horse feathers

June 6, 2015

sugar coating

Well we’ve seem to have stirred up a hornet’s nest as people weigh in about demon possession. Trust me I’ve heard all the ‘missionary stories,’ anecdotal accounts don’t count squat, neither does theology that contradicts the bible. But we will devote more space to the topic as we’ve had so many responses.

 

Dr. Merrill Unger in his earlier book, Biblical Demonology, (1952 first edition) made the following helpful observation:

“To demon possession only unbelievers are exposed; to demon influence, both believers and unbelievers. In the one case, the personality is actually invaded, the body inhabited, and a dominating control is gained; while in the other instance, attack is made from without, through pressure, suggestion, and temptation.”

 

This statement accurately expresses our own view and properly distinguishes the demonic impact upon unbelievers and believers. The major characteristic of possession is an internal assault upon the unbeliever. Demonic influence upon believers is an assault from without and is related to ideas and thought, more aptly described as the thinking of the world, which is characterized as demonic (James 3:15). The difference is as great as having an enemy within your house who has a gun pointed at your head making you obey his wishes versus having someone outside who is trying to persuade you to do something. As Unger noted, demonic influence from without takes the form of persuasion “through pressure, suggestion, and temptation.”

The believer, therefore, is not under the type of bondage that those who believe that a Christian can be demon possessed often imagine. Instead, the will has been freed by Christ to obey, although the believer may choose to submit to the sin nature and follow Satanic ideas rather than Christ in a given instance. On the other hand, if he were truly demon possessed, he would have to be delivered before he could be free to obey.

 

A popular term today is “demonized” some people are teaching we as believers can be “demonized”, poppycock and horse feathers, to those that would lessen what Christ has accomplished in his passion.

 

Kept from the evil one. Several other New Testament passages indicate that Christ’s victory over Satan and the demonic powers was so extensive and His power is so vast that it totally protects believers “from the evil one.” First, Jesus prayed in His great high-priestly prayer that the Father “keep them [Christians] from the evil one” (John 17:15). The preposition ek here is used to indicate severance or separation. Whatever else our Lord intended, this would exclude the invasion of the body of a child of God by unholy demons. Because we know that the Father has heard and is fulfilling Christ’s request, this must at least include protection of all believers, both the obedient and the disobedient, from demon possession.

 

The apostle John later wrote that each believer is kept by God and that “the evil one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18). The context of 1 John 5:18–19 reflects the Lord’s intercessory prayer in John 17:19. He also refers to the believer living in the world, in the very power sphere of the Devil but kept by God, safe from demon possession and ‘demonization’.

 

Paul declared in 2 Thessalonians 3:3 that “the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” The Greek preposition apo, translated “from” here, is different from the previous passages. Here the preposition has the idea of being kept away from something, and when it is used in combination with the infinitive to guard, it means to protect something “so that it is not lost or damaged.

 

Again we are marvelously saved and kept by God, yes we may be buffeted, bullied, badgered and brutally tempted, but never are we out of the protection and mercy of God.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Praise the Lord, my wife and I spent the afternoon with Olivia, she has more good days than bad, she is responding to the treatments and looks amazing. Continue to keep her in your prayers.

 

Pray for Kim as she battles cancer

 

Pray for Frank N. as dementia is taking it’s toll.

 

2 Responses to “horse feathers”

  1. Heather said

    I appreciate that you are willing to speak so directly about this topic. Our family has felt oppressive presence in our midst (not within anyone) when we have on some level created a welcoming environment through spiritual laziness or disobedience. And things were put to rights when prayerful repentance and active obedience became the priority.

    As fascinating as the unseen realm might be, it seems rather dangerous to obsess over such things as “demonic possession”. At some point, I wonder whether attention given to such beings would qualify as a form of worship.

    • it always amazes me when i do spiritual warfare conferences, people start seeing demons everywhere, then things calm down after awhile, but you are right, to much focus in the wrong direction always causes probmlems. it’s like when you buy a new hammer, everything looks like a nail.

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