What do we know about demons? What do we have to know? This is obviously not my first concern as we have to focus on the One who overcame the devil and all the demons, but we obviously should have some knowledge about the topic to know whom we are dealing with. The first thing is that if we don’t know God and we are not born again and we don’t have a relationship with Him, it is pointless to think that we can withstand any demonic force or attack, or we can outsmart it and not fall into its deceit and trickery.
Because when we are under its attack, we have to know that the one who can overcome it and give us the necessary wisdom for not falling into deceit, is God in us. No one ever can overcome the devil by himself as here we are speaking for a spiritual and supernatural creature with much more experience and power than us. So what we need to focus first is on God, to know Him and to have a relationship with Him.
But for those who already walk in Him, there are few things that we can discover in some of the verses on which we will comment bellow. This is obviously just a part of what can be known on the topic as “we know in part” (1 Corinthians 13:9).
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:10-13)
Just check of what importance is to be strong in the Lord and put the whole armor so that we can be able to withstand in the evil day and against the wiles of the devil. It is because all the answers are found in the Lord, not in our own might or strength.
We can see in these verses that our battle is not against blood or flesh (meaning not against persons, for example) but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. This description points out the devil and his demons. They are found in heavenly places. We know that there is a heaven, the one that we see every day and this takes our heaven and the stars above it. Then there is the third heaven which apostle Paul writes about in 2 Corinthians 12:2. That is the place where God is. Paul refers to it as Paradise. So we can conclude that the demons live in the other one, in the kind of dimension that can also be called “second heaven”. This terminology is not found exactly in the Bible, but as the phrase, “third heaven” is found, and we also have skies above us, and that’s the first heaven, we can conclude that here in this verse by speaking about heavenly places refers to “second heaven”. This is at least the opinion of some believers.
We are speaking about spiritual creatures that we cannot see, and surprisingly to some of us, they are involved in many things surrounding our daily life. It is naive to think that demons are only being manifested visibly, as some movies and stories describe it. The Bible tells us in 1 John 5:19 that the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one (the devil). This obviously mustn’t scare us because if we have Jesus in our life, we also have His protection.
However, even being newborn believers, we can still fall into the devil’s snares. That’s why we are being exhorted in Ephesians 6:10-13 to be well prepared. They (demons) are involved in many things and mainly have to do with deceit, a scam whose purpose is to lead us astray from the truth found in the gospel and Jesus Christ. Why? Because this is the way they are being defeated. All the other wrong images and ideas we’ve got for the purpose of their manifestation and for them, are produced by them so that we can be deceived and have the wrong point of view and approach toward them.
They want us to think what they would like for them so that we can have the wrong idea. They can take different forms and present themselves as something they are not, even as something apparently good and angels of light as the scripture tells us.
“And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)
This is, however, not their true image, speaking about any of these images, being an angel of light or just an idea or something else supernatural as ghosts and many other manifestations that we hear about daily. They can take different forms and show what is actually not true as they are led by the father of all lies, which is the devil. When we are dealing with them, we are actually dealing with the devil as they are together and are led by him and have the same fate as him.
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” (2 Corinthians 4:3,4, emphasis added)
Here from this verse, we see the purpose of the devil which is to keep man blind to the truth. We also need to see what the purpose of the gospel is. Its purpose is to open man’s eyes to the reality, which is that life doesn’t end up here on earth, it doesn’t consist of what we only see here, but it carries on for eternity, and while here, we need to get ready for that. Many people already don’t believe in that as they are so used to the present reality they live in. The devil just confirms their illusion by letting them live well and in comfort, telling them they are right and need to focus as much as possible on the goal to achieve this. If we see, life in these last years has become much easier and more comfortable. It is not always wrong and bad to live well, obviously, but this is not the only thing important in this life. What God offers us is way more important. Getting people to conform to the idea of feeling comfortable and to think about this life only, distracts their minds from the thought of eternity. People believe this life is the only good thing and there is nothing else to worry about. If they are worried about something, it is to make their life better now. We live in a time of consumerism, where we have everything in abundance. The devil mustn’t deceive most people as they already have their convictions about how they see life.
So, we see that our minds and heart are also deceitful. We need the light of the gospel so that we can see clearly the truth. God needs to intervene. This is the miracle of the gospel, and that’s why it is proclaimed so that more people can know the truth. The truth is that this life will end with all its privileges and comforts, and after that, it will be an eternity awaiting us and depends on how we have accepted His Son and the truth proclaimed by Him. It depends on this in which way we are going to spend eternity.
