Demonism Summary–Part 2
1 Samuel 16:14–23
Samuel Lesson #062
September 6, 2016
“Our Father, we are thankful for Your Word. We are thankful for the truth that You communicate to us. We are thankful for our understanding that we are in Christ. In Christ we have innumerable blessings. Part of the blessings that we have is access to You through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our High Priest who has torn down the barrier. Father, we specifically pray this evening for the Dillon family, for Perry and his wife Sierra, for his parents Chesley and Michelle, and the grandparents.
Father, we pray that You would heal them. Give the doctors wisdom. As serious as these injuries sound that they will be able to recover from them. Father, we also continue to pray for our nation. We pray for our leadership. As 1 Timothy 2 says, we are to pray that we might have leaders who leave us alone and allow us to have peace and tranquility and to carry out the ministry that You have given us.
Father, we pray for this conference this week, that this will be an important conference, informative, and that it will lay another layer of understanding in our souls, but also outreach to those who need to know the truth. Father, we pray that tonight as we study Your Word that we might have a better understanding of what the Scripture says in light of what we are studying. We pray this in Christ’s Name. Amen.”
One thing that I came across in my e-mail today that I wanted to read to you, because I was completely unaware of this, is another tremendous sign of the great apostasy that is going on in the mainline denominations.
I get a regular email from Ed Decker. His organization is called “Saints Alive.” He has been a missionary for probably 30–40 years. He has been a missionary to the Mormon community in Utah. That is normally the focus of his e-mails, but in this particular e-mail today he is talking about apostate Christianity. This is what he says:
“It is not often that you see a mainline Christian denomination go so off the centrality of our faith that they actually mock God and break several of the basic tenants of our faith. I figure that they broke the first four right at the start. The Presbyterian Church USA (that is the United Presbyterian Church. There use to be Northern and Southern, but they have merged in the late 80s. That is the mainline denomination now. They are also a denomination that voted in favor of BDS. They are anti-Zionist, anti-Israel; they are truly apostate.)
Decker said, “The Presbyterian Church USA fell into apostasy after lifting up prayers to Allah at its general assembly meeting in August (2016).” Here is the prayer:
“Allah, bless us and bless our families, and bless our Lord. Lead us on the straight path, the path of all prophets, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed.”
“These were the words that rang out over the congregation at the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA meeting in Portland, Oregon. Wajidi Said, cofounder of the Muslim Education Trust, led the attendees in a prayer to the Islamic deity, a move arranged by the ecumenical and interfaith ministry staff at the assembly.
The prayer was a part of the first order of business during the meeting’s opening session, a time dedicated to praying for those affected by the Orlando shooting that had occurred just weeks before. Decker goes on to say that Said prayed in the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful, let us praise the lord, peace be upon them and peace be upon Allah. Said also prayed peace on bigots and Islamophobes.”
This is a little insight into how our culture is absolutely fragmenting as we have stepped away from the truth. We cannot understand truth, and we have no discernment. That is a great example of worldliness and demon influence through false religions and false philosophies.
We started this study last time—a Demonism Summary—of what the Bible teaches about demonism.
We started this because our passage in 1 Samuel 16:14, “But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him.”
When the Spirit of the Lord left Saul, a distressing spirit, as it is translated in the New King James Version, but actually in the Hebrew it is the word on the lower left of the slide, רַע ra‘, which means bad or evil. This is talking about a demon that troubles Saul. The idea there is this word בָּעַת bā‘at in the lower right of the slide. It is an external action. The demon is troubling Saul from the outside. The result is Saul is experiencing extreme distress and fear that incapacitates him.
The Angelic Rebellion
We started a review of the angelic rebellion.
1. The angelic rebellion against the authority of God that began in eternity past when the chief angel identified as Lucifer in the old English translation and popular culture. That name comes from the King James translation, but the Hebrew is Helel ben Shachar, the Bright and Morning Star, the Shining One, the Son of the Morning, the Son of the Dawn. His fall is described in Isaiah 14:12–14; Ezekiel 28:12–19.
I did not point this out last time, but one of the things that you should know is that the trend of modern evangelical scholarship is to deny that Isaiah 14, it is more common there, that that does not refer to the fall of Satan. It is simply referring to the fall of an historical personage, the king of Babylon. But a number of people who will deny Satan in Isaiah 14 will still affirm it in Ezekiel 28, but there are many who deny it in both places.
One of the consequences of that is that the origin of evil in the universe, in the cosmos, is no longer addressed in Scripture. This lends itself to a kind of dualism where you have an eternal good and an eternal evil. It is bad theology, but worse, it is bad exegesis. It comes from the kind of pressure that is put on evangelical scholars to go along with where their more liberal, respectable, scholarly brethren are.
