By Wayne Reynolds, Pastor
Demons believe in one God.
James 2:19, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." Some folks think that since they believe in God, they must be saved. But if belief in God is all you have, you are no better off than the demons!
Matt. 8:29, "And behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" There are several things we can learn about what the demons believe from this verse.
Demons believe that Jesus is the Son of God. This belief will not save them, for it is not a belief of the heart, but a fact of the mind. Many people have a belief like this.
Demons believe in punishment for sin. They believe they are going to be punished and are actually expecting judgment for their sinfulness.
Demons also believe in a set time for punishment. We all know there is coming a day when the judgment of God will be poured out on all who are disobedient. So far, we have found nothing wrong with what demons believe and also nothing that would indicate they are saved by what they believe.
Demons also believe that Jesus is the one who will punish them. They are not expecting to be judged by mankind, or the angels, or the created beings. They rightfully expect Jesus to be their eternal judge.
It is astonishing to realize what demons believe, but look in Mark 5:6-20 for more. In verse 6 of this chapter, the demons worship Jesus! Yes, they worship Him! Verse 7 states that their worship is not a happy, joyful worship, but a miserable, forced worship.
In verseís 10-13, the demons recognize that Jesus has authority over them, and ask permission to enter the herd of swine instead of going "out of the country."
What Demons do not believe
One would think that if the demons believed all these things, they would be saved. But there are some very important elements left out of their belief. The first thing that is left out is love and faith. The demons have no love for God or faith in his precious promises. They show only contempt for His sovereignty and righteousness. Second, the demons know that Jesus is a savior; they just donít know him as their savior. Remember the demon possessed girl of Acts 16:16-18? This girl followed Paul and Silas many days, proclaiming "...these men are the servants of the most high God which show unto us the way of salvation." Finally Paul, being grieved in his spirit, turned and rebuked the evil spirit, commanding it to depart. This was an evil spirit proclaiming where the truth was! This may sound very remarkable, but we must remember that demons know all of the truth; they just donít believe any of it.
True faith will always be evidenced by an undying love for God and the truth taught in His Holy Word. There will be fruit of that love in the form of works that magnify God, not the bearer of the fruit.
Satan Uses sight to deceive
I Corinthians 11:14 states, "...for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." Satan is the prince and power of darkness, but he changes his appearance to be an angel of light. Satan knows his lies would never be accepted if he appeared as he really is.
In Genesis 3, Satan didnít appear to the woman as Satan, but in the form of a serpent, the most beautiful and intelligent of creatures. He painted a rosy picture of eternal bliss if she would follow his lies. When the woman saw that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil "...was good for food and pleasant to the eyes and a tree to be desired to make one wise..." she saw a rosy picture, but she did not see the end result of her disobedience to Godís command. She did not see that sin and death would come upon them and the rest of the world, or that they would be cast from the Garden of Eden. Satan did not tell her that one of her sons would kill the other. Satan did not tell her of the sin and misery that would come into the world.
Satan does the same thing to us today. He paints a rosy picture of the pleasures of that first drink, but fails to show the drunk in the gutter, or the broken homes or the blood on the highway as a result of drunken drivers.
Satan makes young people think they are "growing up" when they smoke their first cigarette, cigar, or take the first "chew," but he doesnít show that same person gasping for breath because his lungs are destroyed, or the person whose mouth has been surgically removed to keep mouth cancer from spreading.
Satan paints a rosy picture of the young person growing up, finally able to get away from adult supervision, visiting the first "R" or "X" rated movie. But he fails to show the unwanted pregnancy, diseases, broken homes, and ruined lives.
Satan tries to convince us that we need no authority over us, that we are wise enough to make our own decisions. Many a young person has lost their way because they followed Satan, failing to listen to Godly advice. It is impossible to describe the many sad things that have happened because of a failure to submit to Godly authority.
Satan paints a dark picture about holy living. He tries to show that Christians cannot have any fun, and that sitting in church, listening to some boring preacher drone on and on, preaching out of a Bible that is "out of date" is a total waste of time. He tries to show that reading the Bible is unrelated to "really living," and the Bible is so hard to learn that only a "preacher" can understand it anyway.
Satan Uses Hearing to Deceive
Rom. 10:17, "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." We can have more faith by hearing the Word of God. Satan is not ignorant of this fact. Therefore, he tries to make us dull of hearing. There are several ways he does this.
