March 07, 2024 | By Chuck

     “And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God. But Jesus rebuked him, saying, 'Be silent, and come out of him!' And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him.” (Mark 1:23-26) This is an amazing story that showcases the power and authority of Jesus. Jesus had the power and authority to silence and cast out the demon from the possessed man.

            We discussed this story Wednesday night in Bible class, so it has been on my mind and I would like to make a few additional points. This is not the only time Jesus encountered a demon-possessed person and healed him by casting out the demon. These stories show the power of Jesus and give credibility to His preaching. These stories also leave us with questions, such as can people be possessed by a demon today? If so, what do we do? How and who can cure modern-day demon possession? These are legitimate questions that we should at the very least attempt to answer.

            Let me be very clear; I believe in spiritual warfare. I have no doubt we are in the midst of a spiritual battle with Satan and his demons for our souls. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) But, can someone be possessed by a demon today? I’m not totally sure, but I lean towards I don’t think so and here’s why. I believe the world is heavily influenced by Satan and demons. I believe individuals are influenced or tempted by evil constantly, but there is a difference between being influenced by demonic attacks and being possessed by a demon.

            In the Biblical cases where one is possessed by a demon, the demon seems to have complete control of that person. The demon-possessed person appears to have no control over their actions. We are tempted or influenced by evil every day, but we still have the free-will ability to say no to the demonic influence or Satanic attack to sin. So, you see the difference in demon possession and demonic influence. I’m not so sure people can be possessed by demons today as they were when Jesus walked the earth because who has the ability to heal them? I am certain I cannot cast out a demon the way Jesus did.

I can pray for that person and that God would cleanse them of the evil spirit, and that’s a lot because there is power in prayer, but I cannot cast it out and I don’t know anyone who can. So, what would we do with a person today who is legitimately possessed by a demon? This question is why I struggle with the thought of someone being totally possessed by a demon today. Please understand I am no authority on this subject and I easily find myself stumped each time I study it. However, I am convinced of two things:  First, Jesus casting out demons was proof that He is the Son of God and that people should listen and believe in His preaching about the Kingdom of God. Secondly, I believe with all my heart baptized believers are possessed, but with the powerful indwelling seal of the Holy Spirit and that alone will deter any potential demon possession of one who belongs to God.