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Exorcism and Demon Possession of Saved People: False Spiritual Warfare and Doctrines of Devils

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

Just recently, the false prophet/teacher Greg Locke and his circus-monkeys released a movie, pictured above, "Come Out in Jesus Name," summarized as the "most important awakening in the history of the Christian Church," that they Locke and "his fellow demon slayers" allegedly started, "through the most unlikely means - by casting out demons." (source).

Can a believer be demonized; i.e. possessed by a demon? Can these demons, whether possessed by a professing Christian or non-Christian, be exorcised by Christians? There is a movement within professing evangelicalism today that says, "Yes," to these questions. This movement, in evangelicalism and Pentecostalism/ Charismaticism mostly, is teaching that a high percentage of sin among professing Christians is caused by demons. Followers assent that a person can be a Christian, and still be in bondage to Satan and demons, including possessed with demons. The popularity of this movement can be seen in the seminars being held across the country and the best-selling books being published that promote this heresy. This teaching of the demonization of the believer has not come without a forerunner. Christian psychology has brought the world's idea of victimization to Christianity. Psychoheresy has taught us that everyone is a victim. When a person has problems in his life, he is often told it is the result of his past or how his parents treated him. There is even an entire category of counselling called Theophostic or Inner-Healing, that deals with these type of generational sins. The end result is that the individual does not take responsibility for their own actions. We see this on every hand today. People play the blame game. People are suing alcohol companies because they have drank for fifty years and are dying of liver cancer. Criminals claim that their dysfunctional families are the reason for their criminal acts. They go even so low as to blame their arm or hand for committing the crime, as if their extremities are detached from their body. Everybody is blaming someone or something else for their problems. Satan and his demons become an easy scapegoat in this sort of environment, where there is something other than ourselves to blame for our sin and deviant behaviour. Like psychologists, false teachers make the professing believer — (who in many cases, most, are not saved at all, just mere nominal professors)—a victim who needs the steps and formulas of the "experts" in order to find true joy and victory. And parallel to psychoheresy, the source of authority is experience rather than Scripture. What is denied and abandoned is the Biblical way of dealing with people's sin problem.

When this teaching is filtered through Scripture, it becomes obvious that demonization of true believers is not Biblical, nor is exorcism of demons, and many of the experiences cited to support this teaching do not line up with Scripture. As a result, people are being deceived and professing Christians are being blown about by every wind of unsound doctrine.

Two men who have had great influence in promoting demonization teaching are Neil Anderson (his book, The Bondage Breaker) and Fred Dickason (his book, Demon Possession and the Christian), with the former being addressed in this report. Because they mix some truth with error, people are deceived and ensnared. What happens when a gallon of milk is mixed with a drop of poison, is the product mostly good milk? The result is poisoned milk. Likewise, a mixture of good theology with unbiblical theology results in a poisoned theology. We don't pinpoint the allegedly good theology but the heresy, which is what exposes man as a heretic (or not, in the absence). That is exactly how the Bible reads from start to finish.

Anderson writes in his book,

"Sheila is a sobering example of a dimension of spiritual vulnerability that most Christians do not like to talk about: demonic control. As a believer, Sheila had obviously lost control in her eating habits, in her sexual behavior, and in her devotional life" (Neil Anderson, The Bondage Breaker, p. 172).

According to Anderson, the reason for this woman's sinful behavior was "demonic control." She is not to blame for her lack of discipline or the sexual immorality in her life. Anderson then states that this woman eventually became free when she renounced Satan's control over her life (The Bondage Breaker, p. 172). Its all a facade, both author and character. Sheila was an unregenerate woman, that continued down that path of carnality and imitation, once again merely reforming her life with the help of man, dressing up the pig, while deceived false teachers like Neil Anderson are in the same simple and gullible boat as her (which according to Scripture are unsaved people, Pr 1:20-30) unable to spiritually discern the real issue, because they are without the Holy Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:9-16), thus unregenerate. Thats the entire issue here. A false teacher helping a false Christian. Neither have actually been genuinely born again, so no true help being offered there.

This teaching of the "demonization of the believer" is contrary to Scripture and is in line with the world's view of everyone being a victim. It is a denial of the sufficiency of the work of Christ and Scripture. It is a "doctrine of devils" (1 Tim 4:1). The "exorcists" are not delivering people from demons but dancing with demons. The are mocked and scorned by goats working for Satan. Men like Greg Locke are the laughing stock of the spiritual realm.

