BIBLE STUDY – NOVO FRIBURGO, RJ NOVEMBER
It’s six pm – and the night sky is lowered over the mountains of Novo Friburgo . I still get surprised by the lack of twilight.
Outside it is definitely getting COLD… and as people come into our small house, they shed their warm coats, hats – even mittens. Most of these young people came by the city transit system, and had to walk a couple of blocks after getting out of the bus.
The fire in the fireplace helps the warmth level – and the body heat helps even more.
The table is pushed back in a corner with a red and white plaid tablecloth, and piled with coffee, hot milk, sugar, fresh French bread, goiabada jam (guava in English) plus finger foods brought by some, small plastic plates, coffee cups, and plastic spoons. Those already there are working on the food and coffee, the ones coming in shed their jackets and head for the table.
The sound level is gradually increasing from greetings (which include lots of hugs), and excited comments about our Bible Study subject for tonight: Demons – their power and manifestations in our lives. After last night, this is a hot subject.
The food is about gone and everyone finds places to sit (including on the tile floor – which is uncomfortably cold). So jackets and folded blankets hit the floor to sit on.
Each one brings out their Bibles, some have pen and paper to take notes.
Time to start. I’m not attempting here to write everything down, but I will cover the main points.
Since there is so much to cover in these subjects, I will give a brief review, and if you have questions, please ask them.
I certainly don’t have all the theological answers. I only know what I’ve experienced and learned. You do NOT have to agree with me. In fact, I would love to learn from others.
1/ What are demons and why or how do they have power?
1/ What are demons and why or how do they have power?
Fallen angels following Satan.
The world is physical and spiritual.
Satan was one of the most important angels. He and his followers still have spiritual power that can overflow into our physical world.
God did not create the devil as we know him.
God didn’t create Satan to be evil, as we now know him to be. There are several different lines of thought about this: we will discuss two of them
The first line of thought is based upon the first few verses of Genesis.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the water”(Genesis 1:1-3) This line of thought believes that “darkness was over the face of the deep” means that there had been a horrendous war in the heavens that spilled over onto the earth, destroying God’s previous creation of the earth. Satan rebelled against God, wanting to take God’s place, and God expulsed Satan from heaven along with the 1/3 of the angels who were his followers.
The other line of thought of those verses is that when God created the world, He examined and then declared that each step of the creation was good (Genesis 1:31). This signifies that there was no evil on the earth. However, in chapter 3 of Genesis we discover that Satan, in the form of a serpent, tempted Eve to sin..This indicates that at some time in the timeline between Genesis 1:1 and the third chapter of Genesis, there must have been a rebellion of the angels, with one third of them turning against God and following Satan.
Lucifer’s fall from Heaven
The Bible gives us this information about the devil before his fall and after he became proud and rebelled against God.
- Named Lucifer, which means “star of the morning”
- Held a high-ranking position in the angelic host
- Had exquisite beauty and great wisdom
- Given a position of great power and influence
- Called “the guardian cherub”
“You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God…You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings” (Ezekiel 28:12–17 NIV).
Cherubim are depicted in Scripture as powerful and majestic angelic creatures who surround God’s throne. And Lucifer had once been a guardian cherub. Since Lucifer had been the model of perfection, what sort of sin led to his fall? His heart became proud because of his incredible beauty. Lucifer allowed his perfection to be the cause of his corruption.
God’s judgment on Lucifer
Lucifer was not satisfied with worshipping God; instead, he wanted to be worshipped. Once a beautiful, powerful angel of God, he lost his former, exalted position in Heaven.
“How you are fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit” (Isaiah 14:12–15).
Lucifer (“star of the morning”) became Satan (“accuser”) when he fell to the earth. Jesus, speaking of this event, said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven” (Luke 10:18).
When Satan fell, he did not fall alone. Scripture tells us that he took one-third of the angels (see Revelation 12:4). Considering that the angelic host numbers more than 10,000 x 10,000 (see Revelation 5:11), that is a sizable group. They account for the fallen angels, or demons, that now do his bidding. As a result, Satan is a fallen, but powerful, spirit-being with a well-organized network of demon powers to help him accomplish his purposes. Those purposes, according to Jesus, are to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10).
That’s the bad news. The good news is that two-thirds of the angels are on our side! As the prophet Elisha said to his servant, “Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16).
