Can Christians Be Possessed by Demons? Exorcism, Fallen Angels, and Invisible Enemies

   

Image by Stefan Binder

Though raised in a Christian home, I was always drawn and attracted to evil and the demonic. It was innocent, many would say. I wanted to watch Pumpkin Head, Poltergeist, and other such horror flicks. But once I started hearing voices, seeing looming figures in the dark, floating objects, and the same disturbing dream every night for months. Pastors prayed over me and the house on many occasions. But it wasn’t until I rejected Christ, asked God to leave my life, and have Satan take his place in my heart, that the strange and disturbing started happening. All the voices I had once heard now became far more prominent. Unthinkable and grotesque thoughts and suggestions flooded my ears and mind. And while looking in the mirror one night, I saw some other creature looking back at me through dull, vacant, and maliciously evil eyes.

Demons are real and I was possessed.

What exactly demons are is no where to be found in scripture, though plenty of theories are batted around.

Evangelicals have traditionally taught that these creatures are fallen-angels. Others have speculated, from non-canonical texts, that demons are the disembodied souls of some ancient race unrecorded by the scripture or the Nephilim of Genesis 6:1-4 (the unholy half-breed of angels and humans).

But whatever they are, these beings have real power and influence over people.

But one of the more troubling and commonly asked questions is whether or not Christians can be possessed by demons.

I, for one, was not a Christian—though being one who read the Bible and “believed” in an intellectual sense.

Possession by demons is often misunderstand by those not reading the original Greek. While there certainly are many examples of people “owned” or “possessed” by demonic creatures, there are numerous other sorts of associations with indwelling spirits.

The Greek term for demon—daimon—gave rise to the verb daimonizo, which literally means “to be subject to demonic influence.” Unfortunately, this term is translated as “possessed” in most English Versions. But “possession” implies ownership—something a Christian could never be according to Christ.

“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.” — Luke 11:24-26

Christ’s point is that the house must be filled and occupied once the demons leave, otherwise they may return or find it vacant and good for indwelling. It is through the filling of the human heart and mind with the Holy Spirit that protects and guards.

Nevertheless, demons still can exert influence over all of us. They tempt us, harass us, and attempt to block us from following God’s will for our lives. They fill us with fear (2 Tim. 1:7), they deceive us into sin (1 Tim 4:1), and they spread error and falsehood (1 John 4:6).

Regardless of their power, the one who dwells with the follower of Christ is far greater than any imp or hoard of the Devil. Authority over such beings has been given to the Christian and is a vital part of the Great Commission right next preaching the Gospel.

We shall end by meditating on the signs that accompany those who believe and follow Christ: “In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; they will pick up snakes; if they should drink anything deadly, it will never harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well” —Mark 16:17-18

Crazy speak from a bunch of ancient scrolls or directives for Christians to abide by?

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What do you think about demons—Antiquated ways of expressing natural ailments and human desires or actual beings?

Do you think Christians can be possessed? How about influenced?

have you ever experienced something supernatural or demonic?

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  • Mike Lardi

    oOooh, the scintillating subject of taboo for the Church since we inherited the era of Modernity!

    ….I am slammed today but will have to give this entry a read on the asap

    thanks for all your hard work and thoughts and desires to see this blog used to the glory of God and the upward call of man, Jon

    @mikelardi

  • Mike Lardi

    oh and the short answer to your questions, as you already know:

    1. Actual beings. That manifest their being and agenda in physical realities all about us, every day.
    2. Yes (I have, it is scary and the Holy Spirit rebukes you on the quick!), and double-yes (just look at the Church and we’ve done as the whore-bride of Christ on this earth – tragic. But high fives and hugs for His grace and His mercy to us, the Bride – the soon and future unblemished bride of our King).
    3. Yes. and it’s NOT fun.  :

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Mike regarding the the taboo after Moderninty. Granted teh Pentecostal/charismatic camps at times swing too far teh other way, this is an area in the church disregarded as applicable today. Funny, growing up Baptist, we believed the stories of Jesus casting out demons but if you wanted to see it in action you would need to go elsewhere.

