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Sermon No: 54273



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SERMON TOPIC: What are the symptoms of demon possession

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 12 January 2020

Topic Groups: SPIRIT WORLD, SPIRITUAL WARFARE, DEMONS

Sermon synopsis: Unlike some Charismatics, we do not believe that Christians can be demon-possessed.

Neither do we attribute trivial ailments to possession.

In the Bible most of the symptoms expressed by possessed people are severe – fits, foaming at the mouth, extreme violence, superhuman strength, screaming and ranting in public, self-mutilation, paranoia, irrational speech, anti-social behavior, deep depression, repeated attempts at suicide, psychic powers and fascination with the occult, etc.

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SERMON OVERVIEW:

DEMON POSSESSION

We will consider the following:

Are demons real?

What was the origin of demons?

What are the symptoms of possession?

What causes possession? Can a Christian be demon-possessed?

How do you get deliverance?

In our modern world, is it scientific to still believe in possession? Richard Gallagher, a board-certified psychiatrist and a professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College, believes so:

Is it possible to be a sophisticated psychiatrist and believe that evil spirits are… assailing humans? Most of my scientific colleagues and friends say no… But careful observation of the evidence presented to me in my career has led me to believe that certain extremely uncommon cases can be explained no other way. 1

1 https:// www.washingtonpost.com/ posteverything/ ...term=.d1e433dc2dd1

ARE DEMONS REAL?

Much of the popular lore about Satan, angels and demons is not biblical; instead, it is a reading of the scriptures influenced by medieval Christian popular mythology.

Demons are not fallen angels

They are not the spirits of wicked men from a pre-Adamic race.

Neither they nor Satan live in hell.

They are the disembodied malevolent spirits of the Nephilim - hybrid angel/humans, who were the offspring of the fallen Watchers alluded to in Genesis 6.

The Watchers were imprisoned until the time of the end judgment. Demons, on the other hand, roam the earth seeking to possess and torment humans.

ORIGIN OF DEMONS

Demonic possession is the control of an individual by a malevolent (evil) supernatural being.

We saw that in contrast to angels, demons do not assume human form but instead desire to possess human bodies. The human is used as a host and the person is said to be possessed.

Jesus speaks of an ousted demon gathering seven other wicked spirits, then returning to the human host “and they enter and dwell there” (Luke 11:26, ESV).

POSSESSION

Why do they desire bodies?

They used to have human bodies – as the Nephilim – and are uncomfortable without a body (Luke 11:24-26, Matt 8:31).

It allows them to interact more effectively with the material world in which they once lived.

They derive pleasure from tormenting the host.

It allows them to practice deception more effectively – those they interact with often do not realise that they are dealing with a lying spirit (e.g. Ahab when listening to his false prophets).

POSSESSION

There are three generally accepted stages of demonic possession. While there is some overlap between the stages, there are distinct features in each stage. As the demon works its way into its host, it slowly takes control of the vessel. 1

The three stages of possession are:

Manifestation and Infestation

Oppression

Full Possession

1 https:// exemplore.com/ paranormal/ The-Stages-of-Demonic-Possession

POSSESSION

DEMON POSSESSION

PART 3: what are the symptoms of DEMON possession?

Unlike some Charismatics, I do not believe that we should attribute trivial ailments to possession.

In the Bible most of the symptoms expressed by possessed people are severe – fits, foaming at the mouth, extreme violence, self-mutilation, repeated attempts at suicide, psychic powers etc.

SYMPTOMS

Demons torment their host. The apostles healed “those tormented by evil spirits” (Acts 5:16).

According to the Book of Enoch:

And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble… And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them. 1

After the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul an evil spirit “tormented him” (1 Sam 16:14).

1 Enoch 15:8–12, 16:1 R.H. Charles

TORMENT

DEEP DEPRESSION

1 Sam 16:15-16 (NIV) Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit … comes on you, and you will feel better.”

Saul experienced deep depression which was only relieved when David played music for him.

Jesus was accused of having a demon because of perceived paranoia – stating that others were going to kill him.

John 7:19-20 (NIV) Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?” “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

Again, on telling the Jews that they “you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word” we read:

John 8:48-59 (NIV) The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus…

PARANOIA

While Jesus was neither demon-possessed or paranoid (there were indeed those who were plotting to kill him), the point is that paranoia was often associated with possession.

Saul displays self- pity, anger and genuine paranoia (i.e. the irrational belief that people are “out to get you”). He repeatedly (and without grounds) accuses David of plotting against him and frequently hunts him down.

PARANOIA

Saul believes the men of his own tribe are conspiring against him because David has offered them jobs and property.

