Is Everyone Possessed?
I can’t tell you how marveled and astonished I am at the number of false prophets I’ve encountered. One cannot recognize ‘false’ unless he knows ‘truth’. The truth to one person is different than the other, so each views the other as false. God’s Word is the Judge, amen (John 12:48)! We must rightly divide it (2 Tim 2:5), for “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). As I ponder on the scriptures, my mind is asking, “Is everyone possessed?” Why would I even think such a thing?
Earth and Heaven
I am inclined to wonder about the spiritual realm being directly connected to the physical realm. Consider the words of Jesus found in the following passages:
Mat 6:10 “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.”
Mat 16:19 “whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven”
Jesus said of the latter times, just before He comes that “false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”
Now, consider these words of Paul spoken to Timothy in 2 Tim 4:3: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” Well, the opposite of the truth is lies. And who is the “father of lies”? (John 8:44) The dragon, the serpent of old, the devil and Satan (Rev 12:9; 20:2).
Surely, false prophets and teachers have a following ~ the ones that will not endure sound doctrine, which means they follow unsound doctrine, or what the Bible calls the “doctrines of demons”. 1 Tim 1:4 states, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons”.
Who are these “deceitful spirits” that teach “doctrines of demons”? It appears to be mankind, people.
Beware of False Prophets
We are told in 1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
Then, we are told by Paul in 1 Cor 14:32 that “the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets”.
Have you ever read 2 Chron 18:18-22? If not, read this passage in its entirety. Verses 20-21 state, "Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.'
'By what means?' the LORD asked.
'I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said...
Spirits speak through people, if they don’t indeed possess them. Why are these false prophets and teachers so deceived? I don’t think they intentionally lie, having a heart of flesh. Of course, some have their “consciences seared with a hot iron” (1 Tim 4:2). The Word says they deceive themselves first! (Gal 6:3; Jam 1:26). This would indicate they obtained faith in doctrines of demons from somewhere: either by their own “spiritual enlightenment” or perhaps from a conglomerate of false information (read or heard), thereby allowing the lying spirit(s) to use them to teach and preach to others. This gives new light to the words of Jesus in Mat 13:16, doesn’t it? “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.”
Now, children are an interesting topic. The Bible tells us “of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 19:14). Why? Because they have faith in whatever they’re told. They trust. While we are to be childlike when it comes to faith in God, we are not to remain as children, being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine! (Eph 4:14) There comes an “age of accountability” when we choose to whom we will be “enslaved”. Rom 6:16 confirms, “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?”
Possession and Embodiment
Some “false prophets” and those who listen to them believe that Satan and demons aren’t real. All they have to do is look in the mirror! Of course, no man can see his own human spirit, let alone the spirit(s) influencing or possessing him. How does one explain Legion possessing that man in the region of Gerasenes? Surely, Legion was called an unclean spirit (Mark 5:8), yet he spoke in plurality, “for we are many”, and ended up requesting to be sent into the herd of 2,000 pigs. Obviously, the Bible wasn’t talking about an unclean “human” spirit. A body without the spirit is physically dead, right? (James 2:26)
I personally believe angels and demons can possess or embody human beings, as well as influence them. The interesting twist in my mind is that Lucifer was the king of Babylon in Isaiah 14. Lucifer obviously fell from heaven, yet embodied a human king. Likewise, the king of Tyre was the “anointed cherub in the Garden of Eden” (Ez 28:13-14)…post-flood kings embodied by pre-flood fallen angels.
Men and Angels
Considering the word “angel”, when translated in Hebrew and Greek includes pastors, teachers, priests and kings we can deduct that fallen angels and demons include them, too. In fact, the Bible says we can entertain angels unaware (Heb 13:2). Of course, we assume these angels just pick a body (maybe a supernatural body that looks like a gardener) and then disappear; but, I wonder if there isn’t more to the big picture. Paul separates men from angels in several passages, two of which I’ll list here:
1 Cor 13:1 “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”
Gal 1:8 “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” Surely, Joseph Smith, Edgar Casey and others have started huge religious movements based on doctrines of (fallen) angels that preached a contrary gospel! Likewise, when we listen to the “spirits” of these “prophets”, we know to “test them”, thereby knowing they are FALSE.
Here's yet another fascet to consider: Are believers not "transformed [into the image of Christ] by the renewing of their minds"? (Rom 12:2) If this be true, then those who are not believers are also transformed [into the image of Satan] by the poisoning of their minds. 2 Cor 11:14-15 state (KJV), "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." The mind certainly has something to do with it, as the "god of this world [Satan] blinds the minds of the unbelieving" (2 Cor 4:4).
Makes me ponder the words of Jesus in Mark 16:18 about believers: "and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them." Is "deadly poison" aligned with "false doctrine"? After all, we "drink of the living water" when it comes to Christ (John 4:13-14).
Paul tells us in Eph 6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." Why would we need to be told that? Because we're engaging with flesh and blood, marveled and astonished at what they believe and what comes out of their mouths?
Holy or Unholy Spirit?
When people get saved I often hear them tell me, “I feel like a tremendous weight has been lifted off of me” or “I suddenly feel so light”. Were these people delivered from a demonic spirit or spirits? Were we? What happens when we get saved? We invite Jesus into our hearts; we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, we have a newness about us. We “hear”, “see”, “think” and “act” according to the leading of the Holy Spirit in us. Rom 8:15 tells us, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ On the contrary, those who have the “spirit of slavery to fear” are the children of the devil! (John 8:44; 2 Tim 1:7). We belong to one or the other, don’t we? Reference Rom 6:16 again.
It’s obvious that demonic spirits, fallen angels and heavenly angels are not the same as human spirits. However, I honestly wonder if all people aren’t “possessed” or “in union with” the spirit realm on either side (good or evil). Satan spoke through the Apostle Peter! Jesus was able to discern the human spirit from the demonic and spoke to Satan, not Peter (Mat 16:23). What about Judas? Jesus said he was a devil from the get-go (John 6:70). Later, we see that “Satan entered him” (John 13:27). Observe!!
And look at the fact that one who is delivered from demonic possession and doesn’t get filled with the Holy Spirit ends up in a worse state than the first. Jesus taught in Mat 12:43, “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came'; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.” Here's the clencher: He goes on to say, "That is how it will be with this wicked generation."
I looked up the word house in Mat 12:44, which is the Greek word 3624. oikos: a house, the material building, a dwelling and compared it to 1 Cor 6:19 "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?" Temple, unlike house is the Greek word 3485: naos: a temple, a shrine, that part of the temple where God Himself resides.
Finally, let's observe the following two sides of the spirit-realm, where the Greek word 2732. katoikétérion: a habitation, dwelling-place, abode is used:
Rev 18:2 "And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird."
Eph 2:19-22 "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens [one who lives in a place without the right of citizenship], but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit." - For an added blessing, read Rev 21:9-27.
You are the 'host' of your house or temple. "If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)
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