Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Steve Myers] Evil is in the headlines. It seems we’re surrounded by so many criminal, immoral and malicious acts. Is there a spirit power behind evil in our world today? Is it simply wicked people or could there more behind it?
Many believe that demons and Satan do not exist. They’ll tell you it’s just a myth for the simple minded. Video games, TV and movies run the gamut of fostering and promoting evil spirits to mocking the whole idea.
Do demons really exist? What about evil spirits influencing human beings? Can they interact with you and me?
Should you believe in demons?
You need to know the surprising answer. Stay tuned to this edition of Beyond Today as we discuss: When Demons Are Real!
Are demons real? Did ancient peoples just dream them up? Are they imaginary? Some think so. But look at our world today. We see so much pain and conflict and just plain evil all around us. Is there a root cause to the problem of evil?
Yes! There is one primary cause. Your Bible reveals that a powerful, intelligent and influential being and his companions are actively orchestrating the wickedness that dominates our planet. The Bible calls him the devil and Satan with his fellow evil demons.
But do they really exist and can they bother or influence me? After all, many demons seem like a fairytale, manmade for movies type characters that rule over the realm of ever burning flames. Can a red creature with horns, a pointy tail with wings and a pitchfork really be taken all that seriously? Because Satan and his demons are typically represented in such a bizarre way it isn’t surprising that so many think the whole idea is all just a fictitious myth.
I talked with a few people about it on the street.
So you would say there’s a spiritual power behind evil?
> Yes. Yes.
» I don’t think so. I think it goes back to personal belief.
[Steve] Do you think that there is a spirit power behind evil in our world today?
> That, I don’t know. I haven’t thought about that. So it’s hard to say. It could be. Don’t know.
» Uh, I think yes.
> I don’t tend to see evil.
» I think it actually scares me a lot
[Steve] It doesn’t have to scare you. When you understand the truth you can have peace. So if you want to find reliable, accurate information about the spirit world where do you go? Don’t go to a medium, a palm reader or a physic. That’s just superstitious nonsense.
Only one source can give us the right answers. The lone dependable source is the Bible. Outside of the Bible everything concerning the spirit world is only mythology and speculation.
The Bible is undoubtedly the Word of God and God reveals true spiritual knowledge. Information that’s not available from any other source. It tells us in sobering terms that the devil and his demons do exist. It explains that the spirit world is every bit as real as our own physical world.
Scripture explains that Satan is an incredibly powerful spirit being with a sweeping control over humanity. Along with his cohorts he’s mentioned over and over again. Did you know that he shows up from the beginning of the Bible all the way to the end, from Genesis to Revelation. Your Bible exposes this evil spirit realm.
Here’s the challenge. Do you accept Jesus as real, as the Son of God? Do you accept the fact that the Bible is a truthful account of His ministry and teachings? If you do, you must also accept the devil and the evil spirit realm as real.
So would you say that there is a real spirit, kind of demonic realm out there?
> I believe it is. I believe it is
» Oh yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Definitely. Definitely.
> I’m a Christian, so yeah, I believe in evil spirits.
[Steve] Believing that demons exist is one thing. But can they affect people? Do you believe they can influence you?
Jesus Christ himself spoke of the devil as a powerful, conscious, real entity. He showed demons can influence you.
The first four books of the New Testament show them to be enemies of Christ determined to thwart and undermine His work. Just before Jesus began His ministry Satan tried through temptation to turn Him aside from His divine purpose. Matthew 4:1 says, “Then, Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”
Satan tried to influence Christ. He tried to trip Him up and cause Him to sin and disqualify Himself as our Savior. But Satan failed at every attempt to hinder Christ. Ultimately Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Matthew 4:10).
Christ experienced the powerful influence of Satan himself. He showed that the spirit world is actively working not only against Jesus but against all of us.
Do you know how the Bible describes Satan and his demons?
The apostle Peter experienced struggles with evil and he warns us to be on guard. Why? Because the devil and his demons are powerful wicked spirits. He tells us, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Peter’s warning helps us realize that not only is the devil the enemy of Christ, he is the enemy of all followers of Christ. He wants to overwhelm and destroy us.
