So many people downplay, even ignore, the fact that there's an unseen enemy who does all that he can to destroy all lives. The Bible tells us that we have an enemy that is not flesh and blood - the devil and his minions. And he will not stop doing all that he can to destroy us and prevent us from seeing God and experiencing His deliverance.
One of the methods the enemy employs in his arsenal of destruction is what is famously known as "demon possession." Some do not believe that this happens, and many do not know how to handle such a case.
Did you know that anybody can be possessed, or at least influenced, by a demon? This article is not meant to scare you, dear reader. With this article I hope to let you see the reality of demonic possession, and the even better reality of victory and freedom in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Demon possession in the Bible
The Bible presents to us several accounts of demon possessions. People who are possessed by a demon (or an unclean spirit) show different symptoms:
Mark 1:23-28 shows us a man who was possessed by an unclean spirit. This man convulsed after Jesus rebuked the spirit inside of him.
- Various diseases
Mark 1:32-34 shows us a scenario where people who were sick and demon-possessed were brought to Jesus, and He healed them. These demons caused people to have various diseases.
- Immense strength, loss of sanity, and intense wildness
In Mark 5:1-13 we read of a man who was possessed by many (!) demons, famously known as "Legion." The Biblical account describes him as strong enough to break chains and shackles, and cutting himself with stones.
This evokes images of suicidal tendencies, and a wildness akin to the Incredible Hulk.
- Blind and mute
Matthew 12:22 records for us a man who was blind and mute from being possessed by a demon. Jesus healed him and gave him sight and made him speak.
- Turning away from God
Luke 22:3-6 tells us that demonic influence or possession can cause even someone who has walked with Christ to betray Him. We read in the passage how Judas Iscariot went to the Pharisees after "Satan entered" him.
There are many other verses about demon possession and demonic influence, all of them proving that these things do happen. Sadly, because many of us do not know the truth or at least do not know how this happens, we merely brush off such cases of demon possession or demonic influence as a "medical" or "emotional" problem.
These verses prove to us that demons can cause emotional instability, physical infirmity, mental confusion or handicap, a loss of sanity, and a turning away from the faith (see 1 Timothy 4:1). When such things happen, we must realize that demons could be the ones causing them, not just hormones or chemicals.
The greater truth
While it's true that demons can influence and possess people, the greater truth is that in Christ we can all be free from the enemy's attempts to subdue us. 1 John 3:8 tells us that:
"He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil."
Christ came to destroy the enemy's works and free us from it. What is the devil's work? To bring us to sin (see Genesis 3). When we sin, we give the enemy control over us (see Romans 6:16). Anybody who commits sin and does not repent of it remains under sin's control and away from God's forgiveness (see 1 John 1:9). We must not allow this to happen (see Ephesians 4:27)!
Jesus is able to set anybody free from the devil's grip. We read in the Gospels that He healed every person who was possessed by a demon, and cast the demons out. He does this even today, and allows all who are in Him to do this as well.
Christ set us free from demonic slavery
When we believed in Christ, every demon or any sort that possessed or influenced us were given an eviction notice - because we have repented of our sin and have submitted to the Lordship of Christ. We have been transferred from the dominion of darkness and into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (see Colossians 1:13). God's Holy Spirit is now the One residing in us, not the enemy who is us through our sin.
Now that we are in Christ and have been freed from the enemy, it's our responsibility to stay free and work to free others as well, in Jesus'name:
"And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."" (Mark 16:15-18)