The spirit world is very real, and the Bible says that Satan is the god of this current age and is growing in power! Living in this life means engaging in spiritual warfare. How can you resist the temptations of Satan and his demons? Read on…
by Roderick C. Meredith
Can you protect yourself against forces of evil that seem to be growing increasingly powerful in our world?
Wild and almost inexplicable things are happening. Seemingly “deranged” individuals are killing people in public places once thought safe. And unusual instances of suicides are increasing—often involving people who “seemed” normal just before killing themselves!
Why is all of this happening? What very few people—even most so-called “experts”—realize is that there is a very real “spirit world.” Satan the Devil is a powerful spirit being spoken of many times in your Bible. And Satan has a literal army of “demons”—fallen angels who rebelled against God along with him. The Devil uses these fallen angels to influence, deceive, discourage and even “possess” human beings whom he specifically wants to attack.
Do you, personally, truly believe that the Bible is inspired by God? If you do, then this article can help you immensely. Otherwise, you are just reading “another man’s opinion.” May God help you understand His inspired word! What does He tell us about demons? What did Christ do? “Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, ‘Could this be the Son of David?’ Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, ‘This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.’ But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?’” (Matthew 12:22–26).
These verses show that Satan the Devil has a “kingdom”—a kingdom filled with demons! Revelation 12:3–4 certainly indicates that Satan’s powerful influence caused about one-third of the entire angelic host to follow him in his rebellion against the Creator. There are a lot of demons out there! So, when the prophesied end-time “spirit war” breaks out, with Satan and his demons fighting against the armies of heaven (Revelation 12:7), millions of Satan’s fallen “angels” will be “cast out with him” (v. 9).
We are now entering a time of “spirit warfare” more dramatic than anything this world has experienced for a long, long time! For it is prophesied that, before the end of this present age, one of Satan’s human servants will literally make fire come down upon the earth in the sight of men (Revelation 13:13).
Satan and his demons infest this world’s atmosphere. So, your Bible calls Satan, “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). He and his demons have tremendous influence in this world—in its society, its media and in the way human beings are often led to think. For Satan is a murderer. He and his demons resent the fact that—unlike the angels and the demons—we human beings are made in the “image” of God Himself, and that we have the awesome potential of becoming full sons of God. Therefore, Satan and his demons will try in every way they can to prevent this from happening. As the ultimate murderer, Satan will attempt to destroy human beings in many different ways—through religious deception, political activity, wrong education and false “knowledge.” He and his demons are busy injecting attitudes of lust, envy, hatred and murder into often-unsuspecting human beings. Since Satan is the ultimate liar—the “father” of lies (John 8:44)—he and his demons even try to put a subtle “twist” of evil on seemingly noble ideas and activities, to confuse gullible human beings and turn them away from our Creator, the only true God.
Western society, especially our media, continues to saturate people’s minds, from their very childhood, with strange images of an unreal world—often involving weird spirit beings, strange space creatures, horrible violence, and unusual characters portrayed sympathetically, like those in the Harry Potter series and the recent rash of “vampire” books and movies. It is no wonder that the minds of young people are so often confused between what is reality and what is not reality. Watching all this stuff, they also obviously become confused between what is good and what is evil.
Of course, most young people take all of this bizarre activity for granted. Some who read this article may even laugh that we are taking such things far too seriously on this website. However, those of us who grew up at a time when there was no such thing as television or the Internet to make all these “weird worlds” available—including many dark, foreboding “escapist” worlds, invented by cynical writers and producers who are often influenced greatly by liquor and drugs, and who commonly have absolutely miserable marriages and family lives—know that there is a different and better way.
What is the answer? It is not found in our human reasoning. For if we are willing to understand, we will find that only the inspired word of the Creator, who gives us life and breath, can show us the true way to overcome the evils of this world, and live the way that brings ultimate peace and happiness.
King David of Israel—the “man after God’s own heart”—was inspired to declare, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness” (Psalm 101:3–4). Yet, misguided humans are continually putting all kinds of “wicked” images and things before their eyes.
Countless millions of our young people pour into their minds graphic images of violence, perverted sex, cruelty, weird “space creatures” and “space wars”—projecting themselves into unreal worlds and situations where they are not involved with normal situations and decent standards of behavior. This naturally perverts their capacity to think logically and rationally—and certainly obstructs them from thinking spiritually, according to God’s word.