Yet there’s even more to the story. It’s a vital message of the Bible from beginning to end. You see the evil spirit realm is the enemy of ALL humanity. Wicked spirits wage war against human beings, against not only Christians but against everyone in every imaginable way.
Even the name Satan helps show his vicious intent and indicates how God calls things what they are. Satan is from a Hebrew word that can mean adversary, the enemy, our opponent, an accuser or slanderer (Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 5, 1992, “Satan,” p. 985).
The Devil is the other term that the Bible uses. It’s translated from the Greek word diabolos. That’s where we get such words as diabolical, something wicked or sinister and it literally means “an accuser, a slanderer” (W.E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, “Devil, Devilish”). You see these meaningful names are powerful reminders of the character and personality of evil spirits.
So we have to ask. Could you be affected by these lying spirits? How powerful is the deceit of demons? It wouldn’t affect me, would it?
Now this is crucial. The Word of God exposes the enormity of Satan’s lies and tells us that he “deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).
It doesn’t say that the world was deceived sometime in the past. The word shows it’s happening in the present. Evil deception started in the past and it’s a continuous ongoing process that’s not finished yet. Even for Christians! This deceit includes his deception in education, his deception in business and yes even his deception in religion. The Devil has hoodwinked even churches. Now you might say well really? You’re probably thinking, no, not in my church. Couldn’t be me. Yet believe it or not Satan plays an enormous role in religion. Has he affected your thinking?
Jesus himself said, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name… and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:3-5). The book of Revelation shows that great deception will continue until God miraculously intervenes.
Here’s one way he may be fooling even you. Ephesians 2:2 gives us insight and identifies Satan as “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”
Compare this power to cell phones that communicate with nearby cell towers. It’s mainly by radio frequency waves like radio signals communicating with your car radio. They’re invisible. You’re not even aware of them. The power of the airways.
That’s similar to how demons influence. We’re surrounded with invisible signals and don’t even consider it any more than thinking about breathing.
But instead of phone signals these imperceptible broadcasts are bad attitudes and wrong moods and corrupt thoughts and it’s all done invisibly.
So here’s the question. Do you tune in to those frequencies? If you do, you’ll pick up that contaminated way of thinking. Those transmissions lead to disobedience and sin.
So we all need to ask: How am I being deceived?
The apostle Paul put it this way, “we are not [or should not be] ignorant of [Satan’s] devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
That word “devices” tells us that the devil and his demons aren’t haphazardly trying to influence us. They aren’t randomly going about or aimlessly searching to hurt us. Remember he’s compared to a roaring lion on the hunt. That word means he has a purpose. He has schemes and tactics.
Satan and his demons are not amateurs at deception. You can be sure they want you to be confused and not believe or obey the truth. Satan is a master of ingenious strategy and his deceit and trickery must not be allowed to catch us unaware.
Evil spirits have combined their forces to continually and relentlessly oppose God and to try to undermine God’s purpose for you. You see they are liars and they have no conscience preventing them from twisting the truth any way they choose to spin it. They’ll say whatever’s necessary to get you off track from the true teachings of Jesus Christ. They’re bound to this earth and they devote themselves to their goal of deceit, disorder and destruction in the lives of all people.
Now on the other hand angels are faithful spirit beings. They serve God and help mankind. They’re righteous, good, and holy. But demons are corrupt angels, angels who defied God. We’re told that they’re good at lying and misleading people. “Even Satan can disguise himself to look like an angel of light. So it is no great thing if his servants disguise themselves to look like servants of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15 GNT).
God warns us that demons masquerade and impersonate angels of light. They can even disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Yet they’re always wicked even if they appear otherwise. Remember their purpose: to undermine your faith, to oppose God and to deceive and mislead.
It can be distressing when you realize that demons have deceived the majority of people into false religion. Do you believe that? Demons pervert the knowledge of the True God and have weaseled their way into church. There is no doubt that Satan counterfeits the true message of the Bible. Just look at the religious deception in our world today. Have you ignored or overlooked the real teachings of Jesus? He Himself warned “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand” (Matthew 24:24-25).
Here’s a quick check to see if you’ve been misled.
1. Do you worship on God’s true Sabbath day from Friday Sunset to Saturday sunset? Don’t forget Jesus said He is “Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:28) and that’s not Sunday or any other day.
