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Restraining the Demons

People often use the word demon metaphorically to describe recurring tormets, such as dealing with the demons in their lives. Many also believe that demons are literal beings who were cast out of Heaven during the rebellion of Satan. What do they look like?

While people may think those scary nightmare-fuel being depicted in modern art, comic books, movies, and such, the reality can be far different. Satan and his minions can take whatever appearance suits them so they can influence and affect people.

Some people disbelieve in demons, others believe wrongly, but they are real. God limits them. Christians must learn how to counteract their influence in our lives.
Tamara and Demon by Konstantin Makovsky, 1889
Perhaps the extreme portrayals of the devil and demons are one reason people disbelieve in their existence (similar to toy boat depictions of Noah's Ark contribute to rejections of the real thing). Strangely enough, people try to not only disbelieve but also believe at the same time — including atheists. If demons want to be glowing-eyed scary, they will. Or fleeting shadows. Or space aliens. Or preachers in nice suits (consider 2 Cor. 11:14-15). Or a physically attractive person. Or...

They are real and they want to destroy Christians. Quite often, this is done through distractions. Indeed, unbelievers are distracted and deceived so they have no interest in the gospel message. Believers have demons and the devil not only dancing with them in the pale moonlight, but I can attest to my grief being amplified by them pounding on my spirit in bright daylight.

Angels, whether God's holy ones or those that are fallen, are individuals with personalities. More than that, they are extremely intelligent with thousands of years of experience. People who read the Bible should know that they are also extremely powerful and fast. Demons propagate false doctrines and immorality, which helps explain why evolutionism is linked to numerous perversions.

Christians are targeted by demons. They attempt to give false teachings to the biblically illiterate and the gullible, tempt us into sin which can neutralize our effectiveness, and more. While a Christian cannot be possessed by demons, we can be oppressed. However, God has restrained them and limited their power over us. He has given us the weapons of our warfare — of which too many professing Christians lack skill or even awareness.

Clearly, outright denial of Satan and demons is not the answer. That view rejects the revelation in the Bible and the phenomena witnessed clearly and broadly in many lands and societies. The first- and second-world countries, not just third-world countries, experience demonic powers, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

As the former chairman of the theology department at Moody Bible Institute and author of Demon Possession & the Christian, I have carefully studied such topics. Demons are real and need to be taken seriously, even if many claims about evil spirits are fabricated or exaggerated.

Please read the full article (or listen to the audio version, which I recommend playing at a faster rate than provided). It is found at "Demons on a Leash."