ENCOUNTERING A DEMON - A HALLOWEEN SERMON!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord's Day Evening, October 30, 2005
at Faith Baptist Church of Canoga Park, California

"In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice" (Job 4:13-16).


At this time of year you can't help but think about ghosts. When you go to the drugstore or the supermarket masks and pictures of ghostly faces stare at you from the aisles. You can't turn on the television without these images appearing. Pictures of spooks and ghouls are glaring at you everywhere you go as we approach that mad "holiday" the world calls "Halloween."

Is there such a thing as a ghost? The only place we can go for reliable information is to the Bible. The Bible alone reveals the truth concerning spiritual things. In my study I have gone over many commentaries and books on this subject. But in the end I come back to the Scriptures. The Bible alone is the "sure word of prophecya light that shineth in a dark place" (II Peter 1:19). And so I must go to the Bible, God's reliable and certain Word, to know the truth about ghosts.

The people of the world say that spooks are the spirits of human beings who have died. They say that the soul leaves the body at death and then roams the earth, haunting us, especially during the time of Halloween. But are the people of this world right? Are they correct in what they believe? No, they are not correct. According to the Bible, ghosts are not the souls of those who are dead. The Bible tells us that the souls of the dead go directly to Heaven or Hell. They do not stay on earth to haunt us.

So I do not believe that ghosts are disembodied human spirits - but I do believe in Satan, and I do believe in demons. The Bible says quite a bit about these evil spirits. And I think that Eliphaz encountered a demon. The very first chapter of the book of Job tells us that Satan was after Job. And I believe that Satan sent a demon to give Eliphaz this message to discourage Job. He was suffering greatly from various Satanic attacks, and the advice of his friend Eliphaz was just one more demonic trick, to discourage him. Let us look at our text carefully, and we will learn three great truths about Satan and demons.

I. First, demonic spirits really exist.

Let us read verses twelve through fifteen aloud. These are the words of Job's friend Eliphaz. Stand and read verses 12 to 15 aloud.

"Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up" (Job 4:12-15).

You may be seated.

It was late at night when this "spirit" came to Eliphaz. The Bible doesn't say that Eliphaz was asleep, only that it was the time of night "when deep sleep falleth on men" (Job 4:13). The classical commentator Matthew Poole tells us that it was "in the dead of night, when men usually are in a deep sleep; though Eliphaz was not now asleep, as appears from the nature of [the] vision" (Matthew Poole, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, Banner of Truth Trust, 1979 reprint, volume I, p. 930).

There in the darkness Eliphaz said, "A spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up" (Job 4:15). His hair stood on end. No wonder! He said, "Fear came upon me, and trembling" (Job 4:14). He was so afraid his bones shook!

I knew a young man who foolishly went to see "The Exorcist" when it was playing in the theatres. He was so troubled by the horrible depiction of demons in that film that he couldn't sleep for several nights afterward. I knew a young man whose stepmother committed suicide by drinking poison. She died a truly horrible death. He could smell the poison seeping out from the edges of the closed coffin at the funeral. The night after the funeral he was awakened again and again. Each time the covers touched his face, he awoke, shuddering and shaking in the dark. I believe that these were both demonic experiences, similar to the one Eliphaz went through.

Yes, there is a Devil and, yes, demons do exist. The Bible says so. Our Lord Jesus Christ encountered Satan and demons many times during His ministry on earth. The Apostle Paul tells of "the messenger of Satan" sent to "buffet" him, to torment him (II Corinthians 12:7). Dr. Henry M. Morris said that "the messenger of Satan" that tormented Paul was a demon, and I think he was right (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Defender's Study Bible, World Publishing, 1995, p. 1289).

Dr. Morris said that "the spirit" which frightened Eliphaz was "an evil spirit - perhaps Satan himself" (ibid.). I think that's the best explanation of this passage. The demons were once angels, but they were cast out of Heaven with Satan for their rebellion against God. The Bible calls these demons, "the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation" (Jude 6). Some of these evil spirits were cast into the darkness of Hell, but others were allowed to roam the earth, awaiting future judgment. They became the demons Jesus so often encountered in the four gospels.

