©2012 DiskBooks Electronic Publishing
G. Edwin Lint, BS, ThB, MA
Much of the 2011 Drawbridge content was political in general and anti-Obama in particular.
I am still convinced that Obama is America's worst president, bar none. However, I have decided to give Obama a rest on the Sundays of 2012 and concentrate on spiritual and/or educational content, only.
Today, I will present Demon Possession Handbook --Part 1: Demon Possession Defined and Explained
This book is available at the DiskBooks Electronic Publishing Free Downloads in pdf format.
1. SOURCES OF SUPERNATURAL POWER
There are only two sources of supernatural power in the universe. The first source is made up of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the holy angels; they represent the forces for good. The second source of supernatural power consists of Satan and his demons. They represent the forces for evil.
The term "supernatural" means something above the laws of nature. If something is truly supernatural and cannot be attributed to God and the power under His control, it must be attributed to Satan and the power under his control. There is no neutral supernatural power. There is no white magic and there are no friendly ghosts.
If a happening or phenomenon is supernatural and cannot be explained by the laws of nature, the source of power is on a short list. It is either of God or of Satan.
The essence of holy power is the three-part God, known as the Trinity.
B. God, the Father The first Person of the Trinity is God, the Father. He is the chief executive officer of the entire universe. All power, holy and evil, originates with Him. Satan's evil power is temporary and was granted by God in order to give humans a real choice between good and evil.
In the beginning, humans were created by God for the purpose of fellowship and worship. In order for this fellowship and worship to be meaningful for God, it had to be voluntary. Satan was allowed to come into existence in order to tempt us to do evil.
C. God, the Son The second Person of the Trinity is God, the Son, Jesus Christ. He came to earth so He could die as the supreme sin sacrifice for all humans. He is the Lamb of God.
Our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, fell prey to Satan's temptation and disobeyed God's command to avoid eating the forbidden fruit. In this way, they sinned. The penalty for sin was then, and always has been, death. But God had mercy and didn't wipe out the human race immediately because of our sin. Instead, He developed a plan for us to be saved which was based on sacrifice.
For hundreds of years, humans sacrificed animals on the altar of God so we wouldn't have to die for our sin. But then God sent His Son as the ultimate, once and for all sin sacrifice. Jesus died on the cross for our sins so we wouldn't have to die for those sins.
God, the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is really the Ghost of Jesus. In fact, the King James version of the Bible calls Him just that: the Holy Ghost.
Demons in the Bible
Not only is the Bible the inspired word of God, but Luke was a trained physician of his day. Therefore, what the Bible has to say about demons in the book of Luke is of extreme significance.
Before going on, we need to clearly understand our terms. I will use the terms Satan and demon exclusively when I talk about the forces of evil, with the exception of direct quotations from the Bible. In the King James Version of the Bible, the term "devil" is sometimes used to refer to Satan and at other times, "devil" refers to one or more of Satan's demons. I will always say Satan when I am talking about the chief of all evil. When I am talking about one of Satan's underlings, I will use the term demon. I will not use the term devil at all, in order to avoid confusion.
The scripture references listed below outline what Luke has recorded about demons. However, the other Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, and John) tell about demons, also. Matthew and Mark give several parallel (synoptic) accounts of the same incidents documented by Luke.
The New International Version is quoted in the passages below so you will be able to clearly understand what Luke is saying about demon possession.
If you have difficulty locating a specific book, use the table of contents in the front of your Bible which serves the same purpose as in any other book. In the edition of the New International Version used to write the section below, the book of Luke begins on page 1623.
Some books of the Bible have similar names and Arabic or Roman numerals are used to help make distinctions. There is a Gospel of John and three epistles (letters) written by John. The three epistles are known in the New international Version as 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John. In the King James Version, they are known as I John, II John, and III John.
Demons Knew Who Jesus Was
Luke 4:33-35. "In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 'Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are -- the Holy One of God!'
'Be quiet!' Jesus said sternly. 'Come out of him!' Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.
Demons or Illness?
Luke 4:40-41: "When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, 'You are the Son of God!...'"
Luke 7:21: "At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sickness and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind."
Demons and Epilepsy
"'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.'"
Jesus provides the solution in verse 42:
"Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father."
