Featured image: G. Dore, Dante’s Inferno (Virgil and the Demons)
DOCTRINES OF DEMONS
I. There are many questions that might arise on this subject, first being are there demons, evil spirits or devils? From a non-biblical point, whether Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist, most believe in both evil and spirits. And from a biblical point: Paul wrote Timothy, ‘Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will depart from the faith; giving heed to seducing and deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons (1 Tim. 4:1; ‘doctrines of devils’ – KJV).’ Paul not only told the Church; yes – as the prophets, apostles and Christ have taught – of course there are demons; but also that there are doctrines or teaching by demonic forces at work. As he had told the Galatians: ‘We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of this darkness, against spiritual hosts (fallen angels) of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).’
Before moving forward into this topic, i offer the following. Howard Pittman has an amazing testimony of his 1979 death experience which he has shared around the world; but it is how he found the girl that would become Mr. and Mrs. Pittman’s adopted daughter (which still worked at the ministry last i called and spoke to her several years ago). Before becoming a world evangelist he was a policeman in New Orleans for 26 years. One day they entered a home; and best i remember of that as he told us at a Men’s Meeting about 2005: paraphrased: At 21 I was ordained to preach in the Baptist Church, but I did not really believe in the spiritual world or demons. When I walked into that home that changed; I saw a little child in a 2′ x 3′ animal cage. She was being feed dog food. I knew then that no man could do that to someone on their own; there had to be a spiritual world which could influence men to be so wicked.
From the time of his massive heart attack and death (flat lined > 15 minutes; his ‘vision’ of the path to heaven and hell; then revival to life; he became a full-time evangelist for the Lord; and an author describing the spiritual world (his testimony and books available at: www.howardpittman.org).
Anyone that has walked more than a decade or two in this present darkness – in this world of billions of spirits in morals and immortals – they know there are forces in the world that could move mankind to do wicked things. Years ago people would say, ‘the devil made me do it.’ Of course, that is ‘I allowed a devil(s) to influence me (see article on SIN and James chapter 1). Yet, whether one admits to believing in demons or in God, they will still be judged in that they should know both are real for as Paul said, ‘For since the creation of the world His (God’s) invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse… (Rom. 1:20).’ Likewise, men can ignore or disbelieve in evil spirits and their workings among mankind – individually and corporately; however, they are without excuse, for the signs and evidence are clearly seen, not just by the eternal Word, but in demonstrations and events of men and nations.
II. DEMONS, DEVILS, EVIL SPIRITS: Definitions w/Strong’s Con. (#)
Devil: (7700) demon, as malignant; (8163) devil, from he-goat, satyr; (1140) a demonic being, devil, god (little god – as in dagon fell before the ark of God – 1 Sam. 5:2); [1139 – daimonizomai – (pronounced almost like – demon zombie) – means ‘to be exercised by a demon;’ ‘possessed with a devil.’]
Spirit: (7307 – ruwach) breath; life – God ‘breathed’ breath into Adam – and he became a living being (soul) – Gen. 2:7; thus, God who is Spirit (John 4:24): Spirit spirited a portion of His Spirit into dust and Adam became a spirited soul; with body, soul and spirit.
spirit: breath, life, wind, tempest, expression (anger, courage); (4151, pneuma): breeze, breath, spirit, angel, ghost, mind.
evil spirit: daimon (1142) or deivmwm – an evil supernatural being, spirit or demon.
In Hebrew: shed (pronounced shade)
In Islam: called Jinn (Arabic: al-jinn; by Romans: djinn; then Anglicized (English): genies) Jinn to according to the Koran have free will and can be good, evil or neutral (this is not the case in the Holy Scriptures – they already made their free will choice).
In Hindu mythology: asura – good and bad spirits; rakshasa – a demonic being; later received into Buddhism.
III. THEIR ORIGIN:
God is the CREATOR of all things; that is ‘Jesus Christ… is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist… (Col. 1:15-17).’
