Galatians 5:16-25 (NIV)
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[a] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Messiah Yeshua have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Recently, I was asked,”How do you know the difference between demonic activity and someone’s old self (sinful nature) rising up?
What an excellent question. I thought a lot about it since I was asked. My immediate answer was, “If a believer’s old sinful nature is rising up, then they have listened to demonic lies. ” But, I realize that there is a lot to understand about the spiritual realm for someone to understand that answer.
Often we are influenced by the people and situations in our lives, but we don’t even recognize that there is so much more that impacts our lives. Many of us, realize that the physical world is not the only reality, most people recognize on some level that there is a spiritual realm. I have encountered many people who would like to understand more about that realm and how we should interact with it. What is it? How does it influence me? Can I just ignore it as a believer, because I am protected from it, right?
These are some of the questions I have been asked. I want to try and answer some here for myself, and anyone else that is interested.
The earth and all that is in it was made by Yehovah God, our Creator. Inside this place exists time and space. We are created in a universe that has physical laws, including but not limited to, times, seasons, matter, light, gravity, etc. (Genesis 1). We do not have the power to change or alter these laws of creation. They were and are set by God, when He created our world. But there is another place outside of this time and place, that is the place where God lives, often called heaven, sometimes called, eternity, and also called the spiritual realm. This place is the place were our Eternal Creator exists and has always existed (1 Timothy 1:17). In this place we know there are other beings, that God the creator made. He made them to serve him, we usually call them angels(Isaiah 6:2-3; Revelation 22:8-9) . There are recorded in the Bible different types of angelic beings. But all of them were created by God to serve Him. These angels live and move in the eternal realm and also the physical realm that we exist in. They can move back and forth from each realm. We do not know exactly how much they know about the future of our realm, but we do know that they have been in existence since the fall of man(Genesis 2-3). Therefore, they have vast knowledge of our world, human ways, and mankind as a whole.
Sadly, we also know that a third of these angelic beings, decided to rebel against their Creator, and follow a certain angel, Lucifier, in a rebellion against God Almighty(Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14). They were sent out of God’s presence, heaven, and now roam the earth causing havoc on all of creation. Lucifer, also, known as the Devil, is the leader of these fallen angels, often called demons. Even though, these angels, including the Devil, know that they have no hope of defeating God, they continue to rebel against Him, and try and destroy all of His creation and His people. They will be defeated in the end and destroyed (Revelation 20).
But now in our time, and in the world that we live in, these demonic beings live and seek to destroy you, me, and everything that brings Glory to God. Because they know how to read people, situations, and they know the ways of man, they are very powerful. Also, because they know that every day that goes by brings their day of destruction closer, they are like a vicious, scared dog, on the attack.
How does this affect us? Especially us believers?
Satan and his followers hate anything and everything that is Holy and Glorifies God. They roam all over the earth all the time looking for chances to deceive, destroy, and disturb God’s people. How do they do this?
They trick us. They use us against ourselves, they use others against us, they trick whomever they can. The most common way they do this is what I call whispering lies in our ears. As far as I know, Satan and his demons can not read our thoughts, unless we allow them into our mind (that is called demon possession, I will talk more about that later). But what they can do is watch and see how we behave, choices we make, the way we live, and the opportunities we create for them to trick us. By watching us and all of mankind, these evil beings, can whisper ever so softly lies in our ears (2 Corinthians 2)
Have you ever heard someone say something like, God spoke to me, or I heard from God, or I heard a voice, or it was like someone said…
This is a great example of how God, His angels,as well as, satan and his demons can speak to us. Most of the time the person didn’t actually hear an audible voice. Instead it was more like a thought, sometimes people might call it a gut feeling, but usually feelings are generated out of our thoughts.
(Angels can only operate under the authority of God, and Satan and his demons can only operate under the permission of God. Demons must operate under satan’s authority. Neither angels or demons have free will. They have made an eternal choice and must obey and operate under the authority of God and satan. (Job) )
So, were do our thoughts come from?
When we have a thought, it can originate from things we have experienced, read, understand, people speaking to us, or it can come from a whisper from the spirit realm. Both angels and demons are among us all the time. They speak to us through things we see and hear. We choose what voices and visions we believe and act on. Everyday, we make choices about what we believe is true, and how it will affect the way we live. When we know the Truth from God’s Word it is a sword that we can use to cut through the lies that come at us. But if we do not know the Truths of God, we can easily be deceived.
Once Satan and his demons find we will act on a lie, they will continue to feed us that lie over and over. The more we fall for the lies, the easier it is for demons to stay close to us and trick us. When we continue to listen to lies, and if we open ourselves up to lies, by the things we watch, read, and the places we go, then demons begin to surround us, and we hear their lies continually, and they drown out any truth that angels may be trying to speak to us. If we continue down the path of being near sin and sinful activities, places filled with lies and visions of untruth, we begin to believe the lies and as we believe the lies, we know longer just welcome demons to be near us, we begin to welcome them into us. (1 Corinthians 6, 1 Peter 4, and 2 Timothy 2)
The first situation is called demonic oppression, demons near us continually, the second is called, demonic possession, demons inside us (Luke 8).
