God Possessed Or Demon Possessed?
Weymouth’s translation of Ephesians 2:1-2 represents all out of Christ as demon possessed. The soul before the time of accountability (the time when it knows right from wrong) is neither God possessed nor demon possessed; it is sin possessed, and the battle ground where the conflict rages for God possession or demon possession. “He that doeth righteousness is of God, but he that committeth sin is of the devil.” And that is by the devil’s animating spirit — “the spirit that now animates or energizes the children of disobedience.” When Christ is recognized in His claims to possession of the human heart and deliberately rejected, Satan in a fuller sense enters and dominates it, possessing partially or fully according to the response of the victim to his wiles. Demon possessed or God possessed! Startling! No middle ground! God’s or Satan’s! Disbelief or repudiation of the truth does not alter it.
“To you Gentiles also, who were dead through your offenses and sins, which were once habitual to you while you walked in of the power of the air, the spirits (demons) that are now at work in the hearts of the Sons of disobedience.” “Among them all of us formerly passed our lives governed by the inclinations of our lower natures, indulging the cravings of those natures and of our own thoughts.” — Weymouth. (Eph. 2:3. “By which we are to understand (marginal reading) the life and movement of man in the world of sense.”
Satan is the god of this world, i. e., all the people of accountability on it who are out of Christ are in greater or less extent dominated, controlled, animated by Satan through his demon spirit co-workers. These are the evil spirits that now work or energize with power all the sons of disobedience.
“The evil is on the hearts of those who are on their way to perdition in whom the
god of this present age hath blinded their unbelieving minds, so as to shut out the sunshine of the Good News of the glory of Christ.” 2nd Cor. 4:5. Weymouth.
James, in contrasting the wisdom from above with that which is demoniacal, wrote that the heavenly wisdom is first of all pure, then peaceable, full of peace, not contention or argument; courteous to all men. not self-willed; full of compassion, not of condemnation and criticism; and kind in actions, free from favoritism and from all insincerity.
The demoniacally inspired wisdom is described; “But if you have in your hearts bitter feelings of envy and rivalry, do not speak boastfully and falsely in defiance of the truth. That is not the wisdom which comes down from above; it belongs to earth, to the unspiritual, or physical or soulish nature, and to evil spirits.” James 3:4-17. Weymouth’s Translation.
This sheds light on much of the bitter feelings among God’s children. Demons have somewhere, unsuspected and undetected, subtly, insidiously, gained entrance and, concealing their workings on the ground of temptations or so called “righteous” anger, have inspired the attitudes of some good people toward other good people, which are only explainable on the ground of demoniacal agency.
Here is also the explanation of the all but utter impossibility of unity and co-operation among many good people, and of family wrangles, disagreements, and incompatibilities. Lying spirits are responsible for ten thousand misunderstandings!
It does not cover the ground nor cure the disease to say these attitudes of unlove and criticism and scandalmongering and bitterness and resentment and aversion and inability to bear a brother’s presence or message, is the result of backsliding, though that element enters in. (“We often see instances in Scripture where the approach of Christ or the Spirit-filled apostle, to some demon-possessed person would mightily stir the demon in him.”) A friend was traveling on the train seated behind an official of an asylum who was accompanying a lunatic to the institution; suddenly the insane person turned and spoke to Dr. B., “Oh, I know who you are, you are the anointed of the Lord.” But the recognition will not always be so mild, sometimes violent opposition will result and efforts to do bodily injury.
Forgiveness is needed for allowing the deceivers in, exorcising or casting out, and direct dealing with the entrenched demons is needed-nothing short of their entire dispossession will give the permanent relief needed. If it be a case of ordinary temptation, it will pass off; if it be demon possession, the symptoms will persist, like the symptoms of chronic appendicitis, but an attack of ordinary biliousness will pass off shortly.
Groundless attitudes, violent opposition and hatred, can well be suspected to be demoniacal. This possibility will aid us to bear with those who so violently hate; we see the demons back of, and in control of, the personality, responsible in a large measure for these strange, unaccountable, unreasonable attitudes.
One under demon influence acts contrary to his normal personality. He is driven by some unexplainable agency. Said one to the writer about her work, “It seems that someone is behind me, driving, hurrying me about my work, till I work at a frenzied pace and feel as though I could go out in the road and scream at the top of my voice.”  How much like the cases recorded in the Bible They boy cast ofttimes into the fire, and ofttimes into the water, and the man driven among the tombs.
“Antecedently to any knowledge of the New Testament, the people of North China believed fully in the possession of the minds and bodies of men by evil spirits. This belief is a part of that animism, or spirit worship, which has always existed in China — as in many other countries from the very beginning of history or tradition.
“It has always been understood that the personality of the evil spirit usurped, or for the time being supplanted, that of the unwilling victim and acted through his organs or faculties. Physical suffering and sometimes violent paroxysms attended the presence and active influence of the spirit, and not only of the particular demoniac (the one possessed with the evil spirit) but all his house were more or less filled with anxiety and distress.”
