Demonic Possession

In today's world, the existence of evil spirits is either dismissed altogether or the danger they pose to humanity is ignored or underestimated. The Bible has much to say about these creatures from the spirit realm who can, if allowed, possess and control a human. The Bible describes evil spirits as extremely powerful and dangerous beings that should be dealt with accordingly. This chapter answers the following questions about demonic possession:

    • What is demonic possession?
    • What do evil spirits hope to accomplish by controlling a human?
    • Under what conditions can an evil spirit take control of a human?

Before answering these questions, it is necessary to briefly review the following subjects which will form a foundation for the answers to the questions noted above.

    • What is a human?
    • The holy spirit
    • Before mankind
    • Before the great flood
    • Disembodied spirits

WHAT IS A HUMAN?

In order to understand exactly what demonic possession and control is and the circumstances surrounding an evil spirit's possession and control of a person, it is necessary to clearly understand what defines a human being from the biblical perspective.

Many believe that what makes us human are purely our physical attributes; however, the Bible says humans have a spirit and it is this spirit in us that makes us human. But, is this spirit a physical creation or is it from another dimension of existence?

Two Elements of Human Existence

The scriptures show there are two distinct dimensions of existence, and that humans are composed of elements from both dimensions. There is both a physical and a spiritual dimension of existence and each is separate from the other in function and creation. But, both work together to enable humans to exist on a higher plane of consciousness than the rest of the physical creation.

Jesus says there are two elements of the human existence and we must fear the God who can terminate both the physical and non-physical elements:

"Do not fear them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him [God the Father] which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matt.10:28 KJV Para).

In this verse the English word body is translated from the Greek word soma, which means a human/animal body or a corpse. The Greek word for soul is psyche, which can be translated as life or mind. The English word destroy is translated from the Greek word apollumi, which means to destroy fully, to kill, to perish, and to completely do away with.

There is no doubt that the words used in Matthew 10:28 mean the Sovereign God has the power to completely destroy both the physical and non-physical elements of human life. The apostle Paul also refers to these two elements of human existence in his letter to the Thessalonians:

"And may the God of peace Himself fully sanctify you, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1.Thes.5:23 Para.).

In verse 23, the English words spirit, soul, and body are translated from Greek words pneuma, psyche, and soma, which mean respectively, the physical breath or the soul, the spirit or the mind, and the physical body.

The Physical Element

The following scriptures tell us the human body is composed of the elements of the earth and returns to the basic elements from which it is formed at death:

"And the Lord God formed the man out of the dust of the ground, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul" (Gen.2:7 Para.). See also verse 8; Deut.32:18.

In this scripture, The English word soul is translated from the Hebrew word nephesh, which means a breathing creature or animal, vitality, beast, body, or breath. There is absolutely nothing in the word nephesh that indicates anything other than physical life: human or animal. The Hebrew word nephesh literally means a state of being alive. God created a lifeless body in the form of man and made it a living soul (nephesh) by blowing air into its lungs; thus giving it life.

"In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it you were taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall you return" (Gen.3:19 KJV).

"You hide your face and they are troubled; you gather your breath, and they expire and return to their dust" (Psa.104:29 Para.; Job 34:13-15).

Physical Life

In this modern age, we can understand the biological implications of the following scriptures in which the role of life sustaining blood and life giving oxygen are noted:

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood; . . .Therefore I said to the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, . . .For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: . . ." (Lev.17:11-14 KJV).

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Gen.2:7 KJV).

"The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the almighty has given me life" (Job 33:4 KJV).

If God had not activated Adam's life functions by inserting air into his lungs in order to oxygenate his blood, Adam would not have lived. But, is human life no more than a chemical-electric reaction of a well designed structure of gas, fluid, and solid matter reacting to internal and external stimuli? If this is the sum of what God created as physical man, humans would be no different from any other animal.

While it is true that animals have the same breath as humans (Ecc.3:19-21), they do not have the same quality of existence as humans. Humans are different from animals and the rest of the physical creation in many obvious ways. Humans are on a higher plane of life existence than the rest of creation. But, what is it that makes mankind different? The answer is that the unseen spirit element of the human creation makes us different from the rest of creation. See Dan.4:4-37; 1.Cor.2:11.

The Spiritual Element

There is another element to human life besides the physical. This element is the spirit in man which separates mankind from the rest of creation:

"But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding" (Job 32:8 KJV).

"The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, says the Lord, which stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him" (Zech.12:1 KJV). See also Ecc.12:5-7.

The English word spirit in these two verses is translated from the Hebrew word ruwach, which means wind or mind. It does not mean a physical being or even a being at all. Rather, it denotes something that is not physical.

The scriptures reveal that there is a non-physical element which is an integral part of the human creation. It is this non-physical element—the human spirit (i.e., the human mind)—which resides within the human body and gives humanity the ability to be on a higher thought-plane than all other physical creatures on earth. Without a sentient spirit to inhabit a human body, the body would be nothing more than a life-form in a comatose state.

The prophecy of the dry bones and the resurrection of national Israel in Ezekiel, chapter 37 and the following statement by the apostle James clearly show that the human body devoid of the human spirit is not human; it is just an empty vessel:

"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (Jms.2:26 KJV).

The spirit of a human is only one of the two elements of human life which the scientific community does not understand or ascribe to human life function. Nevertheless, the spirit in man is of major importance to human life after death. See Ecc.12:6-7.

The God of Spirits

The scriptures show that God formed the spirit which lives within the human body. It is this spirit that gives humans the ability to conceive of and worship God. It is also this spirit that is an integral part of our potential to become immortal. Animals do not have the potential for immortality and they do not relate to God in the same way as humans. Furthermore, they do not have the ability to worship or interact with God as humans do (Rom.8:14-16):

"And they fell on their faces, and said, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?" (Num.16:22 Para.).

"Let the Lord God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation" (Num.27:16 Para.).

