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Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
This is a personal topic for myself, Travis Fentiman, MDiv., LPN. Until I became a nurse, I never had any first-hand experience with demonic possession.

But since then, after talking to and observing many persons who hear ‘voices’ in their head, I have become persuaded that most schizophrenics, who hear such malevolent voices, are demon possessed. This means that more people than we have imagined today are possessed by demons, and are around us in some number in society (about 1%).

These webpages were born out of need. When a person is being tormented in front of you in tears and despair, how does one help them? Can one deliver them?

I have written a personal account of my experience and clinical observations with these things, and hope it may be helpful and eye-opening. See the Introduction on this new page:

For a very real tour of what we are talking about, watch this short 4 minute video of a man describing his history with voices.

I wish I had time to write an introduction to the following page as well, giving the results of my investigations into Scripture, reformed theology and history, but I have not. Nonetheless, this might be the only collection of historic, reformed resouces available on the topic:

I hope these resources may be helpful to others.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
This is probably the most legendary (in the good sense of the word) modern account of demon possession. It is about the 19th century Lutheran pastor.
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
I'm a physician working in a developing area. I've seen some cases of demonization in my 26 years here, two spectacular ones that I can remember right now. There were probably more cases in the community, but the common belief is that white expatriates don't believe in demons, so people go to shamans rather than me. Fortunately, we have a good friend, a chaplain, who has the gift for dealing with this.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Jacob, thanks so much for the link! I will be looking it over.

I don't endorse everything either E. Neuhardt or Zilinsky say, but they have been on the front lines and even if their analysis is off, they are usually pretty good in getting information on a topic. E. Neuhardt also has a series "The Devil and Karen Kingston." That's more fascinating than anything on cable (and I think it was real). While he holds to a deliverance mentality, he does point out where Rome goes wrong on this stuff.
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Thank you Travis. I know of a woman who is a schizophrenic that is constantly assaulted by these voices. She is a believer and is helped by some therapies but, most importantly, by the word and prayer. In particular, her and her husband believe that Psalm singing brought her out of a catatonic state. Trusting her profession and observing her walk it is apparent to me that she is redeemed but somehow the Lord allows her to either be afflicted without being possessed or that it is mainly, if not entirely, physical in nature.

It is instructive to hear how many speak of the malevolence of these voices. Have you ever encountered someone who thought these voice(s) were in any way helpful or benign? The absence of which perhaps, may clue us into the dark nature & source of the affliction.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Without going into detail, I know someone suffering from dementia and who hears voices. Most of the time they are benign imaginary voices engaging in dialog.

A month ago there was a shift, and this person described a German-accented voice who said he was God. He was saying who was saved and who was not. It was a bit alarming to me because I was among those who were not. "Thus sayeth the Lord" in a bad German accent.

So we talked about it and prayed for the voice to be silenced, and that God would protect this dear one from evil.

To the point: prayer is effective, to his glory. That particular issue has not come back.
 

Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
Rev. Kok,

I do believe that Christians can be assaulted by demons and voices (Eph. 4, 'give not place to the devil'), but as you said, I would think these would not be permanent in a way such that the believer can do nothing about it, or perhaps much of it could actually be physical.

A number of sources on the net (trying to help people who first start to have voices) try to put a postive spin on voices in any way they can, and say that sometimes the voices are benign or encouraging. But then you read the real story, and it is quite the opposite. Here are some great examples:

"I first started hearing voices when I was developing my anorexia. My voices were my best friend. I thought she just wanted the best for me... she was extremely manipulative and whatever she said I would do." - this webpage
These stories:​
I would also question whether truly benign voices that never say anything bad, are still actually good or indifferent, or whether that of itself is also bad and possibly demonic. Good angels would never tell you bad stuff, nor benign stuff. Whether some benign voices could be due to a natural condition could probably be debated, given the circumstances.
 

EuphratesRiver

Puritan Board Freshman
I haven't personally experienced the things mentioned, but I stand on upon the belief that demonic possession was more common, if not exclusively, in the times of the apostles. When Jesus and the apostles casted demons out, it was a confirmation to the gospel they preached (Hebrews 2:14).
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
I haven't personally experienced the things mentioned, but I stand on upon the belief that demonic possession was more common, if not exclusively, in the times of the apostles. When Jesus and the apostles casted demons out, it was a confirmation to the gospel they preached (Hebrews 2:14).
My thinking runs along this line as well.
 

Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
I haven't personally experienced the things mentioned, but I stand on upon the belief that demonic possession was more common, if not exclusively, in the times of the apostles. When Jesus and the apostles casted demons out, it was a confirmation to the gospel they preached (Hebrews 2:14).

