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Demons, Exorcism, Angels and the Bible Oh My!



Today we are going to look at Halloween and all things Halloween while comparing it to the Bible. What does the Bible teach us about the demonic world? How should we navigate our lives considering this spiritual world?


When discussing the enemies of God and what the bible has teach us about the spiritual world of God, Heaven, Hell, Angels and Demons we must remember an important reminder given to us by Paul the Apostle. What Paul writes in these two letters are reminders of where Christians sit regarding the evil forces in Hell and the world. There is much false teaching found in all of these topics which is why we will be defining everything by what God’s word teaches; not what denominations or worldly powers teach about this topic.


“…so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us [r]to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.


For He rescued us from the [u]domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”


Colossians 1:9-13


“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against [e]flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”


Ephesians 6:10-12



Demons: δαίμων, ονος, ὁ

An evil spirit, demon.


Cognate: 1142 daímōn (a feminine noun) – a demon, i.e. a fallen angel. See 1139 /diamonizomai ("demonized") and 1140 /daimónion ("little demon").

[This term occurs more often in the Textus Receptus (TR) than the later editions of the critical text. See for example Rev 16:14, 18:2. Whereas 1140 (daimónion) emphasizes the evil nature of fallen angels, 1142 (daímōn) may stress the pervasive presence of demons in the world.]


Scripture: Deuteronomy 32:17, Matthew 8:31 (Matt. 8:28-34)


δαιμόνιον, ου, τό (this is the most common word for “demon” used in the NT)


Cognate: 1140 daimónion (a neuter, diminutive noun) – a demon, i.e. fallen angel. 1140 (daimónion) always refers to demons in the NT – the only


Strong’s Concordance Website:


Scripture: Matthew 12: 24, Luke 4:31-37


Demons are unclean, rebellious angels that have fallen from heaven and into Hell behind their lord and master, Satan.

“And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole [d]world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,

“Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come…”


-Revelation 12:7-10


Thayer’s Greek Lexicon describes demons as being “a spirit inferior to God, superior to men.” This is important to note since demons have a heavy influence on humanity but they hold no influence over the sovereignty and power of God.


Understanding the timeline of God working is important when discussing demons. There is false teaching the modern church today describing that demons can be found in human afflictions and that these demons can hold power in a Christian (possess a Christian). Many deliverance ministry’s are guilty of this. For instance, if someone struggles with depression, alcoholism, trauma from abuse or anything “negative” in this regard, these ministries will teach that these are demons found in you. The only way for them to be healed in your body is through “deliverance” of that spirit or demon within you. This is not how demons work according to scripture.


The in OT the Holy Spirit fell on specific people (Moses, Builders of the temple, Ezekiel are examples of this). In the NT the Holy Spirit fell on Christ (Matthew 3:13-17) and Jesus later will describe that once we are saved by Him; we then indwell the Holy Spirit within us, this happened after Pentecost where now God, The Holy Spirit, dwells within those who have faith in Christ alone and whom have confessed Him to be true.


“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me”


John 6:54-57


I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [b]Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you…”


John 14:16-18


Jesus is describing what things will look like AFTER Pentecost. This proves to us why Christians cannot be possessed by demons because they have been literally possessed by the Holy Spirit upon their confession of faith (Romans 10:9). Does this mean Christians won’t struggle with sin? Absolutely not, Paul warns the church Satan’s schemes in Ephesians 6:10-12. Christians can absolutely be influenced, tormented and tempted by demons but never possessed by demons.


Read Matt. 16:23 – It never tells us that Peter was possessed by Satan here rather Peter was trying to tempt Jesus away from God’s will as Satan tried to do in Matt. 4 (Temptation in the desert).






Satan: Σατᾶν, ὁ, Βεελζεβούλ, ὁ, Βελίαρ, ὁ, διάβολος, ον


Satan has a few names in scripture, “Satan, Beezleboul (lord of dung and filth, derived from the rabbinic Hebrew text, Matt. 10:25), Beliar (lord of the forest, derived from rabbinic Hebrew text 2nd Corinthians 6:15).


