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Can a Christian be demon-possessed?

A Christian web-site, a Centre Director and a former spiritualist give views on the sometimes-controversial question of whether or not Christians can be demon-possessed, and the extent to which local churches are equipped to minister to those whose lives are afflicted by demonic activity.
 


Ellel MinistriesMartin Knapp is Centre Director of Ellel Grange, the HQ of Ellel Ministries International. He speaks on the work of Ellel Ministries is assisting believers and churches to address the issues affecting Christian lives through negative spiritual issues.

headphonesListen to a short interview in which Martin addresses the question and speaks about how Ellel Ministries seeks to assist believers and churches in addressing the problems arising from demonic activity and involvement.

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Laura MaxwellLaura Maxwell
is a former spiritualist whose mother tragically committed suicide as a result of demonic activities brought about by involvement in a spiritualist church. A transcript of Laura's testimony can be found elsewhere on Christians Together.


The following video is a brief excerpt taken from a recent video interview which Laura gave to Christians Together and produced the Thistle Channel TV. The interview was based on her life experience and and book 'A Spiritual Quest'.


Laura Maxwell (extract) from thistlechannel.tv on Vimeo.



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The article below is taken (with permission) from the GotQuestions web site.


Question:

"Can a Christian be demon possessed? Can a Christian be demonized?"

Answer:

While Bible does not explicitly state whether a Christian can be possessed by a demon, related biblical truths make it abundantly clear that Christians cannot be demon possessed. There is a distinct difference between being possessed by a demon and being oppressed or influenced by a demon. Demon possession involves a demon having direct/complete control over the thoughts and/or actions of a person (Matthew 17:14-18; Luke 4:33-35; 8:27-33). Demon oppression or influence involves a demon or demons attacking a person spiritually and/or encouraging him/her into sinful behavior. Notice that in all the New Testament passages dealing with spiritual warfare, there are no instructions to cast a demon out of a believer (Ephesians 6:10-18). Believers are told to resist the devil (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9), not to cast him out.

Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9-11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). Surely the Holy Spirit would not allow a demon to possess the same person He is indwelling. It is unthinkable that God would allow one of His children, whom He purchased with the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19) and made into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), to be possessed and controlled by a demon. Yes, as believers, we wage war with Satan and his demons, but not from within ourselves. The apostle John declares, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Who is the One in us? The Holy Spirit. Who is the one in the world? Satan and his demons. Therefore, the believer has overcome the world of demons, and the case for demon possession of a believer cannot be made scripturally.

With the strong biblical evidence that a Christian cannot be demon possessed in view, some Bible teachers use the term “demonization” to refer to a demon having control over a Christian. Some argue that while a Christian cannot be demon possessed, a Christian can be demonized. Typically, the description of demonization is virtually identical to the description of demon possession. So, the same issue results. Changing the terminology does not change the fact that a demon cannot inhabit or take full control of a Christian. Demonic influence and oppression are realities for Christians, no doubt, but it is simply not biblical to say that a Christian can be possessed by a demon or demonized.

Much of the reasoning behind the demonization concept is the personal experience of seeing someone who was “definitely” a Christian exhibiting evidence of being controlled by a demon. It is crucially important, though, that we do not allow personal experience to influence our interpretation of Scripture. Rather, we must filter our personal experiences through the truth of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Seeing someone whom we thought to be a Christian exhibiting the behavior of being demonized should cause us to question the genuineness of his/her faith. It should not cause us alter our viewpoint on whether a Christian can be demon possessed / demonized. Perhaps the person truly is a Christian but is severely demon oppressed and/or suffering from severe psychological problems. But again, our experiences must meet the test of Scripture, not the other way around.



Footnotes:
blairmorehouseEllel Ministries has centres throughout Scotland and offers courses and assistance to churches and individuals in addressing the range of issues impacting on the lives of Christians including that of demonic influences.
Healing retreats are free of charge and are offered by all the Ellel Centres including Blairmore House which is situation near Huntly in the north of Scotland.

Anna and ColinWatch an interview with Anna Wood who, along with her husband Malcolm, is a director of Ellel Scotland.
In the interview Anna speaks of the facilities offered at Blairmore House in terms of Healing Retreats and a programme of care for church leaders called 'Operation Blairmore.


Laura and ColinLaura Maxwell. Another short interview with Laura can be seen at Thistle Channel web site along with details of how to purchase Laura's semi-autobiographical book 'A Spiritual Quest'.

Christians Together and friends, 20/10/2010

Feedback:
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RF (Guest) 02/01/2011 09:31
It is a curious thing that men and women of letters can be troubled in this way.
As for ML I have again listened to Gorecki Symphony Number 3 'Sorrowful Songs'. Humanists can be moved Mr L.
Martin Lisemore 03/01/2011 22:55
Roland, I think you underestimate me. Some of my most loved music is from quite unbelieving people, Schuman, his symphony No.1; Mussorgsky Pictures at an exhibition; Prokofiev, but my very favourites are the Czech composers Dvorak and Smetana, whose humble house near Charles Bridge in Prague I have been to.

