Demons are fallen angels under the command of Satan, those
who are still free after the Gen. 6 affair. Satan is called the
Prince, or Ruler, of all demons in Matthew 9:34; 12:24; Mark 3:22;
Luke 11:15. Demons are also called the ministers, or ambassadors
of Satan, Luke 4:35; 9:1,42; John 10:21. Satan is brilliant, an
administrative genius. He has an excellent organization, mentioned
in Eph. 6:10-12 (READ) The Bible also makes a distinction between
demon possession and demon influence.
Demon possession occurs when an actual fallen angel, a
demon, enters and occupies the body of an unbeliever. Demons cannot
enter the bodies of Christian believers because the Christian's
body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Inviting demons can be
accomplished in a number of ways.
* Through idolatry (Satan's communion table), 1 COR. 10:19-21*.
* Through drug addiction, called in Greek, farmakeia, "the
use of drugs, potions, or spells; poisoning, witchcraft, sorcery"
GAL. 5:20 ("witch-craft, sorcery"), cf. also REV.9:21;
* Through religious backsliding, religious sensitivity activities
such as dabbling in the occult, consulting mediums, necromancy.
cf. ISA. 8:19.
Demon Influence is the residence of evil in the soul; can
be unbeliever (ROM. 1:23) or believer. This is the method that
Satan uses to trap and neutralize the believer, by introducing,
if allowed, the Doctrine of Evil inside the soul of the born-again
believer. Demon influence in the believer comes about in the later
stages of negativity, or backsliding.
The first stage of backsliding is some kind of reaction to life
-- whether discouragement, disillusion, disenchantment, boredom,
self-pity, loneliness, frustration, instability, pride complex
and various sins of arrogance, revenge tactics, reaction to contemporary
events or social pressures, etc. Whatever causes it, the reaction
stage makes one very vulnerable to the attacks of Satan. This
is not the entrance into demon influence, at this point, but merely
vulnerability to it.
The second stage of backsliding is the frantic search for happiness
following the trends of the Sin Nature (towards asceticism or
lasciviousness). This also increases vulnerability, especially
as one moves away from the protection of doctrine and Grace provision.
The third stage intensifies the reaction stage, but still has
only the potentiality, not the actuality, of demon influence.
It is at the fourth stage of backsliding, in which the soul is
in revolt emotionally, where the possibility of demon influence
comes in. Doctrinal content is located in the mentality of the
soul (including standards, conscience, frame of reference, memory
center, vocabulary, doctrinal storage under edification, and the
area of applied doctrine resulting in production of divine good).
It is the lack of doctrinal content which is the primary factor
in vulnerability to demon influence.
The soul also has its area of response to outside influences,
centered in the emotions of the soul. Emotion has no doctrinal
content, no character of its own, no spiritual content, no ability
to think or rationalize, or even to use common sense. It is designed
to respond; it is not designed to lead or initiate anything. The
tongues movement is an illustration of the soul's emotions being
led about by falsehood. Sometimes believers in the tongues movement
are under demon influence. Sometimes unbelievers are actually
The thing that opens the door for demon influence in the life
of the believer is negative volition toward the Word of God. The
believer says "Negative" to doctrine and opens up a
vacuum in his soul. Whatever evil is in the neighborhood will
be picked up -- false teaching, TV, newspaper...
Regardless of what causes the negative attitude, the effect is
the same. It may be antagonism or a negative attitude or personality
conflict with the pastor, or with other members of the congregation.
It may be apathy or indifference to teaching. It may be failure
to use Grace provision, Faith Rest, or inability to handle prosperity,
slavery to the details of life. Whatever it is, negative volition
opens up the emptiness of the soul.
As a result of evil in the soul, there is demon influence, the
"darkness in the soul" of Eph. 4. There is the infiltration
of the doctrines of Satan into the soul of the reversionistic
person (believer or unbeliever). Here, the believer is "worshipping
and serving the creature rather than the Creator".
There are two systems for demon possession of the unbeliever.
The first is the unlawful isolation of dormant facilities. The
body is brought under the control of the soul, and the soul has
been given to Satan. It is like a conversion in reverse. Seances,
or the ceremony called the Satanic mass, are means by which this
is accomplished. This person becomes a disembodied spirit or an
"adept". All of the activities of supernaturalism may
be attributed to this; mental telepathy, spiritism, out of body
The second system is passive submission to demons. This can be
accomplished through idolatry, through drugs, or other means.