As we said before, the devil and its demons’ main work is to blind man from the truth. Some people might think that demons have some other purpose, but their main one is this – to avoid that more people can hear the gospel and have an opportunity to get saved by God. They can be in that person that tells you to hurry up while you probably stopped by to listen to someone sharing the good news of the gospel with you, or they can be in the person that comes in between your conversation about Jesus and salvation with someone to change the topic. You share the good news with someone, and then suddenly, another person comes in between, or the phone rings. Why? Is this by chance? Sometimes it might be, and I thought it was, but when it kept on happening, I understood that there was something more to it, and that was the influence of the devil who governs in the hearts of the sons of disobedience, in those who don’t know God. This is what they are called according to the Bible. Demons can also influence a man to think wrong about the person sharing the gospel with him. They can do that by using another person to talk and influence him negatively about a believer or the message preached by him. All of this is with the purpose of leading that man astray from accepting the gospel. Sometimes there really might be faults and shortcomings in the life of the believer, but in many cases, people might be deceived and see things in the wrong way. That’s why believers indeed need to walk uprightly so that no one can find true reasons to blame them.
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,” (Ephesians 2:2)
The people being deceitfully used in these situations are obviously not doing this on purpose, and they are not to be blamed exactly for that as they are not doing it with purpose. They are just being influenced by these forces, and it doesn’t mean either that they are completely possessed. It means that the devil can influence their minds. He can also say things and influence the minds of believers. If the believers are spiritually prepared and awake, they will know this is from the devil. The devil takes much more territory than we normally think and influences a lot more. Who is stronger than him is only God and Jesus Christ, but for the rest, he beats everyone. We can also overcome him, but only with the help of Jesus. The devil is not only manifested in those apparent possessions and manifestations that we can see with our eyes. The good news is that he is already defeated. He is already condemned. He knows this, and he wants to take more people as possible with him.
Evil spirits can also speak through persons and say things with the main reason of leading people astray from the truth. Again we are not talking about apparent demon possession, but rather deceitful one. This is how he works most of the time – through deceit, to let us think something else instead of what the reality is. And most of the time, it is for leading us astray from knowing and following Jesus. There are also possessions that manifest in the same way as those that Jesus was dealing with, as recorded in the gospels. There we see a clear demon possession, but this is a different situation with a different purpose. When instead, we talk about someone being used to launch deceitful and negative messages about the gospel, we are speaking about a situation in which the person doing that doesn’t do it on purpose most of the time, but he says things or phrases that can impact negatively certain persons without realizing it.
This can happen to anyone, and even Christians and godly people can be led to do or say things influenced by other spiritual powers and not by God. Obviously this can’t happen as often as it could to another person as Christians guard their mouths in what they say and are also careful about what they do.
“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the doors of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)
The Bible says as well that our wisdom can be demonic.
“But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.” (James 3:14,15, emphasis added)
Speaking about wisdom in this verse, it also speaks about our thoughts and mind. Somehow we and our minds collaborate with these evil spiritual forces. We choose to sin, we choose evil, and once we choose it, we open the door for these forces to take possession. The Bible compares our heart to a house.
3.Whose home is our heart?
The house can be clean, and Jesus can live in it, and also it can be a place of dwelling for these evil spirits.
43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45)
We can see here this verse speaking about a spirit that goes out of a man, and it refers to a man as a dwelling place, as a house. It talks about our being, about our heart. The way to chase these spirits away is with the help of Jesus. Many times it is not a question of asking Him to chase them away from us (even if this might be prayed for sometimes and is correct) but of asking Him to come in us. To invite Him into our home, which is our heart. I remember asking Him sincerely for forgiveness one day, after which He came to live in me. When He comes in, He cleanses everything. We need to keep our hearts clean by letting Him always in. Obviously, once He comes the first time, He already acknowledges this house as His home. Once He dwells in, the evil spirits automatically go away as they cannot dwell in the same place with Him. Darkness has nothing in common with light. They might be out but still, wait and want to come in. As they see He is away, they will profit and want to come again. There are two possibilities: Jesus is out knocking on the door, or the sin is out and wants to come in. Yes, for those who have already let Jesus in, is easier to hear His voice being out of the door and wanting to come in. Believers don’t think twice; they don’t hesitate and let Him in as they love Him and His presence because they know that there is nothing better. However, they also need to be careful, as this parable tells us that if the house is empty, the evil spirits can come to dwell again, and it will be worse. To me this means that the house has been empty for some time already, and this person had deliberately let these spirits and the sin come in. The following verses speak about Jesus being out and knocking on the door.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelations 3:20)
“I sleep, but my heart is awake; it is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, “Open for me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is covered with dew, my locks with the drops of the night.” (Song of Solomon 5:2)
We know that the first of the verses mentioned above is directed to the church in general and the second to a spouse, speaking about the love between the bride and the bridegroom. The bridegroom is Jesus, and we are the bride. But these verses also speak personally to us as individuals, as we can also have a personal relationship with Him. Both of these verses describe how Jesus stands outside, waiting for us to let Him in.
The next one instead speaks about the sin standing outside and lying at the door, wanting and waiting to take possession.
“So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” (Genesis 4:6,7)
We can see here the Lord warning Cain about what can happen if he is not caring for the sin lying on the door. He told him that he should rule over it. We can do this only with the help of God. In the following verses of this chapter, we can sadly see that he let the sin in and killed his brother Abel. Somehow we collaborate with sin and with these evil spirits influencing our life. In this way, sin takes control over us. It is like the devil gives us the idea of what we can do, but we perform the action at the end and take the step.
