(Lesson 06 on Bible Doctrines) 

“Actual communication with unseen spirits; their influence on the acts and destinies of individuals and nations; and demon-possession, are taught clearly and unmistakably in both the OT and NT” – John L. Nevius, (Demon Possession and Allied Themes).



  1. We have seen in our previous study of angels that the angelic realm is very organized.  The Bible speaks of “rulers” or “principalities,” “authorities” or “powers,” and “thrones” or “dominions” (Rom. 8:38; Eph. 1:21; 2:2; 3:10; 6:12; Col. 1:16; 2:10, 15; I Peter 3:22).
  2. Elect angels include cherubim and seraphim (Gen. 3:24; Isa. 6:2; Ezek. 10:1ff).  Satan is referred to as “the anointed cherub” and “covering cherub” (Ezek. 28:14,16).
  3. Several Scriptures allude to conflicts in the angelic realm (Dan. 10:13; Rev. 12:4, 7).


II. BASIC FACTS ABOUT FALLEN ANGELS (demons, devils, unclean spirits)

  1. All angels were created good and holy (Gen. 1:31).
  2. Some angels chose to sin against God (cf. II Peter 2:4; Jude 6).
  3. The elect angels chose to obey God (I Tim. 5:21).
  4. The fallen angels are referred to as the devil’s angels (Rev. 12:7-9), and our Lord said that they are destined for eternal hellfire (Matt. 25:41).
  5. Fallen angels apparently realize that they will eventually be cast into the lake of fire (Matt. 8:28, 29).
  6. Fallen angels are employed in the execution of Satan’s purposes, which are diametrically opposed to those of God (Mark 9:17-29).
  7. However, even these unclean spirits are subject to God (cf. Judges 9:23; I Sam. 18:10; I King 22:19-28; Job 1:12; Ps. 78:49).
  8. These are some of the various ways demons attempt to hinder God’s work:

    A.    They oppose believers as well as the elect angels (Dan. 10:13, 20).

    B.    They cause physical and mental disorders (Matt. 9:32; 12:22; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 9:37-42).

    C.    The term “unclean spirits” suggests that they lead people into moral impurity (Matt. 10:1; 12:43-45; Acts 5:16).

    D.    They disseminate false doctrine (II Thess. 2:2; I Tim. 4:1).

    E.     They are behind all idolatry and occultism (I Cor. 10:19-21; Acts 16:16-19; 19:13-20).

    F.     They attempt to hinder our spiritual progress (Eph. 6:12).

    G.    They desire to possess human beings (Matt. 4:24; Luke 8:2; Acts 8:7), and even animals (Mark 5:11-13).

  9. Demons will be used by God during the tribulation period (Rev. 9:1-12; 16:13-16).



  1. Fortune-telling (e.g., Nostradomus, Jeanne Dixon, the “psychic network,” crystal balls, tarot cards, palm reading, reading tea leaves, ouiji boards). Oftentimes, police contact psychics in their efforts to locate missing people. Unfortunately, many of these psychics are demon-possessed (cf. Acts 16:16-19).
  2. The king of Babylon “looked in the liver” (Ezek. 21:21).
  3. Though worldly people consider it relatively harmless, or even “fun,” this type of activity is clearly forbidden by God (Lev. 20:27; Deut. 18:9-14).
  4. Astrology is also forbidden (Isa. 47:13, 14).
  5. Backslidden Israel was guilty of worshipping idols and devils (Lev. 17:7; Deut. 32:16,17; II Chron. 11:15; Ps. 106:34-38).
  6. Food sacrificed to idols is actually offered to devils (I Cor. 10:19-21).
  7. During the tribulation period, all unsaved people will openly worship Satan and the beast (Rev. 13:4, 8, 12).



  1. Spiritualism (also called spiritism) is the belief that the living can communicate with the dead.  It is known in the Bible as “necromancy” and is expressly forbidden (Lev. 19:31; 20:6,27; Deut. 18:11; I Sam. 28:3-20; II Kings 21:6; 23:24; I Chron. 10:13,14; II Chron. 33:6; Isa. 8:19,20; 19:3; 29:4).
  2. This demonic activity is also referred to as “sorcery” (Ex. 7:11; Jer. 27:9; Dan. 2:2; Rev. 9:21; 21:8) and “witchcraft” (Ex. 22:18; II Kings 9:22; Micah 5:12-15; Nahum 3:4; Gal. 5:20).
  3. “Although much that passes for spirit manifestation is pure trickery, doubtless real communications are at times received from the spirit-world. Were it not so, Spiritism would have collapsed long ere this, but as Tennyson has said, ‘A lie which is half a truth is a harder matter to fight than a lie outright.’  Many grief-stricken souls in their agony have sought for comfort in the hope that Spiritism holds out to them, of getting access to their beloved dead through a medium; little realizing the dread danger they run through tampering with forbidden things.  With a host of enlightened Christians we believe that what messages are received from the spirit-world are not received from the souls of those who have passed through the veil, but from demons who impersonate them…Its dangers are terrible, and are incurred by all who dabble with the cult.” – Wm. C. Irvine, Heresies Exposed (emphasis in original).
  4. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), the well-known British physician and writer (author of the Sherlock Holmes detective stories), was an outspoken spiritualist.  He wrote: “The whole doctrine of original sin, the Fall, the vicarious atonement, the placation of the Almighty by blood – all this is abhorrent to me.  The spirit-guides do not insist upon these aspects of religion.” – cited by Irvine (emphasis in original).
  5. The modern “new age movement” comes from the same demonic pit.
  6. Christians are instructed to “try the spirits” (I John 4:1-4), and to avoid occultism, idolatry, demonism, and religious error.

Pastor James Barker
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