Monday, April 18, 2016

Can a Christian be Possessed?

The Western church is experiencing an identity crisis. It has allowed human reasoning and science to come in to the pulpit and replace faith and re-interpret scripture. You can step into literally any church in America and start a discussion with congregation on the Holy Spirit, gifts of the Spirit, specifically the gift tongues, or about demonized Christians, and within moments you will see a house divided. On these subject matters the Western church body really doesn’t know what it believes. When I discuss the subject matter of demonized Christians in a third world country, the body of Christ believes it is a matter of fact. They have seen the demons who can’t hide behind the protective barrier of human reason. If in a Western church culture I mention that a Christian can be demonized, in a matter of seconds, the spiritual food fight begins. The root of this division is that we have allowed the natural, the knowledge of the fallen world of man, replace the supernatural wisdom of God. When this happens we begin to build wall, upon wall, upon wall of false doctrine. False doctrines are positions the church adheres to as biblical but really aren’t.

I am going to specifically address the false doctrine that a Christian can’t have a demon. We’re going to have to go through definitions and discuss some aspects of the soul to in order to reveal how this can and does occur.

Demonic Possession

Demonic possession is when demons are in control of the body and mind. The person’s will of the soul is completely compromised from making their own decisions.The bible provides three very clear examples of demonic possession in Mark 5, the Gerasene demoniac, again in Mark 9, the possessed boy who throws himself into the fire, and in Acts 28, the oracle demoniac. Let’s take a look at a severe possession example in scripture found in Mark 5.

1 They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes. 2 When He got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him, 3 and he had his dwelling among the tombs. And no one was able to bind him anymore, even with a chain; 4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him and the shackles broken in pieces, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with stones. - Mark 5:1-5

The gospel of Mark clearly outlines a demoniac, one who is with demons. In this context, the individual is clearly possessed and the will of his soul is compromised. The spirits in control of him making him in linger around the cemetery with the dead. This man does not sleep and he possess supernatural strength where he can break free of shackles. He screams day and night as he cuts himself. His body and soul are  in torment. The accumulation of all these behaviors, and the demon speaking through the man are signs of demonic possession. The scripture does not provide a clear picture of how this man came to this state of possession. Nor are we told if this was once any religious man. The scripture only reveals the state of possession the man is in. The context of the scripture is purely to demonstrate the authority of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

6 Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him; 7 and shouting with a loud voice, he *said, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!” - Mark 5:6-7

The demons bowed to Jesus Christ, just as Paul revealed to us they would in the epistles.

10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:10-11

I have seen this demonstrated to me one time while I was ministering to a person with demons. The demons mocked me and told me that Jesus was lie. I quoted Philippians 2:10 and the demons hit the flower bowing, looking up at me telling me how much they hate Jesus. The demons bowed and confessed that Jesus Christ was Lord.

Next Jesus performed an exorcism on the demoniac. This wasn’t deliverance session, this was an exorcism. Let’s take a look,

8 For He had been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 And He was asking him, “What is your name?” And he (the demons) said to Him, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 And he began to implore Him earnestly not to send them out of the country. - Mark 5:8-10

This is an exorcism because of the severity of the demonic affliction - a possession. Jesus expels the demons by commanding them to leave. Jesus then commands the spirits to identify themselves, they respond with their name, “Legion”. Demons don’t like giving out their name, they want to be hidden. Only ministers walking in their spiritual authority should do this. Once you have the demon’s name you need to expel it.In Mark 5, the “Legion” clearly identified Jesus as the Son of God incarnate. Notice how the demons started plea bargaining? They wanted to be sent into the herd of pigs.

13 Jesus gave them permission. And coming out, the unclean spirits entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, about two thousand of them; and they were drowned in the sea. - Mark 5:13
What is going on with the pigs killing themselves? From my experience it has to do with the dynamics of the soul. When the “Legion” was in the demoniac, it had within their gang of demons, spirits of death. Although the possessed man’s mind was compromised, the demons could never fully get him to kill himself. Somewhere deep inside this man’s soul, his will and intellect were still fighting against the possession. The demons had the power to make him cut himself and be in pain, but the possession wasn’t complete enough to destroy the man’s will to live. His internal survival instinct was keeping him alive. The soul was still having a cataclysmic battle deep inside.

