3 Crucial Questions on Spiritual Warfare (Arnold)

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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Arnold, Clinton. 3 Crucial Questions on Spiritual Warfare. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1997.

Continuing with the material in his dissertation on Ephesians, Clinton Arnold gives top-level scholarship combined with practical application for the church. In this text he steers a middle path between animism and deism. His three crucial questions:

1) Should we engage in spiritual warfare?
2) Can Christians be possessed?
3) What about territorial spirits?

Arnold begins with a simple (yet for some, baffling) observation: “ Foundational to spiritual warfare is a belief in evil spirits and a desire to get the upper hand on them before they get it on us” (Arnold, [it’s hard to cite the page number, since I am reading this on an epub]).

1. The concept of spiritual warfare reflects a primitive, prescientific worldview

2. Demons and evil spirits are not very prominent in the Bible. Even if this were true, it had force only if we limit the term to daimonia.

Supernatural Opponents

archai = Principalities

exousiai = authorities

kosmokratores = world rulers

pneumatika = spiritual forces


Arnold makes one observation with which I disagree: “These terms probably do not represent the so-called territorial spirits that we find in Daniel—that is, a demonic prince with responsibility over a country or region (see Dan. 10:13, 20).”

It’s hard to see how they couldn’t be territorial spirits. But maybe they don’t have to be. Arnold doesn’t mention it, but these could be the shedim and rephaim mentioned in Deut. 32. In discussing Ephesians 6, I do like how Arnold emphasizes the corporate nature of prayer.

Can a Christian Be Demon-Possessed?

After the 1970s better texts on spiritual warfare moved away from speaking of “possession” (given its connotations with the Exorcist) and more on demonization (which is actually what the Greek word says). The problem is that terms like “possession” mean “to be totally the Devil’s control.” Of course Christians aren’t totally under the Devil’s control, but in terms of bodily motions, neither are most unbelievers. Arnold then clinches the argument: ““Demon possession” is always the translation of a single Greek word, daimonizomai. Words for ownership or possession (e.g., huparch , ech , katech , ktaomai, or peripoie ) are absent in the original text.”

However, not all arguments to the effect “Christians cannot be demon-possessed” because ________ are very good. While we are a temple of God, there is no reason why demons cannot “latch onto the outer court,” to extend the metaphor. In fact, we can “give turf” to the Devil. “In your anger do not sin; Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” The term translated “foothold” is the Greek word topos, an expression that was commonly used for inhabited space.

Further, we can allow evil to reign (Romans 6:12).

Did Paul Exorcise Christians?

Arnold writes that Luke tells of a massive exorcism *after* some Jews and Gentiles were converted to the Lord (Acts 19:10). Arnold: Luke then tells us that “many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds” (Acts 19:18, italics mine). The result was a massive ceremony of renunciation involving the burning of 50,000 days’ wages worth of magical papyri. These were Christians burning their occultic texts!

And Arnold documents that the type of magic they were doing involved invoking a daimon to come to one’s aid. So you have born-again Christians invoking demons to come to them.

Can a Christian Exhibit Altered States of Consciousness?

If by altered states one means “dissociative identity disorder,” and as long as that is understood by what the govt did with MK-ULTRA, and not because a spiritual entity, then yes.

Can We Imitate the Gospels on Exorcism?

The gospels are manuals for us on how to live. This is how the earliest Christians (and common sense) understood the gospels. Further, in Luke 11-12, the coming of the kingdom is also attended by exorcisms. Further, in the Great Commission Jesus commands us to teach and do all.

The early church exorcised new Christians.

Hippolytus, Apostolic Traditions. Moreover, from the day they are chosen, let a hand be laid on them and let them be exorcised [exorkizein] daily. And when the day draws near on which they are to be baptized, let the bishop himself exorcise each one of them, that he may be certain that he is purified (20.3).

But if there is one who is not purified let him be put on one side because he did not hear the word of instruction with faith. For the evil and strange spirit remained with him (20.4).

The leader would anoint the person with oil and say, “Let all evil spirits depart far from thee” (21.10).

Tertullian: Because of the omnipresence of idolatry, Tertullian asked rhetorically, “What man is there to whom an evil spirit does not adhere, even at the very gates of his birth, waiting to ensnare his soul?” Of course, Tertullian has a lot of issues himself, so take this with a grain of salt.

