- 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?)
- 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; In re: to their physical bodies and role as priests – Eze 28:12-18).
“[This figure] is portrayed as wearing priestly attire in Ezekiel 28:13…some identify this figure as Satan [v14]… The jewels that are said to be his “covering” in Ezekiel 28:13 are uniquely listed in Exodus 28:17-21, which describe the jewels on the ephod of Israel’s high priest… Like the cherubim, Israel’s priests were also to “keep watch” (same word as “guard” in Gen 2:15) over the temple (Neh 12:45) as “gatekeepers” (2 Chron 23:19; Neh. 12:45).” – G.K. Beale (“Adam as the First Priest in Eden as the Garden Temple”)
- The combination of losing 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.”)
- 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? We can “quench the spirit” (1Th 5:19).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
- Demonic bewitching is the result of practicing the sin of idolatry, sorcery or insurrection.
When a person practices the sin of idolatry, sorcery or insurrection 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.
8.1. Idolatry (What is idolatry?)
8.1.1. (DEF): 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), 2) Embracing a false gospel (Gal 1:6; 1Pe 4:3//Ga 3:1; 1Ti 4:1), 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).
8.1.2. Idolatry’s connection to the demonic realm = (Exo 32:1-8 w/Lev 17:7 and Deu 32:16-17, 21a and Psa 106:36-38; Psa 135:15-18 – “become like them” = demon-possessed; 1Co 10:16-21)
8.2. Sorcery (What is sorcery?)
8.2.1. (DEF): Directly practicing, possessing or being involved with those who practice or possess 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 (e.g. witches, witch-doctors, wiccans, warlocks, wizards, shamans, sorcerers, diviners, alchemists, necromancers, spiritists, psychics, mediums, palm-readers, card-readers, fortune-tellers, modern day prophets and miracle-workers VERSUS Christians using faith, prayer, the Bible, the sacraments, the keys and God’s house// Re: possessing sorcery materials – Act 19:17-20 = Their actions show that they knew that even possessing material promoting the practice of sorcery was sinful – e.g. possessing/playing the Diablo video game, possessing/reading/viewing the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe books/movies – Rev 2:24; Rom 16:19 – “wise…good, innocent…evil” = Avoid sins of ignorance or looking for loopholes in relation to what you know to be evil [since this is what identifies the false teachers] – vv17-18).
8.2.2. Sorcery’s connection to the demonic realm = Its source is the demonic realm (e.g. Act 16:16-18 – “unclean spirit”= Demonic spirit producing the special knowledge/clairvoyance).
8.3. Insurrection (What is insurrection?)
8.3.1. (DEF): A deliberate attempt by a covenant member to do harm to the reputation, moral character, or overall competency of those functioning in God’s appointed and anointed sacred offices (e.g. kings, priests, Levites, prophets, teaching pastors and ruling pastors) through actions that condemn or call into question their authority, practice or person while fulfilling their sacred duties without the necessary biblical evidence/support (e.g. Pastor Collier is falsely accused/accused without the necessary evidence of being drunk while at someone’s BBQ versus Pastor Collier is falsely accused/accused without the necessary evidence of being drunk while conducting the LT; Pastor Jarrett is falsely accused/accused without the necessary evidence of mishandling his finances versus Pastor Jarrett is falsely accused/accused without the necessary evidence of mishandling God’s Word/preaching unrighteousness)
(Mat 12:22-32) = The Pharisees are accusing Jesus’ ministry to be operating unrighteously/under the authority of Satan (versus the Holy Spirit). They are therefore not speaking against Him personally, but against the function/fulfillment of His sacred office/duties. Hence the reason they are said to be speaking “against the Holy Spirit” (the mantel of authority given to the those God anoints/appoints to His sacred offices for the purpose of carrying out His prescribed sacred duties – See Joh 20:21-23). They are therefore guilty of insurrection.
