Spirit of tooth decay? I seriously had a chuckle when I heard this from Derek Prince for the first time. But then one night I was pondering about it, and then a Scripture flashed through my mind and it all makes sense. Just like that. Holy Spirit moment? You decide. Before this, I would probably assume that you’re out of your mind had you told me that the “spirit of tooth decay” is causing tooth decay on people. The idea of a [spirit of tooth decay] is beyond ridiculous that I wouldn’t bother to ask for a Scripture reference.
Well, I now learn that even when something sounds unbelievable and ridiculous as this, we should not be quick to push it away just because the Bible does not say it. Maybe it does and we need to use our sanctified reasoning to see it. Having considered it, I believe that there’s such a thing as “spirit of…”. Here’s the verse that flashed through my mind:
“…from the [seven Spirits] which are before his throne;” (Revelation 1:4)
Seven Spirits? No. There is only one Holy Ghost. In the book of Revelation, the emphasis seems to be more on the function of the Holy Spirit, and His seven-fold nature, rather than on His person which is widely found elsewhere in the Bible. Right off the bat, John lets us know that there’s symbology in this book: Seven Churches, Seven Spirits, Seven Lampstands etc… all that seems to point us back to Zechariah 4:1-6. Only one Spirit, but His role/function are many: Spirit of Truth, Spirit of Grace, Spirit of Prophecy, Spirit of Holiness, Spirit of Fire/Burning etc…
Seven-fold nature of the One Spirit that descended on Jesus at His baptism, taken from Isaiah 11:1-2,
- Spirit of the LORD [YHVH]
- Spirit of Wisdom
- Spirit of Understanding
- Spirit of Counsel
- Spirit of Might [or Strength]
- Spirit of Knowledge
- Spirit of the Fear of the LORD
The name or title of a person tells us something about that person. Take for example:
Jesus the Christ, the Son of Man, the Son of David, the Son of God, the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Lamb of God etc…
It is no surprise then that God reveals Satan’s devices by revealing his names and or titles:
- Satan the wicked [or evil] one
- Satan the Tempter
- Satan the Beelzebub
- Satan the Adversary
- Satan the Angel of the bottomless pit
- Satan the Belial
- Satan the Enemy, the Thief, the Ruler, the Deceiver, the Accuser, the Destroyer, the Destroyed / Defeated etc…
By knowing his names we know how he behaves. Biblical names of Satan = his schemes and plans. We also have metaphors that reveal the character and or nature of Satan:
- Birds (Matthew 13:4,19)
- Wolf (John 10:12)
- Roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8)
- Great Dragon…that Serpent of old (Revelation 12:9 [cf. Gen 3:1])
There’s only one Satan. But there are many spirits that are not of God. What do we call these spirits? Evil spirits (Luke 7:21) or Unclean spirits (Mark 6:7; Luke 11:24-26). Personally, I don’t believe that God in the beginning created a “Spirit of Dumbness” or “Dumb Spirit.” He created them all good initially. Whether each one has a unique name or not, I really don’t know, and it’s irrelevant because at the end of the day, they’re all evil, unclean and fallen. Then what’s with the “spirit of tooth decay”? Personally, I believe “Tooth decay” is a point of attack. We don’t know its name, but if we know that there’s an unclean spirit behind this problem of tooth decay, then we call out the spirit, regardless of its name, that is causing the problem of tooth decay!
Does not matter what name or gender this spirit is, and we don’t need to know. Any spirit that is causing deafness or dumbness, we call out the “spirit of deafness” or “spirit of dumbness.” The ESV confirms this line of reasoning: “for he has a spirit [that makes him mute]” (Mark 9:17). A spirit that makes a person mute, what do we call this spirit? Mark 9:25 in the ESV and KJV says, “You mute [or dumb] and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
If an unclean spirit makes a person suicidal, what do we call it? Spirit of Death. Now let’s say there are three spirits attacking one person. We don’t know their names, but we have identified and know what the victim is suffering from: Suicidal, Tooth Decay, Lust, Addiction. These are the points of attack, and we work backward from there.
Now suppose the first spirit is responsible for: Suicidal and Tooth Decay. The second spirit responsible for Lust, and third spirit for Addiction. By calling out the Spirit of Death and Spirit of Tooth Decay, we are actually engaging against one spirit that is causing both of these problems (?). So it’s not necessary two spirits (?). I’m just thinking out loud and throwing this out here. Sometimes when we call out, “You LYING spirit, I command you to leave…” What we are doing is emphasizing the nature of that spirit. Just like when Jesus calls Herod, “that fox.” We know Herod wasn’t an actual fox.