Q. I have read and heard testimonies of people in the midst of spiritual warfare in which Christ himself appears and rebukes the demons who then flee. Do you think that Christ physically appeared to these people to protect them from demons, or do you think that these people saw a vision of Christ without him being there physically?
A. I’m always skeptical of stories like this. According to the Bible, believers have the power to cause a demon to flee simply by resisting it (James 4:7). Ephesians 6:10-17 and 2 Cor. 10:3-5 give more specific instructions on conducting spiritual warfare, but neither passage includes the presence of the Lord, whether spiritual or physical.
If, in the process of resisting, some people have seen a vision of the Lord appearing to chase a demon away to demonstrate that their resistance is effective that’s one thing, but nowhere does the Bible identify this as standard procedure. Referring to the enemy, 1 John 4:4 says the One who is in us is greater that the one who is in the world. To me this means in His strength we can prevail in any demonic attack.