Pseudo-Clement, Recognitions 2.71, as cited in Kelly, The Devil at Baptism, 124. “Everyone who has at any time worshiped idols and has adored those whom the pagans call gods, or has eaten of the things sacrificed to them, is not without an unclean spirit; for he has become a guest of demons, and has been partaker with that demon of which he has formed the image in his mind, either through fear or love.”

Origen: “Anyone who vanquishes a demon in himself, e.g. the demon of lewdness, puts it out of action; the demon is cast into the abyss, and cannot do any harm to anyone. Homily on Joshua 15.5, as quoted in Everett Ferguson, Demonology of the Early Christian World, Symposium Series 12 (Lewiston/Queenston: Edwin Mellen, 1984), 128.

Cyprian. and although he [the demon] often says that he is going out, and will leave the men of God, yet in that which he says he deceives, and puts in practice what was before done by Pharaoh with the same obstinate and fraudulent deceit” (Epistles 75.15).

Apostolic Constitutions. “Ye energumens, afflicted with unclean spirits, pray, and let us all earnestly pray for them, that God, the lover of mankind, will by Christ rebuke the unclean and wicked spirits and deliver His supplicants from the dominion of the adversary” (Apostolic Constitutions 8.6).

What about Deliverance Ministries?

Properly glossed, it is line with the practices of the earliest Christians. He does give some warning about excesses, though:

* When in doubt, cast it out!

* Uncritical acceptance of testimonies of demons.

Arnold downplays the reality of Satanic Ritual Abuse, however. Granted, he wrote this when many aspects of the “satanic panic” were being exposed. But he is wrong if he says no evidence of Satanic rituals have been found. Yet he admits that murders have been carried out in the name of Satan. So which is it? I think he is rejecting the idea of an international Satanic conspiracy cult. Well, when you put it like that, then no, they probably aren’t real. But there are other ways of framing the issue.

Are We Called to Fight Territorial Spirits?

The acronym SLSW, strategic level spiritual warfare, is what he is talking about. At the most basic level, the concept of territorial spirits is biblical. Daniel 10. And given the fact that God alloted the nations to the beney ha-elohim per Deut 4 and 32, it is legitimate to think that fallen spirits (whatever we want to call them) control (or did control) some countries.

The controversy is when we get to “spiritual mapping.” According to George Otis, it is “superimposing our understanding of forces and events in the spiritual domain onto places and circumstances in the material world” (Otis, George Otis Jr., The Last of the Giants: Lifting the Veil on Islam and the End Times (Grand Rapids: Chosen, 1991), 85).

The second aspect isn’t as problematic: dealing with the corporate sin of an area. This seems biblical. The final question is the main one: can we pray against these spirits?

Arnold’s response:

The first point is utterly biblical. And Arnold corrects the flawed translation of Deut. 32:8 with the correct one from the Dead Sea Scrolls. And while the LXX translates Deut 32:17 as “demons,” the better reading is the Hebrew shedim, which is a territorial spirit of the underworld.

Church Fathers on the topic:

Justin Martyr (2nd century A.D.) makes reference to “the power of the evil demon that dwelt in Damascus” (Dialogue with Trypho 78). “for the princes in Tanis are evil angels” (Dialogue with Trypho 79).

Clement: Well, now, let us say in addition, what inhuman demons, and hostile to the human race, your gods were, not only delighting in the insanity of men, but gloating over human slaughter (Exhortation to the Greeks, 3.1).

But can we name and discern these spirits? Arnold asks us to pause on this point. Scripture really doesn’t say we should. And if Jude is any indication, as he quotes from the Assumption of Moses, we need to be very careful in how we address these fallen territorial spirits. Arnold makes the very perceptive insight: “We do not have the right to tell a spirit to leave if it has an invitation to stay.”

And when Paul was in Ephesus, he no doubt encountered the territorial spirit of the City (i.e., Diana). He didn’t engage in SLSW against her, but in deliverance for the demonized in the city.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Arnold, Clinton. 3 Crucial Questions on Spiritual Warfare. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1997.