1 Sam 22:7 (NIV) He said to them, “Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds? Is that why you have all conspired against me?”

He then accuses David of hiding in order to ambush and attack him – all this at Jonathan’s instigation. He complains that no one felt sorry for him.

1 Sam 22:8 (NIV) “None of you is concerned about me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he does today.”

SELF-PITY & PARANOIA

Actually David was not waiting to ambush Saul, but rather simply hiding in order to preserve his own life. He harboured no animosity towards Saul but was in fact a loyal subject. All the hatred was on Saul’s side as he felt threatened by David’s popularity.

The evil spirit possibly fuelled Saul’s paranoia and delusions. Paranoid people believe that those they dislike, hate them; and thus are fair targets for attack. When Saul discovers that the high priest, Ahimelech, had assisted David, he instructs Doeg to kill Ahimelech along with 85 other priests and to sack their entire town, killing women and children alike.

SELF-PITY & PARANOIA

There may be an obsession with death, murder and suicide, or a fascination with paraphernalia or places associated with death. E.g. Legion “lived among the tombs” (Mark 5:3) not likely the preferred choice of a normal person.

Can a demon kill you?

They can drive you to kill yourself. The father of the demon-possessed boy told Jesus, “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him” (Mark 9:22, NIV). After negotiating with Jesus to let them enter the swine, the demon’s efforts to find a new host are simply wasted when “the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned” (Luke 8:33).

SUICIDAL

They can incite you to kill others. Saul twice attempted to murder David and once Jonathan, while under the influence of the evil spirit.

MURDEROUS

1 Sam 18:10-11 (NIV) The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully on Saul… Saul had a spear in his hand and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

Possessed people may be extremely violent.

Matt 8:28 (NIV) When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way

VIOLENCE

There is often the manifest-ation of superhuman strength. The demon-possessed man from the Gadarenes region “was chained hand and foot and kept under guard” but “had broken his chains” (Luke 8:29).

SUPERHUMAN STRENGTH

Likewise a single demon-possessed man jumped on and overpowered the seven sons of Sceva. “He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding” (Acts 19:16).

The incitement to violence can also happen on a larger scale. Behind the scenes demons are able to manipulate leaders and hence world events. In the following passage “three unclean spirits” instigate war:

VIOLENCE

Rev 16:14-16 (ESV) For they are demonic spirits … who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty … And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

Self-destructive behaviour and self-mutilation can also be a sign of possession. Legion was always “gashing himself with stones” (Mark 5:5). The father said of the possessed boy in Luke 9:39 that the demon “scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him”.

The prophets of the demonic deity Baal were likely possessed as well. On accepting Elijah’s challenge for their god to send fire from heaven “they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed” (1 Kings 18:28, NIV).

SELF-DESTRUCTIVE

There might be other destructive behaviour like a compulsion to abuse your body with drugs, alcohol - or a refusal to eat. Jesus said that “John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’” (Matt 10:18, NIV).

They may display anti-social behaviour. Legion frequented the tombs and the mountains (Mark 5:5) – away from people.

Luke 8:27 (NIV) … For a long time … he had not lived in a house but among the tombs.

Many times Legion would “be driven by the demon into the desert” (Luke 8:29). Furthermore people kept their distance from him and his companion as they “were so violent that no one could pass that way” (Matt 8:28, NIV).

ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

Demon-possessed people may have poor hygiene skills and dress carelessly.

Legion simply ran around naked (“For a long time he

ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

had worn no clothes” – Luke 8:27) and the townsfolk expressed surprise to find him clothed (8:35) after Jesus had delivered him.

Some people link bad odours (like sulphur or rotten eggs) to demonic activity based on scriptures which refer to an “unclean spirit” (Mark 1:23, 5:2, Luke 9:42). But in the Bible “unclean” isn’t so much about hygiene as it about holiness. Demons are unclean because they are unholy. Similarly certain animals were considered unclean and were not fit to be offered as sacrifices (i.e. they were not holy, not because they smelt worse than a ritually “clean animal”).

While there is no explicit reference in the Bible suggesting that demons have any odour, there is a fair amount of anecdotal evidence. Furthermore Elisha’s servant couldn’t see activity in the spiritual realm until his spiritual eyes were opened. If spiritual sight is possible, it’s not such a stretch to assume that other spiritual senses could exist - like spiritual hearing or smell.

BAD ODOURS

We noted that not all sickness is caused by demons. E.g. if medicine alleviates the problem, it is not demon possession – demons aren’t allergic to aspirin!