8.3.2. Whereas idolatry and sorcery are capital crimes, insurrection is a form of apostasy and is immediate – i.e. a person is considered apostate the moment they are found guilty of the crime w/no chance to repent (Mat 12:32) “whoever speaks a word against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, in this age or the age to come” = Immediately apostate w/no chance of repentance = Those speaking against Christ’s ministry [accusing Him of operating according to Satan] are not able to be forgiven – i.e. immediately deemed apostate;
(Num 15:30-31) “Does anything” = As in against the priest (See context – verse 28); “with a high hand” = Acts presumptuously – i.e. accuses/condemns w/o the proper evidence (See Deu 17:12); “[he] reviles the Lord…despised the word of the Lord… that person shall be utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be on him” = All statements instructing us to identify that person as apostate and immediately remove them from the covenant community w/no chance of repentance (again, “utterly cut off” = Forever);
(e.g. Num 16:1-3, 30) = Korah & Co. were falsely accusing Moses and Aaron of possessing their authority/functioning in their sacred office in an unrighteous way i.e. they were guilty of insurrection; “If…they go down alive into Sheol…” = If while living they are placed in Hades (“Sheol”) “then…these men have despised the Lord” = OT phrase referring to apostasy (Num 15:31);
(1Ti 5:19-20) “rebuke” = Literally, expose them (Eph 5:11, 13; Joh 3:20) – most likely referring to expulsion from the church (exposure to life outside the covenant community/demonic realm) given the crime; “so that the rest stand in fear” = OT phrase used in conjunction w/the punishment inflicted on those committing capital crimes or apostasy (Deu 17:30, 19:20).
8.3.3. Insurrection’s connection to demonic realm = Insurrection was Satan’s original sin against God (Isa 14:12-14). It is also the sin that led to corruption of one-third of the angelic population (Rev 12:4). Given its ability for maximum destruction, it has been Satan’s go-to sin when attempting to bewitch/possess the saints and destroy God’s kingdom on earth:
Korah and Co. (Psa 106:16 w/Jam 3:1-15) = Don’t covet being a teacher given the stricter judgment that wb placed on their speech (1); Those whose lives are filled w/jealousy or envy toward their leaders are those whose tongues are being controlled by the demonic realm (2-15, “set on fire by hell itself…demonic”)
Judas (Joh 13:2, 27) = Judas was bewitched into betraying/insurrecting against Jesus which lead to his possession and carrying it out;
The Jews (Mat 12:43-45) = The Jews’ rejection and coming insurrection in relation to Jesus was directly connected to demonic realm.
8.3.4. The kinds of lies Satan and the demonic realm use to bewitch the those committing insurrection: 1) any ordained pastor/priest not approved/appointed by you is suspect/illegitimate (16:12-14), 2) your despising of the ordained pastors/priests will not affect your relationship w/God (16:14b-35, 42-50), 3) you possess the same authority/authorization as the ordained pastors/priests (16:1-11, 36-40).
- The are certain (other sins) that seem to “breed” the gateway sins of idolatry, sorcery and insurrection.
9.1. Idolatry = Coveting [Def. = being upset about you don’t have; Cause = you believe that God hasn’t given/will not give you what you need to be happy] (Col 3:5; Eph 5:5).
9.2. Sorcery = Coveting (since as we saw it is also a form of idolatry/false religion). In this case, the person believes they need something more from/more involvement w/the spiritual realm than what God has promised or can provide thru His prescribed means to make them happy.
9.3. Insurrection = Envy/Jealousy [Def. = being upset w/what others have; Cause = you believe that God has given to someone else what should have been given to you] (Mat 27:18; Ecc 4:4; Psa 106:16; e.g. Eze 28:1, 17a).
9.4. It should (then) be concluded that these are the sins Satan is looking for when determining who to “devour” in bewitching (unto) possession – those whose lives show signs of coveting and envy (1Pe 5:8).
CLOSING CONTEMPLATION = As long as you keep your life as far as you can away from the sins of idolatry, sorcery and insurrection – as well as those sins that breed them, you will never have to worry about being demon-bewitched or possessed.
 The other form taught in Scripture is insubordination apostasy. A person becomes guilty of this form of apostasy only after refusing to repent by submitting to the official judgment of the elders/church (Mat 18:17-20 w/Deu 17:8-13 w/Deu 29:18-20).