Demon Possession Defined and Explained
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Demon Possession Defined and Explained

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There are only two sources of supernatural power in the universe. The first source is made up of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the holy angels; they represent the forces for good. The second source of supernatural power consists of Satan and his demons. They represent the forces for evil.

The term "supernatural" means something above the laws of nature. If something is truly supernatural and cannot be attributed to God and the power under His control, it must be attributed to Satan and the power under his control. There is no neutral supernatural power. There is no white magic and there are no friendly ghosts.

If a happening or phenomenon is supernatural and cannot be explained by the laws of nature, the source of power is on a short list. It is either of God or of Satan.

A. Holy Power
In order to understand Satan and his demons, it is necessary to accept the existence of God and His holy power as documented in the Holy Bible. If you have difficulty expressing faith in an almighty God, at least accept the possibility of His existence long enough to read this little booklet.

The essence of holy power is the three-part God, known as the Trinity.

B. God, the Father
The first Person of the Trinity is God, the Father. He is the chief executive officer of the entire universe. All power, holy and evil, originates with Him. Satan's evil power is temporary and was granted by God in order to give humans a real choice between good and evil.

In the beginning, humans were created by God for the purpose of fellowship and worship. In order for this fellowship and worship to be meaningful for God, it had to be voluntary. Satan was allowed to come into existence in order to tempt us to do evil.

C. God, the Son
The second Person of the Trinity is God, the Son, Jesus Christ. He came to earth so He could die as the supreme sin sacrifice for all humans. He is the Lamb of God.

Our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, fell prey to Satan's temptation and disobeyed God's command to avoid eating the forbidden fruit. In this way, they sinned. The penalty for sin was then, and always has been, death. But God had mercy and didn't wipe out the human race immediately because of our sin. Instead, He developed a plan for us to be saved which was based on sacrifice.

For hundreds of years, humans sacrificed animals on the altar of God so we wouldn't have to die for our sin. But then God sent His Son as the ultimate, once and for all sin sacrifice. Jesus died on the cross for our sins so we wouldn't have to die for those sins.

D. God, the Holy Spirit
The third Person of the Trinity is God, the Holy Spirit. When Jesus died and went to Heaven, He sent back His Holy Spirit to serve humans in three ways: (1) help us understand the Bible and what it teaches about God and Jesus Christ; (2) help us do the will of God in our lives; and (3) help us resist the evil power of Satan and his demons.

The Holy Spirit is really the Ghost of Jesus. In fact, the King James version of the Bible calls Him just that: the Holy Ghost.

E. Holy Angels
The holy angels round out the essence of holy power on earth. The part of the angels' job description of most importance to humans is that they are our guardians. Listen to God's promise concerning angels, as recorded in Psalms 91:11-12: "For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." A paraphrase of this scripture could be, "Guardian angels keep us from stubbing our toe along the pathway of life". Demons may be dedicated to our destruction but angels are commissioned for our benefit.

2. Demons in the Bible
There is no doubting that demon possession is mentioned frequently in the Gospels, the first four books of the New Testament. Skeptics may claim these accounts of demon possession were really ignorant and superstitious descriptions of such clinical problems as mental illness and epilepsy. However, one of the Gospels was written by a physician named Luke. In fact, the most complete account of the Virgin Birth is recorded by Luke in Chapters 1 and 2 of his Gospel.

Not only is the Bible the inspired word of God, but Luke was a trained physician of his day. Therefore, what the Bible has to say about demons in the book of Luke is of extreme significance.

A. Choosing a Study Bible
The King James Version of the Bible was translated in 1611. Although this version is very popular and is the version you'll most likely find in a hotel room, its Elizabethan English is about as easy to read as the works of Shakespeare. If you're not used to reading the Bible, or Shakespeare, you will find easier reading by trying one of the following modern language versions of Scripture:

"The Living Bible" is a paraphrase of the Bible by Dr. Kenneth N. Taylor which is published by Tyndale House, Wheaton, IL, Copyright 1971.

"The New International Version" (NIV), is published by Zondervan Bible Publishers, Grand Rapids, MI, Copyright 1978. This is a scholarly modern language translation from Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and is equally suitable for first-time readers and advanced Bible students.

Either the "Living Bible" or the NIV are recommended for persons who are reading the Bible for the first time.