    1. I lean toward the actual beings but I also think Walter Wink raises some good points regarding the principalities and powers. Regardless, I believe the influence is far more insidious than we realize.
    2.Fully possessed, no, but strong influence, yes. Again the influence in both church and world is more pervasive and insidious than we would readily admit.
    3. Yes, it was scary at first but humbling and grace filled by the end.

  • It really is too bad that so many Christians “believe” in demons, possession, and exorcism in the scripture, but all but ignore the realities of it in our world today on a practical level. While perhaps not all are fit to cast out demons, I firmly believe it is a lost practice that we need to recapture and re-implement. 

  • 1. actual beings. i believe they’ve been around for a longgg time and know how to “disguise” themselves are natural ailments/human desires. but i’m not saying every sickness/desire is from satan. 😛 use discernment.

    2.
    a) no i do not think people who are redeemed and surrendered to Jesus can be possessed. only possessed by the Holy Spirit :) 
    b) influenced yes. i think the influence could be from anything like movies, music, ads to thoughts that should be pulled down (2 corinth 10:4-5)

    3. yep. its kinda weird, for 19 years of my life, i thought the “supernatural” only took place in 3rd world countries. but in the past 4 months, i’ve seen alot of stuff that can’t be explained by science or reason or whatever. demons are real, and it’s not just people in mental hospitals who are tormented.

    even in the “scariest” of situations, it’s so awesome how God provides supernaturally, whether it be discernment/insight or peace or protection. He’s still in control even when everything seems messed up and totally not real.

  • Thanks for the insight @twitter-207670990:disqus . The reality is, there are some pretty creepy stuff out there! I have seen a LOT and have only shared the tip of the iceberg here. I’ve wanted to share more—a LOT MORE—on this topic but I wasn’t sure how people might respond. I guess this is the testing ground. 

    People always, by default, think that all the stuff is happening in the 3rd world—miracles, demons, etc. I think that they flaunt themselves as they are because the culture already believes in such things. Here, I think the Devil has plenty of stuff going on through his own masked shenanigans. 

  • Mmargarit

    Be my guess brother. That is one practice that I don’t want to recapture or have anything to do with. Call me chicken… Bok, Bok, Bok…

  • The truth is we ought not fear demons because of two things: fear comes from the Devil not the Holy Spirit and our faith in the power and authority of God should be infinitely more than the authority demons wield.  

  • Jmaney28

    Yes they can. Earlier this yea I was at a house party with a few friends. I barely had any alcohol but I felt like something was wrong. I started crying, saying that my father was disappointed in me. Finally my friend put me in her car and everythinggot out of control. The whole time it was like I was watching myself. I started repeating a date and time in which someone was coming to get me. The rest of my friends freaked out and tried to get me home. Before we even got out of the beighborhood I threw my body out of the car, I was screaming and and scratching and I felt this intense burning inside of me. I was on the ground outside of someone’s house screaming things in ltin and it started telling my best friend about how it was going to “bleed me.” I remember looking at the back of the car and sensing something was there. Not soon after I got back in th car I was writhing and kicking so violently that I almost broke the seatbelt and front windows. The tried praying over me and I tried rebuking but I would start choking on myself eachtime. I kept repeating one word in particular “domiturum” and laughing. When we got back to our dorm it got worse. I heard a voice coming out of my mouth but it wasn’t mine. It said things about my friends’ past that I never knew. They tried to get me out of the car and I started physically attacking all of them except my best friend who was extremely devout… it was like I wasn’t allowed to touch her. They tried to enlist the help of other girls to pray but they ran and after a while I– not it–begged them to take me to a church. As soon as they tried to get me out of the car my body felt like they dropped me in acid I wouldn’t let them take me I fought, I bit, I kicked, I scratched, they hurled me at the doors and as soon as I saw the portrait of the virgin mary, I felt cold again. I felt like I was inside of my body again. Now I’m not going to lie I first thought I just had a crazy drunk possible psychotic episode but this is not the first time something has tried to take over my body. I was attending church, I am a preacher’s kid, and love God. I don’t know why it happened and I felt so much shame after the fact. I thought it must be me. I talked to my fathr and told me christians do not get possessed and that I must have had a bad drink. I knew something was wrong though. The three places we were out, outside the house, the dorm, and the church, SOMEONE should have heard or seen us. In fact when we were outside our dorm there was a car parked close to us but that people were not ignoring us it was as if we were not there. At the house someone in that neighborhood should have called the police they were at home but it was like no one heard or saw anything. I was mad at God for a while after that. I stopped hanging out with people, being involved in church, and even school. One day I researched the word I kept saying and found out it meant “we are about to conquer or overcome.” To this day I don’t know why it happened but I do know that be it a partial possession, infuence, whatever…it happened to me and definitely made me reevaluate and amend my relationship with God.