"The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, says the Lord, which stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him" (Zech.12:1 KJV).

The spirit in man is not an undefinable essence nor is it mysteriously apart from man—the spirit of man is man. The physical body is the habitation of the spirit, which is the sentient and conscious element of the human creation.

The Human Life-Form

Human life is unique in all of creation; a human being is the only lifeform on earth that is both physical and spiritual and has the opportunity to be elevated to the highest of all life-forms: a spirit-being in the Family of God.

The spirit of man is in reality a sentient being (i.e., the individual) created by God (Zech.12:1) and placed in a human body to inhabit it. This habitation affords us the ability to interact with this physical realm through conscious and subconscious control of the body. When we decide to move or to speak, a complex thought process takes place and the body we inhabit responds accordingly. When there is a disconcert between the spirit and the body, one of two things happens: 1) The spirit cannot control the body's voluntary and involuntary movements; 2) The body dies and the spirit of man returns to God who created it:

"Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it" (Ecc.12:67 KJV). See also Ecc.3:20-21.

THE HOLY SPIRIT

Now that we have established what a human is from the biblical perspective and understand that the human body is just a physical mechanism in which the human spirit resides, it becomes much easier to understand what takes place when an evil spirit controls an individual's mind and inhabits a person's body.

Many people who profess to teach biblical concepts teach that, when a person makes a commitment to follow Christ and is baptized with water, the holy spirit takes possession of a person's mind and body. Others teach that a person must request or allow the holy spirit to cause them to speak in a language unknown to them as evidence that the holy spirit dwells in them. Although the teaching that the holy spirit takes possession of a person's mind is believed by many who profess to follow the teachings of the Bible, this teaching and belief is without biblical support.

The following information is presented in order to refute the teaching that the holy spirit takes possession of the mind and body at baptism and to reveal what the holy spirit is and its function and importance in the life of a person who is called to salvation during this gospel age.

What Is The Holy Spirit?

One of the most confusing religious teachings today concerns the definition of the holy spirit. This confusion is primarily the result of the false teaching that the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit are somehow a composite of two or three personalities which comprise a single being who has no individual personality. Because of this and other similar teachings, the majority of people are confused about who the Father and the Son are and what the holy spirit is.

God the Father and Jesus Christ are spirit-beings who inhabit a spirit dimension of existence. It is through God the Father's spirit-power, energy, and force that he animates, creates, controls, and sustains all that exists. It is this spirit that God the Father gives to those whom he has called to salvation.

It is unfortunate that many English translations of the Bible use the pronoun he when referring to the holy spirit. Because the Sovereign God's holy spirit is a thing and not a personage, the holy spirit should be referred to as it, not as he. The spirit of God and the holy spirit are the same thing, and both God the Father and Jesus Christ have this spirit essence, energy, and power.

The Promise of the Spirit

Before and after his death and resurrection, Jesus promised to send the holy spirit to assist those whom the Father calls to salvation:

"If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will petition the Father, and he will give you another comforter that it may remain with you forever the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see him, nor know him. But you know him, for he abides with you, and shall be in you" (Jn.14:15-17 Para.). Also see Jn.16:13-14; Acts 1:4-8.

"And he said, Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day; and that this message of salvation should be taken from Jerusalem to all the nations; There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me. You have seen these prophecies come true. And now I will send the holy spirit upon you, just as my Father promised. Don't begin telling others yet—stay here in the city until the holy spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven" (Lk.24:46-49 LBP).

The English word power in verse 49 is translated from the Greek word dunamis, which means power to perform. This is the same power that Jesus had while he was on earth. It is the same power through which he performed all of his great works, and it is the same power and energy which the apostles and members of the early church had as a part of their being.

The following are three important things to take note of from John and Luke's account of Christ's promise to send the spirit of God:

    1. Christ would go to where the Father dwells and ask for the holy spirit to be sent to his followers.
    2. The power of the holy spirit is placed within the Father's earthly children (i.e., his elect) and continues to reside within them. See Jer.31:31-33; Heb.8:6-10; Jn.14:15-17.
    3. Although it is the Sovereign Father who has absolute control of the holy spirit, it is Jesus who is the administrator of the holy spirit to his Father's earthly children. See Jn.1:33;14:25-26; Lk.3:16; Acts 11:15-16; Gal.3:1-5; Eph.2:13-18.

Pentecost a Day of Transformation

It is very important to firmly establish in one's mind that the New Testament writers were inspired to repeatedly record the great differences between the physical and the spirit worlds, and that humans cannot enter into the spirit world unless they are completely changed into spirit.

On the first Festival of Pentecost after Christ's resurrection, the first step in the process of being transformed from a mortal human into an immortal god-being for those who were found to be under the redemptive power of the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ.

Standard Equipment

The first human life-form is a physical creation with only the spirit of man. This spirit of man is human and lives within a flesh and blood body. The human spirit is standard equipment; it is the intellect that allows the human life-form to exist on a higher plane than the rest of the physical creation. See Gen.2:7-8; Deut.32:18; Job 33:4, 6; Ecc.12:5-7; Zech.12:1.

Optional Equipment

The optional equipment in man is the Sovereign Father's holy spirit. It is this spirit that transforms humans into sons of God and makes them a part of his divine family. At the moment of spiritual transformation, the Father places his holy spirit into the spirit of man, which causes a human being to become a different life-form.

The original spirit of man is merged with God's holy spirit and becomes a new and different creation. This new creation is unlike the original creation because this new person now has the potential to have eternal life and become immortal as a member of the Family of God. Man's spirit alone does not have this potential, and humans can only exist as sentient beings in this physical dimension of existence. The addition of God's spirit transforms the human spirit into a new creation with entirely new potential.

The Beginning of a New Life

The Day of Pentecost is symbolic of the ending of our old life and the beginning of our new life as a son of God. In the baptismal waters, the old human life-form symbolically dies. During this ceremony, we are purged of all sin by the power of God through the sacrifice of Christ and are released from our death sentence.

