[6] Activities of Demons

Foundations of Pentecostal Theology (Duffield, Van Cleave) 

Backing Idol worship, and encouraging formalism and asceticism are known activities of demons. We can see these play out in cannabis prohibition

The Doctrine of Angels

D. The Purpose of Demons

The overall purpose of demons seems to be twofold: they seek to hinder the purposes of God and to extend the power to satan. Satan’s desire to rule and to be “like the Most High” has not changed from it’s initial expression in Isaiah 14:13-14. His conduct in the wilderness temptation of Jesus is a positive evidence of this arrogant spirit, as he even sought to influence Christ to worship him (Mt. 4:9). Under his control, the hosts of demons are interested in fostering this very plan.

 

E. The Activities of Demons

1. Opposing the saints: They constantly oppose the saints in their endeavors to live godly lives and to serve the Lord: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms “ (Eph. 6:12, NIV); “ Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but satan hindered us” (1 Thes. 2:18). Inasmuch as satan is not omnipresent, many of the activities of the devil must be carried out by demons.

Handbook for Spiritual Warfare (Dr. Ed Murphy

-archai and exousiai

There is one more area of insight into the work of the powers among men which needs to be considered: the strategy of supernatural evil in manipulating human institutions and social structures to work evil among humanity. Walter Wink is the Champion of this more socio-cultural institutional view of spirit evil. He says that we must see Paul including here in Ephesians 6:12
‘all the archai and exousiai… not only divine but human, not only personified but structural, not only demons and kings but the world atmosphere and power invested in institutions, laws, traditions and rituals as well, for it is the cumulative, totalizing effect of all these taken together that creates the sense of bondage of a “dominion of darkness” (see Col. 1:13) presided over by higher powers.
Wink holds the kosmokratoras to include all who hold mastery over the world, the spirit of empire, and
“all forms of institutional idolatry, whereby religion, commerce, education, and state make their own well-being and survival the final criteria of morality, and by which they justify the liquidation of prophets, the persecution of deviants, and the ostracism of opponents”
Wink continues saying that it is the “suprahuman dimension of power in the institutions and the cosmos which must be fought, not the mere human agent “ The institution will perpetuate itself no matter who the human agent “because that is what the institution requires for it’s survival” Finally, he says that it is “this suprahuman quality which accounts for the apparent ‘heavenly’ bigger than life, quasi-eternal character of the powers”

2. Inducing departure from the Faith. “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 [demons]” (1 Tim. 4:1).

3. Encouraging formalism and ascetism as the result of false teaching : “ 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; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the Truth.” -1 Timothy 4:1-3

4. Backing all idol worship: “What I say then? That the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils [demons], and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils [demons]. Ye cannot drink of the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils [demons]: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and the table of devils [demons]. 1 Corinthians 10:19-21

Paul, in discussing the question of offering meats to idols and whether it was right for Christians to then eat this meat, has already said “We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none God but one” (1 Cor. 8:4), but he warns that behind the idols is a demon. If the Corinthian Christians ate the meat which had been offered to the idols, they would be in danger of having fellowship with demons. It is difficult to understand how the multiplied millions who have worshipped and do worship idols could find any spiritual satisfaction in bowing down and pledging allegiance to something made by human hands. However, the realization that there are demon spirits behind the idols makes it clear that there is a spiritual communion there and that satan and his hosts have succeeded in deceiving the multitudes. Revelation 9:20 also points out the association between demons and idolatry: “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils [demons], and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk”

5. Causing various physical afflictions. It is in the power of demons to cause dumbness (Mt. 9:32-33), blindness (Mt. 12:22), insanity (Lk. 8:26-35), suicidal mania (Mk. 9:22), personal injuries (Mk. 9:18), and various defects and deformities (Lk. 13:11-17).

6. Accomplishing God’s purposes sometimes. As Unger explains:
“demons are the instruments for executing God’s plans for punishing the ungodly (Ps. 78:49). Wicked Ahab was punished for his crimes by a “lying spirit” which Jehovah put in the mouth of all his prophets to lead them to disaster at Ramoth Gilead (1 Kings 22:23). Demons lure the God-resisting armies of Armageddon to similar catastrophe (Rv. 16:13-16). Satan and his ministers also effect God’s plans for chastening the godly. Satan’s sifting but accomplished the Lord’s winnowing, as in the case of Peter (Luke 22:31). Job is brought through satanic testing to a place of spiritual enlargement and refinement (Job 42:5-6). The incestuous believer at Corinth is delivered “unto satan for the destruction of of the flesh, that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 5:5). Hymenaeus and Alexander are “delivered unto satan, that they may be taught not to blaspheme” (1 Tim. 1:20)

 

part 2 B. Demons and Men
Demons find their reason for existence in their relationship to men. When the demons who inhabited the body of the demoniac of Gadara were confronted by Christ, they asked to go into another body and He cast them into swine.

1. Possession
There are many references in the Word of God to demonic possession. We find that the manifestations of demonic possession work mostly on the mind and the nervous system. We are told that there are many people in the insane institutions of our day for which there is no evidence of any physical ailment. Psychiatry has tried to find answers, but their work has been one of the most notable failures related to health. Psychiatry has no answers for demon possession. Psychology cannot explain or suggest workable answers for these victims of Satan’s plot. Science may laugh at the Bible references to demon possession, but our Lord knew the terrible truth of this curse to men and used His power to deliver people fom such affliction.

