The Three Types or Levels of Demonization

Matthew 17:21, This kind [of demon]. There are different kinds of demons that influence humans. The Testimony of Yeshua speaks of being “possessed with a demon” or “demons,”  “vexed with a demon,” or “severely possessed with a demon” (Matt 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 9:32; 12:22; 15:22; Mark 1:32; 5:15, 16, 18; Luke 8:36; John 10:21). 

All these ideas are expressed by the Greek word daimonizomai meaning “to be under the power of or possessed by a demon, or demonized.” There are levels of demonization.

The Bible reveals that demons can influence humans (e.g. from fiery darts of Satan shot at the saints by which he attempts to influence them [Eph 6:16], by lying to humans [1 Kgs 22:22–23], through unclean spirits [e.g. Matt 12:43; Mark 1:23, 26; 3:30] and by literally living in or possessing a person. The latter is the most extreme form of demonization. In this passage, a demon lived inside of a child (v. 18), and when Yeshua rebuked the demon, it came out of the child.

When a person is possessed with a demon, prayer and fasting may be necessary on the part of the deliverer to cast out the demon. This is because the deliverer has, to one degree or another, himself been weakened spiritually by faithlessness and perverseness and therefore lacks the spiritual power and faith to cast out the demon (vv. 17, 22), or because he has been negatively influenced by those around him who are this way (v. 17), and thus has been weakened by his spiritual environment. This is why Yeshua, at times, had to put the spiritually weak and faithless people out of the room before healing a sick person (Mark 5:40). Prayer and fasting energizes a person spiritually by afflicting the soul (the mind, will and emotions) and forcing it into conformity with the word, will and Spirit of Elohim through which one gains the spiritual power to accomplish supernatural feats such as  casting out demons.

When Yeshua speaks of “this kind” of demon (v. 18). What did he mean? What kind of demon? The Bible reveals that there are various levels and types of evil, satanic spirits (e.g. Eph 6:12). The Book of 1 Enoch teaches and second temple Jewish sages based on this that demons were the disembodied spirits of the nephilim (see Gen 6:2–4), who after their human bodies died continued to live (as ghost-like figures) roaming in search of a body (human or animal) or object to possess (1 Enoch 15:8–10). This may be what Yeshua is referring to here.

With regard to the origin of demons, the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia under the articles entitles “Demonology” states,

The speculation regarding the nature and origin of these demons and their leaders led as early as the second pre-Christian century, in those fragments preserved under the name of the Book of Enoch, to the story of the fall of the angels (Enoch, vii.-viii.; lxix.). Like Beelzebub, or Lucifer (Isa. xiv. 12; compare Slavonic Enoch, xxix. 4), two hundred ‘Irin or “watchers” fell, attracted by the beauty of the daughters of men (Gen. vi. 4); only tradition obviously differed as to the leader of the rebellious host, whether it was Azazel or Shamazai. At any rate, they acknowledged the supremacy of Satan (liii. 3, liv. 6), though occasionally many satans are mentioned (xl. 7 et al.), and these fallen angels became “the evil spirits” (xv. 8, xix. 19) who taught mankind all the arts of deception, witchcraft, and sin (vii.-viii., lxix.). But their children, the offspring of this mixture of an earthly and a celestial race, became, when slain, the hybrid race of disembodiedspirits or demons doing the work of destruction until the Day of Judgment (xvi. 1). 

 

The Activities of Satan the Devil

Genesis 3:1, The serpent .