The Eternal God commands us, “Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:31). God’s word continues, “And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 20:6–7).
The idea of dealing with “spirits” seems very fascinating to some people. So, it is no surprise that many films and television programs have been devoted to portraying human contact with the spirit world as exciting, fascinating and even helpful! But what does this do? It involves bringing confused human beings into relationship with demon spirits—who will try to deceive and ultimately destroy those who interact with them!
All too often, modern psychologists and others confuse demonic activity with mental and physical illnesses such as schizophrenia. Yet many books on psychology acknowledge that schizophrenia is a “catch-all” term, which psychiatrists use to describe all kinds of unusual mental and emotional aberrations that they and others often do not really understand. Frankly, they cannot understand these matters of the spirit, because such understanding is revealed by the Almighty God—whom they basically reject and refuse to heed!
How do demons work on troubled and confused human minds? The Charlotte Observer ran an article describing a situation that certainly sounds parallel to—and may well have been—such an example of demonic influence on a man who had lost his job, and in deep discouragement was considering suicide. “The job was gone, the gun was loaded, and a voice was saying, ‘You’re a waste, give up now, do it now.’ It was a command, not a suggestion, and what mattered at that moment—a winter evening in 2000—was not where the voice was coming from, but how assured it was, how persuasive” (August 7, 2011).
Notice how a very persuasive voice came into this man’s mind, telling him “do it now” as he was holding a loaded gun in his hand. This sounds very much like the persuasive voice Jesus heard nearly two thousand years ago, saying, “If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down” from the pinnacle of the temple. This voice assured Him that He would not be hurt. “For it is written, ‘He [God] shall give His angels charge over you’” (Matthew 4:5–6).
Truly, more and more “voices” are being heard throughout our land to influence confused human beings—more strong “urges” tempting people to do violent things, and even to kill themselves and others. But, for those of you reading this website, it need not be so!
Certainly, Satan the Devil tries to deeply discourage human beings and draw them away from the Creator God by any means he can find. He may tempt them to live in false, imaginary worlds that confuse their entire thought process and even their concept of life itself. He may tempt them by putting into their minds the idea of violence, sometimes connected to depraved sexual activities or other actions that would ultimately destroy their lives in many ways. For Satan—the ultimate enemy of mankind—certainly does want to destroy all human life (Matthew 24:21–22).
The Only Real Answer
Just opening your newspaper or turning on the television can give you countless examples of what I am describing. You may find a man who identifies himself with the comic book “Joker” character and commits real violence that kills people and destroys families. Or you may see a man who has imagined the fantasy life he could have if only he would kill his wife. Satanic violence is real, and it is widespread.
But you do not need to be affected, if you rely on the tools God has given to those who are willing to use them. I will now give you four “keys” to resisting these demons and Satan himself as Satan’s war on humanity becomes increasingly powerful. Though these four keys may seem simple or even obvious, may God help you to truly use them in your own life! If you do, they will certainly give you a protective barrier to prevent Satan the Devil and his demons from controlling your mind and leading you away from everything that is good and wholesome and right.
The first key is to build a strong relationship with the Creator God, the God of the Bible. Learn to “seek” God through genuine study of the Bible, which is His revelation to mankind. I suggest you begin your study with the book of Matthew and then read through the New Testament. It would be good, after reading the Gospels, to read the book of Acts and then go to the “General Epistles” such as James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John and Jude. These books were written by the very ones who actually worked with Jesus Christ in the flesh for three whole years, or who grew up with Him as His physical brother! Those of you who are familiar with the original order of books in the New Testament will understand that these “general” epistles were actually placed before the epistles of Paul, for good reasons. Study them, and they will give you a good foundation for Christian living and spiritual strength to resist Satan and his demons.
When you study, read examples of prayer in the Bible—especially the “Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6 which is the outline prayer that should be a model for all our prayers. And learn to talk to God from the heart—not repeating some rote words by memory. Learn to think carefully about what you read in the Bible, and meditate on what God is telling you in His inspired word and on the meaning of life from the point of view of your Creator Himself. Ask God to help you think as He thinks and to have the “mind of Christ” (Philippians 2:5). And do not neglect the Old Testament—the only Scripture that was available during Jesus’ own day, and from which He and His apostles preached regularly!
