Students of Bob Larson University know the teaching is extremely thorough — 60 courses, nearly 50 hours of video training, and more than 200,000 words. Nothing like it in the realm of spiritual warfare study has ever been attempted. It wasn’t possible to cover everything to be known about demons and the devil, but by God’s grace we did our best to emphasize the most important facts. As I look back on my many years of ministry, I reflect on what I wish I had known about demons. When I first embarked on deliverances, there were few books and very few teachers. And there was no internet. The knowledge base was extremely small. I did my best with the information I had. But there are two things I wish I had known to be more effective.
First, I wish I had known how much power the devil has. Most preachers say that we should be careful about giving the devil too much credit. Certainly, some folks do that to their detriment. But by my observation, the church understands too little about what the devil can do. So, they tell people not to worry about Satan’s wiles. I’ve heard preachers declare that the devil was defanged at the cross, completely defeated in every way, and poses no serious threat to Christians. I was influenced by that perspective in my early ministry. As I dealt with more and more demons, I had to backtrack. Many times I witnessed things I thought Satan couldn’t do.
Some things I witnessed during deliverance were inexplicable. Others were downright supernatural. I have spoken about some of these occurrences in Bob Larson University such as: objects disappearing in one place and appearing again in another; things moving before my very eyes; voices from people’s bodies that spoke in human languages unknown to them; superhuman strength that defied logic; an earthquake under my feet at the exact moment I was casting out a demon; bodily deformations which were physically impossible; a possessed and blind person reading effortlessly from a book while the demons manifested. I understand what Aaron must have felt when Pharoah’s magicians threw down their rods which also turned into snakes.
Ironically, the second thing I wish I’d known, is how little real power the devil has. Despite what I’ve just described, in the greater scheme of things, the devil has paltry puissance, actual power. Satan can’t make a flower grow. He can’t give peace to a spiritually weary soul. He can’t comfort the brokenhearted. He can’t create something out of nothing, ex-nihilo, as God did by creating the heavens and the earth. Satan can’t give a bird a song or hope to a troubled soul. He can’t raise the dead to eternal life, and he can’t create the innocence of a newborn baby. He can only kill, steal, and destroy, as the Bible says. Pharoah’s magicians did mimic Arron’s feat of transmuting matter by creating snakes out of their own rods. But it was Aaron’s snake who swallowed the serpents of the Egyptians—the devil’s evil was consumed by the goodness of God’s power.
Think of your own life and the clever attempts of Satan to destroy your faith. You’re likely reading this because the devil failed in his mission to thwart your salvation. That is why Romans 12:21 tells us to overcome evil with good. The battle for souls is not a competition of God or the devil prevailing in some pugilistic showdown. Satan was defeated in the wilderness, at the cross, and with the empty tomb. I wish I’d know more about what the devil can and can’t do. I would have avoided much frustration in my early ministry. But the years have taught me to trust and obey, knowing that the forces of good and evil are not in an eternal contest to prove which is stronger. Spiritually confident Christian have read the end of the book. We win, and all the power and might of evil losses — eternally!