This is one of the things that has infected evangelical seminaries over the past fifty to seventy-five years, because they want to have the respect of everybody else. This is the same problem that Israel had … we want to have a king like everybody else. One of the ways in which this happened is that when they elevated new professors and identified those who would serve in the future, they would encourage them not only to get a doctorate from for example Dallas Theological Seminary, but to go on to Harvard or Edinburgh or Yale or Princeton, or Aberdeen, or Basel, or one of the European schools.
These scholars always brought back some kind of a Trojan horse. It influences where those seminaries went. It was not just Dallas Theological Seminary. I am not picking on Dallas, but it affected Trinity. It has affected Western Conservative. It has affected Denver seminary, Gordon-Conwell, every one of these. They have drifted off course.
If you are interested, you can Google an article that was recently published in American Thinker. The title of it is “The Death of Evangelicalism.”
If you have not seen this article I have e-mailed it out. I have also posted it on my Facebook page and on the Dean Bible Ministries Facebook page. You can get that. It is an accurate and telling description of how, as the author puts it, evangelicalism has been committing suicide for the last forty years. It has just about accomplished the task.
The angelic rebellion began with the fall of Helel ben Shachar. If those passages are not talking about that, then we would have no idea that evil had a beginning or when it began.
2. In Revelation 12:3–4 we learned that one-third of the angels fell with Satan.
3. These angels are collectively referred to as “fallen angels”, although some may also generally call all fallen angels “demons”. Technically, the term “demon” or “evil spirit” should probably be reserved only for that group of fallen angels who can interact today with the human race. They are organized under Satan.
4. There are several different groups of fallen angels, different categories of fallen angels.
4A. Sons of God: This is a term that describes all angels, fallen and elect. It specifically refers to a group of angels that cohabited with human beings. It is described in Genesis 6:4; Jude 6–7; 2 Peter 2:4–5.
The New Testament passages make it very clear that it is talking about angels, but when you look at the term “sons of God”, bene ha ’elohim, it clearly describes and refers to angels in Job 1–2.
4B. One demon army is currently confined to the Abyss. They are described in Revelation 9:1–11. They will be released during the Tribulation period as part of the fifth trumpet of judgment.
4C. That judgment is followed by a second. This is the third group of demons that is an army of 200 million that are currently held in reserve under the Euphrates River according to Revelation 9:14–16.
4D. The fourth group of demons are those who are alive and well and were involved in these different episodes of demonic influence and demonic possession that are described in the Scripture.
The fifth and sixth points are definitions. They are very important. I want to review those again.
5. “Demon influence” or demonic oppression can happen to anybody. It is an externally based operation. By that I mean that the demon is not inside of a person. He is outside the person.
“Demon influence” is when a person is thinking according to the devil’s thinking. The devil’s thinking was arrogance: I want to be like God, and I want to be worshiped like God. But it also involved antagonism or hostility to the Word of God. When we look at any world religion, other than biblical Christianity, it manifests both of those characteristics.
Moral-based religions manifest those characteristics. They are grounded on arrogance, and they are grounded on antagonism to grace and the teaching of the Word of God. That fits all philosophies and all world religions other than biblical Christianity. Any values, philosophies, religions, opinions, and worldviews contrary to the divine viewpoint derived from the exegesis of the Scripture are “demon influence”.
6. Distinguishing demon influence from “demon possession” is that demon possession describes the invasion of the body of a non-Christian by a demon. The demon is able to enter into the body of a person, a non-Christian only, and can control the unbeliever’s physical actions from a position within the unbeliever.
That is not what is going on with Saul. The prepositions are all external. They are not “into” or “inside of”. Saul was not demon possessed.
7. The New Testament warns about demon influence in a number of different ways:
1 Corinthians 10:20 says that sacrificing to idols, even though the idol may be wood, stone, metal, and may not mean anything, it represents a meaningless false religion. Nevertheless, what Paul is saying is that if they sacrifice to idols they are sacrificing to a demon. What he means by that is that demons are behind these false religions and false gods and goddesses.
When you read about Greek mythology, Egyptian mythology, Babylonian mythology, Roman mythology, Norse mythology, those gods and goddesses are representatives of various demons. There is a view that I believe holds a lot of water. It is that after Noah and the family got off the ark and began to multiply and spread over the earth, those that were negative to God, hostile to God, rejected God, are the ones that remembered back to the stories they were told of the sons of God who cohabited with the daughters of men.
That sounds like Zeus looking down from heaven and seeing a human female that he came down and would rape. The by-product of that would be Hercules or some other great men. That is what Genesis 6 talks about. This was the source of the men of renown of the ancient times.
