Angelology 021 (Demonology 3)Daniel 10:12-20 • Dr. Andy Woods • December 8, 2019 • Angelology
December 8, 2019
Dr. Andy Woods
“Father, we’re grateful for today. We’re grateful for this time of the year where we start thinking about and celebrating the entrance of Your Son into our world. This is a time of year that’s stressful for a lot of people, and it’s so easy in the busyness of everything to forget what the whole holiday is about. It’s about the birth of Jesus and His miraculous virgin conception which qualified Him to be our sin bearer. Help us to keep that as our focus in our individual lives, particularly here at this church.
I pray that You will be with this church in everything it does today. There’s a lot going on today, right down to the play this evening. I pray that You’ll be with this Church, all the meetings that are going on, Sunday school, and all the way through the end of the day. I pray that You will be in the midst of our activities. I pray that we would not be trying to fit You into our plans, but that it would be the other way around. We ask that You’ll do this work today on this special day, December 8. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Good morning, everybody! Take your Bibles and open them to Matthew 12:24. We’re continuing our study on angelology. We’ve already gone through two major sections—the good angels and Satan.
What we started the last few weeks is an analysis of the minions, if you will, that are working with Satan; they’re called demons. We call that demonology.
Here’s our outline for demonology. We’ve already looked at the existence of demons—Old Testament and New Testament. Do y’all believe in demons? Some of you may have been fighting demons just to get here on time. Demons oppose everything we do, don’t they?
We looked at the origin of demons. And I tried to make the case that demons actually are the one third of the angels that fell with Satan. We saw that some are incarcerated, but some are free. More on why that’s true later in the series. We saw that the plan of salvation is not open to Satan or the demons.
From there we moved into the personhood of demons, where we saw that you can’t understand demons as just impersonal sources of energy; they’re actual beings with the elements of personhood. Not humans, of course, but in their own class they have the elements of personhood.
From there we looked at the characteristics of demons. We saw that they’re called “spirits.” We saw that their designation in the Bible is one of corruption. Some of the most vile terms that the Bible has to offer are used to describe demons.
We saw that they’re invisible from our standpoint, but when we’re given glimpses of them in Scripture—particularly in the Book of Revelation—they appear as disgusting, hideous beasts; they’re analogized to frogs, or even locusts.
From there we moved into the powers of demons. We saw that they don’t have the “omni’s”—which is not a hotel—omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence. But their strength is far greater than ours, their intelligence is far greater than ours, and their mobility is far greater than ours.
Then we spent some time working through a familiar chart, which represents all of the miracles happening in the Bible that God is not a part of. This chart demonstrates that the realm of the satanic and the demonic have the capacity to perform miracles just like God does.
Not as much power as God has, obviously, but there’s a reservoir of miracle working powers in the realm of the demonic. That’s why you can’t ascribe truth to something just because of an experience. We talked about that.
What we’re moving into this morning is number six, the works of demons. What exactly do they do? There are several things to talk about! First of all, we’ve already looked at the fact that they lack omnipresence. In fact, Satan himself lacks omnipresence because he was a created being.
When God asks Satan in the Book of Job, “…‘From where do you come?’ Then Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.’ ” You’ll see that in Job 1:7 and Job 2:2. The fact that Satan has to move to and fro over the earth, in and of itself, indicates that Satan is not omnipresent. In other words, he’s not everywhere at once the way God is.
Beyond that, we know that Satan is a creature. Ezekiel 28:13, 15 (of Satan) says, “…On the day that you were created…” That becomes very significant because we don’t ascribe God-like status to Satan—we don’t see him as the equal of God. In fact, this conflict between God and Satan is really no contest, and I think we’re going to see that later on in our Revelation 19 passage.
The only reason Satan is allowed to even exist is because God is actually using Satan for God’s own purposes. Very clearly, Satan is not omnipresent, so that makes his dominion over the world difficult. We know that he is the ruler of this world.
