Can a Christian be Possessed?
Contracts with a Spiritual Realm
Our freewill choices have the potential of setting into motion all sorts of damaging results. One observation that can be made; when we play around in the Devil’s domain spiritual trouble comes with the territory. This is no less true for when we engage the antics of men and organizations. When we give them too much control over our lives we can succumb to the same powers that feed their own poor choices. So researching the subject can offer us some valuable relief from unwanted spiritual control. However let’s begin with what is an acceptable spiritual exchange beginning with our life in Christ.
Jesus (Yeshua) is eternal; He is infinite and constant within His Being; He has always existed and therefore remains the true Author of Spiritual life, Spiritual rule and Spiritual reward. Hence to put trust in Him and in His kingdom is to say we want to know the extent of His supernatural reach. So, in Christ;
- We gain redemption and forgiveness of sin.
- We gain eternity and participation in the divine nature.
- We gain fellowship and union with the Father.
- We live by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- We rule and reign with God forever.
This is all made possible through an exercise in “faith”. You see, it is impossible to please God or access the benefits of His life and Kingdom without having faith.
- Thus we begin our journey by “believing” in His preeminent nature.
- We place “faith” in His attributes and eternal abilities.
- We then “receive” what only the Spirit of God can provide.
Every move within the Kingdom of God follows this same basic principle;
Belief + faith in God = Spiritual solutions to life and faith
However I must add that our fleshly conclusions and carnally minded attitudes do create counterfeit results. If man opts to live life on his own terms he will naturally begin to exalt and glorify something of his fallen nature. Such actions then ignite a power that supports what he does in body, in soul or in spirit. Ultimately misplaced belief and faith remains a short cut into the Devil’s domain.
• Belief and faith in body = a spiritual power to support physical attributes and expectations.
• Belief and faith in the soul = a spiritual power to support mind, will and emotions.
• Belief and faith in natural spirit = a spiritual power to support and counterfeit the work of God.
The same result is true when exalting any other aspect of human behavior. But the self-aware also broaden their search for greater meaning by turning to various aspects of creation. Spiritual powers can be found supporting all sorts of man made interests.
Belief and faith in Creation = a spiritual power supporting man’s worship of creation.
A very vivid example of this type of support was present in the gospel’s mention of Judas. Judas so lusted after money that he betrayed the Messiah for thirty pieces of silver. A prophetic statement in Psalms shows us how his actions were once supported.
Psalm 109:5 KJV And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. 6 Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.
The point of entry into the life of Judas was based on his own greed; Judas sought to save himself through greed and this trust or faith in his own accomplishments (His right hand) found spiritual support.
Was Judas then possessed? Yes, but let’s bring some definition to the term.
- In its simplest form possession can mean that Judas was in touch with a spirit which provided him opportunities to steal and covet more money. Such a simple form of spiritual control doesn’t require any greater degree of persuasion.
- But then we know that a seducing spirit seduces the senses. When Judas basked in his victories a spiritual presence was there to enhance the experience.
- However the four Gospels also speak of a greater level of possession. As Judas began to plot his betrayal of Jesus, Satan breached the veil of his flesh and entered into him (Luke 22:2).
Similar forms of exchange can affect us as well. The matter is simply one of placing faith in worldly things as a substitute for life in Christ. But some may ask;
“How is it that a Christian can be possessed?”
To clarify, many aspects of creation are not evil, however when things start to own us it can invite spiritual manipulation of our person. For the believer we are also then talking about various degrees of control. Certainly Jesus owns the heart and salvation has been secured for us in eternity, however we have yet to see all our actions conform to His likeness. Hence depending on our previous sinful choices, activities, and associations each one can invite its own unique “level” of spiritual bondage. The culmination of these exchanges is something we call a “spiritual signature”. They represent a lifetime record of where we have been in the world and where a spiritual world has gained the ability to manipulate and control us. Here are some biblical examples.
• Believers can participate with demons.
1 Corinthians 10:20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.
• Believers nullify their effectiveness when they participate with demons.
1 Corinthians 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons
• Believers can be swayed into following demons.
1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
• Demons are associated with the things men worship.
Revelation 9:20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk.
• A religious person chooses various degrees of submission to demons thinking that they are angels of light or good and godly.
John 8:43-45 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 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. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!
On a side note; if you need a biblical example of a “Christian” being controlled by a demon power then look no further than Paul the Apostle. Paul suffered an infirmity which was the direct result of a spirit altering his way of life.
