Complete lesson below
Subjects to be Explored
Definition of demonization
Evidence against demonization of Christians
- You will compare the definitions of demonization and possession
- You will write out scriptures that could possibly support arguments against Christian begin demonized
- For each of the scriptures you will learn arguments that would weaken the case against demonization of Christians
- You will draw several conclusions from these scriptures
Demon Possession and the Christian
The Greek verb daimonizomai means “to be possessed by a demon”(William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament). The participle from the same root, daimonizomenos, is used twelve times in the Greek New Testament. It is used only in the present tense, indicating the continued state of one inhabited by a demon, or demonized. This participle has components to its structure. First there is the root, daimon, which indicates the involvement of demons. Second is the causative stem, iz, which shows that there is an active cause in this verb. Third is the passive ending, omenos. This conveys the passivity of the person described as demonized. Putting it all together, the participle in its root form means “a demon caused passivity”. This indicates a control other than that of the person who is demonized; he is regarded as the recipient of the demon’s action. In other words, demonization pictures a demon controlling a somewhat passive person.”
Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament: daimonizomai-be possessed by a demon occurs thirteen times in the New Testament, exclusively in the Gospels (Seven Times in Matthew, four times in Mark, and once each in Luke and John). It designates a condition of sickness that is explained by a demon dwelling in the person (possession). p. 274.
Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1965) possession
- The act of having or taking into control. b. control or occupancy of property without regard to ownership. (p. 662)
Following material taken from Three Crucial Questions About Spiritual Warfare by Clinton Arnold.
“Where did English Bible translators get the idea of translating daimonizomai as “demon possession”? The translation was most likely influenced by the Latin church’s tradition of using the term possessio to describe a person deeply troubled by a demonic spirit. Interestingly, the Latin Vulgate, however, does not use the term possessio to translate daimonizomai, but the simple expression to have a demon (habeo with daemonia). But it is also important to realize that the English term possess has a long history of usage where the emphasis could fall on control or occupancy as opposed to ownership. This is significant because it is by no means certain that the translators of the King James
Version intended to convey the notion of ownership by using the term possession.
The obstacle for us is that in popular contemporary usage we have a difficult time disentangling possession from the concept of ownership. To avoid this confusion, some Christian leaders have suggested that we begin transliterating the term daimonizomai by the expression demonized. This has the advantage of providing us with a new term to use without the baggage that comes with “demon possession.” It might also be advisable to use other common translations of daimonizomai that we noted earlier.
I am convinced that there would be far greater agreement among Christians on this issue if we framed the question differently, leaving out the word possession. We might ask, “Can Christians come under a high degree of influence by a demonic spirit?” or, “Is it possible for Christians to yield control of their bodies to a demonic spirit in the same way that they yield to the power of sin?”
Evidence Against Demonization of Christians-A Response
In this section we want to look at Scriptures that some have used as an argument that Christians cannot be demonized.
Write Out these two scriptures: John 12:31, 16:11
Response: This scripture refers to the legal judgment of Satan, not to his detainment in the abyss. Even after Christ made these startling declarations Satan very seriously affected Peter, leading him to deny the Savior
Write out Luke 22:31-32
Write Out Revelation 20:1-3
Response: The binding of Satan occurs at the second coming. Also Satan is now seen as active along with his demons at the present time
Write Out 2 Cor. 11:13-15
Read Hebrews 2:1-15
Response: The Greek word katargeo does not mean to destroy or reduce to no power. It rather means to make ineffective, nullify, set aside, doomed to perish. The same word is used in the judgment of our old man in Romans 6:6. Few would argue that our sin nature has not the possibility of controlling our lives. Demonic forces have been judged by the cross and have been rendered inoperative in having the rule over death and the bondage that result from fear of death. Satan’s dominion of believers through fear has been broken.
Write Out Colossians 2:14-15
Response: If Christ has so routed and stripped the enemy of weapons, how could the Christian ever expect the enemy to attack let alone invade a believer’s body? This is a positional legal victory over Satan and demons. Paul did not intend to convey that we need not stand guard against them or that they could not seriously affect our lives as Christians. It is one thing to have a perfect legal standing before God through being “in Christ”; it is quite another to walk in obedience to the Word and to keep one’s self from being led astray through demonic deception.
