What About Demons and Christians?
Satan has tremendous control over his captives, I thought. He can control them completely. The Bible says, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them," II Corinthians 4:3-4.
Pat Holliday, Ph.D.
We have seen many Christians who are bound by demonic powers. If they are seeking religious experiences to feel good, they can be open to receive evil spirits. If they live double lives, unholy, without true commitments to the Lord, they will be demonized. If they find themselves under a religious cult, they will need deliverance. If they are following a person, instead of being led by Jesus Christ and His Word, they will receive spirits of religious confusion, Antichrist, rebellion, idolatry, and many others.
Real Christians are people who believe that Jesus Christ is God. They follow Him and His Word. They live holy lives and are sanctified. They will try to live for God's approval. Christians must live a defensive life and realize that they have an enemy. Satan is their enemy and he uses human vessels to make them fail.
Hosea said,"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (II Timothy 2:15.)
Christians today must return to the basics of their faith. Preachers should teach them the foundations of the Scriptures. Knowledge is power!
"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." (Ephesians 6:11).
Defense is an important part of Christian living. We must teach Scriptures concerning protection and spiritual dominion through living and using the Word of God.
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith,"
Christians have spiritual enemies. The Bible warns us to be aware of the strategies of Satan and his demons.
I Peter 5: 8,9 says, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you," (James 4:7).
We have all the authority and power needed to win in spiritual warfare. The Devil knows it, all his demons know it, but Christians must be taught the reality of their strength to know it.
Use your authority - Satan must obey. Demons don't have a choice. They tremble and run when we talk and agree with the Word of God. It is God's will for you to be free from every evil influence of the devil.
- Provisions made by His Word.
- Through blood of Jesus.
- Through His delegated authority.
"In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" (I Corinthians 5:4, 5). The Apostle Paul deals here with disobedient and sinful believers in the church at Corinth. V-10, specifically emphasizes that he is speaking not about evildoers of the world but in the church. V-12, Again made clear.
Some Christians open themselves to demonic attack by backsliding. If a Christian backslides, grows cold in his allegiance to Christ. Satan will first tempt him to do wrong. As he obeys he opens himself for a spirit to enter and take control.
The spirit will not come in immediately, for God is merciful, but if the sin is continually indulged in after professed conversion, and not repented, then such a person is wide open to demonic oppression in its many forms.
Anyone who is periodically attacked by a compulsion to act in a way which is contrary to his basic nature and personality, should suspect demon activity.
Demonic attack brings forth a behavior pattern that "can't be him." It isn't. It is the personality of the demon spirit being manifested through him. Will be themselves at times, but reverts to strange behavior. Makes them unknown person, split personality or schizophrenic. "Holding faith and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith, have made shipwreck: of whom in Hymanaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme?" ( I Timothy 1:19, 20).
Is it possible for a born-again Spirit-filled believer to have a demon? "Absolutely no" say some because they believe that the Holy Spirit cannot coexist in the same body with a demon!
They use slogans, not Scriptural answers. They practice extra-Scriptural pieces of logic that stand alone. Their reason rests on an assumption of Scriptural evidence.
Yes, its dangerous delusion to think Satan and his demons adopt a hands-off policy with believers. They can affect and afflict believers as far as possible. They buffet them, oppose them, seek to tempt or deceive them, or lead them astray. They look for and quickly seize any advantage to hinder believers.
A preacher from another city came to the church one evening. He said that he was very angry with his son. He confessed that he was going to his son's home with a gun to kill him. He said that the Holy Spirit spoke to him and said, "If you do this evil thing, I'll never speak to you again."
The preacher asked the Lord what He wanted him to do. He told us that the Lord said to come to see Pat Holliday. We ministered to the man in the realms of forgiving his son. He did forgive him but the preacher would not allow us to do any deliverance because, "A Christian could not have a demon". He had preached that for fifteen years!"
Many teach that the believer is inhabited by the Holy Spirit - Who does not coexist with demons within the same body. Proof text used is: (I Corinthians 2:12): "We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God that we may understand what God has freely given us."
However, if a Christian is living in sin, he can and will have a devil. The preacher that we spoke of above, who was going to kill his son, certainly was demon possessed. He needs deliverance. Never-the-less, the deliverance minister is unable to force a person like this to receive it.
"Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil," (I John 3:8). Indeed, He did! There are many problems that are caused by demons. The remedy or method for correction of the problem: You must cast out the demons in His name.
The believer is delivered from the power of Satan and his demons. Proof text (Colossians 1:12, 13; Ephesians 2:1-3).
Like other promises, the Bible solution is not automatic. As we voluntarily meet God's conditions for deliverance, Christians are provided with complete protection from fiery darts of the enemy (Ephesians 6). Armor is designed for defense from external - not internal enemies. Armor is not always in place. There are many Christian leaders that have problems with no solutions. They see many discouraged people who give up and are dropped by the wayside.
In some cases, suicide, is treated as a "right" and many ministers do not have the ability to find a solution within the framework of their theological understanding.
Personal experience is certainly not the basis for the interpretation of the Bible. If experience runs counter to interpretation, one should seek to find the reason. Be willing to restudy interpretation under the direction of Holy Spirit. Be prepared to make any necessary corrections to beliefs so as to be in full agreement with facts as they are. As a matter of fact, Biblical doctrine of human depravity, causes me to wonder that Holy Spirit would enter a person under any circumstance!
Many Charismatic writers : Pat Brooks, Don Basham, Pastor Carl Strader; and Non-Charismatic writers such as: Frances Manuel, Merrill Unger, Mark Bubeck, Robert Peterson, and Hal Lindsay, declare that they believe that Christians can have demons.
Dr. Unger writes: "In demon influence, evil spirits exert power over a person short of actual possession. Such influence may vary from mild harassment to extreme subjection when body and mind become dominated and held in slavery by spirit agents. Christians, as well as non-Christians can be so influenced. They may be oppressed, vexed, depressed, hindered and bound by demons."
Unger is frank to say that he had written in 1952, "To demon possession, only unbelievers are exposed."
He writes 20 years later, "This statement was inferred, since Scripture does not clearly settle the question. It was based the assumption that an evil spirit could not indwell the redeemed body together with the Holy Spirit."
Unger changed his position after Missionaries from all over the world wrote to him telling of cases to the contrary and as the author notes, the claims of the missionaries "appear valid."
The late, Dr. Hobart Freeman, wrote spiritedly "As a result of erroneous teaching and beliefs, which are based upon neither Scripture nor experience, Satan has deluded many concerning the question, 'can a Christian be oppressed by Satan, or possess evil spirits?' "
His answer..., "Yes to both questions - supported both by experience and Scriptures.Believers can be oppressed, vexed, depressed, hindered, bound, and afflicted by Satan, or suffer infestation by demonic spirits."
There are three kinds of demonic bondage:
- POSSESSION ... OWNERSHIP ~ A persons' life, will come totally under the domination and control of Satan. (Example: paranoid schizophrenia or dementia).
- OPPRESSION ... Spirits oppress from inside or outside the body. They will impress thoughts upon the mind. They can afflict the persons' body, bringing in various spirits of infirmity; or afflict emotions and mind with fear, resentment, doubt, etc. Other levels of bondage include: repression, suppression, depression, and ....
- OBSESSIONS ... FIXATIONS ~ The evil spirits cause never-ending temptation, driving the mind to be centered on its repetitious, endless mania.
A person is tempted when he is drawn away from God by sinful desire. Desire-when conceived, brings forth sin, (James 1: 14,15). He can tempt us but cannot make us yield. The power of evil spirits over men is not independent of the human will. It cannot be exercised without at least, some consent of the human will.