From whence cometh sin?

Does the devil make people sin? Is demonic control a reason for mankind's sinful behaviour? This is what false teachers like Greg Locke and Neil Anderson would have you believe. The Scripture is actually quite clear on what the source of sin is, and its not the devil.

From man's lust:

"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." (Jam 1:13-14).

James says that a persons own lust is the reason for our sin, not demonic control.

From man's flesh:

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (Gal 5:19­-21).

Notice that these sins are not deeds of the devil or influenced by the devil. They are deeds of the "flesh," as derived from the flesh. This is the flesh of every single person of the world, though these passages are obviously not describing saved people after their conversion, since these are people who do "not inherit the kingdom of God." Only unsaved people do not inherit the kingdom, while saved people do and have a position in the heavenlies from the very moment of they conversion (click here for a further exposition of these passages: Gal 5:19-21; 1 Cor 6:9-10; 15:50; Eph 5:5-8, and the Flesh). When man sins, flesh is the problem. Thus responsibility lies with man. No outside force can be blamed, something the Millennial kingdom will bring out to even greater fruition, since Satan will be bound for a thousand years in the bottomless pit (Rev 20). Hence, herein we see the great importance of why man must repent, the very foundation of salvation, its the whole of man including the flesh that must be put to death, it must be crucified, death to self, and that starts by sinners turning from their sin, their self, their stuff and their people (Matt 10:32-39; 16:24-26; Mk 8:34-38; Lk 9:23-26; 14:24-15:32; Jn 12:23-24; etc -- exposited here).

From man's evil and wicked hearts:

"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man." (Mk 7:21-23).
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer 17:9)

It is our own lusts, flesh, and evil hearts that cause us to sin, not the Devil and his demons. The evil thoughts and deeds of man come from within their wicked hearts. Again, these two passages are describing what the unsaved, old heart of stone produces, which is everyone prior to God saving those who repentantly believe. Salvation brings a new heart and new life (Ezk 11:19-20; 2 Cor 5:17). Though the flesh still exists, it is crucified (Gal 5:24), the believer no longer has to obey it and will habitually not obey it, for it has no power over him (Rom. 6:6-13), and it is not his nature anymore (Rom 7:4-6). We "were in the flesh" (Rom 7:5) but are now in the Spirit (Rom 7:6; 8:1-9). Because the saved persons flesh has been crucified and its power over us has been broken, we do not let sin reign in our bodies any more. We no longer have to obey our old master of sin. We are now free to serve God and do righteousness. But that is not the case with the unsaved. Their heart is evil and wicked, and "as [man] thinketh in his heart, so is he:" (Pr 23:7a). We don’t become someone by our behaviour but our behaviour dictates the someone that we are, which is either out of Christ and thus unregenerate or in Christ, thus regenerate.

"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." (Matt 12:33)

To summarize, the Bible is clear on the issue of sin and where it comes from. When a person sins, it is because of their own flesh and sinful heart, not because of Satan, though he may influence it (1 Pet 5:8-9). The responsibility lies with that person alone. Sin cannot be blamed on anyone or anything else. It is true that Christians can sin. Even though they are new creatures in Christ, there is still the battle with the flesh (Rom 7:12-25), though the flesh is not our nature anymore (Rom 7:4-6), and sin has no more dominion over the believer, so that he is freed from sin (Rom 6:1-22) and has victory over the flesh. The final victory over sin will come when Christ comes again and grants us our sinless, eternal bodies. What a joy it is to know and have the fullness of salvation in Christ Jesus!

Demonology 101 — Do Christians Cast Out Demons?

The issue is not over whether Satan and demons exist. The Bible teaches a literal, personal devil and many demons, fallen angels, who are busily opposing saved people, and the Jewish people whether saved or unsaved (Rev 12:17). Saved people are in a spiritual warfare against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph 6:10-13), hence the need to put on the whole armour of God (Eph 6:13-18). This is not to be minimized. However, we must make sure our view of demons and how to deal with them is based on Scripture, not fables, or man-made philosophies.

