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Demonic experience

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  • Demonic experience

    What causes people to go through demonic experiences? What do theologies say about demon? Are demon similar to Satan? When did demon and Satan evolved?

  • #2
    Originally posted by luri View Post
    What causes people to go through demonic experiences?
    Demon possession. Evil spirits actually enter into that person and control him or her.

    Originally posted by luri View Post
    What do theologies say about demon? Are demon similar to Satan? When did demon and Satan evolved?
    The only theology we should focus on is Bible theology, since that is Divine revelation. The Bible reveals that Satan was originally a cherub (one of the highest angels who surround God's throne) but through his ambition rebelled against God, and caused a large number of angels to follow him. Satan covets the worship of men, and one day will claim to be God through the Antichrist, and people will worship him. That does not mean that Satan worship does not exist at present.

    All angels are spirit-beings. So all these evil angels were cast out of Heaven (God's Heaven) and allowed to dwell in the atmosphere and outer space . Satan is the prince of these angels (called "prince of the power of the air") and there are hierarchies of evil angels with differing levels of authority.

    Some (and not all) of these evil angels have become demons, and either take possession of people or influence people for evil purposes. Also evil angels influence the events in various nations, and demons cause various sicknesses, diseases, and mental aberrations. Demons also pretend to be gods, and all the false gods of the false religions are actually demons.

    Evil angels and demons did not "evolve" as such. They chose to oppose God and will be eventually cast into the Lake of Fire. As Jesus said "Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels".
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    • #3
      Satan was originally a cherub but he rebelled against God and wanted to be worshiped as God. You can read about his origin in Ezekiel 28:11-19 and Isaiah 14:12-21. These passages are addressed to the kings of Tyre and Babylon but it is clear that the message isn't just for the earthly kings but for Satan, who inspired the kings to their evil acts.
      Clyde Herrin's Blog
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      • #4
        A Christian can not be possessed by a demon, however they can be oppressed by one or even more. Missionaries have come back revealing genuine experiences of their work being hampered by demonic oppression. However because Scripture says "Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world." The Missionaries have said that often by their prayers and those at home praying for them made all the difference. Having gone to Bolivia twice I was always asked please pray for us.
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        • #5
          So basically Satan is a fallen angel, right?. Originally he was an an angel who surrounded God's throne, which means he is inferior to God and cannot be as powerful as God. If he wants to take over God and wants to be worshiped as God, how can we stop him influencing people.I have another question now, can a devout person influenced by Satan?
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          • #6
            There is always satanic influence in this world. God Is stronger than satan. "We" can't stop him influencing people. We Can pray to God. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you". But satan is pretty smart - he knows our weaknesses and how to tempt us in ways so that we won't want to say no to him.

            Maybe the more devout a person is trying to Be - the more satan is going to bother them / try to sidetrack them From effective ministry.

            Yes, satan is a fallen angel.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by luri View Post
              I have another question now, can a devout person influenced by Satan?
              The only way to avoid being influenced by Satan is to focus on God and obey his will. Anyone, no matter how devout he is, can fail to do this and fall under the influence of Satan. Of course he doesn't need to remain in this condition. He can always repent of his failure and turn back to God.
              Clyde Herrin's Blog
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              • #8
                Originally posted by luri View Post
                So basically Satan is a fallen angel, right?. Originally he was an an angel who surrounded God's throne, which means he is inferior to God and cannot be as powerful as God. If he wants to take over God and wants to be worshiped as God, how can we stop him influencing people.I have another question now, can a devout person influenced by Satan?
                Satan will always influence our lives and try to manipulate us in order to become farther away and separated from God, but this doesn't mean that you can't fight back and worship God even more.
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                • #9
                  Spend ALL OF YOUR TIME seeking the face of God, Jesus and in prayer and in reading the Bible. Let go of any devil study. Walk in the light and stay far away from the blackness of evil.

                  John 8:12 KJVS
                  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.


