CAN A CHRISTIAN BE POSSESSED?

Posted: February 8, 2014 in Uncategorized
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“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

 

Demonic possession has become big business for Hollywood, from films such as “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” to “Possession” and the famous horror film of all time, “The Exorcist”, movie makers have generated literally billions off the cases of demonic possession, and with the slew of current horror movies glorifying demons being injected into our culture, it appears it will continue on.

There are many question regarding demonic possession; what is demonic possession, how does one become demonically possessed and how does one get rid of such spirits? But one question that is often asked by many is; Can a Christian become possessed by a demon spirit?

Many years ago while at a church service, a young woman, plagued with troubles and searching for help, found her way to the altar, I was about 17 or 18 years of age at the time, but I remember how some particular ministers gathered around this young woman and suddenly, to my amazement, started to declare this woman “possessed”. Now how they cam around to such logic I’m not sure, but I knew this, even then as a young preacher myself, I understood that from what I saw and witnessed, the young woman was no more possessed by a “spirit” than I was, she was simply overcome by emotional as well as personal problems. Sadly, she left even more confused than when she came in. This was the result of some well meaning people whose actions hindered but not helped the situation. It was flawed thinking.

Unfortunately for the church, there are some who believe that a Christian (someone whose been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit) can literally be possessed by a demonic spirit. But is this scriptural? Matthew 7:17-18 says it plainly, “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” If we notice what Jesus is stating, a rooted tree (individual) who is rooted in Christ, cannot produce evil fruit, it’s simply not possible. Yet, some suggest that a believer still can become demonically possessed, but the word rejects such notion as outlined in 1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” Notice Peter said resist the enemy, not cast out the enemy. 

The simple fact is, a Christian who is living for Christ, walking in Christ, dedicating themselves to Christ cannot be possessed by a demonic spirit, it’s just not scriptural. So what then can affect a believer in such a way that it might resemble demonic possession? Oppression.

There is a distinct difference between being possessed by a demon and being oppressed or influenced by a demon. Demon possession involves a demon having direct/complete control over the thoughts and/or actions of a person (Matthew 17:14-18; Luke 4:33-35; 8:27-33). Demon oppression or influence involves a demon or demons attacking a person spiritually and/or encouraging him/her into sinful behavior. Notice that in all the New Testament passages dealing with spiritual warfare, there are no instructions to cast a demon out of a believer (Ephesians 6:10-18). Believers are told to resist the devil (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9), not to cast him out.

Sometimes a Christian can be so oppressed by the enemy (in this case by a spirit) tormented and such, that it can, in extreme cases, speak words to such a person and it “appears” that it’s a case of possession, but it’s not. Peter tried to persuade Jesus not to go to the cross, Jesus turned and said “Get thee behind me Satan”, the reason was this, Peter, was under direct influence of the enemy, how did Satan do this to enable himself to speak thru Peter? We don’t know, but we know that Jesus knew and understood that it was Satan speaking and not Peter, actually, Jesus wasn’t even speaking to Peter, he spoke directly to the spirit BEHIND Peter’s voice which was Satan himself and he rebuked him. So spirits can and do influence people, even Christians, but can a spirit filled person, saved, born again, living for God become demon possessed – no they cannot, and it’s not scriptural.

The argument for Christians becoming possessed is seriously flawed in many areas, as a simple examination of Jesus’ life and ministry demonstrates. Demons live in utter terror of Jesus Christ, and with a few simple word, will ALWAYS submit to him. There is no room for cohabitation. It (Christian possession) would be the antithesis of Biblical theology. It could never happen in biblical demonology for many reasons. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, we are told that our bodies are the TEMPLE of the Holy Spirit. Whatever attempts to defile the temple of God, he will destroy. God has given his children protection, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price, therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Perhaps the person who is facing such fiery trial regarding demonic influence truly is a Christian, but is severely demon oppressed and/or suffering from severe psychological problems. It is in this situation that we need to understand that some people, due to emotional or psychological problems, which require medication, can be often times confused by outside sources as “demon possessed” when in reality what is really happening is the believer is suffering from mental disorder and the only hope for that person is to seek medical treatment for such a diagnoses.

Can Satan use someone whose troubled under extreme psychological issues and torment then so? Absolutely, but there is freedom in Christ and that freedom brings release from such control and that is by placing their faith in the only object they can to bring about such liberty – in the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:17 makes it very clear, “He that is in Christ is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things are brand new.” That is the answer – Christ. When Christ comes into the picture and rests within the person, peace comes, comfort comes, deliverance comes.

A Christian who loves the Lord and serves him, lives for him and has submitted to his will, no demonic being can rest within the spirit of such a person, yet Satan can bring torment to the mind and this is why it’s important that the believer guard their heart and their mind. The apostle John declares, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Who is the One in us? The Holy Spirit. Who is the one in the world? Satan and his demons. Therefore, the believer has overcome the world of demons, and the case for demon possession of a believer cannot be made scripturally.

The simple fact is this, Christians can be oppressed at times, even to the point where they can be manipulated by the enemy, but if one has been saved, born again and living for Christ, it is impossible for that individual to be physically, spiritually possessed by a demon spirit.

Christopher

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