  • He has a false trinity/godhead (i.e. the beast, false prophet and whore). Rev 13:2–10; 16:13; 17:1–2
  • He is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
  • He comes to kill, steal and destroy. John 10:10
  • He has his own synagogue. Rev 2:9
  • He has his doctrines. 1 Tim 4:1
  • He has his mysteries. Rev 2:24
  • He has his throne. Rev 2:13
  • He has his kingdom. Luke 4:6
  • He has his worshipers. Rev 13:4
  • He has his miracles. 2 Thess 2:9
  • He has his angles. Rev 12:7
  • He has his ministers. 2 Cor 11:15
  • He has his sacrifices. 1 Cor 10:20
  • He has his fellowship. 1 Cor 10:20
  • He has his armies. Isa 24:21
  • He sows his tares (workers) among Elohim’s wheat (people). Matt 13:24–30
  • He instigates false doctrine. 1 Tim 4:1–3
  • He perverts the word of Elohim. Gen 3:1–4
  • He hinders the work of Elohim’s servants. 1 Thess 2:18
  • He resists the prayer of the Elohim’s servants. Dan 10:12–13
  • He blinds men to the truth. 2 Cor 4:4
  • He steals the word of Elohim from human hearts. Matt 13:19
  • He accuses the saints before Elohim. Job 1:7–12
  • He lays snares for men. 2 Tim 2:26
  • He tempts people to sin. Matt 4:1
  • He afflicts people with pain and suffering. Job 2:7
  • He deceives. Rev 12:9
  • He undermines the sanctity of the home. 1 Cor 7:3–5
  • He prompts both saints and sinners to transgress against the holiness of Elohim. Matt 16:22–23
  • He lurks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. 1 Pet 5:8
 

What is “the lowest sheol”?

Deuteronomy 32:22, The lowest sheol. The Scriptures in numerous places mentions sheol (the grave), but in several  instances there are references to the lowest sheol (e.g. Ps 86:13; Isa 14:15, NKJV). What is the difference between the grave and the lowest grave?

It appears to me that sheol or the grave is where the bodies of mortal men go to await their resurrection either to immortality or to eternal death in the lake of fire.

The lowest sheol appears to be the place where the devil and evil spirits (that rebelled at Lucifer’s fall and or prior to Noah’s flood) are confined awaiting the white throne judgment and their fate in the lake of fire.

If this interpretation is correct, this may explain the enigmatic “spirits in prison” passage of 1 Peter 3:19. This is the pit or abyss into which Satan is cast and confined for 1000 years at Yeshua’s second coming (Rev 20:3). This may be what Isa 14:14–15 is referring to when it describes the fall of Lucifer and prophesies his being brought down into the lowest sheol, the pit or abyss.

This lowest sheol or level of the grave is likely the same place that YHVH cast the angels that rebelled in the time of Noah where they await in chains of darkness awaiting their judgment at the end of the Millennium. This is probably the same “prison” or pit (Gr. tartaroo, or tar-tar-ah-ohw, see notes at 2 Pet 2:4) that Satan will be cast into at the beginning of the Millennium and then briefly released from at the end of it to go forth and to deceive the nations (Rev 20:7–8).

After that, Satan (presumably along with his demons) will be cast into the lake of fire where they will be tormented for eternity (Rev 20:10).The lake of fire is a different place than the pit, sheol or tartarahoh, which is a temporary place of restraint or prison where YHVH places rebellious angelic beings to await their final judgment, which is the lake of fire. 

 

Satan’s Last Days Wrath—A Divine Judgment Upon Rebellious Humans

Revelation 9:1,  A star fall from heaven. Likely Satan when he is cast out of heaven.

Revelation 9:1, Key to the bottomless pit. Elohim will give Satan the freedom to release evil spirits imprisoned in the abyss who will go forth to torment men as part of YHVH’s wrath against rebellious men. Perhaps this relates to the perennially enigmatic and troubling passage found in Jude 6 (cp. 1 Pet 3:18–20; 2 Pet 2:4). It seems that the evil, locust-like spirits may be the fallen angels that either rebelled with Lucifer and or were the ones who interacted with humans in the antediluvian world (Jude 6; 1 Pet 3:18–20; 2 Pet 2:4).

Revelation 9:1, Bottomless pit. This Greek term (abussos phrear) indicates a large, cavernous hole, pit or abyss with a small opening or orifice like a well and is found several other places in the book of Revelation (Rev 9:2, 11; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3). The bottomless pit is analogous to the deepest sheol in the Tanakh (Deut 32:22; Ps 86:13; Isa 14:15) or tartaroo (2 Pet 2:4) and is the place where the angels who rebelled in the time of Satan are being held in chains of restraint awaiting their judgment day (see 2 Pet 2:4). It is where Satan will be cast at the beginning of the Millennium (Rev 20:1–3) and is to be distinguished from the lake of fire where Satan (and presumably his demons) will be cast at the end of the Millennium to be tormented forever (Rev 20:10).

