12 – Understanding Demons (by Don Dickerman)
"But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods except he first bind the strong man?...Matthew 12:28,29
There is Great Mystery About the Spirit World
Let me first say, that I don't have all of the answers, and anyone who says they do, be careful about the information you receive from them.
Understanding the spirit-world is an on-going education. Some of the learning involves un-learning. Deliverance ministries are many and varied. One thing I do know is that the spirit's are subject unto believers' in the Name of Jesus Christ. It seems with each encounter I become aware that there is so much I do not know. I want to discuss first some things that are true because it is substantiated in the Word.
Demons Exposed in Mark 5
There is abundant information about demons in Mark 5:1-20. The man called Legion. Demons can exist inside or outside of humans. They seem to prefer organic beings, preferring the swine to nothingness. Demons recognize and fearfully respect Jesus and will recognize Jesus in believers. They can cause the individual to harm himself and others. There appears to be no `human' success in restraining the evil once they are in control. All attempts to help this man were futile. He was subsequently banished to the tombs. Neil Anderson says, "Such extreme cases reveal a takeover of the central nervous system." Demons live in the `belly'... the abode of the spirit according to John 7:38. Jesus indicates that,"...out of the belly shall flow rivers of living waters. (But this He spake of the Spirit...). The base of the spine, the central nervous system, seems to be where the demons have control. The demons will bow down to Jesus and beg to stay.
They are able to communicate to humans through humans. Notice from Luke 11 that evil spirits also communicate with each other. (Luke 11:21-26). They are also able to travel at will. They can come and go, they are able to evaluate and make decisions based on what they see. Obviously, they are able to determine one's spiritual condition.
A lesser degree of control by the demons is demonstrated in those who pay attentions to deceiving spirits. (I Timothy 4:1). This includes horoscope watchers, fortune telling, etc
Each demon has a seperate identity. Notice the personal pronouns in Luke 11,"I will return to my house from whence I came."Secular methods of research will never reveal their existence.They are thinking personalities as opposed to an impersonal force. The demons not only have seperate identity they also seem to have different functions.
The fact that they can evaluate and make decisions clearly indicates that they do so with intended victims. They are able to gain access to our lives through points of vulnerability. They are able to remember and to make plans. The concept of "familiar spirits" is well documented in church history.
They are able to combine forces and most often do. "We are many..." "Leave us alone..." The one spirit in Luke 11 will join forces with seven others. Many people identify a number of different voices in their mind, describing them as a committee. They also vary in degrees of wickedness and power. The Luke 11 scripture reveals that the one would invite seven more evil than itself. In Mark 9:29, Jesus referred to a demon so powerful that "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer."This seems to fit the variations of power and wickedness that Paul mentions in Ephesians 6:12. I can personally attest that in dealing with demonized individuals that some are more difficult than others. Some come out immediately and without resistance.
The Heirarchy of Power
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."Ephesians 6:12... The living bible has an interesting translation here."We are fighting against persons without bodies--the evils rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world."
Principalites, rulers. Princes of darkness. This seem to correspond with the four-level heirarchy of modern day satanism. This would be equivilent to the Royal Court of Satan, this involves seven major covens in the world. Powers- this seems to correspond to host-level priests. World forces- this would be the legion-level priest and Spiritual forces- identifies the circle or local covens. The satanist are massive in numbers and extremely secretive. What you see and hear about are the activities of "mere dabblers". It is what you don't see that is pulling the strings and arranging the events in satanism.
In his book, THE BONDAGE BREAKER, Neil Anderson says: "Satanists meet from 12:00 to 3:00am, and part of their ritual is to summon and send demons. Three in the morning is prime time for demon activity, and if you have been awakened at that time you may have been targeted. I have been targeted by demons numerous times."
Do Not Fear
Perhaps you have read this and are beginning to fear that demons will overtake you. Do not be afraid, nor dwell upon them. Fear is one of their weapons. Fear has torment but mature, perfect, love casts out fear. Remember demons cannot impose themselves upon you they must have opportunity that only you can give them. They must have legal ground. You can rebuke them always in the Name of Jesus Christ! Focus on Him. Fill your life with Him, with His Word and His Holy Spirit. The demons are no match for Jesus or a child of God functioning in the power of the Holy Spirit. "Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world." I Jn 4:4.
The scripture on the front of this tells us that the first order of business is binding the strong man. FIRST, bind satan and his demons in the Name of Jesus Christ, then cast them from you.
Demons Can Transform Themselves Into Human Form
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness..."II Cor. 11:14,15. "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."Hebrews13:2.
Remember, demons are fallen angels. They are much more sophisticated, much stronger, much wiser than we are and they have supernatural abilities. You will never outsmart them nor can you defeat them in your wisom or strength. You cannot analyze them under the microscope and medicate them away. They are masters of deception, they are all liars, all murderers, all thieves and they are come to rob, steal, kill and destroy. They must be dealt with only in the power and authority of the Name of Jesus Christ.
The demons are masters of deceit. What puzzles me is the amazing silence on the subject from todays corp of preachers. Jesus deals with the subject all thoughout the gospels, the book of Acts records demonic activity and the authority through which believers acted. Paul in his epistles tells how they are defeated and under the feet of Jesus, he warns us of their shrewdness and says he is not ignorant of their vices lest their gain an advantage of him. He tells us that we must put on the whole armour of God! He advises that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual. John tells us to try the sprits to see if they be of God. In the Revelation he tells of the wickedness yet to come from the demonic forces. I am puzzled at the silence from the pulpits. Deception? Ignorance? Unpopular? What?
The demons power over a believer is only in threats and lies. If you believe the lie, if you believe the threats then YOU have given them power. The Word of God tells us plainly to resist the devil and he will flee from you. Believing their lie is hardly resisting. Rebuke them in the Name of Jesus Christ, they will flee.
Remember demons are the enemies of God and their evil is aimed at the heart of God. They are bent on destruction of all that is right. They are rebels, they were the first to rebel against authrority and that is one of the first detectable signs of demons in humans, rebellion. Rebellion, the scripture says is as the sin of witchcraft. The rebellious spirit lends itself to the demonic, if itself is not a demon. Rebellion can know the truth and yet reject it, simply in defiance. Danger lies at the doorstep of the rebel.
They are responsible for crime, disease and disaster. Please read carefully this next statement. They try to prevent the plan of God. They will try to keep those in bondage from deliverance. They will make it difficult to read the Word of God, to pray, to worship, to fellowship with other believers. They do not give up their ground easily. But if you WANT to be free you can be.
The demons tried to sink the ship of Jesus as He was asleep on the way to set free, the man named Legion. Oh, but He can awake from a deep sleep, with sleep still in His eyes and speak Peace Be Still to the wind and the waves. It is He who is in control. You must find comfort and peace in that truth. He is in control all by Himself!
He is still speaking peace to those in trouble today.