C-17°|F2°Can a Christian be Demon Possessed? C-17°|F1°A contemporary standpoint This is not something that we like to consider as Christians. I think we all have an aversion to the idea that it may be possible for a Christian to be demon possessed because it implies that it can happen to ourselves. Perhaps the already unsavoury notion is worsened by the very graphic images that the term “demon possessed” conjures in our minds, no thanks to movies like “The Exorcist” or the more recent “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”. Hollywood often depicts an innocent victim, usually female, constantly subjected to being picked-up, thrown around and tortured in all sorts of grotesque ways. The victim has no control whatsoever over what is being done to her by demons within. If we allow our imaginations liberty to render what the term “demon possessed” might mean, it is no wonder we picture a person being taken over and controlled by demons. That would make the sensational scary stuff of horror movies - exactly what would sell tickets. Can a Christian be demon possessed? The short answer is certainly “no” and this would be the widely agreed theological position. The term “possessed” implies more than occupation. It implies total ownership and this is not regarded as being possible. It is also my personal belief that Christians cannot be possessed by demons. There are a few ways to present the theology to explain why a Christian cannot be possessed. Most of the popular answers are in some version of what I would call the “oil and water don’t mix” argument. These arguments are however based on an assumption that is not strictly true in scripture - but more on this later. Is there a good way to explain? If we are talking about “possession” I think the best explanation as to why we cannot be possessed is from the standpoint of redemption and 1 Peter 1:18-19 serves this understanding well: "knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." To be redeemed means we have been brought back or released by having the price of ransom paid and we know we have been purchased with the Blood of Jesus. Being bought for a price, we belong to Him who paid for us. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says: "For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s". (emphasis mine) A Christian is therefore Jesus’ purchased possession, which necessarily excludes possession by a contrary spirit. If Jesus owns us, a demon can’t. But this does not line-up with experience However, this does not line up with experience. While it may be difficult for some to accept, there are many pastors, ministers and even lay people like me who would attest to having come across Christians who exhibit clear signs of demonization. This would be especially true on the mission field and in countries with cultures steeped in the occult (including Asian religions). A born again, spirit-filled Christian may still exhibit demonic manifestations and require ministry to be set free - especially if they have had a deep history of involvement in occult practices prior to coming to Christ. Some of us might be tempted to immediately label such believers as not being “true Christians” but it really isn’t our place to judge and there is no real benefit to such an assertion other than to comfort ourselves (see also Luke 18:9-14). The Christian being demonized is still entitled to the promise of deliverance as given in scripture and we should be obliged to help them find freedom. For some Christians, deliverance is simply part of their process of sanctification. Some hindrances may need someone else’s help to remove. The Bible never actually says we can be demon possessed (but we can be influenced) Much of the confusion about the presence of demonic spirits in a person stems from an unfortunate translation in most English Bibles where we find the word “possessed” being used in the context of demonic influence. In the New Testament of the King James Version Bible (KJV) the word “possessed” is used with “devil” or “devils” 11 times. When we dig into the meaning of the original Greek text to gain insight, we find that phrases such as “possessed with devils” or “possessed with a devil” are translated from the Greek verb “daimonizomai” () which comes from the nouns daimonion ([url= Strong’s G1140) or daimon ()”. The KJV translates these nouns as “devil” or “devils” with one unique occurrence of translating it as “gods”. Many Bible scholars have shared that it would have been more accurately translated as “demon” and it follows that the verb “daimonizomai” would have been best translated as simply “demonized” or “to have a demon”. There should not be any use of the word “possessed”. Looking at the Lexicon for the description of its biblical usage, we find that “daimonizomai” simply means “to be under the power of a demon”. It should also be noted here that the KJV makes no distinction between daimonion, daimon and “diabolos” ([url= G1228) - which really is “the devil”. If we remain true to the intended meaning as written in Greek, the word “demonized” does not carry an overtone of “ownership”. More accurately, we may regard demonization as being under the influence of a demonic spirit without being