By Reverend Mark Hunnemann
Not long ago, I wrote a couple of article on demonic collusion. “Collusion” is defined as “a secret agreement, especially for fraudulent or treacherous purposes; conspiracy.” Regarding demons, it means that Satan and his diabolical underlings plan strategy on how to work together to best plan and execute an attack/s.This often entails an astonishing amount of details. I’m watching a special on “Inside the Green Berets”, and demons are spiritual warriors, who are also the ultimate terrorists…who carry out special ops missions that would make our heads spin in their brilliance, as well as their cruelty. The words used in Greek/English to express demonic hierarchies infers that there is intentional strategizing.
While reading the Book of Job, I came across a clear example of Satanic led collusion with other unclean spirits. In the prologue, Satan tells God that he had been walking around on planet earth. Further, he argues to God that Job only loves Him because God put a hedge around him. Please read the text carefully:
Satan Takes Job's Property and Children
13 Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house,
14 and there came a messenger to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them,
15 and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you."
16 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, "The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you."
17 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said,"The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you."
18 While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, "Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house,
19 and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you."
20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped.
21 And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."
22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
After getting permission from God Almighty to attack that which belonged to Job, a man who was blameless (that does not mean perfect) and upright, Satan descends back to earth from whence he came and began his collusive deliberations with his subordinates. No, this is not stated explicitly, but it is most certainly implied…based on subsequent events. The plan was to kill, steal, and destroy (sound familiar?)
SMASH…SMASH…SMASH…SMASH—from multiple directions. Satan can only be at one place at a time. From the south (Sabeans..v.15), fire from above (v.16), north (Chaldeans v.17), and the east (the sirocco wind demonically enhanced…v 19) The Satanic and demonic attacks came smashing down relentlessly….exquisitely timed for maximum affect. Cattle were stolen, many servants slaughtered, and all 10 of his children were killed in an instant. Such was the brilliantly cruel collusion that it included the details of the timing of the attacks, as well as their reporting. The timing was so relentless, that 3 times it says (verses 16, 17, 18): “while he was yet speaking”. No sooner had one tragedy occurred, and been reported, that Satan timed it so they came in rapid fire succession. The narrative presents each of the tragedies in rapid succession, giving Job/us the feeling, later described by Job: “He will not let me get my breath.” Breathless in Uz…and weeping while worshipping.
Note something that is easily overlooked: In every tragedy, there was ONE survivor—somebody had to be spared to bring Job the horrific news. You can bet that they didn’t survive because of their ‘luck’ or wits…What an awful cruelty…Satan sparing 3 men merely to bear the unbearable news. All part of the detailed collusive plan. It is easily lost on the reader that many of Jobs beloved servants were massacred, in light of the unspeakable death of all ten of his children. But surely the death of his servants agonized this righteous man’s soul to its core. And given the massive size of Job’s flocks, there must’ve been many dozens of servants savagely slaughtered.
Let’s go back. To see the incredible attention to detail, the Chaldeans and Sabeans had to be demonically incited against a man that they had previously lived in peace with. Think of a counsel of war, in which Satan oversaw every detail, down to the smallest minutia of this multi-pronged attack. And their timing had to be perfect, in order for it to have the effect it did. Then, we see Satan’s power (derived from God Almighty) over nature, where (presumably) lightning struck at just the right moment and at the just the exact, right place. The devils derivative power over nature is seen in the timing of the sirocco wind as well. These folks would have been used to this wind, so it must have been a supernaturally strong wind that would have destroyed a house, killing ALL the inhabitants (except for one), at the perfect time.
His collusion caused massive losses for Job…steal, kill, and destroy—literally.
Those familiar with the story (which happened in space and time) will know that Satan was granted permission to attack Job’s body, but not kill him..This introduced yet another layer of intense suffering. After being covered with painful boils, Job still maintained his integrity and worshipped…though he was struggling.
Some may disagree with me, but I believe that the cruel advice of Job’s friends was an integral part of Satan’s collusion—the comprehensively detailed plan to crush this dear man. If Peter could be an unwitting mouthpiece for Satan, then why not these three men?
If they had just remained quiet, they would have done well…at least better.
Here is a hint that Eliphaz had been visited by Satan/demon in preparation for this rendezvous. A mysterious experience is expressed in 4:12-16. Dread and trembling came upon him at night and a spirit glided by his face…the hair on his body stood on end. Then the ‘apparition’ stood still but Eliphaz not could make out its detail. And this supernatural midnight rider said: “Can mortal man be in the right before God?”
The doctrine of demons, which these men espoused and crushed Job with, was this: character can be judged by circumstances. Jesus encountered this same thinking in His day (see John 9)
I find it instructive that Eliphaz mentions this demonic encounter, right after his first expression of demonic theology and attack on Job (4:7—11) Btw, I’m not aware of any commentators who agree with me that this experience was demonic, but I may be wrong.
First, you have this man visited by a demon, preparing Eliphaz for his visit with Job. And he appeals to the supernatural nature of this experience to lend authority to the horribly brutal things he was saying to Job…not realizing he had not been discerning of the spirits. He must have forgot that there is supernatural evil as well. Whether it was a shadow demon in humanoid form or another form of demonic apparition, Eliphaz could not make out its details. I must say that this experience has such a modern ring to it, doesn’t it? To those of us who have encountered demons in the night, all the details of the ancient vision sound eerily familiar.
