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contents eDITORIAL Pastor Saju Joseph
Angels In the light of the Bible Pastor Emmanuel P.G.
Origin of Demons From A Biblical Perspective
5 6 9
Eva. Jison Saju Joseph
A magazine that will enrich and renew your spiritual life and give Christian perspective on current events. e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com visit us : www.revivemegod.org
JESUSâ€™ MINISTRY OF CASTING OUT DEMONS Rev. Shiju M. George
CHAIRMAN PASTOR Dr. T. VALSON ABRAHAM
THE POWER OF THE CHURCH OVER DEMONS
MEMBERS BRO. JACOB THOMAS BRO. SUNNY KODUMTHARA
Mental Health VS Demonic Possession
ADMINISTRATIVE EDITOR PASTOR SAJU JOSEPH
Dr. James George
ASSOCIATE EDITOR MRS. STARLA LUKOSE
Rev. Thomas Cherian
The Work of Demons in the Old Testament
Vol. 11 Issue No. 8 August 2018
Dr. C.T. Luiskutty
EDITOR PASTOR DR. JOHN K. MATHEW
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Exclusive Commitment Dear revive, The articles by all the writers in the last issue of revive were very touching and scholarly. Love and commitment to Christ is very marginal even among evangelical and Biblical Christians. Most believers try to be satisfied with the minimum spirituality needed for eternity. A direct encounter with Jesus is lacking in most of the church members today. The main reason is that they are only the grandsons or granddaughters and great grandsons or great granddaughters of God. In fact, the Bible doesn’t speak about such people. God has only sons and daughters. Only the sons can have sincere love and commitment to God, their father. God wants only undivided love from his children. Pastor P.T.Thomas rightly states in his article that God does not allow our loyalty and commitment to be shared with anything or anyone else. Jesus has called for this exclusive commitment in absolute terms. All other relationships and attachments are to be hated when placed alongside one’s commitment in the Lord. I pray that God may strengthen us by his Spirit to love him exclusively. Jose Mathew, Pune
Commitment in Witnessing Dear Editor, Dr. Laji Paul has well stated that our commitment for witnessing Christ is very important. But witnessing is not just through our preaching or public communication only. It has to be by our practical life before the world where we live. Our proclamation should be reflected in our lifestyle. Words will lack convictionif not backed by a corresponding lifestyle. As a community we need to shift from a Church-centered to a Kingdomcentered paradigm. This will help us to be the radical counter-cultural force in the world that the Lord has placed us in. It is the Church which is God's instrument for global transformation. ln the midst of the darkness and hopelessness around us, the Church can become a radical countercultural force of Kingdom influencersbecause of its commitment to witnessing. Thus we can bring righteousness, peace and joy of the Kingdom into the world. Let us follow this life style for His glory. Beno Jaison Thomas, Mumbai
Stewardship and Commitment Dear Editor, I really appreciate revive magazine for bringing out such a much needed issue last month.It is true that our approach to money and our attitude to finance are very much associated with our type of spirituality. It is not sin to have money. God wants his people to be good stewards of the financial resources He entrusts them with. Major V.I Luke writes well that stewardship is what we do to manage something that has been placed under our responsibility, care and trust. Stewardship includes wise management of our treasure, time, and talents so that we can use these things in the service of the Lord for the benefit of others. Exercising faithful stewardship demonstrates our love for God and our neighbor. Even in our jobs - be it secular or in Christian
ministry, managing time, money and human resources without wastage or pilferage is displaying commitment in financial stewardship. Let’s make sure that we have commitment to our Lord in this very important area. Mary Rose, Dubai
Call and commitment Dear revive, The July issue on commitment was a special blessing to me. The writings have been very inspiring. Dr. Jose L. has written that just like Paul was called to be an apostle to the Gentiles, we are also called by God to preach the gospel to everyone. God’s call is personal just like Jesus called the disciples to follow him. Behind the call there is a purpose to be fulfilled. The call is purely by God’s grace and there is no credit on our part. We must be fully committed to the task for which he called. The commitment to proclaim the gospel is through our life and ministry. The false apostles and the challenges from fellow Christians should not deter us from the obligation God laid on us. Just like Paul was committed to the unity in the body of Christ, we also must strive for the unity of the church in the context of division based on caste, color, region, and creed etc. The imagery of the body is the best example to teach our churches for unity in diversity. Let’s strive for the unity of His church in our generation. Nirmal Jose, Kochi
Christian Union Dear Editor, This is just a word of appreciation of Dr. T. Valson Abraham’s Just one Minute in June 2018 issue. It was an extremely beautiful and thought-provoking article. Yes, Christian union is not yet to come. It is already with us, and we, me and my late husband, achen (Rev. Kurudamannil) were enjoying this love and union with Dr. T. Valson Abraham and family, when we were together in Fullers in California back in 1970s. Dr. Mary Chacko, Kurudamannil
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Pastor Saju Joseph
teaches that demons are real. It speaks about their origin, nature and works. Demons were originally like the other angels of God with the same attributes and positions as the good angels. When Satan rebelled against God, a portion of the angels participated in his rebellion. God cast them
Demons are Real
out of Heaven, along with Satan. They were no longer good spiritual beings (angels). They became evil spiritual beings. If demons are not "fallen" angels, then we have no other Biblical explanation for their existence. Satan cannot create his own forces, because all things were created by God. There are two groups of these fallen angels. One group is actively opposing God and His people on earth. The demons know their final destiny is a place of eternal torment. Since hell is a place of torment and was prepared for Satan and his angels, then demons must be the fallen angels. Throughout the Bible, demons are shown as active on earth. Since Satan is not omnipresent (present everywhere), he uses demons to do his will and accomplish his purposes throughout the world. They constitute the "powers of the air" (Ephesians 2:2) and the "powers of darkness" (Colossians 1:13) and are all under the control of Satan. These demons attack unbelievers driving them to commit terrible evil acts, to murder, injure, commit suicide, etc. They affect the mind with emotional problems and the body with physical infirmities. Demons attack believers through temptation, deception, depression, and oppression. They try to keep them in bondage to negative habits and fear. They accuse and slander and create division among the people of God. They target the spiritual walk with God and fight against the Word of God, the worship of God, and work for God. They also attack the physical body. Unbelievers are defenseless against the attacks of demonic powers, but believers have powerful spiritual weapons and strategies for dealing with this mighty spiritual force of evil. God wants his people to wear the spiritual armor. They must constantly be at war with these demonic forces using the spiritual weapons. Letâ€™s strive to have this skill of spiritual warfare by Godâ€™s grace because the demons are real.
cannot create his own forces, because all things were created by God. There are two groups of these fallen angels. One group is actively opposing God and His people on earth.
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Pastor Emmanuel P.G. Faculty, India Bible College and Seminary, Kumbanad
Angels In the light of the Bible Angels
are spirit beings created by God and they reveal God’s glory and protection for and presence with the believers. Most books of the Bible refer to angels and portray them as ministering sprits in the presence of God, and as God’s mighty army. There is no systematic teaching in any of its books about the creation, nature, form, qualities, age, and ministry etc of the angels; but right from the book of Genesis we see the writers take for granted the belief in angels. Genesis states Cherubs were appointed to guard the garden lest anybody eat the fruit of the tree of life after sin. This work tries to discuss the biblical teachings about angels and their ministry especially in relation with the children of God.
Angels are asexual spirit beings created by God Angels are created as immortal and mighty spirit beings that are known as God’s army, and they are innumerable - myriads of angels (Heb. 12:22; Ps. 68:17; Dan. 7:10; Rev. 5:11).They are created on God’s command and for God’s glory; and they praise
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God – Ps. 148:2-5; Neh. 9:6. Colossians 1:16 says all visible and invisible were created by God. Genesis 1:1 and John 1:3 tells God created them. The reference in Job 38:6 says the angels rejoiced and celebrated at the creation of the earth. So, we may conclude that they were created before the creation of the earth. From the references in Ezekiel 28; Psalm 8:4; Hebrews 1:4; and Daniel 10 we may believe that they are creatures who are superior to mortal humans. A statement of Jesus regarding resurrection says: they will be like angels who does not marry or reproduce (Matt.22:30). So, there are no little angels, neither are they the spirits of dead humans. Angels are powerful and uncountable. John in his Revelation (chapter five) speaks about the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures …and the number of them was myriads of myriads. Apostle Peter who had personal experience with angels refers to them as mighty and powerful angels (2 Peter 2:11). Daniel and John were like dead people when they had the vision of angels. Overnight an angel has killed 185,000 people as marked in 2 Kings 19:35 cf. Is 37:36. In the book of Revelation we see might angels who brings God’s fearful judgments upon the earth.
