In a few days a parade of monsters, ghosts, goblins, and cartoon characters will most likely plague your neighborhood in search of candy. Let me be clear, I am not opposed to Halloween, dressing up, or trick-or-treating. My children will partake in those activities. Recently my 4-year-old asked me if ghosts are real. I replied, “no, ghosts are not real,” because they are not, but I couldn't help thinking “but there are demons.”
Demons are real. They are created beings that follow Satan instead of God. They were in heaven as angels and when Satan fell, a third of the angels (Revelation 12:4) went with him instead of remaining in the presence and goodness of God. You can read about Satan's fall in Revelation 12:9, and symbolically in Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:12-17. The sin of these angels was that they abused their authority and used it to satisfy evil desires (Jude 1:6-7).
What Demons Do
Understanding the fall of demons helps us understand their purpose. Angels worship God and help His people while Satan and demons oppose God, lie about His character, and attempt to deceive those who love Him (2 Corinthians 4:4, 2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Demons attack Christians (1 Peter 5:8, 2 Corinthians 12:7) and are at war with God's holy angels (Revelation 12:7-8). They are spiritual beings who have the ability to take on physical form, and they can possess people (Luke 4:33-35).
We have no reason to believe that Satan is omnipresent (everywhere at one time) or omniscient (all-knowing), so, much of his work is most likely done by his army of fallen angels. These demons have power, and it would be very foolish to make light of them by entertaining evil thoughts, ideas, and activities (Acts 19:13-16, 2 Peter 2:10-12).
However, it is equally foolish to make too much of them by seeing them everywhere and in everything. Satan and his army battle from a position of defeat. They are no match for the omnipotence of God (Luke 8:26-33), and the power we receive from his Spirit (1 John 4:4). Satan's goal is to get us to disobey God, so our victory is the obedience we walk in when we are in right relationship with Jesus (Ephesians 2:1-2).
What should you do if you feel you are being threatened by demonic powers? The same things you should do in your pursuit of God. Start by reminding yourself of the wonderful act of the gospel: that God gave His Son Jesus as a payment for your sins so that you are His forever. Remind yourself of the promises of God and His goodness by studying His Word, the Bible. Pray and ask the Lord to help you walk in obedience to Him, and consistently surround yourself with people who love God and are committed to living according to His Word.
What questions do you have about demons or Halloween?