Continuing with the material in his dissertation on Ephesians, Clinton Arnold gives top-level scholarship combined with practical application for the church. In this text he steers a middle path between animism and deism. His three crucial questions:

1) Should we engage in spiritual warfare?
2) Can Christians be possessed?
3) What about territorial spirits?

Arnold begins with a simple (yet for some, baffling) observation: “ Foundational to spiritual warfare is a belief in evil spirits and a desire to get the upper hand on them before they get it on us” (Arnold, [it’s hard to cite the page number, since I am reading this on an epub]).

1. The concept of spiritual warfare reflects a primitive, prescientific worldview

2. Demons and evil spirits are not very prominent in the Bible. Even if this were true, it had force only if we limit the term to daimonia.

Supernatural Opponents

archai = Principalities

exousiai = authorities

kosmokratores = world rulers

pneumatika = spiritual forces


Arnold makes one observation with which I disagree: “These terms probably do not represent the so-called territorial spirits that we find in Daniel—that is, a demonic prince with responsibility over a country or region (see Dan. 10:13, 20).”

It’s hard to see how they couldn’t be territorial spirits. But maybe they don’t have to be. Arnold doesn’t mention it, but these could be the shedim and rephaim mentioned in Deut. 32. In discussing Ephesians 6, I do like how Arnold emphasizes the corporate nature of prayer.

Can a Christian Be Demon-Possessed?

After the 1970s better texts on spiritual warfare moved away from speaking of “possession” (given its connotations with the Exorcist) and more on demonization (which is actually what the Greek word says). The problem is that terms like “possession” mean “to be totally the Devil’s control.” Of course Christians aren’t totally under the Devil’s control, but in terms of bodily motions, neither are most unbelievers. Arnold then clinches the argument: ““Demon possession” is always the translation of a single Greek word, daimonizomai. Words for ownership or possession (e.g., huparch , ech , katech , ktaomai, or peripoie ) are absent in the original text.”

However, not all arguments to the effect “Christians cannot be demon-possessed” because ________ are very good. While we are a temple of God, there is no reason why demons cannot “latch onto the outer court,” to extend the metaphor. In fact, we can “give turf” to the Devil. “In your anger do not sin; Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” The term translated “foothold” is the Greek word topos, an expression that was commonly used for inhabited space.

Further, we can allow evil to reign (Romans 6:12).

Did Paul Exorcise Christians?

Arnold writes that Luke tells of a massive exorcism *after* some Jews and Gentiles were converted to the Lord (Acts 19:10). Arnold: Luke then tells us that “many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds” (Acts 19:18, italics mine). The result was a massive ceremony of renunciation involving the burning of 50,000 days’ wages worth of magical papyri. These were Christians burning their occultic texts!

And Arnold documents that the type of magic they were doing involved invoking a daimon to come to one’s aid. So you have born-again Christians invoking demons to come to them.

Can a Christian Exhibit Altered States of Consciousness?

If by altered states one means “dissociative identity disorder,” and as long as that is understood by what the govt did with MK-ULTRA, and not because a spiritual entity, then yes.

Can We Imitate the Gospels on Exorcism?

The gospels are manuals for us on how to live. This is how the earliest Christians (and common sense) understood the gospels. Further, in Luke 11-12, the coming of the kingdom is also attended by exorcisms. Further, in the Great Commission Jesus commands us to teach and do all.

The early church exorcised new Christians.

Hippolytus, Apostolic Traditions. Moreover, from the day they are chosen, let a hand be laid on them and let them be exorcised [exorkizein] daily. And when the day draws near on which they are to be baptized, let the bishop himself exorcise each one of them, that he may be certain that he is purified (20.3).

But if there is one who is not purified let him be put on one side because he did not hear the word of instruction with faith. For the evil and strange spirit remained with him (20.4).

The leader would anoint the person with oil and say, “Let all evil spirits depart far from thee” (21.10).

Tertullian: Because of the omnipresence of idolatry, Tertullian asked rhetorically, “What man is there to whom an evil spirit does not adhere, even at the very gates of his birth, waiting to ensnare his soul?” Of course, Tertullian has a lot of issues himself, so take this with a grain of salt.