Before going on, we need to clearly understand our terms. I will use the terms Satan and demon exclusively when I talk about the forces of evil, with the exception of direct quotations from the Bible. In the King James Version of the Bible, the term "devil" is sometimes used to refer to Satan and at other times, "devil" refers to one or more of Satan's demons. I will always say Satan when I am talking about the chief of all evil. When I am talking about one of Satan's underlings, I will use the term demon. I will not use the term devil at all, in order to avoid confusion.

The scripture references listed below outline what Luke has recorded about demons. However, the other Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, and John) tell about demons, also. Matthew and Mark give several parallel (synoptic) accounts of the same incidents documented by Luke.

The New International Version is quoted in the passages below so you will be able to clearly understand what Luke is saying about demon possession.

B. How to Read a Bible Citation
The Bible is organized into books, chapters, and verses. When the location of a specific statement is given, the citation of this scripture is given as follows: Luke 2:1-20. This example refers to the story of Christ's birth, as recorded in the book of Luke, chapter 2, verses 1 through 20.

If you have difficulty locating a specific book, use the table of contents in the front of your Bible which serves the same purpose as in any other book. In the edition of the New International Version used to write the section below, the book of Luke begins on page 1623.

Some books of the Bible have similar names and Arabic or Roman numerals are used to help make distinctions. There is a Gospel of John and three epistles (letters) written by John. The three epistles are known in the New international Version as 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John. In the King James Version, they are known as I John, II John, and III John.

C. Demons Knew Who Jesus Was
The word demon comes from the ancient root "da", meaning the knowing ones. From the beginning, the demons knew who Jesus was and they knew something about His mission here on earth.

Luke 4:33-35. "In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 'Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are -- the Holy One of God!'

'Be quiet!' Jesus said sternly. 'Come out of him!' Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.

D. Demons or Illness?
Physical healing was an important part of the earthly ministry of Jesus. However, Luke makes a clear distinction between physical healing and providing deliverance from demon possession, as shown in these verses.

Luke 4:40-41: "When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, 'You are the Son of God!...'"

Luke 7:21: "At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sickness and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind."

E. Demons and Epilepsy
Luke records a case where a child's demon possession caused what we would call epilepsy today. In Luke 9:39, the boy's father describes his son's symptoms:

"'A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him.'"

Jesus provides the solution in verse 42:

"Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father."

F. Demons and Speech Disability
Luke also documents the case of a person who had his speech restored when he was delivered from demon possession. Luke 11:14:

"Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been dumb spoke, and the crowd was amazed."

G. Multiple Demons Possessed a Single Person
Luke records two case of persons who were possessed by multiple demons. These cases are important, also, when considering multiple personalities, reincarnation, and channeling.

Note in the first case, the number 7 in the Bible can be interpreted as numerous instead of the simple count of seven. In the second case, it's good to remember that in New Testament times, the military term legion represented 6,000 soldiers.

Luke 8:2: "...and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; ..."

Luke 8:30: "Jesus asked him, 'What is your name?' 'Legion,' he replied, because many demons had gone into him."

H. Physical Disability Caused By a Demon
In Luke 13:10-13, he documents the case of a woman who had a physical disability for eighteen years because of a demon:

"...and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her he called her forward and said to her, 'Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.' Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God."

I. Summary of Luke's Writings About Demons
Demons knew who Jesus was: Luke 4:33-35; Luke 4:41.

Difference between those who were sick and those who were demon possessed: Luke 4:41-42; Luke 7:20-21.

Some had multiple demons: Luke 8:2; Luke 8:30.

Demon caused violence and epilepsy in a child: Luke 9:38-42

Demon caused speech disability: Luke 11:14

Demon caused physical disability: Luke 13:10-13

3. Satan's Limited Power
Although Satan does have some supernatural power, there is a limit to this power. The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:4 that "greater is He that is in us (the Holy Spirit) than he that is in the world (Satan)." A powerful illustration of this is found in Revelation 20:1-3 where John, the Revelator, describes what will happen at the beginning of the millennium (the thousand years of peace): "And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him . . . "

This shows the relative power of God and Satan. When it comes time for Satan to be put in his place, God won't need to do it. He won't ask Jesus or the Holy Spirit to do it. He'll just deputize an angel and that's all it will take to completely neutralize Satan.

