Can A Christian Have A Demon?

 

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99DELTRCD-8 – Gene Moody – ROOTS VS. FRUITS – DISCERNING THE DEVIL

We inherited the cursed nature of Satan, the flesh nature, from Adam. As long as we love this flesh nature (self-love), Satan uses us as puppets, controlling us. The root is the motive that controls a man’s heart. Is the motive to please the flesh (greed and pride) or to please Jesus? The fruit in a man’s life springs from the root of his heart motive. Self-love-idolatry – must be put to death and root causes dealt with so that we might bear fruit unto God.

 

88LHCD11-3 – Gene Moody – UNDERSTANDING BASIC DELIVERANCE
This message begins with the question, “Can a Christian have a demon?” The answer is demonstrated numerous times throughout the Old and New Testament as Gene shares Scriptures that the Lord has given him for this particular study. Deliverance is for the believer – not the unbeliever! God has always been interested in setting His people free from their enemies, and this generation has the authority and provision of the Name of Jesus Christ to cast out devils! Believers will do this but first you must believe! Satan has twisted the truth, either convincing Christians they can’t have evil spirits or deceiving them to believe Satan only operates in their lives externally. This message comes in the Spirit of truth, helping Christians to realize that deliverance from evil spirits is an extension of God’s love to His people. Deliverance ministry concludes this teaching.

See Also – Basic Deliverance

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CAN A CHRISTIAN HAVE A DEMON?

LIST OF SCRIPTURES

Matthew 12:43-45 A non-Christian DELIVERED.

Matthew 15:22-28 Children’s (Christian’s) bread.

Mark 1:23-27 Man in the synagogue (Believer).

Mark 1:39-42 Cast out devils in synagogues.

Mark 7:25-30 Children’s (Christian’s) bread.

Mark 8:33 JESUS Called Peter Satan.

Mark 9:17-29 Believer’s son.

Luke 4:38-39 Spirit of fever is a demon.

Luke 11:24-26 A non-Christian DELIVERED.

Luke 13:11-17 Daughter of Abraham (Believer).

Luke 22:3 Satan entered Judas.

Acts 5:3-4 Ananias and Sapphira were Believers.

Acts 8:5-7, 13 Gave heed to things spoken of Christ.

Acts 8:20-24 Simon was a Believer.

Acts 10:38 Sickness is oppression of Satan.

I Cor. 5:1-5 Believer in Corinth DELIVERED to Satan.

II Cor. 2:10-11 Satan getting advantage of Believer.

II Cor. 11:3-4 Believers receive another spirit.

II Cor. 12:7-9 Paul’s messenger of Satan in flesh.

Gal. 3:1 Galatians bewitched by spirits.

Eph. 2:1-3 Influence of Satan.

Eph. 4:26-27 Anger gives place to Devil.

I Tim. 1:18-20 Hymenaeus and Alexander Believers.

I Tim. 4:1-2 Believers depart from the faith.

II Tim. 2:24-26 Recover out of snare of Devil.

Heb. 12:15-16 Root of bitterness is a spirit.

James 4:6-8 Devil will flee from you.

I Peter 5:8-9 Afflictions in the brethren.

GENERAL
There is nowhere in the Bible that says explicitly that a “Christian” can have a demon. But it does talk about “Believers” having demons. Are you a Believer; what is the difference – none!

The multitudes that came to JESUS received DELIVERANCE; some were bound to be Believers!

You can memorize the Bible and go to Hell. No part of the Bible is any good to you unless it is used! Head knowledge will not get you to Heaven; it takes heart knowledge.

Bible scholars can argue about theology until JESUS comes again and not settle the question of whether a Christian can have a demon; it takes experience.

When you start casting demons out of people, you find that Christians not only have demons but they have thousands of demons! In our years of ministry, we have worked with thousands of people – small groups to large groups. We found that the congregation could have many demons. Then the Lord started us working with pastors and their families. We found that the five-fold ministry also had almost as many demons as the congregation. Finally the Lord had us to work with DELIVERANCE ministers. We found that they also had quite a few demons too!

We have seen leaders go into false doctrines. These can even be leaders that cast out demons. It appears that pride is their downfall. Pride is an abomination to God and is an active demonic area.

