demon possession

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Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
Are there any known legitimate cases of demon possession today?

:detective:


1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

Demon possession today? Look no further than your TV set. Hagee, Hinn, Schuler, Oprah and a host of other demon possesed false teachers. Just because thier head is not spinning around and vomit is not spewing from thier mouth does not mean they are not indwelt of devils. :2cents:
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
Very good James, you've brought up again what has really confused this discussion and that is that the movies have changed the expectations and images associated with demons.

For most of history demons have been thought weak and under God's authority, defeated and in their death throes. Rosemary's Baby changed perceptions. Suddenly there was a demon who was more powerful than God and he could thwart God's plan. Then came The Exorcist and you had spinning heads, spinning beds and all matters of climatology in a bedroom. It was pretty dramatic and pretty frightening.

After that, interest in demons went nuts and they were portrayed more powerful and dangerous than ever.

When the Kingdom was established Satan and his minions brought an all out assault but he was defeated, he is bound. All he has now is deception and any foothold he can find due to fear and superstition.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
An alternate view is this:

For most of Christian history the church DID believe in the activity of demons.

Remember, Luther threw an inkwell at what he said was the devil. The Protestants killed their fair share of witches and those that appeared possessed.

Then the enlightenment happened and anti-supernaturalism grew and many became deists and the sciences begin to dominate. The Western church became a child of its time and began to deny demons, and then the virgin birth, etc.




However, even though they believed in demons they did speak of the decrease in activity wherever the Gospel went (I'll have to find that quote, I think, by Athanasius). And if this were true then we can expect more dramatic activity in places where the Gospel has not yet made inroads.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
I tend to agree with Pergy here, although it may be due to influences early on in my Christian life. I haven't studied this issue in several years.

Here's a post from DTK that presents an interesting view.
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
The term "possession" is unfortunate, a creation of either Josephus or the KJV translators. In the NT Greek it's reportedly either being demonized or having a demon.

In missions contexts, demonization is a common phenomenon and the power of God over these critters is frequently a major factor in conversions. I have had multiple personal experiences with these things, if anyone is interested. You have it in the states also--it's the in thing for teens to dabble with trances, curses, and various supernatural experiences. Jesus' worldview included the middle storey--an active spirit-world between the human sphere and the divine sphere. It boggles my mind how believers can call Him "Lord" and yet insist that their worldview (excluding the middle storey) is right and, by implication, that His is or was wrong.
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
While demon possession is at issue in this thread, I would assert that demonic presence is not altogether extinguished, and I don't think anyone here would argue otherwise, but I didn't read the entire thread either.

I know someone who is acutely aware of spiritual presences and has been afflicted, though not possessed, by an otherworldly presence opposing God's saints. The stories I have heard described to me make me glad that I am either too dense to notice things like this or have a hedge of protection around me so that they cannot afflict me. Either way, I'm glad I don't know about that stuff.
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
There's also the difference between supernatural and supra-normal. Only God can do supernatural things (ie, break the laws of physics, so to speak, since he created them), demons can only do supra-normal things.

In this sterilized world in America, we (not us at PB, but those in the world)think we have all the scientific answers. Science is a myth.
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
To answer the OP, Lukeh021471, I have. I used to be in Wicca. 99% is fake, the other 1% is so real, a person should not want to mess with the stuff or even open the door. You'll never know what will walk through.

"Oh, my spirit guide helped me"
"My guardian angel protected me"
"God sent an angel to protect me" (by a non-believer)
"Jesus appeared unto me, as if he were standing infront of me"

The above are examples of possible encounters of the demonic kind.

There are certainly demonic ideas.