When the holy spirit is placed in us, the old person literally dies and ceases to exist, because God the Father merges his spirit with the human spirit. The person with the indwelling of the holy spirit is a new creation¾a son of the Sovereign God with the same genetic makeup as other members of the Family of God. Although still physically alive and in the physical form of a human, a converted spirit-filled person is a new creature:

"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2.Cor.5:16-17 NIV).

"Do you not know, that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection" (Rom.6:3-5 KJV Para.). See also Rom.6:6-11; 8:1-16.

Christ is dead to sin and so are those of the New Creation. We can consider ourselves to have already obtained immortality. All that we must do to ensure that we will enter into eternity and immortality after the death of the physical body is to continue to obey God and follow his ways.

God the Father and Jesus Christ possess the highest form of life: immortality on the divine plane of existence. This kind of life springs forth from itself; it is not dependent upon any other source to sustain it because it is self-sustaining. It is this kind of life that those of the New Creation have the opportunity to attain through the power of the Sovereign God's spirit which resides within us. See 1.Cor.15:50-54.

The Spirit of Adoption

In his letter to the Church at Rome, Paul draws upon the example of the Roman adoption system to illustrate how a person becomes a son of God:

"For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery again to fear, but you received a spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba! Father! The spirit itself witnesses with our spirit that we are the children of God" (Rom.8:14-16 KJV Para.).

Roman adoption was extremely difficult to accomplish, because the Roman father was the absolute controlling power over the family. No matter how old a son became, he was still in absolute possession and under absolute control of his father. This made adoption into another family a very serious and difficult thing to accomplish.

Under Roman law, there were a number of symbolic ceremonies and rituals requiring many witnesses which had to take place before any adoption was considered legal and binding. Moreover, once a son was legally adopted into his new family, he lost all rights to his old family and gained the rights of a legitimate son in his new family. By law, his old life was completely wiped away (e.g., all debts were canceled). He was regarded as a completely new and different person who was entering a new life upon which the old life had no meaning or importance. Under Roman law, he was considered the son of his new father.

Paul said the holy spirit is the witness of the adoption into the Family of God, whereby the past life is wiped away—it is gone. After this adoption, all debts are canceled and the new son of God begins a new life in the Family of God with all the rights of sonship.

When we are transformed from the original human creation into the New Creation by the power of God's spirit, we become a child of God in the Family of God. The reason God's spirit is a witness to a person being a child of God is that the spirit of God has merged with the human spirit, which produces the New Creature—a composite of the spirit of man and the spirit of God. Jesus Christ was the first of these new creations before being resurrected to eternal life and immortality. See Lk.3:21-23.

The indwelling of the holy spirit is not the possession of a person's mind and body by the holy spirit. The indwelling of the spirit is just that; the holy spirit dwells within the Sovereign Father's children because it is a part of what we are—a new creation with the spirit of man and the spirit of God merged into one being. The Sovereign Father's holy spirit does not possess any of his children; it dwells within us and becomes a part of what we are as a child of God and a member of his earthly family of king-priests.

Attributes and Functions

The apostle Paul mentions twenty-one separate attributes and functions of the holy spirit which were available to those of the early church. The holy spirit does not take possession of a person's mind and body like some who profess to follow the teachings of the Bible believe. The holy spirit is the Sovereign Father's power, which has many functions. This power is given to those whom the Father calls to salvation and adopts into his family in order to help us successfully obtain spiritual maturity and perfection, perform the work for which we were called, and enter into the Family and Kingdom of God as immortal sons.

BEINGS IN HUMAN FORM

No one will dispute that beings in human form and appearance inhabit the earth, and few who study the Bible will dispute the fact that humans can, under certain circumstances, become controlled by an evil spirit. However, there is much controversy as to what a human is, the mental and physical condition of a human possessed by an evil spirit, and the spiritual make-up, if any, of the different types of what appear to be human beings which inhabit the earth. I believe that there are at least the following six types of creatures in human form and appearance that presently inhabit the earth:

    1. Humans of the original creation who have only the spirit of man. See Zech.12:1; 1.Cor.2:11.
    2. Humans of the original creation who have been transformed into a new creation with the spirit of man and the holy spirit as a part of their genetic make-up. See 2.Cor.5:17; Gal.6:15; Rom.8:14-16.
    3. Humans of the original creation with the spirit of man but controlled by an evil spirit. See Matt.8:28; Mk.9:17-18; Lk.8:1-2.
    4. Those of the new creation who have blasphemed the holy spirit or are willingly in violation of their agreement with their heavenly Father. These are awaiting the termination of their life in the Lake of Fire. See Matt.12:31; Acts 5:1-11; 1.Tim.1:18-20; Rev.21:8.
    5. A human body without the spirit of man, but inhabited by an evil spirit. See 2.Thess.2:3-11.
    6. Evil spirits in human form who inhabited the earth before and after the two great destructions of the earth's surface. See chapters 2 and 3 of this study and Dan.2:43.

WHAT ARE EVIL SPIRITS?

Evil spirits are eternal beings who rebelled against the Sovereign God's authority and rule over their life and refused to fulfill the functions and responsibilities for which they were created and to which they were assigned.

Biblical accounts reveal that evil spirits, other than Satan, have the ability to exist on earth as physical flesh and blood beings in human, animal, and other forms, as well as existing as invisible sentient beings. These evil beings are extremely intelligent and have tremendous spiritual power at their disposal through which they can manipulate the physical environment and influence and control humans and animals within certain limited boundaries set by the Sovereign God.

The biblical record does not describe the physical appearance of the angelic beings who inhabited the earth before the creation of mankind (with the spirit of man), but it does describe the covering cherub (Lucifer) who administered God's government on earth. The Bible reveals that, after the covering cherub's rebellion, his appearance was changed to something resembling a serpent and a red dragon. See Ezk.28:11-14; Gen.3:1–4: Rev. 12:3-9.

