Volumes of books have been written about demonology and in the small space of this blog I don't believe I can add too terribly much to the mountainous volumes already cataloged by those who have gone before me. Within that, I will try to quickly lay out some basics and share some general truths to help modern believers along in their life's journey. I'm going to do several blog posts about this topic, not sure yet if I'm going to do them all in a row. or not but this is the first.
To properly understand the role demons play in a given person you must first get a proper understanding of the person. In other words, in many Christian circles it is mistaught that we are spirit beings. While this sounds nice, it is quite unbiblical. In fact, the real and true us, the person that makes up and defines our personhood is actually a soul. When God created Adam, he breathed His breath into him and man became what? A spirit being? No, man became a living soul. So the first thing you must grasp fully is that a human being is comprised of three parts but the eternal part that defines who we are is our souls. The devil is fighting ultimately for the souls of men. Proverbs says he who wins souls is wise. That is because we do not win a person's spirit because we are not spirit beings.
So what is all of this talk about our spirits?
As human beings, we all have a human spirit within us. It is the breath of God that activates our cells and serves as the tie or the connecting factor between our souls (who we really are) and our bodies (the shells we currently occupy). The bible says in Ecclesiastes that when a human being dies, their body returns to the dust of the ground and their spirit returns to God. (Ecc 12:7) Misunderstanding this passage has led many to the error based doctrine of inclusion which teaches everyone goes to Heaven even if they do not accept Jesus personally. This error is only reached when you mistakenly believe we are spirit beings. When you instead grasp that we are living souls, it makes perfect sense.
Now, what about this idea that a Christian cannot be possessed?
We've all heard that and it seems right on the surface. Once again we need to let the bible dictate what we believe. When we are born again, our human spirit is what gets born anew. Our bodies do not get born a second time, thats the mistake Nicodemus made in John 3 that Jesus had to correct by telling him that which is born of water (human birth) is water and that which is born of Spirit (spiritual birth) is Spirit. The human spirit by itself abides in a state of death. It's alive, if it wasn't it couldn't reproduce...but unless a conception is made, it will simply pass of into death, very much like the egg of the woman for example. The egg is not the woman and the egg alone is not a new person, it simply abides in a state of death. However, if a sperm penetrates and fertilizes the egg, it instantly becomes a brand new creature that has never existed before, the old, death based identity is gone and the new identity based on new life takes it's place. This is what Paul is talking about in 2nd Cor 5:17.
Our human spirit is what gets born again. Once our human spirit is united with God's Holy Spirit, a brand new spiritual birth happens within a person. For some, this process can instantly affect their soul and be very emotionally overwhelming while for others they may not feel a thing emotionally but rest assured, a spiritual rebirth is the fruit of what the Greek calls Sozo or an ongoing present tense verb for the english word Salvation. Point is, once a human spirit is born again, it is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise and can never be possessed by an evil spirit... but that is your human spirit, not your soul. Your soul can absolutely be influenced by, oppressed by or even possessed by a demon or many demons. This is why a spirit filled, born again Christian can absolutely be demonized and often not even know it.
This is a good spot to remind readers that biblically, the term "death" is not the cessation of life. Instead death is actually separation. Anywhere in the bible you see the word "death" you can replace the word "separation" and it will make much more sense to you. The prodigal son's father as one example reconned his son as dead. The son hadn't stopped existing, but he had separated himself from the Father. God reckons humanity as dead, until they are born again unto Him. Hell is spiritual death in that it is eternal separation from God.
Its important to understand that our souls do not get born again, that is the description of the process for the human spirit, not the human soul. The soul is made up of the mind, the will and the emotions. The process of renewing the soul is an ongoing, lifelong process the bible calls sanctification. there are three types of sanctification but that is another topic for a future blog. the one kind that matters in deliverance/demonology is called positional sanctification and as it's name suggests, it reveals there will be or at least can be a change in your position from one place to another...or more directly from one type or method of thinking to another.
Demons are sly and deceptive creatures. They are actually fallen angels with absolutely no mercy or compassion whatsoever. They cannot be compared to history's worst villains as they are the ones responsible for them. Demons enter most often with the passive permission of the victim, often at a very early age. They then go very much out of their way to remain undetected. their short term goal is deeper access to slowly over time take over the person's thinking entirely. The victim is usually completely unaware this is happening as the demon does two things simultaneously. One, it introduces demonic thoughts into the mind of the victim and two, it quietly blames the victim accusing them of the thoughts being their own.
A father is possessed and goes into his 5 year old daughter's bedroom and sexually abuses her. The child is instantly emotionally traumatized and overwhelmed. The human mind begins to search desperately for anything to make sense of what is happening and there waiting is a Spirit of Rejection. That spirit, much like the snake with Eve, presents itself as compassionate and whispers to the traumatized girl something along the lines of "I can protect you so this never happens again. The little girl doesn't have a completely conscience memory of this as again she is traumatized but demons don't care, again they are vicious and merciless. The little girl actually has the authority in Christ to tell it to leave her but she is so emotionally compromised that the offering of protection is welcomed and embraced.
From that day forward, more and more of what she feels to be personal thought do not originate in her precious little mind but instead are being fed to her by that Spirit of Rejection. She very well could start to overeat or not eat at all, she may withdraw and become anti-social. Now watch this... Her real personality doesn't change at all, but it does get used less and less as the ideas of the demon take more and more room and activity in her thoughts. This gives the illusion that her personality has changed. In reality, she is using it less and less giving the demon deeper and deeper access to her thoughts.
Lets say at 17 the girl goes to a church youth group and gets saved. Praise God, her Spirit is now Born Again. She is on her way to heaven when she dies, but that Spirit of Rejection is still lodged deep in her soul. This is where the real "torment" begins as the Holy Spirit and the demon spirit will both place vivid and clear options before her. Normal, everyday choices can become herculean tasks to her emotionally. Ideally she would get some counseling to understand what really happened at the age of 5 and some deliverance to get rid of that demon for good.
You are driving down the road full of the Joy of God with worship playing in your car. Suddenly someone honks their horn at you and cuts you off. You are for a brief moment emotionally compromised and in that small opening a Spirit of Rage makes an unspoken offering to you saying something along the lines of "that person had no right to do that, let me in and I'll give you some real power to show them who is in charge here". You like that idea as it helps you feel like you are back in control so you yield to the idea and that passive agreement allows the demon access. Suddenly within seconds you have gone from being influenced by the Holy Spirit to being influenced by a demonic Spirit of Rage. You were praying over other cars 30 seconds earlier, now you are speaking curses upon them and the devil sits and laughs as he knows he has tricked you into giving up your authority that Jesus died for you to walk in.
For time's sake, we'll wrap up this blog here but there is much, much more to come. Feel free to comment below and I'll try to answer any honest questions in future blogs.
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