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Demon Possession

Demon possession is generally defined as the control of someone's mind or actions by an evil spirit. The Bible contains numerous references to men and women who were truly possessed by a demon, apart from others who, despite sometimes similar behavior or symptoms, were actually suffering from various forms of mental illness, or health problems such as epilepsy, that in earlier times were often mistaken for demon possession.

Demons Jesus Christ Cast Out Demons

"And He went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people. So His fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought Him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and He healed them. And great crowds followed Him from Galilee and The Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan." (Matthew 4:23-25 RSV)

"And when Jesus entered Peter's house [see Peter], He saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever; He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and served Him. That evening they brought to Him many who were possessed with demons; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases." (Matthew 8:14-17 RSV)

"And when He came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs met Him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, "What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" Now a herd of many swine was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged Him, "If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of swine." And He said to them, "Go." So they came out and went into the swine; and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and perished in the waters." (Matthew 8:28-32 RSV) (see Miracles Of Jesus Christ)

"Soon afterward He went on through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve [see The Twelve Apostles] were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene [see Mary of Magdala], from whom seven demons had gone out." (Luke 8:1-2 RSV)

The Unpardonable Sin

"But when The Pharisees heard it they said, "It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons."

"Knowing their thoughts, He said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand; and if Satan [see That Old Serpent] casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? [see The Lame Duck] And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you."

"Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house."

"He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come." (Matthew 12:24-32 RSV) (see The Unpardonable Sin)

God's True Servants Can Cast Out Demons

"And preach as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons." (Matthew 10:7-8 RSV)

"The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name!" And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven [see Did God Create The Devil?]. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:17-20 RSV)

False Teachers And Prophets Can Cast Out Demons

"Not every one who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'" (Matthew 7:21-23 RSV)

End-Time Influence

"And I saw, issuing from the mouth of the dragon and from the mouth of the beast [see The Antichrist] and from the mouth of the false prophet [see The Great False Prophet], three foul spirits like frogs; for they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. "Lo, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake, keeping his garments that he may not go naked and be seen exposed!" And they assembled them at the place which is called in Hebrew Armageddon." (Revelation 16:13-16 RSV)

Fact Finder: Should people fear demons, or should demons fear people?
See Why Demons Are Afraid Of You

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This Week's Bible Quiz

True or false:

1. Cain was older than Abel.

2. Noah's Ark was much bigger than a modern Boeing 747 airliner.

3. Lot was the nephew of Abraham.

4. Abraham is buried in Hebron.

5. Moses was not a good speaker.

6. Moses died in Moab before the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land.

7. Joshua succeeded Moses as the leader of the Israelites.

8. Saul was the first human king of Israel.

9. King David was succeeded by Solomon.

10. Solomon was succeeded by Rehoboam.

For the answers to this October 3 2000 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page

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