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Demon Possession


A. "Possessed"

  1. Greek: "daimonizomai" meaning: "To be under the power of a demon."
  2. Sometimes possessed with multiple demons: Mt 12:43-45; Lk 11:24-26
  3. Demons could possess animals, swine: Mk 5:13
  4. Demons differed in their power from one another, "this kind" Mk 9:29 and evil: Mt 12:45

I. Catalogue of demon possession in the bible:

  1. Saul had an "evil spirit from God" & prophesied: 1 Sam 16:14-16,23; 18:10; 19:9
  2. "Legion" in Gerasene: Mt 8:28-34; Mk 5:1-20; Lk 8:26-37
  3. Lunatic (possibly epileptic): Mt 17:14-21; Mk 9:17-29; Lk 9:37-42
  4. Dumb demoniac: Mt 9:32-34
  5. Blind & dumb demoniac: Mt 12:22; Lk 11:14
  6. Daughter of Syro-Phoencian woman: Mt 15:22-28; Mk 7:24-30
  7. Synagogue demoniac: Mk 1:23; Lk 4:33-36
  8. Phillipian slave girl: Ax 16:16-19
  9. General statements of Jesus' work: Mk 3:11; Lk 6:18

II. How demons affected men:

A. Physical illnesses:

  1. Curvature of spine, sclerosis: Lk 13:11
  2. Dumbness & deafness: Mk 9:17,25; Lk 11:14
  3. Blindness & Dumbness: Mt 12:22

B. Mk 5:1-20 Living in cemetery & mountains, naked, able to break shackles and chains, constantly crying out and cutting self with stones.

C. Mt 17:14-18; Mk 9:17-18 a lunatic, very ill, often falls into fire & water, a spirit seized, suddenly screams, throws into convulsions, foaming mouth, grinds teeth, mauls him, stiffens out.

D. Jesus accused of having a demon because:

  1. of perceived paranoia others were going to kill him: Jn 7:20
  2. of making perceived irrational statements: Jn 8:48-52; 10:19-20
  3. "He has lost his senses" his family charged: Mk 3:21 (Note: they may not have blamed it on a demon)
  4. he cast out other demons: (probably a vicious rumor created out of jealously): Mt 12:22-25

E. John for not eating or drinking: Lk 7:33

F. Apparent supernatural ability to predict the future through fortune-telling: Ax 16:18

G. Able to perform false signs: Rev 16:14

H. Preaching of false doctrine & different gospel" Gal 1:8; 1 Ti 4:1-2; 2 Thess 2:8-12

III. Casting out demons

A. Jesus ministry of casting out of demons:

  1. David could be looked at as one who cast out demons from Saul: 1 Sam 16:13-23
  2. Jesus, son of David also cast out demons as one of the functions of the messiah
  3. Prophecy that "unclean spirits" will be cast out in messianic time "in that day": Zech 13:2
  4. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil: 1 Jn 3:8

B. Parable of repossessed man: Mt 12:43-45

C. Who else cast out demons in addition to Jesus:

  1. The twelve: Mk 6:33; Lk 9:1
  2. The seventy: Lk 10:17-20
  3. An unknown follower: Mk 9:38; Lk 9:49
  4. Paul: Ax 16:16-18

D. Things said & done to cast demons out:

  1. "come out of the man you unclean spirit" Mk 5:8 "be gone" Mt 8:32
  2. "You deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again" Rebuke, fasting & prayer Mk 9:25,29
  3. "be it done for you as you wish": Mt 15:28
  4. "be quiet and come out of him" Mk 1:23
  5. "I command you in the name of Jesus to come out of her!" Ax 16:18
  6. "casting out demons in your name" Lk 9:49
  7. "Demons subject in your name" Lk 10:17

E. False casting out of demons

  1. False teachers falsely think they cast out demons: Mt 7:22
  2. Seven sons of Sceva: Ax 19:13-16

IV. Demon possession not to be feared today

A. Demons cannot possess us today against our own free-will:

  1. Romans 8:35-39 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

B. Satan & demons were bound by Christ: Ps 72:9, Mt 12:29, Isa 53:10 = Lk 10:17

  1. "He disarmed the rulers and authorities, made a public display, having triumphed" Col 2:15
  2. "when He ascended, He led captive a host of captives" Eph 4:8
  3. "Satan bound for 1000 years" Rev 20:1-6
  4. Satan is a lion (1 Pe 5:8) chained to a pole. Powerless unless we choose to enter his "circle"

C. 1 Cor 10:13

  1. "no temptation has overtaken you but such is common to man"
  2. "God will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but will provide an escape"

D. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" Jas 4:7

E. Spiritual gifts ceased with the completion of the Bible: 1 Cor 13:8-10 <200AD

F. The Devil need not possess us, but merely cause us to die with unrepented sin or give up our faith!