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Spiritual Warfare VIII

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Question #1:

Dear Bob:

Thanks you for the response. Another passage that I am thinking about is the Pharisees accusing Jesus of casting out Demons by the power of Beelzebub. And our Lord countered that Satan cannot be divided against himself.

But there are examples in real life of non-Christians like Native Americans and apparent Christians driving out demons as well I think in the Roman Catholic case by the power of invoking Mary. And it seems to work. How would Jesus have responded if the Pharisees pointed to those examples to prove their point?

Yours in Christ

Response #1:

What the "examples" you adduce have in common with those our Lord refers to is that in all such cases they were only flimflam. Our Lord actually cast out demons. And so did his disciples and apostles. But no one before or since has had that ability. See the links:


SR 4: Satan's World System

Demon Influences

Spiritual Warfare VII

Spiritual Warfare VI

Spiritual Warfare V

Spiritual Warfare IV: Demons, Demonic Influences and Satanic Methodology

Spiritual Warfare III: Peter's 'Angel', Saul's Death, and Strange Events

Spiritual Warfare II

Faith, Hope and Love: Virtue in Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:

Dear Bob,

I woke up this morning to see something that has caused my heart to sink.


There is no logical explanation for these events.  I know we are not meant to seek exorcisms and that demonic deliverances do not happen through people anymore (cessation of the sign gifts) so I will keep praying for Jesus' deliverance. People will say "your house is haunted you should move" but there are no such things as ghosts.

These marks do not happen around me so I am assuming it's because I am protected. Satan and his fallen angels can only attack me when God allows it and then it is superintended by God and there are limits involved. So then unbelievers do not have any protection from this and that would make it an obvious weak spot. If Satan cannot attack me whenever he wants then he can attack __ instead.

I imagine this is some sort of intimidation tactic to get me to back off from what I am advancing to do. This new development has only happened now that I know what ministry to go into and that I have been gifted with a huge insight into how Satan controls people specifically. Obviously he will go in hard on true believers who are training for ministry.

I'm trying not to be overcome with fear over this. It's the fact that I can't see them that makes it more frightening. I guess disease is a demonic "touch" or scratch but from the inside after all. I have to see it as it really is that it is just like a human can physically attack you when you are "on to them" and exposing them. Just intimidation tactics. I'm sure they would rather be doing this to me.

I've known other people in my life who cut themselves with razors and sharp objects. Leviticus 19:28 address skin cutting alongside tattoos. It's not a coincidence that both these "practices" are through the roof now. My local newspaper said that record numbers of very young children are cutting themselves and being rushed to hospital but they put the blame on Covid lockdowns and PTSD. think we have over medicalised demonic oppression and possession.

The Gaderene demoniac cut himself with stones. In the times of our Lord people were under no doubt what they were dealing with but now people are so spiritually blind that they will find all kind of explanations but the most obvious one.

Have you ever heard of Stimming? It means "self stimulating" and is a behaviour that children with autism do for either "enjoyment", to create stimulus, reduce it or soothe anxiety. The definitions of stimulo, stimulare, stimulavi, stimulatus in Latin are incite, rouse to frenzy, urge forward with a goad, torment,"sting".  So a definition of the modern use of "Stimming" or to "stim" can be interpreted as to be "tormented". So these children are tormented.

Some of these behaviours are mild but some are so bad that how can anyone not recognise demonic influence there?! Children banging their heads against a wall! I hear a compulsive and constant running next door and maybe one of the grandchildren has autism as the noise is loud, very repetitive and disturbing to hear. The awful thing is that people accept this as normal and saying that it is all fine. I went on a discussion board about this and mothers were saying that their children could only make growling noises whilst others stayed up all night talking and laughing with something that wasn't there and refusing to talk to their own parents and got angry when they were asked who they were talking to. Children were found to be running around manically and not playing or talking with other children and building up a sweat and exhaustion saying they could only think that way.

This strikes close to me as __ used to do this as a child and still has compulsive busy/workaholic behaviour. People say they are "driven". Driven by what exactly? Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. People who claim to be driven are not by the Holy Spirit. So which spirit drives them?

Another relative had to compulsively walk everywhere. He would disappear for hours at a time and walk, walk, walk. He couldn't do his job and eventually lost his whole family. Sadly he ended up completely embracing Yoga and died of a heart attack at a really young age. This worries me as __ is embracing Yoga too now.

It was so heartbreaking to read that Autism discussion board. The parents were at their wits end and the only advice they were given is that this is "normal" and you should affirm the child in their behaviours and choices. We are seeing the same advice everywhere now. They are saying children can change their sex and we should affirm that too. It's just affirming evil and calling it good. It's ironic that people say not to demonise mental illness and yet what if it is exactly that, demonic?

A nurse said to a mother of a child with Autism, "you need to embrace this and affirm the child and treat them as neuro-typical". The mother said how could she do this? The behaviour disrupted their whole family, was exhausting them and depressing them and was getting worse with time.

I'm sorry for this missive but I think I am realising that mental illness is not what we think it is. Yes I believe we are susceptible because of our fallen, sin nature but I think this makes us vulnerable for external and even internal attack. I think it is all spiritual in the end and cause for spiritual measures and only Jesus can deliver us from all of these disturbances, compulsions and obsessive drives.


These happenings are fairly recent. I know most people would say that the house is "cursed" and that we should just move but then I argued with myself that these problems are new and may just follow us to the next place as it is no doubt just to intimidate me and try to throw me from my faith walk.

