Articles and Outlines - Cults / Occult - Escaping Demonic Oppression

Escaping Demonic Oppression

Author: Russ Wise
Date: 6/10/2003 11:04:24 PM

Joe was experiencing demonic episodes on a regular basis. He had dabbled in witchcraft and had begun consulting a psychic about his future. Joe is a Christian, but he had become seduced by influences beyond his understanding. Occult influence and oppression are realities! We need to recognize the source of such influence and oppression: and that it comes from our adversary, Lucifer, commonly known as the Devil. We must also recognize that Lucifer works through those who joined him in his rebellion Ė the Demons.

There are some, even Christians, who do not believe that demons exist, much less the devil. However, Joeís testimony, among others, speaks against such a naive interpretation of biblical passages that clearly offer an understanding of the demonic world.

Demons have a specific goal to accomplish Ė to seduce and deceive mankind. Their ultimate desire is to turn Godís creation, including man, from the Creator and toward destruction Ė in essence, joining the forces of darkness. The Scripture indicates that God recognizes the existence and work of the devil. 1 John 3:8 tells us that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. Our hope is in Christ and through His work to defeat Lucifer and his demons on the cross. In Christ, we too have victory over the demonic realm, including Lucifer and his minions.

Once we have accepted the Scriptural fact that Satan Ė the Devil Ė exists and that demons exist as well, we can begin the work of reconciliation. That is, we can now become reconciled to our Creator. It is not only imperative that we understand that demonic influence and oppression occur, but that demonic possession is, on occasion, a possibility. However, it is not a foregone reality.

The first step in our reconciliation to our God is repentance. That is, we turn away from our sinful past and toward Christ Ė the one who redeemed us and now offers us forgiveness as a gift. 1 John 1:9 declares to us that ďif we confess our sin, He (Jesus) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.Ē We have a promise! God has freely bridged the gap that lies between Himself and us. He made a way for us to return to His good graces. All we need to do is to accept His offer of wholeness.

Lucifer and his demons make every attempt to distort the above Truth and deceive those who perceive themselves outside of Godís grace. The good news is that God stands at the door of our hearts to welcome us to Himself (Rev. 3:20). Our response is to simply open the door.

Once this door has been opened, we are transported to the battlefield. This battlefield is not one that consumes oneís physical life, but one that is spiritual in nature. Spiritual warfare becomes a reality in the new believerís life. This warfare is not fought and won on any given day, but it is to be fought from oneís day of reconciliation to the day of oneís deliverance.

Spiritual warfare is not an option. As a Christian we are engaged in this warfare whether we desire to be or not. On occasion, it consumes our very life. The first realization we must recognize is that we are vulnerable. We are frail and unable to defeat the adversary unless we cloth ourselves in Godís righteousness and stand for His Truth. Ephesians 6:10-12 outlines our defense. We cannot stand otherwise!

1 Timothy 4:1 says that some will depart from the faith and turn to deceiving spirits. Matthew 24:24 echoes this idea when the Scripture says that even the elect may be deceived by Satan Ė our Adversary. According to Matthew 24 we as believers in Christ are the elect. This does not mean that we should be cowardly; on the contrary, we should resist the devil and stand our ground for he (the devil) is a defeated foe (Colossians 2:15). The Scripture tells us that he has already been made a footstool for our Lord Jesus Christ (Psalms 110:1, Hebrews 10:13).

Satanís Program

Our adversary desires to present himself as a counterfeit deity, a counterfeit spirituality, who can meet the growing needs of man. His program is always very much like the real thing. However, the glory ultimately goes to himself rather than to God the Father. The Scripture tells us Satan is a liar, and the father of lies (John 8:44). He is a deceiver. 2 Corinthians 11:13-14 says that he disguises himself as an angel of light. He even claims that he is the light of the world.

For some individuals, Satanís program is appealing. First, they are offered knowledge (gnosis). They desire to have a deeper knowledge of reality and easily become seduced into what is known as the Perennial Wisdom or Secret Knowledge. Second, they are offered power to manipulate and control their surroundings, including others. Third, they are offered supernatural answers to meet their personal desires. However, the appealing nature of Satanís program ultimately becomes a spiritual nightmare that seemingly cannot be escaped.

Genesis 3:1-5 gives us an example of Luciferís deception. Eve is told she ďwill be like God.Ē He entices Eve to commit the same sin he committed in Isaiah 14:14. Luke 4:1-13 details the temptation of Jesus regarding the Kingdom. Jesus came to win the world but not on Luciferís terms. He (Jesus) was not about to bow down and worship Lucifer.