The OT gives insight into Satan and his activities. Gen 3 describes his temptation of Eve. Is 14:12-15 and Ezk 28:11-15 portray the fall of Satan as a result of his rebellion against God. Particularly applicable to this discussion is the case of Job. The first two chapters of Job give insight into spiritual battles and conflicts. Job was the object of Satanic attack, but he was not indwelt by Satan. Job never was told to deal with the devil. He was not told to speak to Satan, bind him, or send him to the pit. Job's responsibility was to be faithful, resist, and stand firm.

The Gospel era was a unique period of time. With the presence of Jesus, the Son of God, on earth, demonic manifestation exploded. Demons openly displayed their presence so that Jesus' power and authority over the demons could be demonstrated. The casting out of demons was directly related to the Messiah's offer of the kingdom to national Israel (Matt 12:28). Subduing demons was a demonstration of the authority and power that Jesus had as the Messiah and King of Israel. The King had come and the kingdom was now present in the person of the Messiah. That is why Jesus could say, "The kingdom of God has come unto you." Jesus was saying to the Jewish leaders, that He was the Messiah, that He here to establish the kingdom, and one of the proofs of that was His authority over Satan and demons (Matt 8:16-17). Dealing with demons directly was an indicator that the Messiah was present on the earth, not something to be normative for all believers. Jesus Christ's personal power and authority over demons as the Messiah cannot be transferred to anyone else. It is true that He gave that authority to the Apostles to go out and represent Him, but that apostolic authority was only temporarily as an extension of His ministry, a sign of apostleship (2 Cor 12:12), and ended with the death of the Apostles, and does not transfer over to us today or anyone else since the time of the decease of the last Apostle. So for those who attempt to base their theology of demons on the Gospels since they cannot get it anywhere else, its futile and an exercise of falsely dividing the word of truth. You cannot build your doctrine of dealing with demons based on how the Son of God dealt with them.

When the people saw that Jesus had authority over demons, the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah should have alerted them that the King was present and the kingdom offered:

"Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?'" (Matt 12:22-23)

"[S]on of David" was a Messianic title. Again, the people rightfully associated His power and authority over the demons as the work of the Messiah.

Lk 11:14-26 is a good case point concerning the possession of demons:

"And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first." (Lk. 11:14-26).

Here in Lk 11:14-26 Jesus warned about demons being cast out and then returning (vv. 24-26). This is why there are no instructions in the N.T. epistles about how to cast out devils. They are cast out properly through the preaching of the gospel, whereby sinners are set free eternally from the power of the Devil (Col. 1:13). The man mentioned here was never saved, for when the evil spirits return they find him empty. Empty of what? Empty of any spirit, including the Spirit of God. Therefore they return into this man, even more than at the beginning, and this mans condition turns out worse than at the first.

There are three occasions in the book of Acts that deal with demons: Ac 8, 16, and 19. In each of these cases, the Apostles were dealing with demons. The Apostles were specifically commissioned by Christ as representatives of Him. The power given them was for the purpose of validating their apostleship (2 Cor 12:12), not as an example for believers and churches to follow. Because of the nature of their commission, their casting out of demons cannot be made normative for believers today.

The case of the seven sons of Sceva in Ac 19:13-20 reflects the truth that we do not have any authority to cast out devils in this age of the church. These seven sons attempted to cast out devils (vv. 13-14) but were unsuccessful. They ended us with some serious wounds and issues, as the demonic jumped on them and overcame them (v. 16). Saved people would not attempt this because they know how demons are delivered, but the unregenerate may, like these seven sons of one Sceva. Jesus spoke of those who cast out devils but He did not know them (Matt 7:21- 23). These sons were attempting to use the name of Jesus as a magic charm. Many have done this over the years, through the use of candles, crucifixes, scapulars or rosaries in this manner, in an attempt to ward off evil spirits.

The activity of demons in the Epistles is well documented. Demons promote false doctrine (1 Tim 4:1-6), seduce people (1 Tim 4:1), are associated with idolatry (1 Cor 10:20), help cause divisions and keep false professing believers unsaved (Jam 3:13-16), and aid Satan in his war against God (Eph 6:11-12). However, dealing directly with demons is never addressed. This is important since the Epistles dealt specifically with instructions for all churches. The Epistles were written to give the church (which is only local) all the information it needed to effectively serve the Lord in this age, yet nowhere is the concept of speaking to or casting out demons mentioned. If casting out demons was so important to the Church, why was it never mentioned in the Epistles? Also, we do not find Paul running all over the country casting out demons. Even in a city like Corinth, where there was much occultic activity, Paul does not mention casting out demons. However, what is mentioned often is how to deal with the flesh (Gal. 5:16). The emphasis is clearly on the flesh when dealing with sin, not demons.