One of these demonic spirits came to Eliphaz late at night, frightened him terribly, and then whispered a message to him that the demon knew he would repeat to Job. Yes, demonic spirits really exist. The Apostle Paul spoke of demons when he said,

"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world" (Ephesians 6:12).

Every Christian "wrestles" against demonic forces. That's why it's so important to begin each day in prayer for God to protect you and guide you through "the darkness of this world."

Yes, I believe in demonic spirits, and I believe a demon came to Eliphaz late that night.

If you are not yet a Christian, I can assure you from the Bible that Satan and his demons will do all they can to keep you from coming to Christ and experiencing salvation. Jesus said,

"The deviltaketh away the word out of their hearts"
      (Luke 8:12).

When you hear the gospel preached, the demonic powers will do all they can to "take away" the word out of your heart, to keep you from coming to Christ and being converted. That's why you must resist unbelieving thoughts that come into your mind if you want to be saved. But there is another lesson for us in this text.

II. Second, demonic spirits give false teachings.

Please stand again, and read verses 16-20. Verse 16 begins by telling us a little about the demon and then we are given the Satanic message the demon brought to Eliphaz. Read verses 16-20.

"It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying, Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth? They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it" (Job 4:16-20).

You may be seated.

Eliphaz could not see the demon clearly. There was a period of silence there in the darkness. Then a strange, whispering voice came from the demon. It said, "Shall mortal man be more just than God?" (Job 4:17). This was hardly a deep thought! Dr. J. Vernon McGee pointed out,

This is nothing newShall a mortal man be more just than God? Of course not. Any of us knows that, and we didn't need [a spirit] to learn it. I don't think it was worth missing a night's sleep to come up with something so trite, so evident. There really is nothing profound here at all (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson, 1982, volume II, page 596).

I had an uncle who was a member of the Masons. When I first became interested in becoming a Christian, he started trying to teach me what the Masons believe. Even though I wasn't converted yet, I knew that the Masonic teachings were unscriptural and wrong. I now believe that the teachings of the Masons come from the same source as Eliphaz's "vision" - they were what the Bible calls, "doctrines of demons." The Bible says,

"The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils" (I Timothy 4:1).

You see, it is Satan and his demons who spread false teachings in the churches, such as the false teaching that the Blood of Christ is no longer available to cleanse our sin. And yet the Bible clearly reveals that this is a demonic, false doctrine. The Bible says,

"The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin"
     (I John 1:7).

The non-Christian religions of the world, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, have all received their "revelations" from Satanic and demonic sources. Millions are led into the spiritual bondage of the Devil and, finally, into Hell itself because they listen to what some demon told a false religious teacher, instead of making the Bible their only guide for faith and practice.

One of the false things this demonic spirit gave is in verse twenty. Let's stand and read that verse aloud.

"They [human beings] are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it" (Job 4:20).

You may be seated.

That is an outright lie! God does regard us! God is with us in mercy and love when we go through persecution and trouble. The Apostle Paul was beaten and thrown alive into the ocean. He was stoned and left for dead. He was robbed. He experienced pain and hunger, cold and nakedness (cf. II Corinthians 11:23-28). And yet Paul knew that God was with him in his suffering. Paul would have said what the "spirit" gave Eliphaz was wrong, when the demon said,

"They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it" (Job 4:16-20).

Paul knew those verses from Job, probably by heart. And Paul knew that the words that "spirit" gave to Eliphaz were utterly and profoundly wrong, untrue to the Bible.

That's what's wrong with the so-called "faith teachers" on television today. They tell you that if you have enough faith you will become prosperous and rich, and not experience any pain or suffering in your life. The source of this teaching is demonic, the same demons who gave this false doctrine of prosperity to Eliphaz.

Another false teaching that the demon gave Eliphaz is in verse seven,

"Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?" (Job 4:7).

It blows my mind that people believe that sort of thing even today. The "prosperity teachers" say that if you are a good Christian you won't experience pain or persecution. Where do they get that idea? Not from the Bible! They get it directly or indirectly from Satan and the demons, that say,

"Who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?" (Job 4:7).