Guide your life so you are around others who take the Bible seriously. Learn to spend your time around good and wholesome people—not odd or disoriented people. For negative and ungodly people will pull you down unless you develop strong spiritual character. The Bible tells us, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20). So learn to choose your friends carefully and let yourself be influenced by people who are clean, wholesome and positive in their outlook on life and will not tend to pull you down.
The second key is to become aware of Satan and the spirit world from the point of view of God and His word. Do not immerse yourself in the spirit world through Satan’s own propaganda, or books and films about demonism or dealings with “mediums” or “spiritists” and others involved in the occult. For Satan is a very powerful and persuasive false angel and was able to seduce our first parents, Adam and Eve.
But when you learn about Satan through the eyes of God’s word, the Bible clearly indicates that he and his demons cannot kill you or force you to do anything unless you yourself “go along” and make it possible. Therefore, the Eternal God instructs us in His revealed word, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:7–8).
So, we are directly commanded by our Creator not to “mess around” with Satan and his demons. We are to resist Satan and, instead, to “draw near to God.” As we have explained, we “draw near to God” by deeply and earnestly studying His revealed word—the Holy Bible—and by meditating on that word and then praying fervently to God asking Him for His wisdom, His guidance, His intervention and His deliverance from Satan and every evil thing.
The third key is to develop a strategy to resist Satan and his demons. By building a strong relationship with God, as described above, you are well on your way! But, in order to truly resist, you need to develop specific strategies that will affect your mind, your life and the way you think!
One important part of any successful strategy involves being sure to avoid any contact with Satan and his demons. Be careful what type of movies or television programs you watch, what video games you play and what Web sites you visit. For many misguided (or even deliberately evil) presentations put into your mind a totally wrong slant on life—on what is good and true, and certainly on the right approach to the evil spirit world that lies all around us. Satan is able to confuse and distract countless millions of people from the important matters of life by keeping them “entertained” by empty and evil offerings through television and other media. Satan and his demons are eager to simply take up our time, as much as they can, and keep us from devoting the time we should to genuinely studying the revelation from our Creator and thinking about the things that really matter.
Another part of a successful strategy will involve being sure to be around positive people—those who are wise and who focus on God’s will rather than foolish nonsense and perverted ideas. Also, be sure to go outside regularly, to soak in the sunshine and breathe fresh air! Look up at the moon and the stars and realize that the Creator made these heavenly bodies. Get vigorous exercise—if you are able—and experience the emotional “uplift” as the endorphins kick in and help you feel better about yourself and your life. Guide your mind to dwell on positive topics, rather than allowing your mental processes to “drift off” into discouragement, melancholy, self-pity or bitterness. As God tells us, “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Yes, these are the topics to meditate upon, so the “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (v. 7).
The fourth and final key is to realize that you are in a spiritual war against one of the most powerful spirit beings in the universe. Only God the Father and Jesus Christ are more powerful. And it is through the power of the Father and Christ that you can have power—Their power—to overcome Satan and his demons! You do not need to give in to the confusing, discouraging and life-defeating attitudes that Satan and his demons continually promulgate. With the help of the Holy Spirit, you must fight this war as though your life depended upon it! For, indeed, it does.
Describing this warfare, the Apostle Paul was inspired to tell us, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5).
Indeed, we need God’s help to cast out wrong thoughts and carnal pulls—often placed directly in our minds by Satan and his demons, if we allow them to do so. Instead of giving in to the demonic influences, we must continually work at “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ.” We must cry out to God and ask Christ to live His life within us through the Holy Spirit (Galatians 2:20).
One of Satan’s favorite strategies is to pervert spiritual truths and turn them to his own purposes. Many of you may remember the Star Wars films, in which characters spoke often about “the force.” The encouraging truth is that we as Christians have the ultimate “force” in the universe working for us, if we surrender to God and use that force with all our hearts!
So, we need to recognize the power that is available through a genuinely close relationship with the Creator God—the God of the Bible—and through His Holy Spirit within us. God will help us if we ask and try to obey Him. He will deliver us from evil thoughts and passions placed in our minds by fallen angels, who are truly out to bring us down and destroy us. God has offered us the tools to absolutely win the spiritual battle ahead of us. So may God help and inspire all of us to use these four keys as a foundation for winning the ultimate battle—and finally becoming members of the very Kingdom of God, achieving the wonderful purpose for which we have been given life and breath!
Adapted from “Resist Demons!” from www.TomorrowsWorld.org.