In the ancient world, the various oracles used this means in attempting
to predict the outcome of events. (The "mephitic vapors"
of the oracle of Delphi, which was some form of narcotic gas.)
Another example is the Hindu "soma" mysteries, and the
various sutras of Indian religions. There are also various systems
of mesmerism or hypnotism, whether induced by one's self or another
person, such as Whirling Dervishes, or unbelievers involved in
the tongues movement.
Demonism is directly related to idolatry and thus to human sacrifice
Ps. 136:37,39. Sacrifices to demons were prohibited by law in
Lev. 17:7, "And they shall no longer sacrifice to the goat
demon (or satyr) with which they shall play the harlot. This will
be a permanent law in every generation." Or in Deut. 32:17,
"They sacrifice to demons, not gods, new things which came
lately which your ancestors did not fear." Heathen nations
worship demons, acc. to Ps. 96:5, "For all the gods of the
peoples are idols (daimonia in LXX)." It was thoroughly
understood that idolatry meant demons. Capital punishment by stoning
was the penalty for witchcraft, demonism, etc.
The judgment against Egypt concerning the death of the first-born
was also a judgment against the demons in Egypt. Ex. 12:12, "For
I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite
all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and
against all the demons of Egypt I will execute judgment; I am
Jehovah." Num. 33:4, "While the Egyptians were burying
all their firstborn whom the Lord had struck down among them,
the Lord had also executed judgment against their demons."
Demons are powerless to change the course of history. Isa. 19:3,
"Then the spirits of the Egyptians will become demoralized
within them; also, I will frustrate their strategy, so that they
will resort to idle demons and to the ghosts of the dead and to
mediums and to spiritists." Demonism is always subject to
the justice of God and is always judged in its various forms.
The reason why the Canaanites were removed from the land is that
they practiced demonism. Deut. 18:9-12 (READ). In the reign of
King Manasseh, evil is associated with demonism, 2 Kings 21:2-16.
Demonism brings the discipline of total destruction to a nation,
Isa. 47; Jer. 27:6-10; Isa. 29:4.
Satan and demons are often used by God in the administration of
the sin unto death to reversionistic believers. Ex. Hymenaeus
and Alexander, I Tim. 1:19,20. The believer committing incest
in 1 Cor. 5:5 was turned over to Satan, but it was so painful
that he repented.
Satan's power of death is mentioned in four categories. He has
the power of death, Heb. 2:14,15; 1 John 3:8. He killed Job's
children, Job 1:12,18,19. He motivated Cain to murder Abel, John
8:44; 1 John 3:12.
Satan is a source of disease. Satan produced the illness in Job,
Job 2:6,8. Satan uses demons to produce disease in human beings.
There is therefore the principle of demon-induced illness, Matt.
12:22; Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38. Certain mental diseases, and illness
which are related to abnormal behavior, may be demon induced.
Dumbness and deafness, Mark 9:17; Luke 11:14; Matt. 11:22. Certain
forms of epilepsy, Mark 1:26; 9:20; Luke 4:35. Satan is the source
of at least ten different types of abnormal behavior which are
mentioned in the Bible.
Convulsions, Mark 1:26.
Violence, Matt. 8:28.
Abnormal strength, Mark 5:4.
Raving, Mark 5:5
Self-mutilation, Mark 5:5
Foaming at the mouth, Mark 9:20
Public nakedness, Luke 8:27
Living among corpses, Mark 5:3
A type of grinding of the teeth, Mark 9:18
Falling into fires and throwing oneself into dangerous things,
Satan also heals. He heals by the withdrawal of demons and establishes
the credentials for some of his evangelists. In Acts 19:11,12
legitimate healing by God was used to establish apostolic authority.
On the other hand, healing was used by Satan in a similar way,
II Thess. 2:9; Rev. 16:14; Matt. 24:24.
Satan wanted to punish Peter by using demons. Luke 22:31,32 (READ).
Peter had denied Christ, and Satan had the audacity to suggest
how the justice of God should function toward Peter. Of course
the Lord refused this.
I Tim. 3:6,7 (READ)-- Satan is used as a warning for discipline.
The power of Satan is summarized in Psalm 109:6-13 (READ). He
can blind true religion, shorten life (where God permits), remove
people from authority, can kill, can persecute children, remove
wealth, turn everyone against you, he can cut off posterity to
the second generation. So certain powers are permitted Satan as
the "ruler of this world", but they are always under
the sovereignty of God.