Paul says that worshiping these false demons it is demon influence. If you believe in the mental mind-based cults, there are a lot of self-help philosophies that are promoted on PBS and promoted by a variety of churches. In fact, there are some churches, even here in Houston, that get a lot of play on the radio and on television, but they are basically motivational. It is just human viewpoint. It is demonic influence.
1 Timothy 4:1 describes these as deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons that in the latter times, the whole Church Age, people will fall away from the truth. They will be led astray by these deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.
2 Corinthians 11:14–15 warns of their deceptive appearance as servants of righteousness. This is the devil’s tactic. His role is to appear to be good, to appear to be an angel of light.
You have examples of this in two great world religions. By great I do not mean that they are important or good, but that they are large and influential. They are very similar.
- You have Islam. What happens in the origin of Islam? You have the story of Mohammed going up to a cave. An angel appears to him and identifies himself as Gabriel and gives him the Koran. Gabriel dictates it to him. He does not write it down for many years. He writes it down from supposed memory. That is demonic influence. That is the deceptiveness of an angel of light.
- Almost the same thing happened with Joseph Smith up in Palmira, New York. He goes up on the hill Cumorah outside of town. You have the angel Moroni who appears to him. Moroni gives him tablets, special juju black magic glasses that he can put on and decode what has been written down. That is the origin of the Book of Mormon. Mormonism and Islam both have very similar beginnings. They are both based on an angel of light that appears and deceives the founders of those religions.
James 3:13–15 identifies the thinking of the world as earthly, natural, and demonic. The word natural there is soulish, which is used in 1 Corinthians 2:12–14 to describe unbelievers. They are not spiritually alive. They do not have a spirit. They are described as soulish. That is a key.
When we get into the New Testament one of the important things that you have to do, if you are going to understand a biblical view of what the Bible teaches about angels and demons, is you have to deal with the fact that you only have one strong example of the activity of demons, two if you count Job, one with Satan. There are only two examples in the Old Testament. There is not an angelology or demonology in the Old Testament.
The first thing you really see of this outbreak of demonism and demon possession is at the time of Christ. I believe there is a reason for that. The Messiah is on the earth. You really have more of a demon influence type of scenario in terms of influence through world religions. In the Old Testament you do not have the kind of demonic possession like we see in the Gospels.
We have to analyze the Gospels. To do that initially for some people there are not a lot of examples of demon possession. Once you boil it down there are only eight specific examples, but there are three broad general examples, which tells us that there were really many more people who were demon possessed than the ones specifically described in those other passages.
8. Three general statements about casting out demons in the Gospels:
(1) In Matthew 4:24 we are told that “they brought to Him all who were ill, taken with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.”
Matthew clearly makes a distinction between those who were demoniacs, the demon possessed, and those who were ill or sick or paralyzed. This general statement has a parallel in Mark 3:11 and Luke 6:17–19.
(2) In Matthew 8:16 we are told that “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.”
Notice, just “a word”. There is no incantation. There is no formula. He does not go into a lot of ritual. There are not incense candles. He is not holding up a Cross or a Star of David or something else to scare the demon away. He just says “go” “get out” and that is it. It is very different than what you find in the human viewpoint approaches to exorcism. “He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.” Again there are parallels in Mark 1:29–34 and Luke 4:38–41.
(3) Luke 7:21, “At that very time He cured many people of diseases and afflictions and evil spirits; and He granted sights to many who were blind.” Notice that “evil spirits” is a synonym for a demon(s).
It clearly makes a distinction between diseases and demon possession, even though in some of these cases the symptoms of demon possession that the demon can produce imitate a disease. But it clearly makes a distinction between an organic disease that is the result of some sort of infection or a virus or something like that, and that which is caused by a demon who is taking up a dwelling inside the person.
9. There are eight specific incidents that are also described in Scripture.
If we were going to take our time I would go through each of these incidents to build out the characteristics. That is what you do in developing a solid theology. It is inductive. You look at each and every incident. You look at the characteristics that are there. What we discover is that there are no patterns, except for the fact that there are certain words that are always used, as we will see. EISERCHOMAI is a demon going into somebody. EX means “coming out”.
EIS means “into.” It is a preposition that is a prefix on the word ERCHOMAI, which means “to come”. If ERCHOMIA means “come” EISERCHOMAI means “to go into.”
EX means “out from.” EXERCHOMAI means “to come out from.” Like BALLO means “to cast or to throw.” EKBALLO means to “cast out, cast out from.” Those terms are your critical terms for defining demon possession.
(1) We have a man in the synagogue that Jesus confronts in Mark 1:23–28. He has an unclean spirit.