Pseudo-Clement, Recognitions 2.71, as cited in Kelly, The Devil at Baptism, 124. “Everyone who has at any time worshiped idols and has adored those whom the pagans call gods, or has eaten of the things sacrificed to them, is not without an unclean spirit; for he has become a guest of demons, and has been partaker with that demon of which he has formed the image in his mind, either through fear or love.”

Origen: “Anyone who vanquishes a demon in himself, e.g. the demon of lewdness, puts it out of action; the demon is cast into the abyss, and cannot do any harm to anyone. Homily on Joshua 15.5, as quoted in Everett Ferguson, Demonology of the Early Christian World, Symposium Series 12 (Lewiston/Queenston: Edwin Mellen, 1984), 128.

Cyprian. and although he [the demon] often says that he is going out, and will leave the men of God, yet in that which he says he deceives, and puts in practice what was before done by Pharaoh with the same obstinate and fraudulent deceit” (Epistles 75.15).

Apostolic Constitutions. “Ye energumens, afflicted with unclean spirits, pray, and let us all earnestly pray for them, that God, the lover of mankind, will by Christ rebuke the unclean and wicked spirits and deliver His supplicants from the dominion of the adversary” (Apostolic Constitutions 8.6).

What about Deliverance Ministries?

Properly glossed, it is line with the practices of the earliest Christians. He does give some warning about excesses, though:

* When in doubt, cast it out!

* Uncritical acceptance of testimonies of demons.

Arnold downplays the reality of Satanic Ritual Abuse, however. Granted, he wrote this when many aspects of the “satanic panic” were being exposed. But he is wrong if he says no evidence of Satanic rituals have been found. Yet he admits that murders have been carried out in the name of Satan. So which is it? I think he is rejecting the idea of an international Satanic conspiracy cult. Well, when you put it like that, then no, they probably aren’t real. But there are other ways of framing the issue.

Are We Called to Fight Territorial Spirits?

The acronym SLSW, strategic level spiritual warfare, is what he is talking about. At the most basic level, the concept of territorial spirits is biblical. Daniel 10. And given the fact that God alloted the nations to the beney ha-elohim per Deut 4 and 32, it is legitimate to think that fallen spirits (whatever we want to call them) control (or did control) some countries.

The controversy is when we get to “spiritual mapping.” According to George Otis, it is “superimposing our understanding of forces and events in the spiritual domain onto places and circumstances in the material world” (Otis, George Otis Jr., The Last of the Giants: Lifting the Veil on Islam and the End Times (Grand Rapids: Chosen, 1991), 85).

The second aspect isn’t as problematic: dealing with the corporate sin of an area. This seems biblical. The final question is the main one: can we pray against these spirits?

Arnold’s response:

The first point is utterly biblical. And Arnold corrects the flawed translation of Deut. 32:8 with the correct one from the Dead Sea Scrolls. And while the LXX translates Deut 32:17 as “demons,” the better reading is the Hebrew shedim, which is a territorial spirit of the underworld.

Church Fathers on the topic:

Justin Martyr (2nd century A.D.) makes reference to “the power of the evil demon that dwelt in Damascus” (Dialogue with Trypho 78). “for the princes in Tanis are evil angels” (Dialogue with Trypho 79).

Clement: Well, now, let us say in addition, what inhuman demons, and hostile to the human race, your gods were, not only delighting in the insanity of men, but gloating over human slaughter (Exhortation to the Greeks, 3.1).

But can we name and discern these spirits? Arnold asks us to pause on this point. Scripture really doesn’t say we should. And if Jude is any indication, as he quotes from the Assumption of Moses, we need to be very careful in how we address these fallen territorial spirits. Arnold makes the very perceptive insight: “We do not have the right to tell a spirit to leave if it has an invitation to stay.”

And when Paul was in Ephesus, he no doubt encountered the territorial spirit of the City (i.e., Diana). He didn’t engage in SLSW against her, but in deliverance for the demonized in the city.
Wouldn't the preaching of the Gospel though be the weapon the Holy Spirit would be using to disarm principalities and powers so called, for if the lost are taken out from Kingdom of Darkness into the One of Jesus, would that not be the real deliverance ministry being done today?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Wouldn't the preaching of the Gospel though be the weapon the Holy Spirit would be using to disarm principalities and powers so called, for if the lost are taken out from Kingdom of Darkness into the One of Jesus, would that not be the real deliverance ministry being done today?

