How can I research the identity of a particular demon? Should I?
Question from a reader:
In January, my brother died. His death was a long, drawn-out, and torturous ordeal for him (and our family) which lasted for years, the details of which horrified and shocked and troubled our hearts. All my prayer attempts to save him through the years were unsuccessful. Several weeks after he died, he came to me in a dream. In it, he called my name and said, “I’m alright.” “I’m on the other side—remember the song—I’m on the other side.” Then, a few nights after that, I had another dream. In this dream, there was a demon with black hair (long and straight and parted in the middle), a green face, and hollow, silver eyes. (He moved and carried himself as my brother had when he was younger.) He stared straight at me and said, “My name is Bishaud, and I am the demon who stole your brother’s life on earth.” With that, I awoke, quite startled. I have never dreamed of a demon before in my life, and was concerned that one would come to me now. Four months later, our father also died (I think from the heartache and suffering). For me—I have no doubt this is real. I would like to learn more, but do not want to invite darkness, you know? Any suggestions?
Answer from Marshall Beretta, EPM Volunteer:
You have certainly had several very traumatic life-experiences within the last year-and-a-half. I am sorry for your losses of significant family members. This is one of the most emotionally wrenching effects of a fallen creation which we must endure. Given your deep feelings expressed in your email, it is not at all unusual to still have disturbing dreams. Sleep is a restorative process, and our subconscious turmoil is often more free to come to the fore during this state. Dreams can be extremely realistic and detailed. However, I would caution you about treating them as “real.” I will offer you some personal thoughts (Biblically supported) which I hope are helpful to you during this period of your life.
I believe you are quite correct to say that you are hesitant to “invite darkness” by pursuing a perceived demon. This is an area of spirituality that no one should ever “pursue” out of curiosity. It will serve no purpose. It will add no truth to your life. Satan and his demons are quite real; however, they are always deceivers—even called “an angel of light” in 2 Corinthians 11:14 because of disguising their words as a meaningful alternative to God’s Word.
I want to make sure you are not somehow feeling guilty that your brother did not decide to choose to follow Christ. People do not have the responsibility to “save” others. Only Christ, through the grace ministry of the Holy Spirit, can save. And Christ assures us that no one who genuinely desires to believe will ever be stopped from believing—”Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:7-8). Demons cannot stop someone from believing if they desire to, nor can demons steal a life. The dream you had is claiming to have accomplished something that God says is impossible. Christ’s death and resurrection is proof that He is Lord over death, which Satan erroneously thought was in his power. While we all will die, it is only God Who can appoint the time (cf. Heb. 9:27-”And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”; Job. 2:6—”The Lord said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.’“). The only thing you could do for your brother was to pray for him as you did and to be honest about your own belief in Christ. You need not carry the burden of your brother’s unbelief, other than the normal sadness that accompanies loosing an unbelieving loved one.
Absolutely nothing can be gained, for either you or your brother, by pursuing your dream any further. In fact, the Scriptures suggest victory is in the very opposite direction. And, we are promised victory. James tells us that when Satan is bothering us we are to turn our back and focus rather on Christ. “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7-8). Satan is very aware of your present emotional sensitivity caused by your losses. His mission is to distract you from seeking God for comfort, strength, and stability. The best plan at this time is to put on the Armor of God—”Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (Eph. 6:11-18).
Notice that the helmet protects the mind, and the Word is a weapon of protection. The helmet of salvation is our assurance that, as a believer, we are securely in God’s hands. Paul give us a wonderful assurance in Romans 8:33-39—”Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God’s Word is a great weapon of Truth against all of Satan’s deception. Read it before you retire so that its cleansing is fresh in your memory. Many of the Psalms are uplifting worship poetry. We see and feel Jesus in the gospels. The epistles are a great encouragement to godliness. The Holy Spirit is constantly praying for exactly what you need—”And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26). His mission in our lives is to be the One Who brings to our remembrance the Words of Christ—”But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you” (John 16:13-14).