Demon Possession and the Spiritual Realm – Part 6


This article is Part 6 in a series of essays about demon possession. You can read Part 5 of Demon Possession and The Spiritual Realm by clicking here.

WHAT THE BIBLE TELLS US ABOUT DEMON POSSESSION

Bible

So, back to the idea of demonic possession. Let’s look at specific cases from the New Testament that give us several details:

“And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.

He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:17-29)

We can learn quite a few things from this passage: demons can enter a person and exert physical control over their bodies. They can produce effects in their victim that aren’t quite natural. They may abuse their victims. They can make their victims to be as wild animals, foaming at the mouth.

They will leave their victims in a drained and exhausted state. Even after this particular demon was exorcised by Jesus, the demon “rent him sore” on his way out of his victim’s body.

The boy’s father had to place faith in God’s healing grace to exorcise the demon. Prayer and fasting were also required.

Persons possessed can also be made very strong by their demons. Another account (Luke 8:26-39) tells of a possessed man who lives in the tombs, naked. He would be guarded, bound in chains and shackles, but the man was strong enough to break them.

In another case the seven sons of Sceva attempted an exorcism of a man with a demon. The demon was so powerful inside the man that “the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:16)

The seven Jewish exorcists invoked Jesus’ name indirectly through Paul instead of directly by their own saving faith (probably because they had not confessed their sins to Christ and were not Christians). The demon responded “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?

The account of this event spread throughout Ephesus, and it created much fear in its citizens. Because of this fear, they confessed saving faith in Jesus Christ, and in response “a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all.” (Acts 19:19)

RUDY EUGENE

Rudy Eugene was on marijuana, a reality-altering drug that is mostly attributed to generating lethargy, mellowness and feelings of extreme friendliness in its users. No other drugs were found in his system: LSD, bath salts, or alcohol. He was naked when he was killed. He had been swinging from lamp posts. There were torn pages from a Bible strewn across the area. When first commanded by the police officer on the scene to stop, he simply growled at him. There was no flesh in his stomach, only in his teeth; he didn’t actually eat his victim’s flesh.

This attack was completely beyond Rudy’s character, or the character of anyone who is high on marijuana. It was not a case of cannibalism, as was originally (mis)reported.

What people are looking for are answers. People refer to such attacks as “zombie attacks“.

What is the response of modern medical science? As we’ve already reviewed, skepticism. From the article:

“His behavior was consistent with someone who was delusional and hallucinating, which would be consistent with bath salts,” Logan said.

The report released last week by the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner contained this disclaimer: “Within the limits of current technology by both laboratories, marijuana is the only drug identified in the body of Mr. Rudy Eugene.”

Experts say there is no question Eugene’s behavior was drug-induced – and not by marijuana. But it’s hard to prove because even the most sophisticated labs cannot test for every compound.

Experts remain skeptical, hanging on the theory that there is a new strain of synthetic chemical that Eugene took in that we can’t yet detect. Given enough time, we’ll be able to understand Rudy’s unnatural behavior.

Is it possible that Rudy Eugene’s behavior was induced by drugs, and not by demon possession? Yes, of course. It is doubtful we’ll ever really know what happened to him; that is solely between him and his Creator. But this response of mainstream science is one typically given by atheists in a debate about the existence of God when pressed to explain the unexplainable: one day, science will find an answer. We just haven’t gotten there yet.

This is the only response they can give, consistent with their worldview. In a materialistic universe, there is no supernatural — there are only the current shortcomings of science.

CURSED?

Rudy Eugene seemed to have been a man who often carried his Bible around and who enjoyed reciting verses to his friends and family. He was described as a man who loved God. His girlfriend said that he could have been under a voodoo curse.

Impossible? Not if the story documented by Gary North of an account by Protestant exorcist Kurt Koch is to be believed (not to mention your Bible):

Kurt Koch, the Protestant exorcist whose books are filled with case histories of occult bondage, relates a remarkable story of a native pastor in Nigeria, a member of the Izi tribe. He had been suffering from a serious disease of the lungs, and his physicians believed that he was close to death. His X-rays indicated that both lungs were filled with blood. He was literally drowning in his own blood. The pastor had asked the local missionary to come and visit him.

“I sensed I am not going to die,” he told the missionary. “It seems to me as if this is only an attack of the powers of darkness. Please, will you command these powers to leave me.” The missionary, however, hesitated, for he was more inclined to believe what the doctors had told him than to believe what his native brother said. But the pastor urged him again. Finally he agreed and he prayed roughly with the words, “Lord Jesus, if my brother here is right, and this is only an attack of the enemy, then deliver him. But forgive me if what I am saying is silly.” The missionary then commanded the evil powers to go, although in his heart he doubted if he was doing the right thing. What happened? Suddenly the pastor vomited and brought up a vast amount of blood. The doctor was called immediately, but he said that this was the end. Yet instead of dying, the man began to recover. A few days later he was X-rayed again. A miracle had taken place. The massive caverns in his lungs had closed up, and instead of certain death, the native Christian was wonderfully healed by the hand of the Lord.”[1]

CONCLUSION

God promises us blessings if we ethically conform ourselves to His laws and commandments. He promises the inheritance of a new heaven and new earth. He will judge in eternity all of creation at the end of history. He will condemn Satan, his host, and unregenerate men to an eternity in the Lake of Fire, forever separated from God and His love. He promises to renew us and creation if we follow Him in ethical obedience to His word.

This is the only legitimate source of power: ethical conformity to God’s law. Any other attempt to gain power without submitting to God’s authority is illegitimate. This is the goal of Satan. Satan uses his representatives on earth to grab power, and then he attempts to use that power to thwart the assured victory of God’s kingdom on earth, in history.

Satan and his children fear the progressive march of time. Time is linear: there will be an end. At that end, Satan will finally forever meet his doom — and all of unregenerate man will go with him.

Humanistic man wishes to act autonomously in history and build the Kingdom of Man instead of building the Kingdom of God. Humanistic man, by choosing not to worship God, has instead allied himself with Satan. Satan attempts to further derail man’s progress and ethical conformity to God by granting the appearance of power. He does this to tempt man away from gaining legitimate power through ethical conformity to God’s law.

As men act ethically to progressively build the Kingdom of God in history, working out their salvation through fear and trembling, Satan’s kingdom and his power over men and the flow of time inevitably shrink.

Men turn to the powers of the occult when they lose hope or seek absolute power. This temptation may be greater for someone who does not know the Lord. God has explicitly forbidden this kind of behavior, and He punishes those who seek this power.

God is sovereign over all of creation and time. The only legitimate source of protection from demonic interference in your life is not provided by magical talismans or pendants, but to confess saving faith in Jesus Christ and turn away from occultic influences. Seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness and ethical obedience to God’s laws.

Jesus Christ was crucified for us. He paid the greatest sacrifice so that we may be saved and that we may prosper. He will keep you:

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 

I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 

All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may havemy joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.” (John 17:6-19)

1. Gary North, Unholy Spirits (Tyler, Texas: Institute for Christian Economics, 1994) p.267.

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