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by Bruce Pringle
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Demon Oppression and Possession
A young man, who was in the process of renouncing very heavy involvement in pornographic literature, suddenly lost his powers of concentration and spoke of the severity of pains in his head. Although married, pornography had been his steady, lustful diet for several years. As a married man and a Christian, he knew deliverance was a necessity. Consequently, he came to this counselor for help with his captivating dilemma. Now he sat clutching his head with his hands and was unable to speak. In a prayer of renunciation over demonic powers and claiming the blood of Jesus Christ the pressure was gone and relief was immediate. Oppression by demonic forces is real, wicked and harmful.
Ernest Gruen in his book Freedom to Choose relates how the oppression of demons can change Holy Spirit thoughts to demon thoughts. This is of course only as a person opens his mind to wrong thinking. The author also points out how our thoughts, if controlled by something or someone other than Christ, can lead to the epitome of wickedness. A few examples will suffice. Love is from God, whereas, demon thoughts, the opposite of love, are unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness, jealousy. If the evil thoughts are not controlled, hatred will be the result. Thus, it is shown that thought suggestions, not dealt with, can lead one to destruction.
A second example of the progression from a demon thought to demon control is the opposite of God's peace. Demon thoughts, which are the antithesis of peace are: nervousness, tension, worry, fretting, confusion and restlessness. If not alleviated, fear becomes the habit. The oppression of fear if not corrected can lead to a nervous breakdown. The Word of God seems to support the fact that bodily sickness is often from oppression of demons. Peter speaking in the household of Cornelius says, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." Other areas of oppression from demons as revealed in the New Testament are: dumbness (Matthew 9:32,33), blindness (Matthew 12:22); insanity (Luke 8:26-35); personal injuries (Mark 9:18); supernatural strength (Luke 8:29); and the affliction of physical defects and deformities (Luke 13:11-17). In comparing obsession and possession Bancroft writes:
The first step on a demon's part to gain control is termed obsession. It is defined as the 'state or act of being influenced by an evil spirit'. This influence is exercised by an external spirit, antecedent to possession. This is the initial state of demon influence. Possession is the result of obsession or attack after entrance is gained by a demon. Possession is the act of occupying, or taking or holding complete control.
Possession by a demon is probably one of the worst situations any person can find himself in. Possession means to have an evil spirit, to be under the influence of a spirit. The word used in the New Testament is really the term "demonized". "The chief characteristic of demon possession", says Unger, "is the automatic projection of a new personality in the victim. During attack the victim's personality is completely obliterated, and the inhabiting demon's personality takes control completely." Herskovits speaking on demon possession states:
One cannot escape the reality of the personality change associated with the experience of possession - change in customary behavior, timbre and pitch of glossolalia, capacity to walk on burning coals, self-castigation and extraordinary bodily strength. This is said to be due to his possession by the god, who "comes into his head" and takes over the control of his body.
Dr. Koch says that psychiatry does not have the answer for demonic possession because to them it does not exist. Possession is a spiritual phenomenon and the Biblical perspective is the only point of view to use in dealing with it. Koch gives eight symptoms of possession. He bases his points on the story of the Gadarene demoniac of Mark 5. They are:
vs. 2: possession with an unclean spirit
vs. 3: enhanced motorial powers - no one could bind him
vs. 4: paroxysm - he breaks the shackles and strikes himself with stones
vs. 6: disintegration - desire for and fear of help
vs. 7: resistance - opposition to Jesus
vs. 7: hyperaesthesia - he recognized the deity of Jesus and His authority as judge
vs. 9: physical alteration - change of voice
vs. 12: occults transference - entrance into the swine.