On a higher level, yes. Jude is very clear that we do not directly engage archons and Satan and such. We exercise authority over unclean spirits, but not shedim and fallen cherubim.
 

TheInquirer

Puritan Board Freshman
I have probably read through half of this book and struggle with some of Arnold's main points that you've touched on - (1) A born-again Christian being demon possessed doesn't seem in line with the exorcisms in Scripture. I also don't buy his argument in Ephesians that the "foothold" Satan is trying to gain is "spatial." It seems more of a metaphor for influence. (2) Strategic level spiritual warfare doesn't seem to be something we are called to engage in. Knowing these spirits exist is one thing, taking them head on by trying to figure out their names and then praying against them is another.

On a higher level, yes. Jude is very clear that we do not directly engage archons and Satan and such. We exercise authority over unclean spirits, but not shedim and fallen cherubim.

I am more comfortable with that statement but not sure I would go out of my way to try and exercise authority over unclean spirits (not that you are saying that). I think this is an area where great caution is needed.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
A born-again Christian being demon possessed doesn't seem in line with the exorcisms in Scripture.

And he is specifically saying that we aren't "possessed." The exegetical argument is that echo, katecho, etc. are nowhere used in conjunction with possession, so it is misleading to speak of demon possession.
I also don't buy his argument in Ephesians that the "foothold" Satan is trying to gain is "spatial." It seems more of a metaphor for influence.

I'm undecided. Topos normally is spatial. But even assuming it is, I think the spatial aspect is itself metaphorical, since much of the human person, like the soul or spirit, isn't spatially located.
(2) Strategic level spiritual warfare doesn't seem to be something we are called to engage in. Knowing these spirits exist is one thing, taking them head on by trying to figure out their names and then praying against them is another.

Agreed. That's Arnold's specific argument.
but not sure I would go out of my way to try and exercise authority over unclean spirits (not that you are saying that).

If you cast an unclean spirit out, you are by definition exercising authority over it. An unclean spirit is not the same thing as exousia, archai, kosmokratoras, Watchers, etc.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I have probably read through half of this book and struggle with some of Arnold's main points that you've touched on - (1) A born-again Christian being demon possessed doesn't seem in line with the exorcisms in Scripture. I also don't buy his argument in Ephesians that the "foothold" Satan is trying to gain is "spatial." It seems more of a metaphor for influence. (2) Strategic level spiritual warfare doesn't seem to be something we are called to engage in. Knowing these spirits exist is one thing, taking them head on by trying to figure out their names and then praying against them is another.



I am more comfortable with that statement but not sure I would go out of my way to try and exercise authority over unclean spirits (not that you are saying that). I think this is an area where great caution is needed.
I think that scriptures indicate that a Christian can allow Satan to influence him by dabbling in occult, refusing to deal with sin area issues, but see nothing that indicates one really saved can be demon possessed. We are sealed and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and as the temple of God, He would not permit them to access us in that way.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
And he is specifically saying that we aren't "possessed." The exegetical argument is that echo, katecho, etc. are nowhere used in conjunction with possession, so it is misleading to speak of demon possession.


I'm undecided. Topos normally is spatial. But even assuming it is, I think the spatial aspect is itself metaphorical, since much of the human person, like the soul or spirit, isn't spatially located.


Agreed. That's Arnold's specific argument.


If you cast an unclean spirit out, you are by definition exercising authority over it. An unclean spirit is not the same thing as exousia, archai, kosmokratoras, Watchers, etc.
None of those beings have authority over those who are saved and walking in the infilling of the Holy Spirit, correct?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
None of those beings have authority over those who are saved and walking in the infilling of the Holy Spirit, correct?

No. But not every Christian is experiencing the infilling. A Christian may be compromised and give ground to Satan, like joining Freemasonry or playing with Ouija boards.

Or struggling with p0rnography. I don't think that jeopardizes final salvation, but it is also a bit weightier than "bad habits."

Our problem is that we take our view of demon possession from Hollywood and bad English terms, and not from the Greek and Hebrew.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I think that scriptures indicate that a Christian can allow Satan to influence him by dabbling in occult, refusing to deal with sin area issues, but see nothing that indicates one really saved can be demon possessed. We are sealed and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and as the temple of God, He would not permit them to access us in that way.

