The Bible does not typically portray practitioners of the occult and the demons behind them in a particularly macabre way. We moderns have been conditioned to imagine Satan, his demons, and their human minions as dark beings of pure ugliness, bearing attributes of horror and death. We have swallowed this deception from our historical culture and from the images presented by the media to entertain the masses and make millions of dollars.
Yet, while God's Word warns us against Satanic deceptions, it does not provide the standard horror movie images. In fact, it often does just the opposite, cautioning us with the fact that the Devil and his demons do their best to appear as appealing to our senses as they can be. From what we see in Genesis 3, the serpent did not repulse Eve; to her in her innocence, he was logical and quite convincing. In Ezekiel 28, the description of the king of Tyre, a type of Satan, lauds him as “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (verse 12). It describes a creature whose beauty and magnificence turned his heart proud and corrupt (verse 17).
Though he and his demons have been cast down, at least some of their beauty remains, for Paul tells us in II Corinthians 11:14-15: “Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers [servants] also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” Demons do not always look like snakes, dragons, gargoyles, or goblins but have the ability to appear attractive to us when it suits them. If accosted by a ghoul, we would shrink in horror and flee. Demons, though, are all about deception, and appearing as good and beautiful is far more subversive. People are far more likely to trust a physically appealing person than an old hag or troll.
Thus, while the tone of I Samuel 28 is at times stressed, suspicious, and fearful—as one would expect when encountering demonic powers—there is nothing blatantly horrifying or even ugly in the narrative. This tells us that a demon, being manipulative to the extreme, will appear to a person in a way that he thinks will work best for his purposes. A demon will stoop to whatever trick he deems necessary, even to appearing as a minister of righteousness.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
What Happened at En Dor?
The spirit will be reflected in the preaching: It will be anti-Christ even though it proclaims Christ, which is really deceptive. The "anti" part will be revealed in a lack of submission to the doctrines or to the government of God.
This is very serious. God gave religion the responsibility to give moral, spiritual, and ethical guidance to man. If mankind does not realize the spirit behind the false preaching, he will naively reflect the evil spirit that is there.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Right Use of Power
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing 2 Corinthians 11:14:
2 Corinthians 11:14-15
1 Timothy 4:1-2