Have these types of things ever happened to you or other believers?

In Jesus,

Response #2:

I've been praying for a long time for you to be delivered from your present situation. I will continue to do so.

As to the prayer request, I posted the second half, but not the first (I hope you can understand why).

I am concerned for you. We know that the only supernatural forces which are malevolent are in fact demons. Believers can be afflicted, but not possessed, so we have nothing to worry about. Even in cases of the former situation, we know from Paul's experience that it was part of the definitive Will of God for him to be pained as he was, and that it was indeed working things out for the good. The rest of us who are not in any way on Paul's level – experiencing, among other things, expansive revelations as he did which made the extra suffering necessary – should expect nothing out of the ordinary.

Unbelievers are a different story. I certainly agree that much mental illness is probably demonic in origin, but it is also good to remember that in the times in which we live, people are extremely prone to weird behavior, and that mental illness and the behaviors that accompany it are – as you yourself indicate – now badges of honor and to be accepted and even cultivated rather than suppressed, mastered and controlled. All that makes it pretty difficult to sort out the precise nature of some unbeliever's malady. We do know the solution – Jesus Christ and the Word of God – but a person has to be willing to change in the heart for that.

I am concerned for your safety. I am praying for you.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:

Dr. Luginbill,

Okay, that makes more sense. I have two more questions if that is fine.

In Luke 4:1, does full of the Spirit here mean that Jesus is filled to the greatest or maximum degree. How does this compare to Stephen being full of the Spirit in Acts or also with John the Baptist being "filled with the Holy Spirit" in his mother's womb. I interpret Jesus being "full of grace" (John 1:14) to be that He is full of grace to the maximum, unfathomable degree, considering the love that He had for us, so I'm not sure if it would be similar here. I think the greek words are the same in every instance except for John the Baptist here.

Also, at Luke 4:33, one interpretation for "unclean demon" says that the gentilic audience might interpret a demon to be either good or evil in their pagan practices, so "unclear" is used to clarify. Does this seem logical?

Thanks a lot

Response #3:

Being "full of the Spirit" means being directed by Him – and we either are or we aren't. FYI John was NOT filled "in the womb" (there's a recent email posting with several go-rounds about that at the link); the Greek says "FROM (i.e., once out of) the womb"; also, the Greek there is different. For the ins and outs of these terms please see BB 5, Fellowship and Filling (at the link).

On demons, "unclean spirit" occurs frequently in the gospels, with "unclean" necessary to say since the word pneuma is the same as for our spirit, the Holy Spirit, demon spirits, etc. This passage is unique in that it says "the spirit of an unclean demon", which I take to mean "a demon" or "an unclean spirit, namely, a demon". Luke was allowed to get it all in there so that there would be no mistake. So you have a point!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Tell me the truth, "Doc"...Do you truly believe that it's so simple to resist? Because of my past involvement in the occult, I literally cannot escape the temptation to get back into it. It torments me and hypersaturates my entire being at every minute. I need to know how to be "unbound" from all this. I need a solution that doesn't involve prayer, because even my prayers are flooded with temptation to make them spells, and I don't know how to not, or if I am. I've tried confessing my sins and repenting, but it doesn't help. The temptation is still just as strong. It is NOT a choice I make when it's too strong to resist, contrary to your beliefs. It genuinely is like an almighty force of pure spiritual evil that forces my soul to buckle under the pressure of temptation. I literally DO NOT HAVE THE POWER to NOT do it, no matter how much I want to not even while doing it. I'm telling you Doc this is NOT me. I don't know if it's demons, an alternate personality, or just plain insanity, but it's not my fault. I just need a way to get it to stop. Do you truly believe I'm saved? I sure don't act like a Christian...I trust Jesus as my Lord Messiah and in His death and resurrection, is that really enough though?

Response #4:

As to being "truly saved", everyone who believes in Jesus as you believe in Him has been born again, born from above, cleansed of our sins. But as it says at Psalm 85:8, "but let them not turn again to folly".

In other words, Christians are "saved" (when they believe), "will be saved" (in eternity our salvation will be completed at the resurrection), and are "being saved" . . . meaning that we are being brought through this world safely just as long as we retain our faith.

The problem is that just as a person cannot stay upright on a bicycle without moving for very long, and to avoid falling will have to soon start forward, so also if one is not moving forward spiritually, then spiritual decline is if not inevitable very likely. There are plenty of Christians who will enter the Tribulation "truly saved" but will fall away in the Great Apostasy. For those who are not doing what they should be doing now (in terms of spiritual growth, progress and production), and, worse, who are having problems "perfecting sanctification in the fear of God" (2Cor.7:1), an entire change of heart will probably be necessary to get through those seven years with faith intact.

That being the case, why not commit to that change of heart now?

In terms of "not having a choice", even the demon possessed man from whom the Lord cast out a legion of demons still had enough control over his free will to come and fall at Jesus' feet to ask for help. If YOU do not have control over your free will, then who does? There is a big difference between something being hard, or even VERY hard, and being impossible. Many people find out when push comes to shove and necessity pressures them that they were in fact able to "do the impossible". In this case, deciding to resist temptation is not only possible but necessary. As a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit residing in you. The Holy Spirit is God and His power is infinite. Actually being WILLING to let Him guide you and WILLING to do what He is telling you to do – as opposed to your sin nature, your previous patterns of behavior, and the influence of the evil one – may indeed take a good deal of effort. It may indeed be a tough fight – but as long as you have free will, you CAN decide what to think, say and do.

