Can Christians Be Demon Possessed?

Can Christians be demon possessed? In his book “Demons & Deliverance In the Ministry of Jesus”, the late Frank Hammond, author of numerous books on deliverance, provides a helpful answer to that question:

No, a redeemed child of God cannot be owned by the devil! To redeem means “to release by paying a ransom price”. The price paid by Jesus for our redemption was His own blood:

Knowing that ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things. with silver or gold … but with precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, even the blood of Christ. (I Peter 1:18,19)

Therefore, a Christian is His purchased possession, “for ye were bought with a price” (I Corinthians 6:20).

A Christian is Jesus possessed, not demon possessed.

Much misunderstanding has resulted from the King James version having translated the Greek word daimonizoma as “possessed with devils”. A more accurate translation of daimonizomai is: “to be under the power of a demon.” There is a vast difference between being possessed (owned) by demons and by having demons. Webster renders possessed in reference to demons as, “affected by demons or invisible agents”.

The proper question is not “Can a Christian be demon possessed?” but rather, “Can a Christian have a demon or be under the power of demons”?

An honest assessment of New Testament teaching must bring us to the conclusion that the New Testament makes no distinction between believers and non-believers as far as demonization is concerned.

Therefore, if the New Testament makes no such distinction, then none should be made. The obvious conclusion is that both unbelievers and believers can be demonized.

How can we understand the demonization of a Christian? The question faced is: Can property owned by one person be trespassed upon by another person? Suppose a landowner has a wooded piece of property that affords good squirrel hunting. A trespasser can come upon that property and begin to shoot squirrels, but he can also be put off the property as one who has no legal right. This is precisely what takes place when a demon indwells a Christian. The evil spirit has no rights of ownership. Therefore, when the evil spirit is commanded to go, by the Owner or His delegated authority, the evil spirit has no choice but to go. Trespassers can be evicted.

Deliverance for Christians represents the eviction of trespassing spirits.

Another pertinent question is: “For whom is deliverance provided?” Jesus called deliverance “the children’s bread” (Matthew 15:26), meaning that deliverance from demons is for those who have faith in Christ Jesus. Jesus declared that the children’s bread was not to be given to “dogs”, meaning those who are ceremonially impure, or those outside the covenant of God. The gentile woman of Canaan, who was seeking deliverance for her little daughter, exhibited faith by her contention that even dogs are allowed the crumbs that fall from the master’s table. Whereon, Jesus declared, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was healed from that hour” (Matthew 15:28).

When evil spirits are driven out of a person, a spiritual condition is created which Jesus compared to a newly vacated house. He taught that if the “house” (person’s life) is left unoccupied, it is susceptible to the return of the old tenant and his friends. Only a believer can fill his life with the things of Christ.

One who does not fill himself with Jesus and an opposite lifestyle from which he was delivered, is in imminent danger of ending up seven times worse than he was before.

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