The other day, I heard a sermon online where an ill informed pastor made the bold statement that a person who is a Christian cannot be possessed by the Devil. His logic behind this is based on false assumptions and false conclusions based upon those false assumptions. His rationale was that if a true Christian has the Holy Spirit inside of them, then they cannot be possessed by the devil. This false conclusion is held universally by almost all protestant churches and it is based upon the false assumption that a baptized Christian who has accepted Jesus will not be possessed by the devil, but the conclusion is based upon a false understanding of what Scripture tells us and false assumptions that are circulated by poorly informed Bible colleges — the seed sowers of doctrines of demons.
In the book of Matthew we, have Peter trying to intervene and save the Lord from his execution. Jesus replies with the following:
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men.
Now, let’s just think about this for a second. Peter was a baptized Christian at this point, am I correct? Everything that we have read in the New Testament up until this point in Matthew leads us to believe that Peter was a “Christian” in every sense of the word. Jesus just called the Apostle Peter Satan. And if Jesus is calling Peter “Satan”, does that mean Jesus just blasphemed the Holy Spirit? Absolutely not. Jesus is not blaspheming the Holy Spirit. When he refers to Peter as Satan, I believe Jesus was literally addressing Satan or the Satanic spirit that was trying to stop Jesus from going to the cross. I don’t believe Jesus was joking around because Jesus did not have a reputation of cracking jokes. And he certainly was not joking around when he was talking about going to the cross to die for our sins. So, let me ask you, do you believe Peter had the Holy Spirit inside of him when Jesus referred to him as Satan? I don’t believe that at all. I believe that Peter was a baptized Christian…a True Christian and I believe that since Jesus addressed Peter as “Satan” that the Holy Spirit had departed from Peter at that time. Because Jesus is not going to address someone as “Satan” if they are saying or doing something that was Holy. Not at all.
So, this whole notion that a true Christian cannot be possessed by the devil is an entirely false notion because God does not need your permission and he does not have to give you any notice if he allows Satan to put you under trial or possess you. You do not have any authority over what God allows Satan to do. You have no authority. And look, not only was Peter a true baptized Christian, but I truly believe that Judas was also baptized. I don’t believe Judas was a true believer like Peter, but Judas was possessed by the devil (at least based upon what Scripture tells us) and Judas did not exhibit any signs that were detectable by the disciples. Only Jesus knew that Judas had Satan inside of him. I believe that Judas had been baptized because after all, he was at the last supper and NOBODY knew that Judas was going to betray Jesus, except for Jesus himself. And Judas was also evangelizing Christians because he was with the disciples when Jesus sent them out in pairs to go out and spread the Word (see Mark 6:7). So, Judas had all of the privileges and benefits of being a true Christian, but I don’t believe he was a true Christian because Jesus said he was the son of perdition (see John 17:12). There is a misnomer in Christianity that a person with a Satanic persuasion, influence or possession is unable to enter a church or partake of regular Christian activities. But the Bible shows us that this is simply untrue. I mean, take Judas for instance, the Bible tells us that Satan entered him on numerous occasions, yet he was able to sit with our Lord Jesus and eat bread from Jesus’ hand.
27 And after the sop, then entered Satan into him. Jesus therefore saith unto him, What thou doest, do quickly.
Notice that Satan enters Judas as soon as he took the bread. Satan did not wait. Satan entered Judas without hesitation and unlike some of the blasphemous movies that I have seen showing Judas throwing up the bread before Satan entered Judas, the Bible is quite clear that the possession occurs without any hesitation and without any external notice to the other disciples. Hollywood movies tell us that when Satan takes over someone it almost always involves supernatural, overt signs such as a person who is walking up walls or levitating and who is speaking in numerous different languages. And while I believe that certain possessions can lead to supernatural activities (Scripture tells us that there are numerous possessions which lead to supernatural activities of the possessed), not all possessions need to produce a visible sign of possession. Now, before I want to go any further, I want to clarify that when I use the term possession, I am including demonic influence, oppression, possession and/or bondage. It does not have to be a physical possession of the body. It can be an overwhelming influence of the mind which has the mind being controlled and manipulated by the Evil one.
