opened eyes

May 11, 2015

binoculars

How does the Bible describe and define demon possession? To understand properly the biblical teaching about spiritual warfare, we must begin with a clear understanding of what Scripture means when it refers to demon possession. A wrong perspective on this matter will result in our misunderstanding God’s Word as He has spoken it, causing us to rely instead on human opinion.

 

Because the Old Testament contains no clear example of demon possession, our examination will concentrate on the New Testament. The New Testament uses more than one term to refer to demon possession. First, the Greek word daimonizomai is a participial form of the more commonly used noun for demon (daimonion). Daimonizomai is usually translated “to be possessed by a demon,” or, when it is used to describe a person in that condition, it is rendered “demoniac.” The word is used thirteen times, all in the Gospels. It is increasingly popular to dilute the meaning of this word by translating it as “demonized.”

 

The second term in the Greek is daimonion echein, “to have a demon.” This phrase is used eight times in Matthew, Luke, and John. The Greek grammar conveys the idea that the subject is characterized by having a demon indwell him.

 

Because the Bible contains no systematic definition of demon possession, the best way to understand this issue is to examine the characteristics in the biblical examples that define these words for us. We see from the two basic terms noted earlier that someone who is said to be “demonized (daimonizomai)” or “to have a demon (echo daimonion)” is a person who has one or more demons dwelling within him, they have taken up residence inside the body, not inside the soul or spirit.

For example, while the Gadarene demoniac is labeled as “demonized” in Mark 5:15–16, 18, the same person is said to “have a demon” in Luke 8:27. A variation of this synonymous usage occurs when demon-possessed people are said to “have an unclean spirit” (Mark 5:2, 8). If our information about demon possession was limited to these three words, then it might be legitimate to conclude that these are merely generic terms describing some sort of demonic activity in relation to human beings.

 

 

A correct understanding of the Greek reveals that the standard way of translating this Greek term as demon possession has been correct all of the time.

 

Demonized and to have a demon are used in Scripture of only one extreme type of demonic activity: to have one or more demons take up residence inside the body of a person and exercise control by overriding the individual’s volition in relation to their bodily functions. The person’s soul, his identity, is still there, although perhaps unconscious. His volition to believe or reject the gospel is still there, but his ability to control his body is not. These words never describe a case involving anything less, such as mere influence or putting ideas into someone’s mind. For example, these terms never describe Satan’s activities of accusation, temptation, deception, or persecution; they describe only the extreme case of being inwardly controlled by a demon.

 

Jesus gives us a picture of demon possession in one of His dialogues with the Pharisees. In Matthew 12:28–29, 43–45, Jesus pictures the possessed victim as a house in which demons dwell. Casting out the demons is analogous to throwing the inhabitants out of the house. Therefore, demon possession clearly includes evil/unclean spirits (another term for demons) indwelling an individual. This point is further reinforced by the terms used to describe the moving in and eviction of demons from their captive. Both transitions are recorded in Mark 5:13, with the “coming out” (exerchomai) of the demons from their human hostage as they then “entered into” (eiserchomai) the herd of swine.

Mary Magdalene is described in Luke 8:2 as the woman “from whom seven demons had gone out (exerchomai).” These precise terms provide clarity for the meaning of daimonizomai, making it indisputable that the word means nothing less than the indwelling of a demon in the body of a human host.

 

 

It always amazes me when I do a Spiritual Warfare Seminar at a non-Pentecostal church, everyone starts seeing demons. In some cases it is true that the “opened eyes” are now believing the truth as revealed by scripture, but in most cases it is simply the pot being stirred and folks are now hyper spiritualizing everything.

 

The truth is we need to have balance, clear thinking and know our scripture.

 

So yes, I believe in modern day instances of demon possession, here in the USA it is not always that common as experienced in third world countries, where demons are invited and encouraged and even asked to come in.

 

One of the areas that may surprise people about this subject is in the martial arts practice. (no do not pull your kid from karate lessons). In the hard core practice of martial arts in third world countries it is not uncommon for the sensei to encourage demonic possession in order to give you uncommon strength.

 

 

And as stated numerous times before (and in more detail) Christians cannot be demon possessed, I don’t care what you read or what you’ve been taught nowhere in scripture (the final authority) is the idea put forth that it can happen and indeed scripture teaches the exact opposite.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

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