This topic brings up too many wrong feelings in me. Scary stuff folks.
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
In bringing up the Luther anecdote, which is often done, let's keep in mind that it is just an anecdote and not scripture and not something we would want to build a doctrine around. Luther's recording of what happened is pretty subjective.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Bawb:

I only used Luther because you used him first. Believe me, I agree little with Luther on a lot of things.
 

etexas

Puritan Board Doctor
I too believe in Demons, Hitler is a good example, he WAS insane, but there was more than that, by his own hand he wrote of an experience in The Hapsburg Museum, he was obsessed with the Spear of Longinus (the spear that according to legend pierced the side of Christ) one day under the influence of mescaline he stared at the thing for hours. By his hand he wrote of a creature of shadow that emerged from the spear and asked Adolph to give over his will to a great power that would lift him to glory. It had only been a short while before he lived in flop-houses. After this experience things began to happen very fast, a man gave himself to a shadow whispering promises, soon after tis poor painter plunges earth into bloodshed and barbarism. Eichman once said "There was nothing special about Hitler." Indeed! There was not. Something moved him, and drove him, and destroyed him. :2cents:
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Etexas: Give me some citations for this stuff. Sounds interesting. Note that the book on the spear of destiny I believe is fiction.
 

holyfool33

Puritan Board Freshman
None that I know of uselly you will see charismatics claim there possesed or have some sort of "generational curse."
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
While living in Thailand, I asked a Thai Buddhist about the origin of the peculiar corners on the roofs, the familiar tail-like structures. She told me, "When the Lord Buddah was dying, he was visited by the divine serpent who had given him his religion. He expressed gratitude to the divine serpent for all the help he had given, for his great success. He asked the serpent what he could do to express his gratitude. The serpent responded with 'Put the image of my tail on every housetop,' which is what Buddah did."

I have personally seen multiple cases of demonization, some of these in the states. SOne doesn't need to be a charismatic to recognize this. With the ascendency of New Age phenomena it is becoming common in the mainstream of American society. It's only the evangelicals and Reformed who deny these things; secular American society is increasingly recognizing these phenomena. Certainly there are charismatic excesses but that doesn't negate the scriptural worldview which includes demons or the experience of those who deal with them in a rational manner. Clergy who relegate demonic phenomena to superstition cannot help their parishioners who struggle with the phenomena.

If anyone is interested in the subject, PM me. I'm willing to write more in that context than in open forum.
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
I just realized that my post above is irrelevant. Buddah was a contemporary of the prophet Daniel.

For holyfool33, what level of evidence will you accept? For most people raised in western cultures, particularly pastor-sorts, the consequences of seeing and experiencing demonic phenomena first-hand are not pleasant. They are scary and one must change his/her worldview as a consequence. I've been through it, as has been my husband--we are both scientists, born and raised in the states. If you and others cannot define what evidence you will accept, then it is most likely that you will dismiss any accounts as "superstition". There is no point in dialog. For those in the pastorate who have parishioners struggling with unsolvable medical or emotional problems, then learning about demonic manifestations and learning how to deal with them, might enable you, in some cases, to be helpful. Let me assure you that once your attitude changes from, "It's all superstition." to "Tell me about it; let's consider if this might be demonic." both believers and unbelievers will come out of the woodwork, asking for counsel and seeking prayer.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
The simplest question that I know to ask all here is:

Do you believe in the existence of the supernatural or not? And if there is a supernatural world of God, angels and demons, at what level do they interact with the world?


A follow-up question then would be: How much can be be aware of their involvement in the world? And then, what should we do about it?




My answers would be: The supernatural exists. is real, and active. But we can only know a bit of the total picture and so we operate according to our duties and engage in our warfare by prayer to God (never addressing demons who may or may not be bothering us at that particular instant) and not change the fulfillment of our duties.
 

BobVigneault

Bawberator
I agree with your assessment completely. The only thing I would add is that we need to resist fear and superstition*. Fear and superstition is the demon's foothold. Meditating on God's sovereignty casts out fear and the Scriptures remove superstition.

(*When I refer to superstition, I am not saying that belief in demons is superstitious but that there is much superstition, from movies and books, that cloud our understanding of demonic activity.)



The simplest question that I know to ask all here is:

Do you believe in the existence of the supernatural or not? And if there is a supernatural world of God, angels and demons, at what level do they interact with the world?


A follow-up question then would be: How much can be be aware of their involvement in the world? And then, what should we do about it?




