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UCG IA Bible Insights Thursday, April 21 2022

When demons are real

Your Bible reveals a powerful, intelligent and influential being who, with his companions, are actively orchestrating the wickedness dominating our planet. The Bible calls him the devil and Satan, and his followers are evil demons.

by Steve Myers

But can a red creature with horns, a pointy tail with wings and a pitchfork really be taken all that seriously? Because Satan and his demons are typically represented in such a bizarre way it isn't surprising many think he is just a fictitious myth.

Accurate information about the spirit world cannot be obtained from a medium, palm reader or psychic. There is only one dependable source for information about the spirit world and that is the Bible, which tells us the spirit world is every bit as real as our own physical world.

Jesus Christ spoke of the devil as a powerful, conscious entity and taught demons can influence us. Just before He began His ministry Satan tried to tempt Jesus to sin and disqualify Himself as our Savior, but Christ resisted him: “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Matthew 4:10).

Not only is the devil the enemy of Christ, he is the enemy of mankind and all followers of Christ. The Apostle Peter warns: "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). Revelation 12:9 tells us the devil "deceives the whole world."

The name ‘Satan’ comes from a Hebrew word that can mean adversary, the enemy, our opponent, an accuser or slanderer (Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 5, 1992, "Satan," p. 985). ‘Devil’ is another term used in the Bible, which is translated from the Greek word diabolos, literally meaning "an accuser” or “slanderer" (W.E. Vine, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, "Devil, Devilish").

Satan deceives well meaning Christians about the truth of the Bible, and Jesus warns, “...Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name… and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5). Ephesians 2:2 identifies Satan as “...the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”

The Apostle Paul tells us, “...we are not [or should not be] ignorant of [Satan’s] devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11) and we should be aware of the ways Satan and his demons deceive us. They are liars who twist the truth to hide the true teachings of Jesus Christ, promoting deceit, disorder and destruction in our lives. Satan's imperceptible broadcasts are bad attitudes, wrong moods and contaminated ways of thinking, leading to disobedience and sin.

Demons are always wicked even when they appear otherwise: “Even Satan can disguise himself to look like an angel of light. So it is no great thing if his servants disguise themselves to look like servants of righteousness…” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Their purpose is to undermine your faith, opposing God and counterfeiting the true message of the Bible. Jesus warned “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24).

Satan and his demons are not just symbolic. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). They want to infiltrate your mind with false teachings and distract you with the cares of this world.

A survey found that 45% of Americans believe in ghosts, or that the spirits of dead people can come back, and 50% of Australians believe in ghosts and spirits. The book of Samuel shows demons can be an apparition, and take on the likeness of a man, but they are not ghosts or disembodied people. They are evil, lying spirits masquerading to victimize and fool you. Acts 19:13-16 records another example of demon possession.

Demonic activity is real, but God is greater than any demon. We are in a spiritual battle to counteract Satan’s deception and distortion of biblical truth, but we don’t have to fear him if we are doing our part in surrendering our lives to God and His way of life. “Draw close to God and the devil will flee from you” (James 4:7).

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