Skip to main content

Can a Christian be Possessed?

            When she came into the church office, I thought, “This... must be some kind of a joke.” She was dressed in all black. Her coat was very thick and she had long stringy jet black hair, wore a black hat, and carried a black bag. Her face was pale with very dark lipstick and she was likely in her early 60’s. She appeared to be unnaturally thin. She did not set up a meeting, but just came in and said that she needed to speak with me privately about something.

It was a bitterly cold morning in the middle of January '17 in the Rocky Mountains, and I invited her in to sit with me in the office (as opposed to my study, which does not have a camera). She smelled of smoke, not from any local forest fire, but perhaps of a Marlboro, and she sat down across from the desk, trembling in fear.

I asked her what I could help her with, and she told me that she was terrified. She did not go into great detail about why she was terrified, but the look in her eyes told me that she believed that she was in terrible, imminent danger. I asked her why she was terrified and she asked me a question concerning possession. This was her deep concern, that she was possessed by a demon. I half expected to see a home-made Ouija Board or some small bones roll out of her bag.

I asked her if she knew Jesus. She told me that she did. I asked her if he considered herself a Christian, and she did, and then I explained the Roman Road to her and basically re-asked her the same questions. She confirmed. I then explained to her that this is a great thing, and that I could definitely help her in this situation.

I read her a story from the Gospel of Mark:

 

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.[1]

 

I emphasized, explained, and repeated verses 25-27: “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand…” She clearly understood it and was not tweaking out, like several people that come here to speak with me during mid-week do. She did not seem to be on meth, she was calm, and yet still trembling.

I then took her to a passage in Romans chapter eight:

 

 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.[2]

 

I then explained to her that this passage tells us that if we are a Christian, that the Spirit of God lives in us. I emphasized verses 9-11: “If in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you…” I said that the thing that this verse is showing us is that God lives in us. I then took her to 1 Corinthians in chapter 6 to prove my point. “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”[3] At this time, she did not make any connections, but was definitely listening intently. 

I then told her the two main points I drew from the text of the Gospel of Mark and the Romans passage: “If the Spirit of God lives in you, which He does if you are a Christian as the Bible teaches, then there is no room for anything else. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Her gaze fixed on me.

I elaborated, “If God and a demonic spirit were living in you then you would know it, because you wouldn’t be alive any longer. You are alive because the Spirit of God lives in you… and only Him. A Christian cannot be possessed. This is not the case for an unbeliever. If the Spirit of God does not dwell in a person as Romans 8:9 teaches, ‘Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him,’ then this is quite different.

“Therefore, saturate yourself in the Bible, the Word of God. Trust in Jesus alone, and grow deeper in your relationship with Him. James says, ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.’[4] Not only does this tell us that the devil will flee from our presence, but it tells us that God will draw near to us. Meaning, our relationship will become better with Him. When it does, you will know about it. Commit these verses and references to memory. When something comes up to where you are afraid of spiritual activity, recall these verses. Trust in Jesus alone, He who holds the keys: ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.[5]’”

Immediately her face brightened up. She was extremely grateful and told me that she felt much better about things. She thanked me profusely as she walked out of the church office, almost backwards. Her countenance changed from terror/skeptic to a softer look of peace and endearment.

To this day, I have never again seen this woman, and when I described her to people in telling this story, it didn’t ring any bells. I never heard a car start when she left, and I was alone in the church, hence why I have meetings such as this in the room with a camera. It is a small town and everyone knows everyone, but no one seems to know, or have ever seen the self-proclaimed Witch in the Rocky Mountains.

 

Written by Nace Howell through the grace of the Lord Jesus



[1] Mark 3:22-27.

[2] Romans 8:5-9.

[3] 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.

[4] James 4:7-8.

[5] Revelation 1:17-18.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mormonism Impossible (Part Two): The Law of the Gods

As stated in Part One , “It is no secret that Mormon doctrine teaches that God was once a man on another planet in the distant past, and because he was such a good man on his planet, he was exalted to being the God of his own planet, which we call Earth…” [1] This brings me to another hard question for Mormonism. It concerns the Mormon doctrine of Exaltation .   The following is taken from the LDS website:   What is Exaltation? Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. He lives in great glory. He is perfect. He possesses all knowledge and all wisdom. He is the Father of spirit children. He is a creator. We can become like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation. If we prove faithful to the Lord, we will live in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of heaven. We will become exalted, to live with our Heavenly Father in eternal families. Exaltation is the greatest gift that Heavenly Father can give His children (see D&C 14:7). [2]   It seems

Joseph Smith was an Elite Atheist (Part Two)

 Joseph Smith was very familiar with the Bible. I would even go further to say that when he was dictating or translating the Book of Mormon (BoM) to his friend Martin Harris that he was frequently reading out of the Bible on account of literary or research fatigue . Untrained people will sometimes make long citations in their writing because they do not want to put the extra work into thinking for themselves. Interestingly enough, the Book of Mormon asks you to compare certain chapters to books in the Bible when the BoM plagiarizes the Bible. Many long passages of Isaiah can be seen in the BoM, but that is not all. There are several passages in the BoM that are clearly taken from the Bible . Not only this, but Joseph Smith even started his own translation of the Bible, which is literally a translation disaster. Take for instance John 1:1 in the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) which was translated from the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible : “In the beginning was the gospel preache