                  If you are a born again Christian then read Acts chapter 19 and become another that receives the Holy Spirit after believing on Jesus.
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by luri View Post
                    What causes people to go through demonic experiences? What do theologies say about demon? Are demon similar to Satan? When did demon and Satan evolved?
                    Hi Luri, you might want to read C S Lewis' book (actually, it's a collection of short stories that he read on the radio during WW II) called, The Screwtape Letters, not only because it's a great read, but because it will help you recognize and understand how demons operate in this world, and particularly in the lives of Christians (how they tempt us). In fact, Lewis wrote these stories from the perspective of the demons, so when you see the word "Enemy" in this book, it's referring to God. It's all fictional, of course, but the insights it gives into our enemy and his ways are quite beneficial to know for our day to day walk.

                    His first admonitions in the book's short Preface are important to understand, so I'll post an excerpt from it here for you to read if you'd like to:

                    There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight. The sort of script which is used in this book can be very easily obtained by anyone who has once learned the knack; but ill disposed or excitable people who might make a bad use of it shall not learn it from me. Readers are advised to remember that the devil is a liar. Not everything that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true even from his own angle. C. S. Lewis, Magdalen College July 5, 1941

                    If you'd like to read more, The Screwtape Letters, can be purchased, of course (in book form or on Kindle), or you can read it online for free here.

                    Yours and His,
                    David

                    *If you decide to buy it, the Annotated Anniversary edition is the way to go. It includes some extremely interesting facts about the Lewis, the book, and why and how it was written, and it includes the 1960 2nd edition preface as well.
                    Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                    "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                    "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                    "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                    "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      Hello David,
                      since you say the stories are from the perspective of demon, I am quite fascinated with this book. I checked the first link and it took me to a pdf copy of the book.
                      I cannot wait to read this book. I will be back when I finish reading this.
                      Comment>

                      • #12
                        The Screwtape Letters is definitely a Christian Classic :)

                        I don't believe the online book contains Lewis' second edition Preface however (which, as you can see, is a tab more extensive than his 3 paragraph original preface). It's pretty interesting, so if you'd like to read it, here it is.

                        Preface to the 1961 Edition

                        It was during the second German War that the letters of Screwtape appeared in the (now extinct) Guardian. I hope they did not hasten its death, but they certainly lost it one reader. A country clergyman wrote to the editor, withdrawing his subscription on the ground that “much of the advice given in these letters seemed to him not only erroneous but positively diabolical.”

                        In general, however, they had a reception I had never dreamed of. Reviews were either laudatory or filled with that sort of anger which tells an author that he has hit his target; sales were at first (by my standards) prodigious, and have continued steady.

                        Of course, sales do not always mean what authors hope. If you gauged the amount of Bible reading in England by the number of Bibles sold, you would go far astray. Sales of The Screwtape Letters, in their own little way, suffer from a similar ambiguity. It is the sort of book that gets given to godchildren, the sort that gets read aloud at retreats. It is even, as I have noticed with a chastened smile, the sort that gravitates towards spare bedrooms, there to live a life of undisturbed tranquility in company with The Roadmender, John Inglesant, and The Life of the Bee. Sometimes it is bought for even more humiliating reasons. A lady whom I knew discovered that the pretty little probationer who filled her hot-water bottle in the hospital had read Screwtape. She also discovered why. “You see,” said the girl, “we were warned that at interviews, after the real, technical questions are over, matrons and people sometimes ask about your general interests. The best thing is to say you’ve read something. So they gave us a list of about ten books that usually go down pretty well and said we ought to read at least one of them.” “And you chose Screwtape?” “Well, of course; it was the shortest.”

                        Still, when all allowances have been made, the book has had readers of the genuine sort sufficiently numerous to make it worthwhile answering some of the questions it has raised in their minds.

                        The commonest question is whether I really “believe in the Devil.”

                        Now, if by “the Devil” you mean a power opposite to God and, like God, self-existent from all eternity, the answer is certainly No. There is no uncreated being except God. God has no opposite. No being could attain a “perfect badness” opposite to the perfect goodness of God; for when you have taken away every kind of good thing (intelligence, will, memory, energy, and existence itself) there would be none of him left.

