Angels and Demons: Debunking the Myths
Lesson 11 w/AnswersDemonology: Part 2
We conclude our eleven-lesson study of the Angels, Satan, and the Demons with an examination of demon possession. Perhaps no greater misunderstanding exists regarding this topic than anything else you may study in the Bible. Superstition, lack of knowledge and understanding, and the media all combine to transform demon possession into a wide range of fictional activities and events targeting commercial markets. All the while, and behind it all, Satan and the demons continue their real work, amused I’m sure by our lack of real understanding in this area.
Once again, let’s try to set aside all that we think we know about demon possession and look at what the Bible tells us about it. In doing so, we will finish this course of study by debunking the myths around demon possession.
Consider the following questions and exercises:
- Define the following terms:
- ANSWER: Unexplained phenomena or experiences outside the range of scientific explanation.
- ANSWER: A spirit that haunts a specific person using invisible and physical activities such as noises and causing inanimate objects to move.
- ANSWER: A spirit from the dead that haunts a specific location.
- What is the basic difference between a poltergeist and a ghost?
- ANSWER: According to folklore, a poltergeist haunts a particular person, using invisible tricks, noises, moving inanimate objects, etc.; whereas a ghost haunts a particular location.
- Why do the definitions of poltergeists and ghost not correlate with our understanding of demons (or Satan, for that matter)?
- ANSWER: Satan and the demons are enemies of God. They are not in the business of scaring people for the sake of it. Anything that Satan or the demons do is specifically targeted at God and His people for specific reasons related to their rebellion. Further, as we have discussed in previous lessons, they cannot compel us to do anything— they can only tempt or influence.
- Define demon possession.
- ANSWER: The control of an individual by an evil spirit for the specific purpose of opposing God and His people. Demon possession often includes violence, physical pain or challenges and differing voices.
- As far back as the early Egyptians, demons were seen in everything and were regarded to be the cause of all manner of disease and illness. By the time of Christ’s earthly ministry, it was clear that people were beginning to understand the difference. Read Matthew 4:23-24 and Luke 8:26-35, what does each of these passages show us about the differences?
- Matthew 4:23-24
- ANSWER: This passage indicates that even in New Testament times, people understood that "diseased" and demon-possessed were two separate issues; they knew the difference.
- Luke 8:26-36
- ANSWER: In this passage, we see that there was an understood distinction between insanity and possession or demonic-influence.
- Matthew 4:23-24
- What did Christ demonstrate in Matthew 12:22-28?
- ANSWER: He demonstrated his power to cast out demons. This inherently validates several facts to us: (1) demons are real and do possess people, thus needing to be cast out; and 2) only Christ has the power to cast them out.
- What is significant about Christ’s instructions in Matthew 10:7-8?
- ANSWER: Christ gave to his followers that same demon-exorcising power, and he has given it to us as well.
While we have examined a few instances above for which Christ cast out demons, there are many examples of this in the New Testament. I have included a compilation of them that I found on Wikipedia here.
And so we conclude our study of the angels, Satan, and the demons. My prayer is that through it all, God has opened your eyes to the spirit world around us and the to the truths about His ministering angels and the evil of Satan and his followers.