SHEMAIAH: DEMON OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF
Strong demon spirits have been known to identify themselves by the name of an Old Testament person who was cursed by God for their evil deeds. Jezebel is the most well-known example. Most demons do not wish their names to be known by man. They desire to be hidden so as to do their work anonymously so as not to be exposed. They are vulnerable in the hands of Spirit-filled Christians. One such well hidden demon is Shemaiah, the spirit of unbelief.
A well-known evangelist whom I know encountered this spirit in a demon-possessed man. As he was walking along a roadside the demon within this man recognized him in spirit. He started cursing the evangelist and denied that Jesus was God and spewed all manner of doubt. When the evangelist confronted the man to cast out the demon, he asked the demon what his name was. The answer was “Shemaiah.”
Who was this Old Testament character? We read of him in Jeremiah 29:24-32. He is Shemaiah, the Nehelamite. He came strongly against Jeremiah to cause the people to doubt Jeremiah and to punish (reprove) him. Israeli captives had been taken into Babylon. Jeremiah wrote to them to build houses, raise families, and find their place in the villages and cities of Babylon and do business because their captivity there was going to be for a long time.
Shemaiah, a false prophet, wrote letters to all the priests remaining in Jerusalem (not all had yet been taken captive until later) denouncing the high priest Jehoiada and telling them that they should be priests and temple officers following Shemaiah instead. Letters were also sent to the captives in Babylon.
He furthermore rebuked them for not coming against Jeremiah. He claimed that Jeremiah was a false prophet and had appointed himself falsely as a prophet because of the word about the long period of captivity. Shemaiah believed the captivity would be short. Shemaiah told them that they all should reprove (come against or punish) Jeremiah for his false words.
Jeremiah responded by sending his own letters with the Word the LORD had given him about Shemaiah being a false prophet. God would punish Shemaiah and cut off his seed (family lineage) from off the earth forever because of his rebellion.
Perhaps as a result of Shemaiah’s rebellion against Jeremiah and the LORD, Jeremiah was consequently put in prison two or three times and eventually went into exile in Egypt where he died. Shemaiah, the Nehelamite, sowed seeds of doubt against God’s word. The demon who has spread doubt and unbelief of God and his work took on the name of the cursed false prophet and does his work which is largely unrecognized in the Christian community.
Let us pray that the demon of doubt, Shemaiah, be openly exposed so that God’s intercessors, prayer warriors, and even deliverance ministers will know who it is that they must war against.
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