Faith In Jesus’ Name Always Brings Deliverance
“And what is very striking in the accounts given by Dr. Nevius, is their uniform confidence shown in the power of Jesus, or even of an appeal to His name to expel the spirits and set the victims free. According to the testimony of many witnesses no earnest Christian believer has ever continued to be afflicted, although for a time many have been until truth and help came and freed them.
“Dr. Nevius and others associated with him have avoided any measures which might lead people to suppose that they claim the power to cast out devils, even in Jesus’ name. Nor does it appear that any native preacher has claimed any such power. The most that has been done has been to kneel down and pray to Jesus to relieve the sufferer, at the same time inviting all present to unite in the prayer, and it seems a well established fact that in nearly, or quite every instance, the person afflicted, speaking apparently in a different personality (the demon’s) and with a different voice had confessed the power of Jesus and the demon has departed.” — (From pages 4 and 5 Introductory Note to Dr. Nevius’ “Demon Possession and Allied Themes.”)
Where people are sensitive about personal dealings in the things of salvation and resent it as an insult, and cry, “Let us alone,” the experienced worker will recall the use of this expression by demons in Christ’s time, and pray the Lord to rebuke the binding demons.
Any who aspire to power to cast out demons must remember the power is not in the exorcisers, but only in the appeal to the power of Jesus’ name, and not claim to have the power even in Jesus’ name. This a commendable spirit of humility. It is also worthy of note that through such humbleness of mind God worked in power and in no case where they appealed by humble, believing prayer in His name did they fail to cast out the devils and many successful cases of deliverance are recorded by Dr. Nevius.
Jesus rebuked the returning disciples who were filled with enthusiasm because the very devils were subject to them in His name. Glorying in this spiritual power, even though they claimed it by the use of His name, was dangerous. He warned them that in his effort to extend his power and exalt himself above God, Lucifer fell from highest heaven. The excellency of the power is of God, we are not sufficient of ourselves to think or do anything, Any power we may have is given to us by a sovereign God and is maintained and exercised by a lowly dependence on Him moment by moment. How startling that this subtle desire for power and glorying in its exercise is so dangerous as to call forth this caution from the Son of God! “In this, your power, rejoice not that the devils are subject to you, even in my name, rejoice not in your apparent successes in my service, but ever rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Evidences multiply that men are driven, by a malicious, hateful, and hating host of unseen, invisible spirits, and how sad so few are humble enough to deliver them. Spiritual power is dangerous; a beautiful archangel once fell from his estate by looking upon himself with admiration; instead of honoring God for his beauty and power, he sought to usurp God’s place. Alas, when we glory in the spiritual power God gives, instead of rendering all praise to Him! The Holy Ghost and his consequent power was not given until Jesus was glorified. Oh, for such deep crucifixion that God can bestow the power needed to deliver men from demoniacal bondage without any disposition on our part to glory in it!
There is prejudice against teaching on the subject inspired by demons to cover up their workings. A belief in demons is attributed to imagination or to ignorance. Their manifestations are apologized for on the ground of epilepsy, nervousness, insanity, lunacy, heredity, or over-work. Demons are past masters in the art of camouflage (which is to throw dust in the face to deceive) ; in other words, “lying spirits” bedevil or utterly confuse.
Demons are dominated by one motive and one alone in their attitude to the child of God, and that is to injure. They are interested in and will solicit us to the indulgence of whatever injures the body, the temple of the Lord, or grieves His Holy Spirit.
Knowledge of demon’s workings is essential; it has a practical bearing on the work of ministers. Jesus said that the casting out of demons was an evidence of, or equivalent to, the coming of the kingdom of God. “If I, by the finger of God, cast out demons, then the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” Casting out demons in His name is intimately associated with the progress of Christ’s Gospel.
In whatever realm demons work they agitate and drive. God’s leadings are quiet and restful.
“Demon possession is thought to be a matter not only of great misfortune, but of positive disgrace.” Satan inspires this attitude to hinder deliverance. Jesus always regarded the poor possessed one, not as entirely blameworthy, though somewhere, known or unknown, to blame (except in cases of prenatal influence) for giving demons the desired advantage, or ground to enter, which, in deliverance, Jesus reveals for confession and forgiveness. For the poor victim of unsuspected Satanic wiles, what He terms “the depths of Satan” of which some have not known, Christ has profound sympathy. He always, instead or rebuking the victim, rebukes the demon — “Come out of him, thou foul spirit!”
Let us not think of the demon possession as the wild man of Gadarene, or the maniac, or lunatic, raving in the asylum, or the subnormal defective. Demons work in higher realms, covering their workings under the guise of advanced learning, modern scholarship, destructive higher criticism, Universalism, Unitarianism, Russellism, Spiritism, Christian Scienceism. In other words, evil spirits are religious, desiring worship. Satan is God’s competitor for worship. He offered the lordship of all the kingdoms of the world to Jesus if he would fall down and do him a single act of homage. “In this realm he works as an angel of light, deceiving men into being broad, liberal, progressive and abreast of the times.” Here Jesus says we have the synagogue of Satan and his “ministers transforming themselves into ministers of light.”