Different Kinds of Angels Cherubim – Genesis 3:24 names the angels guarding the way to the tree of life as Cherubs. On the Arc of the Covenant a two-winged cherubim stands on either side of the mercy seat. Yahweh is depicted as the almighty God who is enthroned among the cherubim- Isa 37:16, Ps.18:10; Ezekiel ch.10. Ezekiel 1:4,5 terms them as creatures, looking at their unusual abilities and appearance – Revelations 4:6-8. Seraphim - Seraphim is the term used by Isaiah for the angels who are in the presence of God and unceasingly worshipping God (Isa 6:2 ff). Names of angels – In the Bible, only two angels’ are mentioned by names – Michael and Gabriel. Of this Michael is portrayed as the Archangel (Jude 9, Daniel 10:13; Revelations 12:7). Gabriel is depicted as another chief angel. He is the one who brings messages to Daniel, Zechariah, and Mary.
Angels and their Ministry to the believers Angels are messengers Angels are the ones who bring evangelion or messages. The Hebrew root word for angel is malak – means messenger. So, they are primarily carriers of messages from God. Even though they are spirit beings, when they bring messages to the believers or appear to help them they appear in human form. We see many instances in the Bible. Abraham, Hagar, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Manoah, Daniel, Zechariah, Mary etc. were brought messages by angels. The prophets were sent messages by angels – Daniel, Ezekiel, John. Revelations 1:1 says God sent his angel and revealed it to John. Revelations 22:8, 9 tells they are only fellow servants and they do not deserve worship.
to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?" The captain of the Lord's host said to Joshua, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so (Joshua 5:13-15). In all their afflictions He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old, (Isa. 63:9).
are the ones who bring evangelion or messages. The Hebrew root word for angel is malak – means messenger. So, they are primarily carriers of messages from God. Even though they are spirit beings, when they bring messages to the believers or appear to help them they appear in human form.
Angels Declare the Presence of God In Genesis 16:13 Hagar calls the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees”. When God appeared to Abraham in the garden of Mamre, it was as angels, and with angels he appeared (Genesis 18). When the people of Israel was crossing the red sea the angel who was going in front of them turned back and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud too, turned and went behind them (Ex.14:19). Here the angel is associated with God’s presence. In Exodus 23 it says God’s name is in the angel. "Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him (NASB). The same is assured when God says to Moses My presence shall go with you (Exodus 33:40). By Jericho Joshua sees the captain of the host of the Lord. "And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said
Guardian Angels The Bible teaches about angels who will guard the believers in all their ways. Psalm 91:11 says For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways.They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone. Psalm 34:7- The angel of the Lord will encamp around His beloved and protect them; cf. August 2018
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35:5. Elisha says to Gehazi, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." And the LORD opened the servant's eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:16, 17).
people testify of miraculous angelic protections and deliverances they have enjoyed in crises situations and dangers. The appearance and disappearance after help are said to be unexplainable. The Hebrew boys had an angel walking with them in the furnace (Daniel 3). In Matthew 18:10, Jesus warns anyone who causes stumbling to the children, for their angels are always before the face of God; and Luke 15:10 says the angels in heaven rejoice over a repenting sinner. It is the guardian angel who released Peter out of the prison. Several people testify of miraculous angelic protections and deliverances they have enjoyed in crises situations and dangers. The appearance and disappearance after help are said to be unexplainable. Personally I too had such a miraculous escape from a road accident one night in
1994, in Bangalore. Throughout history such testimonies were heard. Many of such are uploaded in the internet. Angels are given charge over us.
Angels in the Coming the Lord Jesus Christ It is the angels who bring the message of the end times to the prophets. Daniel 10:14 -Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.” cf 8:19. Revelation 1:1, 2 -The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel . cf. 22:8,9. Angels have significant roles in the second coming of our lord Jesus Christ and the judgments following. For the Lord Himself will descent from heaven with a shout , with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God…(1 Thes. 4:16). In the parable of the sower Jesus says: the seed is the word of God and the harvesters are the angels (Mtt. 13:39). And He will send forth his angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds… (Mtt.24:31). In the book of Revelation we see the angels worshipping, and from chapters 6-11- six to eleven angels who makes announcements and the seven angels who sounds the seven trumpets. In the 12th chapter Michael and his angels fights with the Devil and his angels. Chapters 13-20 we see mighty angels who executes the judgments of great destruction upon the earth, until the glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the New heaven and the new earth angels are no more agents bringing destruction, but agent of good news. And, the Son of Man comes in his glory with all His angels (Matt. 25:31). All these verses declare the role of the angels in the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, the guardian angels protect, and deliver God’s children; their army fights for God’s people against all principalities and powers; and the angel of God’s presence leads, counsels, and bring messages from God. Even though mortal men are created we will judge them (1 Cor. 6:3). We are sons and daughters and the spirit of God dwells in us, but angels are only ministering sprits Worship, therefore, is not due to the angels, since they are our fellow servants -Rev. 22:8, 9. We are the Bride of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
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Rev. Thomas Cherian Pastor, India Christian Assembly Los Angeles, USA
Origin of Demons From A Biblical Perspective Introduction
provides abundant evidence of the existence of demons. Satan’s evil angels are known in Scripture as demons. Certain Scriptures tell us that Satan fell from heaven and other angelic beings (demons) shared in Satan’s fall and became evil (Ezekiel 28: 14,1518; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:4). However the origin of demons is a debated topic among the Christians today. There are some who even debate whether the word “demon” is an incorrect translation. Some have difficulty in producing an accurate definition for the word “demon”. This article will mainly look into these issues and try to provide some kind of an explanation to them from a Biblical perspective.
I. Etymology The word “demon” is believed to have been derived from the Latin daemon (“genius, guardian spirit”), which is most likely taken from the Ancient Greek word daimon (“dispenser, god, protective spirit”). So the Greek terms do not have any connotations of evil or malevolence. Another related term, eudaimonia (literally good-spiritedness), means happiness. To distinguish the classical Greek concept from its later Christian August 2018
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interpretation, the former is anglicized as daemon or daimon rather than demon.
II. DEFINITION A demon is considered to be a supernatural, often wicked being prevalent in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology and folklore. However, the original Greek word daimon used for demon does not carry such negative connotations. It denotes a spirit or divine power, much like the Latin genius or numen. The Greek conception of a daimon
is considered to be a supernatural, often wicked being prevalent in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology and folklore. However, the original Greek word daimon used for demon does not carry such negative connotations. notably appears in the works of Plato, where it describes the divine inspiration of Socrates. On the other hand, in the Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered a harmful spiritual entity, below the heavenly planes which may cause demonic possession, calling for
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an exorcism. In Western occultism and Renaissance magic, which grew out of an amalgamation of Greco-Roman magic, Jewish Aggadah (non-legalistic exegetical texts in the classical rabbinic literature of Judaism) and Christian demonology, a demon is believed to be a spiritual entity that may be conjured and controlled.
III. The Relationship between the Devil and demons Two Greek words are translated similarly in the New Testament but their meanings are slightly different. The word diabolos is translated “devil” and refers to the devil or Satan himself. Another word, diamon, is usually translated “devils” in the King James Version (KJV) but might be better-translated “demons.” The Bible makes a very real distinction between a single devil and many demons. Whenever we read of “devils” in the Bible, we are reading about demons. The word for demons in the Greek language is daimon and is found more than 75 times in the Greek New Testament. In each case it is translated into the word “devil” in the KJV. In Jesus Christ’s teachings and ministry He often confronted demons and their activities, i.e., demonic possession of individuals (Matthew 12:22-29, 15:22-28; Mark 5:1-16). Christ demonstrated His power over demons and, furthermore, He gave His disciples, power to cast out demons (Matthew 10:1). In the KJV the word “devil’ is used 61 times in 57 verses, while “devils” is used 55 times in 48 verses. Of the 29 references in the Gospels, Jesus spoke of the Devil 25 times. He is “the prince of demons” (Matthew 12:24), the undisputed ruler of a host of evil spirits that inhabit the cosmos as surely as humanity inhabits planet Earth.
