Today we're going to talk about demonology. Jesus spent His ministry on earth casting out demons, healing the sick, raising the dead, and doing other miracles. About one-fourth of His ministry was spent expelling evil spirits from people. The Bible tells us in Acts 10:38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him." Also, 1 John 3:8 says, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." I used to have a different view of demonology—that demons, evil spirits, unclean spirits, devils, whatever you want to call them—only appeared in India or third-world countries where the people don't worship the True and Living God but worship idols. I was wrong.
I want to tell you about an experience I had a few years ago in a church in Dallas, Texas. All the people were singing when all of a sudden this girl just fell on the floor. It looked like she was having a seizure. There happened to be a medical doctor there whose name was Dr. Rice. Some people in the church had a home about a block from the church, and he said to take her there so he could examine her. When we got her to their home, this girl was like a wildcat! Her eyes were dilated, and there was a strong masculine voice speaking out of this little bitty teenage girl, who probably weighed less than a hundred pounds. Suddenly, this thing began to attack me verbally, saying things like, "YOU'RE GOING TO HELL!" I said, "No, I'm not." I was scared because I'd never seen anything like this before. It said, "YES, YOU ARE GOING TO HELL," and I said, "No, I'm not. I'm not going to hell." It seemed to have power or authority over me, and I didn't know what to do or how to deal with the thing that was in this girl.
One of my good friends was so scared he left right away, and there I was. I thought, What in the world do I do? The girl had supernatural strength, and she began to speak something like German that she had never learned—all kinds of wild manifestations of the devil came out of her. She was demon-possessed, and though I didn't know what to do, I'd always believed the Bible has power. It's like when you were a kid and watched those scary Dracula horror movies. The vampire would come toward the person, and all of a sudden, the person would pull out a cross and the vampire would go "ARRRGH!" That's the way I thought about the Bible. I knew it had power, but I didn't know how to get the power out of the Bible. The grace of God helped me, because I'd never experienced anything like this before. I opened my Bible to the New Testament and happened to turn to the book of Philippians. I began to read in chapter 2 verses 8‑11: "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
The demon said, "Don't say that! I can't stand those words! Don't say that!" I thought, What a reaction! So I said, "Well, at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow—things in heaven, things on earth, and things under the earth." "Don't say that! I can't stand those words! Don't say that, don't say that!" she yelled. I thought, This devil is going crazy inside this girl, and all I'm doing is reading the Word of God! So I read it again, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow." Again, there was the same reaction; "Don't say that, I can't stand that!" Then the demon grabbed the girl by her ears, and she said, "Don't say that! I can't stand those words, don't say that!" The devil threw the girl down before me, and she began to bow at the name of Jesus. And I said, "At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, whether in heaven or in earth or under the earth."
Just moments before, that devil had authority and power over me. I thought he was going to whip me, beat me up, throw me out of there—I didn't know! All I knew was that the Bible has power, and I opened it and began to read. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:17, "And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." You see, there is an offensive weapon which is like a sword that will cut and hurt the enemy. It is the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Do you remember when Jesus was tempted? The devil came to Him and said, "I'll give you all the kingdoms of the world if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus said, "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Matthew 4:10). Then the devil tempted Him, and tempted Him again, and Jesus said "It is written, Satan...it is written," and then quoted the Word of God. He used the Sword of the Spirit, and the Bible says the devil took off and left Him for a season.
The only weapon we have to defeat the enemy is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Do you know what I learned from that? I learned this: Every time I want to study the Word, I think about how hungry I am and have to go find something to eat, or I think about all the things I didn't do that day. I know that those in this discipleship class will have all sorts of excuses why they can't come. I finally figured out why. There's something in the Bible that God wants us to know and the devil doesn't want us to know. So every time you come to study God's Word, or do a discipleship class, there's something in the Word of God the enemy doesn't want you to know—he doesn't want you to know the God behind these words.
There is a kingdom of darkness, and there is the kingdom of God's dear Son. In Colossians 1:13, Paul says, "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." What kingdom are you in? A kingdom is where someone has the rule and reign. Jesus Christ is a king. Have you ever given your life to Him? Are you following Him today, or are you letting other things have priority in your life? Jesus said this in Luke 6:46, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" He wants to be preeminent in your life, to be number one. There is a kingdom of darkness that is trying to keep Him from that preeminence, that place of reigning in your life. The reason for this is the enemy wants to rise up in that place of preeminence. Turn to Jesus today with all your heart, and realize there is an enemy. His name is Satan and he has demonic power, but the Bible tells us we have authority over him.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:8, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." Preach the Gospel of the kingdom, and as you go you have authority over the enemy. Don't let the enemy talk you out of what God has for your life any longer. Make Jesus Lord and number one in your life.
You will never regret it.
- Read Ephesians 6:12."For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." - Ephesians 6:12How does this verse describe our spiritual conflict with the demonic realm?Answer
- Read Mark 16:17."And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues." - Mark 16:17What does this verse teach us about the authority of the believer?Answer
- Read James 4:7."Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." - James 4:7What must a person seeking deliverance from demons do?Answer
- Read James 1:14."But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." - James 1:14How does Satan deceive us into making something evil look desirable?Answer
- Read Romans 6:13."Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." - Romans 6:13If a person fills their life with the things of Christ, demons will get uncomfortable and leave on their own. What does this verse tell us to do?Answer
- Read Romans 13:14."But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." - Romans 13:14Demons feed on the works of the flesh, so starve them out by walking in God's ways of love and purity. We are to make no provision for the flesh.Answer
- Read Luke 10:17‑19."17And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." - Luke 10:17‑19Jesus never tells us to pray to Him to cast out demons. He's given us authority. This verse tells us we have power and authority over all the power of the enemy.Answer