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Demons and Demon Possession

I. Introduction:

A. Devil and demons are different:

1. There is only one Devil, Gr: diabolos , "an accuser, slanderer"

2. There are many demons, Gr: daimonion "a knowing one"

3. The Devil and his angels: Mt 25:41

B. "Possessed" Gr: daimonizomai "To be under the power of a demon."

1. Sometimes possessed with multiple demons: Mt 12:43-45; Lk 11:24-26

a) "Many, Legion" (Legion=6000 men, 2000 swine were drowned) Mk 5:9; Lk 8:27

b) Mary had "7 demons cast out of her": Mk 16:9; Lk 8:2

2. Demons could possess animals, swine: Mk 5:13

3. Demons differed in their power from one another, "this kind" Mk 9:29 and evil: Mt 12:45

C. Terms used to describe demons: demon, spirit, unclean spirit, evil spirit, unclean demon

1. Demons=spirits: Lk 10:17+20; evil spirit: Acts 19:13

2. Possessed by spirit of unclean demon Lk 4:33 = a man with unclean spirit Mk 1:23

3. Cast out demons by ruler of demons (Satan): Mk 3:22

4. Demons = Satan = unclean spirit Mk 3:22-23,30; Lk 11:24

5. Unclean spirit = unclean spirits=demon-possessed Mk 5:2+13+15

6. Unclean spirit = demon: Mk 7:25+30; Lk 9:42; Mt 12:43-45

7. Not every spirit is from God: 1 Jn 4:1-4

D. Existence of demons appeared to be generally accepted by the Jews: Lk 4:36

E. Demons will be cast into hell: Jn 16:11; Mt 25:41; 2 Pe 2:4; Jude 6; Rev 12:7-9

F. The Devil need not possess us, but merely cause us to die with unrepented sin or give up!

G. That all demons were cast out in the apostolic age is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Zech 13:1-2.

H. While some teach that demons were exclusive to the first century, demons in fact were active from Moses to Christ: Deut 32:17; Lev 17:7; Ps 106:37

II. Different Views Of The Origin Of Demons: (Bible Is Silent)

A. Intelligent powerful spirit beings:

1. Having reviewed the historical and Biblical data, I believe that demons are most likely angels who sinned: Rev 12:7-9; 2 Pe 2:4; Jude 6

2. Justin Martyr took the view that demons were the offspring of angels + men: Gen 6:2-4

3. The Pagans and Greeks believed demons were the spirits of dead human heros: Yet, Heb 9:27 says a man dies once and then comes judgement. Further, Luke 16:31 clearly shows that righteous Lazarus not able to come back to earth.

4. Josephus (circa 70AD) and Alexander Campbell (circa 1830) believed that demons were the wicked spirits of dead men. Yet Luke 16:31 clearly shows that the rich man was being tormented and not able to come back to earth. Further, Eccl 9:5 and Job 14, teaches that the dead exist in a conscious realm separated from the current events on the earth.

5. The Jews of Jesus day, generally viewed demons as powerful personal spirit creatures that were enemies who afflicted men with various illness

6. The Gentiles viewed demons as both good and bad, to be feared and worshipped:

a) In Athens for example, they considered themselves "demon-worshipful" of idols.

b) Acts 17:16-23; v18 deity = lit demons; v22 religious = lit. demon-worshipful

III. The Theory of Demon Possession Analyzed (four basic positions)

This section by Gregory E. Sterling

A. The Mythical Theory:

1. David Friedrich Strauss has been credited with advancing this theory. Demons are held to be symbolic of the presence of evil. The casting out of these mythical characters by Jesus represents His conquest over evil by His doctrine and life.

2. This theory stands or falls with the mythological school of interpretation. To consider claimed historic events as myths is to accuse the penmen of lying. To accuse the evangelists of fabrication is to arraign the Almighty and His' Spirit of deception! Such inevitable consequences I am not willing to accept and must therefore discard the theory.

