Angel or Daemon?

How can you tell whether you are dealing with an angel or a daemon?  How can you tell if a spiritual moment comes from heaven or hell?  How can you discern spiritual realities?  Paul gives us the answer in the following passage.  You must look to see whether the spiritual experience or entity leads you closer or further from God.  Did the spiritual experience glorify Jesus Christ or was it a generic ‘spirtual’ feeling that left you self-satisfied?  If someone claims to have a message from God and it defames Jesus, it is not from God.  The Spirit of God is united with the Father and the Son.  He generates unity in the body of Christ, the church.  Jesus reinforced this principle (Mark 3: 20-30).

1 Corinthians 12: 1-6

1Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

 4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

Questions

  1. What subject is Paul talking about?
  2. What led the Corinthians astray?
  3. What two statements, if spoken sincerely, can show whether a spiritual message is from God?
  4. How have so many people today become ‘spiritual’ without Jesus?
  5. Is your quest for spiritual experiences centered on Jesus?  How can others tell?

Going Deeper

Read Mark 3: 20 – 30

Observation

  1. What were the disciples unable to do?
  2. What did Jesus’ family say about him?
  3. Of what did the teachers from Jerusalem accuse Jesus?
  4. If a kingdom is divided against itself, then what?
  5. What sin can not be forgiven?

Interpretation

  1. Why would Jesus’ family think he was crazy?
  2. Why were teachers from Jerusalem convinced Jesus had a daemon?
  3. How does this passage show Jesus’ thoughts on logical argument?
  4. What is blaspheming the Holy Spirit?
  5. What was the common understanding of Satan in Jesus’ time?

Application

  1. How might following Jesus passionately lead others to think you are crazy?
  2. Does your family approve of your belief in God?
  3. Do people you know believe in a physical world, a spiritual world, both or neither?
  4. How do horror movies about exorcism provide a basis for spiritual discussion?
  5. Do you engage with spiritual realities as much as you should?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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