Can Demons be Saved?
by Joe Meineke, Director, OSWC
I recently had a conversation with a former client of a Protestant deliverance ministry. I was alarmed to learn that at least one member of this ministry had adopted a completely unbiblical demonic deception: Our client recalls one of their members saying, "We can't make this public because people will not understand it, but we have been given a special revelation that demons can be saved."
The notion is a profound departure from accepted theological and biblical understanding of the nature of demons and their fall. If God was truly revealing a new understanding of this doctrine, He would not ask anyone to keep it secret. To assert that this notion must be kept secret is very problematic and a mark that something is deeply wrong. There can be no valid reason to keep this “revelation” secret unless one is afraid of scrutiny.
Unfortunately this unusual doctrine is not restricted to the fancies of a few individuals. There are a growing number of alleged deliverance ministers accepting the doctrine that demons can repent.
Another man asserting the same deception goes by the name of “Mystic Warrior.” He too seems to be sincere in his belief that demons can be saved - that he can help demons “cross over to the light” through some combination of extra-biblical insights and apologetics skills. Through these efforts these individuals seem to believe that they are able to persuade the demons to repent, thereby gaining their forgiveness from God.
We need to take heed of the wise counsel of Scripture:
“And Jesus answering, began to say to them: Take heed lest any man deceive you. Let no one deceive you” (Mark 13:5).It is vain indeed to propose a personal revelation that contradicts both Sacred Scripture and 2000 years of Church teaching.
Because information about this Mystic Warrior is more easily accessible, let us examine how this revelation came about for him.
Mystic Warrior hides behind a “handle” in most of his dealings on the Internet, but we traced the handle to a Woody Cox in West Des Moines, Iowa. On his blog, Mr. Cox gives an illustration of how demons can be “saved” by giving an interpretation of a personal encounter with a demon named Naphea. Here is his story (emphasis mine):
First, as impossible as it may seem, there are demons who can be ushered “into the light” by the holy angels. I know, those demon slayers out there will say it’s not possible. They cannot repent and cannot go to Heaven. I was one of those people who said this myself. But, here’s something that happened to me."Mystic Warrior’s" account of his encounter with the demon is not the problem. The problem is the faulty logic and reasoning to arrive at the conclusion that St. Michael ushered a demon “into the light” and that demons can be saved. His evidence is partially based on readings from the apocryphal Book of Enoch (not in the official canon of Scripture) and a psycho-mystical book, Spirit Releasement Therapy which, among other nonsense, teaches “past life regression therapy,” “soul recovery,” and “birth regression.”.
In his story, Mr. Cox admitted that he once held the traditional view that demons could not be “saved”. The dramatic change of mind came solely from his personal experience with a demon that he says he met many times, and his conversations with this demon.
It seems like Mr. Cox had a personal relationship with this demon. For example, he says “last time I met him.” We confront demons, not “meet with them.” This is not a counseling session with a demon, or a talk over coffee. This is war and our task as deliverance ministers is to cast out the snake from our client. If that snake starts crying and pleading for mercy, we cut off its head - no mercy. Mr. Cox shows himself to be dangerously unqualified to be a deliverance minister. With such a temperament he would be better as a social worker.
Mr. Cox is seduced like the woman Eve and decides that demons can be saved and returned to heaven. Perhaps Mr. Cox is poorly trained in theology, but in any case certainly lacks common sense and basic discernment.
The next logical flaw is that after he asks St. Michael to “take him into the light” he presumes that the reason he doesn’t see the demon again is that the demon is now in heaven. Incredible... The demon has a vested interest in making Mr. Cox think that. It is a way for the demons to keep Mr. Cox in delusion. But, there is another possibility. Perhaps St. Michael did take the demon into the light — the light from the fires of hell where the demon is now and that is why Mr. Cox never “met” him again.
So what really happened? It is impossible to know for sure, but one thing is certain – demons cannot be saved. Perhaps God in his mercy and love for the person afflicted by this spirit caused the demon to leave once and for all. God is merciful and, in spite of our imperfections and mistakes, He intercedes because he loves us.
The view of these men is unbiblical and completely demonic in origin. In fact, the former client of the deliverance ministry that I mentioned earlier told me that the demons pretended to be cast out and, on the drive home, were literally rejoicing in the fact that the ministry team fell for the ruse. He was not delivered, and his problem actually got worse after that encounter.
Private revelation can never contradict Sacred Scripture or Sacred Tradition. Ultimately the question must be asked of these gentlemen to produce Biblical evidence and/or evidence from the Church Fathers to support and justify changing a 2000 year old doctrine. If such evidence is lacking, then the Private Revelation of the deliverance ministry team member is false and not from God, and the experience of Mystic Warrior is misinterpreted. Without that evidence, both cases, and those like it, lead to a dangerous demonic delusion.
From Scripture we discover some things about the nature of the demons (emphasis mine):
"For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people." (Heb. 2:16-17).From the Church Fathers we learn (emphasis mine):
In A.D. 543 the Synod of Constantinople declared, against the Origenism that postulated a demon’s final repentance, that the free aversion to repentance was radical and definitive and that hell was therefore eternal for the demon. (DS 409)
"Can. 9. If anyone says or holds that the punishment of the demons and of impious men is temporary, and that it will have an end at some time, that is to say, there will be a complete restoration of the demons or of impious men, let him be anathema." (Pope Vigilius, Canons Against Origen, A.D. 543)
And Thomas Aquinas making the point that prayer for demons is useless as they cannot repent:
"As Augustine (De Civitate Dei xxi,24) and Gregory (Moralium xxxiv) say, the saints in this life pray for their enemies, that they may be converted to God, while it is yet possible for them to be converted. For if we knew that they were foreknown to death, we should no more pray for them than for the demons. And since for those who depart this life without grace there will be no further time for conversion, no prayer will be offered for them, neither by the Church militant, nor by the Church triumphant. For that which we have to pray for them is, as the Apostle says (2 Timothy 2:25,26), that 'God may give them repentance to know the truth, and they may recover themselves from the snares of the devil.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church").I can certainly understand how, without proper theological training, one could succumb to the temptation to be compassionate to these creatures and easily fall victim to this trickery; especially given the fact that we humans find it difficult to comprehend the nature of everlasting punishment and the demonic decision to irrevocably reject their Creator. Nevertheless, we cannot allow private revelation or private interpretations of personal encounters with demons to ever cause us to deviate from the sound doctrine which we have received from Christ:
“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:8)The teachings of Scripture and the Church Fathers are clear - demons cannot be saved.