                        The proper question is whether I believe in devils. I do. That is to say, I believe in angels, and I believe that some of these, by the abuse of their free will, have become enemies to God and, as a corollary, to us. These we may call devils. They do not differ in nature from good angels, but their nature is depraved. Devil is the opposite of angel only as Bad Man is the opposite of Good Man. Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael.

                        I believe this not in the sense that it is part of my creed, but in the sense that it is one of my opinions. My religion would not be in ruins if this opinion were shown to be false. Till that happens—and proofs of a negative are hard to come by—I shall retain it. It seems to me to explain a good many facts. It agrees with the plain sense of Scripture, the tradition of Christendom, and the beliefs of most men at most times. And it conflicts with nothing that any of the sciences has shown to be true.

                        It should be (but it is not) unnecessary to add that a belief in angels, whether good or evil, does not mean a belief in either as they are represented in art and literature. Devils are depicted with bats’ wings and good angels with birds’ wings, not because anyone holds that moral deterioration would be likely to turn feathers into membrane, but because most men like birds better than bats. They are given wings at all in order to suggest the swiftness of unimpeded intellectual energy. They are given human form because man is the only rational creature we know. Creatures higher in the natural order than ourselves, either incorporeal or animating bodies of a sort we cannot experience, must be represented symbolically if they are to be represented at all.

                        These forms are not only symbolical but were always known to be symbolized by reflective people. The Greeks did not believe that the gods were really like the beautiful human shapes their sculptors gave them. In their poetry a god who wishes to “appear” to a mortal temporarily assumes the likeness of a man. Christian theology has nearly always explained the “appearance” of an angel in the same way. It is only the ignorant, says Dionysius in the fifth century, who dream that spirits are really winged men.

                        In the plastic arts these symbols have steadily degenerated. Fra Angelico’s angels carry in their face and gesture the peace and authority of heaven. Later come the chubby infantile nudes of Raphael; finally the soft, slim, girlish and consolatory angels of nineteenth-century art, shapes so feminine that they avoid being voluptuous only by their total insipidity—the frigid houris of a tea-table paradise. They are a pernicious symbol. In Scripture the visitation of an angel is always alarming; it has to begin by saying “Fear not.” The Victorian angel looks as if it were going to say “There, there.”

                        The literary symbols are more dangerous because they are not so easily recognized as symbolical. Those of Dante are the best. Before his angels we sing in awe. His devils, as Ruskin rightly remarked, in their rage, spite, and obscenity, are far more like what the reality must be than anything in Milton. Milton’s devils, by their grandeur and high poetry, have done great harm, and his angels owe too much to Homer and Raphael. But the really pernicious image is Goethe’s Mephistopheles. It is Faust, not he, who really exhibits the ruthless, sleepless, unsmiling concentration upon self which is the mark of Hell. The humorous, civilised, sensible, adaptable Mephistopheles has helped to strengthen the illusion that evil is liberating.

                        A little man may sometimes avoid some single error made by a great one, and I was determined that my own symbolism should at least not err in Goethe’s way. For humor involves a sense of proportion and a power of seeing yourself from the outside. Whatever else we attribute to beings who sinned through pride, we must not attribute this. Satan, said Chesterton, fell through force of gravity. We must picture Hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment. This, to begin with. For the rest, my own choice of symbols depended, I suppose, on temperament and on the age.

                        I like bats much better than bureaucrats. I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of “Admin.” The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern.

                        Milton has told us that “devil with devil damned Firm concord holds.” But how? Certainly not by friendship. A being which can still love is not yet a devil. Here again my symbol seemed to me useful. It enabled me, by earthly parallels, to picture an official society held together entirely by fear and greed. On the surface, manners are normally suave. Rudeness to one’s superiors would obviously be suicidal; rudeness to one’s equals might put them on their guard before you were ready to spring your mine. For of course “Dog eat dog” is the principle of the whole organisation. Everyone wishes everyone else’s discrediting, demotion, and ruin; everyone is an expert in the confidential report, the pretended alliance, the stab in the back. Over all this their good manners, their expressions of grave respect, their “tributes” to one another’s invaluable services form a thin crust. Every now and then it gets punctured, and the scalding lava of their hatred spurts out.

