Ghosts, Ghouls and God–Satan and Demons

Posted: November 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

I love horror movies.   I like horror novels & graphic novels.  I even dig those silly and stupid haunted houses and trails that pop up at Halloween with bad actors and lame scenes from dated scary movies. 

I don’t scare easy anymore.  I guess I’ve developed a tolerance.  BUT the demonic scares me! 

I was asked by a pastor what I would do if I knew without a doubt that a person in front of me was demon possessed? What would I do if they started speaking in ancient languages in that Linda Blair voice? I told him that I would like to think that I would fast and pray that Jesus would release the person but what I was thinking was that I would probably scream like a howler monkey and wet myself!

Well, what does the Bible say about demons? 

Genesis 1:31 says that everything God made was “good”, so demons may not have existed yet.  It is possible that when Satan pops up in the Garden of Eden that he was poised for his first rebellion. 

 Where did demons come from? The evidence is sparse.

 Look at 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6.  Both state that demons were once angels that rebelled against God but why or when or how it all went down simply isn’t clear.

Theologian Wayne Grudem writes,

“…the emphasis is on the fact that they [demons] are removed from the glory of God’s presence and their activity is restricted (metaphorically, they are in “eternal chains”), but the text does not imply either that the influence of demons has been removed from the world or that some demons are kept in a place of punishment apart from the world while others are able to influence it. Rather, both 2 Peter and Jude tell us that some angels rebelled against God and became hostile opponents to his Word. Their sin seems to have been pride, a refusal to accept their assigned place, for they “did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling” (Jude 6).

What do demons do?

They follow Satan who (1) tempts to sin (Gen. 3:1-6) and (2) attempts to destroy the work of God (2 Cor. 4:4 and Gal. 4:8).

Satan and demons do not force people to sin but tempt them to sin and then once we give into sin they use that act to inflict as much damage on God’s good creation as possible.  Thus, when you sin, you are not just doing something “naughty” that needs to be forgiven but you are granting power to pure evil to hurt others.

How to deal with demons? 

You don’t! God will deal with them…in fact, he already has.

Consider this, Satan and demons are limited (see Job 1:12; 2:6 and Jude 6).  They cannot harm a person of God without His permission because Satan is not God’s equal but opposite but a created creature that must submit to the Lord and eventually will be eternally judged by Jesus.

 Moreover, consider Genesis 3:14-15, which reads:

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

 I often visit Arizona and it is not uncommon for people in the southwest to be bitten by a Rattlesnake.  A person who has been bitten is rushed to an urgent care or ER where they are well stocked with anti-venom but east of Eden in the ancient near east, there are no such places.  If you are bitten by a snake then you are going to die. 

So, immediately after Satan tempts Adam & Eve to sin, God lays out the plan to save humanity from Satan and themselves.  The plan? A son of Eve will crush the head of the temptor but will suffer death to do so.  Who is the son of Eve? Christ. 

Jesus took the eternal punishment for each and every time we give in to Satan’s temptation, thereby saving us and robbing him of a victory.  Because of this act, we need not worry about Satan and his demons…we need only to worship God, grow closer to God and serve God all in response to his grace.

 

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