You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
If we are going to be successful in our unseen battles against Satan and his demons, we need to gather as much intelligence as we can about them. In the Old Testament there are only two references to demons, and they both have to do with false gods. Look at Deuteronomy 32:17: “They sacrificed to demons who were not God, to gods whom they have not known, new gods who came lately, whom your fathers did not dread.” The Israelites thought they were worshiping Baal and Asherah and other false gods, but they were actually sacrificing to demons. Psalm 106:37-38 adds, “They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan.” In order to worship the false god Molech, the Israelites would actually sacrifice their children. They were not worshipping Molech; the Bible says they were actually worshiping a demonic power. Behind every false god in the world today, there is a very real demonic power. That is what the Old Testament teaches.
In the New Testament, there are over one hundred references to demons. Every writer of the New Testament mentioned demons except the writer of Hebrews. For example, look at what James said in James 2:19: “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” If James were writing to our church today, he would say, “You believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? You believe that He died and then rose from the dead? Congratulations! The demons believe all of those things too.” We have this idea that if you believe the right facts about Jesus, you go to heaven. No, it is coming to that point in your life when you are so broken about your sin that you say, “God, I cannot save myself. I am trusting in Jesus and Jesus alone for my salvation.” That is something the demons have never done.
The Bible is filled with revelation about demons. It should not surprise you, however, that the greatest number of references to demons occurs in the Gospels during the life of Jesus Christ. Demons were more active in the world during the time of Christ than at any other time in human history. When you stop and think about it, you can understand why that is. When Jesus Christ invaded planet Earth, He was coming for one reason: to reclaim this world from the grip of Satan and deliver it back to God. Meanwhile, the demons and the devil were working overtime to stop that plan from being fulfilled. In fact, Jesus Himself interacted with demons, which means they must be real beings–otherwise, He should have been checked into a mental institution. The fact that Jesus interacted with demons means that they are real forces in your life and my life.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The World Of Demons” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.