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Engaging the spirits: 
An Adventist's Perspective on Fighting Spiritual Battles

by Yvon Caza

Chapter 6: Summary and Conclusion

The Scriptures teachthat Satan and his demonic allies are not coequal with God. He is a created being who has rebelled and can tempt—but not force. The main concern of the Bible is not with the devil but with God and the gospel of His grace. Satan and the demonic forces have been overcome by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The New Testament never allows complete pessimism. In the end Satan and his angels will be completely overcome. In fact, Jesus came into the world to "destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). The cross was a decisive victory over Satan and Satan’s host (Col. 2:15). This victory insured that countless numbers would be delivered from the dominion of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ (Col. 1:13).

Today, people continue to concretize their fears. They want a scapegoat to deliver them from responsibility. Satan is a created, rebellious and tempting evil power active in the universe, but his powerful existence does not exclude a person from responsibility. Satan and the demonic forces cannot dominate or possess us except by our own consent. Believers will not be tempted beyond our power of resistance111 (1 Cor. 10:13). The power of Satan is limited. He acts within the limits set by divine sovereignty. The believer has God’s armor—the biblical gospel, integrity, peace through Christ, faith in Christ, prayer—as spiritual security (Eph. 6:11-18).

The recent fascination with Satan and demons is in reaction to an earlier disbelief. Christians should beware of excessive gullibility as well as extreme oversimplification. Knowledge about Satan and evil angels alerts Christians to the danger and subtlety of satanic temptation. We should not become too absorbed in satanic forces.112 Satan and demonic forces are active, but they are limited. We must remember that the main thrust of Christianity is on the availability of God’s power and love in Jesus Christ and the Spirit.113

Every human being has the inalienable right to a free moral choice, even those possessed and/or controlled by demons. Spiritual evil forces cannot force a Christian to sin, nor can they defile or contaminate one’s soul. There is no evidence or precedent in Scripture to portray moral evil [our sinning] in whole or in part as a demonization of inhabiting spirits that need to be cast out, rebuked and bound. Repeatedly the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy emphasize individual responsibility for sin and the need to repent and seek God’s forgiveness and power to overcome that sin, or else death will ensue.

God is sovereign and omnipotent. The Scriptures provide examples when God permitted Satan to afflict believers externally with adversity. Since God’s sovereignty controls every situation to accomplish His purposes, He causes all such adversity to work for the believer’s good.

Geographical binding of evil spirits is unscriptural.

Inheriting demons from our ancestors is unscriptural.

The remedy for previous occult involvement of believers and those who seek to become believers is conversion, and not any casting out of the evil spirits. The latter is unscriptural.

We should focus on ministering to the demon-harassed by the preaching of the gospel and all that that entails.

 About the Author: Yvon Caza is a lay worker in central Alberta, Canada. His interest in this subject developed when family and fellow church members shared with him popular writings on spiritual warfare. As a result of sharing an interest in this subject on SDANet, he was alerted to some theological pitfalls. This led him to further research the subject and to the writing of this paper. 


111 We are admonished to "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). Christ, who is our example, did this with the use of the Word of God (Mt 4:1-11 par. Lk 4:1-13). Likewise, we can only resist by the Scriptures— see 1T p. 302.

112 E. G. White, Desire of Ages, p. 493.

113 J. P. Newport, art. "Devil, Satan, Evil, Demonic," Holman Bible Dictionary, 1994, Parsons Technology.

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