Introduction - What are "demons"?
Belief in evil spirits is as old as humanity. In ancient Messopotamia expectant mothers quaked at the thought that the demon-goddess Lamashtu might be stalking them, eager to claim their baby at birth. In the first century some persons were believed to have supernatural powers because they had a relationship with demon "assistants" who carried out spells they cast against others. Just who these evil spirits were, or where they came from, was a mystery. But no one doubted that they exist.
Christians believe in evil spirits too. The four New Testament books that tell about the life of Jesus Christ, called the Gospels, frequently picture Jesus interacting with people who are afflicted by demons. These demons truly are evil, causing blindness, deafness, crippling diseases and, in extreme cases, madness. In every case Jesus commands the demons to leave the person they're tormenting. And the demons, recognizing Jesus as the Son of God, are forced to obey him. The people the demons oppressed are healed and freed.
Certainly the designation "evil spirits" fits the demons of the New Testament. They are evil, committed to harming human beings. And they are spirits, something invisible as if from a different dimension. The ancients puzzled over the nature of evil spirits. Some thought they were the hostile ghosts of people who'd been mistreated while alive. Some thought of them as minor gods or goddesses. The Bible's answer to the question of "What are demons?" is unique.
Scripture tells us that before God created the material universe he created a host of the spirit beings we call angels. At some point a powerful angel named Lucifer led a rebellion against God. Lucifer was transformed into Satan, and the angels who joined his rebellion became demons, the "evil spirits" of the Gospels. The rebel Satan and the now-demons who followed him became the implacable enemies of God. And, because God loves human beings, Satan and demons seek to oppose God by oppressing and attacking human beings.
What's fascinating for all of us who believe that there is a spirit world is that the Bible pictures just two kinds of spirits: angels, good spirits who love God and carry out his orders, and evil spirits, who hate God and are committed to deceive and torment human beings.
Christians don't have all the answers about paranormal events, simply because the Bible doesn't speak of them. But the Bible does address the spirit world. It pictures a world that can and does interact with ours. And it warns against attempts to contact that world, for the spirits eager to reach us are evil. Whether these spirits take the form of ghosts or goddesses, or masquerade as "spirit guides," underneath, the Bible warns, they really are demons.
The good news about the spirit world, however, is that Jesus is far more powerful than evil spirits. The Son of God, who cast out demons in the first century, can free us from their influence today.
For a full discussion of this topic please read the posts beginning with "Spiritual Geography".
Pastor Jochem’s book “The Spirit Universe: A Christian View” is available in the Amazon Bookstore. His book is an invaluable resource to have on hand if you are interested in general information needed for investigating the paranormal, deliverance ministry, or counseling those hypersensitive to the spirit universe or those who are dealing with the occult and negative spirits. The book contains reorganized content from the blog, expanded information, and new content which will not be published in this blog. For more information and to order the book, click Here
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