Demons and Speech Disability
"Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been dumb spoke, and the crowd was amazed."
Multiple Demons Possessed a Single Person
Note in the first case, the number 7 in the Bible can be interpreted as numerous instead of the simple count of seven. In the second case, it's good to remember that in New Testament times, the military term legion represented 6,000 soldiers.
Luke 8:2: "...and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; ..."
Luke 8:30: "Jesus asked him, 'What is your name?' 'Legion,' he replied, because many demons had gone into him."
Physical Disability Caused By a Demon
"...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." I. Summary of Luke's Writings About Demons Demons knew who Jesus was: Luke 4:33-35; Luke 4:41.
Difference between those who were sick and those who were demon possessed: Luke 4:41-42; Luke 7:20-21.
Some had multiple demons: Luke 8:2; Luke 8:30.
Demon caused violence and epilepsy in a child: Luke 9:38-42
Demon caused speech disability: Luke 11:14
Demon caused physical disability: Luke 13:10-13 Return to Table of Contents
Satan's Limited Power
This shows the relative power of God and Satan. When it comes time for Satan to be put in his place, God won't need to do it. He won't ask Jesus or the Holy Spirit to do it. He'll just deputize an angel and that's all it will take to completely neutralize Satan.
In the meantime, though, Satan and his demons have real power. Within the limits God has set, Satan and his demons can do real spiritual damage to humans who are not filled by and, therefore, protected by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Satan's Power Do Good Things?
Real Evil Demons are real personalities,
in children's literature.
Remember the Monkey Soldiers of the Wicked Witch of the West and their marching chant in the movie? How does it go? "Doo dee doo, DEE doo doo" or something like that. The actual words of the soldiers' chant are, "Oh, we love the old one", referring to their witch, of course.
Now, watching or reading the "Wizard of Oz" as an isolated activity won't cause your children to become demon possessed. However, literature like this is just one more way Satan has of normalizing and trivializing the evil supernatural power which originates with him.
as a celebration of evil
There is nothing wrong with dressing up in costumes and trying to guess each other's identity. However, there is something wrong when those costumes represent witches, monsters, ghosts, and even Satan himself.
Here's a good rule to follow if you and your family wish to observe Halloween: base your costumes and decorations on natural things such as cobwebs, pumpkins, black cats, and corn stalks. Avoid supernatural things such as witches, ghosts, demons, and Satan.
The "World" magazine carried an article in its October 28, 1995 edition with this title: "Goblins 1, Saints 0". This was an analytical account of a conflict between conservative and evangelical parents, on the one hand, and pro-Halloween activists on the other hand. The location was the school district of Los Altos, Calif. The conservative parents objected to Halloween parties and parades being held during school hours which were, therefore, a required part of the school day for all children. The pro-Halloween coalition was made up of liberal parents, teachers, and school board members. The conservative Christian parents lost the fight and were characterized as kooks, and religious extremists by their opponents.
Here's a good illustration of how TV and movie producers have a better understanding of demons and demon possession than many evangelical Christians. This occurred in a script of a sitcom aired during the 1993-94 TV season. The scene takes place in a junior high and the teacher has just given his students a math word problem.
Most of the students struggle to get the answer in the conventional ways: scratching their heads, chewing their pencils, and staring at the problem on the board. However, one female student uses an unusual strategy. She utters an ethereal "Uuhmmmm", slumps in her seat, and declares she is going to channel an ancient Egyptian mathematician to come and help her solve the problem. In a few seconds she is out of her trance and the teacher checks her paper and declares the answer is correct. When a student sitting behind the channeler taps her on the shoulder to ask how she got the answer, she whirls in her seat, her face transfigured into a mask of hate, and utters a savage, guttural snarl.
Later in the story, the channeler is talking to that student who sat behind her. She appears to be her normal self, and asks sweetly, "Did your spirit guide speak to you and tell you the right answer?"
This sitcom scene might be passed off as a harmless bit of fluff. However, it is an illustration of how demonic and occult practices can be normalized by the skillful craft of professional script writers. As we laugh at such "silliness", we become desensitized to the actual evil such practices represent in the lives of real people.
The Origin of Satan and His Demons
But what do contemporary Americans believe about supernatural beings? A major article on angels was the cover story for "Time Magazine" on December 27, 1993. Some amazing statistics were revealed concerning what Americans believe about angels and demons.
