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 Nine - The Errors of Demon Possession - Part One
1. Both among the unconverted and the converted;
2. On a sliding scale, with some greatly possessed, while others are only slightly possessed;
3. Without people being aware that they are possessed by demons.
As with Faith Healing there are Charismatic leaders who claim to have a special gift for discerning and exorcising demons. Is this so? Are there demons aboard today? What saith the Scriptures?
1. The Devil is real, has a multitude of associates and is busy in the earth.
It is believed by some that Isaiah 14:12-14 is in part a description of the fall of the devil: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
A portion of the other angels also followed Satan in his rebellion. They were all cast down to hell and reserved for judgment.
 There are those who see devilish activity behind the wickedness prior to the flood. The 'sons of God', Genesis 6:2,4 are taken by some as a reference to fallen angels. The term is used of such in Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7. There were 'giants' born from the union of these 'sons of God' with the 'daughters of men', Genesis 6:4: There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. These 'giants' were 'renown' for their wickedness. Physically and morally/spiritually they were exceptional beings! So much so that God visited the earth in Judgment.
 At the time of the Exodus from Egypt, and entrance into Canaan, the land of Canaan was populated and ringed with 'giants'. Plot the location of the giants mentioned in Deuteronomy and Joshua and this will become obvious. This was a devilish attempt to hinder Israel's entrance into the land of promise and their enjoyment of the good things which God has laid up in store for them.
 During the Saviour's earthly ministry, and immediately afterwards, there were numerous examples of demon possession. Almost at the beginning of the Saviour's ministry He was confronted by this, Luke 4:33: And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice. This continued throughout His earthly ministry. The most notable case was the two men of Gadara. The detailed account of one of these men is given in Mark 5:1-20.
 This continued into the days of the Apostles. In Acts 16:16-18 we have the record of Paul at Philippi casting out the 'spirit of divination' which was in a young woman: And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
3. These types of cases of devil possession died out after Christ's death and resurrection. As the New Testament progressed these cases became rarer.
 A different emphasis is to be noticed in the later books of the New Testament. There is still devilish activity but of a different sort. The works of the devil are characterised by 'lying', 'stirring up discord' in the church, 'persecuting' and constantly seek to 'plant false doctrines', cf. 1 Timothy 4:1; James 3:14,15; 1 John 4:1-6; Revelation 12:27.
 'Ministers of the Gospel' were never commanded, nor given instructions authorising them, to exorcise demons. There are no such commands in the Pastoral Epistles to Timothy and Titus or in the long passages in Romans, Galatians and Ephesians which deal with Satanic activity and temptation.
4. James and Paul teach us how to deal with the devil. James tells us that we are to resist him: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you, James 4:7. We are not instructed to exorcise the devil, rather we are to resist him.
 We are collectively to wrestle against the wiles of the devil, v11. It is not an enemy who is merely flesh and blood or who manifests himself in flesh and blood that we face. It does not say that it is against an enemy who possesses people: 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, Eph 6:12.
 We are to put on the whole armour of God to overcome the devil. Again no mention of casting out demons. Rather we are to have our loins girt about with truth; have on the breastplate of righteousness; and our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. We are to take the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.