This is another important thing to identify. An unclean spirit is a synonym used, for example, when we compare one account in Mark with a similar account in Matthew or Luke. One writer may use the term “demon.” The other writer uses the term “evil spirit.” In a long or lengthy account, it may describe the demon as an evil spirit in one verse and then the person as being demonized or DAIMONIZOMAI in a later verse. That tells us that an evil spirit is just a synonym for the word demon. That is in Mark 1:23–28 and the parallel is in Luke 4:33–37.
(2) A second example, and we will look at this in more detail, is the Gadarene/Gerasene demoniac. It is identified as Gadarene in one passage and Gerasene in another passage. This is talking about the same region or town on the Gentile side in the southeast corner of the Sea of Galilee. This is described in Matthew 8:28–34, Mark 5:1–20, and Luke 8:26–40. You can see that the longest account is the Mark account. That is the one we will examine.
(3) The example of the Canaanite woman’s daughter. This is a Gentile woman who comes to Jesus. Her daughter is being possessed by a demon. That is described in Matthew 15:21–28 and Mark 7:24–30.
(4) Then there is a young boy whose father comes to Jesus and says the demon comes on him. He uses a term that would appear to him to be epileptic, but it is more than that. He has a demon. Jesus casts out the demon. This boy would go into convulsions and be thrown on the ground. If there was a fire there, he would land in the fire. He would do harm to himself. The father comes to Jesus pleading that Jesus would cast out the demon, which He does. This is described in Matthew 17:14–21.
(5) The mute boy who has seizures in Mark 9:14–29 with a parallel in Luke 9:37–43. Again Jesus casts the demon out.
(6) The blind and mute man, Matthew 12:22 cf., Luke 11:14.
What we can see is that there are different symptoms that a demon can produce that imitate a disease. One is blind. One is mute. One has seizures, what appears to be epileptic but it is not.
(7) The woman bound by Satan 18 years in Luke 13:10–21.
(8) A mute demon-possessed man in Matthew 9:32–34.
One of the funny things that we will look at later on has to do with how people in later generations, in the medieval period, the Puritan period, and even the modern period will come up with various symptoms. How can you identify somebody who is demon possessed?
Remember, we have these biblical examples. We will look at these things later. We do not see the kind of things that we see here:
- Where the Gadarene demoniac is naked. He is doing bodily harm to himself. He can tear apart chains, things of that nature.
- The boy who falls into the fire. He has epileptic type fits and seizures, blindness, and is mute.
These are the biblical examples that we find. That is all part of the ninth point, which are the eight specific examples described in Scripture.
10. Fallen humanity is ground zero for the angelic rebellion.
We are ground zero. Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you [the serpent/Satan] and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel.”
Once Satan enticed Eve and Eve enticed Adam, and as head of the race he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then you have man falling prey to Satan, losing his dominion over the earth. Satan becomes the god of this age and the prince and the power of the air.
Genesis 3:15 predicts the battle that will take place. The anger and hostility between you (God is addressing the serpent) and the seed of the serpent (who is Satan) and the woman. And between your seed (the seed of the serpent) and her Seed. Her Seed ultimately refers to the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the Greek of the Septuagint the word “seed” is SPERMA. That obviously is the seed that is produced by the male. A woman produces the egg. This is an unexpected term to describe the Seed of the woman. This is something the male produces. It does not say specifically the virgin birth, but it fits that idea, because it is the woman who is going to produce that which is normally produced by the male. It fits the doctrine of the virgin birth. That is ground zero. We are involved in this spiritual warfare, Ephesians 6:10–18.
11. A case study of demon possession, Mark 5:1–20 and Luke 8:27–37.
Mark 5:1, “Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.
Mark 5:2, “And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
Mark 5:3, “who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains …”
Turn in your Bibles to Mark 5. We will start off with the beginning, the opening description of the scenario.
Jesus and His disciples, after they have been out on the Sea of Galilee, cross over to the other side. They have been in the north near Capernaum and Bethsaida. Jesus has been teaching the disciples. He now says, “Let us cross over to the other side.” in Mark 4:35.
This is described in Mark 5:1. He says “Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.” They are in Gentile territory now. That is important because there is going to be a herd of pigs. That was legitimate for them to be raising pigs on that side of the Sea of Galilee. “Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.”
Mark 5:2, “And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,”
If you read Mark, I know a lot of you are reading your Bibles. I am very gratified to hear from different people that they are reading through the Bible. Somebody asked a question last week. He said that as he was reading through the second or third time or I am trying to read it through faster, sometimes I get a little sleepy. We all do that. You read it and you just sort of go into neutral.