In the book of Revelation where the seven churches are addressed (Rev 1-3), there are no directions for speaking to demons or casting them out. Even with the church in Pergamos living under demonic pressure, where Satan's throne was (Rev 2:13), there were no commands to bind and/or cast out Satan and his demons. When Jesus spoke to the church in Thyatira, He did not give instructions on binding Satan or driving out a demon. Revelation gives us a glimpse into the demonic world and what is taking place behind the scenes, but we do not have any situation where believers are running around binding and casting out demons.

To summarize, the only legitimate casting out of demons happened in the time of Christ and the apostles. This demonstrated that Jesus truly was the Messiah the OT predicted would come. The Jews at that time would recognize that casting out of demons meant that the Messiah was present and offering the kingdom to the nation of Israel. The apostles were given this authority to cast out demons as representatives of Christ. They were an extension of Christ's ministry. This authority cannot be transferred to anyone else. Scripture has much to say concerning Satan and demons. They are real spiritual beings who actively oppose the plans of God. They are busy deceiving, tempting, and promoting false doctrine. But nowhere do we see believers casting out demons.

Can a Truly Saved Person Be Demon Possessed?

As we have seen, Scripture clearly shows us the activity of Satan and demons. But does this then mean that true born again believers could get demon possessed, as some teach? (When we say true born again believer we mean a truly saved regenerate saint, not someone that professes to be Christian but has a sketchy or false testimony, and lives in sin or worldliness and follows after error including heretical churches and teachers.) The latter, the false professor, could be demon possessed because they aren't genuinely converted. Some also teach that there is a difference between an unbeliever being totally possessed by a demon and a true Christian being invaded by a demon. For example, in Bill McLeod's book, Fellowship with the Fallen, he attempts to make a distinction between "invasion" and "possession." Bill McLeod of Canadian Revival Fellowship, by the way, was the man behind the so-called Saskatoon "revival," which was much more in line with a pseudo-revival than a true revival. He writes,

"You will notice that I am using the word 'invasion' as well as the word 'possession.' I am using the word 'invasion' as a general term to cover the demonization of believers, and the word 'possession' as a term to cover the demonization of non-believers. . . . No Christian can be so possessed. He can certainly be invaded to lesser degrees and in some cases to alarming degrees, but he cannot be totally possessed" (Fellowship With the Fallen, p. 168).

This is something that Anderson writes of in his book,

"To be demonized means to be under the control of one or more demons. Demonization is not a matter of extremes, such as the either/or idea of being completely free or totally bound; it is a matter of degrees" (The Bondage Breaker, p. 174).

This is purely semantics, and blatant confusion. Invasion or control and possession refer to the exact same thing, even though McLeod and Anderson attempt to differentiate between them. Nowhere does Scripture make a distinction between demon "possession" of unbelievers and demon "invasion" or demon "control" of believers. To claim otherwise is to play word games, which is exactly what these men are doing. Demon possession simply means that a demon resides within or invades that person and is controlling that person. There are no other variations of demons indwelling a person. Demons can oppress, attack, and tempt from the outside, but Scripture is clear that a demon can never indwell a believer and control him. What they truly believe is that true Christians can be demon possessed, but they play with words here in their reprobate compromise (2 Tim 3:8) to appease a portion of their audience that would disagree with them. This is how heretics and false teachers flow, spiritual reprobates who "resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith." (2 Tim 3:8). They aren't about obeying God's Word, but appeasing mankind, serving and pleasing man, keeping the smiles going and the pews warm and the coffers overflowing.

There are three terms that refer to demon possession in the NT. First, the Greek word “daimonizomai” is usually translated "possessed with the devil(s).” The word is found 14 times in the Gospels (one passage, twice). The second term, “akathartos pneuma” is found in 22 passages and is usually translated “unclean spirit(s)” but also “foul spirit” and “unclean devil,” all of which are referring to demons. The third term, "daimmonion” found in 52 verses, refers to and translated as “devil(s)” and once “gods,” referencing in most of those instances to the possession of the devil, many of which phrases appear as “cast out devils.”

