In the tale of heaven and hell, good and evil, God and Satan, there is always mention of angels and demons. Movies and reality shows often depict paranormal activity, when the Almighty’s soldiers intervene in a miraculous way, or the “prince of the power of the air” sends his minions to reap havoc in the material world.
Sometimes they take over.
Demon possession, something that has been explained away by scientists and mental doctors, is a widely believed occurrence in which beings from the dark side take over human bodies. For some, this may sound silly, but for millions of people around the world, demon possession is real.
In the Christian Bible, Jesus cast out of a man a “legion” of demons and allowed the normally disembodied spirits to enter a herd of swine (Matt. 5:1-20). The ailing man was then cured and praised God for the miracle. It appeared to be a normal occurrence in those days. But now, it is more likely associated with horror movies or fanciful tales used to scare children.
If you dared watch the 1973 movie, “The Exorcist,” you may have been shaken to your roots, perhaps frightened to the extent that you believed that such a thing could really happen. But then you eventually shook it off and thought,, “Even if it is real, it can’t happen to me.”
According to the Rev. Jonathan Weyer, author of “The Faithful,” demon possession occurs when someone “allows or invites a fallen angel to take possession of their body.”
“Demonic possession happens to those who are not bound to Jesus Christ,” he explained. “This certainly doesn’t mean that all non-Christians are wide open for demon possession. There are a number of different factors that open someone up to demons. However, there is no guarantee unless someone is united to Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection. Having said that, I do certainly believe that Christians can be influenced by demons if they allow it.”
Neal Lozano, creator of Heart of the Father Ministries and an international speaker, agrees with Weyer. He said demonic possession occurs when individuals open their hearts and mind to darkness.
“Demonic possession is a term used to describe people who over time have given themselves over to deception, opening the door to a demonic presence. As the influence of evil increases in a person’s life, the character of evil is integrated into their personality,” said Lozano, the author of “Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance.” “This provides a resting place for the demons that are seeking greater and greater influence with a goal of controlling the person’s body. The notoriety of demonic possession focuses on people who are tormented by demons as they manifest their evil presence through them. It is the light within the victim, the desire to be free, that increases the torment. Others have given themselves to a union with the demonic and operate under its influence to bring destruction and evil.”
He added that demon possession and willful submission to evil forces may be the explanation of mass murderers and other diabolical acts.
The author also warned not to limit the imagination to the motion picture image of demonization.
Living life in bondage, being constantly tormented by demons, by past heart-wrenching experiences are ways in which Satan or negativity possess an individual’s life, mind, heart and full being.
Weyer and Lozano, both Christians, believe that it is only through the power of Jesus Christ that those who are in bondage can be made free.
“Many are fortunate to have good therapy that helps them to manage their bondage. But Jesus came not just to help us manage our stuff; He came to set captives free,” Lozano said.
However, there is great debate among scholars, preachers and various Bible-thumpers about whether or not a believing Christian can truly become possessed.
Author Roger Boehm writes in “In the Face of Evil–A Wakeup Call for Christians,” that it is indeed possible, as evidenced by the Bible, that Christians or born-again believers can be demonized.
“Contrary to popular belief a born-again believer can be demonized,” writes Boehn. “Most Christians today believe the ‘great myth’ which is the belief that because I am a born-again believer, an evil spirit cannot live in me because the Holy Spirit lives in me.” He goes on to state that 1 Samuel 15:1-35 describes a God-fearing man that experienced torment from a demon.
The concept of demon possession or the better termed “demonization” reaches beyond just Christianity. Depending on cultural and religious belief systems, it can be viewed as something good, sent from God, or a way to communicate with the other side. We shall explore this a little more in the future.