Here’s some further anecdotal evidence that a Christian can be possessed by Satan. In 1 Corinthians 5 for example, Paul tells us that if a brother or sister is in our midst inside the church and is engaging in abominable sexual behavior, we are to hand that person over to Satan. Now, let me ask you something. If I am handing a person within the church over to Satan for destruction of the flesh, as instructed by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 5, do I have to reconsider my decision if the person has been baptized? Do I have to interview the person that I am going to hand over to Satan for destruction of the flesh to find out if he has rejected the Lord first? No. The Bible does not ask me to pre-qualify someone for this form of punishment. It simply says that if we find someone who is engaged in reprehensible sexual misconduct and if he is in our church, then I am to simply hand him over to Satan for destruction of the flesh. So, now how is Satan going to destroy this person’s flesh once I hand them over? The Bible does not provide an answer as to what this entails, but we can gain a lot by looking at the surrounding context.
The Bible is clear (see also Ephesians 5). It does not tell us that a Christian cannot be manipulated or possessed by the Devil. What it does tell us is that true Christians do have the Holy Spirit living inside of them, but it also tell us that if we engage in certain unrepentant sins or abominable behaviors, we can open ourselves up to be put under trial by Satan. This is clear in story of Hosea and his wife Gomer. Gomer continued to sin even after she married her husband Hosea, but that did not stop her from coming into bondage of the Evil One. She literally ended up in slavery due to her sins until her husband, Hosea, came to her rescue at the Lord’s request. The Prophet Job also ended up being placed in extreme turmoil by Satan after God permitted Satan to place Job under trial. Job was not given any warning of this trial. And according to the Bible, Job was placed under this extreme trial for several seasons, if not longer. He underwent an extreme challenge. One cannot underestimate the amount of destruction that Satan can achieve against an individual. These fake pastors who go around falsely claiming that a Christian cannot come under demonic possession are simply liars who are misinforming their congregations of the dangers of demonic activity. And you do not have to be engaged in sin to be placed under extreme oppression by Satan, according to the book of Job. You can be a true believer and love God with all of your heart and still be placed under trial, if God permits it.
The Bible does not tell us why or how a Christian can come under demonic oppression or possession if the Holy Spirit is with the “Christian”. All we know is that at some point, the Holy Spirit may depart from the individual (but possibly still in close proximity) so that the oppression or possession can take place, based upon the stories of possessions in the Bible. In fact, in almost all accounts of demonic possession, it appears that either the person asking for the exorcism or the person receiving the exorcism is a believer in Jesus.
Take for example the girl in Acts 16:16-18:
16 And it came to pass, as we were going to the place of prayer, that a certain maid having [a]a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by soothsaying. 17 The same following after Paul and us cried out, saying, These men are [b]servants of the Most High God, who proclaim unto you [c]the way of salvation. 18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, being sore troubled, turned and said to the spirit, I charge thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And it came out that very hour.
Now, I want you to pay close attention to this. There is nothing other than her profession that gives away that she is possessed. She is simply telling people that Paul and Silas are men of God and that they are offering information on how to be saved. Yet, Paul and Silas still exorcised her of the unclean spirit within her. Now, I want to point out that as a result of feminism, women have assumed demonic authority in the Churches. Women, according to the Bible, are not permitted to have spiritual authority in Churches. The key here is that “in Churches” they cannot preach or teach. However, there is nothing stopping women from Evangelizing people outside the churches or even providing supporting roles for the Church hierarchy. However, women pastors are demonic by nature. They are in rebellion to the Word of God and they are providing terrible examples to the Church congregation by simply ignoring the Word of God and assuming unholy authority within the Church. They are practicing functional equality, something the Bible preaches against and they are adhering to the patterns of this world by promoting demonic feminism. Feminism, like its male counterpart, chauvinism are both demonic in nature. These are not fruits of the Spirit, but rather fruits of Satan.
