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Christian Demon Possession

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Ephesians 4:14-15 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.

I was first introduced to the teaching that a Christian could be demon possessed in the early 90's. A book by Neal Anderson called the Bondage Breakers had recently been released and several people I knew were excited about it. It seemed to make sense of many of the problems they were having in their lives spiritually. Due to their influence, I accepted the idea that Christians could incrementally become demon possessed, but abandoned it a few years later as I found that I had become fearful. Looking for demonic attack everywhere. I haven't read this book. So this is not a critical examination of the Bondage Breakers or Neal Anderson. However, I have seen this book promoted by many of the people that subscribe to this dangerous and erroneous doctrine.

At the time I was in my twenties and was at a stage in my Christian walk where my emotions were my primary guide and was often mistaken for the leading of the Holy Spirit. As a result, I was very susceptible to every wind of doctrine.

Now 20 years later, my life in the Church has shaped and tempered me. My relationship with God has grown deeper and more stable. I have learned the hard way to carry God's Word with me, hidden in my heart, like a concealed weapon. I tend to be more skeptical and I filter all my experiences through God's Word. As a rule, I avoid extreme doctrines.

It is with this understanding that I tackle the subject of Christian Demon possession. An extreme doctrine that undermines our faith in God's authority by calling into question his ability to save and keep us. It is my hope to spare you the pain I have experienced. It is no fun being batted around by every wind of doctrine. Sound teachings, will bring you balance, stability, and life everlasting. Both in this existence and the next.

When viewing this subject matter, It is import to remember just how much God loves us, and how committed He is to our relationship with Him as his children. Like a good father, he is our protector and our guide. He is determined to see us succeed in our Christian walk. To conform us into the image of Christ. Our daily focus should not be on the Devil, but on the love of God. Trusting Him to keep us safe from satanic possession or oppression. Never the less, there is value in understanding what the bible says about Satan. To understand his methods and his capabilities so that we can guard against his diabolical schemes


Caution must be my watch word

Caution must be my watch word

Caution!!

I broach the subject of demonic influence acutely aware that, most often, it falls into the realm of superstition and fantasy. That the explanation for behavior that defies normal human patterns and physical abilities are a matter of faith. Therefore it is subjective to ones personal beliefs. It is the sort of thing that calls into questions ones sanity. Caution must be our watch word. What we believe, defines us. When it comes to the spiritual realm this is especially true.

The psychiatric fields have made a great deal of progress over the past hundred years. They have helped us distinguish between the physical and the spiritual. Even so, there are those areas that seem to over lap. Some gray areas where demonic activity manifests itself through the appearance of mental illness. Epilepsy, Multiple Personality Disorders, and Tourette syndrome are a few neurological symptoms that often accompany genuine cases of demonic possession. So as you can imagine the difficulty is knowing when it is simply the frailty of the human body or if it is something more.

While doing research on this subject, I found an article by WorldNetDaily

Called "Real-life case of demon possession documented."

http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=58835

It is an article about a patient of Dr. Richard E. Gallagher, a board-certified psychiatrist and associate professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College.

Dr. Gallagher documented his experience with an American woman whom he called Julia who levitated, demonstrated paranormal psychic powers and spoke foreign languages unknown to her. His only explanation for the things he witnessed was demonic possession. He published the case in the February 2008 issue of the New Oxford Review.

According to Dr Gallagher, Julia did not respond to normal psychiatric treatments. She had a long history of involvement with Satanic groups, was observed by a team of priests, deacons, several lay assistants, psychiatrists, nuns, some of whom also had medical and psychiatric training, levitating six inches off the ground while objects flew off shelves in the same room.

"Periodically, in our presence, Julia would go into a trance state of a recurring nature," writes Gallagher. "Mentally troubled individuals often 'dissociate,' but Julia's trances were accompanied by an unusual phenomenon: Out of her mouth would come various threats, taunts and scatological language, phrases like 'Leave her alone, you idiot,' 'She's ours,' 'Leave, you imbecile priest,' or just 'Leave.' The tone of this voice differed markedly from Julia's own, and it varied, sometimes sounding guttural and vaguely masculine, at other points high pitched. Most of her comments during these 'trances,' or at the subsequent exorcisms, displayed a marked contempt for anything religious or sacred."

WorldNetDaily reported that the purpose of Gallagher's paper is to "document a contemporary and clear-cut case of demonic possession." Dr Gallagher explains that even those who doubt such a phenomenon exists may find this case "rather persuasive."

While Dr. Gallagher's case was fairly believable, there is mountains of information out there that, quite frankly, sounds made up. One man would put feathers between the toes of those possessed while he removed the demon. Believing it aided in his sensitivity somehow. Most mixed a little scripture with a whole lot of imagination.

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With this in mind, I wish to establish what I believe to be a sound doctrinal guide lines. Specifically, as it relates to the saved believer. The bible gives us a great deal of information about the demonic realm. In spite of all the myths that surround this subject, I believe I can present a biblical picture that is both accurate and practical.


Lusifer being thrown out of heaven

Lusifer being thrown out of heaven

Possession

The bible gives us two distinct pictures of demonic influence. Two ways that demons interact with humanity. One is through possession or the indwelling and ownership of the individual's will and body or oppression, the troubling of the mind and emotions.

Possession can be found in numerous places in the new testament. One of the more vivid accounts is the Man who lived in the tombs or better known as the Demoniac (Mark 5:1-18 and Luke 8:26-38.) Hollywood loves to depict this particular type of demonic influence in horror films. It is the most serious and intrusive of the two. Possession involves the entering of a demon, or demons, into an individual. Taking control of his mind, will, and emotions to some degree. Robbing him of his free will. Typically, there is some sort of supernatural activity involved. Super strength, fortune telling or prophesying, any number of things have been attributed to this affliction.

Mark 5:1-18 is the perfect illustration. Here we see a man who is out of control. Who no longer has a free will.

Mark 5:2-5 And when He(Jesus) had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.

These verses indicate, with verse 7, that the man had supernatural strength and supernatural knowledge. For he was able to brake chains, brake shackles into pieces and knew Jesus' true identity. This is important because it Makes clear that his condition was more then insanity or mental illness. Supernatural activity is one of the ear marks of a genuine case of Demonic habitation.

Next, they show us a man who regularly exhibited extreme violent behavior and was a danger to the greater community for they had often tried to restrain him. He lived like a wild beast roaming the tombs and mountains and could not be tamed. His dwelling was in the tombs, that desolate place of death. Indicating a man with no conscience, the loss of his sanity, and self control. A picture of complete depravity.