Demon possession does it happen today?

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VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
As missionary I encounter a lot of evil activity. My question is should I ever attribute people's wicked behavior to demon possession. If yes should we expected God to use us to cast out demons like as read in the Book of Acts?
My position right now is no, that type of ministry is strictly to do with the Apostolic Age and establishing the church in the first century Eph 2:20, 2 Pet 2:4 Jude 6 Col 2:15. But as to the question of does demon possession happen today, I'm not quite sure, although I'm more inclined to say yes.
What has been or is the Reformed perspective on this issue?
I have many other thoughts on this matter, but I think that should be enough for now.

VanVos



[Edited on 6-21-2004 by VanVos]
 

cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
Mt personal opinion is that everybody is demon possessed until they are regenerated and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, because we are all born, a child of the devil. We are all born in sin, spiritually separated from God.

A person who is saved, cannot be possessed by demons, but can be influenced and controlled externally rather than internally prior to being regenerated.
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:a5a0170f69][i:a5a0170f69]Originally posted by CajunBibleBeliever[/i:a5a0170f69]
Mt personal opinion is that everybody is demon possessed until they are regenerated and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, because we are all born, a child of the devil. We are all born in sin, spiritually separated from God.

A person who is saved, cannot be possessed by demons, but can be influenced and controlled externally rather than internally prior to being regenerated. [/quote:a5a0170f69]

I would agree in the broad sense of the term "possession". But I'm referring to the possession as we see it in the Gospel and the book of Acts, where demons manifest their power in a person (i.e. Legion) and those instances when they torment and afflict people.

Also I would add that if God uses demons as instrument of his judgment does that mean that they are used only when man breaks a covenant/law. Could one argue that this is to do with the covenant curse on Israel, another means of God punishing Israel as he promised (Deut 28:28 28:46, Matt 12:43-45. Another example of this type of judgment is tongues (Deut 28:49)

VanVos



[Edited on 6-21-2004 by VanVos]
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:12822fceff][i:12822fceff]Originally posted by Preach[/i:12822fceff]
What is the relationship between covenant children and demon possession? [/quote:12822fceff]

Just become a credobaptist and that will no longer be an issue:p

VanVos

[Edited on 6-21-2004 by VanVos]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Johnathan,
Not to divert the thread, but please tell me how you have come to this conclussion? Seriously.........I believe that Preach asked the question in all honesty; based upon the idea that as 1 Cor says, "but your children are holy......." His question borders upon the 'holiness' and whether or not they are regenerate.



[Edited on 6-22-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:831e681259][i:831e681259]Originally posted by Scott Bushey[/i:831e681259]
Johnathan,
Not to divert the thread, but please tell me how you have come to this conclussion? Seriously.........I believe that Preach asked the question in all honesty; based upon the idea that as 1 Cor says, "but your children are holy......." His question borders upon the 'holiness' and whether or not they are regenerate.



[Edited on 6-22-2004 by Scott Bushey] [/quote:831e681259]

It was an honest question, I guess I was trying to be little humorous in my response. But yes I was saying that as a credobaptist I do not see the children of the believing parents as in the New Covenant, that's all. The credobaptist perspective of the New Covenant is that it is in Christ's blood (I'm not saying you deny that) and therefore propitiates for all who are in that covenant (Heb 9:14-16). But your right that is getting off topic a bit and will probably best discussed in a new thread, because I believe that it is a good question.

VanVos






[Edited on 6-22-2004 by VanVos]
 

Irishcat922

Puritan Board Sophomore
I read a story by Martyn Lloyd-Jones several years ago, it may have been in his sermons on 1 Peter I can't remember, my alzheimers is kickin in, where he tells the story of a young girl who probably was demon possessed in his church. Any way every once in awhile during his sermon she would fall out on the floor and roll around and scream, and one time Lloyd-Jones told her to get up and don't ever do that in my church again and she didn't he said. Interesting I thought if she was demon possessed, and I tend to think she probably was, Lloyd-jones dealt with it authoritativly and decisively. Unlike the presumtiveness used by so many today.

[Edited on 6-22-2004 by Irishcat922]
 

turmeric

Megerator
When the Holy Spirit enters yr life at regeneration, anything else living there certainly leaves! I think I've known people who were possessed but it happens rarely here. As people open themselves to shamanic states, it will probably become more common. Prayer is always a good idea. I'm sure God still delivers people but how I don't know.
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thank you all for your thoughts, I found them to be honest and useful.

VanVos

P.S. Could anyone recommend to me any reformed works on this matter?
 

LarryCook

Puritan Board Freshman
For what it's worth, here's a portion of text from Spurgeon's # 2124,
found here: http://spurgeongems.org/vols34-36/chs2124.pdf

Note, next, that Jesus can deal with special cases of devilry. Possession with evil spirits was probably peculiar to that age. I sometimes think that when the Savior came down on earth, the devil had the impudence to ask to be let loose, that he and all his servants might come on earth and, in person, might meet the Savior. Satan is still busy, going about, seeking whom he may devour"”but not exactly in the particular way in which he raged in Christ´s day. He cannot take possession of men´s bodies as he did then. So the Savior met Satan foot to foot and face to face"”and the devil made a poor fight of it"”for whenever the Lord Jesus made His appearance, the devil wanted to be off! And if he did not want to go, the Savior soon moved him by saying, "œCome out of him."

Like a whipped dog he did not dare to make a sound, but fled. A whole legion of demons were glad to get into a herd of swine and ran violently down a steep place into the sea to escape from the frown of our Lord! Satan found somebody that was more than a match for him! The parallel to that is this. There are some men that we meet with in whom the devil evidently reigns"”and there are such women, too"”for when women are bad, they can be bad and there can be no mistake about it. The devil can make more mischief out of a woman than out of a man when he thoroughly gets possession of her.

