Where have all the demons gone?

Angels & Demons
User avatar
robbyyoung
Posts: 811
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:23 am

Re: Where have all the demons gone?

Post by robbyyoung » Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:03 am

dwilkins wrote:One option is that there was a major change in how demons worked in the world based on, you guessed it, preterism. If it starts to derail the conversation too much I'll stop responding. But, have you considered the possibility that demonic activity in the New Testament was very real, and that at some point (I'd argue the judgment associated with 70AD) the paradigm changed significantly. I'll use three passages to summarize my point:

Romans 16:19-20 (ESV)
19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.
20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Hebrews 2:5-8 (ESV)
5 Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking.
6 It has been testified somewhere, "What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him?
7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor,
8 putting everything in subjection under his feet." Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.

Revelation 20:4 (ESV)
4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

The point of the progression is this: The era of the Old Testament and into the New Testament writings was one in which the Divine Council of angels (good and bad), with the bad led by Satan, ruled human affairs. One of the major changes in the transitions from the old system to the new system was that world affairs would no longer be managed by angels, but humans. In Romans we see that the saints will "crush" Satan "soon". In Hebrews we see that the old world was ruled by angels, but the new one will be ruled by humans. In Revelation, we see that the new judging council that will rule are humans sitting on thrones in heaven.

If this paradigm is correct, it's possible that the demonic influence in the world was either radically abated, or eliminated completely at the time of the judgment of Satan. I think that might account for real stories of demonic activities in ancient times, but in modern times there seems to be an admission that it is a thing of the past (at least in modern civilized countries).

One argument against this is that missionaries on the frontier are quick to point to demonic possession in people they encounter. This is where the radical abatement comes in. In might be that the demonic head (Satan) was eliminated at the judgment in the first century, and that the influence of other evil spirits is then eliminated as Christianity grows (see as the Saints ruling from heaven as the kingdom expands).

Doug
Hi Doug,

Yes, my preterism calls for demons/evil spirits, whatever Eph 6:12 denotes, to be a non-issue in the world post 70 A.D. Humans themselves are more than capable of being savage animals without any conscience towards being a civilized God glorifying image of Himself. We are the blame for all that is evil/wicked in this world, however, as you said - there is a new divine counsel that is overseeing the affairs of men. It's too bad we are not able to learn and know more of the details surrounding our heavenly functions, but we'll know soon enough once we cross-over.

God Bless.

dwilkins
Posts: 647
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:54 pm

Re: Where have all the demons gone?

Post by dwilkins » Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:09 am

Interesting. The problem, Robbie, is that my approach to this is incompatible with your version of Full Preterism as far as I can tell. The reason is that I'm basing the ongoing rule of humans in heaven on Rev. 20, a passage that you see as ongoing in the 40 years leading up to 70AD, but completed afterwards. To keep it from screwing up the discussion we should probably hammer out the details in PM's, but there is a significant difference between our approaches.

Doug

User avatar
robbyyoung
Posts: 811
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:23 am

Re: Where have all the demons gone?

Post by robbyyoung » Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:02 am

dwilkins wrote:Interesting. The problem, Robbie, is that my approach to this is incompatible with your version of Full Preterism as far as I can tell. The reason is that I'm basing the ongoing rule of humans in heaven on Rev. 20, a passage that you see as ongoing in the 40 years leading up to 70AD, but completed afterwards. To keep it from screwing up the discussion we should probably hammer out the details in PM's, but there is a significant difference between our approaches.

Doug
Hey Doug,

Our preterism may differ, but not on this point. I don't see our rule w/Christ as completed in 70 A.D. But I'll PM you on this matter if you have any follow-ups.

God Bless.

User avatar
Homer
Posts: 2603
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:08 pm

Re: Where have all the demons gone?

Post by Homer » Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:46 am

Doug wrote:
If this paradigm is correct, it's possible that the demonic influence in the world was either radically abated, or eliminated completely at the time of the judgment of Satan. I think that might account for real stories of demonic activities in ancient times, but in modern times there seems to be an admission that it is a thing of the past (at least in modern civilized countries).

One argument against this is that missionaries on the frontier are quick to point to demonic possession in people they encounter. This is where the radical abatement comes in. In might be that the demonic head (Satan) was eliminated at the judgment in the first century, and that the influence of other evil spirits is then eliminated as Christianity grows (see as the Saints ruling from heaven as the kingdom expands).
There must be something to this. It might well be asked where did the demons all go in the scriptures after the Synoptic Gospels and Book of Acts?

User avatar
TheEditor
Posts: 814
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:09 pm

Re: Where have all the demons gone?

