Rabbi Schneider - Are Demons Real?
I have a ministry where I shepherd a congregation and I trained up a team to help people that felt that they were somehow being tormented by demons. Now I know that when we hear that word demon, it kind of makes us draw back a little bit. And we have all types of connotations of what we think that word means. And we're gonna talk about in this series what a demon is. Are they really real? Do they still exist today? Can they bother or hurt Christians? We're gonna look at all these different dynamics.
But right now, I just want to set the stage by sharing with you the way that I came upon ministering to you now this series called Self-Deliverance, is that where I shepherd at Lion of Judah World Outreach Center in Toledo, Ohio, I raised up and trained a team of ministers to help people in the congregation that felt that they were being afflicted by demons. Maybe it was fear. Maybe it was depression. Maybe it was passivity. Maybe they found themselves bound to some type of addiction they felt they couldn't escape; alcoholism or promiscuity, pornography, etc.
When we began this ministry, we had so many people that were coming for help that we were actually having to schedule people out, beloved ones, a year in advance. And I became so burdened and so grieved in my spirit that so many people were coming to us asking us for help, and we were having, we were having to say to them, yes, let's put you on the schedule, and they were having to wait a year. And finally I looked to the Lord. I said, Lord, there's got to be another strategy. There's got to be another way. And in that place of looking to the Lord for a way to help these people that desperately needed help, but having to put them off a year because we were so booked up, that's when the Lord, beloved ones, by the power of the Holy Spirit put within me this teaching, this revelational teaching series that I'm bringing to you beginning today called Self Deliverance: Deliverance from the Powers of Darkness.
See the Bible tells us in the Book of Ephesians, chapter 6, verse 12, that "our fight". Notice that Paul says, "our fight", not the heathens' fight, not people's fight over in some country on the other side of the world. No, but Paul said, "our fight". He was speaking to believers. And Paul said, "our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against powers of darkness". Peter said the same thing. He said, "your adversary", Peter was talking to believers. And Peter said to believers, God's people, he said to them, "your adversary". Not somebody else's adversary. Not non-Christians' adversary. Not the heathens' adversary. But Peter said, "your adversary, the devil is roaming about like a lion looking for somebody to devour". The reality is, beloved, that the clear teaching of Scripture is this, that Satan is real. He's a real person and that demons are real entities.
I want to talk with you for a few minutes as we begin as to what actually is a demon. What is Satan? You see, many people would be unable to deny that evil exists in the world. Perhaps they would explain evil by some type of psychological or physiological cause. But the reality is, anybody that's willing to even remotely face the truth cannot deny that evil exists in the world. Tremendous evil exists in the world; people taking pleasure in inflicting pain on other people, people sadistically dominating other people. We think back to the holocaust not too long ago where Hitler's army would take little Jewish babies, throw them up in the air and shoot them while they were in mid-air and then laugh, getting sadistic pleasure out of it.
All around us we can see evil. We see evil in the form of sicknesses destroying people's body. Isn't it amazing how sicknesses like cancer actually have a built in intelligence in them? In other words, sicknesses, viruses and things of this nature that enter into the human body actually has a, have a built in intelligence to destroy the body. What I'm suggesting is this, is that not only is evil an undeniable reality on planet earth, but it also, beloved, has a personality and intelligence. You see, it's not just that there's a general force of evil, but that evil is actually personified. And so when Jesus said to the demons, we're gonna get into all this deeper in the weeks ahead, but when Jesus was driving the demons out of the person, he said to the demons, he said, what is your name? In other words, these demons had a name. Who has names and who speaks; a person.
So I want you to know that not only does evil exist in the most general form as a force, but evil has intelligence and it has personality. We're gonna get into this, beloved, but right away I want to get right to the Word of God and I want to show you from the Scriptures how real demons were in the age of Jesus, when Jesus walked on the earth in flesh and blood. Of course, Jesus is still here today. He's the same yesterday, today and forever. And what I am saying is that the same types of demons that Jesus drove out when he walked upon the earth 2,000 years ago in the flesh, beloved ones, they're still here today inflicting the same type of torment and waging the same type of assault against believers and non-believers alike.
