Monday, March 3, 2014

Should We Fear Evil Spirits & Demons?

Evil spirits / demons exist. Searching for “witchcraft,” “black magic,” “voodoo,” “séance” on the internet affirms their existence. Quite a few practice these and there are others who consult these services for evil purposes.

Black magic and witchcraft (terms that I use interchangeably) employ supernatural powers for evil purposes. Let us consider some instances of witchcraft in different parts of the world:

In December 2013, ‘Livescience’ the science news website reported a Bahraini parliament official Mohammed Buqais demanding his government to crackdown on witchcraft. Buquais narrates a “story of a wife who consulted a witch doctor for help in making her husband obedient. The sorcerer gave her a magic ritual to follow — one that included contaminating his meals with her blood. The result, Buqais claimed, was that the man became paralyzed and has remained so since 2006.” 1

If witchcraft is prevalent in Bahrain - a tiny Arab kingdom with a million people, then one can only imagine the presence of this evil practice in larger countries.

‘National Geographic’ reported the killing of albinos in Tanzania for their body parts to be used by witch doctors.2 These witch doctors supposedly assume the presence of magical powers in albino body parts such as limbs, heart, tongue etc.

Black magic is prevalent in India. Maharashtra, a western state, approved a bill to curb such activities.3

Black magic is existent in China, the world’s largest populated country. The black magic practices are grouped under the term ‘ku.’ 4

Media has reported instances of black magic practice in the USA and UK. For more information, you could refer to this article.5

Practice of witchcraft / black magic include:

Use of voodoo dolls for evil purposes. They can make a voodoo doll of their enemy and prick the doll with needles so to inflict pain and even death.

People interacting with spirits through Ouija boards for sinister purposes. (Interaction with spirits is termed as Séance.)

Demonic rituals performed by sacrificing people (including children) and animals for evil purposes.

This video describes the evil of human sacrifices during the celebrations of Halloween in America.

It is reported that even corporates take to witchcraft.6

The demonic threat is real in every life. It takes one person to resort to black magic and then there are innocent victim(s). So the possibilities of invoking the demonic are quite large.

Not surprisingly, the Bible talks much about demons.

Demons are often described as spirits (Matthew 8: 16; Luke 7: 21; Acts 19: 12, Revelation 16: 14 et al.). These wicked forces in heavenly places are invisible (cf. Colossians 1: 16). The Christian struggles“…against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6: 12, NASB).

Since angels obtain their great power from God, their powers are limited by the will of God.  In other words, angels, good or evil, cannot exercise their powers without God’s permission (cf. Job 1: 12, 2:6).

Satan is the chief of demons. He opposes God and the work of Christ through temptation and deception. Satan opposes and hinders Christians in God’s service (1 Thessalonians 2: 18) through all available means, and blinds the minds of unbelievers “so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4: 4, NASB).

Demons inflict diseases (Matthew 12:22; Mark 9:17; Acts 8: 7) and oppose the spiritual progress of God’s people (Ephesians 6: 12). They incite one against another, kill, and destroy property (Job 1: 13-19).

Since demonic existence and attack on mankind is factual, we then wonder if all people are vulnerable to demonic attacks or only a few. If only a few are vulnerable and fearful of demonic attacks, what separates these few from the others?  

Common sense suggests that the weaker is destroyed by the stronger. From a creational perspective, angels are stronger than humans; so humans are weaker than the good and evil angels. Therefore, all humans are susceptible to demonic attack from the evil angels.

However, humans can prevent demons from attacking them, if they are, in some way, stronger than the demons. How? Employing a stronger demon is unwise for it is equivalent to inviting a more powerful hazard into our lives. 

The other option is to get behind a good force that is more powerful than the most evil demon. This seems to be the only safe and a viable option.

The good force is God – the Almighty being, the ruler of heaven and earth. Since God created angels, HE obviously is more powerful than HIS creation. 