owned. I like the very practical terms that Chris Hayward has put it in: When speaking of Christians and the demonic, “possession” is the wrong word. Some prefer “demonized”. At times these theological disagreements are nothing more than splitting hairs over word usage. The real issue is this: Is it possible for a Christian to be tempted, tormented, harassed and influenced by demons? Is it possible for a Christian to embrace deception to the point where he or she relinquishes control and becomes dominated by the deceiver? I believe the answer to these questions is yes. (Hayward, Pg. 26) I think this would be the truth that reconciles theology with experience. The Bible tells us that people can come under the influence of a demon without actually being possessed or owned by the demon; and when our eyes are opened to this truth we will in fact begin to find numerous confirmations in the Bible of such influence in varying degrees. What about the other theological arguments? For something to be considered as a biblical truth, I think the theological argument must always be consistent with Biblical examples that also confirm the accuracy of the position. Earlier, we mentioned that popular arguments as to why a Christian cannot be “demonized” (to use the right term now) are based on an assumption that holiness cannot be in the presence of evil. We would find difficulty reconciling such an assumption with the instances where satan appeared before God with other angels in Job (Job 1:6-7; 2:1). In Ezekiel (see chapters 8-10), we read about God’s presence residing alongside abominations until the inequity of the Israelites became so great that the Glory departed. Within ourselves we know that our flesh can be evil and not only do we have a sin nature but we constantly sin (Romans 3:23; 7:18-21; 1 John 1:8). Yet the Holy Spirit resides in us despite ourselves. We also know that satan came before Jesus to tempt him in the wilderness and if all this is not enough, we only need to remind ourselves that God is omnipresent - yet darkness and evil exists. When referring to demonization, the popular explanation using the verse that light cannot dwell with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14) may have been taken out of context. This verse addresses the situation of believers marrying unbelievers. It does not actually make an assertion that light cannot dwell with darkness; rather it is phrased as a question about whether light and darkness can work together in a believer’s life. We may also say that He who is in us is greater than he who is of the world (1 John 4:4). Yet this verse does not actually exclude a believer from the influence of the enemy, in fact it probably recognises it and offers us a promise of reprieve. Is there Biblical support of believers being demonised or influenced by satan? We do find examples of believers being demonised, influenced by the enemy and ministered to in the Bible. If we make an honest assessment of the occurrences of demonic influence in the Bible we would find no distinction between believers and non-believers. (Hammond, pg.16) Let’s start with Peter, James and John, the select three of Jesus. In Mark 8:33, Jesus identified the words spoken by Peter as being authored by satan and He rebukes satan directly, “Get behind me satan!” . Perhaps we wonder if Jesus was speaking metaphorically but Jesus could not have been fooled by the devil nor would He have failed in His spiritual discernment. In fact, Jesus used the exactly the same words of rebuke when He confronted satan directly in the wilderness (see Luke 4:8). In Luke 9:51-56, Jesus rebukes James and John for considering bringing a fiery judgement down upon people of a village. Jesus said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of” . In the other examples of demonization, the people whom Jesus delivered were Jews (Mark 1:23, 39; Luke 13:11-16) and people who recognised Him as the Messiah (Matthew 15:22). Of course, Judas Iscariot was also influenced by satan to betray Jesus. Post-Pentecost, we find Peter rebuking two believers for being influenced by satan to lie (Acts 5:3). We also have record of Peter casting out demons in Jerusalem and he was presumably ministering to believers (Acts 5:15-16). Philip was doing the same in Samaria (Acts 8:7). There is also Paul’s ministry where we find the more unusual record of “prayer cloths” bringing deliverance (Acts 19:12) as well as an occasion where he cast a familiar spirit out of a non-believer (Acts 16:16-18). In the teachings of the Epistles, believers are exhorted to beware of being influenced by or giving ground to the devil. In 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, Paul speaks about a believer being handed over by the authority of God into the power of satan, presumably for a season to bring about repentance. We find Paul speaking in the same manner about two of his followers Hymenaeus and Alexander being thrown out and handed over to satan (1 Timothy 1:19-20). In Paul’s other writings, he warns believers not to be outsmarted by satan (2 Corinthians 2:11); rebukes them for receiving “another spirit” (2 Corinthians 11:4); and also warns them not to give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:26-27). In