Summary: A Bible study series that addresses the authority of the Believer regarding spiritual warfare and the power of the enemy and answers the question, "Can A Christian Have A Demon"?
Great debate began taking place during the middle of the last century within Christianity as to whether or not a genuine Born-Again Christian can be demon possessed. When asked “can a Christian have a demon?” I always reply, “Why would they want one?!”
The debate revolved primarily around the translation of the Greek word “Daimonizomai” which is defined by virtually all Bible Dictionaries and Lexicons as “to be demon possessed.” It’s usage throughout the New Testament was understood to mean ‘to be possessed by a demon.’ Possession implies ownership and satan doesn’t actually own anything. There is no distinction in the usage of the word in the New Testament, nor is there even a single reference or warning about a Christian being under the control of, or “demonized” by, an evil spirit. The word is often used in the context of evangelism and involves non-Christians.
A Christian can be in a situation where demonic forces exert such oppressive attacks that it can “feel” as if there is an actual possession of the body or personality. These attacks may range from mild harassment to extreme subjection of the person involved. The Greek word for “oppressed” is “Katadunasteuo.” It means to exercise dominion, dominance, or control. The enemy tries to dominate and control everything. However, Jesus has control over him! Jesus went about healing “all that were oppressed of the devil” (Acts 10:38 KJV). The enemy has to submit to the authority of Jesus!
Many people often use the term "oppressed" without realizing the very thin grounds that exist in the Bible for such a category of demonic activity. Indeed, without the King James Version of the Bible, the word would not even have entered the Christian vocabulary. This belief of demonization subtly changes the focus from God to satan. It can inspire fear in the Believer when they should be experiencing security in Christ.
I have seen and experienced many unexplainable things throughout my life. I know of many people that have had things happen to them that defy rational logic. Whether one believes a true Born-Again Christian can have a demon or not the real issue is how to effectively fight against the attacks of the enemy and keep evil spirits away. The real question that needs to be answered ‘is what window of opportunity was opened for evil spirits to attack and how can we close it?’ Just “rebuking and puking” won’t keep them from returning if the root cause is not dealt with. Answering the question requires spiritual maturity.
The Dwelling Place Of The Beautiful God
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (1 Cor 6:19-20 NIV)
The Beautiful God doesn’t live in a “Temple” somewhere “way up high in the sky”. He lives within the body of the one who has emptied themselves through repentance and obedience to His Word so that He can take up residence. There are two words in the New Testament that are translated “Temple.” They are “Naos” and “Hieron”. The word used to describe the body as a “Temple” of the Holy Spirit is the word “Naos”. This word is also used metaphorically to describe the physical body of Jesus: "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."(John 2:19-22 NIV)
The other word translated in the New Testament is “Hieron” which signifies the entire building, or outer courts of the Temple where all the people had access. This is the area in the Temple where Jesus taught His lessons.
Every Born-Again Christian has a spirit which is the part that will leave the flesh one day. The spirit dwells in the body and Holy Spirit dwells in the spirit. The word “soul”, which is often used interchangeably with “spirit” actually means the mind, will and emotions. The body, every cell, tissue and organ, is the very shrine, the Holy Of Holies, where God dwells. Christians are “the temple of the living God.” (2 Cor 6:14-16 NIV) The most Holy and Beautiful Creator God of the Universe lives IN every Believer and He “is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:1-5 NIV)
The Body Of Christ
Christians have been “crucified with Christ” and He now lives in them. The life they live in their physical “body” is “by faith in the Son of God” because Jesus loves them and gave Himself for them. (Gal 2:20-21 NIV) Only the high priest, clothed in garments of repentance, surrounded by a cloud of incense, with the blood of sacrifice having been offered, could lawfully enter in the Holy of Holies. (Lev 16; Heb 9:7)