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Archive for April 23rd, 2012

The discussion of angels and demons has been an abused topic in this contemporary society.  Contemporary society has an interest in the discussion of angels and demons—so much so that it not only has become a household topic, but a topic that has permeated in a nationwide scale.  Since it has permeated nationally, it could be one of the main reasons why there has resulted in inaccurate information and heretical views concerning the study of angelology and demonology.  Many inaccurate and heretical views concerning angels and demons stems from one’s abdication from studying Scripture or one’s gross misinterpretation of the Scriptures concerning angelology and demonology.  Because of many troublesome views of angels and demons in this contemporary society, Fred C. Dickason does a good job in presenting angels and demons from a biblical perspective.  He provides transparency regarding roles, attributes, and functions to name but a few.

The structure of this book can be laid out into five categories.  Category one deals with the origin, and orientation of angels to name just a few (p. 17-60).  Category two deals with the description of angels (p. 61-94); category three deals with the angel’s role in ministry (p. 95-106); category four deals with the destiny of the angels (p. 107-112); and category five deals with the angel’s relationship with the human race (p. 113-120).  The structure of the book not only covers angels, but Satan and demons too.

The structure of Satan can be broken into three categories.  Category one deals with Satan’s name and personality (p. 121-127, 147-150); category two deals with Satan’s history (p. 135-146); category three deals with Satan’s orientation (p. 147-151).  Now we begin the structure of demons.

Structure for demons can be broken into four categories.  Category one is about who demons are; category 2 is about the endeavors of demons; category three is about the demons’ future demise; and category four is in regards to believers protection against Satan and demons.

The structure that the author provides in this book is a bit helpful.  The author did a good job in providing a clear understanding of the book because of his breakdown of the angels, Satan, and the demons’ origins, activities, relationship to believers, and their future.  The downside to the structure is that at times it can be repetitive.  For example, with only a few verses in the Bible concerning angels, Satan, and demons, the author tends to be repetitive when dealing with the characters of these creatures.  There is a tendency to use the same verses, but with some modifications or refinements—of course.  Another strength that the author could of contributed to the structure is by substituting a full chapter each, worth of exegetical observations, concerning interpretive issues that relates to angels, Satan, and demons.  Besides the structure of the book, there is another area that must be covered: the content of the book.

For the most part, there are very few areas of contention when examining the contents of this book. The major area of contention is concerning demon possession of believers.  In pg. 206 of Dickason’s book, he says this regarding demon possession,

Some modify the argument to say that there is not room for both the Spirit and a demon, appealing to spatial limitation.  Spatial considerations do not affect the matter.  The omnipresent Spirit can in His total person indwell each believer despite our limited bodies.  Furthermore, a legion of demons may dwell in one person (Mark 5:9).  Space would not crowd out the possibility of the Holy Spirit and a demon residing in the same body.”

Dickason confirms his view of Christians being demon possessed in pg. 212,

Certain case studies seem to indicate that they can, under unusual circumstances, become or remain possessed after conversion.”

This is a faulty view of demonization of a person or possession of a person.  Early in the book, the author is correct that demons can influence or harass a believer, but when it comes to possession of a believer or indwelling in a believer—this is where he goes off tangent.  A believer can not be possessed or indwelt by a demon (s) for a couple of reasons.  Reason one, a believer cannot be possessed because the Holy Spirit indwells a believer fully.  Since the believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20), a demon (s) cannot share in that space.  Another reason to not believe that a believer can be possessed by a demon is to examine these verses: Luke 4:33-35; 8:27-33; Matt 17:14-18.  Each episode in these verses indicates that the individuals possessed were unbelievers.  A third reason why a believer can’t be possessed is because a believer cannot be sober if he/she is control or possessed by a demon (s) of Satan (1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7). In addition, a believer cannot be demon possessed because there is nowhere in the Bible where Scripture points out that a believer is called to resist demon possession.  Rather he is to engage in spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-18).  Moreover, a believer cannot be possessed because he is a new creature in Christ.  For example, 1 Peter 1:18-19 and 2 Cor. 5:17.  1 Peter 1:18-19 says, “…knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”  And 2 Cor. 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”  A last reason why Satan cannot possess us is because 1 John 4:4 indicates that we have overcome Satan.  Since we have overcome Satan, it is impossible for him to indwell in a body of ours that belongs to the temple of the Holy Spirit.

This book is an important book for any student of the Bible, pastor, evangelist, minister, or anyone who wants to get clarity on this topic concerning angels, Satan, and demons, from God’s Word.

Bibliography

Dickason, Fred C. Angels: Elect. Chicago: Moody Press, 1995.

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