B. The Accommodation Theory: (Christadelphian view)

1. The advocates of this theory contend that Jesus and His apostles spoke only in accommodation to the popular ignorance and superstition of their time. It is argued that those possessed suffered only from natural diseases.

2. The proof offered for this position is well stated by Gould:

a. The reality of demonaical possession is a matter of doubt. The serious argument against it is, that the phenomena are mostly natural, not supernatural. It was the unscientific habit of the ancient mind to account for abnormal and uncanny things, such as lunacy and epilepsy, supernaturally. And in such cases, outside of the Bible, we accept the facts, but ascribe them to natural causes. Another serious difficulty is that lunacy and epilepsy are common in the East, as elsewhere, and yet, unless these are cases, we do not find Jesus healing these disorders as such, but only cases of demonical possession in which these were symptoms. The dilemma is very curious. Outside the N.T., no demoniacal possession, but only lunacy and epilepsy, in the N. T., no cases of lunacy and epilepsy proper, but only demoniacal possession. (24 p. 23)

3. In response to these assertions we may contend six points. First, "the serious argument" against it is simply supernatural bias. Prejudice proves nothing. Second, demoniacs are distinguished from those afflicted with sickness.

4. Besides this, the phenomena themselves are such as no hypothesis of the kind avails to explain. For that madness was not the constituent element in the demoniac state is clear, since not only are we without the slightest ground for supposing that the Jews would have considered all maniacs, epileptic or melancholic persons, to be under the power of evil spirits,- but we have distinct evidence that the same malady they did in some cases attribute to an evil spirit, and in others not, thus show-ing that the malady and possession were not identical in their eyes, and that the assumption of the latter was not a mere popular explanation for the presence of the former. Thus, on one occasion they bring to the Lord one dumb (Matt. IX 32), on another one dumb and blind (XII 22), and in both instances the dumbness is traced up to an evil spirit. Yet it is plain that they did not consider all dumbness as having this root,- for in the history given by St. Mark (VII 32) of another deaf and dumb, the subject of Christ's healing power, it is the evident intention of the Evangelist to describe one labouring only under a natural defect,- with no least desire to trace the source of his malady to any demoniacal influence. Whatever may have been the symptoms which enabled those about the sufferers to make these distinctions, the fact itself of their so discriminating between cases of the very same malady, proves decisively that there were not certain diseases which, without more ado, they traced up directly to Satan,- but that they did designate by this name of possession, a condition which, while it was very often a condition of disease, was also always a condition of much more than disease. (46* - pp. 93-94)

5. Third, the basic premise of this theory is fallacious. The Lord not only addressed the masses, but also His disciples concerning demons, Mt. 17:19-21. Fourth, demons could be exorcised, Mt. 17:21. Fifth, this theory fails to account for the demons' entrance into the herd of swine, Mk. 5:10-14. Sixth, could Jesus have sanctioned and the evangelists record an idea totally erroneous? Not if one believes Jesus was the Son of God!

C. The Hallucination Theory:

1. The major thought under girding this theory presents the individual psychologically deluding himself into the belief that he is possessed by a demon. Thus, even the exorcism seems to him a real event.

2. Unger cites two proofs completely shattering this hypothesis.

a. The theory fails to explain how a person, so bereft of reason, can in the same instant, manifest a knowledge of Jesus' deity and sonship (Mk. 5:7) far in advance of the most pious and enlightened people of the whole nation. Nor does it explain the violent effect of the entrance of the demons into the swine (Mk. 5.- 13), which alone is enough to demonstrate the absurdity of supposing the possession to be only an imaginary one. (48* - p. 92)

D. The Literal Theory:

1. The clarity of the historical narrative allows for only one possibility.

2. There were actual beings called demons who possessed people and were cast out by our Lord and His disciples.

3. Any other basis impugns the Creator and must therefore be rejected.

Irrefutable proof text: Mark 5:1-20 + Mt 8:28
Demons are persons not diseases!