WARNING SIGNALS – POSSIBLE NEED FOR DELIVERANCE
Characteristics noted below merit a closer look when they are pronounced, persistent or recurrent over a period of time, or progressive – tending to become more, rather than less, extreme. Check yourself against these warnings. The following thumbnail descriptions of behavior can be a call for help:

1. Confused or disordered thinking: loss of touch with reality – delusions (persistence of erroneous convictions in the face of contrary evidence) – hallucinations; disconnected speech.

2. Obsessions: absorption with a subject or idea to the exclusion of others – compulsions – uncontrollable urges.

3. Inability to cope: with minor problems – with daily routine.

4. Difficulty in making/keeping friends: poor social skills – isolation, withdrawal from society – “loner” life-style.

5. A pattern of failure across-the-board: at school – at work – in sports – in personal relationships.

6. Prolonged or severe depression: suicide threats/attempts.

7. Immaturity: infantile behavior (such as bed-wetting) – over dependence on the mother (excessive clinging as a child – continuing dependence in teens and twenties) – failure to keep pace with peer group.

8. A series of physical ailments which do not run a typical course and/or fail to respond to treatment.

9. Neglect of personal hygiene (disheveled and unsanitary surroundings) or exaggerated concern for order and for cleanliness.

10. Difficulty adjusting to new people and places.

11. Undue anxiety and worry: phobias – feelings of being persecuted.

12. Too much or too little sleep.

13. Excessive self-centeredness: indifference to other people’s feelings, doings, ideas -lack of sympathy with another’s pain or need.

14. Substantial rapid weight – gain or loss.

15. Muted, “flat” emotions (absence of angry/delighted/sorrowing reactions to stimuli) or inappropriate emotions (sharp, inexplicable mood swings – silliness at serious moments, unpredictable tears).

16. Negative self-image and outlook: “inferiority” complex – feelings of worthlessness.

17. Frequent random changes of plans: inability to stick with a job, a school program, a living arrangement – failure to keep appointments, abide by decisions.

18. Extreme aggressiveness (combativeness, hostility – violence, rage) or exaggerated docility (lack of normal competitiveness and self-assertion – refusal to confront, avoidance of argument).

19. Risk-taking.

20. Lack of zest and enthusiasm: listlessness, sadness, mood habitually “down” -limited or missing sense of humor.

HOW CAN A CHRISTIAN HAVE DEMONS ? (EXCERPTS)
How can a demon spirit indwell the same body at the same time as the Holy Spirit does ?

The New Testament word for “spirit” is pneuma. In contra-distinction from the natural or “soulish”, the spirit is that part of man which has the ability to grasp and perceive divine things (I Cor. 2:14).

The word for “soul” is “psyche”. This word defines the self life – the emotions, the intellect and the will. Paul shows us that man is a three-fold being (I Thes. 5:23).

The Scripture teaches that prior to salvation a man is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). JESUS comes into the human spirit and brings in His life (I John 5:11-12).

JESUS has made adequate provision for the whole man, but part of the responsibility now rests upon us as is shown in the following scripture: (Phil. 2:13-15).

The word for “salvation” in this passage is soteria. Thayer’s Lexicon gives as the primary meaning of this word “DELIVERANCE from the molestation of enemies”. The picture becomes clear. JESUS has DELIVERED our SPIRIT from the power of Satan; now He says to us, “Work out your own DELIVERANCE from the molestation of enemies until you have freed both SOUL AND BODY”.

RESULTS WHEN DEMONIZATION OF CHRISTIANS IS DENIED (EXCERPTS) False teachings are perpetuated by the erroneous and unscriptural position that Believers cannot have demons. The following is a partial list of the pitfalls associated with taking such a position; check yourself against these results:

1. The old sin nature becomes the “whipping boy” and the middle ground between God and the demons.

2. All problems are taught to be due to the “lack of surrender”.

3. People are left open to be snared into cults by angels of light.

4. All inherited characteristics are thought to be unchangeable.

5. Personality quirks and characteristics are thought to be unchangeable.

6. Makes us unable to break the bondage on another person’s will.

7. Mental health programs, which teach all problems are the result of heredity are supported.

8. Demons are given legal ground to stay when a person sits under teaching that denies a Christian can have a demon.

9. Demonic lies about oppression, possession, etc. are perpetuated.

10. Reinforces spiritual pride which keeps leaders from re-examining their teachings and retracting error.

11. Despair and hopelessness are fostered within the demonized.

12. Gives ground to accept, as law, all medical diagnosis and medication.

RESULTS WHEN PARENTS DO NOT PRACTICE DELIVERANCE ON THEIR CHILDREN

The greatest need in the church today is teaching the whole Bible without fear or favor of man and the practice of DELIVERANCE for every Christian. As you see the children, so you see the parents and the nation. Look at your children and see your mistakes in their lives.