When asked if they "believe in the existence of angels", 69% answered YES and 46% believe they have their "own guardian angel". The story went on to say that 55% of the people surveyed believe angels are "higher spiritual beings created by God with special powers to act as his agents on earth".
People surveyed were not as clear in their beliefs about demons. However, 49% said they believe in the existence of "fallen angels or devils".
The Bible teaches that God always was but Satan and his demons seem to have an origin. Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden so we know he is at least as old as the human race. How much older than Adam and Eve Satan might be is not known. However, the book of Revelation talks about a war in heaven. Although this book is generally considered to contain prophecies about the end times, in Chapter 12:7-9, the writer (John) seems to have used the historic past tense. As John describes it, there was war in heaven. God and the good angels were on one side and Satan with the evil angels were on the other side. Satan and his angels lost that war and were thrown out of heaven and down onto the earth. This is the best information the Bible provides on the origin of Satan's demons. The conflict between God and Satan will continue until God puts Satan and all his demons in the lake of fire where they will be punished forever, as described in Rev. 12:17 and Rev. 20:10.
Christian literature often mentions military conflict, including the song "Onward Christian Soldiers." All such military references are talking about spiritual warfare. God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the holy angels are fighting on the side of good. Satan and his demons are fighting on the side of evil.
At this point in the history of the human race, God's main offense consists of getting as many people as possible to accept Jesus Christ as the supreme sin sacrifice for their sins. At the same time, Satan's main offense consists of getting as many people as possible to reject the salvation of Jesus Christ and be damned to the punishment of hell forever. Whenever possible, Satan keeps a low profile and tries to deactivate Christians by getting them to fight among themselves, lose faith in God, doubt the truth of the Bible, and be wrapped up in the activities of everyday life. However, when passive aggression is not enough to achieve Satan's evil objectives, the demons become Satan's strike force in bringing offensive warfare to bear against humans.
favorite offensive weapon is demon possession.
Modern demon possession rarely takes the form of uncontrolled violence and manic behavior. Demons prefer to keep a low profile and possess persons for very brief periods of time. In fact, the victims may be prominent and respected members of society.
Symptoms of Demon Possession
The four basic symptoms are: (1) violence, (2) lust, (3) greed, and (4) an unnatural power of persuasion. A born-again (and Spirit-filled) Christian can discern the presence of demons in a human by using a technique which has been used by physicians for centuries: a study of the presence of symptoms. Although the demon (or demons) may never manifest itself openly by causing the victim to speak in a coarse, guttural voice or to act out in an antisocial manner, a study of the past behavior of such a person will reveal the presence of violence, lust, greed, and/or an unnatural power of persuasion.
The late-afternoon TV talk shows and tabloids, as well as the legitimate press, provide multitudes of case studies which document the classic symptoms of demon possession singly and in various combinations and degrees of intensities.
Massacre killers are clearly demon possessed, whether the scene of the crime is a school yard, a restaurant, or a commuter train. An assault weapon in the hands of a demon-possessed killer is a frightening thought, indeed. However, after the demonic urge to kill has passed, such a murderer may appear calm, in complete control, and even contrite. This is because of the intermittent nature of modern demon possession.
Violence against family members seems to be on the rise. This includes spousal abuse as well as child abuse. What makes a prominent and well thought of member of the community physically abuse his wife, to the point where someone calls 9-1-1? What drives a parent to go far beyond corporal punishment and cause physical injury which requires medical treatment? Intermittent demon possession is the clear answer. See the discussion of demonic time-sharing.
Suicide is frequently associated with demon possession, especially in teens and in adults, where there is no discernible cause. If a demon can induce a person to commit suicide who has not yet accepted Jesus Christ as a personal Savior, Satan has won the battle for that soul forever. See Suicide
Lust is sexual activity outside the bonds and bounds of legal marriage. This includes fornication (sexual intercourse between two persons who are not married), adultery (sexual intercourse when one or both parties are married to someone else), homosexuality, incest, bestiality (sex activities between humans and animals), and child molestation.
