Tuesday, October 20, 2015
What does the Bible Say about Demons?
"There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight."
-C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (originally 1942; this edition: Harper Collins, 1996) ix.
I have been preaching through the gospel of Mark, and there are several examples of Jesus casting out unclean spirits or demons.
In Mark 5, there is “a man with an unclean spirit.” The more usual term for “unclean spirit” is “demon” (used 63 times in the New Testament). Who or what is a demon? They could be:
1. the spirits of a pre-Adameic evil race
2. the spirits of evil men
3. the product of angels cohabiting with women in Genesis 6:1-4
4. Fallen Angels
The fourth option is the most likely. Mark calls them “unclean sprits” 11 times and “demons” 13 times. Revelation 12:4 records that one-third of the angels fell with Satan in his rebellion against God. Some are now free to roam (Mark 1:21-34). Some will still be free during the tribulation (Revelation 9:13-19). They are confined now, never to roam freely (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). They are powerful personalities, though not omnipotent (Mark 1:24). Their activity may have increased during the time of Christ and it will do so again in the coming end times (See Rev. 6-19). They are set up under Satan’s control (Ephesians 6:11-12), probably in rank and possibly in geography (Dan 10:10-12). They have authority and can promote disunity, propagate false doctrine, inflict disease, cause mental difficulties, and hinder Christian growth. Demons can oppress but not possess believers (see 1 John 4:4). We should be encouraged because even though demons resist Christ, they are subject to appropriate spiritual authority. God is Lord of all including the demons. Be encouraged!
“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10