2. The plan of God has been counterfeited and it’s been counterfeited so effectively that most don’t even know His purpose. Do you believe you’ll go to heaven at death? The Bible plainly says that is not the case. Instead we’re told that no man has ascended to heaven (John 3:13) and that Jesus will come back to this earth and at that time there’ll be a resurrection of all His true followers (Revelation 5:10).
3. Satan’s evil schemes have been so effective that even the message that Jesus commanded the disciples to teach has been minimized and discredited. That message is the gospel of the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:1-2). Do you understand that message and the plan God has for you and all mankind? Can you see through the counterfeit, the religious disguise and the spiritual forgery that is all around us?
Would you say that when you look at the world and you look at the evil and the difficulties that we have in our world today, do you think there’s any connection to that with evil spirits and demonic forces?
> Yes. Because I believe that is a lack of connection with God. And like I said I believe there are a lot of evil forces out there and I think that without a daily spiritual connection with positive then the evil can come in.
[Steve] That’s right. Satan and his demons are not just symbolic and they are not just bad forces and it’s not just evil people. Formidable wicked spirits are real.
If you don’t think that they don’t influence this world, you’ve been duped.
If you think they don’t influence religion, you’ve been fooled.
Demons are roaming the churches today because of so much confusion. True doctrine has been displaced by entertainment and invitations to an emotional high by coming to Jesus. You can’t afford to be unschooled and illiterate when it comes to biblical truth. All too many refuse to be taught properly from the Word of God. So no wonder demons are reaping a fabulous harvest. If you think they can’t influence you, you’re mistaken.
In fact we’re told this isn’t simply a challenge, not just a warning, not only a threat. We’re told it’s war and not just any war, all-out war. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
The Word of God says Satan has his own principalities and powers, his own evil demons who he gives authority to do his bidding. And not only that but there are also earthly kings, presidents and dictators who are being used by wicked forces to accomplish evil goals. Our time is described as a darkened world because of the spiritual blindness and ignorance that spreads to all who follow the ways of this world.
So God calls us to be soldiers in this spiritual battle. We’re fighting armies of wicked spirits, legions of evil. No wonder God warns us about the scores and scores of wicked enemies out there. They want you to lose sight of the truth, to lose hope. They want to infiltrate your mind with false teachings and try to distract you with the cares of this world. They love depression. They love discouragement. They hate us all because mankind has been chosen to inherit the earth.
Yet so many mistakenly think that demons are simply man’s wrong desires and impulses and not real actual beings. Notice this clip from a recent movie:
> Do you believe in demons? Demons, evil spirits and the devil himself represent man’s darkest desire.
That’s an ominous depiction. But the problem with this portrayal is that demons are not just ‘forces’ or bad people. They’re real creatures. They’re powerful spirit beings lead by the devil. He is described as “a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Under normal circumstances they cannot be seen, but the Bible shows they can appear like a human. They fool and deceive unknowing people. So it’s not surprising how many are taken in by these dangerous evil beings. A recent survey found that 45% of Americans believe in ghosts, or that the spirits of dead people can come back. Americans are not alone. 50% of Australians believe in ghosts and spirits.
When it comes to ghosts the Bible has a different view. The book of Samuel shows demons can be an apparition, take on a likeness of a man or even your favorite uncle or your dead parent seeming to appear to you. They know what they looked like, what they sounded like and all about the past. They impersonate and forge the truth. But these aren’t ghosts. They’re not disembodied people. They’re evil, lying spirits masquerading just to victimize and fool you.
Many do realize the power of the demonic realm. A YouGov survey on exorcism and possession found that 51% of Americans believe in demonic possession.
The Bible says they’re right. It is possible. It shows how a demon can take possession of a person. Acts 19 records one example for us. “Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, ‘We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.’ Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’ Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded (Acts 19:13-16).
So we see that scripture teaches that demons are powerful, far more powerful than human beings. But they are not invincible. You cannot be ruled or possessed by a demon unless you willingly give them access to your mind.
Demonic activity is real but we don’t need to be afraid. God is greater than any demon or anything that they can do. We can take courage from 1 John 4:4. “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
Never forget that we’re in a spiritual battle. Don’t be taken in by the deception. “The night is nearly over, day is almost here. Let us stop doing the things that belong to the dark, and let us take up weapons for fighting in the light” (Romans 13:12 GNT).