The “pneuma alalon” is a speechless spirit who renders the possessed mute. It thus differs from most possessing demons, who are given to taunts and mockery.

In Matthew 9:32-33 “a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus.” Mark 9:14–29 relates that a boy is brought to Jesus who has a “deaf and mute spirit”. In Matthew 12:22 “they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute.”

SICKNESS

Some experience bodily contortions, convulsions and fainting as if they were dying. They may become completely rigid and cannot be moved, even by multiple people.

When Jesus rebuked the demon in the possessed man in the Capernaum synagogue, “throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him” (Mark 1:26, NASB). The demon in the boy in Matt 17/Mark 9/ Luke 9 manifested through symptoms resembling epilepsy. He screamed, was thrown to the ground, convulsed violently, foamed at the mouth, ground his teeth and became rigid.

SEIZURES

Matt 17:15 uses a form of the colloquial verb seleniazetai (moonstruck) for the possessed boy’s condition. “Selenia” is Greek for the moon – so this is literally, “someone controlled by the moon” rather than reason. Hence the KJV preserves the Greek etymology by rendering it “lunatic” (Luna is Latin for moon). Lunatic here does not denote madness, but epilepsy - which was believed by the Greeks to be related to phases of the moon.

Note that in Matt 4:24 a variant of “moonstruck” is also listed as an ailment that can be independent of possession.

Matt 4:24 (NASB) … and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics (selēniazomenous), paralytics; and He healed them.

SEIZURES

Jesus was accused of having a demon because of making perceived irrational statements.

John 10:19-21 (NIV) The Jews who heard these words were again divided. Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon…”

The townsfolk “found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet … in his right mind” (Luke 8:35). The implication is that he was formerly considered to be insane.

On leaving Legion and entering the herd of swine, it seems the demons caused the pigs to go berserk and they stampeded (Luke 8:33).

INSANITY

The host might scream probably in agony or fear. E.g.

The possessed boy:

Luke 9:39 (NIV) “A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams…”

Legion:

Mark 5:5 (NASB) Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains…

When Jesus drove demons out, “the impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.” (Mark 1:26, NIV).

When Philip evangelised Samaria, “with shrieks, evil spirits came out of many…” (Acts 8:7, NIV).

SCREAMING

When a person is possessed, they exhibit a unique secondary or alternate personality - that of the indwelling evil spirit. In psychological terms this would be called Dissociative Identity Disorder. (Note that people diagnosed with DID aren’t aware of their other personality while those with an alter ego are aware of it.)

The demon will sometimes speak through that individual’s vocal chords, with drastic changes in vocal intonation or in a language unknown to the person. Their voice may suddenly go from high to low to guttural.

As the demon takes hold and relinquishes control of the body there may be wild mood swings – what is termed Bipolar Disorder in modern terminology.

ALTERNATE PERSONALITY

Erased memories: while under the control of the demon, the person may not recall memories belonging to the host.

There may be changes in facial structure; eye colour may change.

They may start behaving oddly or doing activities that they would normally never do. E.g. sudden changes in the way the person dresses, their diet, or their taste in music and art. Maybe they start smoking when they never normally do. Or they might begin cursing a lot when that is out of character for them.

New Abilities: they may suddenly have new skills and abilities they never had before, such as being skilful at music, art or other technical skills.

ALTERNATE PERSONALITY

Sometimes one person can be possessed with multiple demons.

Mary Magdalene had seven demons cast out of her (Mark 16:9).

Legion was so called because “many demons had entered him” (Luke 8:30).

Jesus spoke of the ousted demon returning to the host with seven companions (Luke 11:26).

Multiple possession is seen by many conservative Christians as a cause of MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder) – by some as the main or only cause.

MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES

The victim might have knowledge that they couldn’t possibly know or didn’t learn through natural processes.

They may know something about a person they have not met. They may speak languages they have never learned, or have obscure knowledge of philosophy or theology.

They may have psychic powers (clairvoyance) like the slave-girl in Acts 16:16 “having a spirit of divination” (pneuma Pythōna 1 ) “who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune- telling”.

1 literally “a spirit of Python”

SUPERNATURAL KNOWLEDGE

Professor Richard Gallagher, trained in psychiatry at Yale and in psychoanalysis at Columbia, says regarding his encounters with a self-styled witch in the late 1980s, “I’m a man of science … That background is why a Catholic priest had asked my professional opinion … about whether this woman was suffering from a mental disorder.”