14 And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed. 15 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” 16 Others, to test Him, were demanding of Him a [n]sign from heaven. 17 But He knew their thoughts and said to them, “[o]Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against [p]itself falls. 18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 19 And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? So they will be your judges. 20 But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When [q]a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are [r]undisturbed.22 But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder. 23 He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.
24 “When the unclean spirit goes out of [s]a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”
Often people ask me how to tell the difference in someone they love. I am not an expert, but I have some tips.
First, we must always be guarding our own hearts and minds, by daily being in the Word of Truth, the Bible. This is our powerful weapon. When we know the Truth, then we can easily combat the lies. We must also be careful to protect our home from welcoming evil in. Lastly, we must be careful where we go and who we spend time with. If we are called, or must go into the lions den, we better be prepared with seasons of fasting and prayer before hand. We can not see clearly if someone else is being deceived by the lies of demons, if we, ourselves, are deceived.
Secondly, when dealing with someone who seems irrational, unreachable with the truth, ask them to pray with you. Ask them to pray and ask Yehovah God to free them from any demonic influences, if they can not speak the name of Yehovah God, and struggle to or refuse to pray for release, it is most likely demonic possession. In my experience, if someone is possessed, and has been for a long time, then it may take a great deal of prayer and Scripture to get through to the actual person. One thing that I have used to quiet the demons is playing Scripture in the room, as I pray with the person. This seems to silence the demons. It is my experience once someone has gotten to the point that they are possessed they are very hard to speak truth to. The lies are so loud and so fierce, that the truth seems like it is the lie. It may take many hours, days, months, and years of fasting and praying to reach them. Never give up. That being said, I have witnessed miraculous release of demonic possession just by speaking, “come out in the name of Yeshua Messiah.”
The next thing to remember when casting out demons is to fill up the void with Truth. All to often, I have forgotten this most important part. Once the demons are gone, the person needs to make a choice to serve Yehovah and walk in His Ways. If this choice is not made, the demons will come right back, and often bring their friends. We can’t live like we did when we opened ourselves to these demons. We must begin to guard our heart, eyes, ears, and lives from evil, and we must fill them up with God’s Word.
Thirdly, if we see someone repeating the same lie over and over, and being divisive, then we know that if they are not possessed by demons they are most certainly oppressed. People who always want to debate, argue, disagree, condemn others, and/or twist words are deceived people. Busy Bodies, are people who have allowed the spirit of bitterness to grow in or around them. Often it happens when we have a trial or tribulation in our lives, and we don’t even realize we let that trial harden our heart. Trials, hardships, happen in everyone’s lives. There is no one immune to tough times. When these times come we must run to Truth over and over, or we will easily open our heart and mind to lies of the enemy. Satan and his demons look for these opportunities to cause God’s children to embrace their lies. Recently a friend shared of a time when Satan did this to her, with her permission I want to share her wording. As you read this message from my friend, you will see how she had to battle the lies with Truth from God’s Word.
“An incredibly important lesson I have learned this week–again. The devil was attacking me in an area of my life that God delivered me from. I knew he was ringing my door bell. My mistake I answered the door bell. I didn’t let him in, but I opened the door to chat, like when you answer the door to a sales person. Well, I finally slammed it in his face this morning. I’m not buying what he is selling. One of the most valuable lessons that I learned this week is that if I believe the Word of God to be true then I need to BELIEVE it to be true in EVERYTHING. Earlier this week God showed me in Isaiah 63 to arise. Rise up and let His light shine. I was like I’m so tired from this battle, I can’t. BUT, I sat up and HE stood me up. His light is no longer shadowed. The difference I feel this morning from the rest of the week is a miracle! It’s Him. I need to learn to just not even answer the door bell.”
When we being to believe lies about ourselves, God, His Word, and others, our perspective is not in reality, it is slightly off. The more lies we allow in the more our perspective becomes twisted. The only way to correct this problem is to take everything back to the Truth of God’s word. A dear friend of mine writes a great deal about how to over come the lies with the Truth of God’s Word on her website here:
When I was young, I often fell into depression and would lose clarity of what was True and Good. I learned that I need to find a few people that I know and trust to tell me when I am lost and who could lead me back to Truth.
This is my last point, we are all susceptible to Satan’s lies. Every person on earth is, even the Messiah had to battle those lies. We must learn to battle them with the Truth found in Scripture. Yeshua spoke the very Word’s of God to fight Satan, but Satan twisted the very Word’s of God to try and trick Him (Matthew 4). We must prepare for battle daily, by reading, studying, and knowing God’s Word. We can and should fight this battle for our soul, the souls of our children, and the souls of every man and woman God places in our lives. We need to live in community with others who are seeking Truth daily, so that we do not lose perspective. If everyone we spend time with is listening, speaking, or living in lies, how can we expect to remain in Truth. The darkness will swallow up the light. We must take our light and ignite the darkness with Truth that cast out all fear.
Demons and the devil are real. They hate you child of God.
But do not fear, because Angels, and Yehovah are REAL TOO!
Choose today, whom you will serve.
As for me and my house we will serve YEHOVAH!!