Some make a distinction between being "demonized" and "demon possessed" as if there was a difference. There is not. It is an artificial distinction. To be "demonized" is to be "demon possessed." In the Gospels, those who were demonized had a demon residing within them and that demon controlled them. The demon manifested his control in various ways, but he resided in and controlled the person he indwelt. The Scripture does not allow for a special category of believers who have been invaded by a demon but are not possessed by that demon. That is ridiculous semantics and takes true believers for fools.

A few examples will show that there is no difference between demon possession and demon invasion:

"When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:" (Matt. 8:16).
"And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils," (Lk 8:2).
"And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way." (Matt 8:28).

These were all obviously demon possessed people. The demons were cast out of them, and in the case of the demonic of the Gadarenesm, into something else which was the herd of swine (Matt 8:31). It is clear that the demons mentioned inhabited the people in question. That is why Jesus cast them out (Matt 9:32-33). To have a demon invade or control you or to be demon possessed are the very same thing. In other words, a person who has a demon is one who is demon possessed. There are no separate degrees.

In spite of their arguments for demonization, demon control and demon invasion, as if those are different or distinct from demon possession, they make no strong argument from Scripture. The reason for that of course is because the Bible does no support their heretical view, which is even recognized by some of these individuals (also possibly a reason why they attempt to differentiate between possession and control/invasion), such as Anderson:

"Can a Christian be demon possessed? . . . tragedy is that there is no absolutely biblical way to answer it . . . the word translated as 'demon possession' never occurs in Scripture after the cross, so we are left with no theological precision as to what demonization would constitute in the Church Age" (Released From Bondage, pp. 15-16).

Why not then just leave it alone? Why build false doctrine on something the Bible doesn't actually teach? Its a classic case of eisegesis, where experience and preconceived philosophy is brought to Scripture, rather than interrupting Scripture exegetically, that is allowing the Scriptures to speak for themselves, to teach us, pulling out rather than pushing in. Fred Dickason in his book, Demon Possession and the Christian, does the very same thing. He argues for demonization of Christians, but then in the very chapter of the said subject, he concludes that he just cannot find any conclusive evidence for it in the NT. After all the Biblical evidence is weighed, the best that Dickason can say is that there is no definite evidence for demonic possession of believers. If there is no Biblical evidence, why don't they just leave the matter alone instead of trying to add experience and clinical evidence to Scripture? God's Word says that those who do this, which they would do with many, many other passages of Scripture undoubtedly, are "corrupting the Scriptures" (2 Cor 2:17) and wresting the Word of God, which is an "error of the wicked," obviously an unsaved person (2 Pet 3:16-17).

Have we not in Jesus our Lord received "all things that pertain unto life and godliness," (2 Pet 1:3)? Is not "All scripture . . . given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim 3:16-17)? Is the Bible incomplete on such an important issue? On the contrary, the Bible is clear that a believer can never be possessed by demons.

The Bible is actually quite clear that saved people can never be possessed by the devil or his demons. Its an impossibility for the following reasons:

1. The Holy Spirit of God indwells the believer, in his temple which is his body (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 6:16) and he is sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). The Spirit does not take up residence in a temple in company with the devil, nor can the devil take up residence where the Holy Spirit dwells.

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Cor 6:19-20)

The body of the born again believer belongs to the Holy Ghost. He lives there. It belongs to God. NO demon will ever liver there. Amazingly, there are those who think that the devil can live in the same temple as the Holy Spirit. Yet this body is the residence of the Holy Spirit. It belongs to Him, not to the devil, and not even to us. Ti 2:14 says that Christ redeemed us to "purify unto himself a peculiar people." We are God's property. He owns us. To say that the devil can live in the same body of a truly saved believer that is owned by God is nonsensical and ridiculous.

This is all the reason one would need, but there is more.

2. The devil cannot even touch the born again believer, never mind possess him.

The false teacher Michael Brown concerning his interview with Greg Locke recently wrote,

"Do I believe that genuine believers can come under demonic power and need to be delivered and set free? Absolutely yes."