My so important point in earlier posts is not the emotion these men's work evokes, and it admittedly does, it's the sheer fact it is an emotional response and not an spiritual one. There is a very big difference, the same measure of difference between time and eternity.

I admit I enjoy these composers and many more, including modern singers like Art Garfunkel - OK modern when compared with Schuman - but some music is eternal, spiritual, simple, yet so compelling as to affect the very spirit of a man. It causes a man's eternal spirit to reach out to an eternal creator, God.

Poetry is the same. I was very early on taken with Masefield's Sea Fever. Later, I was the navigator on racing yachts when a student, doing the Fastnet and other races. Never lost my love of that poem. Yet for forty odd years Psalm 84 has moved me at a different, more profound level, a spiritual level, because the words are so spiritual, eternal, and straight from the mouth of God.

I expect to go to my grave liking Smetana's music, and Masefield's Sea Fever, but the words I will hear in Heaven are Psalm 84.

I commend it to you.
RF (Guest) 04/01/2011 07:53
ML the reference to Gorecki was not a comment about your music knowledge; it was a gentle statement about the Holocaust.I recommend that you google - sorrowful songs. Although I would have expected you to have understood that I was nevertheless guilty of going off debate; still I am sure you can adopt a sympathetic stance and be gentle with me.
Rosemary Cameron 04/01/2011 17:55
Going back to the original topic, if someone has genuinely repented of their sins, including occult involvement if applicable, and has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, I believe that they have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them and cannot be demon possessed. However it may be that Satan tries to deceive them into thinking that they are still under his control. What is needed in that case is for the new believer to learn the truth and resist the devil. What concerns me is the idea that you need to get someone special/trained/whatever to assist you in driving out demons, and the fact that such people often seem to reply on formulas or rituals to do so. That is shamanism. We all need to learn to resist the devil and his deceptions and there is no set formula for doing it, because it is based on our relationship with Christ, not on our words or works.

I totally agree with the statement "It is crucially important, though, that we do not allow personal experience to influence our interpretation of Scripture."
John Parker (Guest) 05/01/2011 00:20
The idea of being able to function in any particular ministry through 'training' alone is obviously false. However the exercise of spiritual gifts is a thoroughly biblical one.
Additionally whilst 'formulas or rituals' should be indeed be shunned, the enabling of the Holy Spirit to reveal issues to us is essential.
It has been the experience of many throughout the centuries that Christians who have been afflicted by demonic forces have been helped by the ministry of others who have been gifted by God and enabled by the Holy Spirit to identify and address the negative forces which can impact on believer's lives.
It is as much a mistake to trust in formulae as it is to think that 3rd party ministry has no place to play in the process of release, healing and restoration.
Penny Lee 05/01/2011 01:08
I have (thankfully0 no experience of being around another Christian who had been demon possessed, however, I have read a few books and articles about those who were delivered from demon possession and one thing which was always clear was that casting out demons from someone is not something which all Christians can do. You do need to know what you are doing but I don't believe you can just decided to go away and 'learn' how to do it. It is a gift like any other from God and I believe it is God who equips certain people for this task. It is not unknown for some well-meaning person to have caused more damage than good and you attempt it at your severe peril if it is not God's intention for you to do it.

I remember reading of a minister who cast demons out of others and it would actually leave him physically ill for a while, confining him to bed. This is not an area anyone should venture into unless they have been truly called by God for this purpose.

A lady I personally heard speak, who had come from demon possession to Christianity, told of how it took over a year after her conversion to have all demons cast out of her and she knew every time what particular one had gone.
Esteban Corrales (Guest) 04/09/2012 06:27
Is that why she's on the 6th season of Supernatural?
mrecorrales@att.net :D
Esteban Corrales (Guest) 04/09/2012 06:40
I was researching and rcognized her face instantly. Faith means nothing, there are defectors in every faith. Salvation is in yourself. The company you keep is what will clue you in. If you feel your closest friends are good people, then youre a good person. If you feel they are bad then you're bad. Theres no need for explanations, we all know whats wrong and whats right reardless of what society's current definition is. That's what God's final gift to us was, was it not....
Esteban Corrales (Guest) 04/09/2012 06:42
And please dont judge me for the spelling mistakes, someone clearly intends for me to be a fool.
Jim Urquhart (Guest) 04/09/2012 09:40
Dear Esteban, You said "Salvation is in yourself". However if that was the case God wouldn't have had to send Jesus. Christianity is the only religion that offers forgiveness; and forgiveness in the truest sense can only come from someone other than the guilty party. The Bible tells us that we have all sinned in God's sight and are guilty before Him.

Jesus Christ took the penalty for us to allow us to be re-united with God. So "Salvation" is in Christ - not in ourselves.

If you do not know Christ as your Saviour I would invite you to consider his death for you (and me) and turn to him in faith and trust.

God says in the Bible "You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart."

Yours in prayer,

Jim
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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Christian Life > Can a Christian be demon-possessed?