In the meantime, though, Satan and his demons have real power. Within the limits God has set, Satan and his demons can do real spiritual damage to humans who are not filled by and, therefore, protected by the power of the Holy Spirit.

4 Real Evil
Demons are real personalities, not just some vague presence of evil. In our society, we have trivialized reference to evil powers. A comedian of the 70s was known for the phrase, "the devil made me do it!" Today, the term demon or devil can show up in a car name, a brand name, or even the name of an athletic team.

Demons in children's literature.
Children's literature is filled with stories of witches and evil spells. Creatures such as trolls, gnomes, and elves are sanitized references to demons. A classic example of supernatural evil in the literature of children is the popular "Wizard of Oz". (By definition, a wizard is a person with supernatural power.) Everybody loves Dorothy, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, and even little Toto. But don't forget the Wicked Witch of the West. A witch in any context is a human being who has invoked demonic powers. Although fiction may talk about good witches and evil witches, all witches receive any supernatural powers they do have from the same source: Satan and his demons.

Remember the Monkey Soldiers of the Wicked Witch of the West and their marching chant in the movie? How does it go? "Doo dee doo, DEE doo doo" or something like that. The actual words of the soldiers' chant are, "Oh, we love the old one", referring to their witch, of course.

Now, watching or reading the "Wizard of Oz" as an isolated activity won't cause your children to become demon possessed. However, literature like this is just one more way Satan has of normalizing and trivializing the evil supernatural power which originates with him.

Halloween, as a celebration of evil
In the context of this book, we have to talk about Halloween. This celebration goes back hundreds of years to when the church observed November 1 as All Saints' Day, or All Halloweds' Day. In this same era, people who practiced witchcraft and sorcery decided to set aside the night before All Saints' Day as a special time for their evil activities. So, the night before All Saints' Day -- All Halloweds' Day -- was All Halloweds' Eve, just as the night before Christmas Day became Christmas Eve. As time passed, All Halloweds' Eve became contracted into Halloween.

There is nothing wrong with dressing up in costumes and trying to guess each other's identity. However, there is something wrong when those costumes represent witches, monsters, ghosts, and even Satan himself.

Here's a good rule to follow if you and your family wish to observe Halloween: base your costumes and decorations on natural things such as cobwebs, pumpkins, black cats, and corn stalks. Avoid supernatural things such as witches, ghosts, demons, and Satan.

The "World" magazine carried an article in its October 28, 1995 edition with this title: "Goblins 1, Saints 0". This was an analytical account of a conflict between conservative and evangelical parents, on the one hand, and pro-Halloween activists on the other hand. The location was the school district of Los Altos, Calif. The conservative parents objected to Halloween parties and parades being held during school hours which were, therefore, a required part of the school day for all children. The pro-Halloween coalition was made up of liberal parents, teachers, and school board members. The conservative Christian parents lost the fight and were characterized as kooks, and religious extremists by their opponents.

Hollywood and demons.
Hollywood is convinced of the existence of literal demonic entities. Movies such as "The Exorcist", "Gremlins", and "Poltergeist" depict demons as actual personalities. In April 1989, a part of a Jim Henson TV special featured a story about demons and their interaction with humans. And Jim Henson is the originator of the "Muppets," a program for children.

Here's a good illustration of how TV and movie producers have a better understanding of demons and demon possession than many evangelical Christians. This occurred in a script of a sitcom aired during the 1993-94 TV season. The scene takes place in a junior high and the teacher has just given his students a math word problem.

Most of the students struggle to get the answer in the conventional ways: scratching their heads, chewing their pencils, and staring at the problem on the board. However, one female student uses an unusual strategy. She utters an ethereal "Uuhmmmm", slumps in her seat, and declares she is going to channel an ancient Egyptian mathematician to come and help her solve the problem. In a few seconds she is out of her trance and the teacher checks her paper and declares the answer is correct. When a student sitting behind the channeler taps her on the shoulder to ask how she got the answer, she whirls in her seat, her face transfigured into a mask of hate, and utters a savage, guttural snarl.

Later in the story, the channeler is talking to that student who sat behind her. She appears to be her normal self, and asks sweetly, "Did your spirit guide speak to you and tell you the right answer?"

This sitcom scene might be passed off as a harmless bit of fluff. However, it is an illustration of how demonic and occult practices can be normalized by the skillful craft of professional script writers. As we laugh at such "silliness", we become desensitized to the actual evil such practices represent in the lives of real people.