Post by TheEditor » Sat Sep 05, 2015 12:26 pm

Hi Doug,

What is it about premillenialism that makes Jesus "binding of the strong man" impossible after his death and resurrection? Maybe you have been exposed to a one-dimensional brand of non-preterist eschatology?

Regards, Brenden.
[color=#0000FF][b]"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."[/b][/color]

dwilkins
Posts: 647
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:54 pm

Re: Where have all the demons gone?

Post by dwilkins » Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:59 pm

Actually, I grew up with a very detailed background in premillennial theology and none of it is compatible with an almost complete (if not complete) elimination of demonic activity in the modern era. In Amillennialism, Satan is bound during the millennium (the current era), but in premillennialism he's the god of this world and actively not only campaigning against people but controlling history through demonically possessed politicians, etc. I don't see how,

Romans 16:20 (ESV)
20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. . . (which indicates the subjugation and destruction of Satan)

fits in premillennial eschatology.

Doug

User avatar
psimmond
Posts: 438
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:31 pm
Location: Sharpsburg, GA
Contact:

Re: Where have all the demons gone?

Post by psimmond » Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:53 pm

Homer wrote: There must be something to this. It might well be asked where did the demons all go in the scriptures after the Synoptic Gospels and Book of Acts?
Many have also pointed out that the OT, which covered over 1500 years of history, only mentioned demons 2-3 times.

I tend to agree with morbo3000 that "the gospels are colored by their times."

For those who have mentioned a cessation or dramatic decrease in demonic activity, is this connected in any way to the amillennialist position that says Satan is currently bound?
Let me boldly state the obvious. If you are not sure whether you heard directly from God, you didn’t.
~Garry Friesen

User avatar
morbo3000
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 9:05 pm
Location: Washington State
Contact:

Re: Where have all the demons gone?

Post by morbo3000 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:46 pm

Steve did a good series on this:

http://www.thenarrowpath.com/topical_le ... ualWarfare

Based on his stories, I don't think the demons have all gone. And missionaries to cultures with more overt witchcraft certainly tell weird stories.

I believe worldview has a part to play in this as well. The enlightenment has left us such an aspiritual worldview that Satan could be doing stuff right under our noses, and we wouldn't know it. As a child of the enlightenment, and post-modernism, I have such a hard time believing in miracles that I forget I've seen miraculous healings. It's like I'm inoculated against acknowledging what is right in front of me.
When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.
JeffreyLong.net
Jesusna.me
@30thirteen

crgfstr1
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:55 am
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Re: Where have all the demons gone?

Post by crgfstr1 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:03 pm

I think anyone looking at Hollywood or the current music industry will see clear demonic activity is currently taking place everyday. Many musicians even admit that they have no talent of their own except through their demonic possession. This is most obvious in Beyonce who speaks about it openly in interviews. I believe some of the mental illness in this world is demonic in nature we are just told by an industry making millions off of it that it is a medical problem. This in spite of the fact that most of their "science" is really more of an unrepeatable art. There no sound diagnostic procedures other than to observe behavior.

It is also likely that the behavior in the bible is that of those who are fighting with and no longer want to have their demons. This then becomes erratic behavior. I think when someone who is not fighting their demon but living in sin with it the behavior is merely that of uncontrolled and unrepentant sin.

User avatar
morbo3000
Posts: 537
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 9:05 pm
Location: Washington State
Contact:

Re: Where have all the demons gone?

Post by morbo3000 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:01 am

crgfstr1 wrote:I believe some of the mental illness in this world is demonic in nature we are just told by an industry making millions off of it that it is a medical problem. This in spite of the fact that most of their "science" is really more of an unrepeatable art. There no sound diagnostic procedures other than to observe behavior.
I am diagnosed bipolar. I take 2 mood stabilizers. My mood problems are not demonic. Science is part art. Pharmacology is as well. But that does not disqualify it as science.

I won't get into this as a debate. Just to make the point that mental illness is stigmatized in our society, including Christianity. This can keep people from seeking help. Or to stop taking their meds believing that it is a spiritual problem. I do believe that much of the depression in America can be linked to spiritual problems like guilt and the overwhelming stress of our country. Anti-depressants, etc, could band-aid these, and medicate people's soul from dealing with deeper issues. But that is not the same as schizophrenia, bipolar, and clinical depression. I would not have had the opportunity to raise my kids, and grow into a wonderful marriage and ministry if I did not receive both spiritual and medical help for my bipolar disorder.

I want to do my part to say all this so that someone who might be lurking gets, or continues to receive help.
When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.
JeffreyLong.net
Jesusna.me
@30thirteen

Post Reply

Return to “Angelology & Demonology”