Demons Are Real :: By Nathele Graham

How many of us enjoy a good horror film? I don’t, but many people do. Even Christians. Many films seem to glorify evil, such as The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, It, and The Joker. What’s the fascination with such evil? It’s only a movie, right? Just entertainment. The problem is, demons are real.

These movies, as well as television and video games, make them seem as if they’re imaginary things that are unreal. Many of the Hollywood crowd serve Satan and have an agenda to make demons seem entertaining. Most people simply shrug off any idea that demons might actually be real and give them no more thought than smiling at the little ghouls and goblins who come begging for candy on Halloween.

Yes, our little ones begin at a very early age to make friends with demons. A little devil costume is so cute on Billy, and Susie is adorable in her witch hat and black robe. Is this just harmless fun? Another trend today is wearing hideous skulls on t-shirts and tattooed on bodies. Ugly skulls that personify evil. Many Christians see no problem with this.

“Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). 

As Christians grow increasingly desensitized to Satan’s evil, we deny our power to stand against him. We become weak in our Christian walk and see the powers of evil just as the world does…nothing more than a myth. The fact is, demons are real and are very active in the world today. Only the deceived say “There’s no such a thing as demons.”

Demons aren’t myths or fairytales. We don’t like to think about demons, but Christians need to be aware of them. Jesus is the ultimate authority, so since He says demons are real, then they are real. He taught those who followed Him to spread the Gospel, heal the sick, and also to cast out demons. In addition to the twelve disciples, there were many others who followed Him. Jesus sent seventy of these men out to put what they had been taught into practice.

“And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name” (Luke10:17).

Jesus didn’t tell them there were no such things as devils, but told them He had given them power over the enemy. The name of Jesus is powerful.

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11)

Even demons bow to Jesus. Christians have authority in the name of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, many Christians deny His power because they think the enemy isn’t at work today, or that the Holy Spirit stopped His work after the Apostles died. That’s what the enemy would like you to believe. That’s like being in a war (which we are) and believing the enemy when he says that guns don’t need bullets to be effective. Believe God and don’t be deceived.

What are demons? There are many opinions about their origin, but the bottom line is that they are disembodied spirits. What do you suppose they want most? You guessed it, living bodies. They enter when they’re invited. One way is through necromancy, which is defined as the conjuring of the spirits of the dead, and always involves demons. Their intention is not to communicate truth or wisdom, but pure lies. Trying to contact the dead is forbidden by God.

“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD…” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12a).

The Israelites were heading to the Promised Land, which was filled with demon-worshipping people who practiced child sacrifice (…maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire…) to their demon god. Children are still sacrificed to a demon god today, but we call it abortion. This demonic practice opens portals for demons.

Brothers and sisters, be careful. Don’t embrace the world, but embrace Jesus Christ. Christians have the protection of the Holy Spirit, but non-believers are unprotected. It’s not difficult to attract demons; people do it all the time by drug use and other common practices. Once they’ve taken up residence in a human body, it’s not easy to evict them.

“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first” (Luke 11:24-26).

Casting out demons is a serious matter. Once the demon is gone, the space once occupied by the demon needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If the space is left empty, the demon will return and bring others with him. The only way to be protected is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. That only happens when you truly accept Christ for salvation.

In fear of giving too much power to Satan and his minions, Christians refuse to study about demons. In doing so, many deny the existence of evil. We need to be aware of the enemy in order to know how to fight against him. Denying his existence has made it easy for Satan to work his evil.

The spiritual battle rages today just as it did when Jesus walked among men. Scripture contains many examples of demons being cast out. One time a man had brought his demon-possessed son to the disciples for them to cast out the demon, but they were unsuccessful. They watched as the young man foamed at the mouth and rolled on the ground. The man explained to Jesus that his son had been possessed since childhood. It wasn’t a psychological problem nor was it a health issue. It was a demon. Jesus told him that all things are possible to those who believe.

“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24). 

Jesus told the demon to come out and to stay out; the demon had to obey. Later the disciples asked why they were unable to cast the demon out.

“And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29).

Not only are demons real, but there are different kinds of demons. Why do Christians fail? We don’t believe. Jesus will help our unbelief if we ask.

Born again believers in Christ are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, and He doesn’t share space with evil. We live in this fallen world and are in a battle against demonic forces.

“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” (Ephesians 6:12). 

This war will continue until Satan is ultimately defeated. The war is made up of many battles, but many Christians side with the enemy. We join forces with Satan when we compromise our walk with Jesus by embracing the worldly ways. God knows this spiritual battle is real, and has told us how to fight. God has not left us without weapons, but it’s up to us to take up those weapons and use them.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).

