What You Need To Know About Demons and Demon Possession – Part 5

Speaker: Scott Jarrett | Apr 5, 2020
  1. The abundance of biblical and extrabiblical evidence regarding demons and demon possession should leave no doubt of their existence.

The religious (or Christian) community is not the only one who acknowledges the existence of demons and demon possession. Demons and demon possession are also confirmed in the research and observation of many within the scientific community including those in the fields of philosophy, social science, psychiatry and physics.

(Who then are the demons?)

  1. The Bible seems to indicate that demons are cherubs or priestly angels, who because of their rebellion, forfeited not only their position as anointed guardians of God’s throne, earthly kingdom and people, but also the privilege of possessing third-dimensional, material or physical bodies.

The loss of these bodies is among the main contributing factors to the demons becoming “body-snatchers” (i.e. seeking to possess the bodies of other sentient/reasoning beings – humans) (In re: to possessing their physical bodies – Gen 3:1-15; Eze 28:12-18).

  1. The combination of losing of their physical bodies (in Eden) along with their (later) defeat by Christ (in a heavenly war), has intensified the demons’ efforts in destroying God’s kingdom and people on earth.

(Rev 12:1-17 – “the devil has come to you in great wrath, because he knows his time is short.”)

  1. The best way to accomplish the demons’ mission of destruction against the church (God’s kingdom and people) is through bewitching and possessing Christians.

IOW: Christians can be 1) bewitched = under a demon’s persuasive power/listening to them and 2) possessed = under a demon’s persuasive power and physical control. We are Satan and the demonic realm’s number one target for bewitching/possession (1Pe 5:8). How can we be demon possessed if we are already “possessed” by the Holy Spirit? B/C we can “quench the spirit” (1Th 5:19).

Two anecdotal accounts from missionaries (Burma and Melanesia)

“Another individual had a [demonic] spirit…but, on hearing the Gospel, he professed to become converted and had no more communication with the spirit. It had left him, he said; it spoke to him no more. After a protracted trial I baptized him. I watched his case with interest, and for several years he led an unimpeachable Christian life; but, on losing his religious zeal, and disagreeing with some Church members…it was soon after reported that he was [possessed again] by the [demonic] spirit. The man said [however] it spoke very differently. Its language was exceedingly pleasant to hear, and produced great brokenness of heart. It said, ‘Love each other; act righteously-act uprightly’ with other exhortations as he had heard from the teachers [of Christianity].” – Dr. Mason (Burma)

“There was a certain man at Lo who would…descend into Panoi, the abode of the dead. The first thing was to assemble twenty young boys…and to shake over them leaves…powerful and magical with charms. In the meanwhile the subjects [the boys] began to be moved…then the [spirits] entered [these boys]….Much possessed they seemed to have lost their senses…This was done once after a Christian teacher had come to Lo, and two of his scholars whom he let go to prove that it was a deception were possessed.” – Codrington (The Melanesians)

  1. Since possession affords demons respite from incarceration in Hades, they will also possess non-Christians.

(Zec 9:11 w/Luk 11:14 = Place without rest; Luk 16:22-23/2Pe 2:3 = Place of fiery torment).

“The foregoing documents have placed beyond doubt the wide distribution of the phenomena of possession over the habitable globe. However much [the evidence] may differ in detail, at bottom they are all identical…The dominant conception of the present time is that no psychic life [spirit] supervenes [interacts w/the material world] except in the presence of a material vehicle and that no spirit, either pure or possessed only of an etheric body [spiritual body alone] exists in this [material] world.” – T. Oesterreich (ibid)

“The loa (demons possessing people in Haitian voodoo rituals) apparently have no corporeal existence apart from the persons they are possessing. While paintings of Catholic saints are sometimes used in voodoo sanctuaries to represent some of the more well-known loas, these loas only appear when they have a human body to utilize.” – Herbert Culbertson (“Biblical Demon Possession And Haitian Loa Possession”)

  1. Demon possession usually manifests itself through mental illness.

God promised to strike people w/mental illness as punishment for their rebellion. The source of such mental illness however can be demon possession (Deu 28:28 w/Rev 18:2 w/Mat 12:43-45; e.g. 1Sa 16:14 w/18:10); e.g. Mar 5:1-9; Luk 4:31-35).