Open the Bible and you'll get plenty of answers to that one! Righteous Abel was murdered by his wicked brother Cain. Righteous Joseph was sold as a slave by his wicked brothers. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews gives a long list of righteous and innocent people who suffered and were persecuted, including Moses, who chose "to suffer affliction with the people of God" (Hebrews 11:25). And we are told at the end of Hebrews 11 that many innocent and righteous people

"Were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented" (Hebrews 11:37).

Yes, these were wonderful, godly people, but they suffered greatly, not because they were sinful, but because we live in a fallen world, influenced by the power of Satan and demons.

Christ Himself was falsely arrested, falsely tried, beaten half to death and nailed to a Cross for our sins. No one was ever more righteous and innocent than Christ. And He is our example - not some demon that whispered false ideas to Eliphaz in the dark of night! God is with us in our suffering, just as He was with Job. Give those great Bible truths to the false prophets that teach prosperity and an easy life on television. Give them the Scriptures I have quoted to show that both they and Eliphaz's demon are dead wrong! At times good Christians must undergo great suffering, but God is with you all the way.

Next Lord's Day is Reformation Sunday. We commemorate that day when Martin Luther nailed the ninety-five theses on the door of the church at Wittenberg, challenging the false teachings on salvation in the Catholic church. Luther was in danger for the rest of his life. But he wrote a great hymn that became the anthem of the Protestant Reformation. In that hymn Luther said,

And though this world with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim - We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
   ("A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" by Martin Luther, 1483-1546).

And that "little word" is the name Christ Jesus. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus!

III. Third, demonic spirits must not be our authority or our guides.

Dr. Henry M. Morris wrote of Eliphaz's encounter with this demon in his notes in The Defender's Study Bible. Dr. Morris said,

This was an evil spirit - perhaps Satan himself - diabolically implanting an accusation against Job in the mind of Eliphaz, which would be used laterto try to undermine Job's faith. The spirit stressed God's wrathful righteousness and man's sinful worthlessness, with no hint at all of God's love and saving grace. This [led] Eliphaz into the conviction that Job must be, despite outward appearances, a sinner suffering God's judgment (ibid.).

I am so very glad that Job did not believe the demonic advice of Eliphaz. Instead he stood tall in the midst of his suffering and persecution. In all his trouble, Job gave one of the great answers in the Bible. He said,

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15).

Those words of Job have often been of great comfort to many in times of trouble.

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15).

That should be our attitude as well. No matter what trials and discomforts come to us, we should say what Job said about God,

"Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15).

The Lord Jesus Christ came to earth to suffer and die to atone for our sins. He was beaten half to death and nailed to a cruel cross. He died in agony and blood to save your soul. Christ rose physically from the dead on the third day, and ascended back to Heaven, where He is now seated at the right hand of God praying for your salvation.

If you come to Christ and rest on Him, He will save you. As Spurgeon said, "lay flat on Christ." Lay yourself flat on Him by faith, and He will propitiate your sins. He will cleanse your sins by His precious, everlasting Blood.

Come to Christ. Do not rely on the thoughts of men or demons. Rely only on Christ alone. You will be saved "sola fide" - solely by faith in

"Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (Revelation 1:5).

Come to Christ and be saved!

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."

You may email Dr. Hymers at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net, (Click Here)
or you may write to him at P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015.
Or phone him at (818)352-0452.

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Ephesians 6:10-13.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
"A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" (by Martin Luther, 1483-1546)/
"Oh, How He Loves You and Me" (by Kurt Kaiser, 1975).


THE OUTLINE OF

ENCOUNTERING A DEMON - A HALLOWEEN SERMON!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men, Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice" (Job 4:13-16).

(II Peter 1:19)

I.   Demonic spirits really exist, Job 4:12-15; II Corinthians 12:7;
Jude 6; Ephesians 6:12; Luke 8:12.

II.  Demonic spirits give false teachings, Job 4:16-20; I Timothy 4:1;
I John 1:7; cf. II Corinthians 11:23-28; Job 4:7; Hebrews 11:25;
Hebrews 11:37.

III. Demonic spirits must not be our authority or our guides,
Job 13:15; Revelation 1:5.