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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Can the Holy Spirit and a Demon Live Together?

Now this [Caiaphas] did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied ...
~ John 11:51 (NKJV)

A recent comment asked, "Can born again Christians be possessed by demons/evil spirits?"

The above verse shows the Holy Spirit using a person who resists Him. Caiaphas did prophesy, but he was also an evil man who sent Jesus to Pilate for crucifixion.

To answer the above question, an important distinction should be made about whether the Holy Spirit or demonic spirit fills or inhabits a person, or is "with" or "upon" a person.

King Saul is a striking Old Testament example of having the Holy Spirit and then an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14). But it appears that the evil spirit did not dominate Saul until the Holy Spirit left him, and it nowhere says that the Holy Spirit was ever within him. The Old Testament tells of several instances when the Holy Spirit was upon a person or with a person, but only once says the Holy Spirit was actually within a person (Exodus 31:2-3).

In New Testament times, after Jesus died for sins, those who put faith in Him—who are "born again" of the Holy Spirit—become the temple within which the Holy Spirit resides. It is unthinkable that the Holy Spirit would share residence and live together with a demonic spirit. When Jesus was accused of driving out demons by the power of the devil, He pointed out the absurdity of Evil working against itself to cooperate with Good. Rather, the evil spirit, or "strong man," is driven out before being plundered of its human spoil:

"But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely 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? And then he will plunder his house."
~ Matthew 12:28-29 (NKJV)

We know from numerous Bible passages that even after the Holy Spirit inhabits us, evil spirits still try to access us.

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me ...
~ 2 Corinthians 12:7 (NKJV)

[Other references to the devil's presence include 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:11; Ephesians 4:26-27; James 4:7).]

There is no reason to fear the devil or his minions residing in the same person as the Holy Spirit. But they can still wreak plenty of trouble if they get a foot in the door. The Bible teaches us how to become strong in the Holy Spirit so that doesn't happen when demons come knocking.

Lord Jesus, our adversary the devil is strong. But you are good and wise and almighty. You have already defeated him. Please remind us of our spiritual armor. Please alert us to our enemy's schemes even as we ask You to thwart them. Please let us fear no one but God.

Comments are welcome (including respectful disagreement) and will receive a reply.
You may also contact author via Twitter – @anne4JC
or e-mail – buildingHisbody [plus] @gmail.com
Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

10 comments:

  1. Amen, rebuke the devil, send him back to hell where he belongs.

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  2. Denise, if only we always recognized his lies immediately and did rebuke him as quickly. We are pitiful for the times we listen to him.

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  3. Natasa, I am just loving your new profile picture. :D

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  4. Random comment alert that has little to do with your topic:
    I just wanted to let you know that at least half the time I have soooo much swirling in my head after reading one of your posts that I end up not commenting at all because of the time it would take for me to construct my thoughts. This is one of those times. But I did want you to know that I read all your posts that you send to my email. I will just have to wait until I am with you in eternity to give you any worthwhile feedback. Reading and enjoying, Mary :)

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    1. Mary, you bless me in so many ways I couldn't begin to count them. I love your comments, but just knowing that we're connecting this way will bless me. Every time I hit "publish" on a post, I can know we're in touch in this temporal time, across the miles. I love you! ♥ ♥ ♥

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  5. is there anyone who can interpret tongues here?
    lease email me at cristlynwhitedove@gmail.com

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    1. Cristlyn, I've never exercised the gift of interpreting tongues, and I'm not personally acquainted with someone who does. But if you have any other question, you're welcome to email me.

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  6. Hello, my name is Kofi. I was born in America but raise in Ghana West Africa. I tarried and received the Holy Ghost on April 14, 1994 and I was baptized the same day. I lived in Ghana as a missionary for the Lord. I've been back in the states for 9 years now and have been diagnosed for 6 years to be schizophrenic meaning I hear audible voices in my head and some are negative and say hurtful things to me. I never doubted that I have the Holy Ghost till now as I don't understand how the Holy ghost and evil spirits can work in the same body. I've tried almost every psychiatric medication to get rid of the voices in my head and but they still exist.
    I remember a scripture where Jesus taught some of His disciples that evil spirits could come out through fasting and prayer. I really want to try fasting for a period of time but my question is what happens when I'm done fasting. What happens when I'm done fasting? Some one come to my aid please. Thanks for listening.

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    1. My Dear Kofi ~

      My understanding of what the Bible teaches is that an evil, demonic spirit cannot possess what the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) possesses. If you have given your life to Jesus Christ and accepted His sacrifice for your sins, then His Holy Spirit lives inside of you and possesses you. Therefore, you will not be possessed by evil spirits. Please be comforted with these words!

      However, Scripture also says this: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8) If Jesus is Lord of your life, evil spirits will not possess you, but they will certainly provoke and harass you. The evil spirits can still prowl around you and speak to you from the outside.

      Prayer bolstered by fasting is a powerful weapon against the sin that weakens our flesh because fasting denies the flesh. We pray and say "Yes, Lord!" at the same time that we say "NO, Self!" Every time we obey the Lord and say yes to His Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is given greater control of our lives—power against sin, and power against evil spirits.

      If you wish to use prayer and fasting to help drive away evil spirits which may be speaking to you, my suggestion is this: when you hear evil voices, you speak out loud. Proclaim as loudly as you can, "Jesus Christ is Lord and God!" "Evil spirit, GO AWAY!" Evil spirits speak lies and deception, so proclaim the truth of Scripture. Whatever lies you hear them speak, you use a verse of the Bible that says the opposite truth. For example, if an evil spirit says a lie such as that you are worthless and nothing, then you can proclaim verses such as these:
      "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. " (2 Corinthians 5:17)
      "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2)
      "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" (1 John 3:1)

      You can also personalize Scripture, inserting yourself into the verses:
      "Because I love Jesus, and have believed that He came forth from God, the Father Himself loves me!" (see John 16:27)

      Kofi, you are welcome to comment again, or to email me, if you have more questions. I am praying for you that God will guide you in your spiritual battle, and that He Himself will bind and drive away the spirits.

      You may also want to read the posts on my blog about Spiritual Warfare. Go to BuildingHisBody.com, look for the "Post Topics" on the bottom right, and click on "Spiritual Warfare."

      In the love of our Lord Jesus Christ,
      Anne

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