I would also say that it is important to draw a distinction here between being tempted and sinning. Growing up in this culture, we all have all manner of awful garbage stowed away in our hearts, things we've seen and heard, things we've done and said and thought. Repressing these things, turning away from these things, ignoring these things, being resolute in not dwelling on these things, that does take a fight. But this is a fight that must be fought and can be won, even if it requires time and effort to win it.

How to win it: engage with this problem in faith and in attention to the Spirit; read your Bible; pray; access good Bible teaching regularly, preferably daily (the more the better of all of these things).

If you engage in this struggle in this godly way, the problems you mention will get better. But it's not likely to be an overnight success. It took time digging this hole; it will take a bit of time and effort to get out of it again.

How not to win it: say "I can't win it" and stop trying.

The end result of the first approach is victory, spiritual growth and eternal reward.

The end result of the second approach is likely to be the sin unto death – at best.

Please read these links:

Who Controls our Thoughts and Emotions According to the Bible?

The Battlefield Within: Fighting the inner spiritual Struggle.

In BB 6A: "Spiritual Warfare"

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #5:

Is it a sin to deliberately lucid dream? I hear so many Christians say it's occultic to do things to deliberately trigger one, even though it can occur naturally. I haven't done it yet but... I really want to try. Is it bad?

Response #5:

"Triggering dreams" doesn't sound to me like a good idea. Sounds a lot like an LSD trip of the sort that were popular in the 60's. So I couldn't recommend it. Inviting something into one's dreams sounds like it might be an invitation to demon influence. Stay far away!

Question #6:

After telling a lot of Christians about the sin and problems video games, particularly the very questionable ones, have led me into, some of them suggest that I should give up gaming permanently. Should I really do that? Perhaps I should, if it's really this much of a distraction from spiritual growth.

Response #6:

That's the kind of decision that only the person in question – you – can make. Advice from others may be nice (or annoying), but since only the person in question – you – can enforce such a ban and live with the consequences, it's pretty pointless to spend too much time on the opinions of others. Reverse plan: what are you trying to get out of this miserable, short life? If you are seeking "glory, honor, and immortality" (Rom.2:7), then casting out everything which specifically and dangerously hinders you in this race makes sense. The question is, just how much do you really love the Lord and crave His good pleasure now and on that day of evaluation?

To take alcohol as a parallel for the sake of example, everyone in the ancient world drank wine, but for most people, drunkenness, not to mention alcoholism, wasn't a problem. And today as well, many people are able to consume alcohol and rarely if ever have too much of the stuff. BUT, for someone who for whatever reason has a real problem with it, it's generally the case of "all or nothing" – and in such cases "nothing" is better than being drunk all the time and destroying one's health and one's life.

Just about anything legitimate in life can be overdone; much more so than things which while not sinful are not necessary. If a person is so addicted to model railroading that he/she is spending all of the family's money on some elaborate layout and losing his/her job on account of skipping work to work on that instead, said person would no doubt be well-advised to go "cold turkey".

Just about anything can be addictive. Take eating, for example. If a person is getting too heavy for good health, here's a place where it is impossible to quit eating altogether, so said person is going to have to learn to employ sufficient self-discipline in regards to food-intake in order to lose weight.

Video gaming is not something one has to do, although swearing off of all tech entirely is probably impossible in this day and age, especially in the workplace.

One thing is sure: anything that interferes with spiritual growth is a problem.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7:

I found THIS game . . . I can't in good conscience play something that bases its core mechanic on real life witchcraft. I still am tempted by it though...do you think a Christian should EVER play this? I mean, it's not like we're actually doing witchcraft, right?

I realized something Doc. the reason I refuse to pursue spiritual growth...is because I only want to serve God on my own terms. I can only imagine how ungrateful I must be then, since Jesus saved me from my sins. How do I get over this idolatry?

The real truth is...I'm scared of the things I love actually being satanic in nature, created by some global cabal of devil worshipers like a lot of them say. I don't want to live in a world where such infinite evil is in every single thing.

Response #7:

Well, it won't do you any GOOD to play it, so . . .

As to refusing to engage in spiritual growth, it is not easy to do what the Lord wants us to do – as long as we are determined to do what we want to do instead. That is why He told us that to be His followers we have to "deny ourselves, pick up your cross, and follow Me" (Matt.16:24).

This doesn't mean that any Christian is perfect about this, but there is a big difference between being only marginally Christian on the one hand (most of Laodicea), and determining to genuinely follow the Lord the way HE wants on the other; i.e., NOT doing most of the things Christians today claim to be important, but instead actually learning the truth, passing the tests, and helping others do the same.

"How do I?" You have free will. You have the Holy Spirit. You CAN do it. The only question really is "how bad do you WANT to do it?" The least reward you win in this life following the Lord will be worth more than this entire world, infinitely and eternally so – and certainly worth more than any video game.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

Yesterday, __ asked me the meaning of Acts 22:16 because it did not seem right. So I looked in the NLT version, which I sometimes do because it gives a clearer picture of the verse, and in this case, it provided what I think is a better translation.

In Acts 1:9 was this phrase "and a cloud", I suddenly said to myself, wait a minute there is something here that I never "saw" before so I read Acts 1:11, and lo and behold I "see: this phrase "This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.

