Scriptures

Demon Possession

Introduction

The topic of ‘demon possession’ is an interesting subject to say the least and I know most people have their own thoughts and ideas about it. Some believe it still happens today and other say there’s no way it can happen today and still others are not sure.

I remember many years ago a friend of mine witnessed someone who was a member of a certain ‘church’ being literally beat up by the ‘pastor’, as he says this was the only way to drive out this ‘evil spirit’ from the young boy.

Anyone who knows anything about the Scriptures will know that ‘beating’ up someone to drive out some ‘demon’ is nowhere found in the Bible.

There was a documentary on TV a few years ago where certain ‘churches’ were being investigated for this very subject. Their pastors were claiming they some members were ‘possessed’ because they stole something from a shop, some were claiming that members were ‘witches’ because since those individuals joined the ‘church’ nothing but ‘bad luck’ has happened to other members.

Our television is filled with programmes which speak about demon possession, films have been made about demon possession, someone heard about someone else in the middle of some far-off country, in the middle of some village, of someone who possessed.

You can go on YouTube and see a video of people who are supposedly possessed and you can see videos of people having those demons driven out.

I mean, it’s everywhere and people’s minds are slowly being filled with all kinds of wonderful ideas about the subject. However, whether we like or not these practises are still rampant within some religious circles today.

Possibly because of ignorance, possibly because some so called ‘pastors’ have a desire for power and financial gain.

The whole purpose of this study is to try compare what people believe is demon possession today with the Scriptures and then you can make your own mind up about the subject in hand. We can either believe ‘people’s testimonies’ or the Word of God. And please know that I’m not disputing what people are claiming they have seen and witnessed but I am disputing if what they saw and witnessed was genuine. Some people claim that they have been possessed by a demon or they at least, claim they know someone who has been possessed.

Do demons exist?

We can’t deny that demons or ‘evil spirits’ exist because the Bible tells us so.

James 2:19 ‘You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.’

We know that demons were under the power of Satan, who is the commander of all evil spirits. This is what the Jewish leaders were accusing Jesus of in Matthew 12:24

‘It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.’

How did demons operate?

We know from the Scriptures that these demons

entered into people’s bodies and controlled their lives

Matthew 8:28-34 ‘When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. ‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’ Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, ‘If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.’ He said to them, ‘Go!’ So, they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.’

They often caused sickness in the people they entered such as not being able to speak or see

Matthew 12:22 ‘Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk
and see.’

They caused people to become insane and mad

Luke 8:26-36 ‘They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!’ For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Legion,’ he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured.’

They often caused people to conduct personal injuries on themselves

Mark 9:14-27 ‘When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. ‘What are you arguing with them about?’ he asked. A man in the crowd answered, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.’ ‘You unbelieving generation,’ Jesus replied, ‘how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.’ So, they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the boy’s father, ‘How long has he been like this?’ ‘From childhood,’ he answered. ‘It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can’?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’ When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. ‘You deaf and mute spirit,’ he said, ‘I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, ‘He’s dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.’

They often caused other kinds of bodily infirmities

Luke 13:10-17 ‘On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.’

What do demons know?

Well, unlike most of the people in Jesus’ day, they certainly knew who Jesus was and they understood why He came into the world in the first place.

Luke 4:41 ‘Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.’

There’s no doubts that they actually believe in God too

James 2:19 ‘You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.’

They are well aware about the coming Judgement and they fear the Judgment and their eternal punishment

Matthew 8:28-29 ‘When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. ‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’

All of the above text shows us that demons are not some kind of diseases like some people have claimed but these demons or evil spirits are just that, they are spirit beings who think, speak, and act.

Who was capable of casting out demons?

Now this is an important question which we’ll get back to later but for now, we see in clearly Scripture that Jesus often cast demons out of people.

Matthew 8:16 ‘When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.’

Jesus also gave the ability to cast out demons to His early disciples

Luke 10:17 ‘The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.’

Jesus also gave the ability to cast out demons to His apostles

Mark 16:17-18 ‘And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.’

Acts 5:16 ‘Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.’

Acts 8:7 ‘For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.’

Acts 16:16-18 ‘Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.’ She kept this up for many days. Finally, Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!’ At that moment, the spirit left her.’

Acts 19:11-12 ‘God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.’

The apostles were able to give miraculous gifts to others by

laying their hands on them

Acts 6:6-8 ‘They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. So, the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.’

Acts 8:14-21 ‘When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, ‘Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ Peter answered: ‘May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.’

Acts 19:1-6 ‘While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ They answered, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ So, Paul asked, ‘Then what baptism did you receive?’ ‘John’s baptism,’ they replied. Paul said, ‘John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.’

Please remember that these miraculous powers would have included the power to cast out demons.

Acts 8:5-8 ‘Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip, and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So, there was great joy in that city.’

Do demons still possess people even today?

1. There is no indication that demon possession occurred before the ministry of Jesus and His apostles.

We have no references to it in the Old Testament, Saul was not demon possessed, 1 Samuel 18:10.