Though he followed this with his belief that Christians could not be possessed by demons, there is no difference between what he is saying here or possession. The only way someone "can come under demonic power" and thereafter "need to be delivered and set free" is if they are possessed with the demonic power. Its really a ridiculous statement to make, playing people for fools. Its pure flattering semantics which is always how false teachers teach. They are not speaking and judging by Scripture but by what people want to hear. They, along with their audience, are a fulfilment of 2 Tim 4:3-4,

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

Its worth noting that in this same article Brown is pushing for ecumenicalism with those you don't agree. Ignore sound doctrine, and "unite," because, after all, demon possession and exorcism is just a "secondary matter." This is in fact a "doctrine of devils" (1 Tim 4:1) that he is pushing, since the Bible VERY clearly speaks against unsound doctrine, and against not separating over false doctrine. Ecumenicalism is bred in hell, authored by Satan. He, like all of neo-evangelicalism, rejects God's doctrine of separation. What he is pushing for is false/fake "unity," and the absolute heretical division and ranking of doctrine into "essentials and non-essentials."

That was free. Let's keep rolling.

The devil, the "wicked one," cannot even touch the genuinely saved saint, never mind posses him:

"We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." (1 Jn. 5:18).

God will not let the devil have control of a believer (1 Jn 5:18). Jesus also prayed the Father to not "take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." (Jn 17:15).

God protects His children from the devil, like He did with Job:

"Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?" (Job 1:10).

3. The only means a demon could possess a child of God was if that child could lose his salvation and thereby lose the Holy Spirit. But we well know that Gods Word says that this is an impossibility, His children can never lose the salvation they could never earn to begin with, they can never stop being sealed by the Holy Spirit of God thus its impossible to be possessed by the devil. In the O.T., born again children of God could lose the Spirit (He only came upon certain people) and then an evil spirit could come upon that individual, but still never actually possess him, only trouble him. For instance,

"But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him." (1 Sam. 16:14).

4. Born again Christians are never in bondage again to Satan and his demons. They overcome the wicked one at salvation (1 Jn. 4:1-4; 2:13-14). "[Y]e have overcome the wicked one" which is Satan (1 Jn 2:13-14) — twice mentioned for emphasis.

1 Jn 4:4,

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them ["spirit of antichrist" v 3]: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."

The first "he" that is in the believer, is the Holy Spirit. The "he" who is in the world is the devil. The Holy Spirit who indwells us is greater than the devil whose presence is in the world. Plus, if the devil is in the world, he is not in us. The devil is not omnipresent.

Christ, the new birth in Him, is the victory that overcometh everything. 1 Jn 5:4,

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
"The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor 15:56-57)

A commonly perverted passage of Scripture, Matt 12:29, has Jesus being accused of casting out demons in the power of Satan. God the Son responded by saying,

“Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.”

The Lord Jesus Christ alone, as the Messiah, had the power to subdue Satan. But deliverance heretics like Anderson take "bind the strong man" to mean a present pattern to be followed:

"Stand firm in the armor of God that God has provided and step out in Christ's authority to plunder the strong man's house for God" (The Bondage Breaker, p. 91).

Anderson thinks that if we are going to have victory over Satan, we too have to bind the strong man. But as shown here, salvation overcomes Satan and his demons, the wicked one, the antichrists.

Some use Lk 13:10­-16 to try to show that a Christian can be possessed. In this passage, a woman who was bent over because of a spirit of infirmity is called a "daughter of Abraham." Therefore, according to some, she must have been a believer. However, in this context, being a "daughter of Abraham" simply meant that she was a Jew (Jn 8:33, 37). It cannot be implied that she was a born again believer.

5. The born again Christian has been delivered from the power of darkness. This is a truth that is immediately effective at salvation and never ceases.

"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:" (Col. 1:12-13).

6. Biblical examples of demon-possessed people were never true believers, but false "Christians" and eventually proven to be so. Judas Iscariot for example:

"And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude." (Lk. 22:2-6).

Judas was unclean, which is unsaved:

"Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. . . . I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me." (Jn 13:10-11, 18)

7. The devil can only inhabit an empty house. The body who has the indwelling Holy Spirit is not empty.

"He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first." (Lk. 11:24-26).

