DEMONIC POSESSION – A BIBLICAL VIEW*
*WORD ‘DAIMONION’ (Greek) means ‘DEMON’* and it is used 60 times in the New Testament, being translated most of the time ‘devils’; 4 times used in the Old Testament, plus 23 verses that name demons as ‘evil spirits’.
*WORD ‘SATANAS’ (Greek), meaning ‘accuser’, is translated ‘Satan’* and it is used 37 times in the New Testament. In the Old Testament it is used 19 times (of which 14 in the book of Job).
We need to *DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN DEMONIC POSSESSION AND DEMONIC OPPRESSION:*
*1. POSSESSION* is when a demon enters a person and operates from the inside, thus the person might still have a free will which cooperates with the demons, or through a gradual process might have no more free will;
-a Christian can’t be possessed by demons because he is indwelled continually and forever by the Holy Spirit and is set free forever from the possibility to be possessed by darkness Col2:13, ‘. For a demon to possess a Christian, the demon would have to chase out the Holy Spirit, which is not possible (see Jn10:28,29 nobody, not even Satan, can snatch us out from God’s hand)
*2. OPPRESSION* is when demons influence someone from the outside;
*-Saul* was oppressed by a demon sent by God to chastise him because of his rebellion; the demon produced depression and fits of violence 1Sam16:14,15; 18:10,11; 19:9,10; a Christian can be oppressed and could end up in a mental health sanatorium
*-Paul* was physically oppressed by a demon (sent by Jesus) that caused him some health problem, see 2Cor12:7
*-Peter* was influenced (not possessed) by Satan to speak to Jesus words of opposition regarding the cross, however Jesus did not exorcize Satan from Peter, see Mat16:23
*-Job* was oppressed by Satan: his family got killed, possessions stolen and health damaged, all these were however allowed by God to prove to Satan that Job loves God for who God is, not for what God gives; many of the ‘prophets’ of our days would have advised Job to ‘sow a seed’ (cash) to get healed, to require their expensive ‘deliverance services’, then blame Job for ‘lack of faith’ or ‘secret sin’ if not healed; or send Job to Nigeria to a more powerful prophet!
*CHARACTERISTICS OF DEMON-POSESSION:*
*1. SUPERNATURAL STRENGTH:* a demoniac in Mar5:4 was breaking chains
*2. HEALTH ISSUES:* epileptic symptoms, blindness, inability to speak; not all such health issues are caused by demons, some can have other causes: in some cases God, Ex4:11, in other cases man’s sin or careless living; accidents; in some cases just hereditary genetic errors of our fallen nature, result of Adam’s and Eve’s sin
*3. SUPERNATURAL KNOWLEDGE:* Acts16:16-18
*4. UNSOCIAL BEHAVIOR,* violence, harming self and others; Mary Magdalene is said to have had 7 demons, church history says she used to be a prostitute, thus promoting sin Mark16:9
*5. HATE TOWARDS GOD,* towards the Gospel and towards Christians Mk1:24
*CAUSES OF DEMONIC-POSSESSIONS:*
*1. IDOL WORSHIP* – someone who is not saved and worships idols opens himself to demonic possession; an idol is anything that takes the place due to God only (self, career can be idols etc.)
-Judas’ idol was money Jn12:6, and as he had not trusted in Jesus in a personal way Jn13:10, Satan had a free way to enter Judas Luke22:3
-idol worship is worship of demons Lev17:7;Deut32:17; Ps106:37; 1Cor10:20
*2. REJECTING CHRIST* – God sends them a work of delusion because they reject Jesus 2Thes2:11;
-parents are responsible to be spiritual covering for their children through their prayers and godly living 1Cor7:14; if parents get involved in occult or ravaging sin then they open the door to demonic influence and possession of their children; today many children reach demonic possession or oppression through parent’s carelessness regarding what kids watch on TV; 2Tim2:26
*A Christian can’t be possessed by demons, but he can be influenced to sin* and rebel against God; recovery comes not through prayer alone or through expensive deliverance sessions but through *a daily intake of the Word of God,* accepting through faith the mind of God for every area of life. If a Christian is influenced by demons in the area of alcohol for example, he must study to worship God with all of his mind and allow the Holy Spirit to take control instead of alcohol control Eph5:18; if pornography, then study the purity of Christ and of celibacy or marriage; if violence then study the meekness of Christ; if theft then study about hard work + thankfulness + love for others instead of material lust; Eph4:26-27 through sin you can give place to Satan to influence you and push you further into sin.
*Not all sins come from Satan* but man’s heart is also a source of sin Mat15:19
Many develop a circus-type of interest in demonic possessions but, to the great joy of darkness, they forget that most of the demonic possessions, over 99.99%, are the Judas-type of possessions: Judas looked very normal from the outside but had the greatest unclean spirit inside, Satan. There are 5 billion people today that worship Satan through tens of thousands of religions (atheism and materialism are religions too!); today’s deliverance sessions are centered on the spectacular deliverance of the 0.001% that are possessed with violent demons (often counterfeit possessions) but they don’t care much about the other 99.99% of demon-possessed people, 5 billion humans, that are possessed with dirty religious spirits, captives unto Satan to do his will 2Tim2:26
-2Cor4:4 The god of this age has *blinded the minds of unbelievers,* so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ
-Acts26:18 …To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and *from the power of Satan unto God;* also Matt12:29
-1Jn3:8 ‘he who commits (continual tense in Greek, meaning ”habitually”) sin is of the devil…Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the devil’ – Jesus did it by dying on the cross to pay for our sins and through the preaching of this good news, Col2:15
How do we put demons to flight:
*-The Word:* Jesus chased Satan by answering his temptations with ”it is written” Matt4 and Luke4
*-Humility and submission to God:* James4:7,8
*-Faith and sobriety* (not given to wine or anything similar): 1Pet5:8,9
Nowhere does the Bible say that we are to chase demons through *’formulas’,* as: ‘I claim the blood of Jesus!’ That is paganism and superstition! *If you believe in Jesus, you don’t have to ‘claim’ the blood:* the blood has already washed you and redeemed you. Demons don’t flee a spoken formula or some ‘sanctified objects’ but they flee God and they flee those that trust in God. Seven sons of Sceva tried to use the ‘formula’ but they were chased away being unsaved Acts19:14! Apostles chased demons through faith, in the name of Jesus, not ‘claiming the blood’! Acts16:18; 13:10
Exorcising a demon from a demoniac person does not mean that person will automatically also accept Jesus as Savior, he still has to make a choice to accept Jesus; Jesus said that if his house remains empty (instead of being inhabited by the Holy Spirit) then that *demon takes other 7 demons and comes back* Mat12:45.
Remember that *Satan and his demons are heading to the lake of fire Rev20:10.* Don’t fear them: if you believe in Jesus, *Jesus who is in you is greater and more powerful than demons* 1Jn4:4; *demons are under our feet* Rom16:20; *you have authority to trample on demons* Luke 19:10 and that authority is exercised through faith in the Word and through preaching the Gospel; we don’t have authority to send demons to hell: God only has it, kept for the appointed time Mat8:29; 25:41
DEMONIC POSESSION – A BIBLICAL VIEW*