If You Believe In Angels, Believe In Demons - Page 2
by John Lowe
DEMONS IN THE BIBLE
God’s Use of Demons
Saul’s attendants said to him, “See an evil spirit from God is tempting you.” (1 Samual 16:15)
Anytime someone was sick or there was a catastrophe, they would say “God put this on you. What have you done?” That is how people felt in Saul’s day and even until after the time of Christ. Even today, some believe that all sickness and misfortune is from God.
When Israel demanded a king their choice was Saul. He was not God’s choice. David would be His choice, but God blessed Saul. He was successful in war and in governing Israel. He became rich and powerful and as with most men, that are successful, he forgot God and believed that he was the one that was wise and won the wars.
Saul gave a smaller place to God and greater recognition to himself. God’s response was to withdraw His spirit and so he lost the assistance of the good spirit that directed, animated, and encouraged him in his government and wars. When the spirit of God departs from us all good goes from the man. There is one that is eager to fill the void. The Devil, by divine permission, troubled and terrified Saul. He became discontent and suspicious. He became unfit to conduct the business of government and he was a burden to all that were about him.
God can turn any situation around or He will use the circumstance to accomplish His divine purpose. That is what He does here. Only the music of David can calm Saul when the Devil troubles him. David is brought into the court and God prepares him to fulfill the role of king. David was able to observe how government operates. He made friends, like Jonathan, Saul’s son. He learned how to make war and to be victorious.
When the time came, David would be ready to be king. God allowed a demon to inflict Saul and that gave David a position in the court, right where God wanted him.
God will never be associated with any form of evil, however, He does permit evil to exist in the world, and as He did in the life of Saul, will use the evil spirit to accomplish his purpose. The life of Joseph is where we can see another example of how He uses the evil intentions of men for good. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, sure that he would die in Egypt or that they would never see him again. However, in the end, Joseph was able to say, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” God saved the nation of Israel, by the hand of Joseph.
Protected by Blessing
But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.” (Numbers 22:12)
The Moabites were the enemies of God and God’s people, Israel. Later they would be defeated and for as long as they were a people they would be slaves for the Israelites. However, at this point in time, they are a people facing conquest by Israel.
Their king is Balak and he is seeking an edge in the form of a curse to be placed on Israel. Balaam, the son of Beor, would pronounce the curse. He would be paid for the service. The benefit of the curse may only lie in the mind of the recipient. But God was dealing personally with His people and would not permit a curse on them from any source. God came to Balaam and told him not to curse Israel. He reminded him that He had made them a promise, “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee.”
Balaam told the princes of Moab that he would not curse Israel, even if they gave him a palace filled with silver and gold.
The promise of blessing to Israel was fulfilled many times throughout history and is still being fulfilled today. Every nation that has sought to be a curse to Israel, by way of war and conquest, has fallen and suffered great poverty and tragedy. God has blessed the friends of Israel, such as the United States.
We know also that the scriptures tell us that believers are the true Israel of today. Those that suffer for their faith are the blessed of God and Christianity thrives where persecution abounds. A man is first blessed, when God chooses him. The Christian is protected by blessing, just as Israel was. The Holy Spirit seals us against harm by demons and Satan. Jesus is our shield and our fortress.
I know a preacher that is fond of saying, “Your arms are too short to box with God.” The statement is humorous but true. Why does “little man” try so hard to deny God His place? Why does Satan continue to rally his demon forces against God? Perhaps, as Solomon said, “A fool says in his heart, there is no God”, and in Satan’s case, “All is vanity.”
Today, we need to see God as He really is. He is sovereign, powerful and holy. He is our protector and blesser. Those that ignore Him will die in their sin and those that call Him “Buddy” and “the man upstairs” will not do so when they stand in his presence. If only we could see ourselves as God sees us. The best man or woman that ever lived was needy, lost, and hopeless and their righteousness was like filthy rags. We can only boast of Him and cry out for mercy; never justice. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
He called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (Mathew 10:1)
Jesus asked the disciples to pray that God would send preachers to the multitudes of the lost souls that He saw every day. There were only twelve disciples and Jesus. But the disciples had only been called; they had not yet been sent. At this time there were many demons active because of the impiety of the Jews, and the prevalence of magic arts among them. By divine permission, demons had taken possession of a great many of them.
Jesus told the disciples that He would make them “fishers of men”. They sat at His feet and He taught them the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. They were to be Christ’s messengers, but first, they must be proved. 1 Timothy 3:10 says, “They must first be tested, and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons”. Paul said, “God was pleased to reveal His Son in me, so that I could preach Him among the Gentiles.” (Galatians 1:16) The deacon must not be a novice, because he could do damage to Christ’s church. He must be called by God, trained as a shepherd and fully equipped to preach the “Good News”.
Christ sent them forth with his power and under His authority. He personally qualified them and authorized them. They were to depend entirely upon him. They were destitute according to worldly standards: not having money or possessions.
Their testimony was to be to Israel only, but because Israel was under the yoke of Gentiles, since the time of Nebucanezer, their testimony would reach all the way to the Rulers. This testimony would excite an opposition that would break family ties and awaken hatred. If opposition to their testimony took the form of persecution, they were not to resist, but should flee and preach the Gospel elsewhere.
Those that were subject to the Gospel were obliged to make a decision. Their acceptance or rejection of the message and the messenger determined their fate. Jesus sent them forth as sheep in the midst of wolves. However, they were not to be afraid and they were not to be concerned about the words that they were to speak. They would receive power and guidance so that the words that they spoke would not be their own, but His who inspired them. In this fashion, Paul in defending his life before Felix preached and almost convinced Felix to become a Christian.
THROUGH HIS MESSENGERS, CHRIST HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE MORE PROOF OF HIS DEITY. THE MESSIAH, THE SEED OF THE WOMAN THAT WILL BRUISE THE HEAD OF THE SERPENT, DID THAT WHEN HIS DISCIPLES EJECTED THE DEMONS.
In John 6:70-71, Jesus said, “Have I not chosen you twelve and one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for he is the one that would betray him and he was one of the twelve. This man is a great mystery. Jesus says that he has a demon, which probably means that he was demon-possessed, yet Jesus chose him and he was one of the twelve. When did the demon infiltrate Judas? I believe that it was sometime after the twelve were given power over demons as described in Mathew 10:1.