his writings to a young pastor, Timothy, he also advises that the quarrelsome and disruptive individuals in the congregation may have been taken captive by satan to do his will (2 Timothy 2:25-26). Clearly, these examples indicate that believers are not only influenced by satan but may also be demonised to a point of needing deliverance. Deliverance is for Christians When we begin to consider that a believer’s lifestyle includes a ministry of casting out demons (Mark 16:17-18) we realise it is Christians who are to be set free. After all, it is the believer who has the promise of freedom (John 8:12, 31-32; Colossians 1:13-14). It is often surmised from Luke 11:24-26 that deliverance is not for non-Christians because we would risk subjecting the unbeliever to a condition seven times worse than before. It seems reasonable to deduce that an unbeliever would neither have the faith nor the indwelling of the Spirit to maintain deliverance, let alone appropriate the covenanted promises of God to be set free from satan’s captivity. Jesus came to free us but we can only be free by receiving Him. This notion is further confirmed by Gospel accounts about the Syro-Phoenician woman who sought Jesus’ help to cast a demon out of her daughter (Matthew 15:22-28; Mark 7:25-30). If we study commentaries on these passages, we would gather that Jesus’ initial reluctance to grant the woman’s request was due to the reasoning that the blessing of deliverance she sought (“bread”) was something that was reserved for God’s covenanted people (“the children’s”). Of course, we know that Jesus’ ministry was actually to bring salvation for both Jew and gentile alike and being moved by her faith, He grants her request despite her being a gentile, perhaps signifying that there can be exceptions. Yet presumably, although not Jew, this woman was however indeed a believer in Jesus as the son of God. This is indicated by her properly professing Jesus as the Messiah when she addressed Him as the “son of David”. If deliverance is for Christians, then some Christians need deliverance. The late Derek Prince, one of the contemporary influencers in the field of deliverance, was once publically asked if a Christian can have a demon. In typically dry English humour, he is said to have replied, “Yes, Christians can have anything they want to have”. (Kylstra, pg. 196) Concluding remarks We cannot subscribe to a theology that systematically denies the problem of Christians being demonised as it necessarily excludes the demonised Christian from getting help. That would be a hindrance to a ministry that Jesus himself instituted. While we may never understand how exactly a Christian may be demonised, the fact remains that some are. It is far more pertinent and pressing to help them rather than to split-hairs about theology. I have met many Christians who have to seek help at other churches either because their own pastors do not recognise their need or just don’t know how to help. They may even have been discouraged from attending church because of their unusual behaviour - which is tantamount to being rejected rather than ministered to. There are also some who are afraid that their church would not look at them in the same way once their need for ministry becomes known. I think all this is quite sad. It antagonises me greatly to observe people under bondage and I am deeply motivated to see them freed from demonic influence. I believe that believers have a God given authority over all of the power of the enemy and we need to exercise it because it is for the benefit of the Body that we do (Luke 10:19; Mark 16:17-18). We also have a God given right to be free and if we are not, then we should be able to find help. Love demands that we help those under bondage; and for those who have the calling to, we ought to be encouraged to learn how to be effective vessels to be used by Our Lord. Bibliography “Yokhannan”. “Can Born-Again Believers Be Demon Possessed?” (in Christianblog), [url] Eckhardt, John. “Can a Christian Have a Demon” in Wagner, Doris M. (Ed.) How to Minister Freedom: Helping Others Break the Bonds of Sexual Brokenness, Emotional Woundedness, Demonic Oppression and Occult Bondage, Regal Books, 2005. Hammond, Frank. Demons & Deliverance in the Ministry of Jesus. Impact Books, 1991. Hammond, Frank & Ida Mae. Pigs in the Parlour- A Practical Guide to Deliverance. Impact Books, 1973. Hayward, Chris. Gods Cleansing Stream. Regal Books, 2004. Horrobin, Peter. Healing Through Deliverance: The Foundation of Deliverance Ministry. Sovereign World, 1991. Ingram, Chip. The Invisible War: What Every Believer Needs To Know About Satan, Demons and Spiritual Warfare. Baker Books, 2006. Kylstra, Chester & Betsy. Biblical Healing and Deliverance: A Guide to Experiencing Freedom from Sins of the Past, Destructive Beliefs, Emotional and Spiritual Pain, Curses and Oppression. Chosen Books, 2005. Murphy, Ed. The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare. Thomas Nelson, 1992. Prince, Derek. Expelling Demons. Pamphlet published by the Author, 1970. Reese, Andy. Freedom Tools for Overcoming Life’s Tough Problems. Chosen Books, 2008. Unger, Merrill F. What Demons Can Do To Saints. Moody Press, 1977.