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CN Tower verses that proves demons are more than a flu virus!
(tallest free standing building in the world: Toronto, Canada)

Mark 5:1-20 "And they came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately a man [two men who were demon-possessed Mt 8:28] from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him, 3 and he had his dwelling among the tombs. And no one was able to bind him anymore, even with a chain; 4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 And constantly night and day, among the tombs and in the mountains, he was crying out and gashing himself with stones. 6 And seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him; 7 and crying out with a loud voice, he *said, "What do I have to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!" [Have You come here to torment us before the time? Mt 8:29] 8 For He had been saying to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" 9 And He was asking him, "What is your name?" And he *said to Him, "My name is Legion; for we are many." 10 And he began to entreat Him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now there was a big herd of swine feeding there on the mountain. 12 And the demons entreated Him, saying, [And the demons began to entreat Him, saying, Mt 8:31] "Send us into the swine so that we may enter them." 13 And He gave them permission. And coming out, the unclean spirits entered the swine; [And they came out, and went into the swine Mt 8:32] and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, about two thousand of them; and they were drowned in the sea. 14 And their herdsmen ran away and reported it in the city and out in the country. And the people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 And they *came to Jesus and *observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the "legion"; and they became frightened. 16 And those who had seen it described to them how it had happened to the demon-possessed man, and all about the swine. 17 And they began to entreat Him to depart from their region. 18 And as He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was entreating Him that he might accompany Him. 19 And He did not let him, but He *said to him, "Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you." 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone marveled."

  1. Disease is not called an unclean spirit.
  2. Disease does not impart supernatural power to break all chains.
  3. Disease cannot talk.
  4. If this is a case of multiple personality disorder (MPD), where does the revelational knowledge of a coming judgement day originate and why does the person EXPECT judgement?
  5. Further if it was MPD it would say DEMON not DEMONS. MPD is a single disease, the plural either proves the man had a second unnamed disease or that different persons are involved. We believe the latter is the case.
  6. MPD cannot explain why all demons characteristically screamed out. Acts 8:7 "For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice". MPD also cannot explain why all with MPD had the same second personality (playing the person of the demon).
  7. Disease does not transfer to 2000 pigs.
  8. Why would Jesus reinforce a pagan concept that demons are spirit persons by casing into swine? All concluded, EVEN MARK WHO NARRATED IT UNDER INSPIRATION, that spirit persons were cast into the swine with no indication otherwise.



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Demons are persons not diseases!

Acts 16:16-19

CN Tower verses that proves demons are more than a flu virus!
(tallest free standing building in the world: Toronto, Canada)

"And it happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a certain slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortunetelling. 17 Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, "These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation." 18 And she continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!" And it came out at that very moment. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities."

This succinct little text is also irrefutable:

  1. The text interchanges, "spirit of deviation" with "the spirit".
  2. This spirit gave her the ability to predict future events which disease cannot account for.
  3. The Christadelphian view that demons are mere diseases simply cannot account for this except by saying she was a fake like Simon the sorcerer. But if she was a fake, then she did not have a disease, but was engaging in conscious sinful activity. This would mean that the demon cast out caused her to stop sinning and consciously engaging in fakery, trickery and deception. This is like Jesus casting out a demon from the woman caught in adultery, where the cure was her ceasing her adulteress activity.
  4. But most important, if she was a fake, Paul's casting out the demon would not account for her INABILITY to continue being a fake. Remember, her masters saw their hope for profit was gone after Paul cast out the demon. Being a would fake imply, she was acting like the typical modern TV psychics who charge you $25 per call to tell your future. These people are not sick with a disease, they are engaged in sinful deception. So we ask, exactly what disease could Paul have cast out of this woman to make her lose the ability to continue to "charge $35 per call"?
  5. Multiple personality disorder (MPD), cannot be used to explain this demon of divination.
  6. The ultimate dilemma: If she had a disease that Paul cast out, what was this disease and how could it make her foretell the future? If she did not have a disease, then Paul's casting out of the demon amounted to "forced righteousness" where her sinful activity was removed.




