Debating with Demons
Unregenerate sinners operate in the futility of their minds (Eph 4:17). Mental futility is a product of the fall of man. Thus, all people are conceived and born with this mental state. At enmity with Him, they rage (Acts 4:25). If only they knew the truth.
The purpose of learning is to gain the knowledge of God, which is the knowledge of the truth (Jn 14:6). God is true, and every man is a liar (Rom 3:4). The glory of the truth is the glory of God. The natural man is not inclined to the Spirit of God, nor the things of the Spirit, which he cannot understand, and which he deems to be foolish (1 Cor 2:14). Truth means nothing to him.
In spiritual darkness to the light of truth, sinners are easy prey for demonic influence. In other words, they exchange the truth of God for a lie (Rom 1:25). The king of demons is the father of lies (Jn 8:44), who teaches his human children well, in the craft of deceit (1 Jn 3:10) and disobedience (Eph 2:2).
From their deceived hearts (Jer 17:9) comes the perversity of their lips, “For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue (Ps 5:9).” Ignorance and darkness are the consequence of God’s judgment of humanity in the fall; and blasphemy against God is man’s sinful response, which irresistibly increases his darkness.
Void of the will or ability to worship God, demons substitute dumb idols, “Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge; Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; for his molten images are deceitful and there is no breath in them (Jer 10:14).” Idols, and the evil spirits behind them (Rev 9:20), embolden the speech of the wicked, who have no fear of God (Ps 36:1).
The world is filled with idolatry. Despite God’s judgment of the tower builders in Genesis 11, we have our skyscrapers. Companies of men organize to make a name for themselves. Cities and nations follow the example of, “Babylon, the Great.” Human flesh loves the world and the things of the world. It is the world, under the god of this world’s system (2 Cor 4:4) that entices people to greedy lust (1 Jn 2:15–17).
Bad ideas are legion, but there is no shortage of inspiration. Demons sell heaven in every consumer product and service. The devil is an impostor and usurper. His method is often distraction. Vanity fair is filled with bright lights and raucous music. The wafting fragrance of burning fat, at the end of the buffet, or burning buds in the park, indicate coping is at hand. The devil is the master of addictive coping mechanisms, from the hell, he himself has brought to the world.
In an effort to win souls to the realities of God and man, sin and salvation, heaven and hell, we preach Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor 2:2). Why is there so little Gospel knowledge in the world? Why are people not quick to repent and believe the message of Christ, our Savior? Why do people heckle and labor to thwart the Good News from reaching others, who might be saved by hearing it?
In a race against time, and in a fight for self-preservation, demons work to avoid the inevitable. The resistance against God, by His enemies, both men and demons, is the spiritual warfare to prevent the salvation of elect souls (Eph 6:10–20). When God has gathered the last of His chosen people (1 Pet 2:9), then comes the end. The end is the Day of Judgment (Rom 2:5), in which God will assign the demons and unbelievers to eternal punishment, in the fiery hell of the lake of fire (Mt 25:41; Rev 20:11–15).
Without the shield of faith (Eph 6:16), Christians are silenced in shame, being fools for Christ, bearing witness to a foolish Gospel, by design, in the wisdom of God. Foolishness merged with faith brings humility. Equipped with the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of truth (Eph 6:17), the Christian often stands alone in the gauntlet of scurrilous scorn; malicious mockery, vitriolic venom, deprecatory derision, and pejorative personal attacks.
Words have the power to kill and power to give life (Jn 6:63). It is the written Word of God and the preached Word of Christ that is laden with divine power in the Spirit. As the devil twisted the Scriptures, in head to head confrontation with Jesus in the wilderness, it was our Lord’s utterance of truth that drove away the chief of liars (Mt 4:11).
Christians must resist the temptation toward humanistic psychology and philosophy, to answer the profanities of humanity. We must trust the power of truth to have its good effect in every debate with demons. In this, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive, to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:5).”
Having the indwelling Spirit of Christ (Rom 8:9, 11), who gives us the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16), we gain the knowledge of God (2 Pet 3:18), who increases our faith and strengthens us for battle. When idolaters boast with pride against God, in a demonic attempt to strip God of His due glory, in Creation (vs. science), in redemption (vs. religion), in Gospel preaching (vs. gimmickry), and in divine application (vs. easy-believism and free will decisionalism), we must fight the good fight of faith, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12).” And Christ’s victory is ours, by faith, in Him (1 Cor 15:57; 2 Cor 2:14; 1 Jn 5:4). Fight on!
Spokane Valley, Washington
July 1. 2022