954 Beelzeboúl (translaterated from OT 1176/BaʽalZebūb, "the lord of flies" or "fly-god," cf. 2 Ki 1:2)


Satan is a real being, a fallen angel, who has rebelled against God and now leads His army of demons in hell. They roam the earth, tempting followers of God, deceiving people to follow him rather than following the one true God of the universe.


“The [i]seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’ 18 And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.’”


Luke 10:17-19



Scripture: Matt. 4:10, Matt. 12:26, Mark 1:13, 1 Cor. 5:5, 1 Cor. 7:5, 2 Cor. 2:11, Rev. 2:9, Rev. 2:13, Rev. 2:24, Rev. 12:9, Matt. 16:23


Strong’s Concordance: https://biblehub.com/greek/954.htm



Ghosts:

There are two prominent places in scripture that contain this word and idea.


We properly define ghosts in our modern society as people’s souls who are wondering the earth, they are initially, stuck, and inhabit certain places etc.


The idea of a “ghost” appears in 1 Samuel 28:7-20 when Saul disobeys God directly by going to the witch of Endor to have a séance. Saul wants to conjure up the dead to see if he will win the coming war against the Phillistines.




“The passage does not give any indication that the apparition the witch of Endor saw was anything other than Samuel himself. We know that the medium was not producing an illusion because she screams in surprise when she sees Samuel (1 Samuel 28:12). Also, the spirit rising from the earth is called “Samuel.” The text does not say that the spirit “appeared to be Samuel” or that the medium “thought it was Samuel”; the text directly refers to the spirit as “Samuel.” Further, the spirit spoke the truth; the message Saul received was accurate.”


The witch of Endor was likely expecting to hear from her “familiar spirit” (a demon) during the séance, and that explains her startled reaction to seeing Samuel. It seems that, in this case, God allowed Samuel to return in order to give King Saul the news of his coming defeat and death. The story of the witch of Endor summoning Samuel does not imply that séances are effective in conjuring the dead or that witches or mediums genuinely speak with the spirits of dead individuals. When a person dies, his or her soul is taken to either heaven or hell. There is no wandering the earth, conveying messages to the living, or making return visits (see Luke 16:19–31). Any claim of contact with departed loved ones is a demonic deception (see 2 Corinthians 11:14–15).”


14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”


-2nd Corinthians 11:14-15



Another great article and source for this story can be found here:



The Word “Ghost” appears in the NT once. Matthew 14:25-27, as Jesus appears as a “ghost” to the disciples. The disciples actually use the word when they call out to Jesus walking on the water.


“And in the [a]fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out [b]in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, [c]it is I; do not be afraid.”

-Matthew 14:25-27

This shows us that the disciples believed in the pagan belief of ghost. They believed that people walked the earth like ghosts whereas God’s word has contradicted that teaching. The disciples weren’t afraid because of Christ they were afraid because of this false belief in ghosts and their false belief distracted them from God. This is how Satan and demons work; they use ideas to create deceptive teachings to take us away from who Christ is and what Christ does.


“But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in [h]Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming…


…All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.”


1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 39-40




Demon Possession, Excorsism and Excorsists


Biblical Demonic Possessions: δαιμονίζομαι


1139 daimonízomai (from 1142 /daímōn) – properly, demonized, i.e. coming under the power of a demon (fallen angel). To be possessed by a demon



Strong’s Dictionary Link: https://biblehub.com/greek/1139.htm



Read Matthew 8:28-34


Matthew 8:33 uses the word, δαιμονίζομαι, meaning this is a biblical account of demon possession.


We have to be very clear with definitions when talking about this topic. Earlier, we discussed how Christians (children of God) cannot be possessed by demons. There are clear distinctions between being controlled and inhabited by a demon and being tormented, inflicted upon or even being influence by a demon. The last three words are all things demons can do to humans from the outside in, rather possession is a demon hurting and controlling a human from the inside out.