III. Demons are more than a mere "personification of evil and/or physical illnesses".

1. Christadelphians take the view that all demons are merely physical diseases. Today, so they tell us, we could cast out demons by giving someone an aspirin or a flu vaccination. It is a superstitious outlook to medical problems. Jesus spoke of demons only to accommodate the popular ignorance and superstitions of the time.

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Christadelphians won a S.T.I.N.C.S. trophy for calling Jesus a false teacher!

2. Christadelphians also charge Jesus as promoting what they believe to be pagan false doctrine regarding the personality of the devil and demons. Christadelphians reject that the Holy Spirit, the devil and demons are actual personal beings. Rather, they themselves promote the false teaching that the Holy Spirit is the personification of God's power, that the devil is the personification of sin and that demons are the personification of disease. Christadelphians believe that Jesus would side with them in this matter. So Christadelphians say the following about demons: "Daimonion is the word used to describe certain diseases attributed by superstition to the malignant influence of so-called spirits of dead heroes inhabiting a person. The Bible accommodates the language of the times, without endorsing this pagan teaching. "Casting out devils" merely signifies curing a disease." (The truth about Lucifer, G. E. Nabsfield, p 16, vol 41 number 6) We find this view as outrageous as it is wrong. Christadelphians are accusing Jesus and the apostles of perpetuating a pagan false doctrine. If ever there was proof their theology was WAY OFF the mark, this is a major sign post. Jesus came to dispel falsehoods, not promote and perpetuation them. Christadelphians also argue that Jesus used pagan false doctrine in the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. This view won the coveted S.T.I.N.C.S. Trophy award.

3. Sometimes demons were clearly the cause of physical illnesses: Lk 13:11; Mk 9:17,25; Lk 11:14

4. Only an intelligent powerful spirit being could do any of the following, illnesses could not:

a) Recognize Jesus as God's son & Mt 8:29; Mk 1:23-24; 3:11; 5:7; Lk 4:41; 8:28; Acts 19:15

b) Recognize Paul as God's servant : Acts 16:17

c) Demons are unclean spirits that can reason: Mt 12:43-45

d) Knew of coming judgment against them: Mt 8:29; Mk 1:24; 5:7; Lk 4:34; 8:28,31

e) "demons believe God and tremble" Jas 2:19 (gr: "tremble" lit: to bristle up hair)

f) If merely an illness, how do we account for the reaction of the heard of swine?: Mk 5:13

g) How could an illness exert supernatural power to break chains & shackles: Mk 5:4

5. Illnesses and possession clearly differentiated:

a) Mt 4:24 "ill with various diseases & pains, demoniac, epileptics (lit: lunatics), paralytics"

b) Mt 10:8 "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons"

c) Mt 8:16 "they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill"

d) Mk 1:32-34 "all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed"

e) Mt 10:1 And having summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

f) Acts 8:7 For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed.

g) Acts 19:11 And God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out.



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Class Exercise:
Are Demons persons or a flu virus?

Did Jesus, the apostles and writers of the Bible universally perpetuate a pagan false doctrine? Are Demons, Devil, Rich man and Lazarus, Holy Spirit all accommodative language?

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Curvature of spine, sclerosis: Lk 13:11

Explanation: Demon caused disease.

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Dumbness & deafness: Mk 9:17,25

Explanation: Demon caused disease.

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Blindness & Dumbness: Mt 12:22

Explanation: Demon caused disease.

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The word demon means "knowing one"

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Demons are called spirits Mk 5:2+13+15

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Demons distinguished from diseases Mt 10:8

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Devil is the ruler of the demons? "personification of sin is the ruler of the personification of illnesses?"