The narrative of Genesis, chapter 6, verses 1-4, and the Book of Enoch both indicate that there were spirit-beings inhabiting the earth before the great flood. These beings had the form and appearance of men and took wives of female humans and fathered children through them. Therefore, it seems logical that the spirit-beings who inhabited the earth even before the creation of mankind also had the form and appearance of men.

The biblical record reveals that Satan still has a physical body and a spirit body, albeit not the same one he had before his rebellion against the Sovereign God. Therefore, some of the spirit-beings who rebelled with him before the creation of mankind may also continue to have both physical and spirit bodies. Moreover, it seems logical to assume that many of the angelic beings who rebelled after the creation of mankind escaped the great flood with their physical bodies intact.

Understanding the form and appearance of evil spirits and that some still have physical bodies is important to understanding the realities of demonic possession, because these evil beings still roam the earth in physical forms. Some appear as flesh and blood humans or animals, as well as apparitions that appear to be human or animal. Evil spirits also manifest themselves through objects and as invisible sentient beings. Also in order to promote their agenda of deception and destruction, these evil beings have the ability to project their influence or control over people without leaving their physical or spirit-form.

Satan Enters Judas

The following account of Judas Iscariot being entered into and controlled by Satan during the last Passover meal, which Jesus partook of with his disciples, is an example of the power of an evil spirit to control a person who is susceptible to its influence and control:

"I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me." His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means." Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. "What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him, but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him" (Jn.13:21-28 NIV). See also Lk.22:1-5.

The English word entered in verse 27 is translated from the Greek word eiselthen, which means to enter (literally or figuratively).

Because of his attitude, Judas was open to Satan's influence. The fact that Judas did not have the holy spirit dwelling in him as a son of the Sovereign God's new creation also left him more vulnerable; otherwise, Judas would not have been so easily influenced by Satan.

The account of Judas being entered into by Satan reveals that an evil spirit can project its thoughts in order to control the mind and body of a person who is susceptible to its influence.

DISEMBODIED SPIRITS

The biblical record documents that the surface of the earth was twice made uninhabitable by land based life-forms: once during a war between God and Satan and his followers before the creation of mankind and once after the creation of mankind during the Great Flood.

If the spirit-beings who inhabited the earth in physical bodies were created with eternal life, but did not escape either of these two worldwide destructions to another dimension of existence or to other inhabitable planets, their physical bodies would have died. This would have left them as disembodied spirits.

The scriptures indicate that some of the spirit-beings with physical bodies escaped the two destructions of the earth's surface, while others did not. So, what happened to the spirit-beings who did not escape, but whose physical body died, either in the war before the creation of mankind or during the great flood which destroyed all land based flesh that was not saved in Noah's ark? See Gen.6:13-16.

Because angels were created with eternal life, once their physical bodies died, they would have become disembodied spirits. They would no longer have a physical body in which to interact with the physical creation in the same way that a physical body can.

We can assume that some of these disembodied spirits are the ones held captive for various reasons and awaiting their punishment as noted in the scriptures (1.Pet.3:18-20; 2.Pet.2:4; Jude 5-7), while others are left free to roam both the spiritual and physical realms of existence. It is these disembodied spirits, along with other evil spirits with physical bodies, who trouble mankind and roam the earth influencing possessing, inhabiting, and controlling the minds and bodies of humans.

With this understanding, we can now begin to analyze and answer the following and many other questions about demonic possession:

    • What is demonic control and possession?
    • What do evil spirits hope to accomplish by controlling a human mind and body?
    • Under what conditions can an evil spirit take control of a human mind and body?

WHAT IS DEMONIC CONTROL AND POSSESSION?

The English word possessed, as used in the King James Version of the New Testament in reference to demonic possession, is translated from two Greek words: daimonizomai and echo, which respectively mean to be exercised by a demon and to hold.

Demonic possession is very different from evil influence, because the success of demonic influence is predicated on a person's willingness to have certain attitudes, make certain decisions, and behave in certain ways. A person being influenced by evil has the freedom to resist evil influence and make their own decisions and control their own actions, but a person possessed by an evil spirit does not have this freedom.

Demonic control of a person is not dependent on an individual's willingness to have certain attitudes, make certain decisions, and behave in certain ways, because a person controlled by an evil spirit is not in control of their decision making process. This control or possession can be absolute or partial, depending on the intent and purpose of the evil spirit controlling or possessing the individual.

When an evil spirit is in absolute control of an individual's mind and occupies a person's body, the demon suppresses or blocks the individual's ability to control their body. The spirit of man is still present in the body; it has not been evicted from the body, but it is controlled and rendered inoperable to one degree or another by the evil spirit in control. This means the individual with the spirit of man (i.e., the original occupant of the body) is no longer in control of the body or its functions.

A demon occupying a human body has access to all aspects of that body and its functions, including the individual's speech and knowledge (except knowledge which is held secret by God). Whether or not the person being controlled by the evil spirit is aware of what is happening while being controlled depends entirely on the degree of control being exercised by the demon in control.

Reasons for Control and Possession

What do evil spirits hope to accomplish by controlling and possessing a human mind and body? The following are three of the many reasons evil spirits want to inhabit and control humans:

1. To Interact in this Physical Environment

Because rebellious angels were created with eternal life, once their physical bodies died either in the war on earth before the creation of mankind (Gen.1:1-2; Jer.4:14-28) or in the worldwide flood of Noah's time (Gen. chapters 6-9), they became disembodied spirits with life and sentient thought, but without a physical body in which to interact with the physical creation in the same way as a physical entity can.