This passage indicates that YHVH will open the bottomless pit and allow the evil spirits imprisoned therein to torment men for a period of time as part of his judgments against wicked men.

Revelation 9:2, Smoke. Wherever this pit is, it appears to be a place of fire, heat and smoke. The opening of the pit by Satan first releases so much smoke that it darkens the sun and air. This phenomenon is the first sign that the demons of the pit are about to be released. After this follows their release and their tormenting of unredeemed humans. This is the wrath of Satan against humanity that precedes the wrath of Elohim. Since Elohim is permitting these demons to torment humans, it is, in reality, an extension of his judgment or wrath against the wicked. Since unsaved humans have rejected Elohim, and more and more are becoming enamored with and turning to outright Satan worship, Elohim his turning them over to the powerful forces of darkness they are seeking over him. These humans will discover what it’s like to live in a hellish world where those they wish to serve have full reign to torment them—a world devoid of the protective grace of a merciful Creator. 

Revelation 9:3, Locusts. These locusts don’t fit the description of the Joel 1 locusts, which destroy all vegetation. These locusts do not (v. 4). Perhaps the vegetation of Joel 1 is a symbolic metaphor. If so, then is the vegetation of Rev 9:3 also symbolic? If so, how do we still reconcile these two passages, since the symbolic analogy of the one would be opposite the other?

These locusts are likely hybridized theriomorphic or animal-shaped descriptions of demonic spirits that have been released from the abyss where they have been kept imprisoned since their rebellion (see 1 Pet 3:19; 2 Pet 2:4), but who will be released to torment rebellious men as part of Elohim’s end time judgments.

Revelation 9:3, Power. (Gr. exousia) These scorpion, humanoid demons have the divine permission, physical and mental power, the authority and right, the ability and strength to torment unredeemed men.

Revelation 9:4, Those men…seal of Elohim. This is yet another proof that YHVH’s saints are on the earth during this period (the first half) of the wrath of Elohim, and that the pre-tribulation rapture theory is an unbiblical hoax. What is the seal of Elohim? If we let Scripture interpret Scripture, this seems to be a reference to the sealing of the Set-Apart Spirit of the saints (e.g. John 6:27; Rom 4:11; 2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30; 2 Tim 2:19 cp. Rev 7:3).

Revelation 9:5, Not kill…tormented. Torment (Gr. basanizo) means “to test the quality of a metal; to question by applying torture; to vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to torment; to be harassed, distressed.” The demon-locust humanoid creatures can torment and torture unsaved humans, but not kill them. Those who have the seal of Elohim on their foreheads will be untouched. It seems that this will be an amazing opportunity for the saints to evangelize the spiritually lost.

Revelation 9:5, Torment of a scorpion. The symptoms of most scorpions stings are relatively harmless, but the bark scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus, also known as C. exilicauda), found in the American southwest, is an exception. This species of scorpion is venomous and can cause more serious injury and illness. Initial symptoms include immediate pain and sometimes numbness or tingling in the region stung. Serious symptoms, most common among children, include restlessness, muscle spasms, abnormal and random head, neck, and eye movements, anxiety and agitation, sialorrhea and diaphoresis. In some cases, a scorpion bite can prove fatal for children. In adults, tachycardia, hypertension, increased respirations, weakness, muscle spasms, and fasciculations may predominate.

Revelation 9:7, Locusts. Likely some demonic, grotesque gargoyle-like demonic creature (or chimera) that is currently inhabiting the bottomless pit, but that will be released at this time for YHVH’s intended purposes.

 

Victoriously Overcoming the Wilderness’ “Fiery Serpents”

Numbers 21: The Process of Overcoming­—From Sin to Victory and Salvation!

