Two weeks ago, my wife Dahl and I were asked to help some Filipinos who were experiencing some demonic activity in their home. Before going, I wondered: “Do evil spirits that are active in Costa Rica communicate only in Spanish? Do they also understand English or Tagalog?” I posted this question on my Facebook page to encourage biblical reflections on the matter. Some were being facetious about their responses probably because they didn’t know we were facing a real, urgent case of demonic oppression.

Engaging in this level of spiritual warfare is not new to me. However, have you ever thought of confronting demons in cross-cultural contexts? I would be hard-pressed to bind these demons in Spanish, but if I address them in English or Tagalog, would they understand me?

I am sure that evil spirits undjesus-name-0104erstand the language spoken in the territory they inhabit. For example, the disciples of Jesus spoke Aramaic in casting out demons in the Jewish towns they visited (see Matthew 10 and Luke 10). Most likely, the sons of Sceva spoke Greek to the evil spirit that they encountered in Ephesus (Acts 19:13-20). However, unlike our God Almighty, demons are not all-knowing. I doubt that each demon speaks all the 6,877 languages currently known to be in use in the world today.

So, if these evil spirits were Spanish-speaking, how did they understand our Tagalog language? Why did they leave our friends? Well, it was not because these demons had advanced communication skills or had interpreters on standby. It was not even because of my own ability. They left because of God’s intervention. Two factors were at work when God intervened:

  1. The authority of Jesus. When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” (Luke 10:17). Dahl and I make the same confession.
  2. The power of the Holy Spirit. In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26). When we prayed, the Holy Spirit interceded for us and communicated effectively to the demons.

Demons oppose the work of God. They relentlessly try to hinder us from carrying out the purposes of God. They may be extremely powerful beings but we are not helpless against them. When you appropriate the authority of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, God intervenes so that you can resist any demon, whatever language it may speak.

The assault of God on evil was manifested that evening not only in the driving away of demons but, more significantly, in the salvation of these Filipino friends, six of them, as they invited Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. Glory to God!

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8 thoughts on “Demons in Costa Rica understand Tagalog

  1. It’s interesting, Bro. Lloyd. Haven’t encountered similar case in Chinese, Bahasa Melayo & Tamil-speaking Singapore. But I think demons could easily pick up and learn Tagalog, Ilocano, Ilongo & Cebuano from our kababayan here who are just every where in Singapore proudly speaking their language and dialect.

  2. I never actually thought about if spirits were multi-lingual. I completely agree that whether they are multi-lingual or not, they are under the authority of God and when he commands them they must obey.

    What is difficult for me as a Westerner is that most of this is very theoretical. I know in my head from reading the Scriptures that evil spirits exists and that Jesus put them in their place, so to speak, during his ministry on earth, but if truth be told, I personally have not had the experience of encountering evil spirits myself, at least, not in the sense of being able to identify that some event or experience occurred because it was directly related to demonic activity.

    I know that the enemy is behind all evil, but direct experiences with the world of evil spirits is not part of my experience. I am not sure what to conclude on the matter. I do not think it healthy to “want to” find demons and look for them continually, but on the other hand, if they are actively doing their work around me, neither do I want to ignorantly pretend they are not there.

  3. Hi, Jaime. Thanks for your note. While I have had actual encounters with evil spirits, I do not look forward to experiencing them. In fact, every time I go to a home where an exorcism is required, I pray even before getting to this home that the Holy Spirit would prevent any manifestation of evil spirits. This is because I want to the person having problems. As much as possible, I don’t want to talk to the evil spirits since in my experience, they are liars.

    However, I want to say this. As a Christian, we really need to know how to appropriate the authority of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit at all times, and if ever, in cases of “power encounters.” The command remains the same, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

  4. We had a lot of experiences here in Japan but I haven’t talked about them whenever I was asked to share my testimony in the Philippines and other countries…Pastor Lloyd, glad you posted about your spiritual warfare experiences in Costa Rica so others will realize it’s happening anywhere but we can have spiritual victory in Jesus, our Only Savior & Protective Lord.

    One experience happened during a Filipino Bible Study in Tokyo near the Christian Academy of Japan (CAJ) where a lot of Western missionaries live. I wasn’t connected to the 3 Filipino missionaries conducting the Bible study but I received an unexpected call from them before noontime to intercede for “an ongoing battle.” I immediately forwarded the prayer request to our “phone prayer brigade” since most of our members then can just read phone messages by lunchtime. By mid-afternoon, I was asked to go to the venue of the Filipino Bible Study because the “possessed Filipino man” was getting violent and the attendees were held captive. The host Filipino missionary had called help from Western missionaries and Japanese pastors in the neighborhood but to no avail. I think they don’t believe about this kind of spiritual encounter and even just consider a “Filipino matter.”

    Before I drove to the house of the missionary, another prayer request sent to our “phone prayer brigade.” I actually don’t want to be involved in this kind of ministry but since I’d received many urgent calls and no one was helping them, I went with the prayer that God will be with me….Praise God the Filipino man was delivered and accepted Jesus as his Savior & Lord. Eventually, after attending more Bible studies, he was baptized together with his brother who witnessed the whole scenario. They became the first male leaders in the Filipino Fellowship in Tokyo where most Filipino groups/churches in Japan are female-dominated.

    Kindly pray & intercede for me as I live & work in Japan. Please include me in your prayer list. I also encounter spiritual attacks but I cling on to the abiding presence of our Creator God and believe in His work in & through me. May God be glorified in my life always.

    Matthew 28:18-20

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