Demons are drawn by a human's interest in illicit sex. Therefore, using pornography in combination with indulging in sexual fantasies is dangerous. Regarding using pornography, Ted Bundy said, "Like an addiction, you keep craving something which is harder, something which gives you a greater sense of excitement until you reach the point where the pornography only goes so far. You reach that jumping off point where you begin to wonder if maybe actually doing it will give you that which is beyond reading about it or looking at it."
When two people are both demon possessed, they may have a lustful affinity for each other which defies all logic. As a minimum, such lustful affinity causes the end of marriages and careers. Often, demon-induced lust leads to murder, completing the profile.
A horrible mix of demonic violence and lust occurs in the case of a person who abducts a child, followed by rape and murder. The media fully documented such a case in late 1993, where an adolescent girl was kidnapped from her own home during a slumber party and later murdered.
An Unnatural Power of Persuasion
Symptoms in Children
Disabilities as Symptoms
The second case involved a woman who appeared to have a severe physical disability and hadn't stood up straight for 18 years because of a demon. In Luke 13:10-13, she stood straight when Jesus placed his hands on her and healed her.
It would be dangerous to assume that every person with a disability is demon possessed. However, we may never know how many such cases do involve demons. Parents and human service professionals should be especially suspicious of problems for which there is no discernible physiological or neurological cause. This list should include schizophrenia as characterized by "hearing voices". Return to Table of Contents
Demons may work the same way. Although they are not omnipresent in the same sense as God is everywhere at the same time, apparently they can move from point to point at very high speeds. Assuming that their minimum speed of travel is the speed of electricity, 186,000 miles per second, a single demon can trouble a large number of people in the course of a few minutes. This is like a computer is able to work with a large number of customers, through time-sharing.
The concept of time-sharing explains how a person can be a murderer or child molester one moment and the next moment, may appear calm, rational, and even brilliant. Demons may zap in out of victims at the speed of light, sometimes staying for just a few seconds at a time. The rest of the time, a victim can appear normal by social standards.
The unnatural power of persuasion coupled with the intermittent nature of the possession enables the primary victim to lie with a straight face. This makes it extremely difficult for anyone to believe that what appears to be a fine, upstanding citizen such as a teacher, minister, lawyer, doctor, boy scout leader, nationally-known televangelist, or major politician could ever be guilty as accused. This ability to lie with total conviction makes identification of such demon-possessed persons extremely difficult by such groups as school boards, church boards, bar associations, medical societies, legislative bodies, and juries.
Sometimes the charges are comparatively minor, such as sexual harassment, soliciting a prostitute, or shoplifting. However, in other cases, the charges may be far from minor, such as violent sexual assault or murder. Whether the charges are minor or major, what makes a person risk a prominent career for no good reason at all? The answer may well be intermittent demon possession on a time-share basis.
The concept of demonic time-sharing is illustrated in ABC's mini-series of Stephen King's "The Stand" as aired the week of May 7, 1994. In this dramatic portrayal, the character of demon-possessed Randall Flagg, as played by Jamey Sheridan, is seen as a suave, persuasive, personable individual much of the time. [More recently, Sheridan is seen as a police detective on Law and Order.] However, when Flagg is aroused by rage or lust, his handsome face dissolves into the visage of a horrible demon, with behavior to match. In an interview with "TV Guide" that week, King said,
"Flagg, Koresh, Jim Jones, Hitler -- they're all basically the same guy."
This is just one more example of how the entertainment world has a much better grasp of the concept of demon possession than do most people in the evangelical church world.
Demon Possession and the Occult
Not all demon-possessed persons are consciously involved with Satan worship. However, all persons who make a point of worshipping Satan are eventually demon possessed. Both Christians and Satan worshipers begin their services with an invocation. The term "invocation" comes from the Latin words which mean to call in, or voice in: vox means voice and the meaning of in is obvious. The occult invocation involves calling Satan to come into the presence of the worshipers, just as Christians pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit when they worship. Demons heed the Satanic invocation and come in droves to enter the occult worshipers.
Persons who have become demon possessed through occult practices and Satan worship have the same hope of a solution as any other demon possessed person. Unfortunately, many experts in occult practices, especially in the criminal justice and education fields, have no real understanding of demon possession and its Biblical solution as described in Part 3.
To be continued next Sunday.
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|Jesus said: What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. Luke 12:3|
|If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)|