IV. Theories Surrounding the Origin of Demons Where did demons come from? This question has been debated among the biblical scholars for a long time now. Several theories have been advanced by Bible students, most of which, incidentally, may be dismissed immediately. However, at least five suggestions have been highlighted below to help explain the possible origin of demons and also to understand the wrongly understood interpretations as well.
1) Spirits of the Pre-Adam race: Some Christian scholars have suggested that demons were the disembodied spirits of a strange pre-Adamic race of men that once lived upon the earth in that fictional “gap period” that is supposed to have fallen between Genesis 1:1-2. This is generally known as the “gap theory,” which presupposes that the world is several million years old. According to this theory, God created a perfect world and society, based on the first verse of the Bible but, because of the fall of Satan, the earth came to a state of null and void (Genesis 1:2). This theory allowed for a society which existed for millions of years, thus harmonizing the scientific contemporary views of the age of the world with the Bible’s account of creation. This theory further states that the spirits of those who lived before Adam, still inhabiting the earth are the demons. But before we can conclude that demons are the disembodied spirits of a pre-Adamic race, we must first prove the existence of such a race. There is a problem with this theory as there is not a shred of Biblical evidence about any race before Adam. How could there have been a pre-Adamic race of men if Adam was the first man (1 Corinthians 15:45)? Some people do not believe in the gap theory because of the lack of concrete biblical evidence and consider it to be a theory to force the Bible into harmony with evolutionary chronology. 2) Cohabitation of Angels: Others have contended that demons resulted from the cohabitation of angels with some of the women who lived before the Flood. This theory is based upon an inadequate understanding of Genesis 6:1-4, and the phrase that states: “the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children unto them.” These
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children were later known as Nephilim. They quote from the Book of Enoch (which is currently only canonical in the Eritrean and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches but was referred to by the early Church fathers), where the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim are believed to have become demons. Others believe it could refer to the results of genetic tampering in a pre-Flood society. But there is no scriptural evidence to prove that the union of the humans and angels resulted in demons. This cannot be correct since Jesus Christ clearly taught that angels are sexless beings, incapable of such unions (cf. Mt. 22:30). In the Genesis context the “sons of God” were the righteous lineage from Seth, while the “daughters of men” represented the wicked descendants of Cain. In addition, the Bible states that God created various life forms to reproduce only after their kind (Genesis 1:24). Since God has placed a limitation on reproduction-dogs cannot mate with horses, pigs with cows, humans with apes - it seems unreasonable that angels could mate with humans. This is especially true when we discover that angels have an entirely different nature than humans according to the Bible.
3) Spirits of the Dead One contemporary idea relating to the origins of demons claims that they are the spirits of the evil dead. This is the underlying assumption of much of the popular occult literature. Some Indian religions believe that the spirits of their forefathers tend to visit their family members long after they are dead. It is not a new idea at all, for it was the explanation of some Greek philosophers years before Christ. The early age of this theory does not however make it any more believable. It stands in direct conflict with biblical teaching. The Bible teaches that the souls of the evil dead go to Hades (Luke 16:22-23). They will remain there until the end of the millennial reign of Christ on this earth. Only then are they brought before God to be judged (Revelation 20:11-12). Then they are cast into eternal punishment. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). Therefore this theory cannot be acceptable, for the Bible declares the unsaved dead are in Hades and not roaming the earth (Psalm 9:17; Luke 16:23; Revelation 20:13). 4) Escaped angels: Another group has contended that demons were fallen angels who were allowed to escape their confinement to similarly accomplish some component in the divine plan (cf. Jude 6). Charles Hodge, a leading theologian, in his work on systematic theology contended for this viewpoint, which is most unlikely. Jude 6 very clearly states that these angels did not keep their position of authority, left their own dwelling place (mostly heaven) and are bound and kept in darkness for the judgment on the Great Day. In other words, they are not free to roam around like the demons. So this theory is not relevant based on the context of the text. 5) Fallen Angels: The final theory advocates that these demons who are the creation of God Himself were part of the fallen angels. All things were created by God (John 1:3). Yet as God cannot be directly involved in the creation of evil, reason agrees with Scripture that while all angels were created holy, some fell from their original state (cf. Jude 6; Isaiah 14:12ff; Ezekiel 28:12ff). The first to rebel was Satan, who was promptly thrown out of heaven along with multitudes of angels who followed his lead. Most conservative scholars believe that demons are fallen or evil Angels. When Jesus described hell, he called it “eternal fire prepared for the devil and his Angels” (Matthew 25:41). Even the demons were anticipating this one day (Matthew 8:28-29). Apostle John described the
fall of Satan in a highly symbolic fashion, noting that the devil took a third of the Angels in heaven with him (Revelation 12:4). This suffices the fact that the socalled demons are Satan’s angels mentioned by Jesus. According to H. L. Willmington, in his book “The Doctrine of Angels,” the most logical conclusion is that the word “demon” is simply another title or name for fallen angels. The LORD had strictly warned Israel to keep away from the ways of the Canaanites as they followed
Indian religions believe that the spirits of their forefathers tend to visit their family members long after they are dead. It is not a new idea at all, for it was the explanation of some Greek philosophers years before Christ. the occult demonic religions of Canaan. These were abominable to the LORD (Deuteronomy 18:9-14).
V. REFERENCES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT In the Old Testament we are told of those who “sacrificed to demons that were no gods” (Deuteronomy 32:17) and others who “sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons” Continued on page 24 August 2018
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Eva. Jison Saju Joseph Old Testament Lecturer, New Theological College, Dehradun
The Work of Demons in the Old Testament Hebrew
Bible, ancient Judaism, and the ancient West Asia-evil angels, various disease demons, impure spirits, and many moreare known as “demonic beings.” Demons are not necessarily in themselves personifications of evil, but only of the forces supposed to cause them. 12 August 2018
The term “demon” is often used to refer to any and all malevolent superhuman (or supernatural) beings. Thus, all sorts of beings from the Hebrew Bible,
ancient Judaism, and the ancient West Asia-evil angels, various disease demons, impure spirits, and many more-are known as “demonic beings.” Demons are not necessarily in themselves personifications of evil, but only of the forces supposed to cause them. Most of the Old Testament passages which refer to demons belong to the later periods of Israelite history, but this does not argue against a belief in the existence of demons in earlier times. Although the English word demon is etymologically related to the Greek term daimonion, they do not mean the same thing. The Greek term designated a deity, specifically good or evil lesser deities. Demon, in contrast, commonly designates an evil supernatural, autonomous power openly antagonistic against God and His people.
Demonology in the Hebrew Bible and the Context of Ancient West Asia The Hebrew term shedim (Deut. 32:17; Ps. 106:37) is usually translated “demons.” The Septuagint translates it as daimoniois. The modern translation is based on the Akkadian cognate shedu, which designates either evil and good spirits or demons. Biblical passages describe the heathen gods as inferior or subordinate and evil supernatural powers because they required human sacrifices. Another Hebrew term for
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teaches that Israel believed there was a demonic being directly responsible for whatever disrupted a proper relationship with God. It is true that God assumed responsibility for the sin/impurity of the repentant sinner, but He was not its originator.
demons is seirim, from a root meaning “to be hairy.” The noun means "hairy one" but could also designate a “(hairy) goat” and a “demon.” Some have interpreted it to mean a goat-like demon, even if the attempt to define the appearance of the demon from etymology is not sound. In ancient West Asia, deities and demons were represented under the symbol of animals in order to illustrate the attributes of those spiritual beings. Goats usually inhabited the wilderness, and demons in the Bible and in the ancient West Asia were associated with the wilderness as a symbol of infertility.4 Ancient West Asian people believed that demons dwelt in the underworld. In Egypt, there are references to “bloodthirsty demons,” a possible reference to the seirim, to whom bloody sacrifices were offered. The realm of the dead was also the realm of the demonic, which probably explains why the Old Testament condemns communication with the dead (Deut. 18:10, 11), an activity considered to be an attempt to contact the impure and demonic. The wisdom books implicitly state that the dead do not know anything about the realm of the living and therefore they have no secret knowledge to impart (Job 14:21; Eccl. 9:4-6,10). Interestingly, the spirits consulted by the necromancer are called 'elohim ("gods, divine beings"; 1 Sam. 28:13; Isa. 8:19), but they can be recognized as demonic powers because of their association with the dead. These spirits possessed the medium and apparently spoke through him or her (Lev. 20:27).