The pigs, on the other hand, were incapable of fighting off such a mind attack. Let alone does a pig even have a soul? The urges from the spirits of death were so overwhelming in the pigs that they just immediately ran off and killed themselves. This is a testament to the power of the will of the human soul. The demoniac’s mind was able to wrestle with the “Legion”. The pigs could not. It’s the nature of the demons to destroy. The pigs didn’t stand a chance. I don’t even think the demons doing the negotiating saw that coming.

Now, can a Christian be possessed by demons? Let’s do some criminal investigation around the Gerasenes demoniac. I want to use this scenario and build a model to demonstrate a point that a Christian can be possessed. In the model, we’re going to use a fictitious person name Sam. Sam is an elder of church. Very respected in his church and the go to guy for receiving prayer ministry. One night a friend of Sam’s calls him and invites him out to a cemetery to go ghost hunting. Sam knows it’s wrong and against the Word of God, but he has been seeing all this exciting stuff on paranormal television shows. Sam decides to try his hand at paranormal investigation. Some of the paranormal shows even featured Christian ghost hunters. Besides, Sam’s a God fearing Christian man, and he’s protected by the armor of God.

Sam goes out with his friend to the cemetery where they begin to ask spirits questions. Sam downloaded a paranormal app for his cell phone called a ghost box. Which allows the ghost hunters to have interactive conversations with disembodied spirits. They are essentially conducting a seance - necromancy. Most people think necromancy involves a psychic or a Quiji board. The new paranormal apps on cell phones can communicate with spirits.

A spirit starts to interact with Sam and his friend through his cell phone. The moment is exhilarating to Sam and his friend. Wow! Proof of his spirituality and after life.    

At this moment, Sam has stepped out of the protective covering of God. Ephesians 4:27 tells us not to give the devil a place of opportunity. The soul is capable of making choices that are a curse or a blessing. The choice of even coming out to a ghost hunt is a curse in itse;f. Sam gave in to his temptation to go ghost hunting. He has even conversed with a spirit in a seance using his ghost box cell phone app. This is not a mere sin that SAm has committed, it is a transgression against the law of God.

10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. - Deuteronomy 18:10-13

Sam knows he is not supposed to be out there. But he is becoming obsessed and enthralled with the spirit box dialog he is having with a spirit. Suddenly, the conversation turns from simple questions to the spirit responding in threats.

The spirit box says “kill you”

Sam becomes filled with fear now. He looks up and he notices a shadowy figure from a few grave sites over moving towards him. Sam and his friend grab their equipment and bolt for this car. They get in the car and speed off out of the grave yard. Sam and his friend are a bit frantic. They’re gasping to catch their breath. Sam looks up in the rearview mirror and sees a person sitting in the back seat. His heart nearly leaps out of his chest. He turns around while driving to look behind him in the back seat. There is no one there. He looks up in the rear view mirror, apprehensively, and but there is no one there. He knew he saw someone in the back seat of his car.

Sam makes it home, his heart is starting to calm down. After he gets out of the car, he cautiously looks at the back seat again. No one is there. Good! So Sam goes inside his house to go to bed. Before he heads off to bed, Sam decides to make a sandwich. As he makes the sandwich, Sam sees out of the corner of his eye a shadowy figure walk past the hallway in the other room. His heart races again, and he steps into the other room to make sure nothing is there. He shrugs off the incident as overwrought nerves.

Sam decides to sit down and read his bible to calm his nerves. He finds at this moment he just can’t concentrate and read. He struggles to read the scripture, maybe he is just too tired. Sam goes off to bed to go to sleep.

In the middle of the night, Sam is abruptly woken, around 3:00 AM, by a door slamming and the sound of footsteps in his house. Sam gets up out of bed, walks his home and finds no intruders. He goes back to bed, only he can’t sleep, now there are rodents in his attic causing a ruckus.

