Question: After reading your site, and seeing that you understand the importance of God's word, I wanted to ask your opinion regarding another website that I am concerned about where the person recounts contacts with visible demons. I believe this placed too much emphasis on Satan, too little on Christ, and too little on scripture. I'm told I'm being too judgmental. Are my concerns valid?
Response: I would certainly agree with you whole-heartedly that Jesus, the living Word of God and the inseparable written word through which we know Him and His truth is the one and only focus for the truly obedient Christian. I had a look at the site you linked for me, and while I didn't see it all, I think I saw enough to understand your question and your concern.
I believe in what the Bible has to say, and I believe that as true followers of Jesus Christ we are responsible to glean everything we can - from the Bible (not from our own experience). Scripture has rather a lot to say about the devil and I have certainly tried in my writings (most prominently the Satanic Rebellion series) to put forward in a systematic way what is contained therein. It is an important issue because one cannot properly and completely understand the specific hows and wherefores of human history as God is directing it to the degree that we are meant to do unless we are thoroughly grounded in the devil's rebellion and God's all-wise response to it. For the very purpose of human beings is intimately connected to this pre-historic event. Even on the most basic level, this ought to be fairly obvious to anyone who has read the first three chapters of Genesis, but many putative Christians think and behave as if there were no devil at all, no true evil, and no divinely constructed plan to deal with them (of which we and the way in which the Lord is directing our collective history are an integral part).
But you are certainly correct that there is another extreme here, one that sees the devil under every bed. In fact I once had a fellow tell me that he was praying one night and looked up and saw a demon perched on his bedpost! Now I am not in the position of being able to judge anyone else's experiences and in many cases it is not possible from scripture to say that such persons are definitely mistaken and their experiences at the very least wrongly interpreted (though that is my strong suspicion). What I can point out is that nowhere in scripture as far as I recall does anyone have any direct person to person conversations with demons or the devil apart from our Lord in His temptation in the wilderness (Matt.4:1ff; etc.). Since our Lord's life was, while genuinely human, also unique in many ways (as He is unique in every way), I don't think we can use that example to prove what seems obvious to me: human beings generally (if not definitively) do not have contact with fallen angels in a visible, obvious, overt way.
There are, it is true, many cases of demon possession (cf. Matt.8:28ff.), more of demon assault (cf. 2Cor.12:7-10), and even more of demon influence (1Tim.4:1; you can find more about all this at the following link: Satan's World System: Tactical Methodology [from SR#4]). But these are far different things than a believer having personal experiences of visible or otherwise perceptible contacts and conflicts with demons. I find nothing in scripture to suggest that it happens, and nothing to suggest how we believers in Jesus Christ should conduct ourselves if it should (a very telling argument from silence suggesting that such things are either extremely rare or altogether non-existent). The power of suggestion, however is strong, and I have very little doubt that if an influential pastor preaches about such things long enough and energetically enough, those who listen to him will start having such experiences (or imagine they are anyway).
All this is most definitely not to say that we are not being observed, harassed, and occasionally even attacked by the minions of the evil one. For clearly "spiritual warfare", as it is often called, is a very important aspect of how we Christians need to understand the world (cf. Eph.6:10-12). For the world is in great measure under the devil's control, and all that we see and do is a part of the unseen conflict that rages around us. We are indeed in a "war", but it is precisely because that war is unseen that we need to study what the Bible has to say about it, not because it should somehow be visible to us.
Just as we do not see God the Father and our Lord Jesus now, and cannot see with these fleshly eyes yet view the wonders of the New Jerusalem to come, but must see them with the eyes of faith, so it seems to me we should interpret the opposition we face and experience in the terms in which the Bible puts it rather than feeling we need to actually see or experience these awful things. Praise God that we do not! We are weak, flesh and blood, living a very limited life in limited surroundings. Just as it would be very hard indeed ever to be happy again in this life if we could only see a glimpse of the one to come, so it would be very hard ever to feel secure again if we were actually given to see the demonic foes who oppose us. But God has worked everything out in His perfect way, giving us more than enough information to anticipate the good to come and to understand and cope with the bad at hand - at least for all of us who are embracing the Bible and sticking close to what it actually says.
I hope that this response has gotten to the gist of your question. Please feel free to write back if you would like to discuss it further.
Please also see:
Spiritual Warfare II
Resisting the Devil
Strangers in the Devils' Realm
Status Quo in the Devil's World
The Demon Possessed Girl in Acts 16:16
God's employment of evil spirits
The Final Disposition of Satan and his Angels
Satan's Revolutionary Platform
Drug Use and Demon Posssession
In Him who is the truth, our Savior Jesus Christ.