The armour of God consists of the supernatural weapons required to fight the supernatural battle and are described beginning in Ephesians 6:14. Study them and learn to use them before you find yourself in the midst of battle. Only a foolish soldier neglects his weapons until the day of battle.

Demons are present everywhere and poised to pounce like a lion hidden and waiting for its prey, but Christians have protection. We have the Holy Spirit and Scripture to guide and teach us.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:7-8).

Even a Christian can be oppressed by demons if you embrace sin instead of submitting to God. Using drugs, participating in any kind of witchcraft, horoscopes, tarot cards, Ouija boards, yoga, meditation, contemplative prayer, embracing any sin, yoking yourself with those who aren’t of God, are some of the ways demons are given an invitation. Anything that encourages you to “empty your mind” is satanic. Many “Christian” groups accept these practices and therefore invite demonic forces to enter the congregation. Yes, Satan is bold enough to enter a Christian gathering.

There’s no such thing as Christian yoga, and no Eastern mystic activity has any place in a Christian’s life. Stick to Scripture and draw near to God. If you’ve been keeping company with the enemy, you’re in danger of coming under his control.

Here’s the good news – and listen very carefully to this: Jesus Christ is all powerful and all loving. He gave His life for you. There is no sin you can possibly commit that He will not forgive. Ask Him to come into your life and to forgive your sins. He will. Then, turn away from that sin.

If you’ve dabbled in yoga, necromancy, or have been a part of Satanism or witchcraft, you may need a strong Christian to help you get free of demons. Today is the day to come out from under the control of Satan and place your life in the loving hands of God Almighty. This is true for Christians as well as non-Christians. If you’re a Christian and have been participating in occult activities or keeping company with those who do, you may well have invited demonic oppression in your life. You may need the help of a fellow Christian who is stronger in their walk with Jesus to help you. Whatever your situation, only Jesus can free you from demons.

As we see Halloween approaching, stores are filled with demonic costumes. Parents buy their children costumes that will identify them with demons. Adults also dress up in costumes that glorify Satan. It’s all in good fun, right? As a Christian, why would you dress up in a satanic costume and identify yourself with the enemy? When we resist Satan, he loses his power.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

When Christians refuse to believe Satan and his minions of evil are real, they’ve fallen for his lies. Demons aren’t just costumed pranksters wearing masks; they are pure evil poised to destroy humanity. They are relentless and know their days are numbered.

Christ triumphed over the minions of evil at the cross. “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15). 

One day they will be thrown into the lake of fire along with all who follow them. Walk close to Jesus for His protection.

Demons are real. Don’t invite them into your life, and don’t fight the spiritual battle unarmed. Take your stand with Christ.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos” – God breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.

 

Walking In Twilight :: By Nathele Graham 

There’s a time of day when things are dim and not easily seen. It’s that time between the darkness and light called twilight. You can see shapes but it’s hard to make out details of what you see. You run the risk of stumbling by stepping in a hole if you walk in the twilight hours because there’s a certain amount of blindness. It’s not daylight, nor is it night…it’s sort of non-committal. Many Christians live in the twilight of their walk with Christ…not fully embracing the Light of the world but holding on to enough darkness of Satan so as not to change their lives too much. They easily stumble.

Jesus had much to say about the way we should behave, and Christians need to pay attention.

“I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46).

Too many of us choose to stumble around in the darkness of the world, or try to live in both darkness and light, but that isn’t how to live. Jesus is the Light to our path, and we need to follow His Light.

When Jesus revealed Himself to Paul on the road to Damascus, He said that Paul had a calling.

“But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou has seen, and of those things in which I will appear unto thee; delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me” (Acts 26:16-18).

This was quite a revelation to Paul, who had fiercely persecuted Christians. Paul was blinded by the light, but when he regained his sight, he was a totally changed man. He turned away from the dark Satanic path he had followed and gave his life to Jesus. Paul was called to be a minister and a witness to the fallen world that he had once embraced. Brothers and sisters, we too are called to “…turn people from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God.” We cannot do that if we are walking in twilight instead of walking in the full light of God. Whatever sin is holding you in its grip can be forgiven if you repent. You’ll never fully walk in the Light of Jesus while you hold on to the darkness.

Christians know that the Holy Spirit is our guide through life. This truth isn’t a “pie in the sky” idea, and we need to consciously listen for His guidance. He will never lead you in a path contrary to Scripture. Scripture needs to be taken seriously, and the Holy Spirit will bring understanding if you don’t try to justify your own sin and interpret it through your own prejudices. The Devil is real, and his goal is to stumble Christians and influence each of us to call evil good and be open-minded about sin…to question if God really means what He says.