5. The Origin of Satan and His Demons
The Bible clearly teaches that there are supernatural beings which have superhuman powers. Holy angels are the agents of God and serve at His pleasure. Demons are the agents of Satan and are dedicated to support his evil activities.

But what do contemporary Americans believe about supernatural beings? A major article on angels was the cover story for "Time Magazine" on December 27, 1993. Some amazing statistics were revealed concerning what Americans believe about angels and demons.

When asked if they "believe in the existence of angels", 69% answered YES and 46% believe they have their "own guardian angel". The story went on to say that 55% of the people surveyed believe angels are "higher spiritual beings created by God with special powers to act as his agents on earth".

People surveyed were not as clear in their beliefs about demons. However, 49% said they believe in the existence of "fallen angels or devils".

The Bible teaches that God always was but Satan and his demons seem to have an origin. Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden so we know he is at least as old as the human race. How much older than Adam and Eve Satan might be is not known. However, the book of Revelation talks about a war in heaven. Although this book is generally considered to contain prophecies about the end times, in Chapter 12:7-9, the writer (John) seems to have used the historic past tense. As John describes it, there was war in heaven. God and the good angels were on one side and Satan with the evil angels were on the other side. Satan and his angels lost that war and were thrown out of heaven and down onto the earth. This is the best information the Bible provides on the origin of Satan's demons. The conflict between God and Satan will continue until God puts Satan and all his demons in the lake of fire where they will be punished forever, as described in Rev. 12:17 and Rev. 20:10.

6. Spiritual Warfare
The objective of God and the forces of good is salvation of the souls of all humans who will accept His Son as their personal sin sacrifice. However, the objective of Satan and his demons is damnation of the souls of all humans in Hell forever. This conflict of objectives results in spiritual warfare. The latter portion of the sixth chapter of Ephesians describes this spiritual warfare in the hand-to-hand combat language of the first century. In fact, the term "stand" which appears several times in this chapter is an ancient military command. When given on the battlefield, the command "stand" meant to form a hollow square with the backs of the soldiers facing the inside of the square and the weapons facing towards the outside and the enemy.

Christian literature often mentions military conflict, including the song "Onward Christian Soldiers." All such military references are talking about spiritual warfare. God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the holy angels are fighting on the side of good. Satan and his demons are fighting on the side of evil.

At this point in the history of the human race, God's main offense consists of getting as many people as possible to accept Jesus Christ as the supreme sin sacrifice for their sins. At the same time, Satan's main offense consists of getting as many people as possible to reject the salvation of Jesus Christ and be damned to the punishment of hell forever. Whenever possible, Satan keeps a low profile and tries to deactivate Christians by getting them to fight among themselves, lose faith in God, doubt the truth of the Bible, and be wrapped up in the activities of everyday life. However, when passive aggression is not enough to achieve Satan's evil objectives, the demons become Satan's strike force in bringing offensive warfare to bear against humans.

Satan's favorite offensive weapon is demon possession. The Bible has many documented cases of how demons do possess the mind, will, and even body of human beings. Everything you may have read or heard about fictional demons is spelled out in vivid detail in the New Testament of the Bible. See Section 2 of Part 1 for specific examples.

Modern demon possession rarely takes the form of uncontrolled violence and manic behavior. Demons prefer to keep a low profile and possess persons for very brief periods of time. In fact, the victims may be prominent and respected members of society.

7. Symptoms of Demon Possession
Demon possession may last for relatively brief periods of time for any one individual. The rest of the time, the victim of demon possession may appear normal by social standards. Only when a demon is in residence will its presence be detectable in terms of the behavior of the victim. The behavior of these short-term victims of demon possession is characterized by four basic symptoms. These symptoms may appear alone or in groups, for just seconds of time, and in varying degrees of intensity.

The four basic symptoms are: (1) violence, (2) lust, (3) greed, and (4) an unnatural power of persuasion. A born-again (and Spirit-filled) Christian can discern the presence of demons in a human by using a technique which has been used by physicians for centuries: a study of the presence of symptoms. Although the demon (or demons) may never manifest itself openly by causing the victim to speak in a coarse, guttural voice or to act out in an antisocial manner, a study of the past behavior of such a person will reveal the presence of violence, lust, greed, and/or an unnatural power of persuasion.