Then I thought, wait a minute, He coming back "in the clouds" just like Matthew 24:33 states, so I then I recalled other verses that say in a cloud-like the PRE-Trib rapture folks often use 1 Thess. 4 and 1 Cor. 15, etc.

So I went to one of your teachings and found the place where you mention these clouds; I had not yet studied this one yet. I was indeed amazed at the opening of my eyes. I found the other places you mentioned also.

Now I have two questions:

1. In Isaiah 4:5-6, References Mount Zion which in Jerusalem?
Is this the same mountain mentioned in Isaiah 25:6 stated as "on this mountain"? I remember from one of your teachings also, that the "Wedding Supper of the Lamb" will be on the renewed earth after the Second Coming of Jesus.

2. I ask the bible study class this question:

God cannot look upon sin, so why was Satan allowed to come into Heaven "I am assuming the third heaven"? The only answer that I thought about was, that God is sovereign, and nothing is impossible with Him. But I am not sure if this would be the correct response to my question to them.

Thanks always for your great help, and especially for your amazing teachings, which I cannot begin to understand how you could gather all this information like you do, and find the time to enter it into the Web.

I thank our Heavenly Father for allowing to find your Website, I believe your eternal reward will be great.

Your friend,

Response #8:

A good point: the Lord returns with all of the angels and we are swept up to meet Him in ranks as well ("clouds" in both cases) – so how is this not the second advent?

On Isaiah 4:5-6, yes indeed, this is Mt. Zion in Jerusalem in the Millennium.

On your second question, this is one I receive quite often. Here is one link. God the Father does not tolerate sin but of course He made allowance for the sin problem for human beings in the sacrifice of His Son our Lord Jesus on the cross. God is everywhere so He cannot NOT know about sin. Nothing He does compromises His holiness so anything that happens we can be sure is sanctified. To carry out the plan, the devil is allowed (still) to enter heaven and accuse believers, but there are four cherubs surrounding the throne of the Father – and no doubt a large heavenly army as well. We can be sure that all these things are perfectly carrying out the perfect plan of God. After all, all unbelievers – and the devil and his angels – are bound for the lake of fire. There will be no trace of sin or evil or darkness ever again in New Jerusalem.

Outside (i.e., shut out of eternity) are the dogs (i.e., unclean and worthless), and those who indulge in witchcraft, and the sexually immoral, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and makes use of the lie.
Revelation 22:15

Thanks as always for your very kind words (Ps.115:1).

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #9:

I'm scared I might be demon possessed. I didn't do anything stupid regarding the spiritual realm, except in my thoughts, but I'm scared this might be enough to get me possessed. I wouldn't allow any filthy fallen spirits into me, not in a trillion lifetimes. But maybe they have access to my mind now that I've done so much foolish stuff spiritually?

Response #9:

Demons cannot possess believers, period. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have the Holy Spirit indwelling you, and He will certainly not "share you" with a demon.

Demons also cannot read your mind. However, they can observe your behavior, listen to what you say, read your emails, etc. So they are able to know a good deal about you, just from these activities, without any possession or mind-reading. They are good at figuring out what's the best way to tempt us just because they have the ability to observe us.

Commit yourself to spiritual growth and you will find that you gain confidence in the Lord daily.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10:

In this game, you play as a human who ends up getting turned into a demon, and I named him. I believe there's also Beelzebub, and both Legion and Beelzebub are both characters you can recruit into your team. That concerns me. It only just dawned on me a demon might have influenced me to name these things that. I'm scared I may accidentally be playing with demonic forces. Surely there's no demon called __ right? I hope...

Response #10:

Demons are not named in the Bible.

Beelzebub, "lord [Baal] of the flies", is a name given to the devil by the religious Jews of Jesus' day – to avoid calling the devil by his actual name (Lk.11:15). Our Lord only ever uses the name in rehearsing and refuting what they said to Him.

It's not a bad policy to stay far, far away from anything and everything demonic and having to do with the occult.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons.
1st Corinthians 10:21 NKJV

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #11:

I'm starting a Christian Fantasy Roleplay as a healthy alternative that game which was very bad for my mental and spiritual health, due to its heavy occult overtones. I was going to have it be about fighting against demons and the devil's army. And the villain will a pagan Goddess of witchcraft. Is this ok?

Response #11:

If you're hitting yourself in the head with a hammer and it hurts, maybe that pain is trying to tell you something.

Question #12:

Hello Prof.

How are you, sir? The rains have finally come, and in a big way! Thanks for your prayers.

I am writing a small piece on the Witch of Endor; naturally, necromancy has to be discussed here as well, along with the Lord's prohibitions of that practice. However, in my small research, the subject of demon possession has come up. You have taught that demons cannot "read our minds" and I believe this, no creature can read another's mind. However, it has occurred to me that during possession the demon will be aware of the sensations going on in the possessed's body - indeed this is one of the reasons they desire to possess humans, when the human gives in. Is it possible then, that in the course of demon possession the demon will be aware of the human's thoughts, emotions, feelings, etc. In the Bible, the demons have sometimes been shown to speak through the possessed's lips - Mark 5:1-20. I do not want to take this step and claim outright that in this eventuality the demon can "read" the human's thoughts. I do not want to speculate either. Biblically, what is the position on this issue?

Peter #35 in Kiswahili is coming along nicely. My prayers are with you, as always.