The sovereign God (because of HIS grace, goodness, love, mercy, compassion, and justice) protects HIS creation against the schemes of the evil one. HE protects those who love and those who reject HIM. This is HIS common grace.

Occasionally HE removes the hedge of HIS protection and permits the demons to attack us. Why? Because God is good, HE removes the protection for a good reason. We may be aware of some general reasons, but we may be mostly unaware of the specific reason.

Although man is vulnerable, can he get under the protective umbrella of God’s presence to live a fearless life?  Yes it is surely possible. But there is a condition. The condition is that we should not be fragile; instead we should be strong in God.

The parable of the sower in Matthew 13 describes fragile Christians. These fragile Christians exhibit three fatal traits:

1. They do not understand the Word of God.

2. They fall away when persecuted.

3. They succumb to the worries of this world and deceitfulness of wealth.

Exhibition of one or more of these traits exhibits the fragility and the enormity of the distance between this individual and God.

            Instead of consciously and intentionally remaining in the Lord, this person consciously and intentionally drifts away from God. The reason for the occurrence of these three traits in a Christian life is due to man’s separation from God.

When man is separated from God, he is very much vulnerable to demonic attacks. He is both actively and passively open to the demonic. He can either actively employ the demonic to hurt others or be passively hurt by those employing the demonic.

In contrast, there is a Christian who hears the Word, understands it, bears fruit, and remains strong in the Lord. He does not employ the demonic to hurt others, for he loves everyone (Mark 12: 31).

This strong Christian is not vulnerable to demonic attacks. Or is it so?

Being strong in the Lord does not guarantee a 24x7 protection from the demonic. Even though this man devotedly opposes the evil, there are moments when God removes the hedge of HIS protection to permit a demonic attack on this strong Christian.

So we have two groups of people. One group remains intimate and strong in the Lord. The other group is separated from God.

Although both these groups are vulnerable to the demonic, they live differently.

Which of these groups of people are more likely to fear the demons? The answer is obvious; the group that is separated from God is the one that lives in fear of demons, and will surrender to the demonic, even to the point of death.

The strong Christian who understands God and HIS Word does not fear the Satan or his demons for he is deeply rooted in God. The strong Christian will remain in the Lord even when there is a demonic attack against him.

The strong Christian will victoriously live through the demonic attack and will finally emerge victorious by the power of the living God – the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

Apostle Paul was given “a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment…” (2 Corinthians 12:7, NASB, Emphasis Mine). The Lord did not remove the demonic from Paul’s life although Paul pleaded with the Lord. Did Paul then lose hope or faith in God? No!

Instead he thundered, most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12: 9b-10, NASB, Emphasis Mine).

Although Paul was under a demonic attack, he was glad, he boasted about his weakness, he was content, and importantly he was strong. What a fascinating testimony of a man under a demonic attack. He did not fear demons, but he endured and remained victorious even through the demonic attack.

Job is another classic example. To begin with, the demons robbed him of his family and possessions. Then they inflicted painful sores upon him.

But his wife, who should have been a pillar of strength to Job, incited Job to curse God and die.

But Job the Gentile, not even a member of God’s chosen race – the Jews, displayed a monumental faith in the Lord and said, ““You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2: 10, NASB). 

Although Job was under a severe demonic attack, he did not lose faith or hope in God. This is yet another marvelous testimony by a powerful man of God.

Powerful Christians neither fear the demonic nor lose hope or faith in God during the demonic. Why? Powerful Christians know and trust their God too well that they are in constant communication with God through prayer. Thus they overcome the demonic. They even disregard their life for the sake of God and HIS glory. 

How could one gain this power? It is rather simple. Accept the Lord Jesus, love HIM with all your life, live in Christ always. Seek Christ with an incessant hunger by the reading and understanding of HIS Word and constant communication (prayer).

What do you do if you are under a demonic attack? Pray to Jesus and request your strong and gifted Christian friends to pray for and over you, for it is only the Lord Jesus who can drive away the demonic from your life and offer you a victorious life even through the demonic. Amen.







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