In a couple of days, Sam doesn’t go into work his mind is in a weird funk. He is also hyper vigilant about the shadow figure that follows him around. Over the next course of days, Sam’s mind is running over time bringing up offensives that people in his church have done to him. These accusations run none stop and keeps him awake at night too.

The demons had already started to compromise Sam’s intellect and reasoning. They were speaking to Sam using the voice of his own intellect. When Sunday finally rolls around, Sam won’t even want to go to church and be around people that he is now convinced  mistreated him. Sam is now isolated in his soul and in the first stages of demonic possession. First the demon separates the soul from it’s friends and support group, and in the next stages the soul will be separated from Jesus. Sam also notices weird scratch marks on his body, some he thought came from his horrible nightmare from last night about demons torturing him.

Had Sam repented and swallowed his pride he would have saved himself a lot of misery early on. He would have only needed a deliverance prayer of liberation while he was only oppressed and not yet being possessed. Satan is like a lawyer and will seize all your assets if you let him.

A few weeks later, Sam’s older daughter, Jennie, who is married and has moved out of the house is concerned about her father. Jennie’s father in the past couple of weeks has become increasingly agitated and paranoid during her phone calls with him. Jennie decides to take action and go to her father’s house to check up on him. Jennie finds the house in state of disarray and filth. Jennie tries to clean up her father’s house but Sam is agitated and seems to be in a state of dementia.  She decides to take her father to the hospital because he is obviously in no state to be left home alone.

Sam refuses to leave the house with his daughter. All sorts of vulgarities come out of his mouth as he calls her the worst things possible. Jennie calls the police for assistance in the matter. The police arrive and Sam becomes agitated and confrontational with the police. This earns him a free ride to county general where he is placed, strapped down under medical supervision.

The doctors find Sam to be a schizophrenic since he is complaining about all the voices in his head. Inside Sam’s soul he know he is schizophrenic, these voices are real and the all showed up suddenly a few weeks ago. He can’t control is intellect long enough to get out a thought. These voices won’t let him think or get any rest. Every time Sam tries to call out on Jesus, the voices get louder and shout,“Jesus won’t help you!” His intellect and will for prayer get shut down through torment. It’s hard to formulate a thought with all these voices in his head.

This process of possession I outlined is modeled from what I have witnessed from Christian people making poor spiritual choices, didn’t repent, and were possessed by evil spirits.  God will bring you back from possession but it is a really rough road to travel. Demonic possession cases are rare, where we come across a fully compromised soul. My first case with demonic possession was with a young Christian man who became angry at God when his father died from cancer and his younger brother was shot and killed on the city streets. Anger is a normal and valid emotional response. However, this young man was so angry, he bought a satanic bible and read allowed form hit. He gave his soul over to satan. This was one of the worst cases of possession I had seen. It took our intercessor team several months of intercession before God released us into the battle. The soul was redeemed by God.

What I demonstrated in this text was the progression of demonic possession of a Christian from the opportunity given to the devil to the unrepented transgression. Transgression and iniquity are what give the demons legal rights to the soul. We are capable of both good and evil choices. Just as Adam and Eve were capable of making good or bad decision. 

Demonic possession to a Christian is progressive over time. Many people feel a Christian can't be possessed because of the indwelling trinity. The trinity dwells in the spirit of the person. Demons afflict the soul. The human soul pulls away from the indwelling trinity when it is overcome with guilt and shame from its iniquities. Just as Adam and Eve hid from God in the garden. Your soul hides from God in shame.

The soul pulls away and is isolated where the demons can attack ferociously. The soul and the spirit of the person are out of alignment with the Holy Spirit. The Christian is restored from possession when the soul realigns with the indwelling Jesus Christ.

I put this model together based on the things I was seeing in the field with demonized Christians. This was a case study for the most severe form of oppression - demonic possession. 

Keep in mind also, there isn’t any scripture that states a Christian can’t have a demon. This is Western church rationality and it goes into the church spiritual correctness trash bin where it belongs.


Rev. Mike

If you want to learn the straight up facts on learning spiritual warfare, get your information straight from a book that was written from the front lines of spiritual warfare. Get your copy of:

A Field Guide to Spiritual Warfare

M16 Ministries

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