Drugs, Demons, And Destruction
Mr. William MacDonald has traveled worldwide ministering God’s Word and is the author of dozens of booklets, correspondence courses, and books. He directs a Discipleship Intern Training Program at San Leandro, California.
Mr. MacDonald. current article is reprinted by permis. don of Loizeaux Brothers, Inc.
ANYONE who keeps up with the daily news has noticed that the United States has been having an unusual spate of bizarre crimes during the past few years — weird, irrational crimes that seek to outdo one another in cruelty and barbarism. It is not just that innocent people are killed but that they are subjected to the most sadistic forms of torture and mutilation. Without any provocation whatever, they are treated as if they were sacrificial victims on the altar of some esoteric cult.
Paralleling the increase of these far-out murders has been the alarming rise in the use of hard drugs —LSD, heroin, cocaine, hashish, mescaline, peyote, etc. The parallel is not a coincidence. Those investigating the crimes often find evidence that points to the drug traffic. And the murderers turn out to be addicts more often than not.
The connection is very significant. Mind-expanding drugs have an ancient lure for people — “you shall be as gods.” These people want to leave the ugly realities of this world and be transported into the realm of the transcendental. In taking these hard drugs, they open their being to the entrance of demons. Some converted addicts claim that it is impossible to get hooked on strong drugs without at the same time becoming demon-possessed. We must face the fact that we are witnessing a great outbreak of demonism in our day, and that it is closely connected with the drug traffic.
The goal of a demon is always to destroy. There is no exception to that rule. He will seek to destroy either the person he indwells, or use that person to destroy others. And this destruction is mindless in the extreme.
The police and the courts seek to handle the problem through prisons and rehabilitation programs. But demons are not awed by either. As soon as the prisoner gets out on parole, he is driven to further destruction .
We can scarcely expect the civil authorities to recognize the connection between drugs, demon-possession, and wholesale destruction. What happens in the spirit world is too intangible and speculative for textbooks on criminology. And so they muddle on pathetically with their futile solutions.
What Christians Should Know
But Christians should not be ignorant concerning the existence and work of demons. The Gospels abound with the stories of demoniacs, of their supernatural power, and of their destructive, irrational behaviour.
And Christians should be aware of a direct link between drugs and spiritism. In Galatians 5:20, for instance, the word “witchcraft” (KJV) or “socery” (NASB) comes from the Greek word pharmakia, which means “drugs.” The witch doctor, with his drugs, potions, and spells, is an active agent for the demonic world. This explains the amazing powers he so often demonstrates, and the bondage in which he holds his subject.
Recognition of the link between drugs, demons, and destruction helps Christians understand what is happening to so many young people today. They start experimenting with drugs, then get hooked. When they come home, it is all but impossible to live with them. It seems that all the wires in their mind have become crossed. They are withdrawn, tormented souls. They act as if they have suffered irreversible brain damage. There is no purpose or direction to their lives. They move around like zombies — the walking dead. In a very real sense, they seem to have destroyed themselves.
Other Forms Of Occultism
Of course, drugs are only one link with the spirit world. Christians should be warned themselves and should teach their children to have nothing to do with other things that are the stock in trade of demonism. For instance:
· Fortune telling, use of the crystal ball, clairvoyance, palm reading, reading of tea leaves, the use of the ouija board (see Deuteronomy 18:9-14).
· Playing cards, Tarot cards, dice. Astrology, horoscopes, signs of the zodiac.
· Black magic, white magic.
· Spiritistic seances, communicating with the dead, praying to the dead.
· Non-Christian healers (such as the spiritistic healers of France).
· Transcendental Meditation, Hinduism, Hare Krishna, other eastern religions.
· Numerology, phrenology.
· Idols and images (see 1 Corinthians 10:19). Also pendants, medallions, and amulets.
· Moon or sun worship.
· Satan worship.
· Mental telepathy, ESP (extra sensory perception), Dejo Vu.
· Dominos, sticks, bones, when used for mystical purposes.
These things might seem quite innocent in themselves, but that is the devil’s come-on. Many who have dabbled with them have been drawn into the world of spiritism and have become demon possessed.
Symptoms Of Demon Possession
The believer should know some of the characteristics of those who have become involved with demonism.
Usually there is a violent reaction against any mention of the Lord Jesus Christ. Occasionally a demon may take a patronizing attitude toward the Lord (Acts 16:17) but this is only a diversion and a deception.
There may be excessive drowsiness when the Word of God is read, or resistance to prayer or other spiritual exercises.
Often there is the ability to perform superhuman feats.
There may be a positive response to music with a jungle beat.
Suicidal tendencies are strong, especially at the time of the full moon. (Those who have been delivered find Psalm 121:6 a great source of comfort here.)
The demon-possessed person tends to be sadistic, enjoying cruel stories, beating himself, or practicing cruelties on others.
He also has morbid tendencies, frequenting cemeteries, etc.
He lives in bondage to fears and superstitions.
When we study the demoniacs in the Gospels, and find many of these symptoms, we are better able to understand what is happening around us today. And we are better able to distinguish between insanity and demon possession. An insane person is generally quite mild when a Christian worker reads the Bible or prays with him. The demon-possessed person can be expected to react violently at these times.
Can A Christian Be Demon Possessed?
The question inevitably arises, “Can a true believer ever be demon possessed?” Most of us would shoot down the mere suggestion by saying that a person could not be indwelt by the Holy Spirit and by an evil spirit at the same time. But perhaps it would be better to leave it an open question because if a believer takes hard drugs, or engages in Transcendental Meditation, or takes up with any of the other spiritistic practices listed above, he cannot expect to escape the consequences of his choice. If he cannot become demon possessed, he can certainly become so oppressed and controlled that his condition is practically indistinguishable from actual possession.
What Can Be Done For The Victim?
One final question remains! What can be done for a person who has come under the power of the devil and his emissaries? The following steps are suggested.
First and foremost, everything should be centered on leading him to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
He should make a complete written list of every contact he has ever had with drugs, fortune-telling, and all the other objects and activities listed above that are associated with spiritism.
In the presence of another witness, he should audibly renounce every such contact, and repudiate any agreement or promise he has made to Satan or to demons.
The Christian worker should pray, asking for the overcoming power of the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:11) to protect the house and all present. Then he should command the demon(s) in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ to come out of the person.
The worker should insist that the person burn every last trace of all physical objects that were associated with his bondage to demons.
Finally, the Christian worker should claim in prayer the loosing of the person from the power of the devil, and then destroy the list.
It may require hours of agonizing prayer, hours of spiritual conflict with the foe before deliverance comes. It should be done by a mature Christian, not by a novice. The devil is not engaged in war games. The battle is real, and only those whose roots are deep in God should take on this demanding ministry.
The Danger Of Obsession
In closing, we would warn our readers against another danger, that is, the danger of becoming obsessed with this subject. If the devil can’t lure Christians into the world of the occult, he will try to get them so occupied with this subject that they can’t think or talk of anything else. Pretty soon they see demons lurking behind every lamppost, and blame demons for everything that happens in life. They become Johnny-one-notes, and their effectiveness in the service of the Lord is destroyed.
So we should be intelligent about the world of demons, we should be aware of the dangers, and yet we should not become so obsessed with the subject that we neglect the other great doctrines of the Word of God. We want to maintain the balance the Bible maintains, and then we will be balanced Christians.