Summary: Demons are real and can tempt believers or take over unbelievers. Christ is our only sure defense against their power.


Deut. 18:15-20; 1 Co. 8:1-13; Mark 1:21-28

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We’re going to listen again to some

provocative words as they are recorded in our

Gospel text for today:

23 "Just then a man in their synagogue who

was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 24

"What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?

Have you come to destroy us? I know who you

are-- the Holy One of God!" (Mark 1 NIV)

Demons... are they real, or are they relics

of superstition to be tossed into the junk

heap with all those things debunked by

twentieth century science?

Have you noticed that the more science is

used to discredit the supernatural, the more

also people on the street began thinking

about angels and demons?

Frank Peretti, a Christian author, has

written several popular books where angels

and demons comprise roles as major characters

within the plot development.

Hollywood is putting on movies about angels

like "Angels in the Outfield," and even more

movies about demons and ghosts.

If there is nothing supernatural... if there

are no angels... nor demons... no departed

souls... there still remains our appetite

for the supernatural.

The Bible, however, tells us that a

supernatural dimension does in fact exist.

We are quick to think of the hassle of

financial problems, or of people who don’t

like us, or even of our poor health, as our

great enemies. The Apostle Paul tells us

that our warfare is really taking place on a

totally different level: “For our struggle is

not against flesh and blood, but against the

rulers, against the authorities, against the

powers of this dark world and against the

spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly

realms.” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV)

The apostle is not trying to minimize our

problems in the flesh, but he is saying that

Satan seeks to use our misfortunes, and even

our good fortunes, to work against our

spiritual well-being. Understanding Paul’s

inspired warning, we had better take the

soldiers of Satan very seriously.

Demons are soldiers for Satan. The word

’demon’ comes from a Greek word which

signified an inferior deity. Christians were

led to understand that demons are the real

actors behind each pagan idol. Note St.

Paul’s words in I Cor. 10:20: "...the

sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons,

not to God, and I do not want you to be

participants with demons." (1 Corinthians

10:20 NIV)

The apostle is telling the Corinthians that

idols have no power, but they are the

“houses,” we might say, in which demons live.

When I went to India we traveled to a major

cult center for Hinduism. The two main

leaders within our mission expedition, did

not go. They said, in a matter of fact way,

that the pagan shrine was oppressive to them

because of the thousands of demons which it

housed. One told of an exorcism that was

necessary for a member of a mission team

after they had gone to the Hindu shrine.

Demons seek to attract people into false

belief. All idolatry is false belief

stimulated by the presence of demons.

Demons also seek to seduce believers into

false belief. St. Paul was inspired to say

to young Timothy: "The Spirit clearly says

that in later times some will abandon the

faith and follow deceiving spirits and things

taught by demons." (1 Timothy 4:1 NIV)

This warning applies even more to our

circumstances than they did to those of

Timothy, for we are closer to the later


Today we’re witnessing tremendous growth

within the occult religions. New Age, which

makes use of what they call "spirit guides"

and "channeling" is becoming one of the great

powerhouse forces of our times.

Back in my Concordia days, when I was a

student of philosophy, I did special studies

in the area of parapsychology and the occult.

This is known to some of my pastor friends,

one of whom has just recently made several

phone calls to me seeking my advice.

A member of his, who was drawn into mysticism

through the martial arts, has been dabbling

with some of his associates in what is called

channeling. I won’t get into this... but it

makes use of what they call "spirit guides."

The only spiritual about these guides is that

they are demons.

This pastor’s parishioner has reported events

so bizarre that he called me seeking to find

out what in the world was going on with him.

If any of you are thinking about toying with

the occult... with channeling... or Ouija

boards... or new age mysticism.... leave

these alone. Open these doors of occult

practice, and you invite into your lives

demonic powers which you cannot control and

which seek to do you harm.

Demons do all kinds of harm to those not

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