Friends,

While I believe there is biblical warrant that demon possession was more acute in Israel when the Messiah came, largely due to that reason, yet I don't believe it can be denied from Scripture that there is demon activity in the world after the apostles' day:

Rev. 20:3 " And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season."​
The devil currently has the nations deceived. Many more Biblical principles and texts apply. And such a view as the cessation of demonic activity/possession is contra the eschatology that undergirds the confessions of reformed orthodoxy, namely Historicism.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Friends,

While I believe there is biblical warrant that demon possession was more acute in Israel when the Messiah came, largely due to that reason, yet I don't believe it can be denied from Scripture that there is demon activity in the world after the apostles' day:

Rev. 20:3 " And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season."​
The devil currently has the nations deceived. Many more Biblical principles and texts apply. And such a view as the cessation of demonic activity/possession is contra the eschatology that undergirds the confessions of reformed orthodoxy, namely Historicism.

Exactly. There is no logical connection between "exorcism was a sign that confirmed, and only confirmed, the apostles' teaching (something Scripture doesn't say) to "there is no demon possession today." One doesn't follow from the other.

Per exorcism. Demons are like rats. They feed on garbage. Get rid of the garbage (e.g., a p0rn habit) and much of this will solve itself.

The problem is we are more influenced by Catholic pop culture on exorcisms than we would like to admit. It doesn't have to be dramatic (unless the person in question has made a blood pact with Satan, like U.S. Col. Mike Aquino did).
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
One thing to keep in mind is that we in the West (and to a certain extent, the EO, too) have viewed demonic issues through the lens of faulty categories and less than accurate translation. We, following medieval Catholicism, tend to view all "demons" as "fallen angels," which the Bible never says.

Some skeptic, or even a functional Evangelical deist, might rightly respond, "So you think a fallen archon is possessing someone?" to which the obvious answer is "no."

I'm not saying "trust the scholars," since I am usually quite hostile to the concept of "experts," but there have been huge breakthroughs on this front.

My only issue with Kraft's work is that it is really easy (unintentionally) to read memories back into the subject, so be on guard with that.


This is probably the single best take on the issue.



While I normally default to Heiser on everything regarding these issues, I don't think he is aware of all the "issues on the ground." I do agree with his approach that the normal way to break strongholds in your life is by ordinary Christian practices.

Derek Gilbert has done a good job summarizing the scholarship for the layman.
 

Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
One thing to keep in mind is that we in the West (and to a certain extent, the EO, too) have viewed demonic issues through the lens of faulty categories and less than accurate translation. We, following medieval Catholicism, tend to view all "demons" as "fallen angels," which the Bible never says.

Some skeptic, or even a functional Evangelical deist, might rightly respond, "So you think a fallen archon is possessing someone?" to which the obvious answer is "no."

I'm not saying "trust the scholars," since I am usually quite hostile to the concept of "experts," but there have been huge breakthroughs on this front.

My only issue with Kraft's work is that it is really easy (unintentionally) to read memories back into the subject, so be on guard with that.


This is probably the single best take on the issue.



While I normally default to Heiser on everything regarding these issues, I don't think he is aware of all the "issues on the ground." I do agree with his approach that the normal way to break strongholds in your life is by ordinary Christian practices.

Derek Gilbert has done a good job summarizing the scholarship for the layman.
What do you believe the origin of demons is, Jacob?
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
This is a personal topic for myself, Travis Fentiman, MDiv., LPN. Until I became a nurse, I never had any first-hand experience with demonic possession.

But since then, after talking to and observing many persons who hear ‘voices’ in their head, I have become persuaded that most schizophrenics, who hear such malevolent voices, are demon possessed. This means that more people than we have imagined today are possessed by demons, and are around us in some number in society (about 1%).

As one who works in healthcare (all be it not in mental health) I am concerned you believe that most who are schizophrenic are demon possessed. Do you think they ought not to take medicine since you appear to think this is a spiritual problem?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
What do you believe the origin of demons is, Jacob?

For starters, demons are unclean spirits. They aren't fallen archangels, since the Bible has other terms for that: beney ha-elohim, shedim, archai, kosmokratoras, etc.

The Bible doesn't actually say what their origin is, though it leaves hints. Josephus, Philo, and almost all of the Jews before Christ believed they were the spirits of slain Nephilim. I'm not 100% sold on that idea, though it does avoid the problems inherent in traditional categories.