Revelation 13:2 indicates that the Kingdom which Jesus refused, the antichrist will accept. Jesus refused to worship Satan, but Satan, through the antichrist, will be worshipped (Rev. 13:4). According to 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Satan will have, for a brief moment, what he has desired for millennia. He has desired free reign over all creation and to be worshiped as the god of this world. But it will be temporary, and he will ultimately be destroyed along with his demonic host.

He who becomes seduced and eventually deceived by Lucifer will undergo a transformation in his personal life that might prompt a desire to end oneís life.

The most common results are:

††††††††††† ╬ Unwarranted guilt feelings ó Revelation 12:10

††††††††††† ╬ Persecution for religious reasons ó Revelations 2:10

╬ Exchanging the best God has for you instead of that which is good ó Genesis 3:1-6, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

╬ Mental depression ó 1 Samuel 16:23

╬ Temptation to immorality ó 1 Corinthians 7:5

An individual who has come under Luciferís deception may exhibit one or all of these symptoms. However, this state of unwarranted guilt, persecution, giving up oneís best, depression, or immorality does not need to stand. The Christian has the Truth of Scripture to wield in the face of adversity. The Adversary can be defeated. In fact, as noted earlier, he is already defeated. As a Christian we simply need to recognize our position in Christ and stand our ground in the spiritual realm.

All of us are influenced by demonic beings. Many are demonically oppressed. However, in our culture only a small number actually are possessed. The issue for the Christian is how one reacts to demonic influence and oppression. Jesus sets the example. We read in Matthew 4:1-11 where Satan tempted Christ and Jesus resisted him, nullifying his influence in our Lordís life by positioning Himself in the Word.

Scripture does indeed indicate that Satan seeks to influence Godís people. Matthew 16:23 refers to the influence Satan had on Peter. Other passages speak of Satanís influence and oppression in the lives of biblical characters (1 Samuel 16:14).

King Saul offers us a good example of one who suffered demonic attack because of his rebellion over spiritual matters. Once an individual consciously enters into a state of rebellion against Godís Law, the Ten Commandments, and precepts, he opens himself up to becoming demonically oppressed and possibly possessed (1 Samuel 15:23).

The question regarding the Christian and demon possession is one with no clear biblical teaching. There are a number of Scriptures that seem to indicate a believer cannot be possessed by a demon (Rev. 20:103, Heb. 2:14-15, Col. 1:13, Acts 26:18). However, these Scriptures do not convey the idea that believers cannot be demonized, because they do not specifically speak to the topic.

There are several Scriptures indicating a believer can be demonically attacked, but there are no Scriptures that, without doubt, indicate a believer can be possessed. Therefore, we must conclude there is no theological possibility that demons will invade or possess a believer, even if the believer has opened the door by personal sin.

Prevention or Preservation

The determining issue that you as a believer must face is the prevention of satanic influence or oppression in your life. There are six truths that you need to implement to gain victory over satanic influence.

First, you must gain an understanding of the truth of Scripture and recognize the work of Christ on your behalf, so you can fully discern the counterfeit.

Second, recognize Satan is a defeated foe. However, he is more powerful and more intelligent than you. As you come to understand this, you will develop a growing need to depend on the Lord solely for your strength and allow Him to win the victory through you.

Third, destroy all occult paraphernalia (Acts 18:8-20).

Fourth, enlist the help of the lord on a daily basis through prayer. Develop an understanding of Ephesians 6.

Fifth, study the reliability of Scripture and the biblical worldview. Weigh the trustworthiness of God and His Word against all other belief systems. In other words, become thoroughly convinced through your study and application of Godís Word that God is faithful and His Word is a reliable foundation.

Sixth, be careful regarding what you allow to enter your mind (Romans 12:1-2).

However, the believer needs to recognize the assurance that Christ extends to him so that he may withstand the fiery darts of the evil one. The Christian has the promise of Godís Word to strengthen his or her position. Once the believer has discovered his rightful position in Christ Ė that is his relationship founded on what Christ has done for him Ė he needs to walk in assurance that Jesus has do all that needs to be done for his salvation and his redemption.

The believerís foundation for building a confident and growing relationship with God is vitally important. In short, the believer must become grounded in his or her faith.

Study and memorize verses that confirm what God has done in your life.

God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the ETERNAL LIFE (1 John 5:11-13).

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Fatherís hand. I and the Father are one (John 10:27-30).

I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God (1 John 4:15). Related verses: 1 Peter 1:3-5; Jude 24; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:27; Colossians 2:13-14.

Demonic influence and oppression are a reality in many lives. Even the Christianís! However, the Christian has a solution available to him that may evade the non-believer. It is important for the non-believer to know that he has the same Scriptural promise. The non-believer can call on Jesus and be heard as well. In the end, our deliverance from deception is determined by faith Ė faith rightly placed in Jesus, the Christ.


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