Animation of Demons
This word suggests to us the swiftness with which these demons move. Their liveliness, their swiftness, is beyond our conception. Due to their swiftness and number, Satan is practically, though not personally, everywhere. He is not omnipresent as many suppose. Concerning this I quote from F. C. Jennings book, Satan. “It is popularly supposed that he is omnipresent; that he is capable at one and the same moment, of directing an assault in America, of hurling his fiery darts with his own hand in all parts of Europe; of personally maintaining his kingdom in Asia, Africa or the islands of the sea. Every believer assumes, as did Luther, that he himself is the object of the direct personal assault of the one arch-enemy of mankind. Scripture does not so teach. When he was personally dealing with the Lord Jesus he was nowhere else; and when he ‘left Him for a season’, he did not remain with Him at all. It is true that there are hosts of evil ones; subordinate principalities and powers that do his bidding, and one may speak of these as merely the representatives of this master with perfect truth. Swift in flight, too, beyond our conception may these spirit-essences be, but that is not omnipresence.
Aye, and with possibilities of communications of which our telephone and wireless telegraphy may give us suggestions, one can readily apprehend the powers these spirits may have of communicating with one another from one end of the earth to the other in a moment of time.”
Authorization of Demons
The governing authority and power among these hosts of evil is under the control of Belial (2 Cor. 6:15). Mr. James Gunn says, “This descriptive title, “Belial”, implies that Satan is the chief of the unholy angels, the leader of evil principalities and powers in heavenly places.” Satan not only is the author, but also the head of an organized kingdom of darkness; and, as such, all subordinate “seducing spirits” and “powers” are under his control, his agents to do his bidding.
While Satan has power, let us remember that God has all power. His power is limited only by God and can act only under the permissive will of God.
Scripture is clear as to demons being under authority. Since Satan reigns over “his kingdom” (Matt. 12:41), demons are “his angels” (Matt. 25:41), messengers or emissaries to do his works.
Occupation of Demons
These demons are personal beings, able to enter and to control men and animals. They possess sight, hearing, and speech (Matt. 8:28-32).
That they seek embodiment is seen from Matthew 9:32; 12:22; 15:22; 17:18. Mark 5:12; and Acts 16:16. Possession with or by a demon or demons is distinctly asserted in Luke 6:17, 18. Luke as a physician was able to distinguish between the symptons of disease and those of demoniacal possession. The Spirit of God in the Evangelists would not have sanctioned such a distinction, or have left men under a superstitious error, had the distinction been false. “There is nothing wrong in our using the word lunacy for madness; but if we described its cure as the moon’s ceasing to afflict, or if the doctor addressed the moon commanding it to leave the patient alone, it would be a lie” (Trench, Miracles). Demons spoke with superhuman knowledge (Acts 16:16); recognized Jesus, not merely as Son of David (which they would have done had their voice been merely that of the existing Jewish superstition), but as “Son of God” (Matt. 8:29). Our Lord speaks of the disciples’ casting out of demons as an earnest of the final “fall” of Satan before the kingdom of Christ (Luke 10:18). “Men might imagine the existence of demons; but swine could only be acted on by an external real personal agent; the entrance of the demons into the swine of Gadara and their consequent drowning prove demons to be objective realities” (Fausset).
We also note that these spirits are unclean (Matt. 10:1; 12:43). Their being such, are they not responsible for the impurity and passions of men? As “unclean” they can tempt man with unclean thoughts.
They are “exceeding dangerous” (Matt 8:28, J.N.D.). They are able to blind the eyes, bind the tongue and beguile the minds of men.
Their influence is also manifest in religious asceticism, fanaticism, and evil teaching (1 Tim. 14:1). Concerning this the late W. E. Vine has said, “Demons are capable not merely of dragging men into sensuality, but of persuading them to a life of asceticism, philanthropy, self-denial, and morality — all excellent things in themselves — deceiving them all the while as to the path they are really treading, and blinding them as to the true character of sin in God’s sight, and the divinely appointed remedy. It is deplorable that men and women of thought and influence are today being thus beguiled under the impression that they are merely engaging in psychical research for the benefit of their fellow-men”.
Scripture also makes clear that their power under Satan is immeasureable, and it is against such power that the warfare of the spiritual believer is made — “not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the world-rulers of this darkeness, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12).
Recently I read an interesting item in Now which was entitled “An Experience with an Evil Spirit”, from which I quote:
“As a rule evil spirits affirm that intercourse with them makes men happier and better, and that they themselves are blessed in the spirit-world, and that there is no resurrection of the dead, no future punishment, and no day of judgment.”
According to “A Message from God”, published in Exeter, England, these things were declared to W. B. Laning through a writing medium. But he cross-questioned the spirit, and demanded of it in the name of the Lord to answer his questions truly; and though professing to be happy, it at once began to quail. Mr. Laning then asked: “In the name of the Lord is the Bible True?”
Answer — “Yes.”
“The Bible forbids necromancy and the consulting of familiar spirits; which shall I believe, you or the Bible?”
Answer — “The Bible.”
“Why then did you tell me it was right and useful to consult the spirits?”
Answer — “Because I wished to deceive you.”
“What is the business of these spirits with men?”
Answer — “It is to deceive.”
“Are you happy?”
Answer — “No, I am miserable.” “Are you in hell?”
Answer — “Not yet.”
“Do you expect to go there?” Answer — “Yes.”
Answer — “At the day of judgment.”
“Is there a day of judgment?” Answer — “Yes.”
“Is there to be a resurrection of the dead?”
Answer — “Yes.”
“Have you any prospect of happiness?”
Answer — “I have no hope.”
“In the name of the Lord, is there a good spirit, the spirit of a departed Christian, among all those rapping and writing spirits?”
Answer — “No, not one.”
“Where are the spirits of departed Christians?”
Answer — “The Lord has taken them.”
The Bible Says: “There shall not be found among you any one that… useth divination … or a consulter with familiar spirits … For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord.” (Deut. 18:10-12).