Other problems concern the identity of the Rephaim. On one hand, they were living kings in Canaan. On the other hand, they are located in the waters below Sheol, which ties in with Ugaritic texts that see them as some sort of underworld king.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
As one who works in healthcare (all be it not in mental health) I am concerned you believe that most who are schizophrenic are demon possessed. Do you think they ought not to take medicine since you appear to think this is a spiritual problem?

Although you and I usually disagree on these points, I'm not far off from you (I take anxiety meds, for what it is worth). In the 1940s-1970s the US learned how to split the personalities of subjects through extreme trauma. For the most part, though, I wouldn't say those victims were demon-possessed.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Speaking of split personalities....one of my favorite movie trilogies was Shimackalonadingdong's Unbreakable, Split, and Glass. :)
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Speaking of split personalities....one of my favorite movie trilogies was Shimackalonadingdong's Unbreakable, Split, and Glass. :)

I could never get into Unbreakable (I know, it's supposedly his greatest). Split had a very interesting premise, though.
 

Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
As one who works in healthcare (all be it not in mental health) I am concerned you believe that most who are schizophrenic are demon possessed. Do you think they ought not to take medicine since you appear to think this is a spiritual problem?
Earl, I answer that in the article I wrote, namely the Intro to the webpage linked in the original post.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Earl, I answer that in the article I wrote, namely the Intro to the webpage linked in the original post.

So in your opinion medication should not be used in those with schizophrenia, because most of them are possessed. I am still concerned with your view.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Earl, I never said that. Please read my article again.
"As most of them hear malevolent voices, it is likely that most of them are demonically possessed......When you are possessed by demons, there is no natural thing on this earth that will be able to cure you of it"

?
 

Travis Fentiman

Puritan Board Freshman
Earl,

That statement I made is true. Drugs do not cure schizophrenia. As I said in my article repeatedly, drugs may and often do help palliate the noise of the voices. I footnoted a link which I stated gave a balanced sketch of the effectiveness, and lack of effectiveness of drugs in relation to schizophrenia.

But it is a waste of my time to simply provide quotes from my article, or to defend myself from things I never said or implied.
 

kainos01

Puritan Board Senior
it is a waste of my time to simply provide quotes from my article, or to defend myself from things I never said or implied.
I have absolutely no dog in this fight. But it seems apropos here to note that it is often a waste of my time to follow links.
This is a discussion board, not a hyperlink board. I for one (and I may be alone?) find it frustrating when I inquire as to someone's thoughts about something and they point me to a book/blog/vlog or even a sermon. Discuss. Here. Pretend we are - gasp! - sitting in a library (or a pub or a living room) and let's just have a conversation, for crying out loud...
Again, not directed, per se, at you, Travis, but your post provided a convenient launching pad for a diatribe...
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
I have absolutely no dog in this fight. But it seems apropos here to note that it is often a waste of my time to follow links.
This is a discussion board, not a hyperlink board. I for one (and I may be alone?) find it frustrating when I inquire as to someone's thoughts about something and they point me to a book/blog/vlog or even a sermon. Discuss. Here. Pretend we are - gasp! - sitting in a library (or a pub or a living room) and let's just have a conversation, for crying out loud...
Again, not directed, per se, at you, Travis, but your post provided a convenient launching pad for a diatribe...

True enough, but Travis was implied as saying medication should not be used on schizophrenia, which he never said.
 

Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
I haven't personally experienced the things mentioned, but I stand on upon the belief that demonic possession was more common, if not exclusively, in the times of the apostles. When Jesus and the apostles casted demons out, it was a confirmation to the gospel they preached (Hebrews 2:14).
Primarily yes, but it also seems to have occurred, oddly enough, when demons were annoying or just got in their way.

The attitude of Christ and the apostles toward demons in the NT is quite unexpected, perhaps due to our pop-culture, Roman Catholic apprehensions of their natures, to which I believe Bayou above alluded.

No dramatic showdowns, no Frank Peretti-type spiritual battles; just kind of a... weary contempt, if I could put it that way.
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Earl,

That statement I made is true. Drugs do not cure schizophrenia. As I said in my article repeatedly, drugs may and often do help palliate the noise of the voices. I footnoted a link which I stated gave a balanced sketch of the effectiveness, and lack of effectiveness of drugs in relation to schizophrenia.

But it is a waste of my time to simply provide quotes from my article, or to defend myself from things I never said or implied.

Thanks for the reply. :) I see where you do say that drugs may help, though my main concern is you think most of these poor people are possessed. I will cease from posting more on this subject on this Lord's Day....to keep peace...even though I believe it is a permissible discussion today.
 
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