One of the things you should do when you are reading is try to look for specific things to underline or highlight as you are going through a book. Make a note of this. When you are reading Mark underline the word “immediately.” Mark loves that word. He must be very young and everything has to happen very quickly. Everything that Jesus does is “immediately.” That is Mark’s style.
Mark 5:2, “And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit”
What does that mean to be “with an unclean spirit”? I can go somewhere with my wife. That does not mean that she is inside of me. We have to look at examples to understand what this means “with an unclean spirit.” Are they hand in hand, arm in arm, the evil spirit outside of his body or inside of his body?
Mark says he has this “unclean spirit.” The Greek word here is EN PNEUMATI AKATHARTO. We know the word PNEUMATI is PNEUMA. That is the Greek word for “spirit”. AKATHARTO is “unclean.” It has EN, which can mean “with,” “by,” or it can mean “within,” but that has to be determined by context.
In this slide I have references from Mark 5:2, 8, 13, 15–16, 18, and in the parallel, Luke 8:27. By comparing them we can see that there are four different phrases that are used to describe this. That helps us to understand that each of these phrases means the same thing:
(1) EN PNEUMATI AKATHARTO, “with an unclean spirit”, Mark 5:2
(2) TO PNEUMA TO AKATHARTON, “unclean spirit”, Mark 5:8, 13. In this example it is a little different construction in the Greek, but it means the same thing. It means an unclean spirit. It is just two different ways you can express the adjective in a Greek structure.
(3) DAIMONIZOMAI used to refer to the man with the “unclean spirit”, “to be acted upon by a demon” in Mark 5:15–16, 18. This word and the mistranslation have led a lot of people to shift their theology.
There was a man, a Dallas Seminary graduate, ThM, ThD. He taught at Moody Bible Institute for many years by the name of Fred Dickerson. Early in his career he wrote a book called Angels, Elect and Evil. It was one of our textbooks when I went through Dallas. He hints toward the end of that book of his future position. His future position was that Christians could be demon possessed. His basic argument was that I have a file cabinet filled with examples. That is called empiricism. That is not coming from the Bible examples, but from personal examples. “I have got files of hundreds of Christians who have been demon possessed.” But when he tried to argue it from the text he went to this word DAIMONIZOMAI.
If you break DAIMONIZOMAI down it is a participle, a passive participle. A passive verb has the idea that you receive the action. You are passive to the action. You are receiving the action. You are receiving the action of a demon. What Dickerson did with that is he said, and he is accurate to a point, that all this word gets you is that this person is being acted upon by a demon, but he went a step too far. He said but that does not mean demon possession. He said that means being acted upon by a demon. That could be demon influence, or it could be demon possession. It is a word that could mean either one. For that he would get an “F” in Greek.
DAIMONIZOMAI is a general word. He was right about that. It is a general word, but what defines it are the specific words that surround it. The specific words that surround it are those words I mentioned already, “going into” and “coming out of”, EISERCHOMAI and EXERCHOMAI. Those are the technical terms that give precision to this general word. This word means to be acted upon by a demon, but in what way?
In Luke 8:27 this same person is described as someone who (ECHO DAIMONIA) “had unclean
We can define this from other contexts, from other words used in this context. For example, when it talks about an unclean spirit in Mark 5:8, 13.
Mark 5:8, Jesus said to the demon, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!”
That unclean spirit and this whole activity, the way the unclean spirit is with the man, is described as DAIMONIZOMAI, but the specificity is that this demon has to be inside of the person to come out of him. That is what tells us what He means when He says he is with a demon. The demon is in him. It has to be to “come out.” Jesus says EKBALLO, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!”
Mark 5:9, Jesus has a conversation with him. He asks the demon’s name and the demon says “My name is Legion, for we are many.”
A Roman legion would have upward of a couple thousand soldiers. This indicates that numerous, thousands of demons could be inside of one person. They are immaterial. They are not restricted by space.
What has happened in the occult and in exorcist mythology is the idea that you are going to control the demon you have to know its name. That is how you can control a demon. The first thing you should do if you are casting out a demon is to ask the name. Then you can control the demon.
That is hogwash. That is not biblical. That is not what Jesus is doing here. He is teaching something here about how many demons can potentially indwell an individual.
Mark 5:10, “Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country.”
This demon begs Jesus not to send him out of the country. We will look at what that meant later. The demon basically says for Jesus not to send it to the ABYSS. The demon wants to inhabit something.
Mark 5:11, “Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. So all the demons …”
Notice that, “all the demons.” They are begging Jesus. This must have been quite a scene. All these demons are chattering together and begging Jesus, “Send us into the swine.” Notice, you have Jesus saying “come out” and they want to go “into [EIS] the swine.” This is not some passive sort of external action. It is very specific. DAIMONIZOMAI means to have a demon in you, and it has to come out. “Send us into [EIS] the swine, that we may enter [EISERCHOMAI, “enter into”] them.”