The Serpent and the Demonic Being Azazel The narrative about the serpent and the woman is seen in the very beginning of the Hebrew Bible (Gen. 3). The serpent is described as “more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made” (Gen. 3:1). The text implies that it was one of God’s creatures. As the narrative progresses, it becomes obvious that behind it is an antagonistic power, one at war with God. It contradicts God's statements, ascribes
to God evil intent, and leads the woman into rebellion. It is pretty clear that, under the symbol of the serpent, Genesis 3 depicts a demonic power, because snakes “are commonly associated with selected deities and demons and with magic and incantations in the ancient West Asia”. This evil being does not belong to the animal kingdom; it can talk and reason. Thus, in that respect, it is closer to the level of humans. Yet it is more than human in that it alleges to have knowledge not available to humans, and it's here that the demonic element reveals itself. It is generally recognized that the noun 'azazel, used in Leviticus 16:8, 10, 26, designates a demon. This refers to a personal being, because it's in parallelism with the name of the Lord (16:8). The importance of this figure and the ritual associated with it August 2018
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is significant in Old Testament demonology, and most scholars date the ritual to an early phase of Israelite history. When the ritual of the scapegoat (Lev. 16) is placed within its ancient West Asian context, it becomes clear that this is an elimination rite through which sin/ impurity was returned to its source and originator. The ritual teaches that Israel believed there was a demonic being directly responsible for whatever disrupted a proper relationship
or fallen angels identified with demons, they were not choosing merely a generic word for evil beings. They were equating the fallen angels of contemporary Judaism with those beings the Greeks worshiped as gods or demigods. with God. It is true that God assumed responsibility for the sin/ impurity of the repentant sinner, but He was not its originator. During the Day of Atonement the true culprit was identified: the demonic being, Azazel. Here again the Lord reveals Himself as the One who has power to destroy the works and to overcome the authority of evil powers (cf. 1 John 3:8).
Evil-Demonic Spirits Sent by God If we examine the issue of demons in the Hebrew Bible through an evaluation of an
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Akkadian subordinate supernatural being called rnbisu, the root of which is seen in Gen 4:7 (robes), is routinely thought to denote a demon. Akkadian texts indicate that the rnbisu is a neutral being that is nothing other than a current of wind dispatched by the deities to perform certain duties. This point not only informs the use of râbdsâ in Deut 29:19 but also permits a connection with “spirit of God" and “spirit of YHWH”, both of which are occasionally qualified with “evil”. Evidence demonstrates that, like the evil associated with rnbisu, the evil attributed to a divine spirit actually references its mission and not its moral standing. It was under the control of God and His instrument of judgment. It could be argued that this “spirit” is not personified but is rather a psychological or emotional condition that disrupts social interaction. Therefore, demons as inherently evil subordinate supernatural beings did not exist in the ancient West Asia. They are, rather, divinely articulated verdicts handed down as judgments in response to human transgressions. The Old Testament contains several narratives in which spiritual beings are described as performing a negative function at the service of God. The first one is an “evil spirit” (ruah raa) sent by God to create antagonism “between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem” (Judges 9:23; the Septuagint reads, pneumaponeron; cf. Mark 1:23; 7:25; Acts 5:16). But the phrase “evil spirit/wind” (Akk. sham lemnu) in the ancient West Asia was employed to refer to demonic powers that produced all kinds of diseases. After the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, he was tormented by an “evil spirit from the Lord” (1 Sam. 16:14). Music relieved him (16:23) temporarily. Under the strong influence of this spirit Saul attempted to kill David (18:10-12; 19:9), yet this evil power was under the control of God and not a totally independent power. Micaiah had a vision in which he saw the heavenly council in session discussing the final fate of King Ahab (1 Kings 22:19-23; 2 Chron. 18:20-23). During the discussion “a spirit” offered his service to entice Ahab by being “a lying spirit in the mouth of the prophets” of Baal. The Lord said to him, “You will succeed in enticing him.... Go and do it” (1 Kings 22:22).
Satan- The Fallen Angel and the Archenemy of God Satan was an angel who rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven. Other angels rebelled along with him and became his followers. These fallen angels became demons. “Demon” refers to the same being as “evil (or unclean or polluted) spirit.” Contrary to what may be common assumptions, this belief was not shared by most ancient Jews, including those who wrote and translated the Hebrew Bible, most writers of ancient non-canonical Jewish texts, and Jews in general before the rise of Christianity. The evil or fallen angels identified with demons, they were not choosing merely a generic word for evil beings. They were equating the fallen angels of contemporary Judaism with those beings the Greeks worshiped as gods or demigods. It is usually argued that Satan as the archenemy of God is unknown in the Old Testament. The noun Satan means “adversary, opponent” and is used for human and celestial beings. The first celestial being called Satan was the angel of the Lord (Num. 22:22, 32), hardly a demonic figure. Therefore the noun cannot be used to determine the nature of the celestial being. The first time it is used as a proper name is in 1 Chronicles 21:1, to describe a being who incited David to take a census. Interestingly, in 2 Samuel 24:1 this same function is ascribed to God. This is understandable because, as we have seen, evil powers are used by God to accomplish His own purposes. When those powers become a threat to His people, He protects them and limits their activities.
Satan as the Accuser and the Day Star (Lucifer) In Zechariah 3:1,2 Satan is an accuser of the servants of God. The Angel of the Lord, the Lord and Satan are together. What is at stake is God's right to forgive His people. This evil power cannot tolerate God's forgiving grace and seeks to hinder sinners from enjoying fellowship Continued on page 23
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Rev. Shiju M. George Faculty, India Bible College and Seminary, Kumbanad
JESUSâ€™ MINISTRY OF CASTING OUT DEMONS The New Testament clearly recognizes the influence of demonic activity in the world, and its primary focus is evangelism and Christian growth. A number of
passages show that the New Testament authors were definitely aware of the presence of demonic influence in the world. Jesus had also asserted that "Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy." Moreover, Jesus underlines that "devil was a murderer from the beginning and has nothing to do with the truth...he is a liar and the father of lies". In the Gospels, understanding demons or unclean spirits is closely connected to the background of the Jewish thought. The Jewish idea is that hostile angels and evil spirits were created by God, and are under the control of God. The unclean spirits or demons are thought as entities dependant of Satan. This discussion is about the life and the ministry of Jesus with special emphasis on exorcism and its different aspects.
1. HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF JESUSâ€™ CASTING OUT OF DEMONS During the time of Jesus and gospel writers, all men and women, both civilized and barbaric, were basically superstitious. The fears and beliefs gave rise to the way to contact the supernatural world of demons and bodiless human spirits, to ascertain the future, and to control their destinies. The influence of demons was strong. There were
magical papyri which contain traditional incantations and spells for controlling demons. Astrology, magic, exorcism (casting out demons by a secret formula), augury (predicting the future by an examination of the inner organs of sacrificed animals or by observation of bird migration), and necromancy (consulting the spirits of dead men) all fascinated and gripped the common populace of those times. In such a context Jesus entered into ministry where he could minister among the people who were oppressed and possessed by the demons. August 2018
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2. JESUS' MINISTRY OF EXORCISM The summary statement in the gospels about Jesus’ exorcising activity is seen in Mt 8:16-17.One evening the crowds brought to him many who were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and cured all who were sick. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah, "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases." Some of the records of Jesus expelling demons is in the gospels
physical or mental effects occurring in certain individuals as a consequence of being possessed by a demon or demons were varied in all the above cases. More than one demon could indwell a person. and are namely the demoniac in the synagogue (Mk. 1:23; Lk. 4:33-36); the Gerasene demoniac (Mt. 8:28-34; Mk. 5:1-20; Lk. 8:26-39); the Syrophoenician girl (Mt. 15:21-28; Mk. 7:24-30); the epileptic boy (Mt. 17:14-21; Mk. 9:14-29; Lk. 9:37-43); the mute demoniac (Mt. 9:32-34) and the healing of the crippled woman “whom Satan bound for eighteen long years” ( Luke 13:10-17). The physical or mental effects occurring in certain individuals as a consequence of being possessed by a demon or demons were
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varied in all the above cases. More than one demon could indwell a person. Mary Magdalene had once been inhabited by seven demons (Lk. 8:2). Some demoniacs were afflicted with blindness or the inability to speak (Mt. 9:32; 12:22). Some thus possessed might be prone to violent convulsions. A case recorded by all three synoptic writers tells of a young man who was “epileptic.” He suffered grievously, frequently falling into the fire or into water (Mt. 17:15). He was dashed to the ground and bruised badly (Mk. 9:18; Lk. 9:39); he foamed at the mouth, ground his teeth, and “dashes him down” (Mk. 9:18). This final descriptive may suggest that the boy’s body became rigid so that he was incapable of motion. A demon-possessed man who lived among the tombs on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee had excessive strength. He often had been bound with chains and fetters, but he had broken these restraints into pieces, and no one had the power to tame him (cf. also Acts 19:16). Further, he was characterized by both emotional illness and antisocial behavior (e.g., he wore no clothes [Lk. 8:27]), but when Christ purged the demon from the poor fellow he was observed “clothed, and in his right mind” (Mk. 5:15). It is important to distinguish between cause and effect in these cases. The cause was that of demon possession; the effects were physical and emotional maladies. The Scriptures never confuses the two. In other words, demon possession was not just an ancient, unenlightened attempt to explain physical or mental problems. Rather, a clear distinction is made between being inhabited by an unclean spirit and being sick. Demon possession could produce illness, but not all illness was attributed to the indwelling of evil spirits.
3. VARIOUS ASPECTS OF JESUS’ CASTING OUT OF DEMONS There are various dimensions reflected in Jesus’ expelling of demons. Some of them are discussed below.
A. SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY There is a well preserved gospel tradition that portrays Jesus as one who cast out demons with authority. He possessed divine authority to reveal the true meaning of the Scriptures and the plans of His Father (John 12:49–50). He was aware of the fact that God anointed him to release the captives, recover the sight of the blind and free the oppressed ones. He was a miracle worker, particularly one who cast out demons in first-century Palestine. He is not the only first-century teacher to whom exorcisms are attributed; other rabbis were known for casting out demons. What sets Jesus apart is the manner in which he exorcised evil spirits. Other exorcists relied on particular procedures to help oppressed people and by no means worked on the basis of their own inherent authority. Jesus simply commanded unclean spirits to leave. They were helpless before his word. It is not exorcism itself but the authority of Jesus’ conduct which amazed the Jews (Mk 1:27). All the demon had to hear was the sound of the Lord’s voice and the order to depart, and it fled. In so doing, the demon acknowledged who Jesus was-“the Holy One of God” sent to bring Satan’s kingdom to its knees. Not only did Jesus’ ministry have miraculous authentication of authority, but he also endowed his disciples, who were to travel throughout Israel proclaiming the kingdom (Mk 3:1415), with authority over demons to confirm their preaching of the kingdom. B. POWER ENCOUNTER Exorcism is a power encounter between the Kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God. It is reflected from the gospels that Satan is constantly at war with the kingdom of God. Satan is referred to as the supremely evil being, he is also known as ‘the devil’ or ‘the ruler of this world’ (Jn 14:30) who is hostile to God and Jesus. He is depicted as working to overthrow the purposes of God. Matthew and Luke tell us that at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus had a severe time of testing when Satan tempted his work. The devil is seen as the opponent of the kingdom of God in some of the parables of the kingdom. In the parable of the sower, Satan (Mt 4:15; Mt 13:19 [the evil one])
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snatches the seed that is “sown in the heart.” In the parable of the tares, the enemy who sows weeds among the wheat (Mt 13:25, 28) is identified with the devil in the interpretation (Mt 13:39). The Satan and the demons stand against God’s Kingdom by oppressing and possessing the humankind and at last destroy them. In the healing of those who are demon-possessed it becomes evident that Jesus has invaded the house of the ‘strong man’, has bound him fast and so is in a position to plunder his goods (Mt 12:29).The Kingdom of God breaks into the domain of the evil one. The power of Satan is broken. Through the exorcism Satan’s kingdom is diminishing and God’s kingdom is growing. Jesus sees Satan falls like lightening from heaven. He possesses and bestows power to trample on the dominion of the enemy.
C. EXPANSION OF GOD’S KINGDOM The reign of God manifests itself in the person and deeds of Christ. He came proclaiming that the kingdom of God was near (Mt 4:17). The signs he performed were prophetic evidence of his right to come as the King. This is why in Luke 4:18-19 he quoted Isaiah 61:1-2, which included the phrase, “To proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners.” It appears palpably and visibly in the casting out of demons and generally in Jesus’ miraculous power. He said, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you (Matthew 12:28).” Here it is obvious that Jesus has carried out his ministry of exorcism in the power of the Holy Spirit and as a sign that he was qualified to offer and fulfill the kingdom. The coming of Jesus into the world and his ministry by the approval of God, was a threat to the Kingdom of Satan. The word of God says, “The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” This was being done through his ministry, especially through exorcism. This means Jesus' ministry is a war to overpower the powers of darkness and that extends the rule of God on the surface of the earth. Nothing can be impossible for those who go forth into the world, invested with Jesus’ power, as witnesses of the Kingdom. This conquest over Satan by the power of the Kingdom of God is accomplished in this age, before the coming of the eschatological Kingdom. However, we need not think of this victory as a complete defeat of Satan this age. But the ultimate destruction of the power of Satan will be accomplished when Christ reigns as the king of the world in the coming age. However, Satan still continues to be active in this age to carry out his deceptive endeavors to lead the people astray (2Cor. 4:4). D. LIBERATION Jesus liberated people who were oppressed and possessed by the demons through exorcism. For instance, the Gadarene demoniac sitting at the feet of Jesus was clothed and in his right mind, shows the impact of liberative power of Jesus’ exorcism. Once he was an outcast from society dwelling among the tombs, constantly screaming and gashing himself with stones night and day. The Power of Jesus' command forcefully made the unclean spirits to come out of the man. This gave him complete healing and as a result he was physically and emotionally healed. Another instance is a man who was both deaf and dumb. This was not an ordinary physical problem. He had this difficulty because he was possessed by a demon. Jesus dealt with the root cause by casting out the demon in him so that he could speak and hear. A further instance is a boy who had the problem with epilepsy; he had several symptoms, foaming at the mouth, grinding of the teeth, and general rigidity of the body. Due to the sudden unexpected attacks, he often fell into the fire and water. When Jesus rebuked the spirit that kept this boy from speaking and hearing, it came out and he was able to stand, which means he was completely healed. Through exorcism of Jesus, individuals are being liberated from their infirmities and oppression at every level of their being. Wherever Satan exercised his sway, the proclamation of the good news of Jesus and power of the kingdom are concerned to
bring about release and liberation to humanity. However, much of our secularized society is unwilling to admit the existence of demons and demonic activities. If Scripture gives us a true account of the world of Jesus as it really is, then we must take seriously the intense demonic involvement in human society in today's world. Our failure to perceive the involvement of demonic forces in the affairs of human lives
of Jesus into the world and his ministry by the approval of God, was a threat to the Kingdom of Satan. The word of God says, “The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” This was being done through his ministry, especially through exorcism.
