HOW TO DEFEAT DEMONS
By Rev. Jim and Carolyn Murphy
PART ONE - A HISTORIC OVERVIEW
The Spirit World
Let us begin by examining the spirit world. By “spirit world” I mean the very real realm in which God, His angels, Satan, his angels and demons exist. God and His angels exist on the one hand, Satan, his angels and demons on the other. I use the word “demonism” to describe Satan, his fallen angels, his demons and their various activities.
From Scripture we know there are two realms of existence, the natural and the spiritual. The Apostle Paul understood these two distinct realms. He wrote, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (II Cor 4:18 NIV).
The natural realm is the one in which we live, work and play. It is only temporary. The spiritual realm is where we Christians have our real home. It is eternal. God created mankind to be eternal citizens of the permanent, spiritual world. It is in this spiritual realm that the forces of light and darkness do battle, worship God or Satan, try to dominate our minds, and so on.
Concerning the reality of angels, we must accept Scripture as final authority. The Bible makes more than 300 references to angels - in all 66 books of the Bible.
Similarly, using the NIV Bible as a reference, there are 39 references to Satan in fifteen books of the Bible. There are 28 references to demons in five books of the Bible, and there are nineteen references to evil spirits in eight books of the Bible. In addition, the Bible speaks of “spirits” many times using this word to mean demons.
Lucifer rebelled against God. God cast him out of heaven and gave him a new name. That name is Satan. Thus Satan himself is a fallen angel. (For Scriptural references to this event, see Ezekiel 28:15-16, Isaiah 14:12-14 and Luke 10:18).
Yes, Satan has great power. But as Christians, we must always remember that he has less power than we do. We have more power as long as we are walking in obedience to the Word of God.
Many have wrongly credited the quality of “omnipresence” to Satan - present everywhere at the same time. Satan is not omnipresent. Satan is but one being. He is confined to existence in only one place in the universe at any given moment. God is the only being who is omnipresent.
The word “angel” means messenger or one who is sent. Originally angel meant a messenger of God. When God cast Lucifer out of heaven, we believe that some of the angels joined in his rebellion, and God cast them out too. (see II Pet 2:4, Jude 6). So the term “angel” can technically mean either a messenger of God or a fallen angel sent by Satan. Note that I make a distinction between angels and demons. I believe fallen angels are distinct beings which are different from demons.
The word “demon” refers to evil spirits that exist in the spiritual realm. They are spirit beings that do not have a body, although demons can and do sometimes appear in physical form. The Bible refers to them as evil spirits, unclean spirits, seducing spirits, the devil’s angels (i.e., “messengers”), principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, spiritual hosts of wickedness, and familiar spirits.
We know where Satan and the fallen angels came from because Scripture tells us. But we do not know where demons came from. The Bible does not tell us. There are various theories but they are all speculation. We need not speculate about demons’ source of existence but only accept that they are real.
I believe people who operate the gift of the Holy Spirit called “discerning of spirits” can often see into the demonic world although not all who use this gift see demons. The details in this section are taken from interviews with people who have seen demons. Most people who have seen demons say they look much like the way medieval artists portrayed them. Note that there appears to be a correlation between size, rank, and power.
Lower ranking or lesser demon creatures are small. They look much like small animals such as a cat, opossum, dog, frog, snake, lizard, eel, etc. Though these demons can look like small animals, they are much more hideous. Their features are uglier than the natural animals we see every day. When rebuked or commanded to go in the name of Jesus these creatures flee very quickly.
Mid-size, or mid-level demons are larger. Often they look like large animals although their looks are more vicious. Like the lower ranking demons they are also grotesque and ugly. They have more power and freedom of action than the smaller demons described above.
Large, human-like demons are very shrewd and powerful. They are not easily frightened. They may be in the group of “fallen angels” but we don’t know for sure. They somehow know whether or not the person they fight understands his or her authority in Christ. They also know whether the person knows how to use that authority in Christ. There is a presence of evil accompanying these demons which surpasses that of the lesser demon spirits.
When Jesus encountered the demoniac of Gadarea the demons displayed feelings by asking Jesus, “...Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” (Mat 8:29 NIV)
“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” (I Tim 4:1 NIV).
Jesus commanded a demon to come out of a man and “...Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.” (Lk 4:35 NIV).
“The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons....” (Rev 9:20 NIV).
“They are the spirits of demons performing miraculous signs....” (Rev 16:14 NIV).
“Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future....” (Acts 16:16 NIV).
From the above examples we see that demons have many different qualities. In addition, we know from the testimonies of converted Satanists that some demons have power to appear physically in various forms. Sometimes they appear as human, sometimes as an animal, and sometimes as angelic beings.
And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Cor 11:14 NIV)