Regarding demon possession he writes that “I was inclined to scepticism… But my subject’s behaviour exceeded what I could explain with my training. She could tell some people their secret weaknesses… She knew how individuals she’d never known had died, including my mother and her fatal case of ovarian cancer …This was not psychosis; it was what I can only describe as paranormal ability.” 1

1 https:// www.washingtonpost.com/ posteverything/ wp/ 2016/ 07/ 01/ as-a-psychiatrist-i-diagnose-mental-illness-and-sometimes-demonic-possession/ ?noredirect=on& utm_term=.d1e433dc2dd1

KNOWLEDGE

The person may have counterfeit reincarnation experiences and have an accurate “recollection” of previous lives.

Sometimes research on accounts of alleged past lives, indicates that they are based on real people and actual events. In some cases, the events occurred centuries earlier. This should be no surprise as demons don’t die like men. They are able to communicate events they witnessed centuries ago through their host. No matter how real or authentic these experiences appear to be, they’re still nothing more than counterfeit experiences intended to deceive.

The Bible says “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb 9:27, KJV).

REINCARNATION

They may dabble in witchcraft (magic). In Rev 16:13 there “are demonic spirits, performing signs”, so not all miracles originate from God. Demons are most likely the driving force behind pagan magicians, witches and warlocks with the ability the perform miraculous signs.

WITCHCRAFT

E.g. When Aaron threw down his staff and it became a snake “Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake (Ex 7:10-12, NIV).

A possessed person may collect occultic books and paraphernalia and be involved in occult practices.

They may see ghosts or spirits.

They may be in contact with a spirit guide or what the Bible calls “a familiar spirit”. The familiar spirit is a demon often posing as a benevolent spirit. Those attempting to contact the dead (necromancers) usually have some sort of spirit guide who communicates with them.

PSYCHIC POWERS

One demonic deception is false religion where demons are worshipped as gods. Baalzebub (Beelzebub, Beelzebul) was a deity worshipped by the Philistines .

2 Kings 1:2-3 (NIV) Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury.” But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?’”

But the Hebrews called him the Prince of Demons (Matt 12:24: Luke 11:15).

IDOLATARY

Scripture indicates that demons are the spiritual entities behind the idols that pagans worship.

We are told that “the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons (Grk: daimoniois), not to God” (1 Cor 10:20).

Rev 9:20 (NIV) … they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk.

Thus a possessed person may engage in false religion and be devoted to pagan deities.

IDOLATARY

Demon-possessed people may be uncomfortable when God’s presence is evident.

Whenever the evil spirit troubled Saul, “David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him” (1 Sam 16:21–23, NIV).

Often demons would cry out as soon as Jesus approached.

Mark 9:20 (NIV) … When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

AGITATION TO GOSPEL

They might be disruptive in a church meeting.

Luke 4:33-34 (ESV) And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.”

AGITATION TO GOSPEL

Demons were always respectful and coherent when speaking to Jesus. This might be because, when encountering the Son of God, they were extremely afraid – at times begging not to be destroyed. But many today report that possessed people often utter blasphemy, use profanity or make obscene hand gestures.

They could have an aversion to Bibles, crosses and holy symbols.

Acts 19:11-12 (NIV) Handkerchiefs and aprons touched by Paul cured illness and drove out evil spirits.

AGITATION TO GOSPEL

The person may be sexually preoccupied: indulging in sexual perversion, immorality, or exposing themselves to others.

Reporting sexual assaults from a spirit being: For many centuries tales of incubi and succubi have been told in traditional societies. An incubus is a demon in male form who, according to legend, lies upon sleeping women in order to engage in sexual activity with them. Its female counterpart is a succubus.

What is reported as alien abductions may actually be demonic visitations or possession. It may be that aliens are in fact inter-dimensional beings, rather than extra-terrestrial.

OTHER SYMPTOMS

The person involved could have the compulsion to abuse animals or people.

They may go for long periods of time without blinking their eyes (can also indicate a neurological condition).

They might appear catatonic (in an immobile or unresponsive stupor). But it can also be a sign of mental illness.

Night Terrors: When the host is asleep and has less resistance the demon’s powers are stronger. The person might experience horrifying dreams and night terrors (episodes of screaming, intense fear and flailing while still asleep). They might also wake in the middle of the night and start behaving strangely.

OTHER SYMPTOMS

The high priestess of the Temple of Apollo - known as the Oracle of Delphi - delivered messages while in a frenzied state and spoke gibberish which priests interpreted. But Origen attributes the raving to demon-possession.

RAVING

If then the Pythian priestess is beside herself when she prophesies, what spirit must that be which fills her mind and clouds her judgment with darkness, unless it be of the same order with those demons which many Christians cast out of persons possessed with them?