Write Out Colossians 1:13
Response: This is to be understood positionally and in a legal sense. We are no longer citizens of the kingdom of Satan. We have been redeemed and forgiven of sins; redemption and forgiveness are legal possessions of those in Christ. We are now citizens of the Son’s kingdom. However, we are in a battle.
Write Out Col 2:1, 2:8,18
Write Out Acts 26:18
Response: This is positional truth, but the practical walk and battle continue.
Write Out John 10:22-29
This is true! This passage does not deal with demonic attack or invasion.
Write Out John 17:15
Response: Christ is praying for Christians preservation from becoming completely engulfed in Satan’s destructive power and devastation.
Write Out Matthew 6:13
Response: What happens if the believer does not ask to be delivered from evil. The meaning seems to be “Do not allow us to fall into such temptation that would lead to ensnaring by Satan.”
Write Out 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Response: Paul knew the attack of Satan in his ministry and in his body (2 Cor 12:7, I Thess 2:18). He warns all Christians to put on the whole armor of God so that they might be able to stand against demonic wiles (Eph 6:10-12). It is to be expected that those who do not stand in the power of the Lord and the armor of God will not be able to stand in the battle. This promise is for those who walk in obedience to the Lord. Satan will not be able to take them unaware and render them weak, unfaithful, and unproductive in Christian life and service.
Write Out 2 Tim. 2:25-26
Response: In another passage, Paul advises Timothy on how to minister effectively to a believer whom Satan has “taken captive”: “Those who oppose him [the Lord’s servant] he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (2 Tim. 2:25-26). Paul continues to be concerned about false teachers in the midst of the churches. He is not speaking of wolves among the sheep, but of sheep who have been led astray and threaten to lead others astray. Since Paul advises Timothy on how to minister in a way that effects restoration, these opponents are Christians who have fallen off the rails. They have become ensnared in a trap (pagis) set by the devil, and the result is quite severe– they are now captives of Satan. George Knight aptly comments that the phrase being captured alive (ezogremenoi) “conveys the sense of ‘having been taken and held captive’ and expresses the decisive hold that the devil has.”
It is quite possible that these false teachers were Christians who had never made a clean break with their occultic past and were continuing to be involved in magical practices. Paul compares their opposition to what Moses experienced when he faced Jannes and Jambres, the Egyptian sorcerers (2 Tim. 3:7-8; cf. Exod. 7:11-12,22).
Write Out I John 4:4
Response: John is warning against possible deception promoted by false teachers influenced by a spirit or spirits not from God. God’s Spirit will enable the discerning and obedient believer so that he will not be taken in by false teaching. The issue of demonization is not addressed in this verse.
Write Out I John 5:18
Response: The sin here is not a particular sin but “habitually sinning.” The believer does not habitually practice sin, he guards himself so that Satan does not grasp hold of him. If habitual sin is practiced the door is open for attack.
Write Out Psalm 5:4
Response: Verse must be taken in context. The parallel is God does not dwell with evil. Presence and fellowship are different. Evil cannot have fellowship with God, but God can call evil into His presence (Job 1:6, 2:1).
Write Out I Corinthians 10:21
Response: If these people sat at tables of an idolatrous feast and partook of the food dedicated to idols, they would be fellowshipping with demons. This partaking means to participate, to have a part in. This unfitting combination does not rule out the possibility that some may try to partake of both tables. Instead of excluding the presence of demons from believers, the passage is a stern warning about the possible sin of fellowshipping with demons by participating in idolatrous actions.
Write Out 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
Response: This shows that it is possible to have fellowship with unbelievers, even to participate in the works of Satan. Partnership meaning a sharing or participating.
Conclusion We may definitely say that the believer who heeds the warnings and obeys the Scripture and walks in fellowship with Christ cannot be freshly invaded. “In vain do we search for a Scripture that grants Christians full immunity from the attacks or invasions of Satan. All of us know too well the external attack of Satan…There is not one statement of Scripture to indicate that Christians are incapable of being harassed or even invaded by evil spirits if they give ground to these evil spirits.”(Ensign and Howe-Bothered? Bewildered? Bewitched? Your Guide to Practical, Supernatural Healing).
 Much of the following is based on material from Demon Possession and the Christian by Fred Dickason