Sure, but using terms like "possession" is misleading. The Scripture doesn't call it that. It never uses echo or katecho in conjunction with daimonia. It uses daimonidzomai.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Sure, but using terms like "possession" is misleading. The Scripture doesn't call it that. It never uses echo or katecho in conjunction with daimonia. It uses daimonidzomai.
yes, demonized, but that would be the external workings of Satan or one of his minions directed against us, but would not be an internal state, as much of so called deliverance ministries major on the internal aspect.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
No. But not every Christian is experiencing the infilling. A Christian may be compromised and give ground to Satan, like joining Freemasonry or playing with Ouija boards.

Or struggling with p0rnography. I don't think that jeopardizes final salvation, but it is also a bit weightier than "bad habits."

Our problem is that we take our view of demon possession from Hollywood and bad English terms, and not from the Greek and Hebrew.
I think that you are right here, as indeed things such as a pornographic sin habit allows the evil one to gain some traction into the lives of even Christians.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
yes, demonized, but that would be the external workings of Satan or one of his minions directed against us, but would not be an internal state, as much of so called deliverance ministries major on the internal aspect.

The language of internal/external is misleading when applied to the spirit. If sin latches onto your habits and mind, then it is most certainly internal.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Yes, but the actual demon itself would not be inside us, just the influencing.

I suppose that's true; I'm not sure how coherent it is to say that the demon isn't inside us but his influence is.

If by "inside us" you mean "possession" in the Emily Rose sense, then no, the demon isn't "inside" us. If demonic forces can "latch onto" us, and if that is closer to milder cases of demonization (which is the actual Greek word, not possession), then there isn't a conceptual problem.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Wait...pause.....

Are you saying demons do not enter "inside" of us? The Bible seems to indicate that demons can inhabit or enter inside of a person such that they are described much like a house or a dwelling.



Second question: When Jesus sent the demons INTO the pigs, and if those demons could merely latch on or latch off at will, what was so bad about being sent over a cliff? ...the demons could just eject like a fighter pilot and go look for a new host.

Why didn't those demons just swim away and go find some unbelieving villagers to inhabit (of which there were many, since they were raising pigs in the first place).
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Wait...pause.....

Are you saying demons do not enter "inside" of us? The Bible seems to indicate that demons can inhabit or enter inside of a person such that they are described much like a house or a dwelling.



Second question: When Jesus sent the demons INTO the pigs, and if those demons could merely latch on or latch off at will, what was so bad about being sent over a cliff? ...the demons could just eject like a fighter pilot and go look for a new host.

Why didn't those demons just swim away and go find some unbelieving villagers to inhabit (of which there were many, since they were raising pigs in the first place).

Not quite. They aren't "inside us" in the sense of ownership or having (Gk. echo, katecho).

demons could merely latch on or latch off at will, what was so bad about being sent over a cliff? ...the demons could just eject like a fighter pilot and go look for a new host.

That's eventually what they did. You don't kill demons by physical means
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Not quite. They aren't "inside us" in the sense of ownership or having (Gk. echo, katecho).



That's eventually what they did. You don't kill demons by physical means
Do you believe those demons sent into the pigs where sent into the Abyss, or sent wandering looking for another place to inhabit?

And is the Abyss the same as Tartarus (the place where they are chained)?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Wait...pause.....

Are you saying demons do not enter "inside" of us? The Bible seems to indicate that demons can inhabit or enter inside of a person such that they are described much like a house or a dwelling.



Second question: When Jesus sent the demons INTO the pigs, and if those demons could merely latch on or latch off at will, what was so bad about being sent over a cliff? ...the demons could just eject like a fighter pilot and go look for a new host.

Why didn't those demons just swim away and go find some unbelieving villagers to inhabit (of which there were many, since they were raising pigs in the first place).

My point with the "latching" metaphor was that there are different levels of demonization. The Christian who looks at the Swimsuit Issue is demonized, but not the 32nd degree Freemason who drinks blood from a skull in his initiation rite.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Do you believe those demons sent into the pigs where sent into the Abyss, or sent wandering looking for another place to inhabit?

No, they didn't go into the Abyss.