  • 21:4–9, The bronze serpent on the pole is a prophetic picture of salvation at the cross of Yeshua from the sting of death brought on by sin (John 3:14–15; 1 Cor 15:55–57). This is a picture of the believer’s initial salvation.
  • 21:10–22:1, Here is a recounting of the Israelites’ wilderness trek before entering the Promised Land. It was a time of testing, refining, building of faith, and learning obedience for the Israelites. This is a picture of the spiritual walk of the believer through the wilderness of this physical life.
  • 21:14–35, While crossing the wilderness, the Israelites had to fight and overcome the enemy—that is, those who would keep them from fulfilling their YHVH-ordained destiny to possess the land and inheritance he had promised them. First came the fighting and overcoming, followed by the victories. The life of the believer is one of spiritual struggle, as well, against the world, the flesh and the devil. (See Rom 7:14–25; 2 Cor 10:3–5; Eph 6:10–18.)
  • 21:10, 14–18, Here we read how Israel was refreshed with water from the rock. Isaiah speaks about the wells of salvation (Isa 12:3). There is a springing up of joy and praise (verse 17) that comes as victory is experienced, and as YHVH makes rivers to flow out of seemingly dry and barren situations (verse 18). We, too, are called to come to the rivers of salvation, the river of life and to become a river of life ourselves to all those with whom we come into contact (John 7:37–39). Yeshua is the source of that living water; he is the spiritual Rock and source of water that never runs dry (John 4:10, 13–14; 1 Cor 10:4).

Numbers 21:4–9, Fiery serpent. The plague of fiery serpents was a righteous judgment Elohim brought upon Israel for murmuring and unbelief. Israel had “sharpened their tongues like a serpent” (Ps 140:3) and “their throat [was] an open sepulcher; with their tongues have … used deceit; the poison of asps [was] under their lips” (Rom 3:13). All this was directed at Elohim and Moses. As a result of their sin, they reaped what they had sown. Elohim loosed fiery serpents upon the Israelites to bite and sting to death the unbelieving murmurers.

The wilderness Elohim led the Israelites through was full of fiery serpents and scorpions (Deut 8:15), yet this is the only account in the Torah of these creatures ever attacking Israel. YHVH had protected them to this point, but this one time he pulled back his hand of providential protection and grace allowing them to experience the due recompense of their sinful actions. How often has our merciful Father withheld the just desserts of our faithless, rebellious and abominable action against him and graciously protected us from the full consequences of our sin? If we fail to hear his soft voice of correction he will deal more harshly with us until our attention is gained (Ps 32:8–9). All he has to do is withdraw his hand of protection that restrains the judgments we all deserve and the “fiery serpents” will likewise attack us. Remember what happened to Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts is an example of this (Acts 5:1–11). Job experienced a similar situation as well.

Israel’s Murmuring. Israel complained for lack of food and water. In unbelief they concluded and confessed (literally prophesied upon themselves a curse) that they would die in the wilderness. Elohim gave them the fulfillment of their faithless delusions—serpents to sting them and leave them physiologically in a parched and burning condition. (The poison of these snakes actually leaves the victim burning with a fiery pain in his body and a desperately dry and thirsty condition [See Adam Clarke’s Commentary, vol. 1, p. 684]). This occurred with the quail also. They complained with their mouths and lusted for meat and Elohim gave them so much quail that it “came out of their nostrils” (Num 11:20). Many were struck dead in judgment. What is the lesson of this story? That for which we lust or that which we fear will come upon us, for Elohim allows those very things to rise up, attack us and judge us. Why? So that the false gods of our hearts will be exposed and we will, as a result, see the error of our ways, repent and turn back to obedient faith to the one true Elohim. Few understand this method of operation of Elohim, but the Scriptures reveals this as one of the ways he deals with his people to help them to grow up spiritually.

Salvation. Israel repented and received salvation from the sting of death by looking upward toward the brass or bronze (bronze representing judgment) serpent on the pole. Of course, no less than Yeshua himself reveals to us that this serpent is a pictures himself dying on the tree as a sin offering and source of our salvation (John 3:14–15 and 12:32).

Even the Jewish sages admit that the serpent did not heal the afflicted Israelites, but looking upward unto heaven granted them salvation and healing. (See Wisdom 16:4–12)

Parallels between the bronze serpent and Yeshua 

Yeshua likened his death on the cross to the bronze serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness (John 3:14–15). Let’s explore the spiritual implications of the bronze serpent as it prophetically pointed to Yeshua the Messiah.