dampens and loosens our power and God given authority to rescue people from the clutches of Satanic powers. In fact, there is no reason to think that there is any less demonic activity in the world today than there was at the time of the New Testament. We are in the time period of God’s salvific plan for this world to bring every nation to Christ for a preparation of the future reign of God and a time that has been devoid of Satanic influence. August 2018
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Dr. C. T. Luiskutty Author, Bible teacher, former professor at Oral Roberts University and currently General Secretary of Inter Collegiate Prayer Fellowship
THE POWER OF THE CHURCH OVER DEMONS The existence of demons and how they affect the lives of people, especially the present day believers, is a difficult subject to deal with and there is no consensus among believers. Some see a demon behind every bush whereas others deny the existence of such entities. Both the Old Testament (1 Chronicles 21:1; Job 1: ; 2:1; Zechariah 3:1,2)and the New Testament (Matthew 4:1â€“11; Luke 4:1- ;John 8:44;13:2,27; Acts 5:3; Romans 16:20; 2 Corinthians 11:14; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation20:2) make numerous references to Satan, the devil and demons. Jesus Himself dealt with this subject on many occasions. He clearly states that the church has power over the schemes and works of the devil (Matthew 16:18). As a young boy, I had many opportunities of witnessing the local church exercising its authority over demons. Often people who were suspected to be demon-possessed were brought to the church and some of the senior members with the gift of the Spirit would pray for the afflicted. In many cases, the exorcism lasted for days before the
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demons would leave the person with some manifestations. Some were set free for ever; others got only temporary deliverance but were brought back with the same affliction. The problem persisted if those who got deliverance from the evil spirits continued in their life of sin and did not allow Jesus to abide in them and grow in the Word of God. As Jesus illustrated in Matthew 12:43-45, lives vacated by the demonic spirits should be filled with the Holy Spirit; otherwise the evil spirits could return in greater strength and the person’s latter condition would be worse than the former. People in the church are still afflicted by evil spirits. The demons do three things: (1) The devil influences most believers to follow the pattern of the world and become lovers of themselves (2 Timothy 3:2) and he has succeeded in this pretty well. Even the believers who profess their loyalty to God are influenced by the devil and many fall prey to his allurement. (2) Many believers are oppressed by the devil and they live in constant fear. As a result they do not experience the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ (John 10:10)and liberty of being in Christ. (3) Even though the demonstrations of demonic possession are less frequent in the churches these days, they are seen occasionally. Demonic demonstrations are seen more often in rural churches and in evangelistic meetings. It is to be noted that the Holy Spirit dwells in the believer and as long as he or she continues in this state, the person cannot be possessed by the devil. There are many reasons for the church’s inability to exercise its God-given power over demons. Even though there is a clear warning against the devil in the Bible (e.g., 1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10), many deny his existence today. Others may not be able to recognize him because he appears as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) differently from their expectation and they are unaware of his schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11). As we read in 2 Timothy 2:24-26, some in the church are so unconcerned about their position in Christ and somehow yield to the devil’s schemes and do his will. It is to be noted that the enemy is powerful, clever and vile. Many consider it easier to stay out of his way and not provoke him. Spiritual infants are not strong and as a result cannot overcome the evil one (1 John 2:13,14). They do not have the boldness to face the enemy and their common prayer is, “Do not let the evil one see us.” Evil power and demonic spirits were real to Jesus. He encountered them on many occasions, rebuking the tormenting spirits and casting them out of the afflicted ones. When He sent out the twelve disciples and then the seventy for ministry, He gave them power over demons. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Deliver us from the evil one.” This shows that Jesus knew that His followers needed the help from God to overcome the evil one and his demons in their life and ministry. Before His ascension Jesus states that He has been sent by the Father with all authority in heaven and earth (Matt 28:18). This means that he had authority and power over the evil spirits in the heavenly realms while He was on the earth. We should see this preamble to the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20) coupled with the charge given by the risen Lord, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). In other words, Jesus authorized and empowered His followers to continue His ministry on earth. This includes exercising our authority over demons. Therefore, the church should realize its responsibility and authority in this matter. Should recognize the barriers Must develop an action plan and implement it. Spiritual warfare is not an easy matter. Firstly, we must know who our enemy is. Apostle Paul says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 ESV). He is a murder, liar and the father of lies (John 8:44), a thief (John 10:10),the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is active in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2) and the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Secondly, we must be equipped and strengthened to successfully engage in spiritual warfare. Apostle Paul instructs, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10,11). Then he gives a list of the armor: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the
Evil power and demonic spirits were real to Jesus. He encountered them on many occasions, rebuking the tormenting spirits and casting them out of the afflicted ones. When He sent out the twelve disciples and then the seventy for ministry, He gave them power over demons.
shoes of the readiness given by the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Our right standing with God, spiritual preparedness and moral integrity are essential tools to fight the demonic powers. Otherwise we may be in the plight of the seven sons of Sceva who attempted to cast out a demon from a man August 2018
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in Ephesus in the name of Jesus whom Paul preached. But the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?" and the demon possessed man leaped on the impotent exorcists (Acts 19:1316). Any haphazard attempt to fight against demons will end in disaster. A person engaged in spiritual warfare should remain humble. There is the possibility that some success in this area may create
warfare is conducted primarily in prayer, not as a duel. A team of prayer warriors should fight in unison against the devil and his band. Everyone on the team may not be at the same level of their understanding of this exercise, spiritual maturity or experience in spiritual warfare. pride in the humans that they have authority over demons. Apostle James says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6). We cannot go against the devil and his forces if God is opposing us rather than being on our side. Therefore James continues, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
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According to C. Peter Wagner, there are three levels of spiritual warfare: groundlevel spiritual warfare, concerned with the casting out of demons; occult-level spiritual warfare, which deals with opposition to occult practices; and strategic-level spiritual warfare, which addresses territorial spirits. If this is true, it should be admitted that most of the churches are engaged in ground level spiritual warfare. It should also be borne in mind that there could be abuse of the occult level spiritual warfare. Stories abound of certain charlatans scaring naïve people with fake evidences of occultism and preying on them for financial gains. Spiritual warfare is conducted primarily in prayer, not as a duel. A team of prayer warriors should fight in unison against the devil and his band. Everyone on the team may not be at the same level of their understanding of this exercise, spiritual maturity or experience in spiritual warfare. They all must have a clean and humble heart before God and faith in Him. Whether we are praying for an oppressed and fearful family, a possessed person or for a region which is adamantly resistant to the Gospel, spiritual warfare prayer should be embarked on with faith in God, unity among the team members, humility in heart, perseverance in the effort, and love and compassion for the afflicted. For the church to effectively exercise its power over demons, it should be aware of certain realities: The demons are real. We are not fighting against imaginary figures, but real entities with power (though limited). The demons are the agents of Satan who is God’s arch enemy. Satan is the god of this world and the ruler of the wicked world. But his power over the children of God is in check (Job 1:12; 2:6). If you resist the devil, he will flee. To be successful in this, the believers should cleanse themselves, be humble and maintain a constant relationship with God. Engaging in spiritual warfare against the devil and demons is a team activity that requires mutual encouragement and support as well as perseverance at the individual level. The victory over the devil is by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:11) As with all other prayers, the warfare prayer must be In the Spirit, i.e., under the direction and with the power of the Holy Spirit In the name of Jesus, which means, under the authority given by Jesus Christ, in accordance with His will and in agreement with His character. As the devil masquerades as the angel of light, the spirits of the Antichrist are working hard to deceive the world, even the elect. They may perform spectacular miracles and reveal past histories and foretell the future. The devil is happy in doing such supernatural things in order to keep people away from Christ who gives them salvation and challenges them to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him daily. In this age, the church needs to be discerning as to what spirit is operating among its people. Jesus is stronger, though He calls the devil the strong man. We can agree with Apostle John who said, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Now let us appropriate the prayer of Apostle Paul to the Ephesian church that they may have the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God that they may know “what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ…” (Ephesians 1:19,20). The church has been given authority and power over demons. Let us exercise that authority and power!