It cannot be more specific. I am really laboring this. I am going to make a point on it in a moment.
Mark 5:13, “And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out [EXERCHOMAI, “come out of” or “leave”] and entered [EISERCHOMAI, “enter into”] the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.”
People ask, “What happened to the demons then?” I do not know. The text does not tell me, so I am not going to go there.
Mark 5:7, “and shouting with a loud voice, he said, ‘What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!’ ”
The demon is shouting “do not torment me!” Do not send me to Torments. The demon wanted to be on the earth. Torments was their eventual punishment.
These are the words I have been talking about:
- EXERCHOMAI, to come out from, get out, proceed out of someone
- EISERCHOMAI, to enter into someone
- EKBALLO, to cast out
EXERCHOMIA, to come out from, get out, proceed out of, which means you have to be inside of something. EISERCHOMAI is to enter into or go into someone. That is what defines DAIMONIZOMAI. EKBALLO is the command that Jesus gave.
Jesus never said I am exorcising you. EKSORKIZO, the Greek verb from which we get the word exorcism only describes the magic of unbelievers. The ritual kind of thing. It is never used to describe what the apostles did or what Jesus did. What they did is always described by this word EKBALLO, to cast out.
I want you to turn in your Bibles to John 13. This has been a point of confusion for some people. It is very clear in the Greek. What is the word that describes “going into”? EISERCHOMAI. I want to make sure you have got that.
Demon influence is external influence of a demon or Satan from outside the body. Demon possession is when the spirit takes up residence inside the body. What happens in John 13:2? Jesus is getting ready to celebrate the Passover, the Seder with His disciples.
John 13:2, “And supper being ended, the devil [this is Satan] having already put it [the text does not tell us what the “it” is] into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him.”
If you look at some other translations, like the New American Standard, there is no “it” there. It says “having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray Him.” We will see this.
What we have here is this word “put,”—“having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot”. The word “put” is the word BALLO, which means “to cast or put.” If it is EKBALLO it means “to cast out of.” This is putting an idea into the heart of Judas Iscariot. The devil is not going into Judas Iscariot. He is putting something into the heart of Judas Iscariot.
The phrase in Greek is EIS TEN KARDIAN. It means “into the heart.” Satan is putting thoughts there. Satan is not going into the heart. He is putting an idea there.
The last word to look at is the word “to betray”, or PARADIDOMI, which means “to deliver over or to betray.” It is preceded by the word for “in order to,” purpose. The reason this idea is put into the heart of Judas, into his mind, is the idea to betray Jesus. Is that demon possession or demon influence? That is demon influence or satanic influence. Satan is not inside of Judas at this point.
John 13:11, “For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, ‘You are not all clean.’ ”
A little later on Jesus makes this statement that all of the disciples are clean except one of you. John makes it clear that Jesus knew who would betray Him. The one that is not clean, not saved, is the one who is going to betray Him. That would be Judas. Therefore, Jesus said “You are not all clean.” He is talking about positional cleansing. Jesus is saying that Judas is not positionally cleansed. The other disciples are. In other words, Judas is not saved. The other eleven are.
If you do not agree with, that you eviscerate the whole meaning of the teaching on forgiveness and confession and cleansing in this passage. You absolutely eviscerate the doctrine. You cannot teach confession out of 1 John 1:9 if you do not get it right in John 13; otherwise, you are inconsistent.
What happens next?
John 11:27, “Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What you do, do quickly.’ ”
The word there is EISERCHOMAI, to enter into.
Let me remind you of what we have done. DAIMONIZOMAI means simply “to be acted upon” by a demon. The only way you can understand what that word means in terms of precision is the verbs that surround it. EISERCHOMAI “to go into” and EXERCHOMAI “to come out of.”
Some people have done this. They have said that all this in John 13:27 is demon influence. But if that is demon influence, using the word EISERCHOMAI, then that means that all those other examples in the Gospels have to be demon influence. You no longer have any biblical teaching on demon possession. You no longer can have a biblical view of demonology. It undercuts every thing else that we believe about demon influence and demon possession. That is why Greek matters. That is why exegesis matters. If you know the original languages it should keep you from making sophomoric errors like this.
Satan possesses Judas Iscariot because he is not clean. He is an unbeliever.
12. Experienced-based opinions on the symptoms of demon possession.
Then ask the question, “Well how do I know if anybody is demon possessed?”
Is it not interesting that the Bible never gives us a description? It never says, “Okay, if they have a temperature of 103°F, and if they vibrate at night and have tremors, that is how you know.”