The following statistics were taken from The Children’s Hour, U.S. News and World Report: “IN ONE DAY IN 1988 -2753 teenagers get pregnant, 1099 teenagers have abortions, 367 teens miscarry, 1287 teenagers give birth, 666 babies are born to women who have had inadequate prenatal care, 72 babies die before one month of life, 110 babies die before their first birthday, 9 children die from gunshot wounds, 5 teenagers commit suicide, 609 teenagers get gonorrhea or syphilis, 988 children are abused, 3288 children run away from home, 49322 children are in public juvenile correctional facilities, 2269 illegitimate children are born and 2989 kids see their parents divorced.”

WHO IS A BELIEVER ? (EXCERPTS)
Because so many promises are given to those who are Believers, it is important to know who the Bible classifies as a Believer.

In the Greek “believe” indicates one relying on JESUS Christ for salvation. In Acts 5:14 the word means unadulterated trust. In I Tim. 4:12, trueness, to entrust one’s spiritual faith assurance, well-being.

A check list for Believers: must bear fruit (John 15:2); signs shall follow (Mark 16:17-18); shall do works JESUS did (John 14:12); answered prayer (John 15:7); friend of JESUS (John 15:14) and witnessing (John 15:27).

WHAT ABOUT DEMONS IN CHRISTIANS ? (EXCERPTS)
“In the name of our Lord JESUS Christ, when you are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord JESUS Christ, to deliver such as one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord JESUS” (I Cor. 5:4-5). The apostle here deals with the case of a disobedient and sinful Believer in the church at Corinth.

In another case, Paul writes: “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck; of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have DELIVERED unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme” (I Tim. 1:19-20).

“In meekness, instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (II Tim.2:25-26).

When you go into the ministry of casting out demons, inevitably you are challenged by the question, “Is it possible for a born-again Believer to have a demon?” In charismatic circles the question is: “Is it possible for a Believer who is baptized in the Spirit to have a demon?”

“Absolutely not!” comes the stock answer. “The Holy Spirit cannot coexist in the same body with a demon!”

Actually, the answer to both questions above is definitely “yes”. Almost one-hundred percent of the DELIVERANCE ministry we have had has been among the born-again Believers, and most of them were Baptized-in-the-Spirit Christians also.

Several arguments are advanced to “prove” that under no circumstances can a born-again person have a demon. The most common statement is that a Christian cannot be “possessed”. This will be discussed later as a misnomer. The arguments in summary run something like this:

The Believer is inhabited by the Holy Spirit; therefore, the demons cannot coexist within the same body. The proof text usually used is I Cor. 2:12; however the verse does not say this.

JESUS came to destroy the works of the Devil (I John 3:8), and indeed He did. In the case of problems caused by demons, the remedy and method of doing this is cast out the demons in His name.

The struggle inside the Believer is always revealed to be the struggle between the flesh and the Spirit, and not a struggle involving demons (Rom. 6 and 7). Were that the case, the conscientious claiming of the promises of God would solve every human problem.

The Believer is DELIVERED from the power of Satan and his demons (Col. 1:12-13; Eph. 2:1-3). Yes, but like many other promises, not automatically , but only as we voluntarily meet God’s conditions for DELIVERANCE.

The Christian is provided with complete protection from the fiery darts of the enemy (Eph. 6). This overlooks the rather obvious fact that the armor is designed for defense from external, not internal enemies, and also that even so the Believer’s armor is not always in place.

In spite of these arguments, the dismaying fact remains that born-again Christians, including leaders, are having difficulties and problems which can find no solution in natural infirmities or the endless conflict between the flesh and the Spirit.

It is no secret that many have become discouraged and filled with awful despair.