Well, whether men or women, there are some who might be called "œthe devil´s own." One man is a drunk"”there is no stopping him"”he must drink on. He seems to be infatuated by it. He takes the pledge and abstains for a little while but, by-and-by, the devil gets hold of him again and he goes back to his taps. Though he has drunk himself into delirium tremens and to Death´s door, yet still he gives way to this loathsome vice. Others are possessed with the devil of lasciviousness and it does not matter what they suffer"”they will always be defiling themselves"”ruining body and soul by their iniquity.

We know persons who seem to have a devil in them in the matter of passion. They are but a little provoked and they lose all command of themselves. You would think that they ought to be put in a padded room in Bethlehem Hospital and Help for Your Sickness kept there till they cooled down"”otherwise they might do mischief to themselves and to others. Surely some men, who can scarcely speak without swearing, have the devil in them! How one´s blood runs chill, in going down our streets, to hear how commonly our working men degrade themselves with filthy conversation! It is not exactly cursing"”it is less honest and more vile!

Is there any hope for such? These are the very people in whom Jesus Christ has often displayed His healing power! I could tell you tonight of lions that have been turned to lambs"”men of furious passions who have become gentle, quiet and loving"”men of profane speech who would be shocked at the very remembrance of what they once said and whose voices have been often heard in prayer. I could tell you of men and women, too, who loved the wages of iniquity and lost their character and defiled themselves"”but they are washed and they are sanctified! I have blessed the name of God when giving the right hand of Christian fellowship to ransomed ones to whom we could not have given our right hand a little while ago, for it would have been wrong to join with them in the wickedness of their pursuits.

Oh, yes, my Master still casts devils out of men! If there are any such here tonight, let your cry for help go up to our blessed Master! Come again, great Lord, and cast out the evil spirit from men and get to Yourself the victory in many a heart, to the praise of the glory of Your Grace! The remarkable point about this miracle-working was that all were healed and there was never a failure. When a man brings out a patent medicine he publishes verifications of the efficacy of his product. He gets a number of cases and he advertises them.

I suppose they are genuine. I should not like to be hanged if they were not. I suppose, therefore, they are all accurate and authentic. But there is one thing which you never knew a medicine advertiser to do"”he never advertises the failures of the medicine. The number of persons that have been induced to buy the remedy and have derived no good from it"”if these were all advertised it might occupy more room in the newspaper than those who write of a cure! My Lord Jesus Christ is a Physician who never had a failure yet"”never once! Never did a soul wash in Christ´s blood without being made whiter than snow! Never did a man, besotted with the worst of vice, trust in Jesus without receiving power to conquer his evil habits!
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Pastor Jonathan,

"The Great Works of Christ in America" may have some information.
I also have a CD set that may have some info on it as well. I'll check.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
However we define "possesion" (and I incline toward the view that sees overt demon-possession as excluded to places where the Word of God has not penetrated--if it exists today at all), we must never allow demonic influence upon people to be understood as excusing wicked behavior. As if the will of a person were replaced with a demon's will--"the devil made me do it" attitude, that is supposed to exculpate someone's guilty acts.

If I have a spastic twitch that causes me to kick my leg, and the dog is walking in front of me at that instant, and it gets punted, I am not accountable for kicking the dog. I sent no mental impulse to my leg to snap. It just happened to me, and the dog. Similarly we classify derangement as an affliction that literally excuses someone from culpability because there is no willful mental engagement in his behavior. (I am not talking about the abuse of the "insanity" defense in jurisprudence.)

I do not think demon-possession, even in the Bible, ever excused a man from guilt because of his acts. Such possession is evidently the most powerful, personal influencing of evil upon the soul possible, to where a person feels gripped irresistably and palpably by forces beyond his control. The influence is so pervasive and constant it is rightly said to be "resident" with the afflicted person. One can feel as if it is not in his power to say "no" or resist ... what? Why, nothing but his own fanned, inflamed lust for wickedness! In the unrighteous demonic influence is prevented by nothing but common grace, and whatever natural limitations demons have--by nature and due to their fixed number. Manifestation and multiplication of such grace accompanies and is inextricably intertwined with the spread of the Word of God.

The evident widespread phenomena in the New Testament (its seeming inital powerfulness, and its obvious rout from the field of conflict) corresponds negatively to the fact of the Incarnation, and to the Spirit's outpouring. Satan's best efforts are trounced by the simplicity of the Word. Modern (or RCC type) "exorcisms" are stupid rituals, inantations, and invocations designed to overawe the observers and the "patient," and are of no value at all in ridding a person of whatever influences (if any) he has. I am reminded of the Acts 19:13-17 passage, where the evil spirit replied, "Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are ye?" We do not address demons. We do not "cast out" anything. The assumption some make that they have this power is astounding in its arrogance, and feeble-minded in its comprehension of the power of their opponents.

Simply put, we talk to people who have the imago Dei-bearing capacity to hear and understand us. We NEVER tell people that they are in the power of someone/thing else, who forces them to do bad things. Rather we tell them that by the Spirit and power of God they can live transformed lives that glorify and please God. They can be victorious and trample Satan underfoot. All it takes is a willingness to apply the Truth of God in their lives. The Spirit will do the rest.

[Edited on 10-23-2004 by Contra_Mundum]
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Thanks you LarryCook, webmaster, Contra_Mundum, daveb
for your comments.

I agree that the RCC way of doing exorcisms is nothing like biblical accounts we read. In the bible the cures of demoniacs were always a public demonstration of God's power over Satan and the demonic. Mark 1:21-28, Matt 12:22-23, Mark 5:1-20 etc.

VanVos
 
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