One of the primary functions of the Body of Christ is to combat evil. And yet we really know very little about the origin and nature of evil spirits.
Just look at all the different definitions of demons that are held by the scribes and scholars of antiquity and today: They range from ghosts of the wicked dead to Jinnees; from the Mazzikim to the Nephilim, and from superstition to paranormal phenomena.
You would think that the number one ministry of the church would be to equip the saints with the knowledge of demons and demonic protection.
In this maze of religious intellectual confusion, how does one identify evil and fight it? How can a person avoid demonic and satanic attacks? How can a person be delivered of demonization? And what is the difference between full demon possession and demonic activity or demonization?
Many denominations declare that Christians can not be demon possessed! They say that because scripture says that "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world" that it makes no sense if a believer can be simultaneously indwelt by both the Holy Spirit and evil spirits. They state that "Christians can be attacked by demons, but they cannot be possessed, (indwelt is implied), or controlled by them".
This sounds really good, but is it just false security for the believer? Does it leave the believer defenseless to demonic attacks and demonization? Does it in fact work on behalf of evil spirits pulling down the walls of protection and leaving them vulnerable? Is it Biblical?
I believe that this doctrine is a dangerous over simplification. It works on the behalf of demons. It makes no Biblical sense and it leaves the believer vulnerable and a demonic target. If they are right, and I am wrong, than no harm was done. But if I am correct, they have left themselves and thousands of believers defenseless and open to demonic attacks.
Did not Satan come before the throne of God with Joshua and the Angel of the Lord (Jesus) in the Temple of God in heaven?
"Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.
And the Lord said to Satan, 'The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is it not a brand plucked from the fire?" Zecharia 3:1.
It is said that the new believer becomes the temple of the Living God. That the Holy Spirit dwells in him or her. This is true, but if Satan can roam freely before the very Throne of God in heaven why is it that we falsely assume that he can not venture into the temple of man? On the contrary, we know that demons are defiant of authority and blasphemers. They love to tread their filth on holy ground. Satan goes boldly before the Throne.
What really needs to be analyzed here is the difference between being fully possessed by demons and partial demon possession and activities. In other words, a Christian can not be FULLY demon possessed as long as they remain a Christian, but may have many different kinds of demonic activities or demonic intrusions. A Christian may be visited in their outer court (flesh) or inner court (mind) but their sanctuary (spirit) is protected as long as they do not commit blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and reject Christ.
Around the turn of the 20th Century, Clarence Larkin drew an analogy between the Tabernacle of God in the wilderness and the Tabernacle of Man.
Larkin compared the three distinct divisions of the Tabernacle of God with the three distinct divisions of the makeup of a man.
The Tabernacle was constructed of an Outer Court, a Gathering Place (Holy Place), and an Inner-Sanctuary (Holy of Hollies). Man is constructed of a body (soma), mind/soul (psyche), and spirit (neuma).
We know that demons can cause a person to be deaf (Matt. 9:32-33), blind (Matt. 12:22), insane (Luke 8:26-35), commit suicide (Mark 9:22), inspire self-mutilation (Mark 9:18), cause supernatural strength (Luke 8:29), and inflict birth defects (Luke 13:11-17). Once a demon has gotten into a human being he can come and go at will (Luke 11:24-26). Their activities often lead to inhumane conduct.
Demons are the agents in false doctrine (1 Timothy 4:1), and divination.
"And it came to pass as they went to prayer, a certain woman possessed with a spirit of divination met us (Python: Fortune Teller, Psychic or Astrologer), which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying". Acts 16:16-18.
Demonic manifestations are not to be confused with mental illness, paralysis, disease, birth defects, brain damage, or epilepsy.
"And His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought Him all the sick that were taken with different diseases, and epilepsy, and those which were demon possessed, and those with mental illness, and those with palsy; and HE HEALED THEM ALL." Matthew 4:24.
Demons do not walk to up to a person and say, "Hey! Do you want to be fully and completely demon possessed?" No, they find a weakness or a door through traditional family behavior (iniquities) or through the reckless behavior of the individual (personal sin). The person's active free will must be breached. They usually seduce a person with something simple and almost innocent unless it is generational sin.
It is kind of like the camel with his nose in the tent. It starts out with just a nose. Then, the next thing you know, the whole camel is in the middle of the tent. All the camel needs is a gate.
Demons like to solicit your active free-willing participation. It is more of a kill for them. It is sport to them!
Let's say that you profess to be a 'born again' Christian. You might even be in the ministry as a pastor or an assistant pastor. You are really committed to serving the Lord and your church. The love of God is all you think about. You attend church every meeting. You read the Bible and pray daily and you even spend special time with the Lord.
Let's say, just for argument's sake, that you are counseling women for the church. Then all of a sudden there is this certain girl you are counseling, a new believer, that seems to understand you more than your wife. That's it! Right there! The Camel in the tent! You were supposed to be counseling her but she ended up comforting you. What happened? How could this be? Christians can't be demon possessed? How did you end up in an affair with her? That was the farthest thing from your mind. What ever possessed you to cheat on your wife--To commit mental, spiritual, or physical adultery? How did that happen? Was it demon possession? How could that be? Impossible! And yet, there you are a victim of a demonic activity. You have been demonized--An activity that you were told could never happen.
How did that demon get into the temple of God? He just walked in through the gate like Satan walked into the very throne room of God in heaven. After all, there wasn't even a guard at the door in this case. You sent your guard home because your theologian/pastor told you that you couldn't be demon possessed. So why worry?
Larkin teaches us that the gate to the carnal self is five-fold: sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch. A demon can come in through any of the five gates by tempting the guard at the door. If the guard allows the demon in then the demon has authority to move about freely. You gave him this authority by giving up your free will to stand and rebuke the temptation.
Now this pastor was sorry and repented of his sin and was still a Christian. But a demon did possess, even temporarily, his carnal nature. The demon never got into the holy of hollies (the sanctuary) or he would not have been convicted of his sin. It is the conviction of the Holy Spirit that proves the battle between the flesh and the spirit still rages.
How do you put a guard at the door. You need to call temptation for what it is. It is demonic activity. You would never have been yoked to a demon. The very thought is enough to make you physically and spiritually ill.
So what must I do? You need to know your enemy. Study your enemy. Study his strategies. Do not be ignorant. The Bible says, "be harmless as a dove and wise as a serpent;' and, 'Study to show thyself approved.'"
It really upsets me when I see so much victimization of believers by false theology. How many believers do you know that have had an affair? How many pastors do you know that have fallen from the ministry due to sexual misconduct? How many professing Christians do you know that are fooling around; are drunks, do drugs, smoke marijuana, or are addicted to something?
Do you believe that is the work of the Holy Spirit? I for one do not!
How can a person come to the altar time after time, crying and weeping, professing Christ and be an alcoholic, be a child abuser, a wife abuser, a homosexual, an adulterer, a lesbian, or have an abortion?
People the prisons are full of felonious Christians of this sort. I get letters from prison all the time from people wanting to know where they went wrong. How did the camel get into the tent?
It is simple. You got tricked and lulled into a sense of false security. You were told the battle is over when the battle had only just begun.
Yes, you where set free when you became born again. Free in the spirit. Your spirit is born new, but your flesh is still the same old man. Your spirit has eternal life but your body is still dying and rotting to the core.
"And the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.'" Luke 22:31.
It is really clear from this passage that Satan can sift you anytime he wants. He CAN control you! He did Peter. But was Peter demon possessed? To this I will only answer: "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41.
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