Demon possession is real, it is biblical and casting them out of humans is a current ministry of the church (just as it was with Christ).


“The Bible gives some examples of people possessed or influenced by demons. From these examples we can find some symptoms of demonic influence and gain insight as to how a demon possesses someone. Here are some of the biblical passages: Matthew 9:32-33; 12:22; 17:18; Mark 5:1-20; 7:26-30; Luke 4:33-36; Luke 22:3; Acts 16:16-18. In some of these passages, the demon possession causes physical ailments such as inability to speak, epileptic symptoms, blindness, etc. In other cases, it causes the individual to do evil, Judas being the main example. In Acts 16:16-18, the spirit apparently gives a slave girl some ability to know things beyond her own learning. The demon-possessed man of the Gadarenes, who was possessed by a multitude of demons (Legion), had superhuman strength and lived naked among the tombstones. King Saul, after rebelling against the LORD, was troubled by an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14-15; 18:10-11; 19:9-10) with the apparent effect of a depressed mood and an increased desire to kill David.”



Thus, there is a wide variety of possible symptoms of demon possession, such as a physical impairment that cannot be attributed to an actual physiological problem, a personality change such as depression or aggression, supernatural strength, immodesty, antisocial behavior, and perhaps the ability to share information that one has no natural way of knowing. It is important to note that nearly all, if not all, of these characteristics may have other explanations, so it is important not to label every depressed person or epileptic individual as demon-possessed. On the other hand, Western cultures probably do not take satanic involvement in people’s lives seriously enough.

-Gotquestions.org


Read Matt. 16:23 – It never tells us that Peter was possessed by Satan here rather Peter was trying to tempt Jesus away from God’s will as Satan tried to do in Matt. 4 (Temptation in the desert).


Compare/contrast this to: Luke 22:2-4

“…The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.

3 And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, [a]belonging to the number of the twelve. 4 And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them.”

Luke 22:2-4


The word “entered” is important when interpreting this scripture. The general form of entered is εἰσέρχομαι which means to literally “go into, I go in, come in, enter. There is a specific grammatical form of this word is given to demon possessions in the NT. εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τινα and it is used of demons or of Satan taking possession of the body of a person: Mark 9:25; Luke 8:30; Luke 22:3; John 13:27.


The word for “entered” used in verse 4 is εἰσελθεῖν which is literally telling us that Satan has entered Judas similar to someone entering a house or physical space. Satan is now in Judas. This could mean a couple of things: Judas was never truly a believer of Jesus Christ and the one true God. It also happens before Pentecost (when the Holy Spirit begins to dwell in everyone). Nevertheless, Judas was possessed by a demon and Peter was not possessed since that word εἰσελθεῖν is missing in Matthew 16:23.


As Christians, we are called to resist the devil and his temptations with our faith. Not everything is a devil or demon and partaking in what the devil loves does not automatically open portals for demons to come through, rather these things open the door to temptation, deception, and for demons to influence, oppress Christians.


“6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 [d]But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your [e]brethren who are in the world.”


1 Peter 5:6-9




Exorcisms and Exorcsists…


“Exorcism is flourishing once again in the Roman Catholic Church today. Since Vatican ii (1962–1965) there has been a revival of a more conservative, ‘mythical’ world view among both the laity and certain clergy.1 The roots of this revival are possibly connected with the 1971 novel and – more importantly – the 1972 film The Exorcist.


For Roman Catholic exorcists, belief in the existence of Satan is an essential theological prerequisite for the implementation of expulsion practices. The devil and demons are real and active in the world today. Those who deny their existence or toy with occult practices are laying themselves open to possession, when Satan or a demon attacks a person in body, mind, and soul. There are different degrees of demonic experience and signs of these states are hard to differentiate from psychological or social problems. Exorcists allow for a similarity to psychological or physiological illnesses like epilepsy or schizophrenia, but they still claim diagnostic authority. As religious experts they come to a decision after an examination of the affected person



Exorcists also appeal to the Bible to justify their calling and activity. Jesus gave his disciples the authority to cast out demons and this chain of command continues today. At the same time, they provide descriptions of demonic pos- session which surpass and even contradict the accounts found in the Gospels. Certain of these elements are taken directly from the Rituale Romanum: inexplicable familiarity with strange languages, knowledge of people’s secrets, and a strength beyond natural physique. We will argue that there is only a tenuous biblical basis for each of these signs of possession. And yet modern exorcists often go above and beyond to stress the supernatural and dramatic aspects of demon possession and exorcism.