  • Both the serpent and Messiah were lifted up on a pole.
  • Israel was to look up to the brass serpent to be healed physically; sinners are to look up to Messiah to be saved.
  • YHVH provided salvation from the sting of death from no other source but the serpent. Similarly, there is salvation in no other name but Yeshua (Acts 4:12).
  • If the Israelites looked at bronze serpent they were healed and lived; if sinful man looks at Messiah he will live.
  • Both the serpent and the cross are merely symbols of Elohim’s grace and mercy. They simply point one to YHVH in heaven who heals those who believe him and have faith in him.

A Type of the Devil. The Bible calls the devil a great red dragon or serpent (Rev 12:3) whose venom inflames men’s sinful passions through his fiery darts aimed at humans (Eph 6:16). Fiery serpent is the Hebrew word saraph the plural of which is seraphim, which is a type of an angelic, flaming spirit (Heb 1:7). Though physical snakes bit the Israelites, this is nevertheless a picture of Satan, the fallen angelic being who is now the serpent and enemy of both YHVH and man.

For Our Example. Israel experienced these things for our examples (1 Cor 10:1–12). What they went through and how they reacted to various situations is literally a mirror held up for our benefit for us to see ourselves as we really are, so that we will not repeat their mistakes. We owe them a debt of gratitude, for we are able to gain spiritually by their experience if we will lean from their mistakes by not repeating them.

 

Numbers 16—The Dynamics of Pride and Rebellion and Elohim’s Response

Numbers 16:1–3, Took men…rose up…gathered together against. Notice a progression (or downward spiral) of actions on the part of Korah and his rebels. They separated themselves from fellowship, rose up against Moses, gathered together others of like mind and falsely accused leadership of wrong doings. This is the world’s formula for achieving political (humanistic) power and domination. It is the opposite method of advancing in YHVH’s kingdom where the way down is the way up; that is, when one lays one’s life down in service, spiritual reward, advancement and blessing will occur for that person (Matt 20:27; 23:10).

Rebels, like Korah, tend to separate themselves from fellowship, seek out other like-minded rebels, and then rise up in defiance and accusation against godly leadership. Again, this leads to political power. The way of spiritual power is laid out in Acts 2:42–47 where the followers of Yeshua continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, in fellowship, breaking bread together, in prayer and sharing their goods with one another. The result was real spiritual power authority and anointing from heaven, and not power based on usurpation, human pride, degradation of others and self-promotion. This can only happen as people forsake not the assembling of themselves together (Heb 10:25), function according to the place and spiritual calling within the spiritual body of Yeshua submitted one to another as they walk in the spiritual light YHVH’s instructions in righteousness—the Torah.

Additionally, Yeshua taught that true power in the kingdom of Elohim is a result of one laying one’s life down for his brother and serving him in love and humility. Such a person will be elevated to a position of influence and authority because he has learned to serve others in love and selflessness rather than seeking to be served, which stems from a heart of selfishness and pride (Matt 20:25–28; 23:11–12).

The Jewish sages note that Korah and his band of malcontent had come under the power of resentment, which grew and festered until open rebellion broke out. Korah was a fellow Levite and cousin of Aaron who was among those “overlooked” for the priesthood and who were relegated to being “mere” assistants to the priests. He was also a firstborn of his household (Exod 6:21), and when the tabernacle sacrificial service was inaugurated Aaron’s sons replaced the firstborn Israelites in offering sacrifices. Furthermore, Dathan, Abiram and On were of the tribe of Reuben, the first-born child of Jacob. These men had their own grudge, since Reuben had lost his birthright as the firstborn son to the sons of Joseph because of sin (note 1 Chron 5:1). 

What do we see here? Resentment (a function of pride and selfishness) leads to bitterness, which then leads to separation, then to uprising, then to accusation, then to rebellion against YHVH-ordained authority, then to attempted usurpation of authority, and eventually it leads to judgment and death. Is this not the path Lucifer took in his rebellion against YHVH Elohim? (Read Isa 14:12–23.)

Numbers 16:5–6, Who is his…take censers. Incense is a biblical metaphor for the prayers of men coming up before YHVH’s throne (Rev 5:8; 8:3). YHVH accepts some men’s prayers as holy and rejects the prayers of other men whom he deems not to be holy. The story of Korah teaches us that YHVH doesn’t hear the prayers of self-centered, self-seeking, prideful Continue reading