In Jesus our Lord and Savior,

Response #12:

Are your new projects at all agricultural? Rain is certainly a blessing when we are trying to grow something!

The Bible has little to say about demon-human interaction. Everything I have been able to glean from scripture on the subject is found in SR 4, section V.4, "Demon Possession" (at the link).

What we can say is that the man possessed by the "legion" did not have control of his voice (and in other examples of where our Lord also threw out demons, we do see the demons talking rather than those possessed), but even so they were not able to prevent the man from coming to Jesus and throwing himself down at His feet. So I believe we can say that demons possess the body and exert a variable level of bodily control. No doubt they do interact with the physical senses – this seems to be a prime motive (also discussed in the SR series) – but we have no indication that they can even so read what is going on in the person's heart.

Thanks for your prayers too, my friend!

Keep up the good work for Jesus Christ!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #13:

Hello Prof.

Yes, my projects are agricultural. The rain was waited upon by everybody here.

Thanks very much for this clarification. There are "pastors" here who claim to exorcize people of "ancestral spirits" who are bringing chaos in their lives. My small piece is aimed at such deceitful teaching. I wrote a text about spiritual gifts about 2 years ago and it is one of the most downloaded on my website. I surmise that at least some people (Christians) are attracted by the biblical truth behind what seems to be unexplainable phenomena, and I aim to bring that biblical explanation; always with the warning to curb their curiosity about angels, and live their lives as if these guys are not there.

Thanks again, Prof! In our Lord,

Response #13:

Good for you, my friend!

"with the warning to curb their curiosity about angels, and live their lives as if these guys are not there": This is the way I understand things as well.

Keeping you in my prayers every day.

In Jesus,

Bob L.
[p.s., in the time since this email, our friend's business has experienced very hard times on account of drought; prayers appreciated]

Question #14:

Dear Bob:

Thank you and merry Christmas to you too.

A question. How do you think our Lord would have reacted if the Pharisees who falsely accused him of doing those healing and exorcisms by Beelzebub. In response to what our Lord said that "Satan cannot be divided against himself". But then if they retort that there are plenty of examples of Pagans driving out demons precisely by the power of the Devil.

Simply getting the greater demons to order out lesser demons. As Witch-doctors and other religious exorcists looks to be able to do.

Response #14:

First, I've often heard of this trick spoken of in theory, but I've never seen it and seriously doubt it. If witch-doctors seem to cast out demons, it is also possible and in my book likely that they merely pretend to cast out demons. There is no instance in the Bible of demons being cast out other than by the Lord and His apostles. In spite of much to that effect in popular culture, there is no biblical evidence of demons ever acting in concert with humans as allies of this sort – only of possessing them for selfish exploitation.

That being the case, our Lord's argument was perfect and cut to the quick. For someone to throw that chestnut in His face would have required them to admit as a predicate that "their sons" were frauds for attempting to do the same exact thing – only ineffectively. Since they knew very well that He was able to do what their "sons" were unable to do, He stopped their mouths perfectly with this riposte.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

I am studying your teaching on Antichrist and his kingdom. I have thought about what Revelation 20:1-3 about Satan being bound for a thousand years. I am trying to comprehend these verse with my limited human understanding, and I do believe that God can do anything, even have Satan bound by chains

What I am trying to visualize or understand is how can a spirit be bound and chained, since they have no physical body like humans? Maybe we are not supposed to understand it, but just accept it because God's Word says so, and I believe that.

Was just wondering if you had further insight into how a spirit can be bound with chains?

Appreciate you giving some advice into this dilemma. But not to worry again, I fully accept what God's Word says. Just curious how.

Bountiful blessings to you always,

Your friend,

Response #15:

Always good to hear from you, my friend.

As to your question, "how can a spirit be bound and chained, since they have no physical body like humans?", first, most everything I've been able to glean about the nature of angels can be found at the following links:

The nature of angels

More on the nature of angels

BB 2A: Angelology

SR 4: Satan's World System

We do know that angels can manipulate the material world (lots of examples of that in scripture, demons possessing unbelievers, for example; the angels moving the huge stone away from our Lords' tomb, for example). If they can manipulate matter, spirits though they be, it stands to reason that they too can be acted upon, even though they are spirits. Michael and his angels are able to throw Satan and his demons down to earth half-way through the Tribulation and keep them down here – so it must be the case that angels can coerce other angels.

Yes, angels are "spirits", but part of the problem here is the nature of the English word "spirit" and how traditional theology has conceived of it. These "ideas" – about what a spirit is / can be or do – have been drummed into us from youth in popular lore and so it is not surprising that we may have some misconceptions. But we do know, for example, that angels, even though spirits, have to be in one place at a time and move from place to place as we do, even if they do so invisibly (to us) and with more alacrity etc. So whatever it means to be a "spirit", it doesn't mean the absence of restrictions within the material world. Just what those are, what they entail, and how that works out in angelic behavior and combat (in this instance), we can only surmise from what scripture tells us. The precise situation you ask about tells us that there are ways of restraining angels (there are plenty of them in the Abyss at present, e.g., and we know from Daniel that even elect angels have been / can be hindered by the actions of demons: Dan.10:12-21).

