A mission leader in India I have known for many years described what happened one time while casting demons out of a possessed individual. Pastor Vijay said the demons desperately cried out: “The blood of Jesus is burning us!”
Were those demons telling the truth? Demons, after all, are habitual liars, just like their master, Satan. And yet it seems highly unlikely that demons would mention the blood of Jesus, unless of course it was actually burning them as they claimed.
We know for a fact that demons are terrified of Jesus. Matthew recorded the following incident, which is as remarkable as it is revealing.
“When Jesus arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 'What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’” (Matthew 8:29) Jesus proceeded to cast the demons out of the men and into a herd of pigs.
I doubt that "Beelzebub (Satan), the prince of demons” (Matthew 12:24), wanted that information to get out. Demons are petrified of the punishment that awaits them throughout eternity. Since the very presence of Jesus strikes so much fear into demons, I can only imagine what the blood of Jesus must do to them.
It was of course the blood of Christ shed on the cross that secured our eternal redemption. The devil and his legions of fallen angels hold no power or authority over believers.
“In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
Demons are powerless against the blood of Jesus. It is the nuclear weapon of the spiritual world. Whether the blood of Jesus burns demons or not, Satan will most certainly burn forever in “the lake of fire” (Revelation 19:20).
“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).
The excruciating agony will never end for Lucifer, who first rebelled in Heaven (Ezekiel 28:12-18), and then deceived Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-7), and today “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
How does Satan “devour” people? By smothering their soul when they step onto his turf. That is, when people pursue sin rather than the Savior. Deliberate sin exposes a person to demonic oppression. The deadliest sin, of course, is rejecting Christ as Savior. Unbelief leaves your soul wide open to satanic aggression.
Thankfully, Christians are protected from the devil. And yet danger still lurks for believers. When a Christian persists in deliberate sin, it opens a door in the spiritual realm through which demons then oppress the child of God.
The Apostle Paul warned believers: “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26-27). Christians invite demonic oppression by choosing to hold a grudge, or engaging in some other form of premeditated sin.
In order to close any demonic doors you have opened, confess your sins to God as you repent and pray: “Wash me Jesus with your precious blood."
Satan tempts those of us who are born again to go against our conscience and compromise our biblical convictions by giving into sin. Satan wants to disrupt our peace in Christ and our work for the Lord. When we choose to disobey God, we permit the devil to hold some measure of influence over our life of discipleship.
It is important to stand firm on God’s Word and quote Scripture when we are being tempted, just as Jesus did when he was tempted by the devil in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11). Do you remember what happened next? “The devil left him...” (v. 11).
“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Pray often. Meditate upon God’s Word. And offer this prayer to God in faith whenever you feel oppressed by the enemy:
“Lord Jesus, please drive away any sinful thoughts, as well as any demons, that are coming against my peace of mind and against your will for my life. Guard my thoughts and my mind dear Lord with the blood you shed on the cross for my salvation.”
When you face temptation, remember that “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10). Paul carried out his work as an apostle with discernment from the Holy Spirit “in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11).
Demons hate Christ and his followers, and demons are terrified of the blood of Jesus. They realize that Christ’s blood and sacrifice on the cross defeated the devil. They also realize that their punishment will last forever in “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).
If the blood of Jesus does in fact burn demons during exorcisms in India, then I suspect the same thing happens today in America and around the world. In any event, demons are filled with dread and anguish because Jesus “made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15).
Therefore, “fix your thoughts on Jesus" (Hebrews 3:1); resist the devil, and remember that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.