Demonic possession results from a heart open to Satan’s influence. Many hearts and lives are opened to this by their obsession with occult knowledge. Books are sold by the million encouraging people to dabble in the black arts… The high rate of suicide among youths attests to the force of demonic activity in our day.

2. Oppression
Another form of Satan’s attack against people is by demonic oppression. This is influence from without. It is not control of the life, but powerful influence to alter the life. Oppression can be very hurtful and can have grave consequences, but it is not the same as possession, whereby demons invade the body and control the life. The Apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” may be viewed as an example of this type of activity.

C. Limits of Demonic Authority

1. Limits set by God
Demons have power, but they are not all-powerful. They must operate within the limits set by God. They cannot read minds. They are not privy to God’s plan for our lives. They can hear our words, it would seem, and thus can act on any discouragement or doubts we may voice. They are allowed to afflict people who are open and receptive to their attacks, but cannot go where they are resisted and unwelcomed.

2. Limits set by saints
There is no Bible basis for the belief that Christians can be possessed of demons and still remain a Christian. Jesus told of the life that had been cleansed, but not inhabited. The unclean spirit who had been forced out of that life came and found the life unfilled and bringing seven other demons worse than himself, took up his abode there (Matthew 12:43-45). If we are filled with the Spirit of God, we will not be in danger of any demonic possession. “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and the table of devils” (1 Corinthians 10:21). Pure water will not flow out of an unclean heart nor filthy water from a pure heart. Possession constitutes control. No man can have two masters. While the messengers of Satan can buffet and test the child of God, he has no power to enter and control the life dominated by Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit.

D. Demons and the Believer

1. Keeping our lives free
We can make the devil flee by resisting him. We can prevent demonic control by being filled with the Spirit. An old proverb says that an idle mind is the devils’ playground. If we are preoccupied with selfish ends or desires, we make ourselves vulnerable to Satan’s attack. The protection of the believer lies in the Spirit controlled life. If we study the Bible as we should, we will learn the lessons which will keep us from sin. If we pray as we should, we will bring the Spirit’s aid in shielding us from the wiles of the enemy. If we fortify our lives with spiritual armor, we can withstand the attack of Satan. The battle for our souls is spiritual and out armor is spiritual. God has furnished us every protection we need to keep our lives victorious in Christ.

2. Bringing Deliverance to Others
With the rising influence of demonic activity, there is a growing need for Christians to be filled with the Spirit so that they may pray the prayer of deliverance for those who are possessed of demons. Not every sickness represents demon possession. Not every emotional problem is caused by demon possession. The Church needs discernment to know how to deal with these vile forces. Our prayer for the deliverance of the oppressed should be based on sound Bible principles. We should approach this in love and understanding as well as in faith and in power of the Holy Ghost. Many have been embarrassed and driven from the fellowship of the church by mishandling the subject of demons. They are real and they are a threat to our society, but the Lord can and will give us wisdom and discretion so that we may bring true deliverance without pain and emotional scars.

 

there is much to be said about this topic–here’s a broad Angelology outline specific to demonic activity, provided by PCG in “Basic Bible Truth” There’s one more quote that should be here with footnote 6; in regards to the demonization of Christians, which is the scandalization and alienation of brothers and sisters in Christ. Put simply, the alienation we feel from the Churches as a result of cannabis use and/or opinions about it are the result of demonization (note: not demon possession, demonization. See below demonic oppression).
Between the notes on Gnosticism (footnote 5) and the current, coupled with Scripture (Col.2:16, 1 Tim. 4, Rev. 2), there leaves little doubt that there is demonic activity behind the prohibition of foods and drinks such as cannabis.

III. Demons
A. Agents of Satan
The Bible offers no concrete evidences as to where demons come from. As pointed out earlier, it is questionable that they are fallen angels, for these are spoken of as being in chains. Whatever their source, they are spirits from Satan and hold a significant place in the war for the souls of men.

1. Doing Satan’s Work
Satan is the father of demons and they do his bidding. We do know that they exist in large numbers, considering the “legion” of demons that inhabited the demoniac of Gadara. Satan is skilled at imitating the works of God with a hellish twist. In demonic activity, we can see a perversion of the work of Holy Spirit, for these unholy spirits can and do come into the willing vessels, controlling and using them.

2. Enemies of Redemption
Demons are particularly adept at frustrating God’s plan for the lives of people who allow themselves to become open to demonic influences. The Bible talks of lying spirits (1 Kings 22:22), seducing spirits (1 Timothy 4:1), familiar spirits (Leviticus 20:21), and unclean spirits (Mark 1:27). These are only representative texts, for there are many references to both familiar spirits and unclean spirits. Those who have come out of the error of Spiritism say that the messages received in the seances are from demonic powers and that the person getting the message is called “the familiar”. The fact that these messages frequently tell facts about a dead person which could not be known to the medium is because “familiar spirits” know intimate details of the lives of the dead. They may also account for the rising popularity of “psychics” and their professed ability to reveal secrets of the lives of the gullible people who are drawn to them.

The rise of interest in the world of occult knowledge is bringing more and more demonic possession in our society. Demons always despise the blood of Christ and have been known to react violently in seances when the blood is mentioned. Satan hates Calvary and all truth’s related to Christ’s death for the salvation of mankind. It was at Calvary that Satan received his worst defeat and demons work very hard to hide the truth of the cross from mankind

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One Response to [6] Activities of Demons

  1. Pingback: Contrasting Christian Theology With Drug WarPhilosophy | Christian Cannabis Fellowship

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