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Dr. James George Faculty Member, Counselor and Youth Speaker
Mental Health Vs Demonic Possession The term
‘mental health’ can simply be defined as the level of emotional health and the absence of mental illness. The emotional functioning and relational level of a mentally healthy person is hale and hearty. A mentally healthy person will effectively adapt to the challenging life situations and recurrent stresses of life. Their relational and emotional levels are satisfactory. It has been identified that their behavior patterns and approaches to life realities are productive and meaningful. They keep a positive outlook on life and maintain flexibility and readiness for change. Moreover, they successfully cope with different demands of life. They have a realistic outlook about themselves and endure stress and strain without personality disintegration. It has been observed that normality and abnormality are often decided on the basis of “majority behavior, ideal behavior and absence of pathological behavior that causes distress to oneself, or people around him/her.” Research shows that there are many factors that influence the health status of the mind. These include (i) Hereditary August 2018
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factors; (ii) Organic factors; (iii) Psychogenetic factors; (iv) Age Related factors; (v) Interpersonal factors; (vi) Cultural factors; and (vii) Crises in a person’s life. As mental health is the combination of different factors, the predominant impact of these factors on the health status of the mind isinevitable and undeniable.
counselor considers the religious and ethical dimensions of the patient’s core concernsthan secular counseling approaches in dealing with such issues. They are aware of the healing potency of religious tools such as prayer, scripture, and sacraments in the therapeutic process. A mentally healthy person does not demonstrate any pathological symptoms. The criteria for mental health as explained by Marie Jahoda are pertinent to be mentioned here. They are: 1. Attitude towards self 2. Personal growth and selfactualization 3. Internal psychological oneness or integrity
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4. Independence from social influence – the individual is inner directed than directed from outside sources 5. Perception of reality without distortion 6. Environmental mastery Mental illness is often measured according to disorders rather than diseases. However, it is unwise to predict all psychological disturbances as mental illness. The behavioral problems, developmental issues and other crises can jeopardize the growth journey of an individual. However, it can be effectively treated through different counseling approaches. The treatment history of mental disorders can be traced back to more than four thousand years. The Egyptians, Jews and Greeks considered mental disorders as the presence of demons and work of the evils. In the New Testament times, exorcism was widely used to release people from clutches of evil spirits. It has been identified that for many centuries people adopted different treatment models to deal with this issue. These approaches include physical punishment, torturing, beating and so on. Mental illness is a reality and this dysfunction is rooted in the structure of the personality. John Bartunek observes that, “mental illness in these cases is not always caused by direct demonic activity. Many (probably most) times, it is caused by traumatic physical or psychological experiences, or genetic/physiological imbalances, or a combination of any of these factors.” Psychiatric care and effective counseling are the right tools in dealing with such situations. The advancement of medical science, and its growing awareness and availability widens the horizon of our understanding about the scope and treatment procedure. However, a complete remedy is improbable at all situations, as the person, family and those who are associated with him/her carry this life-long cross more often than not. It is likely that this situation may bring an adverse impact on the immediate family members at different levels, and it can deplete the financial resources and affect the social functioning as well. As we have observed that mental illness is real, we must also understand that demonic activity is real as well. The Bible clearly states the existence of demons. John Bartunek sees‘obsession’ and ‘possession’ as two ways through which the devil damages the normal functioning of a human being. By the term, ‘obsession’, he indicates that, the attack of devil from outside, causing severe damages on the physical and psychological levels. The term ‘possession’ indicates that the attack is from within where the devil takes temporary control of a person’s physical and bodily capacities. The underlying link between mental illness and demon possession is complex to explain in some cases. Such situations area challenge for deciding the nature of treatment procedure. Therefore, basic psychiatric knowledge and spiritual discernment are essential aspects in dealing with these concerns. Primarily, the underlying root of demon possession lies in the spiritual sphere, whereas the root of mental illness can include multiple factors which may be biological, psychological, social, or spiritual. Now the question of why God allows the devil to tempt people often seems to be mysterious. However, demonic attack disrupts human nature and shatters them at different levels. In the Bible, different varieties of manifestations of the devil are portrayed and the undercurrent nature of the attack of devil gets hold of people from a purpose-driven life. Though it remains as a mystery why God allows temptation, the temptations of demons and the existence of demon possession is a reality. The healing potency of religion/supreme-being in providing mental health is an undeniable factor. A Christian counselor considers the religious and ethical dimensions of the patient’s core concernsthan secular counseling approaches in dealing with such issues. They are aware of the healing potency of religious tools such as prayer, scripture, and sacraments in the therapeutic process. At the same time it is dangerous for pastors to address mental health disorders only with their preliminary understanding
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on different theoretical concepts. Adequate training and skills of a pastor are highly significant to tackle mental health disorders. Paul Tillich made a right observation in dealing with such concerns. Adequate attention must be paid to the three levels– the medical, psychotherapeutic and religious as they are distinguished but not separated. Though they are different in function, they overlap and leave a thin boundary. In dealing with such concerns, the minister is not intended to exercise the function of physician or a psychotherapist. In the context of demon possession, the exercise of spiritual gift seems to be effective, whereas for mental disorders, psychiatric care is more appreciable. Many cultures and religions hold different views on demonic possession. Christianity upholds the fact of demon-possession. The devil was once an angel of the heavenly court (Zech 3:1-10). According to the Christian understanding, demons are fallen angels. In the book of Job, Satan is pictured as the accuser of humans (Job 1-2), and an inciter of sins (1Chronicles 21:1). The New Testament understanding further sheds light to believe in the existence of demons, the other spiritual entities and these demonic powers can seriously attack human beings. The New Testament provides several episodes where Jesus drove out demons (Mt 4:24, 8:16; Mk 1:32, 4:41). Some examples are: The demon possessed man in Gergesenes/Gadarenes/Gerasenes (Mt 8:28-34; Mk 5:2-20; Lk 8: 26-39); a mute man with demonic possession (Mt 9:32-34; Lk 11:14-26); a demon possessed blind and mute man (Mt 12:22-28); the Canaanite/ Syro-Phoenecian woman's daughter (Mt 15:22-28; Mk 7:25-30); an epileptic boy (Mt 17:15 -21; Mk 9:14-2 9; Lk 9:3 8-43); The man in the synagogue at Capernaum (Mk 1:21-28; Lk 4:33-36). These vivid accounts depict that the characteristic signs or symptoms of demon possessions are unique and varied. The New Testament narratives prove that Jesus healed the sick and cast out demons. There is further evidence that the disciples of Jesus cast out demons
and brought healing at different occasions. Jesus commissioned His disciples to cast out demons. “Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons” (Mk 4: 14, 15). The New Testament provides ample evidences that exorcism was practiced by the church. In the contemporary scenario, the classical Pentecostals and the Charismatic gatherings practice the casting out of demons. Pentecostals believe in the existence of demons as actual spiritual entities, and its adverse impact on people. It has been observed that in Kerala this ministry is most often conducted by certain gifted people. There are number of evidences about the supernatural healing of many from the demonic possession.
The Work of Demons in the Old Testament Continued from page 14 with God. But possibly the most significant use of the noun Satan is recorded in the book of Job, where he is described as the greatest enemy of God (1:7; 2:2). Like the “lying spirit” in the vision of Micaiah, he is a member of the heavenly council and is under the control of the Lord, unable to act in total independence from Him. He is certainly the accuser of Job before the heavenly assembly and the instigator of disease and disaster. In the dialogue with God, Satan is attacking God's system of government. He is arguing that God buys human service, and he nurtures selfishness by blessing and protecting human beings. God’s way of ruling the universe is not controlled by disinterested love, he argues, but rather by the principle of “I give in order to receive.” This is unquestionably an attack on God's rule of love and grace. Here the true nature of the demonic in the Old Testament is revealed. This demonic being came to be known as Satan. Although the Old Testament does not say much about this figure, it indicated that it was God's enemy, not His equal. Hints about his origin are recorded in Isaiah 14:12-19 and Ezekiel 28:11-19 when, in the description of the rise and fall of the kings of Babylon and Tyre, the prophets use the imagery of God's primeval fight with this demonic being. This cherub, who was very close to God, attempted in an act of rebellion to be like God and was therefore expelled from God's presence.