My answers would be: The supernatural exists. is real, and active. But we can only know a bit of the total picture and so we operate according to our duties and engage in our warfare by prayer to God (never addressing demons who may or may not be bothering us at that particular instant) and not change the fulfillment of our duties.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
I too believe in Demons, Hitler is a good example, he WAS insane, but there was more than that, by his own hand he wrote of an experience in The Hapsburg Museum, he was obsessed with the Spear of Longinus (the spear that according to legend pierced the side of Christ) one day under the influence of mescaline he stared at the thing for hours. By his hand he wrote of a creature of shadow that emerged from the spear and asked Adolph to give over his will to a great power that would lift him to glory. It had only been a short while before he lived in flop-houses. After this experience things began to happen very fast, a man gave himself to a shadow whispering promises, soon after tis poor painter plunges earth into bloodshed and barbarism.
Gotta be careful of those Hitler stories floating around. On one level we're still fighting WW2 and there's a lot of propaganda out there.
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
The simplest question that I know to ask all here is:

Do you believe in the existence of the supernatural or not? And if there is a supernatural world of God, angels and demons, at what level do they interact with the world?


A follow-up question then would be: How much can be be aware of their involvement in the world? And then, what should we do about it?




My answers would be: The supernatural exists. is real, and active. But we can only know a bit of the total picture and so we operate according to our duties and engage in our warfare by prayer to God (never addressing demons who may or may not be bothering us at that particular instant) and not change the fulfillment of our duties.
If you see people delivered from demons and coming to Christ, blessings on your approach. If not, you might consider using the approach that Paul used in the book of Acts. Maybe it'll work, maybe not. It's hard to believe that it would be sin to try. Neil Anderson's truth encounter approach is another possibility--not sinful to try and possibly helpful.

To clarify my own position: deliverance is not my major focus; it is not a major part of my ministry and I don't see a demon behind every bush. I've seen maybe 10 spectacular healings/deliverances at close range in 20 years, plus a bunch of minor annoying manifestations reversed. The major deliverances have, like in the gospels, been mostly neuro and psych problems. The effect with direct confrontation has been instantaneous. With the Neil Anderson/truth encounter approach, the effect has been slower--but that was only one case.

I'm well aware of probable-demonic manifestations in believers in the states who struggle with undiagnosable and/or untreatable medical or psychiatric illnesses. The unscriptural worldviews of their physicians and pastors precludes their getting effective help. On the other hand, there would be unpleasant consequences for these pastors and physicians were they to read and learn about demonic phenomena and attempt to deal with them. Examining the subject, unless one is forced into it, takes considerable courage. It's understandable to let situations remain.

I welcome PM on the subject, if anyone is inclined.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I wouldn't advocate very much of what Neil Anderson proposes. And as far as the Apostle Paul's methodology, it is sometimes hard to tell what is normative and what is merely descriptive of what Paul did as a BIG A Apostle.
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
I wouldn't advocate very much of what Neil Anderson proposes. And as far as the Apostle Paul's methodology, it is sometimes hard to tell what is normative and what is merely descriptive of what Paul did as a BIG A Apostle.
You don't advocate Neil Anderson's approach, nor are you inclined to follow Paul's example. On what basis is this? It cannot be on the basis of scripture alone. To the best of my knowledge, the scriptures do not explicitly forbid either approach. Therefore, one's loyalty to the scriptures as the only rule of faith and practice should not preclude either approach. Also to the best of my knowledge the confessions, of lesser authority than the scriptures, are silent on the matter. Therefore loyalty to the confessions should not preclude either practice.

This leaves only cessationist presuppositions to preclude actively dealing with the netherworld supernatural--one's traditional Calvinistic culture, so to speak. Cessationism, like baptism and views of eschatology, is open to arguments either way between believers with absolute loyalty to the scripture. Since the entire scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation, reflect intermittent cessationism, the burden of proof is on those who insist on absolute cesstion in the current era. By intermittent cessationism, I mean that there were times and places when miracles were more common and times (like in Nazareth during Jesus' day) when they all but disappeared. Of the historical books (using that term broadly) I believe it is only Ruth and Esther that do not record miraculous events.

Am I missing something?
 
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