Again, Judas Iscariot is a contextual example of this text (Lk. 22:3). This passage alone refutes any false teachings on true Christians becoming demon possessed, without even considering the doctrines of salvation and eternal security and the fact that the true born again believer is delivered from more than just hell at salvation but also from the power of sin and Satan. Salvation is more than just being saved from hell. It extends to all areas of our Christian life and that includes demons.

8. The born again believer is blessed, never again to be cursed.

"Blessings are upon the head of the just" (Pr. 10:6a).
"The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just." (Pr. 3:33).

Just a simply study on these words (blessed and cursed) exposes the impossibility of born again believers ever having the devil inside of them. That would be a cursing if there ever was.

9. If a true born again Christian could be possessed by the devil or his demons, we would most certainly have very clear and succinct instructions on how to deal with that in the Word of God. Especially in the church epistles, God's instructions to the local church and ministerial to conduct decent order in the house of God in all areas, yet we have nothing on a subject that would warrant major cause if it was so. Could it be true that something so important to our spiritual lives, would not be addressed by Scripture?

Furthermore, in one example we have a very clear case where there would've been very clear instructions on how to deal with Christian demon possession (or even demon possession in anyone) if they could be possessed, or if we exorcised

This point again, like each point above, standing on its own is all the proof one needs to fully understand that a truly saved saint can never be possessed by devil or his demons.

In summary, no truly saved, truly regenerate, born again believer can be possessed by demons. The issue present when people are demon possessed and professing Christian, is that they've never actually been truly born again. That is almost always the issue concerning any problems with sin or error within contemporary churches, not just demon possession. Scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit indwells the saved and is greater than the devil who is in the world. The devil cannot touch those that are truly saved and the Father keeps them from the evil one. Plus, Christ's death has broken the devil's power over the saved and they have newness of life. Saved people overcome the devil, the wicked one, through salvation. This however does not mean that a believer cannot be deceived or tempted by the devil. It does mean that the devil cannot reside within a believer or have power or control over him, or even touch him.

The Scripture is very clear on this matter. But even if it were not so clear, the subject must be mute since there is no way to have any authoritative knowledge about the spirit realm apart from the revelation of God. Isaiah condemned the people of his day for going outside of Scripture for supposed answers by asking, "should not a people seek unto their God?" (Is 8:19). Those who say we must look to experience for the answer to this problem are saying that they are not satisfied with what God has revealed concerning this spiritual matter. Therefore, they are going to find the answer on their own. Isaiah followed the above passage with saying those that do this are unsaved, they have no light in them (Is 8:20). The idea that a person can turn to experience because he does not believe Scripture is clear enough is erroneous and heretical, and reflective of a de facto unconverted estate (Is 8:20).

Christ's work was more than sufficient. There is no further deliverance that must take place. If there were, salvation in Christ would be incomplete. Something is drastically wrong with those who promote that truly saved believers can be demonized, and with what is being promoted by those who teach this.

How then Does the Christian Deal With the Devil?

Born again believers must keep a Biblical view of dealing with sin and demons. We shouldn't be surprised when the world buys into victimization programs, but there is no excuse for Christians to adapt the worlds ways when we have the ultimate authoritative guide, the Word of God. It is important that we do not think like the world on this issue (Rom 12:2).

The glorious salvation of Jesus Christ has freed us from the power of Satan, we have overcome him. Yet as believers, we are still involved in a spiritual battle with the powers of darkness (Eph 6:12). The battle is real and we must be prepared. Provision has been made for us to be unshakable and immovable in spiritual warfare. We are not told to deal with Satan in the unseen cosmic realm. Nowhere in God's instructions concerning dealings with the devil are we told to speak to him, bind him, or cast him out, and nowhere does the Bible even hint at the idea that a demon can invade or possess or even control a born again believer. Our focus in spiritual warfare is to be on what God has provided for us through salvation and in Christ. As we obey God's Word, turn from and repent of any sins or errors we are embracing in our lives, ever on the alert and standing firm with our whole armour of God through our salvation we will experience victory in spiritual battle.

As saints of God, we must be ever vigilant to the devils deceptive, seductive and devouring ways (1 Pet 5:8; 1 Tim 4:1-6), by battling against him from mostly a defensive position in putting on of the whole armour of God, resisting him steadfast in the faith (Eph 6:10-18; 1 Pet 5:9), whilst knowing the saint can never be touched (1 Jn 5:18) or possessed by the devil (1 Jn 2:13-14; 4:4), for which we give thanks unto the Father.