Sometimes we as Christians have to pay attention to the subtleties of the person whom we suspect has a possession because usually the possession will neither be known to them or by them and there will be nothing outwardly that is explicitly indicative that they have a possession. Now, that does not mean we run around with a cross and holy water, exorcising everyone that we come into contact with and have a disagreement with, but we are to be more discerning in understanding how Satan works. Hollywood does not give us an accurate depiction of possession so we are unable to understand how it works.
In Matthew 10:16, Jesus tells us
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and [a]harmless as doves.
What this means is we are not become snakes, but we are to be wise as snakes to understand how snakes operate and how they go about possessing and influencing people who are in bondage to them. If we base our assumptions on Hollywood movies and operate like they do, then we will never understand how someone falls into bondage of the Evil One. We will never be able to cast out demons as commanded by Jesus himself. We will never be able to offer our help to those in need of help. Just think of all of the homosexuals that are entering the church worldwide and how these foolish, Satanic Pastors are ignoring the obvious signs that the people that are homosexual have unclean spirits. Notice how some of these churches are ignoring the Bible and submitting to the will of Satan by allowing homosexuality within the Church, but also marrying individuals in direct contradiction to the Scripture inside of the Church. These are the signs of Satanic influence and Satanic possession. Scripture tells us that rebellion is WITCHCRAFT! See 1 Samuel 15:23.
Pay attention to the pastors who spend all of their time preaching to you on the Television and on the internet and ask you to send them all of your money so that they can live a lavish lifestyle. These are the signs of Satanic influence and Satanic possession. As I said earlier, movies have led us to believe that Satan is afraid of the Church or afraid of approaching God’s people while they partake of worship activities, but that is far from the truth of what the Bible describes when it describes some of the possessions. If Satan is willing to approach Jesus himself and boldly offer Jesus all of the Kingdoms of the World in exchange for his submission to himself, then what makes you think that Satan is afraid of approaching a Christian while he is kneeling in the Church? What makes you think that a Crucifix is enough to scare Satan away? Satan was not afraid of taking possession of Judas who had just taken bread from Jesus’ hand, so what makes you think he is afraid of someone holding a Crucifix and a Bible? The Bible does not describe exorcisms the way we see them on TV. Instead, the Bible is abundantly clear the only one who can cast out demons is Jesus and his followers who invoke Jesus …. not the followers themselves and certainly not someone who does not submit their entire being to Jesus during the exorcism.
13 But certain also of the strolling Jews, exorcists, took upon them to name over them that had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, a chief priest, who did this. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said unto them, Jesus I [a]know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and mastered both of them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
What this episode in the book of Acts shows us is that if we think we are going to exorcise someone without Jesus’ full authority within us, then we will be beaten by these demonic entities. We stand no chance of defeating Satan or his minions on our own. In fact, if we do what they show us on TV and simply invoke Jesus’ name in vain without a full faith and understanding of Jesus, we may end up jeopardizing our own lives. What they show us on TV and in the movies is absolute foolishness for the most part. Satan is not afraid of humans. There is only one authority in Heaven and on Earth that he is subject to and that is Jesus. Jesus is the only one that can and has defeated Satan. If we think we can simply invoke his name in vain and cast out devils, we are playing with fire and we may also end up making the person we think we are helping, worse off than before.
43 But the unclean spirit, when [a]he is gone out of the man, passeth through waterless places, seeking rest, and findeth it not. 44 Then [b]he saith, I will return into my house whence I came out; and when [c]he is come, [d]he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 45 Then goeth [e]he, and taketh with [f]himself seven other spirits more evil than [g]himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man becometh worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation.