That they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. II Timothy 2:26
There is an old saying that possession is nine tenths of the law, in other words he who has possession controls the situation or the object that he possesses. Satan has no legal right to the Christian with the exception of generational curses, willful sin, inner vows and judgments or an outright invasion that must be granted by God.
The word possession terrifies the Christian community because it speaks of Hollywood's interpretations of exorcisms and demonic powers wreaking havoc over mankind and usually winning. The devil has managed to become a big star on the silver screen by promoting fear and deception and in most cases the church has bought in to the lie.
In actuality Satan has very little power over the believer other than what we give him, but he is a master of deception and subterfuge, the ability to conceal and evade detection. It is impossible to defeat his ancient ability to seduce and deceive you by human strength, only in the Spirit can this battle be won.
THE CHILDREN'S BREAD
"It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." Matthew 15:26
Deliverance is the children's bread, it is not for the unbeliever although through God's grace and mercy He pours out His power on all that entreat Him. In the previous scripture a Gentile woman is asking Jesus to set her demon possessed daughter free but He answered her and said He was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Because of the woman's faith and the fact that Jesus was touched by her daughter's condition He set her free. The reason deliverance is for the believer is because when a demon leaves a person it goes into dry places and because it needs a body to inhabit it comes back with seven other spirits more wicked than itself seeking entry. If the house is filled with the Spirit and the word of God the demons cannot re-inhabit their previous dwelling, but if it is empty they will re-infest and the last state of that person will be worse than the first.
"When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.'
"And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. "Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worst than the first." Luke 11:24-26
Deliverance and salvation are synonymous in the context that they represent a process of freedom carried out by the Holy Spirit. When a person becomes a born again believer he repents of his old lifestyle and the blood of Jesus washes away all of his previous sins. Once this initial deliverance from an old life has changed us a new challenge arises brought about by the Holy Spirit in which He begins to confront the remaining strongholds in our life.
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13,14
PULLING DOWN STRONGHOLDS
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. II Corinthians 10: 4-6
A stronghold is a place in a person's life that he protects and is shrouded in darkness by the devil. It could be lust, unforgiveness, greed or an addiction of some kind, but none the less it is something that holds the believer in captivity. The question should not be, can a Christian have a demon, but, can a demon have a Christian? The answer is yes!
The apostle Paul states in II Corinthians 12:7 that because of pride and self exaltation he was given a thorn in the flesh, a cruel messenger of Satan to buffet him. The demon seemed to be a spirit of infirmity sent to keep him humble and given permission to stay by God Himself. Even though Paul entreated the Lord to remove it the Lord said that there was a purpose for it to stay, to perfect him and strengthen him.
The wise apostle knew that the enemy could come in to our land when we sin, just as he had previously warned the Corinthian church that the things that happened to the children of Israel were examples for us to follow in that we should not lust after evil things. The old testament is full of stories of God's people being defeated and even destroyed by the enemy because of disobedience and rebellion and in most cases God sent them Himself against His own people.
But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." I Corinthians 10:5-7
THE TEMPLE OF GOD
Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. I Corinthians 6:19,20
God does not reside in temples of stone, He lives in us. Would you leave your front door open at night thinking that nothing is going to come in, I think not because by morning your living room will be filled with uninvited guests. So it is with God's living temples, we are expected to keep them clean and full of the Holy Spirit and the word of God. The Spirit resides deep within our spirit and cannot be penetrated just as the Holy of Hollies could not be entered by anyone but the high priest.
There are literally hundreds of references throughout the word giving us example after example of how the enemies of God penetrated the children of Israel's land. Time after time they would obey God and be blessed and then they would disobey God and the enemy would defeat them. Paul said we are God's field, God's land and God's building and that we are responsible to keep the powers of darkness out of them.
One example in the new testament was when Jesus came to the temple and was confronted by the Pharisees, those that took care of the duties of the priesthood. They carried out their tasks of receiving and preparing the sacrifices that would ultimately be offered to God within the veil of the Holy of Hollies where the Holy Spirit resided and yet Jesus addressed them as sons of the devil, a brood of snakes and whitewashed tombs full of dead man's bones. He asked them how they expected to escape the sentence of hell.
Every sin that a man commits carries with it a demon that if he doesn't repent will gain ground within his flesh and ultimately will open the door for others and they will reside there. Just as cancer silently destroys the body so the powers of darkness will slowly bring destruction and death to the one whom it resides. The word says that if we sow to the flesh we will reap corruption.
We as Christians have been forgiven much and have received mercy through the washing by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have been set free from the enemies of God and the curse of the law and so that is why we must die to the deeds of the flesh by putting away all sin and rebellion lest we receive of those things that we don't want to enter our temples.
"Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered to do all these abominations'? Jeremiah 7:9,10