2 Corinthians 12:7-9a Because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”…
In Paul’s case a demon was allowed to remain for a time by the will of God. I believe this is a unique and isolated occurrence and was written for our benefit. What we learn from this occurrence is no matter where we remain stuck in process, God is always present to support us and sustain us by His marvelous Grace.
(Additional biblical references explaining how a Christian can suffer demonic interactions are Eph. 6:12, 1Tim 4:1, Col.2:8, Matt 5:37, James 4:7.)
When the Christian plays around in the world there is a spiritual realm ready and willing to engage us. Yet our western Christian culture seems to be oblivious to the spiritual effects that influence such choices. It is often naively assumed that since we believe in Christ we can’t possibly cross the line into unhealthy spiritual worlds. This is due to an often misunderstood verse in 1 John.
1 John 5:18-20 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.
Yet whenever we succumb to the world or choose to feed our natural man we will enter a spiritually charged domain. Paul makes mention of this dilemma;
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Though a believer is preserved from spiritual troubles by remaining in Christ, we have to take into account that a Christian’s own freewill choice to become worldly, or even religious, can steal away spiritual freedom. Thus when our actions reflect the world we will begin to have exchanges with other powers that serve the world system.
The list provided are biblical examples of of possession and control. No not all examples represent Christian struggles; but then again the things that are common to all men maybe fueling the same spiritual fire.
- • A spiritual realm can counterfeit the Son of God.
Corinthians 11:4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
1 John 4:3…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.
• Spiritual bondage is common for the non-saved.
Ephesians 2:1-2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
• Knowledge ordered by a fallen world includes spiritual deception.
Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy (any branch of knowledge), which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
James 3:15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
• Deliverance is orchestrated by a spoken word.
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.
Matthew 10:1 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
• A spirit can return based on our worldly actions.
Luke 11:24-26 24”When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. The final condition of the person is worse.
• Spirits torment humanity.
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.
• True Deliverance is orchestrated by believers.
Acts 19:13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.”
• Demons can speak through their host.
Acts 19:15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?”
• Demons can control a person’s physical actions and enable extreme physical abilities.
Acts 19:16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
• Believers can abandon the faith and follow demons.
1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
• Demons can create counterfeit Christian ministry.
1 John 4:1 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.
• We can magnify spiritual interactions based on where we dwell.
Revelation 18:2 With a mighty voice he shouted: “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’ She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
• Jesus was victorious over demons.
Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle, triumphing over them by the cross.
• Counterfeit ministry is orchestrated by demons.
Matthew 7:22 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?’
• Spirits can hinder human function.
Luke 11:14 Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed.
Matthew 12:28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
• When disease is present spirits are often involved.
Matthew 17:18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.
• Children are not immune to spiritual attack.
Mark 7:26 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
• Part of a believer’s commission is to drive out demons.
Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases,
• Spirits can cause injury.
Luke 4:35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.
• Spirits can cause torment.
Matthew 15:22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
• Spirits can invite other demonic powers into action.
Matthew 12:44-46 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself…
• Spirits can speak through a host.
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.
• More than one spirit can occupy a person
Luke 8:2…and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out;
• A person can be released from many spirits at one time.
Luke 8:33 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.
• Demons submit to the Name of God’s Son Jesus (Yeshua).
Luke 10:17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
• Genuine deliverance can only be orchestrated by believers.
Acts 19:13-15 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.”
14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?”
• Demons can’t keep us from Jesus.
Romans 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
• God has equipped us to set at bay demon forces.
Ephesians 6:10-12 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
• Opponents of the truth have been taken captive to do the devils work.
2 Timothy 2:25-26 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
1 John 3:7-9 7Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 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. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.
A return to virgin soil is possible in Jesus but what is required of us is a willingness to “consider” the impact that certain past natural and spiritual choices have had upon our lives. Where did we make deals with men, organizations or a demonic realm? Where did we give up rights over body, soul and spirit? This forethought follows along on the wisdom of Paul who says to take thoughts captive.