Psalm 148: “Praise the LORD! …Praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels… all His hosts! …For He commanded and they were created… (after the angels; the Psalmist list the Genesis account).’
Job 38: (notice before man existed): “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? …On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God (angels; Job 1:1) shouted for joy? …Can you bind (a galaxy) …or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth the constellations in their seasons… do you know the ordinances of the heavens?”
Gen. 3:1: “Now the serpent was more crafty (cunning) than any of the animals the Lord God had made.” But before that day, ‘the that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world (Rev. 12:9);’ was called Lucifer. As Isaiah said, ‘How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer (KJV), O star (son) of the morning (day-star), son of the dawn (morning)! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations (14:12)!’ For before Adam was created and mankind born, Lucifer was in the heavens leading heavenly choruses.
Ezekiel (chapter 28) describes Lucifer and what lead to his fall and that of the third of angels that left by their FREE WILL with him: “Son of man (the Lord speaking to Ezekiel), say unto the prince of Tyre (represents Lucifer), ‘Thus says the Lord God; Because your heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, ‘I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas (note: he will try in again in the Antichrist; 2 Thes. 2:4);’ yet you are a man, and not God, though you set your heart as the heart of God: Behold, you are wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from you: With thy wisdom and understanding you have gotten riches and …treasures: By your great wisdom and by thy traffick (your trade or commerce) have you increased your riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches: Therefore thus saith the Lord God; ‘Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring you down to the pit, and you shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Will you yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? You shall die …for I have spoken it,’ saith the Lord God. Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus (Tyre), and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. You are the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set you so: thou was upon the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. You were perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in you. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”
Millions and million
IV. THEIR ORGANIZATION:
A. In an article (2/19/13) by Howard Pittman entitled The Image! (Spiritual Warfare) he writes in part: “During the war… the frontline soldier was seldom, if ever, allowed to do his own thing. He was always operating under orders. All soldiers were kept under orders at all time. The Army has two kinds of orders. One is a specific order and the other is a general order. When a specific order fails, the soldier must fall back on his general order. In warfare and armies, there is always a chain of command. Orders originate at the top and are passed down through that chain of command. The spiritual …frontline soldier, like most soldiers, is never left without orders. The frontline soldier that we meet in combat on the battlefield of our mind is what we call demon spirits.’
‘Demons, evil spirits, fallen angels, or whatever you want to call them, are real! When we meet them in combat on the battlefield of our mind, they are under orders carrying out a plan of attack that they did not plan themselves. Like most frontline soldiers, they are not free to do their own thing. They are there by design, by plan, and they are instructed as to how to carry out that plan. (2 Corinthians 12:7) Of course, that plan originated at the top. Those who planned the attack upon you did not come and carry out their own plan. They sent the frontline soldier to do it. When you resist the frontline soldiers or demons, you are in effect resisting the devil himself and his ruling council. You fight them through the demons with whom you war (continuing this article in next section).”
B. CHAIN OF COMMAND:
- Satan, the devil, father of lies, the great dragon, as a roaring lion, Beelzebul, prince of the power of the air, god of this world (this present darkness), the tempter, the evil one, the deceiver, the Thief, the accuser of the brethren (Eph. 6:11; Rev. 12:9, 10; John 8:44, 10:10; 1Peter 5:8; Matt. 4:3, 12:24, 13:19; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2).
- Council of Rulers (Eph. 6:12; Col. 2:15); [sons(NOT THE SON)/angels of God (Job1:1)] on this Council – the most powerful under Satan – is the angel of the Abyss (Rev. 9:11) Abaddon(Hebrew)/Apollyon(Greek)/The Destroyer(English).
- Principalities (Eph. 6:12; Col. 1:16) ‘prince of Persia;’ ‘prince of Greece’ (Dan. 10:13; 10:20) princes over various regions of the world (held back as commanded by God by His assigned ones – such as Gabriel and Michael (Luke 1:19; Dan. 10).