  1. Demonic bewitching is most likely the cause of demon possession.

Bewitching is the means used by the demonic realm to take full possession. The longer a person listens, is persuaded by or carries out those sins associated with bewitching in Scripture, the more control the demon is assuming of their person (1Sa 15:22-23 w/16:14 w/18:10; Joh 13:2 w/27).

  1. Demonic bewitching is the result of practicing the sin of idolatry, sorcery or apostasy.

When a person practices the sin of idolatry, sorcery or apostasy they are listening to/being bewitched by demons – which means they are on the path/vulnerable to demon possession. These sins are likewise (also) the cause of such bewitching. How (then) to avoid being bewitched (and ultimately demon-possessed) is by never being guilty of practicing these sins.

8.1. Idolatry

(What is idolatry?)

8.1.1. Serving/worshipping/possessing/tolerating a false god/religion because of what you believe or do (Exo 32:1-8 w/1Co 10:7, 14//Deu 32:16-17, 21 and Psa 106:36-38; Psa 135:15-18; 1Co 10:16-21)

8.1.2. Embracing a false gospel (Gal 1:6; 1Pe 4:3//Ga 3:1; 1Ti 4:1)

8.1.3. Being sexually active/intimate with someone outside the covenant community of God’s people (sexual idolatry) (1Co 6:13-20, 10:8 w/14 w/Num 25:1-2, 9//2Co 6:14-16).

8.2. Sorcery

(What is sorcery?)

8.2.1. Directly practicing or being involved with those who practice methods/means for accessing power or knowledge from the spiritual/metaphysical/supernatural realm outside those methods/means prescribed by God and given exclusively to His covenant community:

8.2.1.1. God’s prescription to the covenant community (for accessing/harnessing spiritual power or special knowledge): 1) faith (Jam 5:15; Mat 9:22-29, 15:28; Mat 21:21 w/Luk 10:17-19; Contra – Mat 13:58), 2) prayer (Jam 5:16; Luk 11:5-13; 1Ki 8:28-53), 3) the Bible (Rom 12:2 w/2Pe 1:19 w/Joh 17:17; Deu 4:6-8, 39-40), 4) the sacraments and keys given to the church’s elders (Mat 28:19 w/1Pe 3:21; Mat 26:28 w/Joh 13:1-15; Mat 16:18-19 w/18:18-20 w/Joh 20:21-23), 5) God’s house (Psa 36:7-9, 84:4, 133:3, 134:3).

8.2.1.2.  God’s prohibitions = The practice or involvement in anything outside those things listed above (God’s prescription) including but not limited to: 1) casting spells and all unbiblical forms of spiritual warfare: witches/warlocks/wiccans/witchcraft, witch-doctors/voodoo/black/white magic, shamans/shamanism, diviners/divination/alchemy, Pentecostals/Pentecostalism/charismatic forms of binding and loosing, slaying in the spirit and contact miracles, miracle-workers/faith-healers (e.g. Num 22:1-7, 23:23; Isa 47:10-12; Deu 18:10), 2) clairvoyance: psychics/psychic discovery, Pentecostal/charismatic prophets/post-canonical prophecy; false (e.g. Act 16:16; 1Co 13:9-10; Deu 13:1-3), 3) consulting the dead or other beings in the spiritual realm: necromancer/mediums/necromancy/mediumship, astrology (i.e. spirits in the sky), Ouija boards (Lev 19:31, 20:1; Deu 18:11; Isa 8:19), 4) all forms of fetishism (def.) Using non-ordained material objects to access/activate powers or knowledge available in the spiritual realm/fourth dimension through fixed rituals/procedures/practices/actions: reading palms/tarot cards/dice/tea leaves/chicken bones/blood sacrifices/burnt offerings, etc., employing magic wands/potions, spiritual chanting and unbiblical forms of meditation or positivity empowerment, the vast majority of those working in the CAM or Holistic industry where things are used to harness “energy” in the body for the purpose of healing (chiropractic, yoga[1], massage-therapy, energy-therapies, aromatherapies, essential oils/herbs, acupuncture[2], spiritual cleanses, etc.) (Deu 18:11; Jer 44:16-20; Eze 13:18, 20; e.g. Exo 7:11-12 or Eze 21:21; Heb 9:8-10), 5) practicing God’s prescription w/o being a part of His covenant community (e.g. Act 19:11-16) 6) Possessing/participating in books, games, movies or other mediums that promote sorcery in any of its various forms: the books/movies of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, Walt Disney’s Frozen, Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella (Acts 19:17-20 = Notice they do not attempt to sell their books. Why? They realized that any involvement w/such things  – even for curiosity/education is forbidden and damning; Act 19:19 – “magic arts” [Literally, “curious arts”] w/1Ti 5:13 – “busybodies”[same word] = Curious/involved in things forbidden; Rev 2:24 – “deep things of Satan” = ML a euphemism for sorcery since it is associated w/”Jezebel” – v20 w/2Ki 9:22).