2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every “pretension” that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
This is a valuable tool when seeking to unravel the mystery of an oppressed life. As certain thoughts arise suggesting we partake of worldly pleasures, bow to dark circumstances, or remain subject to other masters, those thoughts are actually showing us the type of captivity that is still present in our lives. In other words; if the thought of “stealing” comes to mind then be willing to ask the question; “When did stealing first appear in your life?” It can be the result of your own poor choices or it can be based on the company you keep. Whatever the event such contracts with the past can hold us captive to sinful and damaging practices for years. This sums up mans two step journey into bondage;
Freewill + spiritual support = Bondage
Yet the salvation and the deliverance that Jesus provides at the Cross can break all those bad contracts.
Now what we want to point out is “in Jesus” there are no struggles with demonic powers. That is only a concern when we have chosen to live by the worlds standards. More specifically, if natural expectations rule in our behavior then it will leave us vulnerable. Now realistically, we rub shoulders with the world in so many ways and have been raised while in a natural world, so there can be some spiritual baggage to deal with. If that’s the case then we need one more assurance from above.
As we follow after Jesus, we don’t deliver ourselves. Hence there is no amount of personal wiggling, no defensive posturing, no aggressive actions, no sacrifice, or jumping up and down that is able to throw off a spiritual host; it is simply up to Jesus to be our most perfect Deliverer. Make no mistake freedom from demonic intrusion is beyond man’s grasp, but it is not beyond God’s; this is why we needed a Savior/Deliverer in the first place.
Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
When we desire freedom from worldly ownership, a simple agreement with Jesus’ work on the Cross is all we have to add. Make a note of this; we have authority to agree with God and His victory at the Cross in order to send bad choices and demonic powers away. I’m saying this to put you at ease and to let you know that gaining freedom from demons is not a big deal in Christ. Here’s more clarity as to how Jesus set us free at the Cross.
For those wondering; does deliverance have to produce hostile reactions within our bodies as was once the case spoken of in the gospels? No; please notice that Jesus had yet to be crucified, which left mankind under natural dominion and under the control of the god of this world. So the battle that was once faced had to do with a matter of who owns man and his flesh? Yet when we approach deliverance from a “new life” position; Jesus now has complete dominion and offers a gentle means of restoration.
Realistically all that we have to experience when trusting in Him is a noticeable sense of peace, rest and emotional release. This is the most common effect when a spiritual burden has been lifted by the hand of God.
For anyone needing more insight on the subject, check out the books offered with helps to make your journey more successful in Christ.
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Out from the Shadow of Other Gods
Every Christian is desperate for a true relationship and life changing experience with God, but our most prevalent model of success and failure has been religion. The things that have been taught us have had more to do with man’s search for a god, rather than in God showing us His ways. There is a place where religion dies and genuine relationship begins. The first in a series, the author provides a platform for change and a simple yet powerful way out from the trappings of humanities religion. Ministering with honor to the pastor as well as to the prodigal and revealing a surprising bounty of Jesus in every page. Get ready to be encouraged, challenged, and renewed in your walk of faith.
The Shadow of the Spiritual
That’s an interesting question, but after two thousand years of Christian history, maybe we should be asking “which spirit?” Though the Christian faith has been provided with a sure foundation in Christ, our propensity to get worldly or even religious has actually pushed us past safe boundaries. There is a quagmire of spiritual alternatives all vying for our attention, yet none of them has anything to do with a true faith in Jesus. “The Shadow of the Spiritual” is meaty, thought provoking, in-depth look into the rising tide of spiritual pollution within the Church. Its lingering effects remain oppressive and damaging to any believer who desires a pure expression of relationship with the Son of God. This self help book is a must read for any Christian wanting to understand how improper spiritual connections get formed, fed and how unhealthy spiritual bondage gets passed around. Yet, by embracing a simple biblical truth, we can separate ourselves from all sorts of added trouble. The second in a series, the author provides a platform for change and a simple yet powerful way out from the trappings of humanities many fallen exploits.
Lord I Want To Change!
Is It time for a change? The Christian life is not always an easy life. Though we are assured that all things have become new, “New life” may end up looking a lot like the old one. This is due to our inability to properly transition away from certain worldly influences. A growing number of our troubles include the weight of family dysfunction, years of social conditioning and any number of personal failures remaining a black mark on our record. All of these issues have a tendency to warp our sense of “self” and we walk through life emotionally crippled; yet Jesus has other plans for us. The Bible provides the Christian a “get out of jail free card”. Jesus offers us a simple and effective way of escape out from the trappings of a difficult past. If you have ever wondered whether there is more to the Christian life, then get ready to be encouraged, challenged, and set free in your walk of faith.
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