ISRAEL IN BIBLE PROPHECY | home
Demons in the Church | Publisher's Note | Dedication | Contents | Proverbs 24:11-12 | Introduction | The Battleground | First Encounter | Old Testament Typology | Battle Doctrine | Who Says It's Legalistic? | Hazardous Theology | Spirits In My House | Lying Spirits | Magic Show | Witchcraft | Mediums & Psychics | Deceiving Spirits | Satanic Visions | Facing Reality | Epilogue
Demons in the Church
Several years ago my wife and I were attending the Sunday
evening service at a local Assembly of God church. For some
reason beyond our understanding, after the closing prayer, we
stood waiting in the vestibule.
"Let's go home," my wife said.
"I can't," 1 replied, mystified.
"But almost everyone has gone. What are we standing
around here for?" A reasonable enough question.
"I haven't the foggiest notion, dear, but we just can't leave
yet." I began to wonder what I was doing there.
"Come on, hon, it's getting late." My waiting wife, usually
the soul of patience, was becoming a little irritated. "The
service has been over for twenty minutes."
24 Demons in the Church
I looked around. Sure enough, there wasn't anyone still
there that I knew. Just three or four people chatting over to
one side. What was I here for, anyway? I was beginning to
think I had taken leave of my senses.
Finally, about half-hour after the service was over, a woman
I had been introduced to once, but whose name I had forgotten
(we'll call her Sally), walked up to me and said, "You don't
know why you are here, but you are here to talk to me... I have
I was dumfounded! Having been reared in the Philippines,
the son of missionary parents, I had often seen demonized
people. I had learned early in life that if someone tells you he
is demonized, you had better believe him. Once, as a child, I
had ignored such a warning and had been physically attacked
by a demonized woman. That being a lesson not easily
forgotten, I now silently asked the Lord for His guidance and
protection. Then I asked the woman aloud, "And how and when
did this happen?"
"I am a member of the choir," Sally replied. "I was on my
way down the aisle to join them on the platform, when this
demon physically grabbed my head and throat. He has fixed
himself to the right side of my face and neck. Sometimes he
seizes me so hard that I can't even pray or say Jesus' name."
It was plain to see that the woman was having great difficulty
speaking. She was trying to scrape something unseen off
the side of her face, and she looked as if she were in some type
of deep inner struggle. Her features were slightly contorted,
and she spoke in quick gasps... as if she had to hurry up and
get it all said, while she was still able to do so.
We started to pray and a strange thing happened. Sally
broke into fluent tongues, without any sign of hesitancy or
discomfort. Now this is incredible, I thought. She is having
great difficulty talking at all. Sometimes she can't even say
Jesus' name or pray; and yet she is speaking easily in an
By Pentecostal doctrine, speaking in an unknown "tongue"
was supposed to be prima-facie evidence that Sally was filled
with the Holy Spirit of God. If she was really filled with God's
Spirit, why couldn't she say Jesus' name in plain English? I
was deeply troubled. Here was a professing sister in Christ,
now in bondage to some sort of evil spirit, by a happening
which she herself testified took place in a church at the begin-
ning of a worship service. How could this be?
First Encounter 25
Finally, my half-hour wait after the service became clear. I
was there to talk to Sally. But what could the Lord be trying
to show me in all this? Back then, I didn't know what to do for
her except pray, so I hurried home to spend some time before
the Lord. While praying, a little verse came to mind that I
hadn't thought of in years. Like everyone else, I didn't think
it was of any importance:
1CO 11:10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of
authority on her head, because of the angels. (NASB)
Thus began the strangest odyssey through the Scriptures on
which the Lord has ever taken me... a study to learn the
importance of physically showing to the fallen angelic majes-
ties that the church is under the headship and authority of
Jesus Christ. The Word plainly tells us how to do this. The
reformation church knew how to do it. Matthew Henry in
1710 AD. knew how. Matter of fact, until 40 years ago, the
whole Christian church knew how. Somehow, in just one
generation, we have forgotten.10
Contracts and Covenants
Down through church history the Lollards have babbled, the
Quakers have quaked, the Shakers have shook... and now a
latter-day explosion of tongues, prophecies, and words of
knowledge. The historic record of these spiritual experiences
is not in question here. What we need to determine is this:
Are present-day spiritual phenomena taking place within the
framework of the scriptural commands that protect us from
demonic influence, and do they have apostolic accreditation?
Can we tell if they are of God or demonic in origin? Herein
lies the central message of this book:
Christians cannot be free from direct demonic attack,
nor can the church prevent a demonic invasion,
if we do not obey the ordinances of God
that limit the enemy's freedom to attack us!
10 A Commentary of the Whole Bible; Matthew Henry, Vol. 6, pp560562,
26 Demons in the Church
Today, we put great emphasis on our experiences in the
"spirit," and little on our obedience to the Word. Some pastor-
teachers give protracted sermons on their hatred of legal-
ism.11 It all sounds sanctified, but lacks spiritual insight.