Your approach is the right one! If scripture says it happened, is happening or will happen, then that settles it – even if you don't yet entirely understand it.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #16:

Thank you for all your commentary on the parables. The passage you quote from Matthew was in our reading, and I had some questions about it in our Bible study discussion. This past Sunday we had a small but earnest group for our class, and we were reading a chapter titled “Proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom,” which featured passages describing miracles. In “The Gerasene Demoniac,” I had questions about the meaning of “unclean spirit,” and I looked in the King James Bible and the NASB, and the phrase was translated exactly the same way. But the priest and the other members of the class had a good time mulling over the meaning of “unclean spirit.” If you’d like to weigh in on its meaning, I’d like to hear it.

Response #16:

A "spirit" is often, in scripture, an angel. Calling it "unclean" is a way of letting us know it's demonic, i.e., a fallen angel, as distinct from a "clean" or "holy" angel. There are a variety of names for these in the gospels in particular: demons (Lev.17:7; Matt.9:34), evil spirits (Lk.7:21; Acts 19:13), unclean spirits (Matt.10:1; Mk.1:27), and devils (Jn.6:70), but they are all one and the same in essence: fallen angels, followers of Satan. Sometimes these and other terms can also refer to ranks; like a banana republic army, the devil has an inflated rank structure developed to reward his followers; lots on this in BB 2A: Angelology (at the link).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #17:

I truly want these vile things is what I've realized...I can't convince myself fully that it's wrong, which is why I still sometimes fall into it...even then, I would probably just not care because "it makes me feel good". Doc, please tell me, WHY is it wrong, even when done just in your head so the demons can't act on it? I'm sorry I got into it to begin with...now's the time to break out, so I need an answer to this.

Response #17:

Where to start?

The occult is about Satan. But we serve Jesus Christ.

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons.
1st Corinthians 10:21 NKJV

Of course, God doesn't have to tell us "why", but He did. Right at the beginning, even before Adam and Eve fell, He told us "why" we needed to listen to Him and not to the serpent, to pursue the tree of life and not that other tree – because it leads to death.

" . . . but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
Genesis 2:17 NKJV

The end of following the devil and his demons is death, spiritual death and, following physical death, the second death, the lake of fire.

"Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts (pharmakeia, i.e., witchcraft and using potions) the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood."
Revelation 22:14-15 NIV

As to "feeling good", I have to tell you, my friend, that the sort of "feeling good" you get from following what is wrong is the same sort of "feeling good" people get from an illicit drug or alcohol high: the "good" is momentary, and then they feel awful afterwards. . . and go in search of another high and keep at this until they are utterly destroyed.

If you were "happy", you might have an argument. This is NOT making you "happy". It's making you very, very miserable – in between deceptive and pointless "highs". I urge you to choose the good path instead and keep to it.

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
Proverbs 4:18 NIV

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #18:

Read my last 2 emails...read my last email as well please....I've realized that deep down, I don't even want Jesus. I never truly have cared about the Lord in the way that leads to spiritual growth. I seem to only care about my outside behavior rather than what's in my heart...I'm still going to try to get rid of any and all demonic behavior, even if it's just reforming rather than true repentance. As long as i become uncomfortable with it to the point i never want to do it again, I'll be ok with it...do you think the enemy is just trying to discourage me?

I read you agree with someone that Japanese culture is entirely occultic and evil. Is that really true though? By the way, I'm starting my spiritual recovery journey, starting with, and I finally got motivation to do this, quitting all forms of occult activity, or at least trying the very best I can to, cold turkey. I prayed for God to undo anything supernatural that may have been done to me or any object or thing by my activity. Please pray I'll stay in prayer and take in sound doctrine. I already dread the journey...also I'm done with any kind of fantasy or media that portrays magic stuff. for me it's only a temptation, one very hard to resist once I'm playing or watching.

I truly feel like there's no hope...I want to cry, but am too numb inside to. I feel like I die inside whenever I give in to my worst sins, but even that combined with the most objective reasons why these things are wrong can't get me to stop...truly, I'm no better than a demon. I'm sorry Doc, I don't think God WILL help me here, with how much I keep going back. I'm truly hopeless...I'm scared I may not even believe anymore. I'm not even sure you're a legitimate teacher anymore, because your doctrine on everything being a choice no matter the situation has caused me nothing but despair.

Isn't there real neurological science behind some mental disorders though? Another question, is it sinful to buy things from companies that support liberal/democratic movements?

Response #18:

"Isn't there real neurological science behind some mental disorders": we are spirit as well as body; how can neuroscience even see the spirit? In fact, "science" dismisses the spiritual altogether. How, then, can they hope to understand the human heart, since all they work with is the physical brain?

"is it sinful to buy things from companies that support liberal/democratic movements?": I think you have more important fish to fry than worrying about that; if you refuse to buy from any entity which is at all tainted, you will not buy anything ever.

"Japanese culture is entirely occultic and evil": I never said anything of the sort; all human "culture" is just that, things that human beings cultivate – apart from God – so any believer would be wise to deal with all culture and cultural activities carefully, employing biblical standards in spiritual common sense.

"worried about my outside behavior": you can't fix yourself from the outside in; that is whitewashing the tomb; all true change has to come from the inside out.

"your doctrine on everything being a choice no matter the situation has caused me nothing but despair": it's not "my" doctrine; it's the Bible (as you can clearly see if you read it for yourself); at some point, we all have to take responsibility for our own actions; that is what the Lord expects us to do; that is the point at which we finally own up to things and can start to move forward.

"I'm starting my spiritual recovery journey, starting with, and I finally got motivation to do this, quitting all forms of occult activity, or at least trying the very best I can to, cold turkey.": Good for you! Try to stick with this longer than five minutes.

