Bible Study Discussions with Gary Panell
Question: Do just some people see demons and other people don't?
Answer: This is a good question, and you may have thought of this question when you were reading our article on Mediums, Psychics, and "Spiritualism," or maybe this question crossed your mind as you were reading the Bible. However you came to ask this question, I believe its answer will help other people as well. I might state here, that we are getting more questions than we could every answer, so if you have a burning question that you just can't wait to have answered, give us your email me. address and we will do our best to get it to you quicker. We do not solicit money, and your information is kept confidential. Thanks for your patience in waiting for an answer.
Ok, you asked about is it just some people who see demons, and other people don't. Actually I am not sure many people do see demons. I have never seen one. I have heard some speaking through people, but I didn't see anything. I heard things, and I felt things when around people who were demon possessed, but I never saw anything.
For example, one time we were sitting in a church service in Trinidad West Indies, we were just minding our own business singing hymns when all of a sudden we heard some girls shriek and run out of the church building. We had been singing Martin Luther's Hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." (They couldn't stand to be in the room where this hymn about God's power being greater than Satan's power was being sung.)
These girls were demon possessed before this service, but the demons would not manifest themselves until they were confronted by the Bible, prayer, the blood of Christ, a cross, or in this case, a powerful hymn of the faith. Even then we did not see any demons, but we did see them take control of the bodies of these girls.
We also learned some valuable lessons while dealing with possessed people. One, Satan loves to disrupt the worship service. When this first happened, where the girls were out of control we stopped the worship service and all prayed for the girls' deliverance. We found out soon enough that this was exactly what Satan wanted to happen. He doesn't want people to worship the Lord so he tries to stop the worship with distractions. Instead, from then on we got wise to his tactics and took the girls outside the building and just the elders or mature Christians prayed for deliverance for them. During this time the church service of praise to the Lord went on, and God was glorified and Satan was defeated.
I believe that Satan has different plans and different tactics for different countries. Here in the United States he teaches people that there is no supernatural. Maybe in the future his tactics will change because more people have a real interest in the supernatural, since they have been told for so long that there is no such thing. Here in the United States in the Colleges and Universities we are taught that all is only material. You see this thought that there is a supernatural realm contradicts the teaching of evolution (evil-o-lution as they pronounce it in England).
If you look, though, you will find demon possession even in the United States. When we came back to the States after being missionaries overseas. I was getting a haircut in a barbershop and I was listening to the news. They were telling how a mass murderer had been killing women and dragging their naked bodies up to the tops of hills. When they caught the man they said he was very intelligent, and they were not sure how he had learned so many languages, but he could speak several fluently.
I'm sure this was kept quiet after this time, because we had just come from a place where we had heard demon-possessed people speaking in accents that were not from Trinidad. It seems that demons learn the languages and accents from the people and places they frequent. Anyway, it was obvious to me, sitting in the barber chair getting my hair cut, that this was demon possession, but to those around me hearing the news they may have just thought this was some sort of mystery.
To answer your question, not too many people see demons, but we hear them speak and see their actions through the individuals they possess. You will want to get onto our Ephesians Bible Study Part Five if you are interested in learning more about demon possession and how to deal with it. It is not something you play with, and a person needs to be in right standing with God before you every attempt to help someone who is demon possessed.
There were some Jews in Paul's day that tried to be 'Ghost Busters' in their own strength and look what happened to them. "Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.' Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, 'Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?' Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified." (Acts 19:13-17)
Some people have seen demons who appear as angels of light, and they bring them false teaching, this is what happened to Joseph Smith, and as a result, today we have the Mormons. "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works." (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
"The founder of Mormonism, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith, Jr., was the fourth of ten children of Joseph and Lucy Mack Smith. In 1817 the family moved to Palmyra, New York (near present-day Rochester). Most of the members of the Smith family soon joined the Presbyterian Church, but young Joseph remained undecided. His argument was that all the strife and tension among the various denominations made him question which denomination was right. It was this conflict that set the stage for Joseph's alleged first vision.
"In 1820 Joseph [Smith] allegedly received a vision that became the basis for the founding of the Mormon Church. According to Mormon history, the background of Joseph's first vision was a revival that broke out in the spring of 1820, in Palmyra, New York:
"Indeed, the whole district of the country seemed affected by it, and great multitudes united themselves to the different religious parties, which created no small stir and division amongst the people, some crying, 'Lo, here! And others, 'Lo, there!' Some were contending for the Methodist faith, some for the Presbyterian and some for the Baptist (Joseph Smith, The Pearl of Great Price. 2:5).
"This led to Joseph's inquire of the Lord. to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right - and which I should join.
"I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: 'they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof' (Joseph Smith, The Pearl of Great Price, 2:18, 19).
The Second Vision
"Joseph then recounts a second vision he had on September 21, 1823, in which he claims:
.a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor..Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description.[He] said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations." (Handbook of Today's Religions by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart) By the way, this book would be great for you to read if you want more information on demons and the Occult from a Christian perspective.
This is what St. Paul has to say about that: "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other Gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:6-9)
This is strong language, but we need to use strong language for, what I believe is the most deceptive religion ever invented by Satan, and that is Mormonism. We love those involved in this false religion, and that is the reason we want to warn them, before it is too late. We have an article you might want to read on the L.D.S.
So, yes, demons do only appear to certain people, but that is the reason that person needs to test the spirits to see if they are of God or not. The Bible says, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world." (1John 4:1-3)
I hope this helps,
Gary T. Panell
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Keywords: demon, demons, satan, devil, evil spirit, evil spirits