One is by giving us more "interesting" things to do instead of hearing Godís Word. According to a survey taken by Neil Postman, Professor of Communication Art and Sciences at New York University, the average American family spends forty-four hours a week watching television as compared to three or four hours a week in church. Most people say they donít spend that much time in front of the television, but when the Detroit Free Press offered 120 families $500.00 to give up television for one month, 93 families turn them down flat!
Itís no wonder people get bored in church when they donít see the preacher from a different camera angle every three seconds. They also miss the close up shots of the pastorís face dissolving into a wide-angle view of the choir, the instant replay when the preacher makes a particularly telling point (repeated in slow motion from two or three different camera positions, of course), and the break every ten minutes for a word from the sponsor.
Television programs usually start out with everything going fine, then there is a problem that presents itself, then everything is falling apart, then a solution presents itself, which closes the program with everything going fine again. All this usually takes 30-60 minutes. People began to expect that life be like that too. They become quickly discouraged with the church and pastor if they cannot neatly wrap up a problem, prescribe the proper pill or matching prayer that will quickly solve their problem and exit smiling, all in less than 30 minutes. Why does the pastor have to spend 30-45 boring minutes, three or four times a week, talking about long term solutions to lifeís problems: solutions that require personal perseverance, and hard work?
Another way Satan has caused people to be dull of hearing is music. The first use of music and musical instruments is found in Genesis 4:21,22. Jubal, from the "Cain line," is said to be the father of all that handle harps and organs. There is nothing wrong with Godly music, for David used music in the temple worship and Christ sang in the midst of his church, but Satan has filled the airwaves with ungodly heathenish music. There is hardly a radio station that plays music fit to be heard.
Rock music, with its driving, pounding, beat causes the immature emotions of adolescents to be warped into believing that the doctrines taught by rock music lyrics are right Itís a shame most parents donít have the "intestinal fortitude," or the knowledge, to tell their children what rock music really is. It is a well-known fact that many rock musicians have died from drug overdose, and that many of the rock songs encourage the use of drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex.
So-called "country music" is no better than rock. To me the only difference between rock and country is that I can understand the words of county music. Country music constantly sings of adultery, divorce, drinking, fighting, and "How can it be so wrong if it feels so good?"
Then there is "religious rock." This is "religious" music set to a rock beat. Iím sure Satan is pleased with this music. The musicians and listeners to this music can do everything the world does, yet still retain their "Christianity." A popular religious rock singer has defended her use of alcohol as a beverage and "dressing" in a bikini! Paul said in the last days, there would be a great falling away, II Thess. 2:3, and people would have "...a form of religion, but deny the power thereof..." II Tim. 3:5.
I Thess. 5:22 states "Abstain from all appearance of evil" while Rom. 12:9 declares "Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good."
I wish there were simple, quick, easy solutions to all of lifeís difficulties. Normally, the solutions come hard and are a long time in coming. Listen, you have a lifetime of satanic assaults ahead of you. Donít be discouraged, but let each problem draw you closer and closer to the one who knows the end from the beginning and has the solution to your problem.
Remember, Satan is the deceiver. He cannot and will not show the pleasure of true salvation. He does not understand how a conscience can be completely pure before God. Only God can give real joy in Bible reading, as he opens his Word to the willing heart. Satan cannot show the deep, settled peace that comes from knowing that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and he is willing to supply the daily necessities to those that trust him. Satan cannot show the "agape" love that comes when a husband and wife both strive to give God glory through their home, or the joy and contentment Godly children can bring, or that "agape" love of a church for its pastor and the pastor for his church. The things weíve mentioned are all earthly pleasures, but what about the pleasure of dying and waking up in the arms of an angel as you are being carried to heaven where you will see Jesus face to face, and have no more sorrow or trouble? Satan is indeed a great deceiver when he hides these eternal pleasures from men.
Where Will it All End?
For many, it will end in an eternal burning hell, Satan having deceived them until the very end. For some of the saved, it will end in heaven, when they look back on a wasted life spend following Satan instead of God.
What about you? Will you follow Satan as he transforms himself into an angel of light? Or will you, by the grace of God, be able to tell the difference between Satanís lies and Godís truth?