  • Mmargarit

    That’s all true and I agree we have the authority in Christ and all but I still don’t want to have nothing to do with those forces. It’s bad enough that when angels appeared to men in the old and new testaments, that they fell, as if dead with fear. Can you imagine the fear that a demon would instill on us? No thanks. People go out there thinking that they can defeat, confront… evil forces and think that just because they’re born again and have the spirit of Christ within, that they’ll go and pick up a bible and start smacking people over their heads to cast them out. Those people are just foolish and ignorant of the facts. Not even the most powerful Archangel Michael did not bring an accusation against Satan, as he said; “The Lord rebuke you.” 

    I feel that the invisible war that is being fought as we speak, is the reason that the Lord would not allow for us to be meddling in things that do not pertain to us. Until the last days, when God will unleash the powers of the dark forces upon mankind. No thank you. I’ll let the hosts of heaven fight those battles. We have enough problems as it is with the human race. Yes, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Eph. 6:12 But I truly believe that we are to war with prayer and supplication, not by going head to head with the evil forces. I truly believe that we are being protected by angels as protectors and messengers of God. One of the functions and purposes for their creation. And as of that, they are the ones who wage war against the evil forces, in this invisible war. If the Lord would open our eyes and let us see what’s really going on around us, just as Elisha prayed for the Lord to open the young men’s eyes to see into another dimension in 2 Kings 6:17 , we would need new clean undergarments, because it would be too much for us to take in, in these mortal bodies.

  • I appreciate your willingness to share. This means a lot to me and to others. People are too afraid to share what is really going on. We just pretend that all is good. 

    I was speaking with a friend who I will leave unnamed. After sharing a bit about my story, he starting balling and told me that every night a dark figure stands at the foot of his bed at watches him while he sleeps, and has done so since he was a little boy. But too afraid or ashamed, he has kept it a secret—I was the only one he has told, not even his wife. 

    The enemy is real, he wants to possess, control, influence, and destroy. 

    Seriously, thank you for sharing. I now feel confident that I should start telling my complete story and experiences for the benefit of those who struggle with such evil things. 

  • for real, i would love to hear more from your experiences.. I’d love to say that my experiences with demons have been really encouraging in the sense that they obey my every command or whatever, but it’s been the opposite. i’ve been really discouraged by the fact that the person involved is still oppressed/possessed. very frustrating for me.

    but yeah, i’m definitely interested in hearing more on this topic from you

  • Jordan Maney

    Thank you! I can’t tell you how difficult it’s been battling this and pretending that everything is alright. Everyone thought I was crazy, I even did for a moment, but I really had to let God do a work in my heart and give it to Him.

