Is it possible for a demon to take possession of a believer in Christ? Who can be possessed by demons? Has demon possession happened in the past? Does demon possession still happen today?
Is it Possible For a Demon to Take Possession of a Believer in Christ?
Can a believer in Jesus Christ, who has been born-again and saved be possessed by the devil or by a demon or fallen angel? The short answer is no. The Bible seems very clear about who is in control of the spiritual world. In 1 John 4:4 it says, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Christians are called children of God and the Holy Spirit dwells within each and every believer. Demons can not occupy the same space that is occupied by God the Holy Spirit because God is greater than any evil spirit since God is the Creator of everything, including angels . This supremacy of God includes even the fallen angels or demons. We can know and recognize false spirits and by God’s Spirit we can discern them and resist them since God lives inside every believer (1 John 4:15).
Who can be Possessed by Demons?
Every time we see Jesus or the apostles casting out demons, they are people who don’t know Jesus yet and those who are not saved . We can read the many stories of demons or wicked spirits being caste out by the power of Jesus’ name or by Jesus Himself and then and only then can they come to faith in Christ. Mary Magdalene was demon possessed when she came to Jesus for help. Luke 8:1-3 says, “After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases [including] Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out…”.
Again, every time you read of someone being possessed by demons or wicked spirits, they are always unbelievers. Another example is in Matthew 8:28-33, “When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.”
Has Demon Possession Happened in the Past?
In Mark 5:15-20, Jesus exorcised a demon possessed man and so we know that this happened many times in the past from reading the New Testament. In the case of the man that had the demons cast out, he became a believer in Christ. This clearly indicates that if you are not a believer, it is possible to be possessed by demons, however once you come to faith in Christ, it is impossible since God dwells within the believer. Mark 5:15-20 shows that those who lived in the area knew a certain man who was possessed and were afraid to go near him: “When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.” Here the man that was freed from a legion of demons. This is incredible since a legion in Roman occupied Palestine was 6,000. This formerly demon possession man then began to tell others about Jesus Christ. From that day forward, this man would never have to worry about being demon possessed again.
Does Demon Possession Still Happen Today?
Since demon possession has happened in the past then it most certainly can be happening today. There are numerous stories of people being possessed in modern times. Many times they are dabbling in the occult, trying to contact spirits, and some even openly worship the Devil. This is truly asking for trouble. The first king of Israel, king Saul, was troubled by an evil spirit but it was only after the Spirit of God had departed him (1 Sam 16:14-23).
Jesus gives a clear warning about wicked spirits in Matthew 12:43-45 saying, “When an evilf spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
Today there are so many stories of demon or wicked spirits possessing people that it is clear that it still happens today. There is truly only one way to avoid  be possessed by a wicked spirit or demon; to accept Jesus Christ and believe in Him for no wicked spirit can dwell where the Spirit of God dwells. Demons can not occupy any place that God has conquered (1 John 4). You can know for sure that demons will never possess you because, “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God” (I John 4:15). That is your true assurance that wicked spirits or demons will never possess you. If God lives in us, it is impossible (1 John 4:12b).
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