                        This symbol also enabled me to get rid of the absurd fancy that devils are engaged in the disinterested pursuit of something called Evil (the capital is essential). Mine have no use for any such turnip ghost. Bad angels, like bad men, are entirely practical. They have two motives. The first is fear of punishment: for as totalitarian countries have their camps for torture, so my Hell contains deeper Hells, its “houses of correction.” Their second motive is a kind of hunger. I feign that devils can, in a spiritual sense, eat one another; and us. Even in human life we have seen the passion to dominate, almost to digest, one’s fellow; to make his whole intellectual and emotional life merely an extension of one’s own—to hate one’s hatreds and resent one’s grievances and indulge one’s egoism through him as well as through oneself. His own little store of passion must of course be suppressed to make room for ours. If he resists this suppression he is being very selfish.

                        On Earth this desire is often called “love.” In Hell I feign that they recognize it as hunger. But there the hunger is more ravenous, and a fuller satisfaction is possible. There, I suggest, the stronger spirit—there are perhaps no bodies to impede the operation—can really and irrevocably suck the weaker into itself and permanently gorge its own being on the weaker’s outraged individuality. It is (I feign) for this that devils desire human souls and the souls of one another. It is for this that Satan desires all his own followers and all the sons of Eve and all the host of Heaven. His dream is of the day when all shall be inside him and all that says “I” can say it only through him. This, I surmise, is the bloated-spider parody, the only imitation he can understand, of that unfathomed bounty whereby God turns tools into servants and servants into sons, so that they may be at last reunited to Him in the perfect freedom of a love offered from the height of the utter individualities which he has liberated them to be.

                        But, as in Grimm’s story, des träumte mir nur, this is all only myth and symbol. That is why the question of my own opinion about devils, though proper to be answered when once it was raised, is really of very minor importance for a reader of Screwtape. To those who share that opinion, my devils will be symbols of a concrete reality: to others, they will be personifications of abstractions, and the book will be an allegory. But it makes little difference which way you read it. For of course its purpose was not to speculate about diabolical life but to throw light from a new angle on the life of men.

                        I am told that I was not first in the field and that someone in the seventeenth century wrote letters from a devil. I have not seen that book. I believe its slant was mainly political. But I gladly acknowledge a debt to Stephen McKenna The Confessions of a Well-Meaning Woman. The connection may not be obvious, but you will find there the same moral inversion—the blacks all white and the whites all black—and the humour which comes of speaking through a totally humourless personna. I think my idea of spiritual cannibalism probably owes something to the horrible scenes of “absorbing” in David Lindsay’s neglected [A] Voyage to Arcturus.

                        The names of my devils have excited a good deal of curiosity, and there have been many explanations, all wrong. The truth is that I aimed merely at making them nasty—and here too I am perhaps indebted to Lindsay—by the sound. Once a name was invented, I might speculate like anyone else (and with no more authority than anyone else) as to the phonetic associations, which caused the unpleasant effect. I fancy that Scrooge, screw, thumbscrew, tapeworm, and red tape all do some work in my hero’s name, and that slob, slobber, slubber, and gob have all gone into slubgob.

                        Some have paid me an undeserved compliment by supposing that my Letters were the ripe fruit of many years’ study in moral and ascetic theology. They forgot that there is an equally reliable, though less creditable, way of learning how temptation works. “My heart”—I need no other’s—“showeth me the wickedness of the ungodly.”

                        I was often asked or advised to add to the original Letters, but for many years I felt not the least inclination to do it. Though I had never written anything more easily, I never wrote with less enjoyment. The ease came, no doubt, from the fact that the device of diabolical letters, once you have thought of it, exploits itself spontaneously, like Swift’s big and little men, or the medical and ethical philosophy of Erewhon, or Anstey’s Garuda Stone. It would run away with you for a thousand pages if you gave it its head. But though it was easy to twist one’s mind into the diabolical attitude, it was not fun, or not for long. The strain produced a sort of spiritual cramp. The work into which I had to project myself while I spoke through Screwtape was all dust, grit, thirst, and itch. Every trace of beauty, freshness, and geniality had to be excluded. It almost smothered me before I was done. It would have smothered my readers if I had prolonged it.

