Christianity: Believers and Demon
Posted on Friday, February 10, 2006 @ 00:00:00 EST
Topic: The Christian Faith
I don't know what gets into me? Ever hear that expression? It implies,
does it not, that there are things or beings that actually can get into
me and cause me to do one thing or another? AND it suggests that I do
not know what or who they are. Dear me, that's quite scary--if it's
true. But is it?
As a believer in the Person and work of Jesus Christ and as one who believes in the authority of the Bible I have no choice but to believe that there are indeed personal spiritual forces outside and beyond us humans. I believe in a created universe inhabited also by angelic beings, both good and bad. I further believe these beings are quite capable of interacting with us in our thoughts and inner life. Angels actually made the cover article of Time magazine before Christmas, 1993.
Over a decade later the idea of benevolent angelic beings interacting
with us is still quite popular. Everybody, it seems, wants to talk about
them. Search the word angel in Google and you come up with
220,000,000 (that's million) websites with references to angels. I'm not
going there. My point today is much simpler. I want to follow up on
the Blog I posted earlier. Today's question: Can a believer ever be
possessed by a fallen angel, a demon? In other words
will I as a believer ever have to say, "I don't know what got into me?"
And if so, how might it happen? What is the Biblical teaching on this
and how does one go about dealing with it?
First of all, it is important to note that our question properly distinguishes between demonic influence on a believer, and demonic possession of human beings. The New Testament often speaks of the influence of demonic powers on people, including Christians. St. Paul exhorts Christians with God's help to stand their ground against very real superhuman "powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Eph. 6:12). Paul's exhortation is meant for Christians of all times and places and assumes the ongoing and present reality of demonic powers and entities ("demons"). He encourages them to use the weapons, both defensive and offensive, provided by God to combat such influences: truth, righteousness, the "Gospel of peace," faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer (Eph. 6:14-18).
The New Testament also recounts many instances of demonic possession, mainly in the synoptic Gospel accounts of Jesus' ministry. Jesus encounters persons "possessed" by demons who have take them captive and who cause physical and mental affliction (Matt. 4:24; 8:28-33; 9:32; 12:22, etc.). By the power of His Word Jesus exercises total power over these demons and drives them out (Matt. 4:24; 8:16; Mark 7:30)—which is itself a sign that the Kingdom of God has come (Matt. 12:22) in Him. These "exorcisms" are a sign that through Jesus God "has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves" (Col. 1:13).
So far the LCMS. . . This still does not fully answer the question. Or does it? The answer lies in the fact that where Jesus rules the demons must flee. He will not allow them to control my heart and life as they did in the cases studied in the Gospels. They must flee before His mighty power. But will they attack? Most certainly. Look carefully at the counsel given by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18 quoted above. We believers face a real battle, a real fight against, as I said before, their lies, schemes, trickery and wiles. These can be quite painful at times, but the believer who wraps himself or herself with truth, a righteous life and who stands in faith firmly upon the Gospel of God's forgiveness in Christ has no reason to fear. As Luther said so long ago in his well-known hymn, "Though devils all the world should fill, we tremble not, we fear no ill. They shall not overpower us."
article comes from Alvin H. Franzmeier