Spiritual Warfare Forum: Clarifications on demons abilities
Clarifications on demons abilities QUESTION from Faith on January 21, 2003 I hate to even call attention to demon's abilities but after reading a recent response, I really am confused. You said in one of my earlier posts that one of the dangers of consulting psychics is that they are prompted by demons (some anyway) who give them their impressive predictions. Also, the bible itself tells of a girl in a town whose fortune telling abilities made her family quite a handsome living. Wasn't it Christ who immediately recognized that she was posessed and commanded the evil spirit out? If demons can't tell the future, how do you account for the psychics who know for example, that there is an emminent death in the family. Are you saying the demon only knows the present situation, that the person is sick, and simply communicates this to the psychic/medium? What I gathered so far is that you are saying demons know see what is going on in the world but don't know the future, but how do you account for the bible story I mentioned and the many psychics getting their information from evil spirits. Interestingly, I told you in the past I visited psychics and actually believed them. Some were quite impressive. However, one in particular asked to hold something that belonged to me. I took off my necklace which had a cross on it that had been blessed by a priest. The medium looked scared and said do you have something else I can hold to get a vibration. I challenged her and said no, this is what I wear every day. She simply said she could not read me at all, could get no information. This in itself was more comforting than any reading. It really gave me a sense of God's power and how even the demons tremble before him. Looking back I am ashamed at having gone to the fortune-teller or even putting a cross in her hands. But, I did learn something from this and subsequent experiences. ANSWER by Mr. Joe Meineke on January 27, 2003 Dear Faith,
Thank you for your question.
I think that there is some confusion about what prediction is and what knowing is. Anyone can make a prediction, including demons. You and I can make predictions about anything we want, although our predictions may not be correct due to our human limitations. However, demons abilities to make predictions are far more developed than you or I can understand. They, with their God given intellect, superior infused knowledge and tremendous abilities, can quite accurately make predictions that, if we could understood all of the facts, would seem quite natural to us. However, since we don't know all the facts, they can seem to us quite astounding.
Now, onto knowing. As I said before, there is a difference in KNOWING what WILL happen as opposed to making a prediction about what we THINK will happen based on available information. For example - I can look at the sky, measure the temperature, take humidity and barometric pressure readings, and then predict whether or not it is going to rain. Increase my abilities by giving me Doppler radar and my predictions will be even more accurate. God, on the other hand, not only knows if it will rain, but He also knows precisely where each and every rain drop will land, how many water molecules are in each drop, and every other possible detail that you can think of. The important distinction here is that God knows the future - He does not predict it .
Now then, on to the question, can demons predict the future? The answer is yes, they can (accurate or inaccurate, they can). However, if we ask it a little differently, do demons KNOW the future? The answer is no, not unless God reveals it to them . In other words, the ability to know the future was not one of their gifts. Now then, this begs the question, Does God ever reveal the future to demons? The answer is He can, when it is His will to do so for some good cause.
Perhaps a quote from Joan Carol Cruz's book, Angels and Devils, will help shed some more light on this subject:
84. Do the Devils Know the Future? We are told that Satan has a superior intelligence and natural powers. St. Thomas Aquinas quotes Dionysius as having written that certain gifts were bestowed upon the demons which, we say, have not been changed at all, but remain entire and most brilliant. Now the knowledge of truth stands among those natural gifts, consequently there is some knowledge of the truth in them. In addition, St. Thomas says that divine secrets are revealed to the devils only as is necessary and that this is done either by means of angels or through some temporal workings of divine power, as Augustine says. The Saint makes clear that these secrets are revealed in a higher degree to the holy Angels, as would be expected.
Saint John of the Cross (1542-1592), the Doctor of the Church who is known as the Doctor of Mystical Theology , writes: The devil can learn and foretell that a person's life will naturally last only a certain number of years. And he can determine many other events through such various ways that we would never finish recording them all, nor could we even begin to explain many because of their intricacy and the devil's craftiness in inserting lies... Since his light is so vivid, he can easily deduce a particular effect from a specific cause. Yet the effect does not always materialize according to his deduction, since all causes depend upon God's will.
We know that the devil is devious in his temptations, and as we will learn later in the section about exorcisms, he might also reveal the sins of witnesses, or know of secrets, or predict the future. He can know sins or secrets by being a silent witness to them. Regarding the future, he might come close to knowing it by reasoning to a probable outcome of events based on known causes. But to know the future for certain he is not able, unless it is revealed to him by God. And the reason God would reveal the future to the devil is known to God alone.
pp. 166-167 (emphasis mine) Now, as far as what happened with the girl in scripture, (in Acts 16:16-18) all we know is that she was making money for her owners by fortune telling. Scripture does not tell us any details beyond that, so we should be careful about assuming that her fortune telling abilities (which we later learn were caused by a demon) included anything to do with KNOWING the future. For the sake of discussion, let's assume that this particular demon DID know the future. What then can we say? Simply this - whatever facts the demon knew of the future, it knew them because God had revealed it to him and NOT because of some preternatural gift. I hope that this helped.
God bless you,
Joe Meineke Assistant to Bro. Ignatius
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