The late-afternoon TV talk shows and tabloids, as well as the legitimate press, provide multitudes of case studies which document the classic symptoms of demon possession singly and in various combinations and degrees of intensities.

A. Violence.
There is little doubt that all serial killers and serial arsonists are demon possessed. The classic case is Ted Bundy, who mixed violence with lust. (See Part 2, Section 9, for a discussion of demons and criminal behavior.)

Massacre killers are clearly demon possessed, whether the scene of the crime is a school yard, a restaurant, or a commuter train. An assault weapon in the hands of a demon-possessed killer is a frightening thought, indeed. However, after the demonic urge to kill has passed, such a murderer may appear calm, in complete control, and even contrite. This is because of the intermittent nature of modern demon possession.

Violence against family members seems to be on the rise. This includes spousal abuse as well as child abuse. What makes a prominent and well thought of member of the community physically abuse his wife, to the point where someone calls 9-1-1? What drives a parent to go far beyond corporal punishment and cause physical injury which requires medical treatment? Intermittent demon possession is the clear answer. (See the discussion of demonic time-sharing in Section 10 of Part 1.

Suicide is frequently associated with demon possession, especially in teens and in adults, where there is no discernible cause. If a demon can induce a person to commit suicide who has not yet accepted Jesus Christ as a personal Savior, Satan has won the battle for that soul forever. See Suicide

B. Lust.
There is a distinct difference between normal sexual desire and lust. The Bible clearly endorses sex within marriage to the point of full orgasm for both parties. The only sexual sin which can be committed between two people united in holy matrimony is selfishness. (See 1 Cor. 7:1-9 and Heb. 13:4.)

Lust is sexual activity outside the bonds and bounds of legal marriage. This includes fornication (sexual intercourse between two persons who are not married), adultery (sexual intercourse when one or both parties are married to someone else), homosexuality, incest, bestiality (sex activities between humans and animals), and child molestation.

Demons are drawn by a human's interest in illicit sex. Therefore, using pornography in combination with indulging in sexual fantasies is dangerous. Regarding using pornography, Ted Bundy said, "Like an addiction, you keep craving something which is harder, something which gives you a greater sense of excitement until you reach the point where the pornography only goes so far. You reach that jumping off point where you begin to wonder if maybe actually doing it will give you that which is beyond reading about it or looking at it."

When two people are both demon possessed, they may have a lustful affinity for each other which defies all logic. As a minimum, such lustful affinity causes the end of marriages and careers. Often, demon-induced lust leads to murder, completing the profile.

A horrible mix of demonic violence and lust occurs in the case of a person who abducts a child, followed by rape and murder. The media fully documented such a case in late 1993, where an adolescent girl was kidnapped from her own home during a slumber party and later murdered.

C. Greed
Greed here is defined as a need for power as well as money. Problems in this area which relate to demon possession range from irrational shoplifting to overselling time shares.

D. An Unnatural Power of Persuasion
The modern cult leader is a classic example of a person with a demon enhanced power of persuasion. This is persuasive power which goes beyond a charismatic personality coupled with effective communication skills. This is the kind of persuasion which can convince large groups of people to band together with no visible and logical reasons for doing so. A cursory review of the lives of contemporary cultists will show an unnatural power of persuasion coupled with violence, lust, or greed in case after case.

8. Symptoms in Children
Children may have learning or behavior problems which are not directly linked to violence, lust, greed, or an unnatural power of persuasion. However, the Bible clearly documents a case of a young boy who had all the symptoms of what we call epilepsy today. (See Part 1, Section 2 of this booklet and Luke 9:38-42.) Both Jesus and the author of the Gospel of Luke (who was a physician) diagnosed the source of the problem as demon possession: "Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father." We now know how to treat epilepsy with anticonvulsants but who knows how many other cases of childhood behavior problems have a demon as the root cause? Parents of children who have certain behavior problems and learning difficulties should consult a Christian psychologist who understands demon possession.

9. Disabilities as Symptoms
The casual reader of the Bible may not be aware that there are at least two cases documented by Doctor Luke where a disability was caused by a demon. In Luke 11:14, a man who didn't speak was able to amaze the crowd with his speaking ability after Jesus drove out his demon.

