I have heard this question asked many times in my lifetime. While the answer is quite straightforward, “NO!”—a Christian cannot be demon possessed—there are other things that by demonic intervention can affect a Christian. Let's look a little deeper into this situation.
Why Christians cannot be possessed
When a Christian receives Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit enters that Christian's body, soul and spirit. God has claimed that person for His own and as a result, demons cannot occupy the same place as the Holy Spirit. Satan knows this, and that is why he tries so hard to get to people first and have his demons or demonic influence control or affect that person.
The reality of spiritual battle
Even though the Holy Spirit has entered the “new Christian,” demons can certainly try to plant thoughts or to affect the thinking process of an individual.
I remember a story that a famous evangelist told about a day he was in his office, and he was in his quiet time reading and studying. From out of nowhere, he noticed vile, lewd sexual thoughts coming into his mind. He was absolutely taken by surprise by this, but knew just what to do. He went into the office next door, which was his associate's office, and asked him to pray with him to banish these “darts” from Satan. With the prayer offered, the darts ceased at that time, and his mind was able to get back to the studying and reading he needed to be doing.
Now, I do not think that Satan is behind every bad thing that happens to people, or that every bad thought comes from the devil. But I do believe the Devil and all his demons are looking for people that they can affect with their “darts” and look for the weakness in that person and send their “darts” precisely at that point.
Many times he is successful. We see over and over again and again, “good” people failing sexually and becoming involved in immoral situations. Even some of our friends, relatives or acquaintances have been affected. Some tell about it to others and in doing so are asking for help in the situation. Others do not tell and let themselves get further and further into trouble. Before they know it, they have committed sin, and they have their lives in shambles.
Look at Peter, and what he did, and how he was affected. Peter was a saved person. He was a “rock” for Christ, but he still denied Christ three times. Why? Well, it certainly wasn't reasonable to think Peter went from being such a “rock,” to being a wimp for Christ, in such a short time. He had to have been affected by some sort of demonic suggestion or demonic involvement.
In the case of Ananias and his wife selling their property and lying about how much they got and how much they gave, Peter himself asked them why they had allowed Satan to fill their hearts to lie to the Holy Spirit. They were Christian believers, but they lied and were swayed from the truth and the good of what they were doing. That is Satanic influence.
Many of you, I am sure, have had thoughts come into your mind, and you cannot figure out where they came from. Where does temptation come from? Well, you know it comes from the Devil, so it also shows that we have to be on constant guard and have our “shields up” at all times.
As one author puts it, “Demons cannot live in Christian hearts, but they perch on Christian shoulders and whisper in Christian ears.”
As we realize, the demons and Satan himself can be literally “perching on your shoulder,” we also must realize we cannot just go through each day doing the same old thing and not growing in the Lord and realizing his power. We need to constantly build our “arsenal” of defense, by studying His Word, memorizing His Word and giving the Holy Spirit within us the weapons to help fight our fight against this formidable enemy.
Christians, unfortunately, think just because they have turned their lives over to the Lord and had the Holy Spirit come into their lives, that they are safe. Satan loves to hear this. He has a good chance of wrecking that Christian's life, because he is so powerful.
Christians are not building their arsenal. Christians are not “in training” to ensure they are ready to do battle with demons or the devil himself. Christians today seem to do just enough to stay “status quo.” The reading and praying that the majority of Christians do is just enough to keep their knowledge and battle expertise at the same level as the day they gave their lives to the Lord.
National research supports this statement. Our Christian community at large watches more television every day than reading or praying. Our young people, generally speaking, are the same—little Bible time or prayer throughout the week, but they have all their socials, extracurricular activities and the like. They are not growing in the Lord and strengthening themselves for the battles ahead.
We must realize that Satan has a plan for our lives, just as God has a plan. Both are going to fight for each and every one of us. God is the stronger of the two, we know that, but He also tells us what we need to do, and how to do it, and what will happen if we do what He tells us to do. However, if Satan can interfere with that advice and get the person off track and keep them off track, he will probably win the battle.
Put on the full armor of God
Most of us know what the plan of defense is. We have a full set of armor ready and available for each and every one of us. God says with this armor we are to face the enemy and stand. God has fashioned a plan of defense.
Sounds simple doesn't it? If so simple, then why are the majority of Christians not outfitting themselves with God's armor? Well, I believe this again is part of the Devil's plan. If he can keep our lives so jumbled, so busy, so busy, so confusing, then we will “not have time” to get the armor or be able to put it on. The outcome? Sin! We are doomed to come under the full attack of the devil and his demons.
The reality of what you cannot see
It is interesting to see some of today's society believe in things they cannot see, smell, taste or feel. Today we are told of the different rays from the sun that can go into our eyes and damage the nerves and lose some of our eyesight. Yet, we respond to a scientist, who tells the general public this is what they have found and to do what they are told and buy certain sunglasses to protect their eyes and wear sun screen to protect against the “cancer inducing rays.” Yet, mention to some Christians that there are demons running around trying to affect them in some way, and they will look at you as if you have a third eye or the like.
Christians must realize they are in mortal danger without the armor of God. Satan's time is running short and he knows it. He will be “pulling out all stops” in an effort to get back some of the most dedicated Christians we have. He will be working overtime to derail new Christians; another group that if you tell them about demons is not spiritually mature enough to understand what you are talking about.
Jesus knew about demons and about Satan. He conversed with demons in casting them out and even conversed with Satan when He was tempted by him. Jesus knew the power of Satan and his demons.
Even though the disciples were given power to cast out demons, there was the one time they could not cast the demon out. This occasion supports the fact that demons are very powerful entities. This particular demon, Jesus said, had to have a different type of approach to get him to leave the person. We just don't give enough credence to the fact that Satan and his demonic army are very powerful adversaries and must be recognized and dealt with on that basis.
When the world saw Saddam Hussein do what he did in Kuwait, and the world said enough is enough. and we must do something against him, nobody underestimated him. General Schwartzkoff certainly did not underestimate him. There were huge forces of troops and equipment sent in. Many countries' forces were amassed to ensure there would be enough power to do what was necessary.
In the same light, each and every Christian needs to realize the power of the devil and his demons. They ARE there. They ARE here. They DO put thoughts into your mind, your brain, into your thought processes.
Yet, if we know this and take the appropriate action, we can be the winners.
If you could only have seen and talked with the people that I have, who have been controlled by demonic forces, you could see the first-hand proof of demons and their work. Some of the tragedies of today, with mothers or fathers killing their babies, or fathers sexually abusing their children, or other horrors, are being blamed on a newly discovered type of “syndrome.” Well, I am going to tell you point blank, there may be some syndromes floating around that lawyers or juries can blame these horrifying tragedies on, however, I believe there is only one person behind all of these things and he is the Devil himself and his accomplices.
So, while I gave you an absolute “NO!” to answer the question, “Can Christians Be Demon Possessed?” I hope I have shown you how Christians can be affected in every aspect of their life by demon-induced thoughts or suggestions.
I also warn you not to get paranoid and think every thought you think is being affected by a demon. But do be aware that where you do not have the spiritual armor on, there is the possibility that you could have thoughts being planted by “spiritual darts” from the enemy.
The answer to all of this is fairly simple. Jesus gave us His way of dealing with things, and what we should and should not do. If we approach things with the attitude of learning how Jesus would react to your situation or what He would do in this situation, you are on safe ground. Like I mentioned before, put on the armor and pray, pray, pray, and then pray some more.
Invest your time in prayer; it pays dividends that are out of this world!!!
Author: Ben Alexander of ESP Ministries
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