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Recognize Jesus as God's son Mk 1:23-24

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Recognize Paul as God's servant : Acts 16:17

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Demons can reason: Mt 12:43-45

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Knew of coming judgment against them Mt 8:29

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demons believe God and tremble Jas 2:19

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reaction of the heard of swine? Mk 5:13

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break chains & shackles: Mk 5:4

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supernatural ability to predict the future: Acts 16:18

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demons are source of false doctrines? 1 Ti 4:1-2

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Demons are called evil? Mt 12:45

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"Legion" in Gerasene: Mt 8:28-34; Mk 5:1-20; Lk 8:26-37

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Lunatic (possibly epileptic): Mt 17:14-21; Mk 9:17-29; Lk 9:37-42

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Daughter of Syro-Phoencian woman: Mt 15:22-28; Mk 7:24-30

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Synagogue demoniac: Mk 1:23; Lk 4:33-36

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Philippian slave girl: Acts 16:16-19

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IV. Catalogue Of Demon Possession In The Bible

A. Saul had an "evil spirit from God" & prophesied: 1 Sam 16:14-16,23; 18:10; 19:9

B. "Legion" in Gerasene: Mt 8:28-34; Mk 5:1-20; Lk 8:26-37

C. Lunatic (possibly epileptic): Mt 17:14-21; Mk 9:17-29; Lk 9:37-42

1. Lunatic: Gr: literally "to be moon struck"

2. Ancients believed in a connection between moon phases, various mental/physical disorders and demon activity. (demons becoming active during certain phases of the moon.)

D. Dumb demoniac: Mt 9:32-34

E. Blind & dumb demoniac: Mt 12:22; Lk 11:14

F. Daughter of Syro-Phoencian woman: Mt 15:22-28; Mk 7:24-30

G. Synagogue demoniac: Mk 1:23; Lk 4:33-36

H. Phillipian slave girl: Acts 16:16-19

I. General statements of Jesus' work: Mk 3:11; Lk 6:18

V. How Demons Effect Men

A. Physical illnesses:

1. Curvature of spine, sclerosis: Lk 13:11

2. Dumbness & deafness: Mk 9:17,25; Lk 11:14

3. Blindness & Dumbness: Mt 12:22

B. Mk 5:1-20 Living in cemetery & mountains, naked, able to break shackles and chains, constantly crying out and cutting self with stones.

C. Mt 17:14-18; Mk 9:17-18 a lunatic, very ill, often falls into fire & water, a spirit seized, suddenly screams, throws into convulsions, foaming mouth, grinds teeth, mauls him, stiffens out.

D. Jesus accused of having a demon because:

1. of perceived paranoia others were going to kill him: Jn 7:20

2. of making perceived irrational statements: Jn 8:48-52; 10:19-20

3. "He has lost his senses" his family charged: Mk 3:21 (Note: they may not have blamed it on a demon)

4. he cast out other demons: (probably a vicious rumor created out of jealously): Mt 12:22-25

E. John for not eating or drinking: Lk 7:33

F. Apparent supernatural ability to predict the future through fortune-telling: Acts 16:18

G. Able to perform false signs: Rev 16:14

H. Preaching of false doctrine & different gospel" Gal 1:8; 1 Ti 4:1-2; 2 Thess 2:8-12

VI. Casting Out Demons

A. Jesus ministry of casting out of demons:

1. David could be looked at as one who cast out demons from Saul: 1 Sam 16:13-23

2. Jesus, son of David also cast out demons as one of the functions of the messiah

3. Prophecy that "unclean spirits" will be cast out in messianic time "in that day": Zech 13:2

a) "in that day a fountain will be opened for sin and impurity" (blood of Jesus)

b) "If I cast out demons by God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you" Lk 11:20

4. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil: 1 Jn 3:8

a) Jesus bound Satan and plundered his house by exorcising demons: Mt 12:29

b) The 70 cast demons out and Jesus said, "I beheld Satan fall like lightening" Lk 10:18

c) This casting out by the 70 brought Jesus great joy so that he praised God: V19

d) Jn 12:31 "Now judgment is upon this world and the ruler of this world will be cast out"

e) Jn 19:28 Jesus accomplished all things he was sent to earth to do.