The second case involved a woman who appeared to have a severe physical disability and hadn't stood up straight for 18 years because of a demon. In Luke 13:10-13, she stood straight when Jesus placed his hands on her and healed her.

It would be dangerous to assume that every person with a disability is demon possessed. However, we may never know how many such cases do involve demons. Parents and human service professionals should be especially suspicious of problems for which there is no discernible physiological or neurological cause. This list should include schizophrenia as characterized by "hearing voices".

10. Demonic Time-Sharing
Back in the days when Jesus walked the earth and evicted a legion [6,000] demons out of one man, the world population was a fraction of what it is today. In fact, population experts believe the number of people alive today exceeds all the people who have died since the dawn of creation. Let's assume that the number of demons is fixed and that number is the same today as it was when Adam and Eve walked in the Garden of Eden. This means that demons today have to cover more territory -- in terms of human beings -- than at any time in the history of the human race. One way demons can accomplish this feat is through what computer experts refer to as time-sharing. In the computer world, a large main-frame computer can be used by many people at the same time, without those users even knowing about the existence of each other. When telephone lines are used, people from all over the world can access the same computer simultaneously. The computer works with each user in turn and does so with such speed that each simultaneous user has the illusion of being the only person logged on at that time. The Internet uses a form of time-sharing. It may not be as fast as you would like, but it's time sharing.

Demons may work the same way. Although they are not omnipresent in the same sense as God is everywhere at the same time, apparently they can move from point to point at very high speeds. Assuming that their minimum speed of travel is the speed of electricity, 186,000 miles per second, a single demon can trouble a large number of people in the course of a few minutes. This is like a computer is able to work with a large number of customers, through time-sharing.

The concept of time-sharing explains how a person can be a murderer or child molester one moment and the next moment, may appear calm, rational, and even brilliant. Demons may zap in out of victims at the speed of light, sometimes staying for just a few seconds at a time. The rest of the time, a victim can appear normal by social standards.

The unnatural power of persuasion coupled with the intermittent nature of the possession enables the primary victim to lie with a straight face. This makes it extremely difficult for anyone to believe that what appears to be a fine, upstanding citizen such as a teacher, minister, lawyer, doctor, boy scout leader, nationally-known televangelist, or major politician could ever be guilty as accused. This ability to lie with total conviction makes identification of such demon-possessed persons extremely difficult by such groups as school boards, church boards, bar associations, medical societies, legislative bodies, and juries.

Sometimes the charges are comparatively minor, such as sexual harassment, soliciting a prostitute, or shoplifting. However, in other cases, the charges may be far from minor, such as violent sexual assault or murder. Whether the charges are minor or major, what makes a person risk a prominent career for no good reason at all? The answer may well be intermittent demon possession on a time-share basis.

The concept of demonic time-sharing is illustrated in ABC's mini-series of Stephen King's "The Stand" as aired the week of May 7, 1994. In this dramatic portrayal, the character of demon-possessed Randall Flagg, as played by Jamey Sheridan, is seen as a suave, persuasive, personable individual much of the time. However, when Flagg is aroused by rage or lust, his handsome face dissolves into the visage of a horrible demon, with behavior to match. In an interview with "TV Guide" that week, King said, "Flagg, Koresh, Jim Jones, Hitler -- they're all basically the same guy."

This is just one more example of how the entertainment world has a much better grasp of the concept of demon possession than do most people in the evangelical church world.

11. Demon Possession and the Occult
The term occult means "hidden" and, in a spiritual context, relates to Satan worship. Occult practices are associated with specific symbols and paraphernalia. The symbols include such things as the five-pointed star and the goat's head. Occult paraphernalia includes candles and blood. The blood is usually animal but can be human. The star, or pentagram, is often drawn on the floor with burning candles set at each point.

Not all demon-possessed persons are consciously involved with Satan worship. However, all persons who make a point of worshipping Satan are eventually demon possessed. Both Christians and Satan worshipers begin their services with an invocation. The term "invocation" comes from the Latin words which mean to call in, or voice in: vox means voice and the meaning of in is obvious. The occult invocation involves calling Satan to come into the presence of the worshipers, just as Christians pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit when they worship. Demons heed the Satanic invocation and come in droves to enter the occult worshipers.

Persons who have become demon possessed through occult practices and Satan worship have the same hope of a solution as any other demon possessed person.

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