    In regards to previous experiences, I’m an Army brat and when my dad finally retired we moved into our first “real” home. I’ve felt something wasn’t right with it for a while, my dad has admittedly seen his mother (even though she’s still alive), I’ve seen my great-grandmother, heard sounds and voices, you know all the classic makings of a haunted house. Well on three separate occasions a few years ago, I woke up to this “numbnness” starting at my foot and slowly working it’s way up the rest of my body until I could not move. It was like I was temporarily paralyzed, my joints had turned to stone, and I lay motionless in my bed for a time. I felt tears falling from my eyes but I couldn’t really blink. Then all of a sudden, I could move again with complete ease. It happened another time, the same slow creeping feeling, but on the third time I rebuked it before it was complete and I was alright. Sure other things have happened but when they did I just brushed it off and ignored it (don’t do that).

    I don’t know why I keep having “experiences,” like these but I believe that it is important to share so others are not bound by their guilt  and shame and left even more susceptible to the enemy’s advances. The same for those who would discount it, we must continue to share so their ignorance or unbelief isn’t used against them. I’m honestly hoping no one reading this gets scared. Like Jonathan said we have nothing to fear but we must be watchful.

  • @mikelardi

    Hi J-

    I just wanted to pause and say thank you for giving such a first-hand honest accounting of what you endured – it teaches us all much, and, like you said- makes no “sense” in every scene and way, and yes I was super mad our heavenly Father as well that I had to go through it like you say; but how good it is to read what you closed with, because I too now have the same view of those horrific mind-body experiences: they made me re-examine my life for sin and lack of giving it to Christ and asking the Holy Spirit to fill my thoughts once again – instead of all that skin and shame and sexual rebellion greed lying tongue and perverse lips – instead of all that on my heart as I go about my day or drift off to sleep, I pray for JEsus to close every window and door into the living room of my spirit (the heart); lest those beings find a way back in. Sin is always crouching at our/my doorstep. It is scary and big. But our God is bigger and our Jesus is stronger and his Spirit helps us to hold on even when we are slipping into darkness yet again… and again… I cannot say for sure that an attack will ne’er happen again. It probably will – no – it probably mUST! I am still breathing on this side of eternity. I am still kicking a dent in the population of Sheol and Abaddon. And I am still determined to shine the Light of the world into the bleakest, most war-torn places and faces in it. I will get into sin, somehow it will find a crack in my human (weak) defenses. Sad reality…But, the same outcome will happen after I get slammed/surprised by the darkness and those overwhelming beings: what you said at the conclusion of your post:

    ” To this day I don’t know why it happened but I do know that be it a
    partial possession, infuence, whatever…it happened to me and
    definitely made me reevaluate and amend my relationship with God.”

    KEEP FIGHTING. KEEP COMING BACK INTO HIS ARMS. Someday, soon and very soon, He will have us in his strong amazing embrace and he will dry our every tear…

    I thank you again, for the bravery of sharing your experience with us.

    -mikelardi

  • RAssouline

    YES I BELIEVE THAT DEMONS EXIST AND THAT GOD IS  FEEBLE WEAK AND INEPT DIVINE BEING, UNABLE TO SAVE HIS CHILDREN FROM TRAGEDIES, SUFFERING AND DISGRACES.

    POOR GOD!!!!!

  • Sarah

    Yes I would love to comment on this by gods love in me. I never seeked info on demons before really! Till today! Googled demons & possessed people cause it was the only one thing I did not know everything I wanted to know about. But I know so much I don’t have enough time to talk about it right now. I will only say the most important I know: demons are “beings” just as you are a soul living in a body!! They are sent out from hell it’s self. And are here every were around us mostly just in between one another whisper to us twisting truth’s into lie’s and making us fight with one another e.t.c. God gave us each our own free will & in doing so he let us designed who to fallow!! As it says draw near on to me and I will draw near to you!! Resist the devil & he will flee from you” ( know what’s not your own thoughts and what’s the real truth& right thing to do always)”
    If you want to know more of what I know or extperiaced with god email me :-) aloha…

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