Conclusion The Hebrew Bible attests the existence and works of a demonic being in conflict
with God and His people. This archenemy of God, Satan, is found throughout Old Testament narratives, hymns, and prophetic speeches. These beings are associated with idolatry and identified with other gods, which implies that behind the power of these gods was the power of these evil forces. Spiritual creatures were still reaching out to become god. The biblical evidence suggests that this evil power resulted from the selfcorruption of a celestial being. Although this being was created perfect, in a mysterious way sin was found in him. The use of the plural in some passages to refer to evil powers suggests that more than one celestial being was corrupted and in conflict with God. August 2018
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Just one Minute Continued from cover 2 would take the gospel to every people group on earth before His Son would return and bring final judgment. Satan probably scoffed, thinking he could foil this plan by blinding the redeemed humanity to their privileges and to their God-given task through lies and distractions. But the scriptures make clear that Satan and the powers of darkness will lose. The gospel will be preached to all peoples, and God will establish His kingdom on earth. He will slay the “lawless one” with the breath of His mouth and bring an end to the rule of Satan and the problem of evil. Martin Luther writes: The Prince of Darkness grim, We tremble not for him; His rage we can endure, For lo! his doom is sure, One little word shall fell him. In the meantime, we as God’s children are to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of
God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). That whole armor of God includes: The belt of truth The breastplate of righteousness Feet covered by the “preparation of the gospel of peace.” The shield of faith to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one [Satan]. The helmet of salvation The sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God Time and space makes it impossible for me to describe the deeper meaning and purpose of each of these pieces of God’s armor, but I highly recommend for you fuller treatments of the subject in such books as “The Full Armor of God” by Larry Richards, or “Spiritual Warfare" by Ed Murphy. We face the powers of darkness in many forms, but let us remember that the power of Satan and his demons has already been defeated at the cross of Jesus Christ. History is under the ultimate control, not of Satan and the demons, but of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is good news to every person in India and to other people on the earth who suffer daily from the torments of the devil and his angels. This good news is part of the Great Commission. Let us work and pray toward fulfillment of the Great Commission. Let us work as salt and light in the world to free the world around us from the works of the devil. Let us pray for revival in ourselves and in our churches, and awakening throughout the world to hasten the Great Commission’s fulfillment. On that day, God will receive glory and He will glorify us. *** Father God, I thank you that you have already defeated Satan, his demons and the power of evil through the cross and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ. I praise you for already setting me free. Now help me to live in the reality of the freedom you have already bestowed upon me. Help me to join with others to bring this Good News to everyone who awaits the freedom only you can give. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Origin of Demons From A Biblical Perspective Continued from page 11 (Psalm 106:37). Demons are mentioned in 19 out of the 27 New Testament books, and Jesus frequently claimed to “cast out demons” (Matthew 12:27). Some even seem to have suggested the names of some demons as Molech and Chemosh. Although the scriptures never explicitly refer to Molech as a demon, the worship of Molech and Chemosh was a recurring problem for Israel throughout the Old Testament to
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whom they sacrificed human babies (Leviticus 18:21; 1 Kings 11:7).
Conclusion From the above discussion we can conclude that demons are not the product of hyperactive religious imagination, nor the disembodied spirits of a prehistoric race, nor the long-existent result of antediluvian sex between angels and human women, but are definitely real and are evil spirits. The Bible never questions their existence. Scripture makes it very clear that demons exist. However, it does not explicitly tell us where they came from. Though various theories have been put forward, no one knows for certain about their origin. The best answer seems to be that demons are the fallen angels along with Satan, since the same titles are applied to both of them. One thing is for sure that demons are corrupted spirits carrying the execution of Satan's strategies planned in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).
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when in fact he has the authority to call the police anytime. Surprisingly, the authorities have no objections to a mosque, a nearby plot reserved for a second mosque and a madrasah (Islamic school) that is under construction.” “Now they have withdrawn from finding a new place for the only church in the village. Praying is our fundamental right. This is a complete violation of the spirit of the Constitution and of our human rights. Pakistani Christians are being treated as criminals in their own homeland.”
Punjab Christians demand the ‘right to pray’ in church
Uttar Pradesh pastor arrested for ‘forced conversions’ freed on bail
Pakistan, June 27, 2018: Christians in a small village in Punjab are demanding the right to pray in their own church, two years after district authorities shut it down. The local community, about 40 families in all, complain that the Full Gospel Assemblies Church in Nayya Sarabah, a village in Toba Tek Singh district, was sealed because of opposition by Muslims. “Last month the police had us sign a document in which we had to agree to build a new church in a different place,” Rev Samuel Taskeen reports to AsiaNews. “They forced us to remove all religious symbols from the present building and to use the church only as a residence and conduct prayers in our own homes, until the construction [of the new church] is completed.” At present, they pray at the homes of the faithful or in other locations. But to end the impasse and regain possession of their place of worship, the Christians have a filed a writ petition to a higher court. The last Christmas and Easter services were held in the home of RafaqatMasih, counsellor of the Christian Union for Minorities. His uncle donated the 177 square metres where the church stands. Rev Taskeen reports that “the man had no children and now the district commissioner claims that his land had been purchased with a ban on commercial or religious use. This is why we want to present the writ petition to the Lahore High Court because the Toba Tek Singh district administration is biased.” According to a police document, dated 31 May, “the church was built without a certificate of non-opposition. This has caused tensions between Muslim and Christian communities.” However, Shahzad Munshi, a Christian and a former member of the Punjab Provincial Assembly, accuses the district commissioner of discrimination. “He is waiting for church clearance from the police
Uttar Pradesh, June 26, 2018: In Uttar Pradesh a Pentecostal pastor has been released on bail, after having been arrested on the false charge of having forcibly converted people to Christianity. Rev. Dependra Prakash Maleywar was released yesterday after being held in custody since last June 18, when a group of Hindu extremists blamed him for extorting the conversion of 16 people. In reality, the Protestant Christian was stopped “while he was delivering a affidavit in court where the [neophytes] declared that the decision to change religion was their free choice”. The pastor’s case broke out last week, when the police handcuffed him in the court yard of Sardhana Tehsil (district of Meerut) for alleged assault against some activists of the far-right Bajrang Dal Hindu group. The policemen acted following a complaint lodged by the local leader Milind Som. The latter said that he had been violently attacked by the Reverend after asking him for information on the documents he was to deliver. On the contrary, Sajan K George claims that the pastor Maleywar “was mistreated by angry extremists”. In any case, the judges sentenced the Christian to 14 days in prison. The affidavit is a mandatory document in Indian states that have approved anti-conversion laws. This is a form filled out by the faithful who wishes to change their creed and countersigned by the priest, who certifies that the conversion was free, spontaneous and not induced. It is presented in court to the district tax collector, who examines and issues an opinion. Even though in Uttar Pradesh the law does not exist, the pastor was still filling out the forms. Unfortunately in secular India, in order to obtain a legal affidavit, one risks incurring the wrath of extreme rightwing forces. The pastor was mistreated and interrogated ferociously, but the case was opened against him. The Christian community is vulnerable and feels increasingly targeted (by attacks) and intimidation. – asia news August 2018
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Answers for Quiz - 63
The Very Devil
GOING TO EXTREMES
1. According to Jude’s epistle, who disputed with Satan over the body of Moses? 2. In what epistle does Peter refer to Satan as “the god of this world”? 3. What prophet spoke of the fallen Lucifer, usually taken to refer to Satan as a fallen angel? 4. According to John’s Gospel, Satan was from the very beginning both a liar and a....................... 5. In what epistle does Paul call Satan the “spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience? 6. What disciple was told by Jesus that Satan wanted to sift him like wheat? 7. What New Testament man did Satan provoke to lie to the Holy Spirit? 8. What king of Israel was tormented by an evil spirit? 9. What was the affliction of the woman who had had an evil spirit for 18 years? 10. What king had court prophets that had been the agents of a lying spirit?
The ABC of becoming a Christian
Admit that you are in
need of someone to save you from guilt, shame and bondage or addictions. Admit that you have violated God’s Laws.
1. Joash (or Jehoash), who began his reign at the age of seven (2 Chronicles 24:1) 2. One million men, brought by Zerah the Ethiopian against Asa of Judah (2 Chronicles 14:9) 3. Manasseh, who ruled for 55 years (2 Kings 21:1) 4. Zimri, who ruled for seven days after usurping the throne (1 Kings 16:15) 5. “Lord, save me,” uttered by Peter while sinking (Matthew 14:30) 6. “Jesus wept” (John 11:35) and “Eber, Peleg, Reu” (1 Chro. 1:25) 7. Esther 8:9- 90 words in the King James Version 8. Probably Nehemiah 9:5-38 9. The whale (Genesis 1:21) 10. The gnat (Matthew 23:24) 11. Psalms
Believe that Jesus Christ is the
only One who is able to save you and to bring deliverence and offer forgiveness of sins. Believe that Jesus is the only One to conquer death and is the risen Saviour.
Confess with your
mouth that Jesus is your Lord and submit to His rulership in your life.
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26 August 2018