"... the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Neh. 8:10)
, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
I. Is Demon Possession Real or Imagined?
A. The term "Demon Possession" does Not appear in the Bible.
1. Apparently it originated with the Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, in the first century.
2. Then, it passed into ecclesiastical language.
B. In the New Testament, demoniacs are said to "Have A Spirit" --- "A Demon" --- "Demons" --- or "An Unclean Spirit".
C, The New Testament Church had many experiences with demons:
1. Acts 5:3, "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost,"
2. Acts 8:9, "But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:"
3. Acts 16:16, "And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:"
4. Acts 19:11, "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them."
D. Today's Church must still deal with demons.
I Timothy 4:1, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"
E. Many people (even Christians) Deny The Existence and the Activities of demons in the world today.
1. David Strauss (Germany) views the whole narrative of Jesus' demon expulsions as Purely Symbolic.
a. Demon possession is represented as A Vivid Symbol of the prevalence of evil in the world.
b. The expulsion of demons is represented as a corresponding Figure of Christ's Triumph Over Evil.
2. Other proponents, consider demon possession as a pure Hallucination or Psychological Delusion.
II. What Is Demon Possession?
A. Demon possession is a condition in which One or More evil spirits or demons Inhabit The Body of A Human Being.
1. They can Take Complete Control of their victim at will.
2. They can Speak And Act through him as their complete slave and tool.
3. The demon can Come And Go At Will, much like the proprietor of a house who may or may not be "At Home".
Matthew 12:43-45, "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth [it] empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."
B. The Condition of the afflicted person in the "Possessed" state varies greatly.
(( It may be Manifested by: ))
1. Depression, deep dejection, and a spirit of hopelessness and despair.
2. Vacancy, stupidity, and silliness.
3. Ecstatic, extremely malevolent (wishing evil to others), cruel, and wildly ferocious.
4. Or, he/she may be a very religious person (example --- the Antichrist).
III. Distinguishing Characteristics of Demon Possession:
A.. The automatic projection of a New Personality in the victim.
1. This is the Chief Characteristic of demon possession.
2. The Demon Uses the victim's body as a vehicle for His Own Thoughts, Words, and Acts.
a. The victim's Personality Is Completely Obliterated --- the inhabiting demon's personality takes over completely.
b. A Different Voice, a different Language or Dialect, and a different Educational or Cultural level may be used.
3. Demon possession should be Clearly Distinguish from the Insanity in which a person Imagines himself to be someone else.
4. However, it is quite probable that some patients in mental hospitals are demon possessed rather than insane. (( "Reality Therapy" by William Glasser ))
B. Supernatural Knowledge and Intellectual Power of the demon-possessed.
1. While in the demonized state many people give evidence of Knowledge Which Cannot Be Accounted For Naturally.
2. Ezekiel 28:12-13, "...Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; ..." --- V. 17, "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness:..."
3. II Samuel 14:20, "...my lord (king) [is] wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God,..."
4. Angels, Having Lived Thousands of Years, Have Accumulated A Great Deal of Knowledge.
C. Supernatural Physical Strength of the possessed.
1. Frail women or even children, under demon possession, can resist three or four strong men.
2. Mark 5:4, "... he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any [man] tame him."
3. The super-physical strength of demons is Not Limited To The Physical Energy they impart to their victim.
a. Their power is broad enough to cause Occult Oppression of Mind and Body.
b. They can produce physical disabilities and sicknesses Unrelated To Organic Disorders and which medicine or natural therapy cannot alleviate.
4. Demons can even Derange The Mind by upsetting the nervous system.
(( More about this later ))
D. Oppression of The Human Body.
1. Dumbness --- (Matt. 9:32-33).
2. Blindness --- (Matt. 12:22).
3. Various deformities --- (Luke 13:11-17).
4. In all such cases Medical and Psychiatric Treatment Are of No Avail, because the Cause Is Demonic.
5. Only by Dealing With The Spiritual cause of the problem can it be Cured.
E. Moral Depravity is another characteristic of the possessed person.
1. Just Like Human Beings, demons have Different intellectual, moral, and spiritual Traits.
a. Matthew 12:45, "Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last [state] of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."
b. Some demons are Refined, Educated, Cultured, and even appear to be "Good" and Benevolent.
c. Others are Unrefined, Uneducated, Coarse, Vile, and Morally Filthy.
2. People who deal in The Occult are often found to be Immoral.
a. They abandon themselves to immorality.
b. They shamelessly reduce themselves to actions that even animals avoid.
3. A demoniac often desires to live in a State of Nudity.
a. Luke 8:27, "... there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes,..."
b. God's most severe judgments: --- Sex Sins:
4. Demons cause their victims to Delight In Obscenity and Nudity while driving them to Sexual Excesses and Moral Perversion --- resulting in even God Giving Them Up.
a. Romans 1:26-32, "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
b. II Peter 2:9-18, "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error."
F. Oppression of The Human Mind.
1. Many Mental And Emotional Illnesses are due to natural causes --- overwork --- tension --- fatigue --- malnutrition --- organic diseases --- diabetes, etc.
a. When mental and emotional disturbances are due to Natural Causes, medical care can be very successful.
b. Prayer and Faith can heal the mind and body Supernaturally, just as medicine and rest can do it naturally. ( Divine healing --- not divine healers )
c. However, Unbelief and Sin can harm Body and Mind as a result of Demonic Bondage.
2 When Demonic Influence, however slight, is at work, complete healing can only be achieved with the help of God through Christ.
3. Bondage to demonic forces can be of Varying Degrees, as can yieldedness to God.
4. When the Moral Laws of God are persistently and flagrantly Disregarded, demon Influence may Merge Into demon Subjection.
a. Pornography, T.V. Soaps, an Evil Eye, can lead to adultery, fornication, illicit lust, and sexual excesses, Goaded On By Vile Spirits.
b. Those who nurse hate and revenge may find that a Superhuman Power Takes Over, impelling them to murder.
c. Those who Covet become slaves of Greed.
d. Those who persistently lie may become enslaved by an evil spirit of falsehood and deceit.
5. Persistent Sin opens the door to demon power that can derange man's Mind, weaken his Will, alienate his Affections, and disturb his Emotions.
6. All of this can lead to Idolatry --- because, the Dynamic of Idolatry Is Demonism.
a. Idolatry is in reality the Worship of gods Who Are Demons (1 Cor. 10:20).
b. These gods are Headed By Satan, the "god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4).
c. Be careful that you don't have any Idols In Your Life --- whatever is first in your life.
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