Notice that we somehow participate in this, that we open the door to this sin, to these demons, meaning that we cannot blame them for all our troubles and problems we create ourselves. The responsibility is ours. God will demand this from us.
The godly people generally guard themselves and don’t fall into Satan’s deceit. That’s why the Bible exhorts us to watch and be ready. This is also what is written in Ephesians 6. In the same chapter are also mentioned these evil powers we battle with.
It tells us that we need to resist in the evil day by getting the armor of God, by getting prepared. And how is this done? By persevering in prayer, by reading His word.
“Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:10-17)
4.They know they are already condemned
There is also another verse that speaks about these spiritual creatures. We have to know that previously all of these creatures were in the service of God as angels. That’s why they still have certain supernatural powers today. But when Satan fell off one day, they followed him and, in this way, received the same fate. They know they are already condemned together with Satan for this. We know that a sentence was pronounced against Satan; one of these is the one he received in the garden of Eden when he was in the form of a serpent. God told him:
“So the Lord God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:14, 15)
This is what He said to the serpent, and we know that He was referring to the devil. He said there would be an enmity between the serpent and the seed of the woman. This refers to Jesus, who one day would be born as a man, being in this way a seed from the woman. He was going to bruise the head of the serpent. This is like a sentence pronounced already against the devil, saying what was going to happen, that he was going to be destroyed by Jesus. This is one of the reasons why he came – to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8)
And not only Jesus, but even we (as we are obviously also a seed of the woman) are going to bruise his head, but only with the help of Jesus, only with Him living in us, because as we said, the devil has much more strength and experience from us. But Jesus came to destroy his works, and He can make us complete, I mean that with Him, we are complete human beings, the ones that we were supposed to be, and in this way, we can withstand the devil. We are meant to have a relationship with God.
In a way, we are executing a judgment upon the devil while we live and walk righteously here on this earth. We know this cannot be attributed to us but to Jesus living in us. We accept Him, and we fight with His strength in us. Why? Why do we need to face the devil here in this life? Because this is how it is supposed to be. This is the right way. This is the way that God has chosen to judge him before condemning him at the end of the times. In other words, we are not supposed to be his victims but to overcome him through the blood of Jesus. In a way, he will be defeated by the same humankind whom he deceived. By those persons fighting with the strength of Jesus who also withstood him when tempted while being in a human form. Jesus is the pioneer of our faith. He is the author and the finisher of it. He can do it, and we can do it with Him living in us, as this is the only way. This is a part of the devil’s judgment. The book of Revelations also states that at the end, he will be thrown into the lake of fire.
5.They are chained
Here are some other passages:
“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.” (2 Peter 2:4)
“And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;” (Jude 1:6)
We see these two verses speaking about those angels who were condemned and sentenced for judgment one day. It means that they are waiting now. But where are they now? Where are they waiting for this sentence? To me, it speaks about these demons, powers, and authorities in heavenly places. These verses also mention that they have been chained into chains of darkness. It looks like they are chained in hell, but they still have the power to come and torment us here. Why? Because the final and ultimate judgment hasn’t come to them yet, but when this sentence was pronounced, they became like chained in the darkness which is hell, meaning that they already belong there and because this is already pronounced and decided, it is a done deal. It is not this way with us, for example. Even if we know that some of us human beings will go to hell, none of us is already chained because there is no sentence pronounced already for us concerning this. One day, there will be a sentence if we are not with Christ, but this “if” means we still have an opportunity. We are being warned about what could happen if we don’t follow the Lord and that we could go to that place, but we are in a time of grace now, meaning that we still have this opportunity for some time. This is what I think, looking at what the Bible speaks about the topic.
I imagine, however, that this kind of chain with which they are chained is a long chain that reaches down to hell, but at the same time, they can come up here with us in this dimension, still having this chain on them. This is obviously something figuratively described as a chain, as we are speaking about something spiritual here that is holding them to hell and tying them to it. It is like they are chained to hell. However, they still can come up here to us and dwell in these heavenly places as described in Ephesians 6:12. The chain they are chained with is spiritual. It just defines that they belong to hell as this was already decided for them, and it is a question of time before they definitely end up in hell, and that’s why this is like a sentence pronounced for them. It is like those prisoners that are chained to their cells and move only to a certain extent, and even if the chain is long, they can walk around, but they know that they belong there. This also explains the smell of sulfur they bring with them, according to certain tales we hear about this topic. According to some people who have had close experiences with certain demons, they could feel the smell of sulfur. We know that this is what is found in hell, meaning they bring that smell from there. This, however, doesn’t mean that it always occurs because, as we said, the main purpose of these creatures is to deceive us and they will mainly want to attack and cloud our mind, and will use any possible and different way for that purpose.
We conclude that spiritual forces and demons will always be there, trying to place obstacles in front of us and distract us from following the Lord and accomplishing His will. We may rest on the fact that He is almighty, He had defeated the devil, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail over His church (Matthew 16:18). From our side, we need to stand firm and be watchful in prayer so that we can be aware and at least know in part about what is happening in the spiritual realm.