The Cessation of New Testament Supernatural Gifts - Part one
Study 5 - The Cessation of New Testament supernatural gifts - Part two
Study 6 - The Errors of Tongue Speaking
Study 7 - The Error of Faith Healing - Part one
Study 8 - The Errors of Faith Healing - Part two
Study 9 - The Errors of Demon Possession - Part one
Study 10 - The Errors of Demon Possession - Part two
Study Eleven - The Errors of Demon Possession - Part Three
This concept of the reduced activity of the devil in this way of possession is one that is evidently contrary to the prevailing opinion among many Charismatics today. They very much reject this viewpoint. However, as ever we must ask: what saith the Scriptures?
1. Demons were aware that Christ had come to rob them of their power. Luke 8:28: When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not; Mark 1:24: Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.
With terror and alarm these demons, which possessed the two men of Gadara, realise that their days of possessing people are coming to an end. Why did they plead with the Lord to be sent into the swine? Was it because their days of possessing human beings were numbered, were at an end and they knew it?
The demon possessed man in the synagogue in Capernaum cried out to be left alone. The question was asked: art thou come to destroy us? In this they were correct. Christ had indeed come to destroy their power and here were examples of that awareness prior to it taking place.
It is also worth noticing with respect to the demons entering into the swine that even involuntary possession was not permitted to these demons. They were always under the power and control of Christ and could only enter into the swine when permitted to do so by the Lord.
2. Christ robbed the devil of considerable power when He defeated him at Calvary. It is true that the devil is still very active and powerful to a certain extent. He still goes about like a roaring lion, 1 Peter 5:8: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. He is not yet bound as to location, Rev 20:2,3,7-10.
Nevertheless, while still in the earth and active, his power is greatly reduced. Luke 11:20-22 says: 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.
The period of time up to the coming of Jesus Christ is likened unto a strong man keeping his palace. His good were not disturbed. The whole world lay in the lap of the wicked one. Spiritual darkness prevailed. The coming of the Saviour is likened unto a stronger individual who overcomes and spoils the strong man. This is what Christ did by His death at Calvary, His resurrection and ascension up to the Father's right hand, John 12:31: Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out; Ephesians 4:8: Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Christ as we well know 'came upon the devil' at Calvary and crushed his head in fulfillment of the promise in Genesis 3:15.
This is observed in the gospel going across the nations and countless souls being saved. Up until the time of Christ the truth was mainly found within the nation of Israel. After this time it was spread around. With this spread of the gospel the prevalence of demon possession receded as previously mentioned. [We are dealing here with why this is so]
3. The Scriptures teach that God restrains the work of the devil until almost the end of the age. 2 Thess 2:6-8: And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way; And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. The devil must keep a low profile and work by stealth. It is not until the end of the age that God takes away the restraint and the devil is able to produce his imitation Christ.
4. The Christian cannot be possessed by the devil, knowingly or unknowingly. Sadly, much of this teaching about demon possession is directed towards believers. Many Charismatics believe that believers can be possessed by the devil. For example, when they are sick or when trouble comes in their lives, then they are falsely taught that the cause is demon possession and that they need exorcism.
However, the Spirit of God does not reside in a person's life alongside the devil or any demon. The believer's body becomes the temple of the Holy Ghost and nothing like this would be permitted to enter into defile it, 1 Corinthians 6:19,20: 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.
Therefore in the light of Scripture teaching there is very limited element to demon possession. It is impossible for a born again, blood washed, believer to be possessed. It is even more impossible that Christians could be possessed without them knowing it.
The views of Charismatics regarding Demon Possession are not in keeping with the teaching of Scripture!