cannot be a true Satanist if he has never known what it is to be a true Christian. Simply meaning, you’ll find stories that alleged demon-possessed vessels feel threatened of denominational figures such as Catholic Priests, Pentecostal charismatics, or certain TV evangelists. Yet how would a demon have fear of what has no spiritual authority? Or for what reason would a demon fear one who is on his side? Jesus knew this fact recorded in Mt. 12. Our sole source of inspired information reveals that even Demons believe (Js. 2:19). They know exactly who the Christ is, and who His followers are. And they can spot a fake (Acts 19:15). And those who had true miraculous gifts were able to discern mental illness from authentic demon possession (Mt. 4:23ff).
The demons of the Bible were public and defiled. They recognized Jesus as God, having all authority over them. They would remove free-will from vessels they would indwell. They were allowed for a time to wonder the earth and cause problems. And they were well aware that they had chronological stewardship of existence among the physical.
“Have you come to torment us before the time?” - Mt. 8:29. What time was that? Well, the time in which demons would no longer be allowed to do what they were currently doing. A time when the Word of God would have been perfected, accomplished, completed. A time when the age of miraculous gifts would cease (1 Cor. 13:8). Again, this very accurate truth was prophesied in Zechariah 13. I encourage you to read and study further.
It is important to note that some who cling to a false agenda, or ignorant teaching, will remove the context from said verses in order to remain under the wing of a dragon (comforted by a lie). They will say that only when Christ returns, miraculous gifts shall cease. But all Scriptures, as a unit of inspired literature, rightly divided, does not lend itself to such a misguided interpretation.
Please reason with me as we seek further evidence,…
The context. Jesus is speaking directly to His apostles regarding specific people during a specific age. Telling them that gifts of miraculous power would be laid on to believers (i.e. those who have been immersed in water in order to be saved/forgiven of sins by the authority of Jesus Christ, the power of His blood & resurrection - 1Pt. 3:21). And one of the miraculous gifts they would receive would be “cast out demons.”
14 Afterward he (the Christ) appeared unto the eleven (the Apostles) as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
15 And he (the Christ) said unto them (the eleven), Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name (with the authority of Jesus Christ) shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them (as was promised to them in John 16), and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Important note. To cast out a demon, it took supernatural power (i.e. “gifts of the Holy Spirit” - Acts 2, & 10). These gifts could only be passed on by the apostles, and to those, it was passed unto, they, in turn, could not pass to another. Which is why both demon possession, and the gifts to cast them out, extinguished at the end of the 1st century. Once the perfect had been fulfilled, confirmed, completed (the Bible). This is God’s will.
This spiritual fact is simple if we logically reason together. Demon possession was a breach of the natural order, and also of human free-will. It was permitted for a time in order to confirm the Word (in other words, to write the New Testament Bible by the hands of men who were directly inspired by the Holy Spirit). The transitional period, which was temporary until the perfect word of God was complete (Js. 1:25).
Necessary implications must observe that if any demon possession takes place today (like so many will advocate), supernatural gifts must still remain available (if not? God has set us up to lose the battle, a battle not yet won), and the Bible is not yet been confirmed (i.e. it has not yet been delivered once for all - Jude 3, it is not yet all-sufficient for life and godliness - 2 Pt. 1:3). And that further implies that Peter was mistaken when he said we’ve been “born again through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Pt. 1:23). For how can one be born from something unaccomplished and lacking inspiration and perfection? If we indeed need more confirming of new Revelation? How can we trust our salvation? We can’t. We fall short. We miss the mark.
With this information now brought to your attention, it is impossible that any other verse/s you might want to go to in order to prove otherwise, be done so without contradiction. For example, once you know repentance is a necessary component unto salvation, no other verse in the Bible should teach against that, right? Same for demons and possession today. So you can know that Ephesians 6:12, and others, are not to be taken out of context in order to sensationally mythify the accuracy of a doctrinal truth.
Friends, we can’t have it both ways. We cannot believe in physical supernatural demon activity in this current age, and believe the Bible is 100% accurate, perfect, fulfilled, and complete. Either we will endeavor to catch the wind with the world, an impossible task (with all its mysticism and mythicism - 2Tim. 4:4). Or be grounded on the foundation of truth, which is the Bible (i.e. God breath literature - 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
It is true, that many evil and most wicked things are happening today. Some of the like in which our minds simply can’t fathom. Like the murder of babies. Like sodomy performed on children. And it is also true that the power of suggestion, hypnosis, and the study of personalities can’t lure us into all sorts of false positions. But none of these is a breach of nature, none of these are supernatural demon possessions or activity. They are merely a witness to the amount of depravity humankind can stoop down to, free-will runs amok.
And so, In one belief, we die eternally and remain vulnerable to the influence of a wicked world. To believe that demons still exist in the natural physical realm, with the power to possess human beings, is to succumb to a deceptive fear which will hinder our salvation.
On the other, we have spiritual security and strength. Reality and truth. We need not fear the supernatural. For it has since ceased. We can trust the complete Holy Spirit-filled word of God, which is alive and changes minds across ages and cultures. We need not anything separate, detached, apart, and severed from the Bible. In this age, God the Father. His Son. The Spirit. All work through the Bible and providence. Nothing is in need of an addition, or subtraction.
Friends, the supernatural has ceased. Demons exist, no doubt, but they no longer manifest themselves into the physical vessel.
What remains is love. Love never fails. God is love. And love (agape - sacrificial), mercy, and grace is extended to all who wish protection from sin and its influence.
Christ said, “whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved.” If you trust in Jesus enough to believe, repent, and be immersed in water with His authority, for the reception of remission? You can be saved, and protected from all evil, within the location of all blessings in Christ. Outside of Christ, sin flourishes and has a hold of you. The influence of the Devil still has power over you. Not so, when in Christ. The location of the saved. The acquired citizenship of His kingdom.
Step away from the “ism’s” of the world. Let go sensationalism. Deny yourself and pick up the cross daily. Be soberly made well with the power of the gospel.