- The Antichrist and False Prophet (Rev. 13:7; 19:20)
- Spiritual powers and forces (demons; devils) (Eph. 6:12)
- False Prophets (humans speaking doctrines of demons) (Matt. 7:15; 2 Peter 2:1-)
- Synagogue (assembly) of Satan – humans under the sway/command of the devil) (Rev. 3:9)
The Beast (Rev. 17:8) and the Antichrist – role with The Destroyer
C. Their numbers: tens of millions; maybe billion(s) (Heb. 12:22; Rev.5:11)
V. THEIR FORM and POWER and INFLUENCE:
A. Pittman’s The Image! continued: “I grew up in what we call ‘the down-home,’ basic fundamentalist religious movement. I was never taught about demons and spiritual warfare. Until my experience, I did not know what to believe about demons. One thing was certain, I had no idea that they played such important roles in the daily lives of Christians. If you don’t believe this to be true, you must study 2 Corinthians 12:7. When I have the opportunity to speak about the shapes and forms of spirits, so many people can’t believe that spirits, as such, have a shape and form. Since spirits are invisible to the physical eye, it is difficult to think of them as anything more than vapor-like. However, spirits do have a true shape and form! This does not mean some of them cannot change their shape and form. They can, but, at some point, must revert to their true shape and form.’
‘From all the evidence we have in the Bible, the one order of spirits that uses his ability to change shape and form more than any other order is the “familiar spirit.” The familiar spirit is most often from the order of “necromancy” spirits. This relates to calling on the dead. It is the “familiar spirit” most often used by mediums in a séance in an attempt to contact the spirit of a departed (dead) human being. This order of spirits are responsible for the “ghost” stories that continue throughout history. We know by the statement Jesus made in Luke 16:26, that it is impossible for the spirit of a departed human to return to this physical world, or to move to any place other than the one prepared for him prior to his death!’
‘One of the facts about demons that really impressed me is that for the most part, they are all experts. By expert, I mean they do one thing, and one thing only. They are usually very good at what they do. Most often, a demons’ name will identify his area of expertise. (Mark 5:9 and Luke 8:30) Since most demons are experts and do one thing only, they have only one name. However there is one exception to this rule in the Bible… in Matthew 17:21 (KJV/NKJV – some translators leave out this verse), Jesus declared this spirit to be different… First, this spirit had just defeated the Disciples. They were not able to deal with him! They should have been, because Jesus had given them authority over all unclean spirits. (Matthew 10:1) Until that point in time, all foul, evil, and unclean spirits had responded to their commands. When they tried to cast this one out, they failed. When they asked Jesus why they could not do it, (Matthew 17:20) He replied to them, “Because of their unbelief.” However, he explained to them, this one was different from all they had met and must be handled in a different manner. (Mark 9:29) …Jesus referred to him as ‘this kind (Matt. 17:21),’ ‘Dumb and deaf spirit (Mark 9:25),’ ‘spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:11).’ In Psalms 78:49 David referred to this same order of spirits as being ‘evil angels.’ In 1 Samuel 16:14… referred to as ‘evil spirit from God’.”
B. Examples of EVIL SPIRITS (their field of INFLUENCE): Numbered to separate, some list more than on spiritual attribute next to it – not an all inclusive list. Apostles and prophets say this can lead you to hell.