I used to hear it referred to as demon possession and demon oppression. Demons couldn't "possess" Christians but they certainly could oppress them and deliverance was needed.
I agree that we have many wounded and oppressed within the Body of Christ and we have filed in many ways to lift up our brothers and sisters. We forget that although forgiven, many carry deep wounds and we need to be lifting up one another to God so that we may be healed from the inside out and made strong!
I pray that we will come to fully understand what it is to truly love one another and walk together as we walk with Christ.
Very excellent blog my brother. I also believe a christian cannot be demon-possessed but can very much be demon-oppressed. This is especially true of anyone who is a new christian but has been previously infulenced and controlled by such things as alcoholism, depression, pornography. It is not enough just to 'tell' them that they are a new creature in Christ and the old things are passed away. We would never walk away from a newborn baby and just leave them on their own to grow to maturity!
The Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 places upon us the responsability of making 'disciples'. This goes far beyond just leading them to accepting Christ as Lord and Saviour. They must be taught how to follow Christ; taught about prayer, Bible Study, fellowship, worship....this is the process of making a disciple and fulfilling the Great Commission. Otherwise, the enemy will see but an empty shell that he can continuously oppress and defeat; if never possess.
May we ever be mindful of this responsibility and continually pray for The Church and ourselves to care for one another.
It antagonises me greatly to observe people under bondage and I am deeply motivated to see them freed from demonic influence. I believe that believers have a God given authority over all of the power of the enemy and we need to exercise it because it is for the benefit of the Body that we do (Luke 10:19; Mark 16:17-18).
Amen -we need to exercise it because it is for the benefit of the Body that we do. However, it takes compassion from the Lord to spend time with those oppressed and provide counselling from the Word, patience with these people who suffer recurring oppressive bouts of bondage as the enemy would not relase them easily without a fight, power in the Holy Spirit to stand against the oppressive powers and for final deliverance. Not many respond to such a ministry as it requires personal dedication to discern and respond to such needs with the help of the Holy Spirit , perserverance, fortitude, grounding in the Word and empowerment by the Holy Spirit.
This is one very deep subject that causes me to take a few steps back due to a plethora of teachings I sat through in my life many years ago. To be honest, I was taught and believed for years that believers could and did get possessed on a regular basis. The definition of the word possessed was quite different than what you refer to here.
I no longer subscribe to what I was taught, but there is still a side to this discussion I feel is good to bring up. When Jesus was ministering to people, he encountered demons quite often. Demons would lodge in a persons tongue or vocal cords for instance and they could not speak. Jesus would cast out the demon and the person could talk. Of course there is the classic example of the crazy man with all the devils who when Jesus cast them out, went into the swine and the man was of sound mind.
The question becomes one of whether a demon really could gain access to a body part or thought pattern. I am not quite sure it makes any difference if a person is a Christian or not if this is indeed what happens. I know in my 40 years of ministering to people, I have on occasion cast out demons a few times. Not that many, but a few nonetheless. These were not exorcisms or anything other than commanding a demon exit in the name of Jesus Christ.
I have always held to the belief that if a person has no control over something, either physical or mental, then a demon is involved. If a person makes the conscious choice to lie for instance, that is just the mind. But, if the person cannot stop lying, there must be a lying demon somewhere in the vicinity. I agree that in the vast majority of cases there is no possession involved, just influence.
I think the problem comes in the word possessed. It really is a poor choice of words and there needs to be a better word used. I feel that in all but a few very isolated cases, the real word we are dealing with is INFLUENCE. A demon influences a persons thinking just as they influence events and circumstances. Seeing how there is a spiritual battle going on, I think it is safe to say that demons receive orders from their superiors to go and to do things all the time.