"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:" (Col. 1:12-13).

Eph 6:10-18,

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"

The Christian's spiritual warfare tactics are both defensive and offensive. It is one of being vigilant and standing firm in the faith, but also going to battle, hence the defensive armour. As would be typical in warfare, a person has one offensive weapon, and God has provided us the ultimate weapon, "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph 6). We engage Satan mostly from a defensive position (cf. Jam 4:7; 1 Pet 5:8-9), we "resist him steadfast" by the Sword of the Spirt, like Christ exemplified in Satans temptation after His fast of forty days and forty night (Matt 4:1-11), but we also go out to battle with the Sword of the Spirit, entering the battle field and "war[ring] a good warfare" (1 Tim 1:18) as a "good solder of Jesus Christ" (2 Tim 2:3). Contending for the faith, reproving and rebuking, are offensive warfare, which believers are to be engaged in. We fight the devil, by being firm and strong "in the Lord" and using truth, righteousness, the Gospel, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer (Eph. 6:14-­18). He is the One who gives us the victory. We fight our spiritual battle in His power by putting on the armour He has provided (Eph. 6:10-11). The idea and picture of putting on the armour indicates we are going to battle with an outer opponent who is attacking us from the outside, not from within (Eph 6:13).

In spite of the clear, Biblical instruction concerning how we are to conduct our spiritual warfare, there are those who teach that we must also speak to demons:

"If you're going to resist Satan, you must do so outwardly so he can understand you and be put to flight. . . . As you go through the steps to freedom, remember that Satan will be defeated only if you confront him verbally" (The Bondage Breaker, pp. 84, 186).

In other words, unless Scripture is spoken aloud to Satan, it will have no impact on him. But where does it say or even hint at the idea in Scripture that one must speak aloud to Satan so he can hear? Isn't believing, submitting, and obeying the Word of God enough? Neil Anderson cannot tell us more than God has.

Speaking to demons is an unbiblical, false teaching. Even Michael the archangel, when disputing with Satan over the body of Moses, "durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." (Ju 1:9). We too, when it comes to speaking to Satan, ought to leave it to the Lord.

We should continually praise God for a salvation that is full and complete and missing nothing. Salvation is much more than just being saved from eternal hell fire. It extends to all areas of our Christian life and that includes demons. Though we may still struggle with sin, (and the devil wages war with us), Christ's death and resurrection have provided the victory over sin and Satan, and all born again believers have overcome him (1 Jn 2:13-14; 4:1-4) and the world (1 Jn 5:4-5). As believers, we have everything we need to live the Christian life. We go to the Word of God and stand strong in the power of God's might (Eph 1:19). We have the indwelling Holy Spirit who empowers us. There are no forces past or present that can keep us as children of God from being everything God intended for us in Christ. It does not matter what our family background was. It does not matter what kind of occult background our ancestors may have had (cf. 1 Cor 6:11). The Christian life is an ongoing battle and warfare, one that grows in God's wisdom and obedience, reliance upon the Lord, His truth, and yielding to the Holy Spirit, and there is no "formula" outside of this that lifts us into a life of perfect bliss without tribulation or trials or persecutions or battles, "that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." (Ac 14:22).

The false teaching of demonization of believers and exorcism of these demons, does not line up with Scripture, and is just a variation of Charismatic and Keswick theology, both of which teach that you can have an "experience" that will set you above it all. It is unbiblical heresy and in fact, ironically, "doctrines of devils" (1 Tim 4:1). Men that teach this (or women for that matter), should be marked and avoided, like Scripture demands (Rom 16:17-18).

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." (Eph 5:11)

Professing believers who waste time or even pay to read and listen or watch such heretical material are accountable before God for their unfaithfulness and disobedience and rebellion as well. True children of God are not to be "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;" (Eph. 4:14) — but we do not believe many of these to be true believers at all.

We must aggressively oppose any teaching, regardless of the sincerity of intentions, that would undermine, discredit, or attack the gospel of Jesus Christ, His finished work, and its effect in the life of the born again believer, starting immediately at the supernatural, superdramatic new birth.


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