Demon Possession and Oppression

Demon Possession is more common than we realise. 

We are all targets for demon possession. 

Man is a triune being, consisting of spirit, soul and body. Seducing demons influence the spirit of man, unclean demons influence the soul and demons of infirmity influence the body.

The sins of parents can affect the children, allowing demon possession.

“Do not bow down to any idol or worship it, because I am the LORD your God and I tolerate no rivals. I bring punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generation.” (Exo 20:5 GNB)

“I keep my promise for thousands of generations and forgive evil and sin; but I will not fail to punish children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for the sins of their parents.” (Exo 34:7 GNB)

“Do not bow down to any idol or worship it, for I am the LORD your God and I tolerate no rivals. I bring punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generation.” (Deu 5:9 GNB)

This is one possible cause of demon possession in children, as in the following example.

A woman, whose daughter had an evil spirit in her, heard about Jesus and came to him at once and fell at his feet. The woman was a Gentile, born in the region of Phoenicia in Syria. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. But Jesus answered, “Let us first feed the children. It isn’t right to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” “Sir,” she answered, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s leftovers!” So Jesus said to her, “Because of that answer, go back home, where you will find that the demon has gone out of your daughter!” She went home and found her child lying on the bed; the demon had indeed gone out of her. (Mar 7:25-30 GNB)

The following symptoms may indicate demon possession, oppression or obsession.

  • Persistent emotions of anxiety, fear, depression, hatred, rage, jealousy, pride and bitterness.

  • Strong compulsions; including various eating disorders, suicidal tendencies, self-mutilation and violent behaviour.

  • Obsessive and compulsive sexual behaviour, especially pornography, adultery, fornication, masturbation and homosexuality.

  • Addictions or substance abuse, which may include tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.

  • Trances, visions, and meditations which are contrary to, not focused on and not from the one true God.

1. Obsession with demons

An obsession with demons is a condition where one becomes obsessed with an interest in or preoccupation with the powers of demons. It goes hand in hand with an unusual interest in the occult, demons and Satan.  Such obsession with the powers of demons can eventually lead to possession by demons.

Such a person may dabble in occult practices, constantly credit everything to Satan or a demon, or be preoccupied with the study of demons and Satan.

2. Oppression by demons

Demons can oppress a person. To oppress means to bear down, come against, or bind from the outside. This oppression is accomplished by evil spirits in various ways. They cause depression, create negative circumstances, and insert wrong thoughts into the mind such as thoughts of suicide, immorality, unbelief, fear, etc. Demons create Satanic circumstances and situations which tempt a person to sin:

“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and He went about doing good, and healing all those who were oppressed by the Devil, for God was with Him.”  (Act 10:38 MKJV)

Oppression by demons can be recognized by the following signs on our bodies:

  • Oppression by demons can cause physical symptoms. 

“And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and she was bowed together and was not able to be completely erect. And when Jesus saw her, He called and said to her, Woman, you are delivered from your infirmity.” (Luk 13:11-12 MKJV)

  • Oppression by demons can cause chronic sickness.

Illnesses can have many causes. Some illnesses are caused by the violation of natural laws, such as not eating properly or drinking bad water. Illness can even be chastisement. 

Oppression by demons can be recognized by the following:

  • Mental oppression.

This includes confusion, doubt, forgetfulness, restlessness and abnormal talkativeness or reserve. All mental problems are not caused by Satan, many can have medical or social causes. God is able to heal mental problems and illnesses irrespective of their causes.  Sometimes a small change in diet or lifestyle an alleviate a problem.

  • Emotional problems.

Persistent or recurring emotional disturbances such as resentment, hatred, anger, fear, rejection, self-pity, jealousy, depression, worry, insecurity, inferiority, etc. may have spiritual causes.

  • Spiritual problems.

These include great difficulties in overcoming sin, including sinful habits to the point of impossibility. These people will often reject spiritual solutions to their problems. Any types of doctrinal error or deception are also strong indicators of demon oppression.

  • Lack of harmony in our lives.

This usually involves confused and negative thoughts and can be identified as demonic because God is not a God of disorder and turmoil, but of harmony and peace.

“God does not want us to be in disorder but in harmony and peace.” (1Co 14:33 GNB)

3. Demon Possession

Possession by demons is a condition in which one or more demons inhabit the body of a human being and take control of their victim at will. Possession by demons does not mean a person is not responsible for his own sin. His responsibility lies with the actions that led to his possession.

Possession can happen willingly – a person may desire to be possessed by demons in order to secure some or other supernatural power. Possession can also occur unwillingly. Through sinful thoughts and actions, or through contact with the occult he or she opens up spiritual doors through which possession by demons can result.

Demons may be able to possess you, but only if Jesus doesn’t. Demonic possession may be accompanied by one or more of the following:

3a. Spiritual signs

  • The ability to foretell the future or discover the unknown through unscriptural methods.

“And as we went to prayer, it happened that a certain girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by divining.” (Act 16:16 MKJV)

  • Resistance to spiritual things.