Exorcism is not a sacrament in the Catholic Church and therefore there is some degree of variation in the approaches taken and explanations provided. It is rather a sacramental, a liturgical act consisting of prayers and rituals. This reflects the modern official understanding of Catholic exorcism practices as primarily an act of praising God more than warding off demonic powers. Nonetheless, the Catechism defines exorcism as a form of protection.”





The Catholic church has written EXTRA-biblical documents to give instruction on exorcism meaning they have gone too far to preach a false doctrine in this area. When looking at Exorcists and Exorcisms we must look at the gospels and then the NT (Romans-Jude) to see the differences in this area of office. These two time periods (Gospels and Romans -Jude) do have some differences and instruction on what to do with demon possession.


It appears that the purpose of Jesus’ disciples performing exorcisms was to show Christ’s dominion over the demons (Luke 10:17) and to verify that the disciples were acting in His name and by His authority. It also revealed their faith or lack of faith (Matthew 17:14-21). Exorcising demons was a big part of the disciples’ ministry on Earth.


Interestingly, there seems to be a shift in the latter part of the New Testament regarding demonic warfare. The teaching portions of the New Testament (Romans through Jude) refer to demonic activity, yet do not discuss the actions of casting them out, nor are believers exhorted to do so. We are told to put on the armor to stand against them (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are told to resist the devil (James 4:7), be careful of him (1 Peter 5:8), and not give him room in our lives (Ephesians 4:27). However, we are not told how to cast him or his demons out of others, or that we should even consider doing so. The book of Ephesians gives clear instructions on how we are to have victory in our lives in the battle against the forces of evil. The first step is placing our faith in Christ (2:8-9), which breaks the rule of “the prince of the power of the air” (2:2). We are then to choose, again by God’s grace, to put off ungodly habits and to put on godly habits (4:17-24). This does not involve casting out demons, but rather renewing our minds (4:23). After several practical instructions on how to obey God as His children, we are reminded that there is a spiritual battle. It is fought with certain armor that allows us to stand against—not cast out—the trickery of the demonic world (6:10). We stand with truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer (6:10-18).



God is still working the same today as He did in the early church accounts of Acts and the New Testament. This means that Christians can bring demons out of people today (with the power of Christ). How do we do this? We pray over the person, we give the person to God and we continually ask the power of God to bring the demon out of the person. We don’t have to follow the consecrated extra-biblical accounts of the catholic church (we don’t need holy water, a crucifix and the Rituale Romanum document to do this). We need God’s word, (Literally read Jesus’ words from one of these possession scriptures). Exorcism also isn’t listed a spiritual gift in the spiritual gift scriptures meaning it is not certain if God does call certain people to exorcize demons. (Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4)


Halloween

“Halloween, contraction of All Hallows’ Eve, a holiday observed on October 31, the evening before All Saints’ (or All Hallows’) Day. The celebration marks the day before the Western Christian feast of All Saints and initiates the season of Allhallowtide, which lasts three days and concludes with All Souls’ Day. In much of Europe and most of North America, observance of Halloween is largely nonreligious.

Halloween had its origins in the festival of Samhain among the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland. On the day corresponding to November 1 on contemporary calendars, the new year was believed to begin. That date was considered the beginning of the winter period, the date on which the herds were returned from pasture and land tenures were renewed. During the Samhain festival the souls of those who had died were believed to return to visit their homes, and those who had died during the year were believed to journey to the otherworld. People set bonfires on hilltops for relighting their hearth fires for the winter and to frighten away evil spirits, and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present. It was in those ways that beings such as witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons came to be associated with the day. The period was also thought to be favourable for divination on matters such as marriage, health, and death. When the Romans conquered the Celts in the 1st century CE, they added their own festivals of Feralia, commemorating the passing of the dead, and of Pomona, the goddess of the harvest.