                        I had, moreover, a sort of grudge against my book for not being a different book which no one could write. Ideally, Screwtape’s advice to Wormwood should have been balanced by arch-angelical advice to the patient’s guardian angel. Without this the picture of human life is lopsided. But who could supply the deficiency? Even if a man—and he would have to be a far better man than I—could scale the spiritual heights required, what “answerable style” could he use? For the style would really be part of the content. Mere advice would be no good; every sentence would have to smell of Heaven. And nowadays even if you could write a prose like Traherne’s, you wouldn’t be allowed to, for the canon of “functionalism” has disabled literature for half its functions. (At bottom, every ideal of style dictates not only how we should say things but what sort of things we may say.)

                        Then, as years went on and the stifling experience of writing the Letters became a weaker memory, reflections on this and that which seemed somehow to demand Screwtapian treatment began to occur to me. I was resolved never to write another Letter. The idea of something like a lecture or “address” hovered vaguely in my mind, now forgotten, now recalled, never written. Then came an invitation from The Saturday Evening Post, and that pressed the trigger.

                        C. S. Lewis
                        Magdalene College,
                        Cambridge51
                        18th May 1960

                        --David
                        Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                        "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                        "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                        "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                        "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          With all due respect time must be spent in the word of God and not other writings. Especially for new believers uncertain about many things. All you will ever need to know is there. Reading the Bible combined with prayer in a quiet place will open the door for the Holy Spirit to instruct you in all things.

                          First comes the Bible, everything else is not critical. Everything you will ever need is there.
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Hi Clawmute, I have absolutely no desire to argue against the supreme necessity of knowing the word of God. In fact, I hold it to be the regula fidei in all of our lives. But there are other things that are important as well, and ESPECIALLY for those who are new to the faith and haven't had years to study it yet. I, for one, was hauled out of the depths of Satan's camp by the Lord 30 years ago, and he (Satan) clearly didn't want to let me go (and I was attacked horribly as a result). I was in the word hour by hour back then, but I praise God for the mature believers and teachers He gave me to support me in my newfound faith and help me come to a better understanding it, and to help me understand what the devil was putting me through and why (and how to better recognize his attacks for what they were). In fact, it was because of these ongoing attacks that one of my first mentors pointed me in the direction of Lewis' book, and it was a GREAT help to me at that time (not in spite or instead of the Bible in any way, but alongside of it/with it :)).

                            Quite frankly, if we could make it in the Christian life with the Bible alone, why did God give us the church, with teachers and pastors and theologians (and/or each other for that matter)? Lewis was never my professor, and he never preached at my church, but because of his books, like The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity, I certainly count him as one of my many teachers in the faith (as many of the things he's said, even some of his short quotes, have helped me grow in my understanding of the Bible, as well its wonderful/wondrous Author).

                            Thanks!

                            Yours and His,
                            David
                            Last edited by David Lee; 07-05-2017, 03:31 AM.
                            Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

                            "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

                            "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

                            "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

                            "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Originally posted by luri View Post
                              What causes people to go through demonic experiences?
                              God's decision, ultimately. God can give people over to possession, or influence, or temptation or trial by the devil. He is not however going to give the obedient over to anything other than trial or temptation. The Lords prayer says, "Lead us not into temptation" but more preferably, "lead us not into trial or testing." For James 1;13,14 says "When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone ;but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed." So the prayer is for God to safeguard ourselves against our own weakness, a kind paternalism.

                              Truly demonic experiences are reserved for the unfaithful, but the devout can sometimes experience them in order to shock them out of lethargy or lukewarmness. Naturally the faithful should avoid situations where they may forseeably be subject to demonic experiences, such as the pleasures of the world.
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