Summary: A series looking at the daily realities of spiritual warfare which we all face.
What about spiritual warfare?
In our previous four nights, we have defined spiritual warfare from 2 Corinthians 10 and we have looked at discernment and false discernment and last week began a look at the extra ordinary aspects of spiritual warfare as I shared a personal experience with a principality in Uruguay.
Tonight, we will continue our discussion of this side of things as we look at demon possession.
Before I get into that, I want to say a couple of things.
During this series, I have tried to be very clear about something, the bulk of spiritual warfare is the day to day struggle between sin and flesh and the will of God.
Much, if not the vast majority, of our involvement in spiritual warfare is not in direct contact or communication with demons or satan. It is the struggle of our flesh fighting against the will of God.
But there are times when we do come up against specific demons and demonic activity.
There are those who teach there is no such thing as possession. I’m not sure what Bible they are reading, but the one I read is very clear about the reality of demon possession.
Let me read one quote from the internet by a man named Robert Longman from his website spirithome.com on possession:
“The Devil never really ’possesses’ (owns) anyone or any thing. The world is in revolt, but it is still the Creator’s world, and the Devil can’t change that. The Greek New Testament term for ’possession’ is daimonizomai, which can be seen several ways. One way is to see it as demonic influence, where one is so twisted up by heeding the devil that one becomes ’demonized’ - made like the Devil. The other way is as a demonic energy or impulse that not only stirs up evil in a person, but enables that person to do the Devil’s work with an ability or power beyond what they would otherwise have -- a demonic dynamism. Bondage is created either way. It takes the bigger dynamism of Christ to free someone from that bondage, and it takes ’Christ-ization’ to keep them free. “
While correct in much of what he says here, Mr. Longman is incorrect in stating that there is no such thing as actual possession.
The greek word he points out daimonizomai is used 13 times in the Gospels and it literally means to be under the power of a demon.
The other Greek word often used for possessed in the NT is echo which literally means to have or to own
Mr. Longman may be just splitting hairs by stating that satan and demonic forces may have control but never truly own anything as God is Lord of all.
But the fact is, demons can and do dwell in people, what we call possession.
Matthew 12:43-45 - quite clear that demons when they possess actually indwell within a person
Three quick points from this passage:
1. Demons do desire and attempt to return to one they have been forced to leave
2. Evil spirits cannot return to someone if that person is full of the Holy Spirit and the things of God.
It is not enough to help someone achieve freedom, they must also be led into the realities of God and become full of His Word and Spirit
3. A whole nation, society, community, or other form of group can become so engrossed in evil and the desire for evil to such an extent as that group can become demonized
One could argue this is true of some Islamic nations today - Iran for example, or even Atheistic nations such as Cuba, or spiritualistic ones such as the Congo and other African nations and tribes.
This could even be true for a generation. The ultimate example of that would be the generation alive during Noah’s day leading up to the flood.
I am not going to cover every NT verse that deals with demons as we do not have time for that, but here are a couple prominent ones:
Let’s start by looking at how Jesus handled demons:
Notice, Jesus didn’t get all hyper spiritual or mystic. He didn’t chant or go into some long drawn out thing, He simply gave the order. He said, “Go!”
That is the power of God. It is not a fight when God shows up. It’s over.
It is only in His power and His authority that we can see anything accomplished.
Notice they came to Him. He did not have to seek them out. In fact, I challenge anyone to find it anywhere in scripture that we are to seek out demons for any reason.
I do not see anything indicating that we are on a demon hunt or should be or that Jesus or any of the disciples or apostles initiated contact with demons.