God’s revealed truth in the Holy Bible presents a pathway to life for believers. However, the demonic realm has access to the same scriptures, and they know precisely where the boundary markers are for them.
Why is this important? Many Christians have a simplistic view of demons and spiritual warfare because church leaders have chosen to ignore or deny some fundamental scriptural truths. The result is disaster, heartache and even premature death because the enemy of their souls has operated like stealth guerrillas to steal their inheritance.
Do you feel that this is happening to you? The phrase “knowledge is power” was first attributed to Sir Francis Bacon in 1597. It is not a biblical phrase but is still true. God’s people perish for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6), and right understanding can drive cut through spiritual fog so you can see where you should be going.
Let me be clear: much of the bible causes demons to tremble, and they know their final demise. However, other passages highlight open doors for torment that remain open for them today.
How are demons emboldened by the Word of God?
Let’s dispel one myth right away–that demons have no power. Jesus stripped the demonic realm of authority, but I disagree with those who claim they have no power other than what we allow. God’s people must enforce their authority, and our power is superior to that of the enemy.
For a moment, let us contrast demons to downhill snow skiers. These daredevils tear down the course, intent on reaching the finish line as quickly as possible. They know their own capabilities and can see the lay of the mountain and gates as they approach each one. The good ones expertly assess how fast they can go and what approach they should take. They want to get close but not clip the gate poles.
How capable are demons? They know the eternal reality of Christ’s victory by His resurrection, but they also know God’s word very well. Like ski gates down a mountain, it lays out pathways they can pursue. Satan quoted scripture to Jesus during the three temptations. It is not a stretch to assume that his hordes understand God’s word also.
The demonic realm operates in legalism, and they are limited to boundaries established in God’s word. They know what these limits are better than most Christians do, that God’s people have been given power and authority over them. Until they are dealt with, they can continue boldly with their mission (John 10:10).
Below are a few examples where bible verses, often coupled by misapplication by believers, provide impetus for demon spirits to step up their game:
- Unforgiveness. Examine the parable in Matt 18:12-35. God turns people who do not forgive over to the tormentors to be tortured. We have complicated and mangled the truth that forgiveness is a choice. It is not a process, and God does not have to help us forgive. What could be clearer? Unforgiveness gives demons a legal right to torment us. How frequently do you hear this passage of scripture mentioned in your church services?
- Judging others causes the perpetrator to be condemned. (Romans 2:1). Judgments activate demonic attack. We can forgive people yet still judge them. We have other articles, videos, and podcasts on this topic.
- Wrong understanding of salvation can lead to complacency. Jesus is the gate to eternal life, and those who persevere on the road to the end will be saved (Matthew 7:13-14). What could be clearer? Going up to the altar at a youth camp or service is the gate to eternal life and is the start of the journey, not the final destination. Spiritual attacks do not end at salvation but typically intensify.
- Christ broke generational curses, but the demons can still be active. He became a curse for us . However, the demons do not flee in terror and can continue torment in a family line until they are cast out. Christ’s victory must be appropriated and enforced. Many Christians mistakenly believe that because the curse was broken that their issues cannot be generational.
- God’s presence alone does not drive out demons. Teachers love to use the metaphor of a light driving out darkness to illustrate that demon spirits must flee when the Holy Spirit shows up Sounds excellent, but I believe that is an improper application of 2 Cor 6:17. Satan himself appeared before the throne of God in Job. Satan and Jesus had face-to-face conversations. Similarly, playing worship music does not drive demons away. The demonic realm creates significant damage in the church and leaving your radio at home playing Christian music is not a bad idea but does not help keep demons away. It would be great if things were that simple.
The illustrations above represent only a few examples where I believe misinformation, wrong teaching or wishful thinking leads to bad results for God’s people. Sadly, Hosea 4:6 is an Old Testament passage that still applies today.
What is the remedy?
Get educated by reading, watching and following reputable Christian leaders and ministries who do not shy away from preaching the whole gospel. Spiritual warfare for today is real and vital so that believers can fulfill the call upon their lives.
We have many articles, podcasts, and videos on these topics and contend that personal spiritual warfare comprises, as a minimum, discerning spirits, resisting them, binding them and driving them out (deliverance). If you are looking for a church, I encourage you to find one that embraces and teaches all aspects, although that may be a challenge.
There are excellent resources to begin to learn more about deliverance ministry and personal spiritual warfare. I recommend starting with Derek Prince, Don Dickerman, Peter Horrobin and Frank and Ida Mae Hammond to name a few. When you have digested their materials, you are better able to discern and avoid some of the weird teachings out there in Internet-land.
It is never too late to start on your new beginning so you can be proactive and efficient in coming against the demons seeking to kill, steal and destroy you. You have Christ’s victory, authority and power at your disposal so jump in and take hold of all He has for you!
*More Ways to Enjoy This Post*