The Bible is the greatest legal document ever written, and will
remain so throughout eternity. It contains legally binding
agreements between parties (contracts, if you prefer), known
to us as the Old and New Testaments. A Testament is a
contract. We have access to God, by His etemal legal contract
with us, through the blood of His blessed Son. It is our Writ of
Emancipation which sets us free from the law of sin and death.
HEB 6:17-18 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to
the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, inter-
posed with an oath, in order that by two unchangeable things, in
which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have strong encour-
agement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set
before us. (NASB)
It is God upholding this contract that gives us the way of
salvation. It is like shooting ourselves in the foot to say we
don't like the system. Instead, we should praise God that He
is a God of law.12
In any contract where two parties are involved, both have
responsibilities. On our side we do what God commands; on
His part He saves us, and brings to pass all the blessed
promises in the Bible. God did not give us His ordinances just
11 To those who cry "legalism." it is true that we have been freed from
the bondage of the law, ROM 7:6, 8:3, EPH 2:15, COL 2:14. This does
not, however, give us license to disobey the law, JOH 14:15, 21, 23-24,
ROM 3:31, 6:16, 7:1, 7:6, 12:1-2, 1CO 8:9, 2TH 1:8, 1PE 1:2. By our
walk in the Spirit we may now fulfill the requirements of the law,
ROM 8:3-4, GAL 5:13-16, JAM 1:21-25, 2:10, 14, 17, 24. The church
is under the law of liberty, to be sure, but a great heresy today is that
this liberty frees us from obedience to God's Word. Unfortunately,
some have used their freedom from the Levitical code as a license to
sin, or to worship God in whatever manner they like. Though the new
covenant has precedence over the old, God's Word is eternal and we
are commanded to obey it in both Testaments, lSA 15:22-23, PSA
119:160, ISA 40:8, MAT 5:19, PHI 2:12, 1PE 1:2, 14, 1JO 2:3-4, 3:24,
5:2-3, 2JO 6, 9. God is unchangeable.
12 DEU 29:10-13, LEV 26:44-45, MAT 26:28, LUK 22:20, 2CO 8:6,
HEB 9:15,12:22-24, 13:20.
First Encounter 27
to give the church something to do. Obeying His Word is in
our best interest. "Thou shalt not murder, commit adultery,
steal," are for man's benefit. We cannot live in peace with one
another without these laws; nor can we live in harmony with
God if we ignore the laws which regulate our relationship to
EPH 1:20-23 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him
from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly
places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and
every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to
come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave
Him as head over all things to the church.
HEB 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet For in
subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him.
JOH 14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
1JO 2:4 The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does
not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
In the New Testament era, God the Father has put all things
under the authority of His Son. We saints have been com-
manded to submit to the Lord Jesus in all our ways. The Bible
has given us one visible ordinance, and two commands, which
show our submission to the Lord. If we do not observe these
statutes, we show the enemy that the church is in rebellion to
God's law. That opens the doors of the church to satanic influ-
ences, or outright demonism.
Those who would suggest that saints cannot be demonized,
or under demonic influence, do not have their doctrines in line
with the practical experience of missionaries on the foreign
field, or with the pastors in this country who have had to deal
with this problem.13 Furthermore, it does not appear that
such a view is compatible with Scripture:
13 For an in-depth study of this affliction, suggested books are Merrill
Unger, What Demons Can Do To Saints (Chicago, Moody Press, 1977)
and Neil T. Anderson, Released from Bondage, (San Bernardino,
Here's Life Publishers, 1991)
28 Demons in the Church
MAT 16:23 But He turned and said to Peter. "Get behind Me. Satan!
You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind
on God's interests, but man's."
LUK 11:24-27 When the unclean spirit goes out of 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." And when it comes, it
finds it swept and put in order. 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. (NASB)
There is no reason to believe that Jesus' statement to Peter
was rhetorical. Peter was certainly being influenced by Satan,
but it would be ridiculous to suggest that he was not saved.
The Luke passage then tells us of a man's spiritual house that
had been "swept and put in order." Is that not the description
of a man who has been converted? Of course. Yet it appears
that this man could be plagued with demons subsequent to his
salvation. The only way LUK 11:24-27 could be interpreted to
refer to a spiritual experience other than salvation would be if
a man's spiritual house could be "swept (of sin) and put in
order" while he remained unregenerate. There is no scriptural
support for that position.
The next couple of chapters cover a lot of basic theology, but
the principles which permit these demonic attacks must be
understood if we wish to know why and how evil spirits have
the legal right to enter Christians. They have no such rights
unless we give them access by law. To understand the saint's
legal position in the New Testament Era, we must first
examine some Old Testament types of Christ.