Many Christians absolutely will not drink any form of alcohol, but have no problem being angry or gossiping. We need to see things from God’s point of view. God says not to get drunk, but wine is an important part of the Jewish feasts; and Jesus even turned water to wine at a wedding. On the other hand, anger and slander are problems.

Jesus said “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:21-22).

“Raca” was a very derogatory word, meaning empty-headed or a fool. So, if you think you’re walking in the Light of the Lord because you won’t touch alcohol, but fly off the handle and call someone a fool, you’re walking in twilight.

Satan and his minions will try to pull even the strongest Christian into sin.

In the Old Testament we read the history of the nation of Israel and of the kings. After the kingdom divided, the Northern Kingdom completely turned from God and went the way of pagans. The most notorious and evil monarchs in the north were King Ahab and his wicked wife Jezebel. They were totally given over to paganism. The Southern Kingdom had some good kings and some bad ones. Sadly, even the good kings allowed some pagan ways. When a king would remove all the groves and high places, which were devoted to pagan worship, they always left a few. The prophet Ezekiel was even shown that deep inside the Temple, paganism was taking place.

Nothing is hidden from God. That’s no different than Christians. Too often we repent of almost all sin but hold on to just a little. It may not be “big” sin, but even ones we deem as small by human standards are still sin according to God’s standards.

We’ve already seen that Jesus said being angry is a sin, but what are other ways we walk in twilight instead of in the Light of Jesus? Do you peek at pornography? If you buy certain magazines and lust after the pictures, you’re guilty of sin. Although some people say abortion is a woman’s right, it’s nothing less than a human sacrifice, which is a sin. Do you laugh at television shows that depict ungodly values or go to movies that are violent and filled with foul language? We all have our favorite sins we hold on to, and these keep us away from the full Light of Jesus.

I’m not advocating works for salvation because accepting Christ’s sacrifice has redeemed you. I am advocating taking every thought captive and choosing to follow the way of Christ rather than the way of the world.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

It’s a choice we make daily. We all stumble in the twilight from time to time, but we can always ask for forgiveness, and He is always willing to forgive.

How can we ever completely walk in the Light and not fail? We can’t. As long as we live on this side of Heaven, we will struggle against the sin in our life. The best way to move from twilight to Light is to break bad habits. Determine that you will please God and not man, then stop giving in to the habits that cause sin.

Paul wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica and gave a short list of how to keep in the light:

> “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). If you’re in prayer, then temptation can’t get into your thoughts.

> “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). The Holy Spirit is sealed within Christians and He will guide us. We can ignore Him if we so choose, and the more we ignore Him the quieter He will speak. Listen to His guidance and obey.

> “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). This means that you may have to completely change your way of living. You may be a solid Christian in your heart, but if you dress in revealing clothing, you give the appearance of someone with loose morals. If your hairstyle resembles that which is worn by gang members, you do give the appearance of evil. If you choose to live a sexually immoral life, then that is more than just the appearance of evil. No, I’m not nit picking. If you’re a Christian, then don’t appear as one who loves the world more than Christ.

“Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8).

It’s been said that we grow to resemble the god we serve. If you look like the world and put out an appearance of evil, then it stands to reason that you serve the god of this world and follow his darkness. If you claim to serve Jesus but choose to look worldly, then you’re walking in twilight.

We hear it quite often: We need revival. This is true. The problem is, we want others to be revived while we ourselves continue to walk in twilight. Pastors are shy about preaching the full word of God because there are subjects in Scripture that might cause them to lose their tax-exempt status. If sin is talked about from the pulpit, some pew-warmers just might be offended and withdraw their tithes. Money is more important than truth. Instead of trying to please those who embrace the darkness, it’s time to stand fully in the light.

When Jesus told Peter to feed the sheep, He didn’t mean to feed them milk, but to give them something to chew on, consider, and pray about. Revival has to start with every professing Christian. If we aren’t walking in the Light, then how can we lead others. Every day we need to be sure we walk in the full Light of God, rather than stumbling around in twilight and darkness. Instead of being the light that shines hope into this fallen world, we allow ourselves to be silenced by people who embrace the darkness of Satan. Christians must follow Christ rather than Satan

“The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness” (Luke 11:34-35).

Too many Christians embrace twilight…preaching the light but embracing the dark. How can there be a revival if Christians aren’t letting Christ’s light shine?

We are drawing very near to the Rapture. Prophecy is being fulfilled rapidly, and there’s very little time left for us to be a witness to the fallen world that’s lost in darkness. Jesus is the Light to this fallen world, and Christians are the ones whom that Light shines through. If we continue walking in twilight, then shame on us.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos” – God breathed.

If you’d like to be on my mailing list to receive the commentaries, just drop me an email and let me know.