If a believer refuses to put on the mind of Christ, they will be highly influenced by demonic activities. If a believer is rooted and grounded in the Word of God, those activities have no power or influence over them. Ephesians 6 speaks of the fiery darts of the wicked one and how it takes the shield of faith to repel them. But, what happens if the shield is not used? Where do those darts end up?
I do not pretend to have many concrete answers in this field although at one time I mistakenly thought I was quite the expert. I have come to find out that much of what I was taught and once believed was either rubbish or wrongly presented. I thank God for this discussion for it allows me to once again revisit and adjust my thinking so that it is in alignment with Gods Word and not what I heard in classes and seminars in the 1970s.
Thank you brother doulos for continuing to present this material and I pray I have not in any way complicated or contradicted anything you presented. In my roundabout way, I wanted to say that contrary to what I was once taught and believed, and in light of the definition of possession used here; I totally agree that a believer cannot be possessed by a demon only influenced, to one degree or another.
Very balanced article. I myself was delivered from demons almost 9 years ago and went through a process of deliverance for a period of 5 years. I have also taught and ministered on the subject in Africa and the Philippines. The only thing that I would add is we are tripartite beings, spirit, soul (mind,will,emotions) and body, a demon cannot possess a Christians spirit, it is occupied by the Spirit of God, however we can, and many do have demons operating in there soul, (mind, will, emotions) and bodies. I personally have been set free from spirits affecting my emotions, such as rejection and anger, to demons causing allergies to foods. I know this may be hard for some believers to swallow but its the truth. I used to be a manic depressive schizophrenic and Jesus set me free. In fact I'm writing a book about the subject as He has lead me to do so. I'm glad to see some of the comments on this post are more open to the reality, or even idea that there are those who are in bondage who need freedom. Thanks for writing this article.
I am not sure if the demons are inside you, but I know they can follow you around, as a man I met at "Faith Bible College" an Evangelist, or Prophet not sure what area he worked in gave a prophecy that their was a demon following this lady around, a demon of lust it happened when she was a young child. He did not actually say it was in me but following me.
I have never been delivered of it yet? even as I write this but I can control it! and I have now, I am just praying that God would deliver it but I have not met the right person to deliver it yet. Mind you it has been there since child hood.
When I go up the front if I get prayed over for demons to come out of me, I say God do not make me shake like other people or do weird things like others, if you do not want to be set free like that God will do it quietly. because the Holy Spirit is gentle! he will not put fear in anyone.
But we have power over them, not them over us we however do not rejoice because they have to be obediant to us, but rejoice that our names are written in heaven. Signed Deanna.
When I hit that publish button I really wasn't sure how this might be received... but phew... I did not want to open a can of worms or get into any debates. The ministry of deliverance and the thinking about demonic oppression is something that is growing and I don't think we've come to a point where it is mature. Yet, this is not "cutting edge" as we're really trying to rediscover what has been rationalised out of our mindsets and lost over time. There is always a critical need for balance in this ministry and we need the Holy Spirit to be our Counsellor and Teacher.
There are several schools of thought where deliverance is concerned. Some are very academic, others scientific/psychiatric, some mix their theology with psychology. Even among ministers who practice deliverance, we have at least two general schools of thought. One focuses on the "power encounter" while another advocates a "truth encounter". In the ministry at our church we use both approaches depending on needs. The latter is more appropriate for what is often referred to as inner healing while the former is usually necessary for evicting spirits of the occult that don't automatically leave. We just do what works. Where I come from, people dedicate their children to all sorts of gods and make pacts with spirits in return for favours, sometimes even blood vows. Some even invite what they think are gods into their bodies to be their protectors or spirit guides. Witchcraft is quite common. When someone with such a past comes to Christ, deliverance is often necessary or their spiritual growth will be continuously hindered.
I have simply shared the contemporary teaching which is also a snapshot of my current thoughts on the subject but I am still learning and what I know now may change. So, B2Y, I am humbled by you. I really respect your openness and I do also understand where you are coming from. You are right to point out the habitual sin that a believer is unable to overcome may often indicate the presence of a demonic aggravator. I agree that we have biblical examples of spirits that would lodge to physically cause muteness or some other parts of the body such as the woman with the bent back. As to how this can happen, some may try to explain that a tenant, or rather squatter, is not the same as "The Owner".