(Much of the above organization of info re: Lucifer, I found on Harvest.org )
These rebellious angels are now called demons. They are followers of Satan
and obey his commands. They have more power than humans, but because of Jesus Christ conquering Satan on the cross, the balance of power over the world that Adam threw away to Satan, was taken from Satan and given to Christ. Therefore, Christ’s name and His blood have more power than the demons.
PART TWO of THE BIBLE STUDY.
Demons Power vs Christ’s Power
2/ Where do we get power to confront and/or overcome demons/evil spirits?
As Christians, we have an even greater asset than the majority of angels on our side: He is Jesus Christ!
“Now it is God Himself Who has anointed us. And He is constantly strengthening both you and us in union with Christ. He knows we are his since he has also stamped his seal of love over our hearts and has given us the Holy Spirit like an engagement ring is given to a bride – a down payment of the blessings to come!”
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 Passion Translation
Look at these verses.
“God always makes His grace visible in Christ, who includes us as partners of His endless triumph. Through our yielded lives He spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere we go. We have become the unmistakable aroma of the victory of the Anointed One to God – a perfume of life to those being saved and the odor of death to those who are perishing. The unbelievers smell a deadly stench that leads to death, but believers smell the life-giving aroma that leads to abundant life.”
2 Corinthians 2:14-16…Passion Translation
Satan is angered when we return God’s love and walk with Him, honoring Him. Satan’s goal is to destroy us. He can’t destroy God, but he CAN hurt and destroy those whom God loves.
Is it any surprise if people turn against us – for we carry a deadly stench.
Or the opposite:
Have you ever met someone (e.g. a clerk at a store), began a conversation, and feel drawn to them? Then “take the plunge” and in words the Holy Spirit shows you to use, you ask them if they personally know God? For they have the perfume of life.
How does that apply to the demon world?
I do NOT go out looking for people with demons that need to be cast out. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior – and it is Him on whom I concentrate.
However, without my knowledge, my perfume of life may affront a demon in someone, causing it to manifest itself in a reaction to the Holy Spirit in me – for, to the demon, I have a deadly stench.
When they manifest themselves, they may create a scene, attempt to hurt the person who has the demon(s) in his/her body, or hurt me. I can remember illustrations of each of these in my own experiences.
Some are humorous, others are NOT.
A woman from the back of a large church comes running and screaming onto the stage where we are sitting. She grabs a large flagpole (those things are heavy!) and starts swinging it over her head. Problem: as she swings that pole it comes close to hitting our heads: we are all having to duck her weapon. It took several men to grab her and her swinging pole, then go backstage and cast out the demons – there were quite a few.
I remember the story of the sons of Sceva. It wasn’t funny for them, but every time I read it I either smile or chuckle.
The Sons of Sceva
“11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all[d] of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver.
The result? 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.”
Just remember this:
You, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, have the Holy Spirit within you.
There is GREAT POWER in the name of Jesus Christ and GREAT POWER in His blood to command evil spirits to leave.
I command them to leave by the power of Jesus Christ’s name and the power of His blood. However, this is not to play games. We are in a spiritual war here, and we need to KNOW Who is our King and have a close relationship with Him, for He gives us His authority. And it is wise to put on
The Whole Armor of God”
“10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we[a] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Ephesians 6:10-18 New Living Translation (NLT)
There is still more to study. However, it is time to quit for now.
Time for one more question?
3) Can demons enter into Christian’s bodies?
A good question – and one that requires more study on my part.
Most people say no. They can oppress us, cause us to feel weight and heaviness, etc. But they cannot actually enter into our bodies and minds.
However, I’ve had to cast out evil spirits who were manifesting from some whom I thought were Christians. Which means they had opened up their defense in some way – perhaps lack of forgiveness which leads to bitterness and creates cracks in our spiritual armor -there are many ways this can happen. Final statement for tonight.
Look to our Lord! Learn more and more of Him.
Let the Holy Spirit transform us from glory to glory. (Love that verse!)
“We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18 b Passion Translation
And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
2 Corinthians 3:18 b NLT
A challenged and quieter group of young people prayed together, put on their coats to head out into the cold.
We all have much to think about… and know we’ll be having more conversations.
The fire needs more wood as we get ready for bed. It is COLD outside and will become cold inside, as the fire dies down.
Thanking God for this evening. We ALL learned
*** Parte deste estudo foi revisto de acordo com estudos sobre Lucifer, disponíveis em: Harvest.org
Life is interesting - and can be challenging. Voni shares with you her experiences