Peter Ruckman claims to know the size and shape of demons. He teaches that Christians can get infested with them at any time, and that those who believe there is one devil but many demons are apostates. Notice what he alleges in his own words:
Devils range from the size of mosquitoes (Mark 5:13) to the size of ravens (Mark 16:9) and are classified with WINGED CREATURES (Matt. 12:27, 13:32; Rev. 18:2; Ecc. 10:20; Mark 4:4) over and over again.1
The above quote partially summarizes Ruckman’s views on demons, which he sometimes calls devils to match the KJV wording. Ruckman's imagination tries to intrigue the reader with references to the supposed comparative size and shape of mosquitos and ravens. Do the references Ruckman provides support his assertions? Mark 5:13 makes mention of 2,000 "unclean spirits" that came out of the demoniac of Gadara. Mark 16:9 makes reference to casting out seven "devils" from Mary Magdalene. Ruckman uses these two cases to determine a size range, but his premise collapses when you consider an instance in the Bible he doesn’t mention in which someone was possessed with only one demon. The story of the father with a lunatic son refers to a devil or spirit consistently in a singular manner throughout all three parallel passages (Matthew 17, Mark 9, Luke 9). Since demons are a tool of the devil, and the devil has power to perform miracles (2 Thes. 2:9), it is not necessary to attribute a size range to demons as Ruckman attempts to do.
Ruckman continues, assigning fanciful affinities to demons:
Only a GREEK SCHOLAR could fail to find the truth. They have an affinity for WATER (Mark 5:13) and FIRE (Matt. 17:15, and in Hell they appear as BIRDS (Isa. 34:14-15), being typified by the list of unclean birds (Lev. 11) who represent unclean SPIRITS.2
As for demons' supposed affinity for water, Mark 5:13 merely mentions that the swine ran into the sea after the "devils" entered them. That this means that demons have an affinity for water is mere speculation. Ruckman would have had a more Biblical reason for stating that demons have an affinity for swine based on the statement in verse 12. Using Ruckman's logic, it could be said that demons have an affinity for numerous things. Using details from the same Bible story, Ruckman would have had as much right to say that demons have an affinity for tombs (Mark 5:2, 5) and mountains (Mark 5:5), in addition to the swine already mentioned. As for demons' supposed affinity for fire, Matt. 17:15 does make mention of the lunatic son often falling into the fire. This seems weak when you consider that on a similar basis, he could have used the parallel passage in Mark 9:18 to “prove” that demons have an affinity for foaming and gnashing of teeth.
As for demons appearing as birds in hell, Ruckman proposes Isa. 34:14-15 as proof. This passage is generally believed by conservative scholars to be a reference to the burning of Babylon in Rev. 18:2. It would be difficult to consider the various birds and animals mentioned in Isa. 34 to be in hell itself, let alone think of the birds as representing demons (even if they are of the unclean variety), especially when it is considered that the birds are portrayed in a positive light in Isa. 34.
After presenting his questionable claims about demons, Ruckman proceeds to chastise scholars and institutions of higher learning (we will omit the list) for not having found the “truths” that he was able to find:
Notice that no Conservative Greek or Hebrew scholar of any reputation, or any attainment, could find a bowling ball in the bathtub (from any Greek text) in regards to the material given above. With fifty books on demonology in print, they don’t know what a “demon” is.3
Ruckman not only claims to know the size, he also claims to know the shape of demons. Based merely on Mark 5:1-17, Ruckman makes the following whimsical claim regarding demons:
They are (in shape) as birds, mosquitoes, gnats, and flies, and they are (in size) the size of birds, fleas, gnats, mosquitoes, and flies. These animals are TYPES of “demons.”4
Ruckman holds to the unbiblical view that a Christian can be demon possessed. Notice these two quotes:
Finally, when casting out demons it would be a good idea to cast them out of yourself as well as from anybody else. The idea that you can’t cast demons out of yourself is a false idea within itself. It is very clear from the word of God that you certainly can cast out demons, and it is very clear if there are many of them around, as professed to be in the word of God, you can get infested at any time.5
In closing, let me remind you that through your body and through your mind right now are passing two or three TV programs, fifty or sixty AM broadcasts, eight or nine FM broadcasts, and God knows how many short-wave broadcasts. If you had the equipment in your head to pick up these broadcasts (resisters, condensers, tubes, and transistors), you could pick them up at the same time, because they are waves that are passed through the air. This is the same frequency as devils or demons, which means that at any time, all the time, the Christian is constantly exposed to invisible forces at work on him to get him to sin and disobey God. You are never safe a moment.6
Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). It is unthinkable that God would share a dwelling with a demon. Ruckman goes to the irrational extreme to claim that “The demon possessed man is the most vocal in insisting that a saved person cannot be demon possessed.”7
In his writings, Ruckman frequently mocks those who believe in “one devil, many demons:”
…In every Christian school in America you are taught there is only one devil, but many demons. This is part of the superstitious heritage passed down from one campfire to another by the Alexandrian Cult…8
Ruckman teaches that the term devils in the AV was altered to demons by “devil-possessed scribes.”9 Ruckman claims that fundamentalists who believe in one devil but many demons are apostates.10 One reason he gives for objecting to saying that there is one devil is because Judas was called a devil in John 6:70 in the KJV. However, instead of creating a new doctrine out of an isolated verse as Ruckman tries to do, the meaning of the Greek word for devil should be considered. In the KJV the Greek word diabolos has also been translated as “false accusers” (2 Tim. 3:3) and “slanderers” (1 Tim. 3:11).
Ruckman holds to a strange view of disagreeing with the “one devil, many demons” view apparently as his way of protecting the KJV for using the term devils.11 Ruckman insists that “demon” should be translated as “devil,”12 and yet in his own writings he demonstrates inconsistency by often using the word demon himself! It is our personal opinion that the KJV translators would have been better off translating daimon as demon, but it does not have to be considered an error, and the masses have not been led astray by the way the KJV translators translated it. Ruckman is driven to go overboard on this matter apparently by his unusual view that the KJV corrects the Greek.
Ruckman often presents Bible interpretations in such a manner as to feed the appetite for the bizarre and sensational. He is often guilty of reading too much into a passage in order to squeeze out a sensational interpretation. In spite of assuring his readers that "I never use an obscure or controversial verse as a foundation or source for a doctrine,"13 we have proved throughout this website that he is often guilty of the very thing he denies.
1 Ruckman, Peter. 22 Years of the Bible Believer’s Bulletin Vol. 1 “The AV Holy Bible” p. 112
4 Ruckman’s Bible References: Personal Notes on Salient Verses in the Bible, pp. 185-186
5 Ruckman, Peter. Theological Studies, Vol. 18, p. 44
6 Ibid, p. 45
7 Ruckman, Peter. Theological Studies, Vol. 13, pp. 21-22
8 Ruckman, Peter. Theological Studies, Vol. 18, p. 36
9 Ruckman’s Bible References: Personal Notes on Salient Verses in the Bible, p. 165
10 Ruckman, Peter. Bible Believers' Bulletin. Feb. 2004, p. 8
11 Ruckman, Peter. Theological Studies, Vol. 18, p. 36
13 Ruckman, Peter. 22 Years of the Bible Believer’s Bulletin Vol. 1 “The AV Holy Bible” p. 136