And further evidence of collusion, is the fact that these men who lived so far apart, planned to get together and comfort Job. They thought they were going to comfort Job, but Satan had other plans. He knew their deviant theology, which gave him a foothold. Don’t ever say that doctrine is impractical or not important! The bulk of the book is these men, descending into deeper and deeper depths of attacking and accusing Job, flowing out of their demonic theology, as well as impatience. Do preachers draw attention to the ongoing Satanic collusion via their advice to Job?
They succeeded in causing Job to sink ever deeper into despair. The Accuser was behind the persistent accusing of Job.
I don’t have time to unravel all the detail, but the point is that pastors and individual Christians need to remember the vicious nature of spiritual warfare and be on guard.
To put this in terms so we might understand more fully the devastation, let me put the events like this…All of these events occurred in rapid fire succession, and reported to Job in same rapid fire succession.
1. The oxen and donkeys were stolen by the Sabeans, and all the servants but one were killed. Job’s checking account has been wiped out.
2. Fire from above destroyed Job’s sheep, and killed all the servants but one. Job’s savings account was wiped out.
3. The Chaldeans stole his camels and killed all the servants but one. The rest of Job’s financial portfolio (IRA’s, 401-K, investments, etc.) has been wiped out. ALL of his assets are gone…nothing to live on and no retirement.
4. All of his children are killed….murdered by the evil one.
5. Job’s wife is diabolically influenced to cause Job to blaspheme and possibly commit suicide.
6. Job is soon attacked with painful boils, from head to toe.
7. His friends turn on him and viciously accuse him of wickedness, as they are under the influence of the Accuser. No sympathy…just one attack after another.
If we saw someone in the same circumstances, would we be tempted to wonder if they were doing something wrong? Don’t say ‘No!’ too quickly. It is hardwired into our fallen humanness, to inwardly judge people who are in systemic dire straits. I went through a rough patch a few years ago, and a friend began insisting (and spreading the news) that I had a demonic attachment. I didn’t…we live in a Fallen world (a blog for another day).
Because we are privy to the real reason for Job’s problems, we know he was under Satanic oppression. BUT, he hadn’t done anything wrong. I have found that a large number of people who are under demonic oppression are themselves blameless. Kids with autism (fill in the blank), or moving into a house with a pre-existing demonic presence, or something generational in nature, all of these can cause innocent people to come under attack from the lawless Accuser. There does not have to always be ‘legal rights’ as we normally understand the term. Sometimes, it is what I call ‘illegal rights’, as in the case with the classes of people I mentioned above….or Job. Let’s be careful with how we use the term ‘legal rights.’
I have come to have reservations about the term ‘legal rights’ because Satan can and does do that which is contrary to God’s moral will all the time. Everything he does is contrary to God’s moral will, though never contrary to His sovereign will. God’s sovereign will is absolute, and no creature can break it because God is sovereign over every molecule. Job had not done anything to give Satan/demons a legal right to attack him. And if God allowed the devil to attack Job without any legal rights to do so, then why not today as well? I’m well aware that a large percentage of demonic oppression is caused by personal sin, which then gives Satan a foothold (that IS a biblical term.(Ephesians 4:26).
I am trying to apply the fact of demonic collusion, and one application is that Job had not given the devil any legal right to attack him so savagely. But I wonder if he lived today, if we demonologists would secretly wonder what legal rights he had given Satan? We need to have tender, sympathetic hearts, and not rush to judgment.
Job was a mess…crushed to the core of his being. His friends initially didn’t recognize him-such was the comprehensively savage effects (physical and emotional) of this Satanic, collusive attack. People who are under chronic and acute demonic oppression are going to be ‘irregular’ and probably not be candidates for being on the cover of GQ or Better Homes and Gardens. They are often physically, emotionally, and spiritually crushed. Hence, we need to be patient and tenderly sympathetic when they express erratic behavior or rash words, as Job did.
But the bible insists that we not be ignorant of Satan’s schemes, which itself implies collusion, does it not? Scheming in this case is done amidst the demonic hierarchy. Pastors need to be acutely aware of how real spiritual warfare is…and not some hazy notion of occasional temptation. Collusion teaches us that spiritual warfare is to be taken very, very seriously by God’s children.
A healthy respect for Satan’s immense power and intelligence is needed if we are to see just how desperately we need to despair of any self-confidence, self-righteousness, or self-reliance. It will drive us to Christ, and Christ alone, as our deliverer from this serial killer of all serial killers. Just as an awareness of sin will cause us to cling to the cross, so will a deeper understanding of demonic collusion drive us to cling white-knuckled to the cross. We have put the magnifying glass on Satan/demons brilliant strategizing for one main reason—to put the spotlight on the beauty of the atonement. The more we understand Satan’s power, then the more we shall celebrate and weep for joy over the precious Name of Jesus. To quote Martin Luther regarding Satan’s massive power-“ …one little word shall fell him:JESUS."
Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.