Another explanation is that offered by blogaboutgod whom I also want to thank for the contribution about man being a tripartite being. This is the often offered explanation to separate man's spirit - that is owned by God - from our other components that may be subject to demonization. Many writers on the subject support this view as it gives room for us to accept a manifestation upon specific parts of the body or our soul or psyche. If we begin to think about mental and physical infirmities, we would begin to perceive this as a possibility. Scripture does tell us that we consist of three components and we are really one amalgamation of body, soul and spirit. Regardless of where a demon might actually be, the fact remains that a person can be demonized.
The model of ministry that B2Y has used, though different, would still be valid as it worked to help the oppressed. The theology about 'why' probably doesn't make any practical difference as long as the 'how' is the same. We always rely on the Name of Jesus in deliverance. The end result we seek is uniform - it is freedom for every Christian and our Deliverer is the same Jesus. I think that every standpoint, though varying, offers a step towards shaping a consolidated balanced viewpoint so long as we don't allow differences to cause our polarization. Different ideas push and pull thinking; and if we are open to every line of thought we do eventually come to something reconciled, consolidated, rational and workable.
Thank you also K, galahad, ptl, jetters and deanna for sharing your thoughts and personal experiences. They contribute towards completing this blog and I am much obliged.
I just wanted to add that at my church about four years ago, I asked a spirit filled sunday school teacher what she thought on this subject. She proclaimed in no certain terms can a demon posses a christian. They can follow a christian around, and get on their backs, but no entrance into their body. I have no doubt she is a christian, spirit filled, and has fruit to show for it. I took what she was saying as fact. However, we had a speaker at our church who ended the service with prayer for people. Since I am an altar worker, I went up front and waited to be used. I noticed this teacher come to the front. She has been through family problems and sickness. Her leg was torn and she walked with a cane. To my amazement, as the pastor prayed, I saw her face contort and I heard the demons inside of her speak to him. As it came out, she fell to the floor. After a few minutes, this lady got up and walked out without limping and without her cane. That was a few months ago, and now instead of limping this lady dances for the Lord. After this experience, no one can tell me that christians can't have demons. The spirit of infirmity is an unclean spirit that I believe many christians tolerate and allow in their bodies. The spirit of fear is another big one. I think the demons can't posses our spirit but when we knowingly sin and are not repentative then they gain access into our body.
During this time at church, the Lord had been dealing with me on James 3:16 "Where there is envy and strife, there is confusion, and every evil work." Sometimes we fight with those closest to us and each time we give the devil access to us. I have since repented of those times I have fought with others. I'm now teaching James 3:16 to my kids. The devil wants us to open a door for him to come in and cause us problems. The Holy spirit is good to deal with each of us on those things we need change so the devil doesn't have a foot hold in our lives. I know there are many areas in my life that I need to deal with, but praise God he is faithful to show me how to be an overcomer!!!
Brother doulos you do keep us growing in Christ.
The very first chapters of the Bible introduce the Serpent; we are taught that he (prince of this world; prince of the power of the air; the accuser; the dragon) makes war with those who keep the commandments of HaShem (Revelation 12:17). NEVER for a moment doubt that
Satan and his demons influence us (to the extent we leave an opening) in the form of addictions, desires, lusts, illness, and finally death. Look at the worst of music, art, radio, television, film, video games, the Internet and say that you cannot see the influence of the prince of the power of the air trying to bring our civilization down.
The problem with human knowledge is that it is cursed; the penalty of eating from this tree is always self destruction or death; we will use our knowlege of nuclear power to decimate the earth and gain power over each other. Every new piece of knowledge we gain we first try to apply to control or destroy . . . Satan wants us to believe the Bible is full of myths and fairy tales. Satan wants to discredit Scripture.
Science is a false (arrogant) god; literature and culture and science are simply more branches of the forbidden tree (of knowledge). Demonic influence is not mental illness misunderstood; it is the truth of our condition (John 1:5).
The Word, the light (Yeshua) by which all things were made was not confused about the differences between myths and science. Yeshua did not raise a dead man or walk on water or heal a blind man or become resurrected with HUMAN science. The knowledge of HaShem is beyond our puny science, medicine, psychology, technology. We are on the verge of self destruction of our world; what is so advanced about this?