When the evil spirit “came forcefully on Saul” we see that “he was prophesying in his house while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand” (1 Sam 18:10, NIV). The ESV and NASB render it as “he raved”.

Ellicott: Saul was in a state of frenzy, unable to master himself, speaking words of which he knew not the meaning, and acting like a man possessed. In all this there was something akin to the powerful emotions which agitated the true prophet: only it was not a holy influence, but one springing from violent passions.

RAVING

The fact that the source of Saul’s prophecy was not God, but an evil spirit, explains why he later prophesies publicly while naked (1 Sam 19:24).

But why does it say the Spirit of God (v. 23) came on him? Is this really the Holy Spirit or the evil spirit sent by God? The Jews believed the latter as evidenced by Josephus’ comments.

And when Saul came to him, he was disordered in mind, and under the vehement agitation of a spirit: and putting off his garments, he fell down, and lay on the ground all that day and night… 1

1 Antiquities, Book 6, 11.5

SELF-ABASEMENT

A spirit may cause the host to lie and be deceptive.

While the being that offered to be a lying spirit in the mouth of all Ahab’s prophets (1 Chron 18:18-21) might have been a fallen angel, the principle with demons is the same.

Jesus said of Satan that “he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:46) and the demons who follow him imitate their leader in this regard.

Demons are not ignorant - they know the truth:

James 2:19 (NIV) You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.

They knew who Jesus was (Mark 1:24), understood their ultimate fate (Matt 8:29) and acknowledged the mission and authority of the apostles (Acts 16:17).

LYING

Yet demons are evil and deceptive, deliberately teaching falsehoods that cause people to apostatize. Paul says that “in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Tim 4:1). We are warned about false apostles and false prophets:

2 Cor 11:13-15 (NIV) For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.

1 John 4:1 (NIV) Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

SPIRITUAL DECEPTION

Examples of doctrines of demons:

Denying the incarnation

1 John 4:2-3 (NIV) … Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.

Forbidding marriage and certain foods.

1 Tim 4:1-3 (NIV) … in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods

SPIRITUAL DECEPTION

Paul writes concerning those teaching another false doctrine – that of legalism (teaching that New Covenant Christians are still under law), “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:8,ESV)

Another doctrine of demons is the idea that there are many paths to God.

In Philippi (Acts 16) Paul and his companions are followed by a slave girl with a spirit of fortune-telling declaring that they are “servants of the Most High God”.

SPIRITUAL DECEPTION

We might suppose that her declaration is a help to Paul as it attracts attention to his mission and seemingly endorses it. Yet it is an annoyance to Paul and he drives the spirit out of her.

She shouts, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who declare to us a way of salvation” (Young’s Literal Translation) – not “the way of salvation” as rendered in most English versions. This itself is a deceptive statement implying that there is more than one way.

SPIRITUAL DECEPTION

Furthermore to the Greeks, the Most High God could be seen as a reference to Zeus – the head of their pagan pantheon.

That a demon-possessed girl is the source of this true but potentially ambiguous statement is another difficulty. Having an endorsement from a pagan fortune teller was not what Paul wanted.

Similarly Jesus drove demons out of those who were declaring him to be the Son of God.

The message of salvation must be proclaimed in fullness and with clarity, unambiguously crediting its divine source.

SPIRITUAL DECEPTION

Along with Freud, Carl Jung (1875–1961) was one of the men whose theories formed the basis for modern psychology. Jung had daily contact with disembodied spirits, which he called archetypes – though he believed them to be a projection of his own consciousness. He had his own familiar spirit whom he called Philemon, of whom he wrote “I went walking up and down the garden with him, and to me he was what the Indians call a guru.” 1

Much of what Jung wrote was inspired by such entities. Thus the incorporation of psychology into Christian counselling and dogma is yet another “doctrine of demons”.

1 Jung - “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”

SPIRITUAL DECEPTION

As many of the symptoms are not necessarily exclusive to demon-possession the gift of discerning of spirits is necessary in distinguishing true demonic possession from other issues. There are two extremes which Christians have in regard to demon possession:

The one extreme is to deny the existence of demons and attribute everything to natural causes or mental illness.

The other extreme is to see demons everywhere and attribute all illness, attitude problems and any sinful behaviour to demons.

Either extreme is an error that will make you less effective in deliverance. Either you’ll be trying to cast out demons from people who are not possessed or trying to counsel or medicate someone who really is possessed.

DISCERNMENT

God’s Word tells us that Satan, his angels and demons are real beings set on our destruction. Christians are warned to “Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph 6:11-12).

CONCLUSION

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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