B. Parable of repossessed man: Mt 12:43-45

C. Who else cast out demons in addition to Jesus:

1. The twelve: Mk 6:33; Lk 9:1

2. The seventy: Lk 10:17-20

3. An unknown follower: Mk 9:38; Lk 9:49

4. Paul: Acts 16:16-18

D. Things said & done to cast demons out:

1. "come out of the man you unclean spirit" Mk 5:8 "be gone" Mt 8:32

2. "You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again" Rebuke, fasting & prayer Mk 9:25,29

3. "be it done for you as you wish": Mt 15:28

4. "be quiet and come out of him" Mk 1:23

5. "I command you in the name of Jesus to come out of her!" Acts 16:18

6. "casting out demons in your name" Lk 9:49

7. "Demons subject in your name" Lk 10:17

E. False casting out of demons

1. False teachers falsely think they cast out demons: Mt 7:22

2. Seven sons of Sceva: Acts 19:13-16

VII. Demon Possession Not To Be Feared Today

A. Satan & demons were bound by Christ: Ps 72:9, Mt 12:29, Isa 53:10 = Lk 10:17

1. "He disarmed the rulers and authorities, made a public display, having triumphed" Col 2:15

2. "when He ascended, He led captive a host of captives" Eph 4:8

3. "Satan bound for 1000 years" Rev 20:1-6

4. Satan is a lion (1 Pe 5:8) chained to a pole. Powerless unless we choose to enter his "circle"

B. 1 Cor 10:13

1. "no temptation has overtaken you but such is common to man"

2. "God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but will provide an escape"

C. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" Jas 4:7

D. Demon possession was listed as one of the signs that the apostles would do to confirm the writing of the New Testament: Mark 16:16-18. Spiritual gifts ceased with the completion of the Bible: 1 Cor 13:8-10 <100AD

E. Since God has not provided us with any further instruction about how to cast out demons other than fasting, prayer and saying, "be gone", nothing beyond this would be needed today if the phenomenon still existed! The movie, "The exorcist" is pure fiction with no basis in the Bible.

VIII. Some religious people site invalid modern examples of demon possession:

A. Modern examples of "demon possession" has the demon swearing, cursing and speaking vulgarities, (as in the Exorcist movie and the prison example below.) yet Bible demons spoke truth, in dignity, without verbal obscenities. ("I know who you are, the Holy one of God".) Mk 1:24; 3:11; 5:7

B. Pentecostals teach that Christians can become demon possessed, yet such never happened in the Bible. This most strange of false doctrines implies that demons are more powerful than Christ indwelling the Christian (Eph 3:7).

C. Christadelphians site the science documentary movie, "The three faces of Eve" as proof that demon possession is merely "multiple personality disorder". This true story in the 1950's claims to meticulously follow actual psychiatric counseling sessions of Eve White, who also thinks she is Even Black and a third person called "Jane". The movie is supposed to be a modern living example of the Bible stories where the "demon" cries out to Jesus and Jesus asks his name. Having viewed the documentary, I was totally convinced that Eve White was in real life, a good actress, who used her "illness" as a method of escaping a bad marriage and the entrapment of being an unloved housewife and mother. Even if this was a genuine case of "multiple personality disorder" (an illness I personally doubt exists at all except as a theory in psychiatric text books) Eve did not exhibit supernatural power or knowledge as the demons of the New Testament possessed! Bible demons foretold the future (Acts 16) broke chains and were cast into a heard of 2000 swine. (Mark 5)

D. Pentecostals often site personal examples like this man who actually faked being demon possessed and fooled the Pentecostal minister!


Faking demon possessed man convinced everyone the Bible student!

Written by Ney Rieber, preacher for the Church of Christ, wrote this in 1995 about this personal experience with a man who faked that he was demon possessed!

I was doing prison work and as I entered the maximum security prison, I was greeted by the chaplain, a "charismatic" by conviction, with the distressed notice, "We have an new inmate on cell block N-2 who is demon possessed! He knows things impossible for him to know otherwise!"

Of course, I was skeptical, since I believe that demon possession was a temporary state permitted by God as a foil for Jesus to demonstrate the power of God against.