And the first we hear of this is in the Gospels during the ministry of Jesus. The last we hear of it is during the ministry of the apostles.

This suggests that demon possession was something God allowed for a short time in order to demonstrate the power and authority of the Lord Jesus and of His apostles.

2. There is no instruction in the epistles on how to cast out demons.

If demon possession is a problem for the church today, then surely believers need to be able to cast out demons and to do so we must know how. Because there is no such instruction, suggests this isn’t a problem now.

If demon possession continued today, Satan would have more power than God, for he could send his demons into people, but God’s people couldn’t cast them out.

3. What is sometimes called demon possession today doesn’t match up with the accounts we find in Scripture.

We don’t find people, for example, who break the strongest of chains, as the possessed man of Gadara did.

Mark 5:3-4 ‘This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.’

Luke 8:29 ‘For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.’

4. Most alleged demon ‘exorcisms’ today are secluded, back-room affairs that are only later publicised.

Yet when Jesus expelled evil spirits, his miracles were publicly viewed, by astonished multitudes.

Luke 4:36 ‘All the people were amazed and said to each other, ‘What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!’

When did demon possession end?

Zechariah, an Old Testament prophet, spoke of the time when Christ would come.

Zechariah 13:1 ‘On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.’

This fountain was opened when Jesus shed His blood on the cross for the sins of the world.

Zechariah 13:2 ‘And also on that day,’ says the LORD who rules over all, ‘I will remove1 the names of the idols from the land and they will never again be remembered. Moreover, I will remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land.’

Following the time when the Lord would die for our sins, prophets, men who spoke by the Holy Spirit, and unclean spirits, demons, would no longer be in the land, earth.

So, I guess the question is,

when did this happen?

Like we saw earlier, only the early disciples and just before Jesus ascended back to the Father, only the apostles could drive out demons. Later it was only those whom the apostles laid their hands on had the ability to drive our demons and perform other miracles.

In other words, since no early disciples are still alive today, since no apostles are still alive today and since no Christians of whom the apostle’s laid their hands on to bestow upon the gift of casting out demons are still alive today, we can safely say that demon possession can’t exist today because no one has the power to drive them out today.

We understand that the purpose of these miracles was to confirm or prove that what they were saying was God’s Word.

Mark 16:20 ‘Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.’

Hebrews 2:2-4 ‘For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.’

One the nine spiritual miraculous gifts in the first century according to 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 was

‘the discerning of Spirits’.

We must remember to try to understand these gifts in the context of the historical period during which they were exercised. This verse, which seem so strange to us, would be perfectly understood by the people alive at the time of the writing of Paul’s letter.

For example, his readers would understand that, when he writes in 1 Corinthians 14:37 about those whom he describes as ‘spiritual’.

‘If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command.’

Paul was referring to those who were believed to be possessed by a spirit, because this was the name by which such people were known.

Also, Christians weren’t the only ones who believed in ‘spirit-possession’ i.e. individuals who were regarded as being under the influence of spirits which used them as their ‘instruments’. Both Jewish and Pagan religions also had their prophets, whom they believed were under spirit-control.

Paul hints at this in 1 Corinthians 12:1-2

‘Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.’

But, because men recognised the existence of both good and evil spirits, it was essential to determine by which spirit a person was being ‘possessed’ and ‘controlled’.

We know that during the ministry of the Lord Himself, there were times when He encountered and dealt with people who were possessed by evil spirits. The man at Gadara, and the spirit-controlled son of the man who came to Jesus because he said, the disciples couldn’t cure the lad.

Matthew 17:14-20 ‘When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. ‘Lord, have mercy on my son,’ he said. ‘He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.’ ‘You unbelieving and perverse generation,’ Jesus replied, ‘how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.’ Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?’ He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’

Acts 16:16-19 ‘Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, ‘These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.’ She kept this up for many days. Finally, Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!’ At that moment, the spirit left her. When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.’

Luke records the experience of Paul at Philippi, in dealing with a spirit possessed girl. With this in mind, Paul lays down two criteria that must be used in making this judgment.

1. ‘Sanity’

For centuries about 500 B.C., in fact, the Greeks had flocked to temples where priests or priestesses were believed to contact and be controlled by the gods, for who they acted as ‘mouthpieces’, as the gods spoke through them to deliver messages.

Whether it was real or fake, when these people were under the control of their gods they foamed at the mouth, their hair streaming out, and their limbs wildly flailing, as in an epileptic fit, all of which was taken to prove that they were being ‘moved’ by the spirit of the god whom they served.

Not so the prophets of the church, they did not scream or foam at the mouth, or roll on the ground! The Holy Spirit enlightened their minds and sharpened their vision. They didn’t claim that they were the mouthpiece of God, but the messengers of God.

2. The credit of honour to Christ

The well-used Christian confession of faith in New Testament times was ‘Jesus is Lord’, and as Paul reveals in 1 Corinthians 12:3, this was the formula by which the prophets were to be judged either true or false.

‘Therefore, I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.’