And is the Abyss the same as Tartarus (the place where they are chained)?

I wondered about that. I think so, but there are some surface level difficulties. In Revelation 9, the demon lord Apollo is set loose from the Abyss. That doesn't seem to square with what Jude and Peter say about the fallen Watchers who are chained in Tartarus until Judgment.

Bauckham suggests that the language of "chained until judgment" is poetic and should be taken with flexibility. Now, I don't mean "poetic" in the sense of what amils usually take it to mean {i.e, it's just spiritual, man]. I mean that their being loosed from the Abyss is what gets the judgment in motion (allowing them to be destroyed).
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
My point with the "latching" metaphor was that there are different levels of demonization. The Christian who looks at the Swimsuit Issue is demonized, but not the 32nd degree Freemason who drinks blood from a skull in his initiation rite.
You wrote:
"The Christian who looks at the Swimsuit Issue is demonized..."

Some cases? Or all cases? It would seem the number of the demons is limited. How many exist? If the p0rn channels on the internet get a few million users a day, this would require a lot of demons.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Some cases? Or all cases? It would seem the number of the demons is limited. How many exist? If the p0rn channels on the internet get a few million users a day, this would require a lot of demons.

I know. Issues like this really stretch the metaphor. We honestly have no way of knowing how many demons are involved.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I suppose that's true; I'm not sure how coherent it is to say that the demon isn't inside us but his influence is.

If by "inside us" you mean "possession" in the Emily Rose sense, then no, the demon isn't "inside" us. If demonic forces can "latch onto" us, and if that is closer to milder cases of demonization (which is the actual Greek word, not possession), then there isn't a conceptual problem.
I think that my biggest problem in this area is bad experience in having to deal with Charismatics in the past who were into so called deliverance ministries.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I think that my biggest problem in this area is bad experience in having to deal with Charismatics in the past who were into so called deliverance ministries.

That's fine, and I have bad experiences from both Charismatics and cessationists. That's why I don't base my theology off of my experience.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
That's fine, and I have bad experiences from both Charismatics and cessationists. That's why I don't base my theology off of my experience.
I just have a hard time seeing in the scriptures themselves how Christians need to be delivered as in having demons casted out of them.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I just have a hard time seeing in the scriptures themselves how Christians need to be delivered as in having demons casted out of them.

Depends on what we mean by "deliver" and depends on what we mean by "cast out." I discovered that people basically default to the standard teaching of the last 700 years (mainly Roman Catholic) when it comes to "demons," so when I go to the Greek and Hebrew and see different things, I have to ask people what they mean by these terms.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Depends on what we mean by "deliver" and depends on what we mean by "cast out." I discovered that people basically default to the standard teaching of the last 700 years (mainly Roman Catholic) when it comes to "demons," so when I go to the Greek and Hebrew and see different things, I have to ask people what they mean by these terms.
The Christian is said to have a demon inside of them, indwelling them, and once cast out, sometimes would be said to be in the vomiting up into a bucket!
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
The Christian is said to have a demon inside of them, indwelling them, and once cast out, sometimes would be said to be in the vomiting up into a bucket!

Presumably you are speaking about *your* experiences with deliverance ministries. Okay. That's not what I am saying. Simple as that.

"Inside" language is tricky, since I don't believe the soul is literally inside my body the way air is in a balloon. I also wouldn't use "indwelling" language, since that has Holy Spirit/Tabernacle connotations.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Presumably you are speaking about *your* experiences with deliverance ministries. Okay. That's not what I am saying. Simple as that.

"Inside" language is tricky, since I don't believe the soul is literally inside my body the way air is in a balloon. I also wouldn't use "indwelling" language, since that has Holy Spirit/Tabernacle connotations.
True, that was my experience with those types of individuals, but I now would say that the Christian just needs to repent and confess if involved in activities that might be giving Satan a way into their life, and out on full armor of God and stay in the scriptures and in prayer.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
but I now would say that the Christian just needs to repent and confess if involved in activities that might be giving Satan a way into their life, and out on full armor of God and stay in the scriptures and in prayer.

And I agree. I do think, though, that if a Christian is in the Masons or has been ritually abused by the CIA in the sense of having shattered personalities, it might take the Christian with a gift of discerning the spirits to help out.
 
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