I told the chaplain that I would visit him during the course of the evening and see if it was true. Eventually I made my rounds and got to cell block N-2. As soon as I entered the cell block I was greeted with a barrage of profanity and cursing and verbal abuse the like of which this ex-GI had never heard. I chose to ignore it and went to the first cell like I always did and visited with the inmate there. He told me that guy doing all the shouting was demon possessed! I continued to follow my routine, enduring the verbal abuse thrown out of the cell across the hall. As I progressed to each inmate, they offered me some advice, warnings, and generally demonstrated that they were convinced that the guy was indeed demon possessed. They seemed to be genuinely afraid of him. I was told how he had run the chaplain off the cell block with his verbal abuse and apparently devilish knowledge about the chaplain's past.

As I got closer to his cell, he began to shout things like, I know you Ney Rieber. You drive a red Chevrolet truck. You come a long way to visit this prison. You have two children.... and so on. He shouted things that many, at first impression might think Satanically inspired. Given the setting and the situation, I could see how such would be the impression one who was inclined to believe in demon possession. He might think this was the real thing. This continued until I finally reached his cell.

[Bear in mind, this is a maximum security prison. The cells are about 8 feet long and six feet wide. Each cell has a commode, a wash basin, and a bunk, all steel and permanently attached to the floor and walls. The walls are solid walls, no bars. There is a small barred window perhaps 18 inches by 24 inches that looks out on the prison yard. The only other opening is an electronically operated solid steel door. About face high, the door has a small eight inch by 10 inch opening for the inmates to look out of and for the guards to inspect the inmate. This opening is screened with a 1/4 inch steel mesh that you might pass a pencil through, but that was the largest thing that could be put through it. About waist high, there is another opening in the door that will permit a food tray to be slid into the cell. It has a hinged steel plate that is locked closed except when meals are being distributed.]

I looked into the cell and there was this individual sitting on the floor, drool running down one corner of his mouth, a crazed look in his eyes. When he saw me at the door, he raised the intensity of his shouting, jumped up, and dashed to the door. I looked at him a moment, and began to laugh at him. He screamed and shouted louder than before, if possible. He banged his fists against the door and really made a racket. I kept laughing at him. When he paused for breath, I said, "Good show." How long have you been practicing?"

You should have seen the look on his face. At first, surprise, then he grinned a little. Finally he broke into a laugh. Then he asked, "How did you know?" How come I couldn't fool you like I have everyone else?

I told him, "I write to half of the guys on this cell block because they take my Bible correspondence course. They know a lot about me because I have told them about me. You simple asked them about who came onto the block and then parroted back the info to everyone as the came in. There is nothing supernatural about it. It was a good con, but you can't con God or a genuine student of the Word of God! Then I taught him the nature of Biblical demons and how he was 1900 years to late. Some months later, I baptized him. I have no idea where he is now, or what he is doing. He was transferred to another prison and we lost touch.

Ney Rieber
Evangelist, Church of Chirst


IX. False Doctrine Has Its Origin In Demons

A. Idol worship:

1. "the Gentiles sacrifice things to demons and not to God" 1 Cor 10:20

2. "Deceiving spirits in mouths of prophets" 2 Chron 18:21-22

3. Athenians were demon-worshipful as they worshipped idols: Acts 17:16-23

4. "they shall no longer sacrifice to the goat-demons" Lev 17:7

5. "They sacrificed to demons who were not God" Deut 32:17

6. "They even sacrificed their sons and daughters to the demons" Ps 106:37

7. "they did not repent so as to not worship demons and idols" Rev 9:20

8. "three unclean spirits like frogs, for they are spirits of demons" Rev 16:13-14

9. "Babylon, a dwelling place of demons, prison of every unclean spirit & hateful bird" Rev 18:2

B. Denominationalism of the church:

1. "Hippocratic liars with seared consciences will fall away from faith paying attention to deceitful spirits & doctrines of demons" 1 Ti 4:1-2

2. "Even though we or an angel preaches a different gospel let him be accursed" Gal 1:8

 Steve Rudd


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