Summary: Demons are real and can tempt believers or take over unbelievers. Christ is our only sure defense against their power.
Sermon: "DOMINIONS OF DARKNESS" Anderson
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
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