Tag Archives: satan

Concerning Evil Spirits

C.S. Lewis says this in his introduction to ‘The Screwtape Letters’:

‘There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors’.

Corrie Ten Boom, who had a significant international ministry after the second world war, says this in her booklet ‘Defeated Enemies’:

‘Having faced fights “not with flesh and blood, but with spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil” (Eph 6:12 Phillips) in prisons during the war and, later when travelling all over the world; and having met so many people – even dear servants of the Lord – who, though surrounded by the powers of darkness, the devil and the demons, do not recognise them, and do not know how to deal with them, I decided, at the request of a missionary friend, to write down what I have learned, as a help for other children of God’.

We do have an enemy to contend with. The apostle Peter warns us that we need to be self-controlled and alert because “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8,9.The apostle Paul tells us:


“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

Demons have a real personality.

  • They have knowledge Mark 1:23,24

  • They can feel James 2:19

  • They have a will Matthew 12:44

  • They can speak Acts 19:15

These are some of the things they can do:

  • Entice James 1:14

  • Deceive 1 Timothy 4:1,2

  • Enslave Romans 8:15

  • Drive, compel Luke 8:29

  • Defile Titus 1:15

They can attack:

  1. Through the mind – e.g. unbelief, indecision, false teaching
  2. Through the will – e.g. pride, stubbornness
  3. Through the emotions – e.g. resentment, anger, hatred, fear
  4. From the outside  – when we must resist them James 4:7, 1 Peter 5,8,9
  5. From the inside – when they need casting out Matthew 8:16, Mark 1:39

Advertisements

Worldview

How are we to understand the world in which we live?

Francis MacNutt, a leading Catholic authority on the Church’s Ministry of Healing, asks:

‘Do we believe in the existence of a spirit world, populated with angels and evil spirits?  Or would we rather not think about it?  How do we see the world in which we live?  The predominant world-view of the West since the so-called Enlightenment of 200 years ago has been scientific rationalism – if something cannot be seen,      measured or proved through reason, it simply does not exist – or at the very least should be doubted.  However this has been changing with the advent of New Age spirituality and a rising interest in the occult. Jesus assumed the existence of a spirit world – so much so that a major theme of his preaching highlighted the clash between two kingdoms: the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan.  The question is, which world view is the correct one – the world view of Jesus or the world of the society into which we were born?’

Deliverance from Evil Spirits published by Hodder and Stoughton.

Creation and Fall

Creation and Fall

207px-creationwindow1Why the Incarnation? Why did God come?  Why did he step into his creation in the person of Jesus Christ? The bible gives us a number of reasons, all of them related to the fact that we live on a fallen planet.  In order to understand this we need to go back to the beginning.

The opening chapters of the bible are profoundly important in that they express profound spiritual truth:  ‘In the beginning God…’  God is, he exists.  ‘God created…’  We are creatures of the Creator.  His creation was good.  This is a recurring refrain in Genesis 1, repeated five times, culminating with ‘God saw all that he had made, and it was very good’.

This raises an obvious question: What went wrong? What about all the evil and suffering in the world?  Jesus told a parable pointing us to the answer:

‘An enemy did this’. (Matthew 13:28).  The apostle John puts it very strongly when he declares: ‘The whole world is under the control of the evil one’. (I John 5:19).

In the last book of the bible, there is a picture of a war in heaven between Michael and his angels on the one hand and the dragon and his angels on the other. (Revelation 12:7-9).  We are told that ‘the great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.  He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.’

Satan is thought to be a fallen angel, originally one of the most splendid of God’s created beings.  There are two rather obscure passages in the bible which point to Satan’s fall being the result of pride, Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28: 12-18.

The story of the Fall is in Genesis 3.  Satan the tempter appears in the form of a serpent.  His first temptation was to doubt the word of God:  ‘Did God really say?’  What is our own answer to this question?  Do we believe that the Bible is the Word of God, authoritative for faith and practice?  Eve successfully resisted this temptation: ‘Yes, God did say.’

The second temptation was to disbelieve God.  Adam had been warned that death would be the result of eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:17).  Satan accused God of being a liar ‘You will not surely die’ said Satan to the woman. Then, tempting her with the sin of pride, said: ‘You will be like God.’  Eve chose to believe the lie of the evil one.  The sin of disbelief, rejecting the truth of what God had said, led to the sin of disobedience, the eating of the forbidden fruit, which in turn led to spiritual death, the severance of their relationship with God.

The apostle Paul expresses it like this: ‘Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men because all sinned’. (Romans 5:12)

The four steps leading to the Fall can be expressed like this:

Doubt  –  Disbelief  –  Disobedience  – Death

The reason that planet earth is the Visited Planet is because it is also the Fallen Planet.

The good news is that ‘When you were dead in your sins…God made you alive in Christ.’ Colossians 2:13

Note: The image is a stained glass window at the Melkite Catholic cathedral in Roslindale, Massachusetts depicting an Creation according to Genesis. January 2009 photo by John Stephen Dwyer