Bear in mind that, beginning with Caesar Augustus, Roman Emperors had begun to regard themselves ‘gods’, and everyone in the Empire was required to recognize and acknowledge this! Citizens had to declare their loyalty to Caesar as a god by saying the words, ‘Caesarea Kyrios’, ‘Caesar is Lord’.

In fact, at the entrance to every Roman Camp there was an altar onto which the soldiers were expected to throw a pinch of incense in the worship of the Emperor, whilst saying those words, ‘Caesar is Lord’, and, woe betide any man who failed to do so!

But when the favour with which Rome had originally looked on Christians turned into persecution, this affirmation of loyalty to Caesar was something that the Christians also were required to make, and failure to make it usually meant death.

At the same time, there was a quite different affirmation that was being freely made by both Jewish and Pagan enemies of the church. They were saying, as Paul records in 1 Corinthians 12:3, ‘Jesus is accursed’, and obviously, only the enemies of Christ would utter those words!

Furthermore, when a Christian refused to speak those words which were taken as an acknowledgment of Caesar’s deity, their refusal was taken as a denial of his deity and that was treason which brought the death-sentence. Thus, the distinction between the prophet inspired by the Holy Spirit, and the false prophet was, in this way, easily made.

The one was happy to say, ‘Jesus is Lord’, whilst the other, because he was under the influence of an evil spirit said, ‘Jesus is accursed’.

John also writes about the importance of making this distinction in 1 John 4:1-3

‘Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.’

One needs little imagination to understand that in a pagan world, there were many who pretended to be possessed and controlled by the gods, so that they might claim to be speaking in their names.

The significant contrast between these frenzied fakers, and the calmness of the Spirit-led Christian prophets are, as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 14:26-33

‘What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.’

Notice

‘The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets’.

In other words, there was no wild abandonment in the manner in which they delivered their message. Everything was done in an orderly manner, because ‘God is not the author of confusion, but of peace’.

A final observation, the exercise of the

‘gift of discerning of spirits’

was to be used when several prophets spoke in the service.

1 Corinthians 14:29 ‘Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.’

Now Paul said these spiritual miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit would fail, cease, and vanish away.

1 Corinthians 13:8-10 ‘Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will be set aside; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be set aside. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when what is perfect comes, the partial will be set aside.’

These miraculous gifts would cease when that which is perfect is come. This refers to the New Testament, which is called the perfect law of liberty.

James 1:25 ‘But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.’

Like we noted a moment ago, one of these miraculous gifts was the power to cast out demons. Therefore, evil spirits possessing men, along with the power to cast them out, ceased when the New Testament was completed and confirmed.

Some people often go to Matthew where Jesus says in Mathew 7:21-23

‘Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Notice that Jesus didn’t say they did prophecy or drive out demons in His name, He was simply saying what they would claim. And the very fact that He says, He didn’t know them and called them evildoers, suggests that what they were doing was fake.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 ‘The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason, God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.’

Why demon possession in the New Testament?

The New Testament clearly indicates that demons were under the control of divine authority. Jesus, for example, could command them to leave a person, Matthew 8:16, or even to keep quiet, Mark 1:34.

The demons that tormented the man in the country of the Gerasenes couldn’t enter the nearby swine herd except by the Lord’s concession, Mark 5:13-14

‘He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened.’

Since it’s the case that demons could do nothing except by divine permission, the intriguing question is, why did God allow these spirits to enter into people?

The truth of the matter is, the Bible doesn’t give a specific answer to this question. I personally believe that God permitted demons to possess certain people in the time of Christ and the apostles so that His power could be seen. Not only did Christ have power over nature, disease, and death, but He also had power over the spirit world. The Devil and his demons were proved to be powerless before the Son of God.

Colossians 2:15 ‘And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.’

1 John 3:8 ‘The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.’

And we do know that the ability to cast out demons in the first century was given in order to confirm the truth of the Gospel message.

Mark 16:17-20 ‘And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.’ After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.’

Demons still exist, but they don’t possess people today. Today, we need to be concerned about Satan, the Devil, who tempts us to sin. We know that the devil is still working today but he doesn’t have the power he once had and so he can only work through lying and deceit.

Lying and deceit

Note the following passages which speak about how he operates today.

John 8:44 ‘You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.’

2 Corinthians 11:3 ‘But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.’

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ‘For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.’

Ephesians 6:11 ‘Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.’

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 ‘The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason, God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.’

Revelation 12:9 ‘The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.’

Revelation 13:12-14 ‘It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honour of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.’

Revelation 19:20 ‘But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs, he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur.’

The purpose of the church, especially the duties of elders, preachers, and teachers, is to teach people so that they are not as vulnerable to such deceit. These were all in place

‘to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.’ Ephesians 4:12-14

Like I said at the start of this subject, the whole purpose of this is to try compare what people claim is demon possession today with the Scriptures, in order for you to make your own mind up about the subject in hand.

And to know that I’m not disputing what people are claiming they have seen and witnessed but I am disputing if what they saw and witnessed was genuine.

Demon Possession  

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;'"

John 11:25

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