"deep down, i don't even want Jesus": if that were really true, then there would be no further help I could give you. But I sense that this is a plea for help. Be pleased to put the Lord first and seek His help in prayer.

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16 NKJV

In Him,

Bob L.

Question #19:

Doc...sorry for another 4 emails in a row. I'm just going through a lot. Im scared I may revere the devil deep down...and that that's why I'm tempted by such evil things...but who in their right mind would ever!? why can't I revere Jesus instead!? I don't know what to do Doc...even when I read Ichthys I can't seem to care enough to actually believe it and put it into practice...the 100 unnecessary pounds analogy? try 1000. that's how far gone I fear I am. I'm pretty much the spiritual equivalent of too fat to stand I fear. Please help Doc...I'm scared of Hell...I don't want to want the devil...

Read my last 2 emails plz...is it our fault when we get thoughts we don't want? Most of the time...you know what, happens, it's because I get intrusive thoughts I don't want...don't you dare say those are a choice too, if we genuinely don't want those thoughts and yet get them anyway, can we really say they're ours? Also, I feel like I literally cannot help but get thoughts of evil things when I do certain things, and once they start...no matter how hard I try, I can't stop it from completing. Can you pray I'll overcome all this?

Another thing, I'm worried I may not have even believed to begin with...yeah I know, old news. But I deliberately think some idol might be righteous when I'm tempted to worship them...yeah I'm still struggling with that. If i can't convince myself that only God is righteous, how can I say I believe, let alone be saved if I'm not?

Also how do I learn to love what God wants and hate sin? I've realized this is the only way I'm going to overcome this temptation for occult things. I assume the Spirit needs to help with that?

Response #19:

Saturdays are devoted to weekly posting so I don't get to emails from COB Friday until I'm digging out on Sunday.

To use the analogy again, what's the plan for losing weight if you're 10 pounds over? Diet and exercise. What's the plan if you're 1,000 pounds over? Diet and exercise. Analogously, spiritual growth is the RX for spiritual torpor of any sort. And, just as it is easier to get traction and make some headway if one is 1,000 lbs. up than if one is only 10 lbs. up, so also if one commits to spiritual growth from being way down in spiritual terms, obvious results will come quicker – even though of course there is a long way to come back.

But that is the key, namely, commitment to spiritual growth. Yes, you do have to learn it. Yes, you do have to believe it. Yes, you do have to apply it. But you also, as a Christian, have the Holy Spirit within you to help you do so. He is God. Nothing can stand in God's way – except that God will not overrule your free will. So you do have to engage with your faith. That has to come from you.

I'm not saying it is easy. I am saying it is possible, eminently so – if you really, really want it. This life, this world, is the great threshing floor where wheat is separated from chaff and where the quality of the wheat is demonstrated and adjudged (cf. Mk.3:12). Or, to use another biblical analogy, where those who are/have "salt" are distinguished from those who are/do not:

"Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”
Mark 9:50 NKJV

We can "be salt", we can "have salt", obviously, because our Lord commands us to and if we are commanded to do something then it must be in our power to do it, with the help of the Spirit. But it's not automatic. It requires us responding to the Lord, praying, reading the Bible, listening to good teaching, remembering, believing, applying – fighting the fight.

Fighting the fight is not easy. That is why it is called a fight. But it can be won – through the power of the Holy Spirit by the grace of God the Father to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(10) As you move forward, my brothers, strengthen yourselves in the Lord and in the power of His might. (11) Put on the full armor of God, so that you may be able to stand firm against the tricks of the devil. (12) For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against [angelic] princes, against [angelic] authorities, against the cosmic powers of this [present] darkness, against evil spirits in the heavenly realms. (13) On this account take up that full armor of God so that you may be able to resist in the day of trouble and, when you have completely done everything [necessary (in spiritual preparation)], to stand your ground. (14) So then do stand your ground, having girded your loins with truth and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (15) and having shod your feet with the [shoes] of preparation for [sharing] the gospel of peace. (16) And at all times take up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery missiles of the evil one. (17) And [in this spiritual warfare] put on the helmet of salvation and gird on the sword of the Spirit – which is the Word of truth. (18) In all your prayers and petitions [be] praying in the Spirit on each occasion, keeping at this with all persistence and petition on behalf of the saints (i.e., believers "sanctified" or made holy by the Spirit).
Ephesians 6:10-18

Fight the good fight of faith.
1st Timothy 6:12a

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #20:

Hello Dr. Luginbill,

Some of those who call themselves believers claim that they can command angels to obey them through citing His Word, and the angels must obey their words.

I had one of these folks who loved to quote these verses, and some others who believers I will not mention, and you know who this group of people who call themselves, if I would mention their so-called name; they thrive with signs/wonders.

Was wondering if you have anything on these quoted verses that explains the meaning. I do understand what they mean, however they make mis-application of God's Word.

"20Bless the LORD, you His angels,
Mighty in strength, who perform His word,
Obeying the voice of His word!
21Bless the LORD, all you His angels,
You who serve Him, doing His will."

Thanks as always for your expertise.

Blessings to you always,

Your friend,

Response #20:

You are absolutely right, my friend. A dangerous and an unbiblical practice indeed.

