POSSESSION
           
                             (The Devil Made Me Do It!) 
           
                  Article taken from the magazine: ANSWERS  Issue 8
           
                                    By CHUCK SMITH
           


               The  question  has been  forced upon  us: "Can  a born-again
          Christian  be possessed  by a  demon?"  The answer  based on  the
          Scriptures and logic is an unequivocal NO!

               The  proponents of this unscriptural doctrine use such terms
          as  Christians  being  "invaded  by  demons"  rather  than  demon
          possessed.   This  is nothing  more than word  games and  a smoke
          screen to hide the Scriptural weakness of their position.

               They also present  an illogical supposition that  the demons
          can  invade or  control  the mind  or body,  but not  the spirit.
          God's  Word declares  that the  body  is the  temple of  the Holy
          Spirit which  is in us.  We are told to glorify God in our bodies
          and in our spirits, which are His, (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

               In 2 Corinthians the question is asked: "What communion  has
          light  with   darkness?    And   what  accord  has   Christ  with
          Belial...And what  agreement has  the temple  of God  with idols?
          For you are  the temple of the living  God.  As God  has said: "I
          will dwell in them..." (6:14-16).

               To  say that a Christian's body  or mind can be possessed or
          invaded by demons is  to contradict the  Word of God and  declare
          that  there is  a communion of  light and darkness,  that God and
          Satan are dwelling together.

               The Scriptures  also teach us  that Christ is seated  in the
          heavenlies far above all principalities and powers and mights and
          dominions, (Ephesians 1:21-22).   These are references  to spirit
          beings  and Christ is far above them.   Where am I as a believer?
          According to Ephesians  2:6, I am seated together  with Christ in
          the heavenlies.

               As   Christians  we   are  in   a   warfare  against   these
          principalities and powers, (Ephesians 6:12).  We need the help of
          God to stand, for these rulers of the darkness can and  do attack
          us in  a variety  of ways.    But they  cannot come  in and  take
          control of our lives.

               The Scriptures also teach that we are in Christ, and that He
          is in  us, (John 14:20).  It is Christ in us which is our hope of
          glory, (Colossians  1:27).   Christ said  concerning Satan,  "The
          ruler of this world  is coming, and he has nothing  in Me," (John
          14:30).  If I am  in Christ and Satan  has nothing in Him,  Satan
          can have nothing in me - praise the Lord!

               We also read in 1 John  5:18, "We know that whoever is  born
          of  God does  not sin;  but he  who has  been born  of God  keeps
          himself, and the wicked one does not touch him."

               What  about  these experiences  of Christians  having demons
          cast out of them?  What are  the voices that name themselves, the
          writhing on the floor, and  the regurgitation?  I do not know.  I
          am  thankful that  since I  do not  engage in  these unscriptural
          practices, I do not have to explain them.

               Some of the  names given by these supposed  demons which are
          more popular are:  lust, hatred, liar,  gluttony, envy, fear  and
          jealously.  These  things are classified in  Galatians 5:19-21 as
          works of the  flesh.  We are  to "put off all  these" (Colossians
          3:8) of by the Spirit to "mortify  the deeds of the body" (Romans
          8:13, 6:3-14).  Not once are we commanded to have them cast out.

               It seems to me  that this whole demon trip is  a cop-out for
          the flesh.  I would like  to find some easy way to get  rid of my
          fleshly   nature,  and  rather   than  the  painful   process  of
          crucifixion, I would just like to have it cast out.  It is also a
          way of escaping  the responsibility for my fleshly  actions.  How
          can I be blamed if "the devil made me do it?"

               In the Scriptures there does not exist one piece of evidence
          that Jesus Christ, His apostles,  or the early Church once sought
          to  cast demons of the flesh out of anyone in the body of Christ.
          The works of the flesh were recognized, and we are instructed how
          to deal with them.  Never are we taught they are to be exorcised.

               Even in  the supposed cases  from the Scriptures  that would
          confirm that  demons  could inhabit  a  Christian -  Ananias  and
          Sapphira, "Why  hath Satan  filled  thine heart"  (Acts 5:3);  or
          Simon the sorcerer,  "Thou art in the gall of  bitterness, and in
          the  bond of  iniquity"  (Acts  8:23) -  Peter  did not  practice
          exorcism.   Instead, there was  instant judgment of death  in the
          first case and a call to repentance in the other.

               It is sad  that many Christians  and non-Christians seem  to
          have a  greater interest in  Satan and being possessed  by demons
          than they do in Christ and being possessed by His Holy Spirit.

               Those who fall  into the practices of exorcism  soon seem to
          be looking for  and placing  a greater emphasis  on the power  of
          Satan to attack  than on  the power  of Christ to  keep.   Demons
          become the  center of  their conversations  and teachings  rather
          than Jesus Christ.

               We can rejoice in God's Word, "Greater is he that is in you,
          than he that is  the world" (1 John. 4:4).  Thanks  be to God Who
          gives  us  the victory  through  Jesus Christ  our Lord!    We as
          Christians are told in James 4:7 to "resist," not "cast out," the
          devil, and he will flee from us.

                            End Of Document


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