Deliverance ministries assume that demons are behind the inability to stop certain sins and addictions, and they tend to look for the quick fix. But sin is not so easily dispatched. Being rid of these sins requires yielding oneself completely to God, and it can take time… What Christians need is not deliverance from demons (from which they have already been delivered) but immersion and submersion in the Holy Spirit.
There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist and a magician with the same delight.
It is a curiosity to me that if you go through the Old Testament you’re not going to find demon-possessed people with the exception of the very unique situation in the 6th chapter of Genesis… Interestingly enough that after the four gospels you only have two occasions, Acts 16 and Acts 19, where you have a demon-possessed situation. And it’s never even referred to in the epistles of the New Testament… It wasn’t an issue in the churches to which the apostle Paul wrote, or John wrote, or Jude wrote, or Peter wrote or James wrote. But in the life of Christ and in the three years of His ministry there is a manifestation of demon possessions that is unlike anything in all of human history, to be exceeded only by the manifestation of demonic power in the time yet to come called the Great Tribulation, just prior to Christ’s Second Coming. And God Himself will aide that manifestation by opening up the pit of hell and the place of bound demons called the pit, the bottomless pit, the abussos, the abyss and letting it belch out some demons who have been bound there so that there is a greater force of demons in the time of the tribulation than ever before and they are allowed to run rampant over the earth in ways prior to which they have been restrained.
[Demons] prefer anonymity. They would rather that you would characterize that behavior as [a psychological disorder]. They really don’t want you to know they’re there. They don’t want to be exposed. But in the presence of Jesus they had no option. And what happened was Jesus just being there confronted them and they gave up their anonymity unwillingly by the sheer force of His personality.
Demon possession is a condition in which one or more demons inhabits the body of a human being, and they can at will control that being.
Paul held the demonic rulers responsible for Christ’s death. He assumes that these powers of Satan were working behind the scenes to control the course of events during the Passion Week. It was not a part of Paul’s purpose to explain exactly how these demonic rulers operated. At the very least we can imagine they were intimately involved by exerting their devious influence in and through Judas, Pilate, Annas and Caiaphas, and by inciting the mob. Demonic victory over God’s plan by putting Christ to death failed. The powers did not apprehend the full extent of God’s wisdom – how the Father would use the death of Christ to atone for sin, raise Him victoriously from the dead and create the church. Least of all did they envisage their own defeat (Clinton Arnold)!
People, even the disciples, struggled to get it, but the demons clearly knew who Christ was. They recognized Him every time. James 2:19 says they “believe” in Christ and “shudder” in His presence. The lovers of darkness hate the light. They were always agitated in Christ’s presence. They knew that their days were numbered. They knew that Jesus was (as the verses say) “the Holy One of God” and “the Son of God.” And though it was more out of fear than reverence, they knew Christ has a greater authority than they did.
Notwithstanding what has been said, many Christians remain functional deists. They don’t deny that God exists or that there is a spiritual realm in which angels and demons are active. They simply live as if neither God nor spiritual beings of either sort have any genuine, influential, interaction with them. God isn’t dead, but He might as well be. Angels and demons might exist, but what does that have to do with my life?
Why do we deny the possibility of redemption for fallen angelic beings?
1. There is no record of such in Scripture.
2. There is no record in Scripture of demonic repentance.
3. The impact of the cross on demons is always portrayed as judgment, never salvation (nowhere do we read of justification, forgiveness, redemption, adoption, regeneration, etc. being true of any angelic being).
4. Hebrews 2:14-17; Revelation 5:8-14.
Nowhere in the New Testament are believers ever depicted as living in servile fear of demons, that is precisely the state from which they have been delivered by the gospel.