So how does a being that lacks omnipresence rule the world? He does it through this army that he has at his disposal, the one third of the angels that fell with him, the demons. So, he works through demons.
You listen to the way a lot of Christians talk. They’ll say, “I had a difficult time waking up this morning. The alarm didn’t go off. The car wouldn’t start. The coffee machine didn’t work.” (Which is the greatest tragedy of all, of course.) And they’ll say, “Satan was really trying to get me down!”
Not to burst anybody’s bubble but… We are probably not all that important for Satan to worry about personally. I think Satan steps in for the big jobs—like the possession of Judas, etc. But, generally speaking, we are not fighting Satan directly. Probably what is happening, through opposition, is Satan is ruling this world through demons. And it could be a lower-level demon that you’re facing.
We haven’t gotten to the Ephesians 6 passage yet, but it talks about different levels of demons. They’re organized like an army, and one of the higher-level demons is what’s called archons. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age…” (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV) “Rulers” is translated from ARCHONS.
I believe this to be true: The more your life is consecrated to God, and the more God is using you for His purposes as a Christian, the more you’re probably fighting ARCHONS—higher-level demons—because now you’re a threat. It’s like when I played basketball at the University of Redlands—NCAA Division III—we had a guy on the team that could really play! In fact, he was recruited by the Denver Nuggets. If I remember the story right, he was invited to their training camp, which is unheard of for a Division III athlete.
If he was on his game, we were going to win. If he was not on his game, we were going to lose. It was about as simple as that. It’s like, “Get the ball to Perry, and get out of the way!” That was basically our offense!
Every single team we faced knew that, because they’d watched the game tapes. So they always ran what’s called a box-and-one, where four guys stay back in a zone defense. And the fifth player on defense just followed Perry everywhere he went. He needed an “archon” to stop him because he was a threat! You stop him—you stop the team!
That’s what happens to Christians. The more they become consecrated unto God, the more they’re a threat to the kingdom of darkness, so Satan has to run a box-and-one on you. He’s got to assign an archon. Nevertheless, Satan, because he is not omnipresent, has to rule this world through demons.
So, there are many references to Satan and his demons. One of them is Matthew 12:24. “But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, ‘This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.’ ” Beelzebul is most likely a reference to Satan. And it says very clearly here that Satan is the ruler of the demons.
Both Matthew 25:41 and Revelation 12:7 refer to Satan and his angels—which are the demons. So the Bible is telling us that he is running this world system through these highly organized demons that he has organized all over the planet.
Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:7, talks about a thorn in the flesh that he had. I don’t know what the thorn in the flesh was; nobody really knows. There’s a lot of speculation about it. Was it malaria? Was it declining eyesight? Was it some kind of sickness that he had in his body?
We don’t know, but it was something that God allowed him to experience to keep him humble. Because Paul was caught up to the third heaven 14 years earlier, and he heard things that other people don’t hear. Obviously, a person in that circumstance would be very vulnerable to pride.
And God has ways of emptying us of pride, Amen? One of the things He does is He introduces a problem into your life. That will empty you of pride faster than anything. Because once you have a problem, you recognize that you’re not God and you need God on a moment-by-moment basis.
You say to yourself, “Boy, God must’ve really cursed my life to give me this thorn in the flesh!” And the reality is that the thorn in the flesh is a gift! Paul the apostle says, “There was given to me a thorn in the flesh.” It’s a gift he saw from God because it kept him dependent upon God and therefore usable.
People are always trying to figure out, “How did Paul’s ministry become so fruitful? How did he write these 13 letters that are still blessing us, to this day, 2000 years later? Paul was the greatest missionary the world has ever seen, taking the gospel all the way to Rome. You can follow his missionary journeys under the history of Dr. Luke, who wrote the Book of Acts. Luke explains Paul’s fruitfulness.
All these missiologists sit around, and they try to figure out, “How did Paul become so successful? How did he become so fruitful? What was his strategy?” And, actually, Paul tells you why he was so successful in 2 Corinthians 12:7. It had to do with this thorn in the flesh—that’s what made him successful!