In his tract, Demon Activity and the Christian, Ernest B. Rockstad rightly concludes that: “Experience, of course is not the basis for the interpretation of the Bible. Nevertheless, if consistent experiences run counter to an interpretation, the dedicated seeker after truth will set out to find the reason. He must be willing to re-study his interpretation under the direction of the Holy Spirit…and be prepared to make any necessary corrections in his own belief so as to be in full agreement with the facts as they are.” He further points out that understanding the Biblical doctrine of human depravity should cause one to wonder that the Holy Spirit would enter a person under any circumstances.

You cannot argue anyone into believing that the old fundamental stand against Christians having demons is fallacious.

There is an excellent presentation of the whole question in Don Basham’s book, Can A Christian Have A Demon? Non-charismatic writers like Frances Manuel, Merrill Unger, Mark Bubeck, and Robert Peterson also teach that a Christian can have a demon.

In his very balanced and scholarly treatise, Demons In The World Today, Dr. Unger writes, “In demon influence, evil spirits exert power over a person short of actual possession. Such influence may vary from mild harassment to extreme subjection when body and mind become dominated and held in slavery by spirit agents.

Christians, as well as non-Christians, can be so influenced. They may be oppressed, vexed, depressed, hindered and bound by demons.”

Dr. Unger is frank to say that he had written in 1952, “To demon possession, only unbelievers are exposed.” Twenty years later, he writes: “This statement was inferred, since Scripture does not clearly settle the question. It was based on the assumption that an evil spirit could not indwell the redeemed body together with the Holy Spirit”.

Hobart Freeman points out that “as a result of erroneous teachings and beliefs, which are based neither upon Scripture or experience, Satan has deluded many concerning the question, can a Christian be oppressed by Satan or possess evil spirits? Can one who has never participated actively in any form of occultism be subjected or oppressed?” The answer to both questions is yes, supported both from the Scriptures and experience.

Derek Prince in his helpful pamphlet, Expelling Demons, explains facts linguistically which should help unsnarl the semantic tangle. “The New Testament Greek word for demon is daimonion…in the King James Version…often translated ‘devil’. Associated in the New Testament with the noun daimonion is the passive verb daimonizomai. The literal meaning of this verb is ‘to be demoned’, that is, in some way under the influence or power of demons. In the King James Version this verb is usually translated by some phrase such as ‘to be possessed’ or ‘to be vexed’ by demons or by evil spirits. However, there is no distinction in the original Greek text to support these (translated) distinctions”.

Believers were definitely subjected to demonic attack in the Scriptures. The physical afflictions and other disasters of Job are shown to be Satan’s work in Job 1 and 2. In the synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit (Mark 1:23). A woman called “a daughter of Abraham” (father of the faithful) was bound with a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years (Luke 13:11-16).

There is no reason to conclude arbitrarily in the two latter cases that the persons involved were not Believers. In II Tim. 2:23-26, where Paul discusses contention and disputing over doctrine, Believers are indicated who have evidently slipped and need to “recover themselves from the snare of the devil, who are taken captive of him at his will”.

A member of the church in Corinth seems to have been overcome by a spirit of lust (I Cor. 5:1-5). JESUS rebuked a spirit of fever in Peter’s mother-in-law (Luke 4:38-39) and he left her, and she was well. In Mark 3:33 and Mark 9:25, JESUS uses this same term to rebuke Satan. Sickness is described as an oppression of the Devil in Acts 10:38 and JESUS often healed by removing spirits of infirmity, which are simply another method of Satanic attack (Luke 4:40-41).

Consider Peter, who one moment spoke by Divine revelation, declaring that JESUS was the very Christ, and in the next moment was reprimanded by JESUS, who rebuked Satan in him, saying “thou savorest not the things that be of God” (Matt. 16:13-23). Simon the magician is presented as one who believed and was baptized, but had evidently not been DELIVERED from his occult bondage and was commanded to repent and pray (Acts 8:20-24). How did Satan manage to “fill the heart” of the Believers Ananias and Sapphira? (Acts 5:3). Paul himself reports he suffered buffeting from a “messenger of Satan” (II Cor. 12:7).

Dr. V. Raymond Edman, the late president of Wheaton College, wrote the following in answer to a question as to whether or not a Christian could have a demon: “…The unguarded Christian may have demon possession in the soul, which would affect mental processes and emotions; or in the body, as was the case of the woman who had a ‘spirit of infirmity eighteen years and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself’ (Luke 13:11). Of her, the Savior said when He healed her, ‘Ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?’ To say that a Christian cannot be demonized in any area of his life is a happy but inaccurate generalization”.