There is no end to books and to learning; I am well educated, with many degrees; however, I would trade it all for more knowledge of Christ; the light. There is no down side to this kind of innocence, love, truth, joy, peace and the light contains many kinds of knowledge that can be used without a cost to self or others.
Does that sound naive (Mark 10:15)? Like all of you I have to earn a living in this world while I am here, and I have used education to elevate my situation; that is how it works NOW; but that is not how it was in the image and likeness, BEFORE the fall.
God says throughout the Bible that there is an enemy of His people. Become a little child; BELIEVE God. The TRUTH that you need to know is a PERSON ... (John 14:6), not more scientific, medical, psychological rationalizations. GOD NEVER lied to you. Can you say that about any other source of learning, knowledge?
Eph 2:1 You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins, Eph 2:2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience; Eph 2:3 among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
Eph 6:12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the worldâ€™s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Yes, Christians can be attacked, tormented, pursued, and be stricken by Satan and his demons. But the Holy Spirit can and will come to our aid. Christ Yeshua (Jesus) can and will defeat Satan if we call upon Him to do so in faithful prayer.
Praise Jesus (Yeshua)! Praise the Lord of Hosts (HaShem); praise His Holy Spirit!
Peace in Yeshua,
Bravo !! There is a common agreement that Jesus is the Healer and the Deliverer!!! of our body , spirit and soul!!! He has come to make us whole!!
I guess it is high time that we stop debating on terms and definitions but come to a conclusion that 'even if we don't know, it doesn't mean it does not exist.." not to say that we should be gullible because the Word warns us to test everything out... and that the Truth will set us free...
The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy and being the father of all lies, his main intention is to tear down, divide, better still leave us in a 'daze' ie scared and intimidated either to face up to the truth that he is prowling around like a roaring lion or be in ignorance like when he is a wolf in a sheep's clothing..
Whatever it maybe, let us have a 'wake-up' call and now be aware and alert because [i]it is really not about us but all about Him[/i]- His purpose is to come to set us free that we may have life and life more abundantly when we abide in Him... we the children of the Most High is to have the freedom to choose to live a liberated life in Christ because He has redeemed us...
While we continue in our pursuit to define things, known or unknown which many times impede us from progressing- there are many who have been bound and shackled and could not walk into the freedom all around us.. there are so many real case studies of those who have gone through the torment and merciless attack of the enemy in their lives while some may jeered at them saying that it is their own fault .. but I think it is truly depended on the compassion and love of our Lord which through His vessels bring deliverance, healing and wholeness to those yoked by the enemy.. Isa 61..we are the Carrier of the Holy Spirit with all His magnificient power and authority to trample the serpent under our feet...
I think to conquer the enemy there always must be unity in the Body... again when the name of Jesus is lifted up (in whatever ministry)- let Jesus get all the Glory and Honour and we join our hearts as one to declare His Majesty...
(speaking from my personal and 'limited' point of view, I have seen many 'prisoners and captives' set free and made whole through the name of Jesus and the feeding on the Word of God and we, His saints should be the Carrier of His Presence and be the Reflector of His love and mercy because we are honoured to be call the sons and daughters of God...)
This is really a wonderful blog which brings us into deeper knowledge and understanding of the spiritual realm...may God add wisdom and discernment unto us ..amen!
Conservmom, you have shared something that is close to my heart. I've seen that happening time and again and there is such joy in a person that has been released from bondage. Something lights up on their faces straight away. There is a glow and a smile so big it is contagious. Many Christians who have found freedom are so grateful to God that they often begin serving diligently at church and their spiritual growth just takes off. Thank you for sharing that story.
I appreciate your thoughts also Michael. Many of us sense this mounting onslaught from the world. The enemy has blinded us with it and turned us away from God and the Gospel. I pray we will recover our sight. Thank you for your input.
Jnissi, I am glad to have my sister in ministry here at CB. Thank you also for your comment and words of encouragement for all of us here. Yes, we are carriers of His Anointing and all glory be to Him!
Great blog Brother!
