A Christian – Possessed?

This is the first post in my series “Deliverance Foundations”

This is for my friend Archie, who essentially asked whether a Christian can have a demon.  I was going to answer him in a comment reply, but I realized it would be more effective as a blog post for two reasons:  (1) I’d probably start to type and realize that it was much longer than a normal comment reply, and would be better suited as a post; and (2) this way, others asking this question can be led here and have an answer.

I will say here also that although I am speaking through experience plus my understanding of Scripture, I respect others and their viewpoints.  If you, after reading, still believe that Christians can’t have demons, I won’t have a hissy fit.  It isn’t one of the ‘tenets’ of the faith, like Jesus being raised from the dead – so we can safely agree to disagree.  That being said, this one’s for you, Archie….

(BTW – this is a long post! Be warned!)

Can A Christian Be Possessed?

“Possession.”  A hard word – especially in light of the subject matter – demon possession.  But what do dictionaries say?  The word ‘possession’ has several meanings:

  •  The act or fact of possessing.
  • Ownership
  • The state of being dominated by or as if by evil spirits or by an obsession.
  • Anything owned or possessed.
  • Being controlled by passion or the supernatural.
  • In law,  actual holding or occupancy, either with or without rights of ownership.
  • Domination, actuation, or obsession by a feeling, idea, etc

I believe that the issue when it comes to ‘demon possession’ is confusion over which definition of the word appies.  Most people who say that Christians cannot be possessed take ‘possession’ to mean ‘ownership’.  They say, in essence, that as a child of God no Christian can be owned by the devil.  And they’re right.  God says in his word:

John 10:27-29 (King James Version)

 27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

 28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

 29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Nothing we do can separate us from the Father’s love … it isn’t directly related, but it has a reference to demons so….

Romans 8:38-39 (King James Version)

 38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And,  one more Scripture – Isaiah 43:1, where ownership is solely claimed by God himself:

But now, this is what the LORD says— 
       he who created you, O Jacob, 
       he who formed you, O Israel: 
       “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; 
       I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

No, ‘possession’ in the subject of this article speaks to one of the other definitions of ‘possession’, namely “Being controlled…” or “domination, actuation, or obsession …”

What the Bible shows is not that the person is ‘owned’ by demons, but is controlled, wholy or in part, by the demonic.

The Triune Nature of Man

Most believers would say that we are made up of three parts: body, soul and spirit.  Some point to Gen.  2:7 where all three elements are made reference to:

Genesis 2:7 (King James Version)

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

There is also this Scripture:

1 Thessalonians 5:23
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spiritsoul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Some people have said that man is a spirit that has a soul and lives in a body.

 

The three parts of man

The three parts of man

When you are not yet saved, your spirit is dead in its sins:

Colossians 2:13 (King James Version)

 13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

And again

1 Peter 4:6 (King James Version)

For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

When you are a Christian, your spirit is resurrected, made alive (or ‘quickened’ (KJV) in Christ.

Ephesians 2:1
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Ephesians 2:5
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

“But a Christian cannot have a demon!”

This is the ‘internal makeup’ of a Christian:

 

Born Again Man

Born Again Man

 The spirit is renewed and resurrected! This makes you a ‘new creation in Christ’.  But –

Normally, if you had a broken foot before salvation, chances are you still have it afterwards right? (I am not discounting supernatural healings in this article. I am only saying what is generally accepted.)  If you had an issue with anger, chances are you still have that anger problem, and will have to work with the Spirit of God to get over it.

The fact is, evil spirits live mostly in the soul realm (emotions etc) and sometimes  manifest through the body.  This can happen even when the spirit has been renewed!  

These issues in our lives are called ‘strongholds’… a well defended area that holds up against attack.  

Strongholds weaken man

Strongholds weaken man

So although the Holy Spirit lives in your spirit, in the other areas of your life there are areas where Christ does not yet have full control. This is where the enemy has access.  Satan gains access through our soul – our emotions, mind, memory and will.

I think about it this way. 

Think about an appartment building.  Each tenant has access to their own room, and each has their own key.  “Good” people can live in one part, and “evil” people can live in another part – but it is still the same building.  Even if the ownership of the appartment building changes hands, just because the new owner gets the title deed does not automatically eject the ‘evil’ people from the apartment.  If I am the new owner, I may still need to work at physically removing unwanted people from my building.  It is a crude analogy, but I believe it makes my point.  

God is sovereign, yes.  But because of our free will, he cannot automatically evict the tenants living in the apartment building of our body because they have had legal access to their rooms (because they have a key.)  The keys in this analogy would be our sinful actions such as unforgiveness, idolatry, unconfessed sins, pride, sexual sins…. and such the like.

What God has to do is, through the power of the Holy Spirit, removes the legal right for the demonic to have access, which forces them to leave when commanded out by a child of God. In essence, the owner of the house gets the help of a lawyer who effectively writes up and enforces an eviction notice on the former tenants, which breaks their legal right to be there.  Then, they can legally be evicted by the police force 😆  (Wow, love that analogy! Have to encorporate it into my formal teaching!)

I will end this article here and take it up in the next post.  I will eventually explain how deliverance works in my experience and what happens when we stand against Satan in the name of Jesus Christ! In my next article, we will deal with strongholds and Satan’s legalism.

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25 Responses

  1. […] A Christian – Possessed? […]

  2. yes i agree i live in frankfurt germany and i am a child of god born again…and we pray like that …math 18,18 losen and bind…threw the word of god threw jesus name we can evect the demones from the emotions….you are right brother…and it is a fight here but with vectory…..

    • Welcome William! As you say, in the name of Jesus the demons are evicted from our emotions….. It is a fight, but with victory!!!!!!!!!!! AMEN!

      Keep coming to the Hand of God! More testimonies to come!

  3. gonna wish i did come to your blog LOL here is another question reference to this post—-can the “demonic/strongholds” come after being saved or is it something that most of the time occurs before they became saved—that most of the strongholds were there before they became christians per se—am i correct as what you said, or am i missing something????

  4. They can come after salvation as well – whenever you open a door, giving them legal right to enter and take up residence. Anything from unforgiveness to ungodly soul ties – any time you give Satan a foothold, he will try to create a stronghold, which is an area of control that he can defend and try to expand…

  5. 0kay–reread this-my teaching had the soul part named mind and putting the soul/spirit together–understand as much as i can now the different-and have another question–can “demons” ever get into the spirit part–or do they maintain in the soul–you mentioned somewhere that they are there in the soul.

  6. Amazing post bajanpoet.

    I have a little bit harder time following it simply because I am blessed beyond imagination and have never had to deal with anything close to possession. I would call myself lucky. “luck is the result of tons of hard work 🙂 ”

    What I find interesting is how you define it, lay it out and explain. Probably one of the better explanations I have come across.

    I do think people can be possessed and have “demons” even though they are Christian and also “saved”. I think this simply happens when said Christians overuse their free will, become lax and allow it to happen through actions.

    Happy New Year!!

  7. […] A Christian – Possessed? […]

  8. I had a demon cast out of me in 2004. It was horrible. I did it because I knew the people at church wouldn’t like me if I said no. There was never a distinction made between possession and stronghold. I like your teaching because it is academic and not judgemental, and I agree with you that yes, there can be a stronghold even in someone who is saved. Great post…

  9. I was looking a long time for a passage that could show that a Spirit filled Christian could have a demon lodging in them. Then I found this:
    2 Corinthians 11:4 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

    • Thanks so much for that verse! It was so poignant!

  10. […] A Christian – Possessed? […]

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