I want to begin today, just to set the scriptural foundation by going to the Book of Matthew, chapter 4, verse 23 and 24. Now listen to this before I read it. This was at the very beginning, at the very onset of Yeshua's ministry. And so as soon as Jesus, as soon as Yeshua begins his ministry, one of the first things he's doing, beloved ones, is he's dealing with people that had demons and he's setting the people free. Let's look now, once again, Matthew, 4, 23 and 24. Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. The news about Him spread throughout all of Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, get this now, and the what; demoniacs.
What does this word demoniacs mean? It means those that were infected, beloved, those that had a demon living in their space, and that was actually manifesting through them in some form. Mark records this same incident for us; once again, Jesus just beginning his ministry. I want you to get this. The same Jesus that walked upon the earth 2,000 years ago is amongst us right here and right now. He's with you this second. And the first thing that he encountered, beloved, as he began his ministry was setting people free that were under the torment of demons. Listen what he says concerning this in Mark, 1, 32-34: When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill, get this now, and those who were demon-possessed.
So I think it's important for you and I to ask our self the question, do we believe that the Word of God is true? In other words, we just got done seeing, beloved ones, in the Word of God, that just as Jesus began to announce who he was, why he came, and what he was here to do, he began to cast out the demons. The question is, do we really believe what the Word of God said? And if we believe what the Word of God says is for real, that demons are real, then we have to ask ourselves the question, where did all the demons go? Why are we not hearing about people that are being tormented by demons in this generation in the Western world? Why are we not hearing much about people being set free from demons in the Western world? Are all the demons gone? When Jesus ascended to heaven, did he take all the demons with him?
No, beloved, the same type of demons that were on the earth when Jesus walked in the flesh, they're still here today, and they're attacking people all over the world, trying to hurt them. And not only people that don't know Jesus, but beloved, people that do know Jesus. That's why Peter told us that your adversary, as he was speaking to the believers, the devil is roaming around looking for someone to devour. That's why Paul told us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and forces of spiritual evil. Evil exists in the world. And the evil, once again, it's not just a general evil, it's a, get this now Church, it's a personal evil. In other words, the evil that exists in the world, it has a specific intention of hurting God's people. In the Book of Revelation, we read that Satan is upon the earth very angry, looking to hurt whoever he can because he knows that his time on earth is short.
Now listen, beloved ones, this is nothing to get afraid of. We have victory in Jesus. Jesus is protecting us. But in order for us to live in the fullness of the freedom that Jesus purchased for us, we have to recognize that our enemy is real. We need to understand his strategies. We need to learn how to protect our self. And we need to learn how to do spiritual warfare. That's why Paul told us in Ephesians, chapter 6, to put on the whole breastplate, the whole armor, all the weapons of our warfare that we could stand firm in our faith and be triumphant against all forms of evil.
Now I want you to hear this for a second When we hear the word demon today, we often times, you know, people block it out of their mind. Even in the Church, you start talking about demons in the Church, and so many Christians, beloved, they just want to close their ears. They don't want to hear about it. They just want to think about Jesus. They just want to feel good singing the love songs. And we should just think about Jesus. And it's awesome to feel good singing love songs to Jesus. But to put our head in the sand, in the ground like an ostrich and pretend that evil isn't real, and to pretend that demons aren't real, and that they're not after Christians, that, beloved, is just, forgive me, it's stupidity because it directly contradicts the Word of God.
Look at this Scripture if you will with me in the Book of Matthew, chapter 8, verse 16 and 17. This is right after Yeshua's most famous sermon in the entire Bible, the Sermon on the Mount. He comes down the mountain and immediately starts healing those that were ill, listen to this, and setting people free that had been tormented and were in the bondage of demons. Hear the Word of God, Matthew, 8: 16-17: When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. Get this now, many, he didn't say a few. Get this once again. When evening came, they brought to Him, hear this Church, many, many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word.
You see, it wasn't just a few people every here and there, somebody far away in this city miles away. No, everywhere Jesus went, he delivered people, beloved, that were in bondage to tormenting spirits that the Bible calls demons. Now today, once again, in our culture we hear the word demon, and even Christians as I was saying have a hard time accepting it. They have a hard time relating it, relating to it. They don't want to talk about it. They don't want to be seen getting into discussion with somebody about demons. They would just rather pretend that they don't exist, that they only exist some place again like in Africa. No, they're right here, they're right now, the same demons that were on the earth when Jesus came.
And here's what I want you to understand. Demons are a personal a energy help you to accept the word. Again some people have a hard time with the word. They think it's archaic. They explain a lot of the different types of manifestations that we read about in the Bible, like someone for example, we read about in Scripture that they called someone that had epilepsy, and it says that they went into convulsions. They say oh that was just, that was just, that was just because of a physiological problem. But you know what? Often times it wasn't just physiological. Jesus cast the demon out of somebody.
In other words, in today's culture, if somebody goes into a convulsion, the world says, oh it's epilepsy. But in the Bible we read that sometimes someone went into a convulsion and the Scripture doesn't say it was because of epilepsy, that this person just needs more medication. No, they say that Jesus and the disciples, and the apostles, and the believers recognized what was happening and they cast out the spirit of the one that went into convulsions with the Word.
And so, I am trying to get, to help us to get the Bible's world view here. We need to understand that everything can't be just explained scientifically and medically; that some of the things that we're explaining medically, beloved, actually have their origin in the realm of the spirit world. And demons, beloved, once again hear me, I want you to get it, it's personal darkness. It's personal, spiritual darkness. It's darkness with intelligence to harm. And the way that demons operate is they look to enter into our space. They look to, they look to enter into our psychological space and our physical space. And they must be driven out, get this now, just like Jesus drove out, get this now Church, just like Jesus drove out the money changers from the temple.
Now I want you to go with me here for a second. Those of us that recognize that the Bible is the Word of God, that it's not just written by people that were explaining what they thought was going on, but it's people that were rather writing the Scripture because they were under the influence of the Holy Spirit and that the Word of God is living, and active, and sharper than a two-edged sword. And it has the same truthfulness today as it did to the people that lived 2,000 years ago.
And so I just want to ask you right now, if you accept that the Bible does teach that demons are real, the next question we have to face, beloved one, is this. If the Bible says that demons are real, and I accept that the Bible is God's Word, and I must agree that that's true, the next question you and I need to ask ourselves is this, should that be a concern for me? If demons are real, is that something I need to be concerned with? In other words, can demons only work against people that don't know the Lord? Are demons only assaulting unbelievers? Do only the heathen have a problem? Is it only a problem for the reprobates? Or, can demons be a problem for a born-again, Spirit-filled believer that's in love with Jesus?
And I'm here to tell you, beloved, that demons are after everybody, those that know Jesus and those that don't know Jesus. And what the Scriptures admonish us to do is to recognize the reality of this so that we can become like David. And David said that the Lord had trained him for battle and trained his fingers for war. God wants you and I to recognize the realm of reality that we're living. And we're living in a spiritual world. And our enemies are not the things that were, are seen, but our real enemies, Church, are the things that are unseen.
See, the Bible once again tells us that it's not what is seen that's more real, but what is unseen that is more real. The Bible says the things that are seen are passing away, but the things that are unseen are actually more real than the things that are seen. Did you know that even in the Hebrew Bible we read about how Satan manipulated and deceived David by leading David to take a census. And because David didn't have the discernment, and because of his pride, which was, was kind of the foundation that led him to yield to Satan, David ended up taking the census and he ended up bringing a punishment of discipline upon himself.
And so we see that demons, beloved, influenced David. Here was Job, a man that loved God, and yet we see that we, that, that Job, in the Book of Job, was attacked by Satan. And the Bible, beloved, teaches the same thing today. You and I don't have to be afraid, and Jesus has given us authority over all the powers of darkness. We are victors and we can tread down darkness. But if we don't know we have an enemy, and if we don't know how to exercise authority over our enemy, if we don't wake up, beloved, and get strengthened in the Holy Spirit and learn how to take up our armor and fight, I want you to know, demons will hurt you.
Peter said they look for somebody to devour. What does that mean? They're looking for somebody that's weak. They're looking for somebody that's vulnerable. They're looking for somebody that doesn't know how to fight. Now listen, I know this is a heavy message, but you know what? The Bible says faithful are the wounds of a friend. Beloved, Jesus said, you'll know the truth and the truth will set you free. I'm telling you, beloved ones, the truth.