15 Question 3

Demon possession is certainly real. Mark 5:1-3 tells us of a demon possessed man.  It reads, “And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains.”    We read in Luke 22:3, “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.”  While Judas was one of the Lord’s twelve apostles, we know that he was not truly a believer on the Lord.

Sometimes demons would just come and go into people as they pleased.  Matthew 12:43-45 says, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”  This shows a demon that is not cast out of a man, but one that leaves and later returns, bringing seven more spirits with him.

Mary Magdalene was a woman that had been possessed of demons.  Luke 8:1-3 says, “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.”

So, we know that demon possession is real and can be terrifying.  But, you asked if a Christian can be possessed of a demon.

Now, certainly a believer can be influenced by Satan.  Let’s read an exchange between the Lord and Peter in Matthew 16:21-23, “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.  But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”  This shows how that Satan had influenced Peter to contradict the Lord when He spoke to the Apostles about His upcoming crucifixion.  Peter was not possessed by Satan or a demon, but Satan influenced Peter to think with his emotions and try to talk the Lord out of going to the cross.

If you have your Bible with you, let’s turn to Matthew 12:22-29 and read of an incident there.  “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.  And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.”  The Lord Jesus healed a man of demon possession and He was accused of doing this by the power of Beelzebub, or Satan.  He shows how that this is impossible.  The Lord then remarks about how that one man cannot enter another man’s home and steal from him unless he first ties up the owner of the house.  This shows that a man cannot be overtaken in his own home unless the intruder is stronger than him.  For the believer, the Lord Jesus takes up residence in us.  1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”  2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you?”

The only way that Satan could possess a believer is for him to bind, or tie up, the man of the house, or Christ Himself.  Is Satan able to do this?  Is Satan stronger than the Lord?  Absolutely not!  1 John 4:4 assures us, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”  Christ is in us and He is greater than the one who is in the world, and that’s Satan.  Satan cannot bind Christ, enter into us, and indwell us.

So, for the believer, we are assured that we cannot be demon possessed.  However, even as Peter was influenced by Satan, we are also capable of being influenced by Satan.  We must guard our minds and hearts from Satan’s influences by staying in the Word of God, being filled with the Word and walking in the truth of the Word.  (15.3)