The scriptures show that many evil spirits are free to roam both the spiritual and the physical realms of existence (Job 1:6-7; Rev.12:7-13; 1.Pet.5:8). Because the scriptures show that spirit-beings have a body composed of spirit material, a spirit-being can fully interact in a spirit dimension and environment; however, in order to be able to fully interact in this physical dimension and environment, that same spirit-being requires a physical body. Herein is one answer to why disembodied evil spirits seek to control a human mind and inhabit a human body. Disembodied spirits must inhabit a physical body in order to freely interact with the physical environment.

2. Religious and Political Deception

Religious deception is a primary reason many evil spirits desire to control an individual's mind and occupy their body. It is through these individuals that they can deceive vast numbers of people into worshiping them and serving their purposes. The apostle Paul wrote the following about individuals who were actively serving Satan:

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (2.Cor.11:13-15 KJV). See also Deut.13:1-5; Jer.23:21-22.

Satan has many ministers disguised as true ministers of God (Rev.2: 9; 3:9). Although some of these individuals are truly deceived themselves, some are willing servants of Satan and others are controlled and occupied by evil spirits.

The elect of the early church were continually warned and admonished to keep the "faith once delivered" and to be on guard against evil men and women who wanted to destroy them. Paul's warning to the evangelist Timothy is just as valid today as it was then:

"Now the spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron" (1.Tim.4:1-2 KJV). See also 2.Tim.4:3-4.

Paul warns that there would be seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. It is obvious that evil spirits do not want people whom they are attempting to deceive with their false teachings to know who and what they are. So, how do they accomplish their deception?

In 1.Timothy 4, verse 1, the English word seducing in the phrase seducing spirits is translated from the Greek word planos, which means roving (as a tramp), i.e., (by implication) an impostor or one who misleads.

Evil spirits accomplish their deception through influencing people's thoughts or by controlling a human mind and body. Once an evil spirit is in control of a human mind and body and has placed the human mind in an unconscious state, rendering the person unable to have sentient thought or to control their own body, the evil spirit then has access to whatever knowledge the person has and possesses complete use of the person's body, including the person's speech through which the evil spirit can promote its agenda.

Adolph Hitler

The more intelligent and powerful evil spirits have the ability to use a person's knowledge and body effectively in their deceptions. One example of an extremely effective use of a person's body and mind is that of Adolph Hitler. Many of Hitler's speeches were extraordinarily powerful and dynamic. Through his perverted and evil concepts and his power of persuasion, he was able to deceive and persuade millions into following, idolizing, and worshiping him.

Some individuals who were present in the crowds while he gave his speeches have remarked that a presence could be felt while he was speaking and that some people listening to him seemed to be in a trance-like state. This is the same persuasiveness that is found in many other charismatic individuals who have the ability to raise a following for themselves through religious and political movements.

3. To Destroy Mankind

Although the apostle Peter wrote the following to those of the Sovereign Father's earthly family of king-priests, the reality is that Satan the devil and all evil spirits hate the entire human race and are actively planning its ultimate destruction as soon as mankind is no longer useful to them:

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, walks about as a roaring lion seeking those he may devour" (1.Pet.5:8 KJV).

The biblical record clearly indicates that angels were created to serve God and mankind. Angels were not created with the potential to be more than they already are. However, mankind was created with the potential to become immortal god-beings who are true sons of the Sovereign God, that will ultimately rule with Jesus Christ who was the Creator God. Satan and other evil spirits know this and are envious of mankind's potential to become sons of God. They are also angered by the fact that future sons of God will replace all evil spirits who now rule the earth. Therefore, these evil beings delight in causing as much trouble for mankind as they can.

Concerning religious deception and its destructive nature, Christ said the following:

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you shall know them" (Matt.7:15-20 KJV).

Jesus is not speaking of individuals who will purposely deceive people for the sake of personal gain or through ignorance. He is speaking of individuals who are maliciously deceiving people in order to destroy them. Many individuals in this category are insane, highly influenced by evil spirits, or totally possessed and controlled by evil spirits.

Speaking to the Scribes and Pharisees about their behavior and intentions to kill him, Jesus said the following:

"You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it" (Jn.8:44 KJV).

Eve had a choice in whether or not she would disobey the Creator God's instruction not to touch the Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil or eat its fruit. However, through his deception of Eve, Satan caused death to come on all mankind, as well as the future death of millions of angelic-beings through deceiving them into following him in his rebellion against the Sovereign God.

Satan was indeed a murder from the beginning. Through King Herod, Satan attempted to murder Christ as an infant, and he is continuing his murderous ways in attempting to destroy those whom the Sovereign God is calling to salvation and sonship in his kingdom.

Conditions for Control and Possession

Under what conditions can an evil spirit take control of a human mind and body? In order to become controlled and possessed by an evil spirit, an individual does not need to believe in the spirit realm, utter mystical words, or perform a complex ritual. All a person has to do to become possessed by an evil spirit is to be receptive to an evil spirit's influence.

Both individuals with a sound mind and those without a sound mind are in danger of becoming possessed by an evil spirit. The only difference between these two types of individuals is that a person with a sound mind must do something to invite demonic possession and a person who does not have a sound mind can become a victim of circumstances beyond their control.

The conditions under which an individual can become possessed by an evil spirit are not complex or difficult to understand. There are basically two ways an evil spirit is allowed to control an individual's mind or inhabit a person's body: free will possession and forced possession.

Free Will Possession

Within the biblical record, there are a number of prohibitions against certain interactions with the spirit realm. Whether or not a person is aware of these prohibitions, they exist. If these prohibitions are not violated, they will help protect an individual with a sound mind from demonic influence and possession.

Individuals who intentionally seek to interact with the spirit realm in violation of the prohibitions and constraints noted in the biblical record, or seek to interact with the spirit realm to acquire knowledge, power, or abilities not obtainable through normal human channels are willingly placing themselves in a condition which is conducive to demonic influence or possession.

