We've learned plenty about demons Bible-style in the many previous articles. We studied their origins, their negative influence over humanity, and the supernatural phenomena that they display. Most recently, we saw the authority that Jesus had over evil spirits during His earthly ministry. We also read scripture regarding the power Christ gave His 12 disciples and 70 other followers to free people from demonic possession and oppression both during His earthly ministry and after His death.
But what about today? What if we are tempted, tormented, oppressed, or possessed by an evil spirit in the 21st century? Humanity as a whole is extremely deceived and manipulated by the hierarchy of evil headed by Satan in the earth's atmosphere (Eph. 2:2). People usually don't even recognize the presence of demonic entities–or else they think these spirits are ghosts, angelic beings, aliens, or something else. That's how Satan keeps people who are seeking supernatural experiences from the truth of God.
Today, Christ is still the only One who has power over demons. But He uses His authority through modern day Christians. In much the same way Jesus gave power to some of His early followers, Christians today also have authority over evil spirits in Jesus name. Before Jesus was to die, He shared the following with His disciples:
Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. – John 14:11-14, NIV
Jesus said that whoever believes in Him will do the kind of works He did during His earthly ministry when we pray in Jesus' name. Then after He rose from the dead and appeared again to his early disciples, He said, "these signs shall accompany those who have believed: In My name they shall cast out demons." (Mark 16:17a, EMTV)
There will always be disagreement among Christians about the subject of how Satan and evil spirits operate in the world today, and what power we as Christians have against them. Aside from what the Bible has said, all we need to do is search the internet and Christian bookstores for multiple examples of true modern day exorcisms or "deliverance" from demons, and autobiographical stories from people who were set free from them after turning to Christ. So it definitely happens. Christians don't usually lay down their handkerchiefs like the apostle Paul, so that everyone who touches it will be free of demonic oppression, but Christians clearly have authority over demons today.
In particular, unbelievers who have been involved in supernatural or occult practices are many times set free from demons at the time they choose to believe in Jesus Christ. That often happens with the assistance of another Christian who is using the authority of Jesus name to cast out evil spirits.
As far as Christians' daily struggles with evil, we were taught by the writers of the New Testament to do everything we can to be in a right relationship with God so that the devil or evil spirits will leave us alone in the first place.
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not continue to sin, but the one born of God guards himself, and the evil one does not touch him. – I John 5:18, MKJV
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. – James 4:7, EMTV
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. – Ephesians 6:11, ESV
Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour. Be firm in the faith and resist him, knowing that other believers throughout the world are going through the same kind of suffering. – I Peter 5:8,9, GW
Demons try to make us ineffective as Christians by tempting us in the areas of our weaknesses and causing destruction in our lives in any way that they can. The apostle Paul said, "Don't give the devil any opportunity to work." (Ephesians 4:27, GW) The several verses above instruct us in how to keep free from demonic interference.
So now what?
So, if a person is not a believer, they are open game for demons. If you are concerned that you have been deceived, oppressed, or even possessed by evil spirits, only Jesus Christ has the power to set you free. Call out to God yourself or seek advice from Christians to help you.
If you are a Christian, you have complete power over demons. Take authority over them if you have opportunity to help someone else. Take authority over them in your family. And don't let them walk all over your life. They will take advantage if we act the opposite of what we claim to believe. We all need to practice God's New Testament commandments, daily ask for forgiveness, and even verbally tell demons to leave us alone in Jesus' name.
On an even more positive note, the end is coming for Satan and his forces of evil. Coming next: Understanding demons Bible-style, XI, their eternal destiny.
Start this series from the beginning: Understanding demons Bible-style, an introduction.