Fear of the name of Jesus, of prayer and of the Bible are all symptoms of demon possession. Excessive blasphemy may be noted or contorted physical features and abrupt behaviour changes when spiritual things are mentioned.

“Just then a man with an evil spirit came into the synagogue and screamed, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Are you here to destroy us? I know who you are—you are God’s holy messenger!” Jesus ordered the spirit, “Be quiet, and come out of the man!” The evil spirit shook the man hard, gave a loud scream, and came out of him.” (Mar 1:23-26 GNB)

  • Moral uncleanness and filthiness.  It often includes the desire to go without clothing.

“As Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a man from the town who had demons in him. For a long time this man had gone without clothes and would not stay at home, but spent his time in the burial caves.” (Luk 8:27 GNB)

“And He going out onto land, He met a certain man out of the city, who had had demons a long time, and put on no clothes, nor stayed in a house, but among the tombs.” (Luk 8:27 MKJV)

3b. Emotional signs

  • Isolating himself from other people. (This man could not live in society, so he stayed in the tombs of the cemetery.)

“And He going out onto land, He met a certain man out of the city, who had had demons a long time, and put on no clothes, nor stayed in a house, but among the tombs.” (Luk 8:27 MKJV)

  • Changes in personality and/or voice.

 Actions, as well as appearances, may be affected. A person who is normally shy may become aggressive or violent. Moral character and intelligence may change. Voice may be altered.

“He was some distance away when he saw Jesus; so he ran, fell on his knees before him, and screamed in a loud voice, “Jesus, Son of the Most High God! What do you want with me? For God’s sake, I beg you, don’t punish me!” (He said this because Jesus was saying, “Evil spirit, come out of this man!”) So Jesus asked him, “What is your name!” The man answered, “My name is ‘Mob’—there are so many of us!” And he kept begging Jesus not to send the evil spirits out of that region.” (Mar 5:6-10 GNB)

  • Terrible fear, anguish and inner torment.

“And seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell down before Him and said with a loud voice, What is to me and to You, Jesus, Son of God the Most High? I beseech You, Do not torment me!”  (Luk 8:28 MKJV)

  • Fits of rage, often accompanied by foaming at the mouth.

A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, because he has an evil spirit in him and cannot talk. Whenever the spirit attacks him, it throws him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth, grits his teeth, and becomes stiff all over. I asked your disciples to drive the spirit out, but they could not.” (Mar 9:17-18 GNB)

“They brought him to Jesus. As soon as the spirit saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a fit, so that he fell on the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.” (Mar 9:20 GNB)

3c. Physical signs

  • Unusual physical strength.

“As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, he was met by a man who came out of the burial caves there. This man had an evil spirit in him and lived among the tombs. Nobody could keep him tied with chains any more; many times his feet and his hands had been tied, but every time he broke the chains and smashed the irons on his feet. He was too strong for anyone to control him.”  (Mar 5:2-4 GNB)

  • Accompanying physical afflictions.

In cases of possession by demons, these appear most commonly to be afflictions of the nervous system.

“As the men were leaving, some people brought to Jesus a man who could not talk because he had a demon. But as soon as the demon was driven out, the man started talking, and everyone was amazed.” (Mat 9:32-33 GNB)

“Then some people brought to Jesus a man who was blind and could not talk because he had a demon. Jesus healed the man, so that he was able to talk and see.” (Mat 12:22 GNB)

  • Self-inflicted physical injury.

“Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and grievously vexed; for oftentimes he falls into the fire, and often into the water.” (Mat 17:15 MKJV)

“Day and night he wandered among the tombs and through the hills, screaming and cutting himself with stones.” (Mar 5:5 GNB)

How to detect demon possession and the presence of demons.

To overcome demon possession or oppression, it is important to be able to recognize the presence and tactics of demons. The Holy Spirit has provided the gift called “discerning of spirits” for this purpose.

“The Spirit gives one person the power to work miracles; to another, the gift of speaking God’s message; and to yet another, the ability to tell the difference between gifts that come from the Spirit and those that do not. To one person he gives the ability to speak in strange tongues, and to another he gives the ability to explain what is said.” (1Co 12:10 GNB)

To discern means to discover, to evaluate and to make a distinction between.

The gift of discerning of spirits is of utmost importance when dealing with demon possession:

  • It permits the believer to discover, evaluate, and identify demons or evil spirits.
  • Believers are enabled to immediately discern whether or not a person is affected by demon possession, obsession or oppression. It also it prevents deception by any seducing or lying demons.

With this gift, believers can recognize the evil motives, tactics and practices of demons. Discernment also enables believers to determine the cause behind demon possession.

Believers don’t all share the same skills in the use of this special spiritual gift of discerning of spirits. However, they can hone it through practice and by getting to know the symptoms of demon possession. When the Canaanite woman came to Jesus requesting that He cast out demons from her daughter, she said: “My daughter has a demon.” She knew by the symptoms that her child was afflicted by demons.

A Canaanite woman who lived in that region came to him. “Son of David!” she cried out. “Have mercy on me, sir! My daughter has a demon and is in a terrible condition.” (Mat 15:22 GNB)

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