In my last blog post I raised the question “Where have all the demons gone?” It was generated by the noticeable contrast between the pervasive demands for deliverance in Jesus’ ministry versus the diminishment of such ministry in the church today, particularly in the West. Albeit it is a perception, but demons are not as in-your-face today as they were two thousand years ago.
First let me say, I don’t believe demons have not gone anywhere. The devil and his horde of demons are alive on planet earth and as wicked as ever. Since Jesus’ plan of redemption for human kind has not changed, neither has the devil’s plan for our captivity and utter destruction. Jesus told us that the devil comes “only to steal and kill and destroy,” but to counter that He came so that we “might have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)
While on earth, Jesus gave us critical insight into the devil’s strategy: “He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44 NLT)
The devil’s modus operendi therefore is deception. Again and again in the Bible we are warned that we must not be ignorant of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11) We are told plainly in the book of Revelation that when “that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan” was cast down to earth his goal was to “lead the whole world astray.” (Revelation 12:9) If that is not the epitome of deceptive intent what is?
Based on these facts about the devil’s strategies provides understanding as to why his tactics are different today than they were in Jesus’ day. Warfare has changed significantly over the centuries to where now it is often difficult, if not impossible, to identify the enemy. Spiritual warfare today is the same way. Battling demonic powers is not unlike trying to defend against suicide bombers and double agents. It is guerrilla warfare at best and subterfuge is the order of the day.