To exorcise means to expel or get rid of according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. What if you could participate in expelling the evils of demons now? Many people confess to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and so do demons. Have you ever considered how much people are like demons? You may be surprised in comparing people to demons and what you will find in the Christian scriptures.
What are demons according to the Bible? According to the Bible, everyone has a spirit, a soul (Gen. 2:7, Jas. 2:26). By this, people are like demons, and people can only differ from demons by having a pure spirit. According to the Christian scriptures, demons are evil spirits. See Luke 8:2, “and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out”. Demons are unclean spirits. Luke 9:42 states, “While He was coming, the demon threw Him to the ground and convulsed Him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.”
What do demons do? How do people act like them? Jesus said in Matthew 12:43, “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none.” Demons are restless in seeking a home. In Matthew 12:44-45, Jesus said
“Then it [a demon] says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”
According to Jesus, demons consider people their home and seek to dwell in people. Have people made themselves a home for demons by not filling ourselves with goodness and righteousness?
The Christian scriptures also many times present that demons are false gods. In fact, demons are more related to idols than to possessing people. Deuteronomy 32:17 states, “They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded.” First Corinthians 10:20-21 affirms,
“No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.”
Each person has a choice to worship demons or to worship the one God and Father of Jesus Christ. Do you worship demons? You might say, “Well, I’m not a pagan so I am excluded” or “I’m a Christian so that is not true for me.” Idolatry includes more than explicit worship of false gods and idols. Colossians 3:5 states, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Covetousness is idolatry where the desire for something possesses a person to strive to grasp what they want. Have you ever lusted for someone or craved to possess a belonging? Have you ever had to overwhelming desire for recognition? Have these desires ever produced evil in you? If yes, then you have practiced idolatry and have served evil spirits. Are people like demons in that they worship themselves?
Can demons really believe in God? How much do demons obey their faith in God? Do you believe in God? Demons do too (James 2:19). Do you believe in the Word of God? Do you believe in Christ? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit? The demons do too. James 2:19 states, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder!” Why do demons shudder? They know that they are condemned. Do you have this fear in common with them? Have you confessed belief in God? Have you confessed your belief in Jesus? The demons have also done so. If you believe and confess your belief, then you are no more saved from condemnation than a demon. Luke 4:41, “And demons also came out of many, crying, ‘You are the Son of God!‘ But He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that He was the Christ.” How many people believe that all you need to do is believe and confess your faith to be saved? Are demons saved? They are certainly not. Is this the extent of your salvation? Is this the extent of your friends’ or family’s salvation? Is this the extent of your minister’s salvation? Many confidently proclaim their knowledge, belief, and confession in Jesus, but the demons do also.
What separates you from demons? What is the difference from your spiritual life and that of a demon? One may have heard the message of Jesus, but hearing is not enough to save a demon. One may believe, but that will not save an evil spirit. One may confess their belief Jesus to be the Son of God, but that is not enough. If you believe the Bible, look at James 2 and see that faith without works is dead (James 2:17, 19, 24). This is the faith of demons. People are like demons when they believe and do nothing. James 2:24 says, “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” People, who believe in “faith alone” salvation, are like that of demons. There are many, who are living by faith alone, and some of them are demons. Even though they were baptized, they do no other work. For some people, the only good thing that they have ever done for Christ was to do what they thought Jesus would like. You do not have to believe and teach “faith only” salvation to live it. All you have to do is do nothing and serve your own faith in God.
Whose words have power over demons? Jesus regularly entered into a synagogue and taught. On one specific occasion, there was a man in the synagogue with an unclean spirit, a demon. Mark 1:21-28 states,
“And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and was teaching. And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.‘ And at once His fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.”
By the way, see how even demons gathered for worship, and so many hypocrites do the same as demons. Even, the demons obeyed Jesus’ voice, but many so-called “Christians” do not. More importantly, Christ cast out demons by His word. Matthew 8:16 reports, “That evening they brought to Him many who were oppressed by demons, and He cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.” In Matthew 12:28, Christ said, “…it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons…” Who can speak like Christ? Who is amazed now with Jesus’ speaking? Do you believe that Jesus’ words are powerful? Do you believe the Bible? Knowing the power of Christ’s words, do people who believe in Him even know His words? There are more copies of the Bible today than ever and yet these mostly remain untouched.
Those who do not believe in Christ’s words could not cast out demons. In Acts 19:13-17, Luke reported,
“Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits [...], but the evil spirit answered them, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?’ And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled.”
According to the Bible, Christ’s own name has great power and authority in itself. How can any true Christian throw Jesus’ name around as a byword, a profanity, or in cursing another?
Rather than following Jesus, many believers are following the words of demons. The Bible warned about the teachings of demons. First Timothy 4:1-2 says,
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared”.
Christians are told to test what they are taught. First John 4:1 says, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” How should Christians test the spirits? In 1 John 4:6, the Apostle John spoke on behalf of all of Jesus’ Apostles saying, “We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” How can anyone test the spirits if they do not know what the Holy Spirit has said through the Apostles of Christ in scripture?
Are people like demons in regards to their eternal destination? The demons know where they are going. Matthew 8:29 reports, “And behold, they [demons] cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?’” Luke 8:28 states, “When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.’” In Matthew 25:41, Jesus said, “Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’” Are we like the demons?
Lastly, Jesus says that casting out demons is not as great as obeying God’s will. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23,
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
Are you doing God’s will? The Bible teaches that demons heard, believed, and confess faith, but they never obeyed the Gospel. They have not obeyed the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. They have not died to their sins (1 Cor. 15:1-4, Rom. 6:3-7). They do not dare be baptized (nor do they have the right). They cannot be resurrected to live the good life, because they are evil spirits. Ask yourself again, “Am I like the demons?” Jesus said in Matthew 12:43, “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places” seeking rest, but finds none. Demons avoid the water. See, Jesus also sent a Legion of demons into swine who went into the sea. Many Christians today avoid the waters of baptism like demons avoid water.
Let us believe in Christ, and even more love Him observing all that He commanded (John 14:21-24, Matt. 28:19-20). Let us be raised with Christ into the newness of life from buried with Him in baptism.