Demons Any Longer?
Are there demons any longer?
It doesn’t appear so. It seems like we’ve gone from the Salem Witch Trials to there ain’t a devil to be found anywhere. Even believers don’t give a lot of thought to the realm of the demonic, much less the world.
We’ve almost become immune to the notion there’s an evil unseen world swirling around us. I’m not saying we should go looking for demons behind every tree or under every rock. However, it might be advantageous to stick our spiritual antennae up a little bit higher and see what we can detect.
Just because we live in America doesn’t mean we’re surrounded by some invisible force field that protects us from getting invaded by demons. I would say, though, that if there ever was such a thing, its strength has been greatly diminished. I don’t know how else to explain the escalation of our country’s decline into the ungodly.
I’ve made it to the book of Matthew in my reading. I’m telling you, it seems like you bump into demons everywhere you turn. It’s amazing how much attention is focused upon demon possession and demonic influence. It’s all around, everywhere.
Right out of the water with the descending of the Holy Spirit upon Him, Yeshua is drawn away into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. Then, not much longer after that, a lot of people are brought to Him that have all kinds of diseases, torments, and are possessed with devils. And it just continues on until the end of His life.
I think our problem is perspective. We’ve been trained to think about the demonic as something that is blatantly evil. And, it is. But Satan wouldn’t be a good tactician if he was that transparent all the time. Perhaps he does his best work undercover. Perhaps instead of always working in the realm of Darkness he switches tactics and works in the Light. Maybe that’s why he’s called an Angel of Light.
Let me give you two perspectives to focus upon when considering the realms of the demonic.
First: What we’re expected to be on the lookout for.
Matthew 8:28-34 -- "And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts."
The demons had no trouble recognizing Yeshua as Divine. They knew He was God in the flesh. Otherwise, why would they ask Him if He had come to torment them before the time. (Matthew 8:29) They had a unique perspective into the realm of the supernatural.
We're not as perceptive to the spirit world as demons. We live in the realm of the seen whereas demons maneuver in the realm of the unseen all the time. That’s probably why the Apostle Paul felt the need to remind us we don’t do warfare with flesh alone but with the demonic as well.
Second: What we’re not expected to be on the lookout for.
Matthew 7:21-23 -- "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
Unlike the demon possessed we just read about, these folks are clueless. They stand before Yeshua claiming their innocence because of their “service” rendered on His behalf. And yet, they are dismissed into eternity lost. However, at least one of the two demon possessed men got saved. (See Mark 5 & Luke 8)
Those in Matthew 7 outwardly appear as agents of the Light, stand face-to-face with Yeshua and yet don’t get it. Those in Matthew 8 outwardly appear as agents of the Dark, stand face-to-face with Yeshua and yet do get it.
Ultimately, in the confines of their stories, who had the greater negative impact on the eternal destinies of those they came in contact with? I’d say those in Matthew 7. How many people will be spending eternity in Hell because of those demon possessed preachers? Sadly, their followers believed those preachers were doing God’s work but were never aware they were agents of Satan.
As God’s people, we need to realize everything around us isn’t all sunshine and lollipops. America and, dare I say, the Church in America is as clueless as those in Matthew 7.
Sound radical, unkind, unloving? Maybe. And yet, maybe not. I’m guessing that those preachers in Matthew 7 didn’t realize they were tools of Satan. And, I’m guessing that, if any dared to stand up and say so, they were considered to be the crazy ones. After all, John the Immerser was accused of having a devil. (Matthew 11:18)
There was something about Yeshua’s presence while on this earth that stirred up the demonic forces that had gone unnoticed until His arrival. The demons knew Yeshua knew them. They knew He would expose them. And so they waged an all out frontal attack. Things got pretty ugly. And yet, many did come to Him for forgiveness of sin and were cleansed.
So here’s a question. Since Yeshua’s presence created such a disturbance in the satanic world of His time, shouldn’t His presence in us be doing at least some of the same? I wonder if ... we’re afraid?
I wonder if we’re afraid to be outspoken like -- Yeshua, John the Immerser, Stephen, Peter, Paul, Wycliffe, William Tyndale. What’s the one thing they all had in common? They were put to DEATH for their outspoken faith.
Could that be why we purposely keep our Light dimmed at times. We’re afraid of the cost: family, friends, co-workers, jobs, and yes, maybe our lives if things keep going in the world as they are. But isn’t that what we signed up for? Aren't we take up our cross daily? (Luke 9:23) It’s a great memory verse but the reality isn’t so appealing, is it?
So, here’s what I think.
I think the one thing demons are afraid of is believers who aren’t afraid to die for their faith. It’s when God’s people are willing to die for their faith that God’s greatest works get done. And you know what? Satan knows that too.
What do you say we let our light so shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
Sounds good to me. How about you?