Jesus once cast demons out of a man, and the demons said their name was "Legion" because there were so many of them. Do you have any doubt that the Bible clearly says that demons do exist? Do you have any doubt that there is demonic activity in the world today?
Admittedly, the popular term "demon possession" isn't Scriptural. Nor is the term "demon oppression." When the Bible talks about a person having a demon, it simply says, "He had a demon."
There are two different Greek words (or expressions) in the New Testament that are translated "demon." One is daimonoV and the other is pneuma akaqartoV ("unclean spirit"). We're pretty sure that they mean the same thing.
Jesus had a lot to say about morality, and about the End Times, but he taught almost nothing about demons (see Matt. 12:43ff, for instance). In Eph. 6:12ff, we are told that we are fighting a spiritual fight, but we are told in Col. 2:15 that Jesus has already beaten the "spiritual authorities" (the expression translated "spiritual authorities" in Col. 2:15 is the very same Greek expression used in Eph. 6:12). In Ephesians, we are struggling against them; in Colossians, Jesus has disarmed them, made a spectacle of them, and triumphed over them (sounds like a complete victory, doesn't it?). One would think that if the subject of demon possession were important, and indeed if "spiritual warfare" were a full-time occupation of the devoted Christian, there would be lots of New Testament material on the subject.
II Cor. 10:4-5 seems to describe our "warfare" in terms of verbal warfare demolishing arguments. Are YOU ready with an answer for someone who asks you the reason for the hope you have (I Pet. 3:15)?
Most of the New Testament pronouncements having to do with spiritual struggle describe it in terms of a battle that is already won (or almost already won Rom. 16:20 says that God will soon crush Satan under our feet). For example: The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (I John 4:4). If God is for us, who can be against us (Rom. 8:31)? We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Rom. 8:37). In fact, did you know that, because you're a Christian, God has already given you everything you need for life and godliness (II Pet. 1:3)? This means that when you "stumble," you can't get away with making those excuses about being a "baby Christian."
I think people concentrate on the "spiritual warfare" aspect of Christianity because they're bored. The movies we watch are filled with special effects, helicopter chase scenes, and exploding automobiles. We want our Christian life to be similarly dramatic, and often it just isn't. When Satan attacks, it won't be in the form of a fire-breathing dragon. He's subtle. He'll have you thinking your faith is boring.
Remember that it's a wicked and adulterous generation that demands a sign (Matt. 16:4). Try not to be a thrill-seeker. In malice, be children; in understanding, be men.
|Names of demons|