Mormonism: Impossible (Part One)

Mormon doctrine is logically impossible. It is no secret that Mormon doctrine teaches that God was once a man on another planet in the distant past, and because he was such a good man on his planet, he was exalted to being the God of his own planet, which we call Earth. [1] This seems to lead to the question… How many gods are there in Mormonism ? It seems safe to assume that this man, who became God was not the only person on his planet. The question is, how many other men became Gods of their own planets from this same planet? Further, who was the god of the planet that populated that planet? What planet did he come from? Etc.? Etc.? Do you see the issue here? In order for Mormonism to work, it requires an infinite past. There must be infinite Gods, there must be infinite planets, and there must be an infinite amount of past time.  I want to make this as simple as possible, but even still, it will take some thinking . I can assure that if you think about this an

Defending Christianity against Mormonism

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect ” (NIV 1 Peter 3:15). In other words, LOVE THEM . Mormons                                                             Biblical Truths Mormons are polytheistic, meaning, they believe in many gods, yet worship only one (monolatry). LDS believe that “As man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become.” LDS do not believe in Hell. LDS believe God is flesh and bones. LDS believe in baptism for the dead. LDS believe Jesus and Satan are created brothers. LDS do not believe in the Trinity. LDS believe that “it is by grace we are saved, after all we can do” (Nephi 25:23). Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (See also Isaiah 43:11; Acts 5:4; 1 Timothy 2:5; Exodus 20:3; e

The Jehovah's Witness Training Videos

How your conversation will likely go with a Jehovah's Witness. The Videos… they have all seen them. The videos that they have seen are like when you start a new job and watch these old, poor quality, cheesy DVDs (or VHS) about how your job is performed safely. You’re sitting in the room alone for three hours and fifteen minutes, watching everyone in their PPE do the wrong things and then the right things, so you can know the difference between them. Anyone who has worked at Wal-Mart, or a factory, or is a heavy equipment operator knows exactly what “the videos” look and sound like. Jehovah’s Witnesses (Hereafter, JWs) must go through a similar situation because their responses to my questions and challenges is exactly the same, often verbatim. I have to assume that they have all seen the same video. I have not seen the videos myself, but I definitely seem to have a cumulative case for believing that they exist. Granted, this group of JWs I'm referring to are the mentors of the

“Those are just Semantics… You are just Playing Word Games.”

Have you ever been accused of this? Why are they word games? Are we just spewing out sounds from our mouth that have no meaning? At this point, when someone is accused of playing words games, if the accusation were true, they might as well be shouting gibberish (unintelligible or meaningless speech or writing).  When one makes the flippant claim after you try to show him or her the truth through logic , that you are playing word games, or that you are just discussing semantics (“pffft” followed by an eye roll), these actually are words with meaning. More frequently than I would like to admit, I hear the misapplied accusation of “semantics” or “word games” used as an argument in order to dismiss what was said before the accusation. The thing is, when someone says this, you can simply ask them what they mean. Likely, they will just tell you that you are playing with words. Here is how to show them that they are misunderstanding. It is very basic Think of the sounds that come o

What is Adultery? Is remarriage ever permitted? What about Spousal Abuse? How do we move forward?

Grizzly Bear track, Rocky Mountains, Montana. The Seventh Commandment tells us in Exodus chapter twenty to not commit adultery. “You shall not commit adultery” is verbatim in most popular translations. But what does this mean? It seems that sometimes it is thought that adultery only means unfaithful to one’s spouse. But other times Jesus says things like “ Even if you marry someone who has been married then you have committed adultery ” (paraphrase of Matthew 5:32). I think the best way to answer the question of adultery is to think one step further. I think we should answer biblically speaking, the grounds for remarriage . Reaching further would give the argument greater strength. It seems that the Bible defines three areas for remarriage, but we should continue to refine the standard from which to catapult. In 1 Timothy chapter three, we observe the qualifications of an overseer. In this, Paul says that one of the qualifications must be that he is to be a “Μιᾶς γυναικὸ

A Problem We Face After Becoming a Christian and How to Deal with It (How a Classical Apologist uses Presuppositionalism)

We know of the first problem the Bible presents, that there is a separation between God and man, and we know that Jesus alone is the mediator, the Savior, our redeemer, and our solution to the problem. Many of us however, do not understand the (second) problem we face after we are saved from our sins. Paul, on a huge discourse about the Law and sin in Romans, comes to a place inevitably examining his own sin. He says in Romans 7: Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

Five Tough Questions That Cause People to Struggle in Their Faith

What about people who have never heard of Jesus? The picture this problem paints is, for example, a family in the middle of the wilderness somewhere, who has never heard of God, let alone understands the concept of sin. In other words, there are people out there who do not know they need Jesus, and who do not know that they are sinning against God. So then the question becomes, does God send these people to hell for their ignorance? Does our compassionate and loving God burn those who have never heard of Jesus nor understand that they are sinners who need Him? I get a picture in my mind from a movie I once saw. It is a comedy called, The Gods Must Be Crazy , and it is about a traditional African pigmy tribesman who is out hunting one day and a man who is flying a plane litters his empty coke bottle out the window of a small prop plane and the tribesman who believes the airplane is a bird, finds the unbroken glass coke bottle in the sandy ground in front of him. He ta