The Secrets of Evil Spirts
Demons are always hiding. This alone is a sign of their cowardice if we really stop to consider it. Anyone confident in their ability to defeat their enemy doesn’t need to hide or lie, yet evil is almost always doing both.
As children of God and children of the light, we’ve inherited strength and authority over Satan and his demonic forces, and they surely don’t want us to figure it out.
???? Ephesians 6:10-12 (KJV) 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The sad truth is, many Christians don’t know their strength in Jesus, and most who acknowledge it fail to take advantage of it. But spirits, including demons, are very knowledgeable about spiritual things and will do anything to prevent God’s children from recognizing it. They’re evil but certainly not stupid, and if you take note of their behaviors, especially around true spiritual strength, there is much revelation to be gained. In one well known story, we are able to observe evil spirits in the presence of the strength of Jesus, and their interaction reveals a great deal.
???? Matthew 8:28-29
28And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. **29*And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
As is evident from this passage, demons are aware of some “prerequisite” to their eventual demise, but what could that be? The question should be asked, when do they expect their own destruction? What do they know about the timing of the Day of Lord that so many of God’s own children seem to have missed?
Understanding the War
First, let’s get one thing out of the way: Satan is already defeated. He was defeated the moment he first rebelled against the throne of God.
???? 1 John 2:13-14 King James Version
13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. 14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
Luke 10:17-19 17And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Revelation 20:10 10The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where[b] the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Satan’s end is already determined, so there is nothing left for him to do but to war against the children of God, in spite of God. Since he can’t defeat the Creator or win the overall spiritual war, his aim is to destroy His creation, the prize of the war, and this is where spiritual warfare involves us. The devil can’t beat God, so he works to damage prize of His victory. That is the current phase of this spiritual war; it’s not about total victory but about tainting the prize and spoiling the spoils.
Since before the beginning of man’s creation, God’s plan in the earth has been about developing mankind into His image, and giving Him the everlasting life necessary to function in His likeness. Note, this original goal was not tied to any one nation or ethnic group, nor was it divided by regions in the earth. The promise and plan was simply for man, male and female.
???? Genesis 5:1-2 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
But because Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, man was surrendered, albeit temporarily, to the authority of the wicked one, bringing about all matter of strife and division among people. Of course, the Lord had no intention of letting the earth and His creation remain in such a condition. A plan was already in place to repossess those who belonged to Him, and it was to be accomplished by Christ’s first arrival on the earth. This was the strategic move of the spiritual war over creation. It was always the Lord’s intent to recover the prize that He had in His heart since the beginning. That was objective; that was the mission of war. Jesus’ sojourn on the earth was a spiritual search and rescue mission to recover the lost children of God; warfare is what happens when Satan’s kingdom attempts to hinder progress.
8And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
But we know how this all ends. Jesus will accomplish His mission. In fact, Israel’s greatest physical king was empowered by God to portray the result of the great spiritual war in a particular earthly battle. David’s triumph at Ziklag was divinely intended to foreshadow the victorious outcome of our King, Jesus.
???? *1 Samuel 30:1-8 The Amalekites Raid Ziklag
1And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 2And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. 3So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. 4Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
David Destroys the Amalekites
7And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David. 8And David inquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.*
Just like David, Christ shall recover all without fail! Jesus came to re-establish His search and rescue mission, and in an incredibly powerful prayer, Jesus reports to God on the status of His mission, and we are given a glimpse into His report.
???? *John 17 (NASB)
The High Priestly Prayer 17 Jesus spoke these things; and raising His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, so that the Son may glorify You, 2 just as You gave Him authority over all [a]mankind, so that [b]to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I glorified You on the earth [c]by accomplishing the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now You, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world existed. ….. 11 I am no longer going to be in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are. 12 While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name, which You have given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished except the [d]son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. ….. 15 I am not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them away from [e]the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 Just as You sent Me into the world, I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
20 “I am not asking on behalf of these alone, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may [f]believe that You sent Me.*
After recovering the disciples physically assigned to Him, Jesus reported His success back to the Father in prayer, and then He asked that His success be multiplied in everyone who would come to hear the message. He charged those disciples to search and rescue others and repeat the process until full recovery. God’s motives are clear through John 3:16
???? John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Again, notice that God loved the world, not just one nation or group, and this is an important aspect of His plan to remember. He sent His son to give us eternal life with Him. Therefore the mission–our mission with Him–is also clear: we are search and rescue special forces in the earth, looking for the lost children of God among all nations, especially Gentile ones.
The Gentile Sheep
When you read God’s word from the perspective of this spiritual war and the mission of Christ, a great deal of revelation becomes clear. The Lord lost His new prized possession, man, in the garden because of Adam’s sin, and we are living through the recovery process. That process started with Abraham whose faith effectively allowed him and his kinsman to be rescued from the authority of Satan’s rule. The song of Moses paints a broad view of the first stages of God’s strategic plan to recover the nations from Satan’s control.
???? Deuteronomy 32:8-12 8When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. 9For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. 10He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. 11As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: 12So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.
In other words, all the people on the earth fell under the rule of one of several principalities, but the the Lord found his portion in Jacob (aka Israel).