- Necromancy: can involve familiar spirits (Lev. 20:27 – has a familiar spirit or is a wizard); note: Samuel was called from the grave by witch of Endor – 1 Sam.28:7 (as in Endora – Bewitched tv show)
- Deceiving (lying; false witness): note 2 Chron. 18:21: Ahab enticed. ‘deceiving spirit… lying spirit)
- Unclean spirit(s): (Zech. 13:2)
- Idolatry (Gal. 5:20)
- Deaf and dumb (Mark 9:17)
- Infirmity; tormenting (Luke 13:11; 1 John 4:18)
- Immorality (Gal. 5:19; 1 Cor. 6:18); (also: porneuo)
- Harlotry (Hosea 4:12)
- Hatred; rage; anger, murder (Gal. 5:20; Eph. 4:26; Rev. 21:8)
- Homosexuality (Rom. 1:27)
- porneuo – prostitution; fornication; idolatry
- Jealousy; envy (Num. 5:14)
- Lust, adultery (Matt. 5:28)
- Seducing; lust and perverse spirits: (Isa. 19:14)
- Pride; haughtiness, arrogant, selfish ambition (Prov. 16:18)
- false gods – (Deut. 32: 17)
- Rebellion (witchcraft) – (1 Sam. 15:23)
- Phrmakeia (‘pharmacy’ and ‘pharmaceutical’) drugs, sorcery, magic
- Suicide, self-mutilation, cowardness (1 Kings 18:29; Phil. 3:2; Rev. 21:8)
- Legion: ‘we are many’ (Mark 5:29)
- myriads of multitudes of others
They can overlap fields, specialize and work together.
see: Galations 5:19-21; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 4:1
C. THEIR POWER:
2 Thes. 2:9-10 ….Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish…
one angel can defeat (kill) 185,000 men – see Assyrians destroyed by the Death angel (2 Kings 19:35; Isaiah 37:36)
They can manifest supernatural strength (Mark 5:18)
It is very rare that demons appear to humans in physical form or engage us physically. Moreover, when we are abiding in Christ there is nothing demons can do to harm us. Now, with that said, in 1986 weeks after getting stronger in the Lord, but in my youth and unknowing pride i said several times to the Lord, ‘i am ready to take on the devil;’ not long after between midnight and the very early morning i was awakened being choked to death, and i still remember it took several times saying, ‘i rebuke you;’ ‘i rebuke you devil;’ before it let go of me; i at least twice have personally seen demons manifest through an individual and speak before we rebuked/exorcised it; i recall another brother, David B. who told me how several times when he was using cocaine (during or some time in the morning after; yeah i know what some of you are thinking) that an impish greenish demon would appear to him and they would argue; another brother in the Lord, David T.; who played lineman for a certain SEC team, told me how one time a demon through him across a room; and another brother, Allen S., told me how a spirit would reset his cassette player to 666 and one day he saw it appear at the foot of his bed; another brother – a pastor – told me that once an angel appeared to him in his office in human like form and spoke to him. And there are numerous accounts of such events and visitations in the bible and the world.
D. Spirit somewhat like Matter:
In the sense that God is omnipresence; that He is Y(J)ehovah Shammah (The Lord is There, Ezek. 48:35; God sees – El Roi, Gen. 16:13), He is everywhere. Also, because without His Spirit nothing can exist; this is not to say that God condones or approves all things, only that He see and knows and or allows its existence. So the Psalmist says, ‘If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell (verse also translates: Sheol, grave, depths), behold, You are there (139:8).’
Likewise, like there are general cares of the world, there is ‘the spirit of the world’ that is woven throughout ‘this present darkness.’ Thus Paul says, ‘we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit of God... (1 Cor. 2:12).’ In the same manner, John says, ‘do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world… we are of God… we know the spirit of truth, but they not of God receive the spirit of error (1 John 4:1-5).’
VI. THERE MISSION:
To kill, steal, and destroy… John 10:10
To get mankind to sin; and Christians to fall – Heb. 10:26
To deceive or possess them… to make reprobate – Rom. 1; Matt. 12:22-
To be adversaries of man… Matt. 12: 45
To teach doctrines of demons… 1 Tim. 4:1-
To give false prophecies through men… 1 Kings 22:21; Matt. 7:15
VII. HOW THEY ARE DEFEATED?
Discernment… (I Cor. 12:10; Eph. 4:27)
Resist… don’t give them a place or stronghold (James 4:7; Eph. 4:27)
Yield to the Spirit of Truth… 1 John 4:6; John 14:15-17
Fasting and Prayer… Matt. 17:21
Jesus, we know and Paul… but who are you? … Acts 19:13-
Blood of the Lamb and our testimonies… Rev. 12:11
For more on ‘spirits’ and influence, see: SOURCES of INFLUENCE Part V