8.2.2. IMPORTANT FACT NOT TO MISS: Sorcery is real – i.e. prohibited spiritual power or special knowledge is being – or attempting to be, accessed/harnessed by those who practice it in all its various forms (e.g. 1Sa 28:5-16; BTW: saying that this is not what you are doing – though what you do falls under the definition of sorcery, does not make it any less sorcery/attempting to access/harness prohibited spiritual power).

The words of Arthur Pink, former preacher and one-time spiritist/medium are worth mentioning again in regard to this point,

“Many were attracted to the occult simply by curiosity and then by a desire to investigate the proof it offered of the existence of the spirit world. Nearly every spiritist I have met, began being a blank unbeliever in its phenomena. Then when they see its phenomena is real, they accept the explanation given…The whole phenomenon cannot be accounted for on natural grounds. Many of the spirit-communicated messages were real…”

8.2.3. Sorcery’s connection to idolatry = B/C it is attempting to access/activate special knowledge or power from the spiritual (non-material realm), it is also the practice of false religion (since how again it attempts to do so, is not according to true religion – or God’s prescription – Exo 23:13).

8.2.4. Sorcery’s connection to the demonic realm = Since all false religion is demonic, all special knowledge or spiritual power made available through sorcery (in its various forms) must also be coming from demons/demonic realm (Act 16:16-18) = Demonic spirit producing the special knowledge/clairvoyance.

“It would be…completely erroneous to believe that the [early] Christians regarded the oracles [of sorcerers] as priestly trickery or morbid psychic exaltation; there can be no question of this. Like the non-Christians they believed them to be inspired, but held that the spirit who produced inspiration was not divine but a demon.” – Oesterreich (ibid)

An example of demonic involvement in both false Christian religion/idolatry and sorcery/special knowledge and healing,

“The [ancient Christians] were obliged to recognize that the demons in the temples of the oracles…uttered true prophecies and wholesome warnings and also worked cures; but the truth to tell, only in order by these apparent benefits to do the greater injury to those [people in] seeking the true God by their insinuation of false ones. [These ancient Christians] explained the fact of demons knowing the future by stating that as former servants of God they were acquainted with his designs.”  – Friedlander (Possession And Exorcism)

“America’s greatest psychologist…William James’ lifelong work with [sorcerers]…convinced Dr. Oesterreich that [sorcery] is a form of possession  and that the scientific study of [sorcery] …has provided authentic evidence of a paranormal nature.” – Charles San (editor, Preface to Possession And Exorcism)

“It seems clear from the literature on possession that the majority of cases have had involvement with the occult…” – Dr. M. Scott Peck (The People Of The Lie)

CLOSING CONTEMPLATION = In addition to the possibility of demon possession, not repenting of sorcery (including destroying all things associated w/it – Act 19), affords you this promise from God, “But as for the…sorcerers, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur.”

[1] A general term for a wide range of body-mind exercise practices, traditionally referred to as the art of “yoking” or hooking up the lower consciousness with the higher consciousness. (Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States; www/ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

[2] The Chinese art of stimulating the pathways of [spiritual] energy (14 main meridians plus branches) by puncturing, pressing, heating, using electrical current, or using herbal medicines (ibid)