So put your life into the hands of God. He promises to protect and to keep you.
There is much more to talk about so in a moment the Beyond Today panel will discuss more on the deception of demons and most importantly what you should do about it.
But first let’s review what we’ve found:
1. Demons are real evil spirit beings.
2. They oppose us and try to keep us from a close relationship with God and understanding His truth.
3. The wicked spirit realm has even infected most religion today.
So fight this spiritual battle and stay close to God and seek the true teachings of the Bible.
Now Beyond Today hosts Darris McNeely and Gary Petty join me. Of course we’ve seen how demons are real and yet the big fear is do I have to be worried about that?
[Darris McNeely] No, Steve, you don’t as long as you’re not dabbling into that or inviting demons into your realm and into your life. God seems to put a barrier between what the demonic world can do and really all of the world in society. It’s not like everyone is possessed or need worry about that happening in their life and a person who has got a sound mind and certainly reading scripture and understanding that does not have to fear that at will a demon can influence.
[Gary Petty] You know in the New Testament there is a place that says “Draw close to God and the devil will flee from you” and that’s what we need to remember. We stay close to God and Satan and the demons are subject to His power. So we stay close to God, they have no power over us.
[Steve] Yes, I think that’s got to be the start. Is there anything else we can continue to do in order to protect ourselves?
[Darris] Filter the media that you consume. Movies, television, books, other matters that directly deal with the occult, spiritism, demonic possession, vampires.
[Steve] It’s popular right now.
[Darris] It has always been popular but look, you are dancing with the devil when you do that and why do we have so much evil in our world today? Well look, look at what is around us and what is accepted as entertainment and people have no sense and understanding of really what they are dealing with.
[Gary] Paul said that Satan is the God of this world. So we’ve got to remember as we pull away from the influence of the God of this world, which Darris is talking about, we need to then pull towards God. Prayer. Being in that Bible. Studying the Word of God. Being close to God. So you pull away from one and go towards the other. That’s what we need to do.
[Steve] Now of course we’ve discovered many things about Satan and his demons and how the Bible clearly shows they’re powerful. They’re intelligent. They’re influential in orchestrating wickedness.
And yet if you want to learn more on how you understand the ways of the devil and his demons and how they impact you, we’ve prepared a booklet that can help you. It’s a free Bible study aid called “Is There Really a Devil?”
Order your free copy today by calling 1-888-886-8632. That’s 1-888-886-8632. If a representative doesn’t answer quickly, please try again in a few minutes when the lines are less busy. Be sure to jot down the number or go online at beyondtoday.tv or write to us at the address shown on your screen [Beyond Today, PO Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254]. This study aid will help you understand the reality of the spirit realm and help you fight against their influence in your life.
When you order “Is There Really a Devil?” we’ll also send you a subscription to Beyond Today magazine absolutely free of charge. Each issue of Beyond Today includes articles on subjects that will help change your life for the better and assist you in making sense of current events in relation to Bible prophecy. So order your subscription now by calling 1-888-886-8632.
Plus when you visit beyondtoday.tv be sure to watch BT Daily . These short daily videos cover a variety of Bible topics and current events. BT Daily is a great way for you to get additional knowledge about Bible prophecy and God’s great plan for you.
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Now’s the time to more fully seek the truth of God. Don’t settle for just a portion of it. Be dedicated to learn the true teachings of Christ. Don’t be taken in by the deception.
Satan and his demons most certainly do exist. However we don’t have to fear him if we are doing our part in surrendering our lives to God and His way of life.
Don’t forget, Jesus battled the powers of the rulers of darkness and He won. He died that we may live a life free from the spiritual hosts of wickedness.
So don’t listen to the lies. Don’t give in to temptation. The enemy has no hold over you. Continue to put on God’s spiritual armor as protection against those evil attacks so you can ultimately have victory through Jesus Christ.
Thanks for joining us and be sure to tell your family and friends about Beyond Today. Tune in again next week and join us in praying, “Thy Kingdom come.” For Beyond Today , I’m Steve Myers. Thanks for watching.
[Narrator] For the free literature offered on today’s program go online to beyondtoday.tv