The Bible never gives us that. In the church-oriented epistles, from Romans to Jude, there is not only no description of demon possession, there is also no warning about it, and there is no description of what you should do to get rid of the demon or to cast it out.
If the Bible tells us every thing we need to know about the spiritual life of the Church Age, and it does not even mention the problem of demon possession, that ought to tell us that it is not a problem for the Christian in the Church Age. It is not something to be concerned about; otherwise, God in His sufficiency would tell us. We have a lot of people through the ages who have come up with their various guesses as to this is how you can tell if someone is demon possessed.
(1) There was a Rabbi Huna who died around AD 297. He said there are four characteristics:
- If a person walks around at night.
What does that mean? Sleepwalking at night, or you are an insomniac? You have got what I call middle-age insomnia. You wake-up at two in the morning. You go get a snack. You go watch a little television. What does that mean?
- Spending the night on a grave.
Have a little Halloween party and go down to the local graveyard. I will not ask for a show of hands of who might have done that when they were a teenager.
- Tearing one’s clothes.
Getting mad and ripping up one’s clothes.
- Destroying something that you have been given.
That could describe any adolescent at some point or another. Then we would be painting with a broad brushstroke. Those were Rabbi Huna’s four characteristics.
But notice, if you look at the biblical examples, which we went through briefly, none of them were walking around at night or spending the night on a grave. Although you did have the demoniac who is in that area of the tombs, but that did not apply to the others. Tearing one’s clothes might have applied to one or two who were having the seizures. Destroying what is given is not relevant. Rabbi Huna is not building this from the Bible. He is building it from experience.
(2) From the 1600s (17th century) we have a list of symptoms by a Puritan writer:
- If you think you are possessed.
- If you lead a wicked life.
Who decides what wicked is? Wicked in the 1600s is a far cry from being wicked today. They did not know what wicked was.
- To be persistently ill or falling into a heavy sleep and vomiting unusual objects.
Did that ever happen in Scripture? I do not think so. And with the little boy who gets taken over by the demon and casts himself into the fire. Was he living a wicked life? He was probably 3–4 years of age according to the word that is used that. Was he living a wicked life? I do not think so, not at that age.
- To blaspheme.
I know a lot of Christians who would come under that category.
- Make a pact with the Devil.
None of those examples in the Bible have anybody making a pact with the Devil. We do not know that they blasphemed. In fact, when Jesus showed up they did not blaspheme Him. They ran and bowed down to Him, because they knew who He was.
- To be troubled with spirits.
I know some alcoholics who are troubled with spirits, but I think that is another kind of spirit.
- To show a frightening and horrible countenance.
Some of us do that when we wake-up every morning.
- To be tired of living.
- To be uncontrollable and violent.
- To make sounds and movement like an animal.
Most of these have no basis in Scripture. In fact, I do not think any of these have a basis in Scripture.
(3) There was a writer who was recommended when I took Angelology and Demonology at seminary named Kurt Koch. He was a 1970s European writer. He said that evidence of demon possession was “cursing, grinding teeth, suicide, falling into a trance.” Koch also stated that possessing demons “emit a scornful laugh if he hears someone talking about the Cross of Christ or the blood of Jesus.”
That is not what we see in the Bible. That does not happen in the Bible. Koch goes on to say, “and that the person possessed will display evil and hateful expressions especially if spiritual things are talked about.” We do not see an example of that in the Bible. Where are they getting this? Just from personal experience.
Chuck Swindoll, a well-known pastor and radio Bible teacher, a former president of Dallas Theological Seminary. He wrote a book in the 1980s called Demonism. He asked the question: “Can a Christian be demonized? For a number of years, I questioned this, but now I am convinced it can occur. If a ‘ground of entrance’ has been granted the power of darkness.”
A lot of people come up with this idea that you have some sort of ground of entrance. You get involved in doing something. You were not looking for a demon, but you inadvertently bought a Ouija board, and you picked up a demon. You went to the Far East, and you bought a little Buddha and picked up a demon. You are completely unaware of the fact that now you have got a demon that is Velcroed to your back. It is causing havoc in your life.
This is the idea of a ground of entrance. You think that little 3–4 year old boy had a ground of entrance, or the Canaanite women’s daughter had been involved with the occult? There is no evidence of that anywhere in Scripture. That any of these people were doing anything out of the ordinary that caused their demon possession. They were not playing with Tarot cards. They were not getting involved with astrology and other forms of fortune telling. None of that is there.
Swindoll says, “If a ground of entrance has been granted, the power of darkness (such as trafficking in the occult, a continual unforgiving spirit, a habitual state of carnality, etc.).”