Paul reproves the Corinthian Christians for receiving another spirit than the Spirit they had previously received (II Cor. 11:4)

Paul inquired, in Gal. 3:1, about who had bewitched the Believers to draw them away from the truth.

Robert Peterson makes an interesting comment: “It appears that the full force of deceiving spirits is directed against the spiritual Believer in doctrinal rather than worldly matters, although the latter may be used after the Believer has been ensnared by the most subtle means. In I Tim. 4:1-2 the Apostle Paul gives a full account of how wicked spirits attack the spiritual Believer and by deception beguile him away from the faith through the use of false prophets”.

Don Basham sums up the matter when he writes that there is an “almost universal sense of fear and loathing toward the whole subject of Satan and the evil spirits. Many Believers have adopted the fallacious idea that if they ignore Satan, he will ignore them. Scripturally, such a position is indefensible” (I Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7; II Cor. 2:11).

When the power of God begins to move in a person’s life, he quite naturally becomes an object for the devil’s most crippling attacks.

The unreasoning fear of demons is fostered and promoted by Satan and his hosts directly.

Basham concludes that a Christian can be tormented or afflicted by evil spirits in some area of his life and still be a sincere Christian; just as he can be tormented by physical sickness and still be a sincere Christian.

It is always a blessing to see truths, not mere speculations, in print concerning spiritual warfare.

I shudder when I hear someone remark skeptically, “Well, I just can’t believe that. I’d have to see it first.” They seek to shield themselves by mere ignorance!

For myself, I had no real problem believing in a personal Devil and in the fact that demons can infest both lost and saved as they have opportunity.

To me it was as foolish as telling Peter he could not walk on the water when he was already doing it.

When a person is born again by confessing his sin and asking the Lord JESUS Christ to come into his heart and save him (Rom. 3:23-24; 6:23; Rev. 3:20), he is received by the Father and salvation comes instantaneously in the experience of the new birth. Love, joy, and peace are the initial, logical by-products.

The Holy Spirit comes to indwell and seal the Believer as God’s earnest of redemption (Eph. 1:13-14) and His abiding presence is guaranteed until the Believer is redeemed (in point of time) completely by being taken to be with the Lord, whether it be through the door of death, or through the door in the sky (I Thes. 4:16-17).

The Holy Spirit therefore inhabits the body of the Believer in a peculiar and special way in these days since Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the assembled Believers. The child of God (John 1:12) is accepted in the Beloved, JESUS (Eph. 1:6) and blessed with the assurance of God’s presence and blessing. (John 10:28-30).

In spite of these wonderful changes, however, a week will scarcely pass in a babe’s life (assuming he follows the Lord in Bible study and prayer), that he will not be convicted of some sin of omission or commission (James 4:17), which must be confessed (I John 1:9) and put away (Prov. 28:13). This will continue indefinitely as long as the Believer is growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord JESUS Christ.

Many of these sins of omission and commission were present at the time of conversion and some will lie unnoticed by the Believer for months, until the Lord deals with them. The Holy Spirit is able to coexist with these unconfessed sins. Why then is it so difficult to accept the fact that the Holy Spirit is able to also coexist with indwelling demons until they are detected, hated, renounced and expelled in the Name of Our Lord JESUS Christ?

PRAYER
I forgive the false teachers that say a Christian can not have a demon within their flesh or soul. God please forgive the false teachers and show them the truth. Please forgive me for believing the false teachers. I forgive myself for the damage done to me and my family by practicing false teachings. I now break any curses of false doctrine on me and my descendants. I ask these things in the blessed name of JESUS Christ, my Lord, Master and Savior.

REFERENCES

 
“How Can a Christian Have Demons?”, pp. 136-138, Pigs In The Parlor.

“What About Demons in Christians?”, pp. 109-117, Battling The Hosts Of Hell.

“Who is a Believer?”, pp. 59-60, Annihilating The Hosts Of Hell.

“Results When Demonization of Christian is Denied”, p. 9, Annihilating The Hosts of Hell.

“Warning Signals”, pp. 367-369, Breaking Points.

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ROOTS VS. FRUITS - DISCERNING THE DEVIL
UNDERSTANDING BASIC DELIVERANCE
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