That’s a different way of looking at suffering, isn’t it? It’s not so much an unwanted intruder, but it’s the very thing that keeps you in a place where you’re crying out to God. Because we don’t normally do that in our pride. We’ll check in with God when it’s convenient. “I’ve got it under control, Lord! I’ll check in with You when I need you.” God says, “You need me 24/7!” But my nature doesn’t want to submit to that. So God says, “Okay, here’s a problem that you can’t handle, and now you’ll be checking in with me 24/7!”
So, I believe the fruitfulness of Paul is found in that thorn in the flesh. I don’t know what the thorn in the flesh was. I have a tendency to think that perhaps it was the whole Corinthian church that he was trying to pastor. Have you read 1 Corinthians lately? 2 Corinthians?
How would you like to pastor that group? That could’ve been the thorn in the flesh—I don’t know for sure. But you’ll notice in that passage, 2 Corinthians 12:7, it says he was tormented by a messenger from Satan. It wasn’t even Satan himself there, but it was a messenger from Satan. Perhaps it was an archon or a lower-level demon.
Now, there are other times in Paul’s life where he actually says, “Satan stopped me” or “Satan harassed me.” So, there are times when Satan is stepping in for the big jobs, but not even Satan himself was involved with every problem in the Apostle Paul’s life. Sometimes Satan entrusted that task to what I think would be a demon or an ARCHON.
All of this to say that because Satan is not omnipresent, one of the things demons do is they subdue the earth through a highly organized army that they have. Of course, this army is invisible to us, because Ephesians 6 says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood.
But if you could see it, you would see the whole world laid out in terms of global dominion through these various demons. And Satan has a lot of demons on his side! How do I know that? Because the Bible says, of the angels, that there are 10,000×10,000. Which is a huge number—it’s innumerable—and one third of them fell! So, that’s a big chunk of entities!
Take the man at Gadara in Mark 5. “ ‘What is your name?’ And he said to Him, ‘My name is Legion; for we are many.’ ” If “legion” is the same as a Roman army, there were 3000 to 6000 demons in one person. So these passages in and of themselves tell you of this army that Satan has at his disposal.
Jumping down to the next point, these demons work together in a well-orchestrated military type system. I know that because Paul uses military imagery when he’s describing the work of demons. Slip over to Ephesians 6:11-12. Paul says, beginning in verse 10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” That’s pretty necessary, isn’t it? Considering the enemy that we face is far more powerful than we are!
“Put on 85% of the armor.” Whoops, doesn’t say that! “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes [or strategies] of the devil.” The scheme is the box-and-one; it’s a strategy that he uses.
Then he says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood…” And then he starts mentioning the military designations of demons. “…but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
We have rulers, we have powers, and then we have another group called “spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Now, almost every commentator will tell you that those are basically military terms. Some of these designations—without the wickedness attached to it earlier in Ephesians—is how God has the good angels organized in a military regiment.
And apparently Satan has the same structure with these demons. That’s how a being that lacks omnipresence is able to rule the entire world. So, point number two, these demons work clearly in harmony with one another.
Third bullet point: They influence human government. That should ring a bell because we’re always trying to figure out, “What the heck is wrong with those people?” I mean, every time you turn on the news… Whatever you watch—CNN (I hope you don’t watch too much of that), MSNBC, Fox News—it’s a total circus!
I don’t mean to get political, but they’re trying to impeach the President of the United States based on what the Constitution calls high crimes, misdemeanors, and bribery. Isn’t that what the Constitution says? You can impeach the President with those three crimes—high crimes and misdemeanors. They bring up all of these law professors and scholars to the impeachment proceedings, and they’re asked, point-blank, “What exact crime has the President committed?” And none of them can name a crime!
At least with Clinton there was actual crime that he committed: perjury. Of course, with Richard Nixon there was the Watergate break-in. As you probably know, Nixon was never impeached; he resigned before that happened. But there was an actual underlying crime that you could point to!
In this case there’s absolutely no crime taking place—at all. And you wonder, “Why do you want to impeach the President if you don’t have a crime?” Well, it turns out, “We don’t like him because of his tweets.”
I just find it very, very interesting that they’re doing the exact same thing—the exact same thing—with Benjamin Netanyahu at the same time in a different part of the world! Now, what do you attribute that to? I would attribute that to the realm of the demonic. Sorry to lay out my political beliefs here. I try not to do that, believe it or not.
But do demons actually influence the realm of government? Clearly, they do. Because Daniel 10:13 talks about an angel (who I think was Gabriel) who was dispatched from heaven to answer Daniel’s prayer request. And that good angel fought in heaven for three weeks; he couldn’t get through to answer Daniel’s prayer request for three weeks—or 21 days.
We say, “Why the delay?” Because that good angel was being resisted by a fallen angel over the kingdom of Persia. By the way, what modern day country would represent the kingdom of Persia? That’s Iran—the largest state sponsor of terrorism all over the world.
We say, “What in the world is wrong with Iran?” Well, could this be an explanation? In other words, the demon over Persia is probably still over there. When I criticize Iran, I’m criticizing the regime of Iran, because there is a great spiritual revival, as you might know, taking place in Iran now in what’s called the underground church.
I’m not condemning Iran as a whole, or Iranians as a whole, or Persians as a whole; I’m talking about the regime. My explanation as to why that regime is so pathological has something to do with this demon over Persia that, to my mind, is likely still there.
Notice what Daniel 10:13 says, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.”
In other words, this good angel says, “I’d still be up there fighting had Michael not been dispatched to help me tag team against the kingdom of Persia.” And there was a great melee—or boxing match—that took place in the heavenlies for 21 days. That’s the explanation as to why Daniel’s prayer request was not answered for a season.
Verse 20 says, “Then he said, ‘Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold [now he mentions another demon], the prince of Greece is about to come.’ ”
Greece was the next Empire on the times of the Gentiles. You probably know that under Greece the nation of Israel suffered terribly. It was under Greece that one of the Grecian rulers went into the temple and desecrated it—horrible persecution! The Feast of Lights, or Hanukkah, celebrated by our Jewish friends this time of the year, comes out of all that persecution because God still sovereignly worked.
But why was the nation of Israel so abused during the kingdom of Greece, which was about to come? It explains it right here in verse 20; there was a demon over Greece just like there was a demon over Persia.
This good angel says, “I fought my way in for 21 days. Now I’ve got to fight my way out!” You look at passages like this, and its crystal clear that demons influence human government. You start understanding that and you start understanding why 1 Timothy 2:1-4 says we ought to be in intercession for whom? Government leaders or rulers.
Why should I spend any time in my prayer life praying for a bunch of people that I didn’t vote for and I don’t like anyway? Because they are victimized by demonic interface. So, as Christians, we’re to be in prayer for those who are running government—at all levels, I believe. Because Paul says that when government is fulfilling its God ordained function and not abusing its power, the gospel can move about freer and travel in a freer, more liberated manner. Clearly here, our third bullet point: Demons can influence the realm of human government.
Continuing on, demons clearly have the ability to promote false religion. Some of these passages I’ve already shown you. Deuteronomy 32:17 talks about a false religious system. It says, “They sacrificed to demons who were not God, To gods whom they have not known, New gods who came lately, Whom your fathers did not dread.”
Here’s a whole sacrificial system to false gods taking place in the time period of the nation of Israel, and it tells you right there in verse 17 that demons were behind the whole system. You have the same kind of idea over in Psalm 106:36-38. “And served their idols, Which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with the blood.”
They were sacrificing their own children to a god (little g) named Molech. Because if their children passed through a fire, there was a promise of prosperity. What you learn here is that it was actually demons behind that whole Molech Canaanite system.
Once again, I don’t mean to be too controversial, but Molech is alive and well in the United States of America today! It’s called Planned Parenthood, or abortion on demand, up to—when you read the Roe v. Wade decision—the ninth month of pregnancy.
Now they’re even arguing that if a child is born and fighting for its life there on the operating table, then the doctors have a right to kill that child. That’s not even abortion anymore; now we’ve move into infanticide.
So why is it that all of these young people—young women and young men, because it takes two to tango—murder 1.5 million babies a year? It’s a system of Molech! It’s the idea that, “Your standard of living is going to be reduced if you have to take care of a baby. So we want people to be pro-choice.” Well, the reality of the situation is you made your choice when you decided to have sexual relations with somebody. That’s your choice!
Now you’re pregnant, and it’s not your body anymore; it’s someone else’s body, because the two have different brain waves, different blood types, different heartbeats. So what Molech is saying is, “You have a right to exterminate the life of that child, and you need to do that to up your standard of living.” That’s exactly what the Bible is speaking of when it talks about demons behind the Molech system.
This is why, with the whole issue of Planned Parenthood, it never seems to go away. It never seems to get voted out of power. You put one party in power, and they promote the system. Then you put a different party in power, and they leave the system untouched. And it never seems to disappear.
No one ever seems to overrule Roe v. Wade. It’s basically enshrined now on the law books. And every Supreme Court justice is asked before they’re confirmed to the bench, “Are you going to respect settled precedent?” Why do they keep getting asked that? What they’re saying is, “Are you going to leave Roe v. Wade alone?”
I always get a chuckle out of that every time I hear that on TV, because the Roe v. Wade decision had no respect for settled precedent! In fact, it totally overturned settled precedent. But you know what? If we just get some Republicans in there, it’s going to get fixed, right? Let me remind you of something. The author of that decision was Harry Blackmun, a Richard Nixon appointee.
I’m a Republican myself, so I’m not against Republicans. I’m saying that we think about these things in very simplistic ways, not understanding that it’s demonic. That’s what’s causing it. That’s why it’s so entrenched—it’s demonic. It’s the demonic forces of Molech at work in our country!
So now we have a Social Security crisis! “Gosh! Social security is running out, and we don’t have enough young people to pay into the system to take care of old people who are retiring.” Gee, I wonder why that’s going on?! Well, when you kill a million and a half people a year, don’t you think you might have a Social Security problem?
Think of a nation of 300 million people, and all of a sudden one in every five to six people just disappears! Think about the economic impact that would have! That’s what’s happened in the United States thanks to Roe v. Wade—a Molech system—going back to 1973.
I’m walking off a cliff here, so I might as well just keep walking. I hope you understand what the Roe v. Wade decision did. It is the most elitist decision, probably, in the history of American jurisprudence. Because what it said to the individual 50 state governments is, “You’re not smart enough to handle this issue on your own.”
The way this issue used to be handled is the state governments made decisions on whether they’re going to regulate abortion—and to what extent. So that way, if I didn’t like what my state representatives did, I had recourse against them through the ballot box.
What Roe v. Wade did is it took the decision out of the hands of the state government. An issue can become federalized and become what they call a constitutional right—which is not found, actually, in the text of the Constitution. The abortion issue got federalized, and the issue got taken out of the hands of the state government.
So now it doesn’t matter who you vote for, it’s the law of the land. What they’re basically saying there is, “You’re not smart enough to elect people to handle this issue. We—with our law degrees from Harvard—will handle the issue for you!”
That’s what happens when you have an activist Supreme Court and they start making up things that aren’t in the text of the Constitution, the power is shifted away from you to the federal judiciary.
By the way, in case you didn’t know, once you’re on the federal judiciary you’re on there for life. I may hate every single decision that they make, and it doesn’t matter because they’re appointed for life!
By the way, it only takes five votes for a decision like that! You say, “I thought there were nine on the Supreme Court?” There are, but five is a majority opinion. So, what you have in the United States is a five-member oligarchical committee that is elected by no one, and voted for by no one, taking decisions that used to be in your hands and putting them in their hands over something as fundamental as, “When does life begin?”
How did we get off on all that? I have no idea. But Molech is alive and well in the United States—that’s my point!
Clearly, demons have the capacity to promote false religion. Notice, if you will, 1 Corinthians 10:20. Paul talks about a religious system in Corinth in the temple, which involved temple prostitution. He tells his audience to stay away from that pagan temple. And in the process of giving that exhortation and injunction, Paul says this in 1 Corinthians 10:20, “No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to…” What? “…demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.”
Paul looks at this pagan sacrificial system taking place in Corinth, and he says, “The whole thing is demonic! Therefore, why would you as a Christian participate in it in any way?” In the process, Paul explains that demons are behind false religion.
One more just for good measure. Take a look at 1 Timothy 4:1. Still on the fourth bullet point. “But the Spirit explicitly says…” He’s saying the Spirit is trying to say something. The Spirit with Paul is always saying something, but now Paul says the Spirit is really saying something! He’s always saying something, but the Spirit is drawing particular attention to this.
Paul, of course, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, could make statements like that. “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith…” Is that happening today? “…paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons…”
The word “doctrine” there is essentially the same word that’s used when Paul says we ought to give ourselves to sound doctrine. What is a doctrine? It’s a teaching. We promote Bible-based doctrines at Sugar Land Bible Church. And what we learn here is Satan has his own doctrines. In other words, Charles Ryrie is not the only one that has authored a systematic theology. Satan has a systematic theology! It would just be unbiblical doctrines or unbiblical teachings.
I don’t recommend that you get into the world of the cults (or false religion) unless God is calling you to study that. What you discover with Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, The First Church of Satan, Scientology, Islam—whatever false religion you want to talk about—is a mind-boggling, elaborate system of teachings, rules, and regulations.
You say, “Well, where did those come from?” Paul tells us right here that they came from the demons—or Satan himself. You look at passages like this, and clearly Satan has the ability, along with his demons, to promote false religion.
Continuing on here with our list: Demons afflict the mind. One of the illustrations that I’ve used over and over again to communicate this point is the 9/11 hijackers did not have to take control of every square inch of the airplane. That was never their objective.
Their only objective is to control that little room in the front where the pilots sit. It would probably represent 5% of the airplane in terms of space, maybe a little more or less. You control that small percentage, and you control the whole plane! You influence the whole plane by controlling that room.
So, what are demons targeting? They’re targeting your mind! Because if they can influence the way you think, they influence your whole life! After all, Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”
Can demons possess you? I’ll make the case later on in the series that they cannot! But they can sure influence you! And if you’re only going to give Satan 5% of your mind, he’ll take that! He’ll take whatever you give him. Because he knows that if he can influence the way you think in any way, he can influence your whole life.
It’s very clear that when you look at this man at Gadara—who is demon possessed—this man is not in his right mind! There is something mentally off, or wrong, about him. Mark 5:3 says, “and he had his dwelling among the tombs.” Does that sound like someone in their right mind? “And no one was able to bind him anymore, even with a chain.”
Then verse 5 says, “Constantly, night and day, he was screaming…” Does that sound like someone in their right mind? “…among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with stones.”
Now, there are a lot of books that are very helpful on spiritual warfare—some not so helpful. I’ve read a number of them. And it’s interesting to me that a lot of these authors on spiritual warfare will tell you that there are things going on in mental asylums or hospitals that are inexplicable from a medical perspective. In other words, they have no explanation as to why So-and-So is doing the things that they’re doing and is not in their right mind.
The reason that they’re coming short is they’re analyzing it from a physiological, mental, medical perspective, and they’re not looking at it from the perspective of God’s Word. Because God’s Word clearly says that the demons can and will torment the mind. You start to understand this, then you understand why Paul says put on the what of salvation? The helmet! What does that protect? It protects your mind! If your mind is protected, then your life is not influenced negatively.
Satan is after the mind! I think he’s even after the mind of the Christian—especially the Christian! Because Satan would like nothing better than to use a Christian for his own purposes. You say, “Well, come on now. Satan can’t use a Christian!” Well, when you get to heaven one day, talk to Peter about that! He’ll tell you all about it.
