I’m often asked, “Have you ever physically seen demons?” My answer is, “No, and I don’t want to.”
“Angels?” “No, and I don’t need to, unless the Lord allows it.”
However, there is a movement in some Charismatic circles to embrace such phenomena. In fact, so-called “open” visions of demons and angels are encouraged, even teaching people how to see angels and demons in the spirit realm. Such ideas are unbiblical and dangerous, and I’ll shortly explain why.
First, let’s consider a spokesperson for an influential Christian movement today. In keeping with my policy of confronting issues, not individuals, I’ll not name the organization or the person in question. However, this spokesperson claims to regularly see both angels and demons; “The same way I would see you if you were standing in front of me,” he explains. He also reveals that he started seeing demons at the age of nine when they entered his room and tormented him. He now validates this phenomenon as a genuine spiritual gift from the Lord and teaches others to do the same. He advises those who’ve seen supernatural beings to cultivate such encounters as an invitation to understand God more.
This short blog can’t adequately address all aspects of such questionable teachings. It’s more nuanced than that. Also, I make no judgments about the motives of those who believe such things. But it’s worthy of note that the person I refer to, and his spiritual compatriots, don’t believe in exorcism and deliverance as taught in our International School of Exorcism. More than that, they vigorously oppose the idea of demonic interrogation and an objective, forensic approach to freedom from demons.
Forty years of casting out demons, and engaging in nearly 50,000 documented exorcisms, leads me to certain conclusions about seeing into the supernatural. I don’t personally know the individual whose writings prompted this article, but I opine that he is seriously deceived. The experiences he describes are more likely demonic than heavenly and probably the product of an undetected generational curse of witchcraft. Can a person love Jesus, preach the gospel, and have spiritual fruit, and simultaneously be operating in a false spiritual gift? Certainly. I’ve ministered to some well-known preachers who’ve done just that. It’s time to be more cautionary about so-called “seer” gifts (an occult word borrowed from witchcraft) and reconsider what is and what is not of God, when it comes to the supernatural.
I’m not opposed to spiritual gifts outside the box of conventional evangelicalism. I’ve received revelation from the Lord many times when ministering deliverance. And I do acknowledge the instance in 2 Kings 6:17 when Elisha prayed for the eyes of his servant to be opened that he might see God’s angels. But that’s different from encouraging people to follow floating orbs, to welcome shadowy beings, or to desire seeing angels and demons in combat. Insight into the spiritual realm should be only approached with great caution and maximum objectivity. The possibility of deception is just too great. Satan is easily changed into an “angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14) to bring doctrines of devils ( 1 Tim. 4:1). In the last half-century, the Charismatic movement has done much to awaken many to the immediacy of God’s presence. It would be tragic to see this legacy tarnished by an unwise embrace of things that go bump in the night.
An encouraging word: ETERNAL WEALTH
In Psalm 17:14 David comments concerning evil men who achieve temporary success, “whose reward is in this life” (NIV). It’s true by observation that those who reject God sometimes acquire immense wealth. But remember, that financial accomplishment is the best they are ever going to have. Christ compelled us to rather “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matt. 6:19 NIV). When you are tempted to feel jealous of the money accumulated by sinners, recall that eternity is a lot longer than our time on earth and it is much more rewarding for the godly.