One of the shortest books in Scripture is the epistle of Jude, tucked in just before Revelation. Although Jude doesn’t mention Belial by name, there’s little doubt this is the entity he’s focussed on. After all, he quotes from the Book of Enoch and explicitly mentions ‘the angels who did not stay within their own domain but abandoned their proper dwelling.’

The leader of this fallen troop is none other than the cosmic spirit known as Semjaza, Belial and the ‘prince of darkness’, amongst other names and titles.

Jude’s epistle is a warning against transgression of boundaries— Belial’s speciality. The temptation Belial repeatedly places before us is to exert authority above and beyond that delegated to us.

What?!’ you may think. ‘But haven’t we got all authority, conferred on us by no less than Jesus Himself?

Let’s have a look at the temptations of Jesus to see what a transgression of authority might mean. In doing so, we’ll also be examining the critical difference between magic and miracle.

Now you may recall that Jesus was out in the desert for forty days, fasting and praying. At the end of the time, He was hungry. And the  satan appeared, tempting Him to command the stones to become bread (Matthew 4:3). No question that Jesus could have done it. But it would have been magic; it would not have been a miracle. You see, the satan was asking for a demonstration of power against the natural order. God created plants to yield seed after their own kind and animals to bear young after their own kind. To use His divine creative energy to transgress these boundaries is to cross over into occult activity: since, in essence, magic is simply the use of God’s creative principles of design and power against Him and His ordained order.

To make bread from stones is transgressing the divine order; to make bread from bread—as Jesus did when He multiplied the loaves and fishes—is in alignment with the multiplication of grain in fields across the world throughout the passing seasons. If Jesus had made bread from stones, He would have stepped across a forbidden frontier: instead of upholding God’s authority and the division in creation between ‘kinds’, He would have been violating it.

Authority is not power to breach the principles of creation, it is the delegated power to uphold them and know the full backing of God is with us. Authority is not power to disregard the wellsprings of the Word, it is the delegated power to uphold it. Authority is not the power to use the blood of Jesus as cover for deliberate violations of the Word, that is magic. We can’t betray God and plead the blood of Jesus as protection.

To pit redemptive power against creative power is occult practice. It’s precisely the trap Belial wants us to fall into: dishonour of God that will bring immense retaliation down on us.

This is Grace Drops and I’m Anne Hamilton. The Lord bless you with deep understanding of authority.

Thank you to Lorna Skinner of for the background music.

More on the spirit of Belial can be found in the paperback, Dealing with Belial: Spirit of Armies and Abuse, Strategies for the Threshold #8.