I did reference this false practice in the Ichthys posting, Peter #40 (at the link); while there is much there on the topic, here is a part you may find helpful:

If even other angels, beings of "much greater strength and power" than we refrain from such activity, it is the height of temerity to assume that anything but disaster could result from attempting to take part in this Gnostic combat, however engaged in (and that remains true of any such activity today, no matter how popular, such as exorcisms, "commanding" or "binding" spirits, or any sort of putative engagement with demons or angels of any sort).

Matthew 16:19; 18:18 are accomplished by proclaiming the truth, for the truth of the gospel is "the keys to the kingdom". Here are some other links to where I have discussed this false theory of "binding" before:

Binding and loosing #3

Binding and loosing #2

Binding and loosing #1

Hope you have a happy 4th!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #21:

Hi Professor Luginbill,

Real quick, are the names Lucius and Lucian related to the name Lucifer? I imagine they are latin based. Because I like this one fictional character named Lucian, he is like a law enforcer leader type of person, but I feel like I can't like him if his name is derived from Lucifer. I mean in terms of the character, he is very law abiding and otherwise you wouldn't see any relation.

Okay so if I am translating modern English to Greek, does Ancient Greek have equivalents for the f word and other curse words? Or would they just take their gods' name in vain?


Response #21:

No, the two names Lucius and Lucian are both Latin and both derive from the Latin word lux, luc-is, meaning light. So does Lucifer – it means "light bearer" (cf. conifer = cone bearer) – but there is no chain of derivation between the two sets. Also, the name Lucifer only has negative connotations because it is used in the Vulgate to translate the Hebrew word heylel at Isaiah 14:12, the light-bringer, the "morning star": Satan was originally the "morning star" but is no longer since he has embraced darkness instead of light; he has been replaced by THE Morning Star, our Lord Jesus Christ, the light of the world, who will illuminate the world on His return:

(6) For it will come to pass on that day that there will be no light. [The light of the] heavenly bodies will be withheld (lit., “curdled”). (7) For it will be a unique day, one which is known [only] to the Lord, neither day nor night, and it will come to pass at evening time that there will be light.
Zechariah 14:6-7

(2) For behold, the darkness – it will cover the earth, even a deep gloom its peoples. But the Lord will rise over you, and His glory will appear above you. (3) Nations will come to His light, and kings to the brilliance of His rising.
Isaiah 60:2-3

And this is the [basis for] judgment: the Light (i.e., Jesus Christ) has come into the world, yet men loved the darkness more than the Light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who commits detestable practices hates the Light and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds be exposed [for what they really are]. But everyone who acts in accordance with the truth comes to the Light so that it becomes obvious that his deeds have been done in God (i.e., in accordance with God's will).
John 3:19-21

Yet I consider the prophetically inspired Word (i.e. the Bible) even more reliable (i.e., than what I saw with my own eyes). You too would do well to pay the closest attention to this [prophetically inspired Word], just as to a lamp shining in a dark place (cf. Ps.119:105), until the day dawns, and the Morning Star rises (i.e. the Living Word, Jesus Christ, returns).
2nd Peter 1:19

Behold! He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the peoples of the earth will grieve on account of Him.
Revelation 1:7

And I saw the sky above opened up, and, behold, a white horse, and the One seated on it is called “Faithful and True”, and in righteousness He renders judgment and makes war. (12) And His eyes were a flame of fire, and on His head were many [kingly] crowns, with names written [on them] which no one knows except He Himself.
Revelation 19:11-12

Here are the pertinent entries at Ichthys about all that:

From SR 1:

a) Morning Star (Is.14:12): This title speaks of Satan's role in reflecting the glory of God (cf. Job 38:7, where all the elect angels are described as "stars of the morning"). The Hebrew heleyl (הילל literally, "shining one"), was translated in the Greek Old Testament as "light bearer" and by the Latin Vulgate as "Lucifer". "Morning star" (or "day star") is an apt rendering of this title, for it betokens a heavenly body so brilliant that it can be seen even in daylight. As the prime creature of the primordial Eden, a place without darkness (for darkness did not exist before Satan's fall), Satan was the foremost representative of God's splendor, mirroring, for all angelic kind to behold, the brilliant glory of their Creator. It is a tragic irony that through his own choice he has now become the ruler of the domain of darkness (Eph.6:12; Col.1:13). Far from reflecting God's glory, he now opposes it in every way, but his ultimate destiny is to have his own light extinguished forever (Jude 6, 13). In contrast to Satan, our Lord Jesus Christ, the new Morning Star (2Pet.1:19; Rev.2:28; 22:16; cf. Num.24:17; Is.9:1-2; 42:6; 49:6; Matt.2:2; 2:9; 4:16; Lk.2:30-32; Jn.1:4-5; 8:12; 9:5), is the perfect reflection of the Father's glory (Heb.1:3).

and from SR 4:

a. Lucifer: This Latin name meaning "light-bearer" is a common translation for the Hebrew heylel (הילל) at Isaiah 14:12, and refers to the Morning Star. This is the only title for the devil which is not derogatory, stemming from his pre-rebellion status as the representative of God to the angels. As the One who brings God's light to the world (Jn.1:4-10), Jesus Christ has won the name "Morning Star" (2Pet.1:19; Rev.2:28; 22:16).(70) For the original "bringer of light" has become the "prince of darkness" (cf. Acts 26:18; Eph.6:12; Col.1:13).

Looking forward eagerly to our Lord's return when He illuminates this dark work with His glory and gathers us together to be with Him forever.

The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:12 NIV

In Jesus,

Bob L.

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