I also do not believe that a true born again follower of Christ can be demon possessed. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God owns us, how can there be light and, darkness in a Spiritual vessel. But the mind for the mind is desperatly wicked. The mind would be a whole nother teaching or discussion.
Thank you so much brother doulos, I used to hold that a Christian cannot be truly possessed, subscribing to the notion of oppression instead. In the years that I have worked with addicts, I have had to revisit and challenge my own beliefs on this.
As an example, my first experience was 5 years ago with an addict that we were helping in our drug recovery ministry. He was suffering from continual thoughts of suicide, unable to sleep, tormented at night by voices and images, and plagued by violent seizures during our Bible Studies. He had received the Lord as his Savior years ago before his addiction and was told that a "true Christian" cannot be demon possessed. This became yet another attack on him because he began to doubt his own salvation and worse, that God really had any power to overcome evil. One day, the key workers and leadership decided that we would need to do something, we did not call it exorcism, but we purposed to pray and lay hands on this man. Knowing that there were forces more powerful that we involved, we entered into a season of prayer and fasting in preparation. On the day we had determined 7 of us gathered in a circle around our dear friend and laid hands on him. Each of us praying and calling on the Lord for different areas of deliverance. The room got strangely cold and dark (it was daytime) but it seemed that there was a deep warmth and heat in me, especially in my hand as it laid upon this man. He was shaking and sobbing, crying out, sometimes cursing out, sometimes just making unintelligible noises. We must have prayed for over 2 hours and I cannot in honesty say that we sensed something coming out of him. All I know for sure was that he began to calm down and just sob quietly and in the end began to pray with us and glorify God. This addict is now a night supervisor in our recovery center, he is working, he has been restored to his family, and most importantly, his relationship with God is a joy and testimony to all around him.
This is not my first experience. Today, I have a far more open mind and have studied this whole issue and have read some of the resources you listed. When asked, I am no longer so glib with my answers. I have come to realize that we have been given the privilege of making our own moral and lifestyle choices by God. Christians can and have been tempted and Christians do disobey God. Scripture tells us that when we give in to those temptations and act on it, sin takes a foothold in us. We can also have areas of our heart, our mind, and even our spirit that we do not surrender to our Lord. When we do these, we can very well open the door to more than just Satan's influence and oppression. Regardless of whether it is possession or not, I believe that we are not qualified to judge ... only God is. All I know is whether it is demonic possession or not, all things ungodly must be excised. Along the same lines, I am very careful these days not to judge if a person is truly saved or not. Our job is to love, to disciple, to edify, to teach, to lovingly rebuke and correct, beyond these we neither have the ability nor the qualification to judge. Only God can look into the hearts of men and women. For me, I am reminded that my concern is the restoration of people to a right relationship with God, be they believers or non-believers, saved or unsaved. Sin is sin. My experience has also taught me that whenever we confront evil, Satan is at work and there are spiritual forces at work. The defeat of those forces belong to the Lord and I adopt an attitude of humility and respect when I engage in God's work. I do not use the word fear because I have the assurance of His Word and His spirit but I am reminded that we need to be vigilant and wise. The Biblical account that best illustrates this is the choosing of the 300 in Judges. Judges 7:5 tells us "And the LORD said to Gideon, Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink." The ones who laps keeps his eyes looking ahead, aware and wary of their situation, vigilant and not given over to undeserved pride. They know that are surrounded by a powerful enemy, they are unafraid because God is with them but they are not foolish either.
Your balanced and well thought out and research blog is a true blessing!!
Interesting doulos. Strongs defines the word as being 'exercised by a demon.' Or vexed. That can be internal or external. Peter tells us that Lot 'vexed' his righteous soul in all that he witnessed and lived in at Sodom and Gomorrah. But we also know that he set his tent toward the place, and eventually went to live there, so he allowed and was part of a lot of that vexation. It sure gives a deeper understanding of what is going on today, and how we also could be vexed, in how we live in the present society. In but not of.
When scripture tells us to 'come out of her', it does not mean part-time. And as Paul stated, in 2nd Cor. 6:14-16 pretty much explains itself. Many may have the unclean leave, but do not fill the emptied vessel, and the last state will be worse than the first, as Jesus and later Peter said. Thanks for the reference. God Bless brother.