???? In the movie Blood Diamond, Djimon Hounsou plays a father who temporarily lost his young boy to corrupt African militants. They brainwashed him against everything he had learned from his father, teach him to drink, do drugs and and training him kill. The indoctrination was so bad that he was prepared to kill his own father, but in a tense, emotional moment, Djimon’s character tearfully preaches to his son, consoles him and wins back his love and loyalty.
Some interesting facts about child soldiers in Rwanda,
- Post-genocide, many Rwandan survivors fled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, as violence surged in the Congo and a genocide of its own erupted there, Congolese rebels forced Rwandan boys to become soldiers for their cause.
- According to Michael Wessels, author of Child Soldiers: From Violence to Protection, children are more likely to be recruited as soldiers because “They can be psychologically manipulated through a deliberate programme of starvation, thirst, fatigue, voodoo, indoctrination, beatings, the use of drugs and alcohol, and even sexual abuse to render them compliant to the new norms of child soldiering.”
- More than 50 percent of Rwanda’s population is 19 years old or younger and orphans account for 10 percent of this demographic. With limited access to money, shelter, education and other necessities, many of these vulnerable children fall prey to child armies.
In these instances, when the children were “cut off” from their parents, they became helpless and were made to survive on their own. This made them them vulnerable to accept help from those seeking to take advantage of their desperation. When Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden and separated from the tree of life, they too became helpless and desperate, having to survive on their own. Thus Satan and his demonic forces exploited those vulnerabilities to demonically indoctrinate mankind. For the Lord, the conversion process is no easy task. We must be reminded of our nature, though it may be buried deep with us, so that we can be recovered into the family of our Father. This takes time, but the Lord is committed to recovering us all. As a quick aside, take note of the word usage within one of the most prophetic scriptures in the Bible, Daniel 9:26. It makes much more sense when you understand spiritual warfare.
???? Daniel 9:26 26 Then after the sixty-two weeks, the [ab]Messiah will be cut off and have [ac]nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And [ad]its end will come with a flood; even to the end [ae]there will be war; desolations are determined.
Even after the progress made with Israel, they still rejected Him, and this is evidence of just how great the mission was that stood before Jesus. Though the Jews were rescued from the rule of wicked spiritual rulers and shown the unrivaled love of God, they still killed their savior. So as Daniel prophesied the Messiah would be cut off and have nothing, it happened, but only for a moment. Even at the appearance of great setback, the Lord’s love is relentless. We need not look any further than the story of the Lost sheep to see the commitment of the Lord in His own words.
???? ***John 10:11-18 11**I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. **12**But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. **13**The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. **14**I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. **15**As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. **16**And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. **17**Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. **18*No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Jesus words here are incredibly profound. We must view Him as He describes Himself, “a good shepherd,” and what He says a truly good Shepherd does and doesn’t do. The hireling—the bad shepherd—is someone who’s in it for money rather than love. He sees a wolf and abandons His sheep. But a good shepherd knows all who belongs to Him, lays down His life to rescue His sheep.
As always Jesus is not simply talking about sheep, but the children of God of whom there are many. The wolves here are Satan, his demonic forces and the evil kingdom of darkness. This story, once again, brings to light the mission that Jesus came to the earth with. Here, Jesus reminds the Jews that His mission to save the world was not yet complete, since the Gentiles had not been reached or rescued. Those of us who are Gentiles are the “other sheep…not of this [Hebrew] fold.” Jesus’ first coming to the earth was to continue with His greater plan—to revitalize the forward mobility of the complete Kingdom of God by preaching the gospel to the entire world, especially Gentiles, and He has commissioned those who will receive it to help Him.
???? *Matthew 24:3-14 Signs of the End of the Age
3As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10And then many will fall awaya and betray one another and hate one another. 11And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.*
❓ In fact, Paul’s ministry—and his belief in what his ministry was (preaching to the churches in Asia minor)—was also a clue. (check this) Believing that Christ would come in his lifetime, he also believed his mission was to take the gospel to the areas recognized as “the world” at that time. This is great revelatory insight into our purpose, and also into the knowledge that demons have.
Let’s look at another passage from Paul about the return of the Lord, when He says it will happen and how his rescue mission will be completed.
???? Romans 11:25-27 (KJV) 25For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
In Matthew Jesus declares that the gospel will be preached throughout all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end would come. Now, here in Romans 11, Paul says that the fulness—or the completion—of the Gentiles must also happen. Then in the final phase of His rescue mission, the Lord will fulfill His covenant promise to Israel, and “take away their sins.”
Exactly how important is “the fullness of the Gentiles”? How much information about the coming of Christ—the timing of the day of the Lord—can we extract from the state of Gentile nations? The answer is very much. Could this be the thing that demons know, that all principalities and rulers of Gentile kingdoms will eventually surrender their people to the knowledge of Christ, the gospel of His kingdom?
In spite of what we fail to recognize about Jesus, He is as good of a shepherd as He says, so as long as the wolf is in possession of sheep that can be rescued, the fight is not over. There are sheep who have not fully learned of their opportunity for liberty. There are children of Gentile nations who have yet to be rescued.
Now, if you were a principality or a spiritual ruler of a nation and you knew that Christ would eventually reclaim His possession, then wouldn’t you also be able to know when it was time for your destruction by simply observing how many captives of spiritual war remained captive?