In the 7th century CE Pope Boniface IV established All Saints’ Day, originally on May 13, and in the following century, perhaps in an effort to supplant the pagan holiday with a Christian observance, it was moved to November 1. The evening before All Saints’ Day became a holy, or hallowed, eve and thus Halloween. By the end of the Middle Ages, the secular and the sacred days had merged. The Reformation essentially put an end to the religious holiday among Protestants, although in Britain especially Halloween continued to be celebrated as a secular holiday.”


Britannica Encyclopedia

Source: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Flag-Day



Based on what Halloween is; it celebrates practices that are not found in scripture, it celebrates the idea of ghosts or the dead being turned over to the new year (Nov. 1) and wiccans have overtaken the holiday in our modern context to perform special spells and rituals during the day. Based on its pagan origins and even its Christian takeover of praying to the dead saints/ martyrs there is nothing biblically sound about Halloween. Therefore Christians should not practice or celebrate Halloween.


“7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 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

God cares deeply about our intention in doing things rather than being around certain objects or practices. For instance there are lots of Christians that go into deeply evil places or practices to preach the gospel, just because a Christian is in the same place of an occult practice does not automatically mean that Christian is endorsing that practice and/or they will be automatically taken away from God. Remember, God is powerful and has taken His children out of the realm of darkness (Colossians 1:13). God cares more about our hearts and intentions rather than our direct actions. We can do all of the right things while having a defiled heart; God wants our hearts, He wants our intentions, so do not be quick to judge in the matters of Halloween and the celebration of Halloween.


5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners [d]so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

-Matthew 6:5-6




Angels ἄγγελος, ου, ὁ


32 ággelos – properly, a messenger or delegate – either human (Mt 11:10; Lk 7:24, 9:52; Gal 4:14; Js 2:25) or heavenly (a celestial angel); someone sent (by God) to proclaim His message.


32 (ággelos) is used 176 times in the NT (usually of heavenly angels), but only the context determines whether a human or celestial messenger is intended. For example, 32 (ággelos) in Rev 1:20 can refer to heavenly angels or key leaders (perhaps pastors) of the seven churches.

[32 (ággelos) can refer to "a human messenger" (cf. John the Baptist, Mt 11:10, quoting Mal 3:1; see also Lk 7:24, 9:52). 32 /ággelos (plural, angeloi) refers to heavenly angels over 150 times in the NT, i.e. spiritual beings created by God to serve His plan.

In Rev 2, 3, "angels" seems to refer to heavenly angels that serve God in conjunction with these seven local churches.

It is also clear that there are different ranks of angels according to scripture. ἄγγελος, ου, ὁ

Is the lowest rank of Angels. They can also change form (similar to demons, Rev. 9) and appear as munas as strong’s dictionary has suggested here (using scripture). There is a higher rank of angel, an example of this is found in Isaiah 6 where Isaiah has his vision of God on the throne surrounded by these higher ranked angels called the seraphim.

“’In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said,

“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, The [a]whole earth is full of His glory.”

-Isaiah 6:1-3



שָׂרָף saraph “fiery serpent” This is where the word “seraphim” comes from. These angels literally look like snakes or serpents. This would make sense of why Satan looked like a snake. Except, he was a tricky or fallen angel so instead of the word “saraph” in Hebrew, rather the word נָחָשׁ nachash is used which means “a serpent” or “tricky serpent”. This is why Satan looked like a serpent because he was a high angel, a seraphim, who was driven and fallen from heaven after His rebellion found in Revelation 9.


Further Video Sources:

Sean Mcdowell: Exorcisms: The World’s leading Psychiatric Authority Speaks Out

Fight for the Faith Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZbqvmayGXI


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