|This film was done by Scott Derrickson who is a well-known believer in Hollywood.|
What do Christians believe about demon possession and oppression?
When a person is possessed by a demon, he or she has an actual demonic being inside who is controlling the person’s mind and certain bodily functions. When a person is under demonic oppression then he or she is under heavy spiritual attack, but the demonic being is not actually in the person or controlling the person. Christians typically believe that non-Christians can be oppressed or possessed, but Christians can only be oppressed. The reason for this belief is that when someone becomes a Christian, God sends the Holy Spirit to live inside a person, and no demonic being can reside inside someone who already has the Holy Spirit living in them. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and he is the seal marking believers as belonging to God.
What does the Bible say about possession?
Acts 16:16-18 reads, “As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.”
Paul met a girl who was possessed and she was able to tell fortunes through the demonic possession. Most occult practices can be attributed to some form of spiritual darkness and often the practices are accomplished through possession.
Mark 5:1-2 states, “They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.”
Here Jesus encounters a man who was possessed and the evil spirits caused him much pain and he inflected many self-wounds.
What does the Bible say about oppression?
In Ephesians 6:12 we read, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
1 Peter 5:8 states, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
In these two verses we learn that demonic beings are at war with us and that they seek to destroy those who desire to serve the Lord.
Many people have never seen someone possessed by a demon, but possessions do still occur. I believe that many mental health patients are possessed by demons. I also believe that many Christians face demonic oppression because the enemy (the devil) does not want Christians doing good things for the Kingdom of God.
While some may deny the existence of the demonic and argue that there are rational explanations for things attributed to evil forces, that is not always the case. I actually know someone who believed he was possessed and he has shown me things that I do not believe have rational explanation. I also know pastors who have dealt with demon possession and exorcisms. One person I know was asked to visit a girl with a demon and when he went to see her (she was about 12) 4 grown men could not hold her down.
Through my studies I have determined that the only real solution to bringing the demonic out of someone is for the person to accept Christ. Otherwise, the demon will come back and the person’s latter state will be worse than the first. If someone is not willing to turn to the Lord and give his or her life to Jesus, it is not wise to cast a demon from that person.