Forced Possession

A person with a sound mind has the ability to make sound decisions which affect their attitude and behavior and should be able to resist an evil influence if they are willing to do so. Conversely, a person without a sound mind or someone with a physically impaired or dysfunctional brain, which affects the interaction between the spirit in man and the physical brain, are at a serious disadvantage when it comes to decision making and susceptibility to evil influence or possession. These types of individuals may not have the mental capacity necessary to resist evil influence or control. Therefore, they can become a victim of circumstances beyond their ability to control.

Seeking physical or spiritual influence, knowledge, power, or other benefits through the following methods can dramatically enhance a person's susceptibility to demonic influence and control:

    • Use of mind altering drugs
    • Getting into a meditative or a trance like state
    • Performing magical or mystical rituals
    • Using objects, such as a crystal ball, ouija board, pendulum, and tarot cards
    • Channeling spirit entities
    • Communicating with the dead

The following are circumstances, conditions, and situations which can dramatically enhance a person's susceptibility to demonic influence and control:

    • Seeking to have a religious experience, such as speaking in tongues
    • Dabbling in witchcraft, or mystical and occult sciences
    • Getting into a hypnotic state which reduces or relinquishes control of your will to resist
    • Having uncontrolled emotion which allows the mind to become dysfunctional

POWER AND CONTROL

The following biblical account clearly demonstrates the power and control an evil spirit can exercise over a person and the results which an evil spirit can manifest through the use of this power and control:

A Mute Spirit

"And one of the multitude said, Master, I have brought my son to you, who has a mute spirit; And wherever he takes him, he tears him: and he foams, and gnashes with his teeth, and pines away [i.e., to desiccate; to shrivel; to become rigid]: and I asked your disciples to cast him out; and they could not" (Mk.9:17-18 Para.).

The indication is that this type of demon is either a silent demon that does not communicate with people or it has limited or eliminated the individual's ability to speak, rendering him mute.

"He [Christ] answered him, and said, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him to me. And they brought him to him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tore him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long ago did this come on him? And he said, From an infant. And often it has cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if you can do something, have compassion on us, and help us" (Mk.9:19-22 Para.). See also Lk.9:37-43.

From a very early age, this demon had taken control of this individual and had been intentionally abusing and destroying the body it was possessing and controlling. This shows the tremendous hatred and disrespect that this demon has for mankind and the degree to which an evil spirit can exercise its power and control over an individual.

A Spirit of Infirmity

"And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself" (Lk.13:10-11 KJV).

This account shows a woman who has been the victim of a demonically induced affliction, which has caused her to be permanently bent over.

"And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said to her, Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God" (Lk.13:12-13 KJV).

"And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath day, and said to the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, You hypocrite, do not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?" (Lk.13:14-16 KJV).

The English word Satan in verse 16 is translated from the Greek word satanas of Aramaic origin, which means the accuser, (i.e., the devil). If taken literally, Jesus is saying that it is Satan himself who caused this affliction. Whether or not it was actually Satan who afflicted this woman, the result was the same¾her affliction was caused by an evil spirit who had the power to cause permanent damage to her body.

Multiple Possession

Matthew and Mark both relate the same account of multiple demons possessing individuals. Matthew's account describes two men controlled and possessed by violent evil spirits leaving a graveyard. Mark's account initially mentions one individual possessed by an evil spirit, then goes on to say there are two individuals possessed with many evil spirits, which agrees with Mathews account of this event:

"And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way" (Matt.8:28 KJV).

"And they came over to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gergesenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones" (Mk.5:1-5 KJV).

The demon controlling and inhabiting this person manifested superhuman strength through him. Perhaps this was made possible through either enchanting the body's own physical potential or a manifestation of the evil spirit's own energy. Whichever was the case, the possessed man could not be held captive.

"And he asked him, What is your name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many" (MK.5:9 KJV).

Jesus' question about the name of one of these evil spirits and the answer that he received gives insight into the ability of multiple evil spirits to inhabit a single body.

The word legion in this verse refers to Roman regiment, which at full strength contained six thousand men. However, the word legion may have been used in verse 6 to indicate a very large number.

Both Matthew and Mark note that these evil spirits recognized Jesus for who he was and wanted to know if he had come to punish them before the appointed time:

"And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with you, Jesus, you Son of God? are you here to torment us before the time?" (Matt.8:29 KJV Para).

Because these spirits knew that they must obey Jesus and did not want to be without a body to inhabit, they asked to be allowed to enter into a herd of swine:

"But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshiped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the most high God? I adjure you by God, that you do not torment me. For he said to him, Come out of the man, you unclean spirit" (Mk.5:6-8 KJV Para.).

The punishment and the time these evil spirits referred to is the time when many evil spirits will be destroyed and others will be evicted from all dimensions of God's realm (Mal.4:3; Jude 13).

"And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there near to the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them" (Mk.5:10-12 KJV).

"And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea" (Mk.5:13 KJV).

Although the scriptures do not tell us how or why multiple demons would want to control and occupy one individual the scriptures clearly record that it does happen:

"And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered to him of their substance" (Lk.8:1-3 KJV). See also Mk.16:9.

Evicted Spirits

Jesus said the following about an evicted evil spirit which reveals that, when a disembodied spirit is evicted from a body, it will search for another body to inhabit. If possible, an evil spirit will reenter the body from which it was evicted and bring others with it:

"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, I will return to my dwelling from where I came; and when he goes back, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished. Then he goes, and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so it shall also be with this wicked generation" (Matt.12: 43-45 KJV Para.). See also Lk.11:24-26.

Being empty, swept, and garnished (i.e., decorated) means that there is nothing within the man which can prevent the demon from returning to control his mind and occupy his body. After the demon is cast out of a person, in order to prevent it from returning (and possibly bringing more with it), someone with a higher authority and power than the demon must forbid its return, or the person who was once possessed must have the will to resist an evil spirit and understand and practice how to prevent demonic control and possession.

