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Don Stewart :: What Are the Doctrines of Demons?

Don Stewart
The Bible warns believers about the doctrine of demons. Paul wrote to Timothy about these evil teachings.

But the Spirit says expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from food, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by them that believe and know the truth (1 Timothy 4:1-3).

From this passage, we can make some observations about the doctrines of demons.

Religious Self-Denial

Demons would like people to engage in religious asceticism, or self denial. This would include such things as forbidding people to marry, and not to eat certain foods. By performing such ascetic acts, a person can have the false impression that they are pleasing God by this attitude of self-denial. In actuality, God has not commanded people to do any such thing. There is nothing that any of us can do to earn favor with God. Our responsibility is to believe on Him whom He sent. Jesus made this clear.

Then they said to him, "What must we do to perform the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent" (John 6:28,29).

Formalism

One of the things in which demons would like people to be engaged, is mere religious formalism. The outward form of godliness is there, but no spiritual life exists. Going through all the motions of religion without any of God's power is a demonic doctrine.

Departing From The Faith

Another instance of demonic doctrine is the departure from the historic faith. Rather than embracing the faith that has been once and for all revealed to believers, demonic influences would have people either add or subtract to what God has revealed in His Word. This is what Paul warned Timothy about when he said people would depart from "the faith."

False Doctrine

The false doctrines that demons bring is the denial that Christ has come in the flesh. The Bible says.

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world (1 John 4:2,3).

Demonic spirits also curse Christ.

Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says "Let Jesus be cursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3).

Summary

Scripture warns us of doctrines of demons. These include having an outward, formal religious attitude without any of the power of God. Performing works of self-denial is another way in which people believe they are right with God - they have earned His favor. These practices, Paul says, are departures from the faith, and are doctrines of demons. Basically, demons want people to depart from the true faith that God has revealed. This would include the denial of the basic truths of the Christian faith.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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