Peter made a statement one day concerning a bad career move of Jesus. “You don’t want to die on a cross, Jesus. That’s not what a Messiah does.” And Jesus says, “Get behind Me,” what? “Get behind Me, Satan!” So, they clearly afflict the mind!
Second bullet point: They afflict the body. Some of these verses I’ve already shared with you. Matthew 12:22 says, “Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw.” A guy that can’t see or speak was in that condition physically because a demon was inside of him.
Notice, if you will, Mark 9:20. “They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth.” This is like some of the junior high school youth groups I’ve seen! But rolling around foaming at the mouth? Think about that. A demon is causing that!
Luke 13:11 says, “And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness…” Look at what it says here, “…caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all.” Then, in verse 16, Jesus is speaking, “And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?”
They’re all mad about their rules! “You’re not following our policy manual, Jesus! You’re healing on the Sabbath!” Jesus says, “Well, the last time I checked, I know a little bit more about the Sabbath than you do, because I’m the Lord of the Sabbath! In fact, I’m the One Who gave Moses the command about the Sabbath. So I think I know something about the original intent of the Sabbath!” Then He talks about how the Sabbath was given for the benefit of man.
So, a demon is coming out of a person, and Jesus exercises that demon on the Sabbath. The woman gets well, and she’s been incarcerated in this state for 18 years. “I am the Lord of the Sabbath, and I am doing what the Sabbath is all about! Concerning your policy manual? I don’t really care about your policy manual, because you all have a bunch of rules and regulations that have nothing to do with the original intent of the Sabbath!” But you’ll notice here that a demon was clearly crippling this woman.
We’ve already looked at Paul’s thorn in the flesh—whatever that was. In 2 Corinthians 12:7 it’s called a “messenger from Satan.” Can Satan mess with your body? Can demons mess with your body? Clearly, the Bible teaches that!
Now here is where we have to be extremely careful. Because not every single physical malady or infirmity that people suffer from is attributable to the realm of the demonic. On that particular slide I’ve got all kinds of examples from Matthew’s gospel of people that are suffering physically of one thing or the other. Yet, in all those passages, you won’t see Satan or the demons mentioned a single time.
So, sometimes the physical suffering we go through simply relates to the fact that we’re living in a fallen world, and we’re going to unravel anyway—whether demons are causing it or not. If you don’t believe this, just take out your high school yearbook picture and compare it to your modern-day driver’s license picture; and you’ll see that you’re deteriorating.
You’ll see the truth of the Bible where God said to our forebears, “For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” The older we get, the more we look at our selfies—which are painful to look at—the more we see the fact that we’re going right back into the dirt from which we came.
Paul talks about this in Romans 8:19-23. He says, “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth…”
Anybody wake up today groaning? My wife—you can pray for her—is having surgery tomorrow because she had that injury on the softball field. She got a bad diagnosis from—I don’t know if I should say because I don’t want to become the subject of litigation—a medical entity nearby. Consequently, the muscles are growing back incorrectly, which runs her the risk of losing the use of two to three fingers for her whole life.
Now they’ve got to go in and they’ve got to align everything properly, and that’s going to happen Monday. As you know, she’s not the only one going through medical issues. There are many, many people in our church experiencing all kinds of problems. So you can look at the prayer list and remember to pray for folks. And if you pray for Anne tomorrow morning, that would be greatly appreciated!
I guarantee you that she woke up this morning, and she was groaning. There was some groaning going on! And what did I do? I didn’t pull out the Bible and hit her over the head and say, “There it is—right there in Romans 8!” But the reality of the situation is that we’re groaning because we’re deteriorating.
Paul says in Romans 8:22, “For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons…” What does it say here? The redemption of what? “…the redemption of our body.”
So, the body is deteriorating and groaning. Why bring that up? I bring that up because you can’t be simplistic and say that every malady in one’s body is demonic! Can demons cause problems in the physical body? Clearly, they can! But we don’t rush to the conclusion that every malady is demonic. Because we would have maladies in the body whether the demons were involved or not.