Degrees of Control

Someone who is controlled by an evil spirit may be aware of what their body is doing and the words that are coming out of their mouth, but sometimes they are not aware and are in a hypnotic-like state in which they have no awareness of what is happening. The following are two encounters with evil spirits of which I have personal knowledge. These encounters demonstrate both types of possession and control.

Limited Control

On one occasion a gentleman telephoned me to ask how I came to know and understand certain information and spiritual concepts. Not receiving satisfactory answers, the evil spirit which had been influencing this man to ask these questions took total control of him and angrily spoke directly to me. When the demon was through speaking, he released control of the man who was dismayed and shocked at what had just happened to him. He told me that he never had anything like this happen to him before.

In this particular incident, the demon allowed the man to remain conscious of what was happening, but would not allow him to interfere with what was being said.

Total Control

On another occasion a gentleman telephoned to ask my advice about how to deal with a minister at the congregation he attended. He told me that the minister in the congregation that he attended had been acting in an unfriendly manner toward him and he was concerned that the minister wanted to reprimand him or harm him in some way. This minister had scheduled a meeting with him and he wanted my advice as to what to do when he met with the minister. I told him that the minister was possessed by an evil spirit and advised him how to handle the situation.

A week or so later the man called to tell me that, when he met the minister, he rebuked the evil spirit as I had instructed him and the minister immediately began to act confused, and could not remember why he had arranged the meeting and asked the man what the meeting was about. The man reminded the minister that he was the one who requested the meeting. So he and the minister went to a restaurant to have coffee and talk, during their conversation the minister would act confused and comment that it was a strange meeting.

The man asked me to explain what happened to the minister. I told him that, when he rebuked the evil spirit, it released its control over the minister and left his body. This was the reason he was confused and did not understand why he had scheduled a meeting.

This was a case of total control over an individual by a demon and a total release of this control when required by an authority and power superior to his.

There are two important things that these examples show:

    1. The degree of control an evil spirit exercises over an individual depends entirely on the purpose for which the demon is inhabiting the person.
    2. An evil spirit does not enter into the mind of an individual (i.e., the spirit of man), but it can control a person's ability to make conscious decisions for themselves. In other words, an individual can be placed in an unconscious state oblivious to what is happening to them or around them.

THE ELECT AND POSSESSION

Is it possible for an evil spirit to possess a person who has the indwelling of the holy spirit? If so, is it possible for that person to be restored to their former status in the Father's family?

Although no scriptures specifically deal with these two questions, there are principles given which allow us to determine whether or not a person with God's spirit can become possessed by an evil spirit and the consequences of allowing this to happen.

Because each person who has the indwelling of the holy spirit is free to choose good or evil, a person can choose to resist evil or accept it into their life. This means that someone with the indwelling of the holy spirit can indeed become possessed if he or she makes the wrong choice.

Making the Wrong Choice

What the apostle Paul wrote about two men of the faith who went astray and his warning not to fellowship with those of the brotherhood who are living in sin, clearly shows that a person with the indwelling of the holy spirit can choose to disregard their commitment to live a righteous life:

"This charge I commit to you, my son Timothy, according to the prophecies going before as to you, that you might war a good warfare by them, having faith and good conscience, which some having thrust away made shipwreck concerning the faith; of whom are Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan, that they may be taught not to blaspheme" (1.Tim.1:18-20 KJV). See also 2.Tim.2:16-18).

Although it is not pleasant to contemplate, some individuals will not continue in sound doctrine and will go their own way (2.Tim.4:3). When people do this, they become spiritually shipwrecked and normally seek to subvert and destroy others in the congregation by speaking about things that are blasphemous. Here, Paul speaks of two such individuals whom he put out of the church and gave over to Satan to punish in hopes that they will learn to obey God and repent of their evil ways.

Paul also reprimanded those at Corinth for tolerating sin in their midst instead of putting the sinful individuals out of the congregation. Furthermore, he commands them to not fellowship with sinful brethren and to separate a wicked individual from fellowship:

"I wrote to you in a letter not to fellowship with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then you would have to leave this world. But I have written to you not to fellowship with those of the brotherhood who are named as a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one do not even have a meal. Is it my Job to judge outsiders? Do you not judge those that are within the church? But those who are without, God judges. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person" (1.Cor.5:9-13 KJV Para.).

The apostle Peter also wrote about the condition of people who, after receiving the indwelling of the holy spirit would turn away from the faith and teach heresies:

"For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollution of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire" (2.Pet.2:18-22 KJV).

People who receive the indwelling of the holy spirit can and do make wrong choices, and if they do not repent, they are left vulnerable to demonic influence and possession. The reason for this is that a child of God who is living an unrighteous lifestyle is not actively resisting evil and has discarded their protection against evil spirits and their influence.

If a person chooses to resist evil, no evil spirit can control or possess that person (Jms.4:7-8). However, if a person chooses to interact with evil spirits on any level other than that which is authorized in order to resist or control evil spirits and their influence, that person is willingly accepting evil into their life and is in danger of being possessed by an evil spirit.

THE TEMPLE

The issue of whether or not an evil spirit can possess a person who has the indwelling of the holy spirit concerns the issue of defilement of the Sovereign Father's temple where his spirit presence resides.

The Creator God required the Israelites who were his chosen people to be and remain a holy and an undefiled people in order for him to interact with them and dwell among them in his spirit presence. The same requirement is true today for those whom the Sovereign Father has chosen to be his earthly children who have the indwelling of his holy spirit. See Lev.20:7; 1.Pet.1:16.

Being holy and undefiled is a spiritual reality. This quality of existence is derived from the Sovereign God through the power of his holy spirit. It is this sacred quality of existence that separates the holy from the unholy.

Defilement

The two sons of Aaron disregarded the instruction which the Creator God gave to keep all physical contamination out of his presence. By bringing unholy fire to the tabernacle, Nadab and Abihu committed a serious violation of the law concerning ceremonial and physical purity. By placing the impure fire in their censers, they defiled themselves and their censers, which made them unfit to minister before God. Because they failed to make and maintain a difference between the holy and the unholy, they were killed by the fire of God's presence, which cannot interact with anything unholy without destroying it. See Lev.10:1-2, 9-10, 12.