I do not think that is true about those examples. Every unbeliever is in a habitual state of carnality. Is that not right? They cannot do anything else but be carnal. This is not very well thought through.
Swindoll says, “the demon(s) sees this as a green light—okay to proceed …”
Notice there are no Bible verses here to support what Chuck Swindoll is saying. I am not jumping on Chuck. I am pointing out critical-thinking skills. Is he going to the text to support his position or is he going to experience?
Swindoll says, “I have worked personally with troubled, anguished Christians for many years. On a few occasions I have assisted in the painful process of delivering them of demons … while present within the body (perhaps in the region of the soul) that evil force can wreak havoc within the life.” He thinks Christians can be demon possessed.
13. Here are some other examples of experienced-based exorcisms that are not biblical. There are not a whole lot down through even the New Testament. Here Josephus talks about this legend that comes up about Solomon. He says, “God also enabled him (Solomon) to learn that skill which expels demons … He composed such incantations also by which distempers are alleviated …”
There is no evidence of any of this in the Scripture. “They drive away demons, so that they never return; … I have seen a certain man of my own country whose name was Eleazer, releasing people that were demoniacal in the presence of Vespasian …” Vespasian became Emperor of Rome.
“He (Eleazer) put a ring that had a root of one of those sorts mentioned by Solomon to the nostrils of the demoniac, after which he drew out the demon through his nostrils; and when the man fell down immediately, he abjured him to return into him no more, making still mention of Solomon, and reciting the incantations which he composed ...”
That does not fit anything that we see in the Bible. You have got incantations. You have got this ring that is put into the nostril that pulls out the demon, all of these things.
Then Josephus goes on:
“Eleazer would … set a little way off a cup or basin full of water, and commanded the demon, as he went out of the man, to overturn it, and thereby to let the spectators know that he had left the man.”
There is a little empirical data. The demon is going to leave and you have a little slide of hand and flip over the little bowl of water. Awe! That is evidence that a demon came out. It is just magic. That is all it is.
We get into the Book of Tobit where we have a story of an exorcism. Tobit married a girl and her former suitors are killed at the wedding by a demon. This happens in the intertestamental period and is written down. Tobit 8:2–4 tells this story: “And as he went, he remembered the words of Raphael (an angel), and took the ashes of the perfumes, and put the heart and the liver of the fish thereupon, and made a smoke therewith.”
That is how you are casting out the demon. You are taking a dead fish, some perfumes, ashes, and take the liver of the fish on the person’s heart and that will cast out the demon.
“The which smell when the evil spirit had smelled, he fled into the utmost parts of Egypt, and the angel bound him. And after that they were both shut in together …”
That is that view. These are so different from the Bible.
We have an experienced-based exorcism in Acts 19:13. You have these itinerant Jewish exorcists. The word is EKSORKIZO.
Acts 19:13, “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.’ ”
They are going to exorcize by the Jesus whom Paul preaches, not that they have any relationship with Jesus. We are told:
Acts 19:14–16, “Also, there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit (it is kind of a smart aleck) 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 beat them up, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”
They got their comeuppance.
The last example I have is from a work called the Pesiqta of Rab Kahana. Rab is short for Rabbi. This is dated from the AD 5th to 7th century. He says, “Has an evil spirit never entered into you? Have you never seen a person into whom an evil spirit has entered? What should be done with one so affected? Take the roots of herbs, burn them under him, and surround him with water, whereupon the spirit will flee.”
Does that have anything to do with what Jesus does or what we see in the Scripture? He does not even use a harp. He does not even go back to 1 Samuel to come up with something.
What we see here is in contrast to all this juju black magic, Jesus commands the demons to come out. There is no use of chants, spells, smells, or incantations. He does not touch. He speaks to them and they depart. That is it, because Jesus has power.
Next time before we go further we will finish up with the issue of can Christians be demon possessed? The answer is, no. We will find out from the Bible next week.
“Father, thank You for this time that we have had to study Your Word that as people so often worry about and are fearful of spirits and demons lacking a biblical foundation. Often in modern churches people are frequently confused, Father. We pray that we might understand these things and be able to offer a solid answer to people so they can have hope and confidence and not be fearful and not operate on superstition and ideas that are really part of demon influence.
Father, we have Your Spirit in us, the Scripture that says, ‘Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.’ We can have confidence that no matter where we go, we do not ever have to worry about picking up a demon or being attacked in some way physically by a demon or any of these other nonsensical ideas that are so common in popular culture, especially in more primitive societies. We pray that we may understand these things, and they will give us confidence and the ability to help others if the opportunity arises. We pray this in Christ’s Name. Amen.