What is demonic possession? (Part 2)

This series of blogs on the angelic realm continues with information on the issue of demon possession.   What does the Bible say about the effects on people of demonic possession?

1. Mute: “While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus.  And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, ‘Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel’” (Matthew 9:32,33).

2. Blind: “Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.  All the people were astonished and said, ‘Could this be the Son of David’”(Matthew 12:22)?

3. Convulsions/seizures: “A man in the crowd called out, ‘Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child.  A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him.  I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.’  ‘You unbelieving and perverse generation,’ Jesus replied, ‘how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.’  Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father.  And they were all amazed at the greatness of God”  (Luke 9:38-43).

4. Crippling:  “On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.  When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’  Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God” (Luke 13:10-12).

5. Deceiving”  “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” ( 1 Timothy 4:1).

6. Jealousy & murder: “When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres.  As they danced, they sang: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.’  Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. ‘They have credited David with tens of thousands,’ he thought, ‘but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?’  And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.  The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, ‘I’ll pin David to the wall.’ But David eluded him twice” (1 Samuel 18:6-11).

7. Tormenting:   “Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him” (1 Samuel 16:14).

It is essential to remember that the “evil spirit from the Lord” is an example of God’s sovereignty.  In other words, He is allowing that demon to come upon Saul, but that demon is not part of God’s holy angels.  As for the argument that all of these are physical problems with a natural cause: remember  that the Bible records healing for physical problems, and exorcism for demonic (spiritual) problems.  Both are recorded in the Bible.

As for the practice of exorcism, two things take place.  First, the demon is cast out in the name of Jesus (Matthew 10:1; Acts 16:18; Mark 9:29).  Jesus has the authority to cast out demons, and the church is given that authority.  No ritual does it–it is the power of God over the demons.  Second, the person needs to believe in Jesus and follow Him (Mark 5:1-20; Matthew 12:43-45; Luke 4:31-37; 11:23-26).  Even though a person is delivered, they still need to be saved.  And by the power of the Holy Spirit, they can know Jesus as Savior.  Jesus truly has defeated sin and death by rising from the grave, and He also defeated the devil.  We are more than conquerors through Him!

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