The very nature of a holy being in its glorified spirit-form prevents it from interacting with the physical existence. Therefore, in order for the Creator God to be able to dwell among the Israelites and to commune with them in his spirit-form and presence, the tabernacle, the priesthood, the people, and all things that came into close contact with God had to become holy and be kept in a condition of physical and spiritual purity. See Ex.29:36-46; Lev.19:2; Deut.23:14; 1.Pet.1:15-16.

The consequences for the defilement of any holy thing were clearly detailed in the covenant which the Creator God made with national Israel. The consequences for defiling the Sovereign Father's earthly temples, which are holy, are also clearly detailed in the agreement which he has made with his elect children today. See 1.Cor.3:16-17; 1.Pet.1:16.

The placing of the ark of the covenant in the temple of Dagon and the destruction of the statue of Dagon in the presence of the ark clearly reveals that nothing representing God, his holiness, and his power can cohabit with anything unholy. See 1.Sam.5:1-7.

The apostle Paul wrote the following about the Sovereign Father's earthly children being his temples in which his holy spirit resides:

"Don't you know you are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defiles the temple of God, him God shall destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which you are" (1.Cor. 3:16-17 Para.).

The English words defiles and destroy in verse 17 are both translated from the Greek word phtheiro, which basically means to spoil, or to ruin.

The defilement of the Sovereign Father's earthly temple by the person inhabiting this temple will result in the destruction of that individual. Paul continues to explain the sacredness and nature of those who have the indwelling of the holy spirit:

"Do you not know that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an whore? God forbid. What? Do you not know that he which is joined to an whore is one body? for two, says he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body" (1.Cor.6:15-18 KJV Para.).

Paul uses the example of God's law concerning sexual sins and sexual fidelity, to illustrate defilement of the Sovereign Father's earthly temples through sinful behavior.

"What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the holy spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1.Cor.6:19-20 KJV Para.).

The Sovereign Father's earthly temples are not only the physical bodies of his children but also their minds, because this is where his holy spirit resides as an intrinsic part of their being. Can one who has the indwelling of the holy spirit coexist with an evil spirit in the Sovereign Father's temple? The answer is no; they cannot do so and remain holy.

In his second letter to the elect at Corinth, Paul again speaks of the elect being the Sovereign Father's temple and that righteousness and unrighteousness cannot coexist:

"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what partnership has light with darkness? And what harmony has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (2.Cor.6:14-16 KJV Para.).

If a person with the indwelling of the holy spirit becomes possessed by an evil spirit, that person is defiled and is no longer holy. The holy spirit and an evil spirit cannot both exist within a person. If the holy spirit resides within a person, that person is holy. If an evil spirit resides within a person, that person is not holy and is without the indwelling of the holy spirit. See Rom.6:16.

The writer to the Hebrews address the condition of those who receive the indwelling of the holy spirit, and then choose to depart from the faith to the point of rejecting the sacrifice of Christ and their heavenly Father's truth or to the point of not resisting evil and allowing themselves to become possessed by an evil spirit:

"Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit" (Heb.6: 1-3 KJV).

"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the holy spirit, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinks in the rain that comes oft upon it, and brings forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God: But that which bears thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh to cursing; whose end is to be burned" (Heb.6:4-8 KJV Para.).

When a person accepts the sacrifice of Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and commits to live a righteous life, he or she must then go forward toward spiritual maturity and perfection; there is no turning back to the old life without incurring the punishment of the second death.

Forgiveness and Blasphemy

The Sovereign Father is willing to forgive all kinds of sin, including the most vile things that are spoken against his firstborn Son, the Savior of humanity. However, he will not forgive the ridicule of the holy spirit, which is actually a rejection of the things that the holy spirit represents. Blasphemy of the holy spirit is a conscious rejection of the Father's power, grace, and right to rule in one's life; therefore, it is an attitude and a behavior that is unforgivable. See Matt.12:31-32.

A child of God who becomes a habitual and unrepentant sinner destroys the ability of the temple (which they are) to house God's spirit. When the Father removes his personal spirit, his holy spirit, and the spirit of Christ from one of his elect children, that person has no more hope of eternal life.

The extinguishing of the holy spirit causes a breach between the Father and his disobedient child that is irreparable. This breach results in the death penalty being passed upon the unrepentant sinner who has defiled God's temple. This person's spirit will go back to the Father in a corrupted state to await the resurrection to the second death, which is destruction in the lake of fire.

Is it possible for a person with the indwelling of the holy spirit who has allowed themselves to become possessed by an evil spirit by departing from practicing righteousness to receive the indwelling of God's spirit again and obtain salvation? The answer is no. See Matt.22: 11-14, 25:30; Lk.13:26-28.

SUMMARY

Although demonic possession is a subject that is unpleasant to deal with, the control and possession of people by evil spirits is a biblical fact and a reality in today's world that cannot be ignored by individuals who are serious about their salvation.

The biblical record indicates that there are hundreds of millions and perhaps billions of evil spirits that exist, many of which are confined to earth, and they roam the earth seeking to influence, control, or possess a human body. Therefore, it seems inevitable that, at some point in a person's life, they will come into close contact with one or more of these evil spirits.

An encounter with an evil spirit is a win or lose situation; there will either be a positive or a negative outcome from the encounter. For there to be a positive outcome, a person must properly exercise their authority in order to control the situation and dictate the outcome of the encounter.

If you come into contact with an evil spirit (or spirits) and find that you must deal with one or more of them on a personal level, you must be prepared with the knowledge and understanding about your authority to deal with evil spirits, because it is too late to gain this knowledge and understanding during an encounter with an evil spirit.


By B.L. Cocherell b9w27