Because we’re living in a creation that’s groaning, and it can’t wait for the redemption of our body—which is our resurrected state. Having said all that, quite clearly demons have the ability to afflict the body. I just want to be balanced in the whole subject.
The last one here on the list is that demons can hinder the prayers of believers. We won’t go back to read it because we read earlier, but it has to do with Daniel 10, particularly verses 12-20, where Daniel prayed for insight.
By the way, when Daniel prayed for insight here, he was in his 80s! I believe he probably received the greatest insight he’d ever received in his 80s. A lot of people have this mindset that, “Well, I’m old, and I’m finished serving the Lord.” Are you kidding me? Look at all the life experience that you have! Don’t you think God would take advantage of that in your latter years? Don’t disqualify yourself as being too old or too young (or whatever) to serve the Lord.
Daniel is old. And, actually, the nation of Israel had gone back into the land at this Time. He’s left behind because he’s faithfully serving in the administration of Persia, and he just wants to know what the future is for Israel.
He receives from heaven—as Michael is dispatched—this incredible vision. We’ve studied it in this church in our Daniel series; it spans two chapters, chapters 11 and 12. It takes you right on through the intertestamental period and describes all of those conflicts that Israel would experience there 400 years after Daniel left the scene.
It takes you right into the great Tribulation period. And it takes you right into the Millennial Kingdom. It even talks about a 75-day interval between the Second Advent of Christ and when the Kingdom starts. There is some really fascinating stuff here! We all love chapters 11 and 12, but what about chapter 10?
Daniel didn’t get that right away (even though he prayed for it) because two angels were fighting. Gabriel was dispatched from heaven to answer this request. Gabriel is resisted by a demon—the prince and power over Persia. Then Michael had to be dispatched to help Gabriel. And as the two of them tag teamed on the demon over Persia, there was a melee in heaven for 21 days.
This is why Daniel didn’t get an answer to this prayer request for 21 days—or three weeks. Because the demons didn’t want Daniel to have this insight, and they certainly didn’t want it recorded in Holy Scripture.
This becomes another important principle, that as you’re on the threshold of God doing the greatest things He could do in your life, there’s a prolonged season of conflict first. Because Satan doesn’t want your life to be used of God. So right as you get on the precipice of God really using you, now all of a sudden you’re having all of these problems and all of these conflicts. And we get discouraged and say, “Well, I must be out of the will of God.”
Daniel probably thought, “I’m outside of the will of God; I haven’t gotten an answer to this for 21 days!” And yet he’s directly in the will of God. The conflict was heating up because Daniel was about to be blessed! But you’ll notice that these demons were heavily involved trying to prevent this vision from getting to Daniel—trying to prevent an answer to his prayer request.
Satan will do whatever he has to do to keep you in darkness—to keep the inside of God out of your mind and out of your life—because the moment you receive those insights is the moment you become a threat to his purposes.
This last point is very clear, “Demons can hinder answers to prayer.” You might be praying for something over and over again that you haven’t gotten answered. And you wonder, “Why hasn’t God answered?” Could it have something to do with this?
The next time we’re together we’re going to be moving into the occult, which are supernatural powers that demons give to people. They’re spelled out very clearly in the Bible: divination, spiritism, magic, pharmakeia.
We’re going to be looking at the biblical basis for those and why we should stay away from them, including a lot of the videogames and books that your children and grandchildren are likely reading, the movies they’re watching, the screen time of which they’re availing themselves.
I’ll be giving you some reasons why I think a lot of these things are occultic, and I’ll be giving you some websites you can visit. You may not believe me, so you can explore the occultic origin of some of these things.
You’re probably going to ask me, “Have you played all those games? Do you have first-hand experience?” Here’s my answer, “I don’t have to drink the ocean to know that it’s saltwater.” There are people that have analyzed these things, and I’ll share those sources with you.