Healing is God’s Justice
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POSESSION VERSUS OPPRESSION

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HOW CAN A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER BE OPPRESSED BY AN UNCLEAN SPIRIT? Many believers adhere to the belief that a born- again believer cannot be “possessed” by an unclean spirit. That belief is correct. A believer cannot be "possessed" by an evil spirit (and, in fact, the word "possessed" never appears in that context in the Greek Scriptures), because every believer is “possessed” by Christ, and has been joined to Christ as “one spirit” in his inner man. (1 Cr. 6:17) But there is nothing in Scripture which indicates that believers cannot be “oppressed” by unclean spirits. In fact, each of the godly women who followed Christ with His disciples were delivered from unclean spirits: Lke. 8:1 Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, 2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means. The Greek word incorrectly translated as “possessed” in the KJV simply means that a person “has a demon”. An analogy might be to a person who “has a ball and chain attached to him”. It might be a heavy ball, rendering the person non- functioning, or it might simply be a light ball, which is troublesome but ultimately manageable. In other words, demonic “oppression” can be heavy, medium, or light. If I find myself consumed by internet pornography, it is heavy – if I occasionally linger too long in gazing at a woman in the mall, it might be light, or simply my flesh. If the oppression becomes problematic, the answer is to deal with it exactly as Christ and the disciples dealt with it – and that is to have its source ejected. Clearly, the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in the same place with an unclean spirit. But man is tripartite – body, soul, and spirit. (1 Th. 5:23). The Holy Spirit dwells in our spirit, but as Paul painstakingly demonstrates in Romans 7:18-23, evil resides in our flesh:   “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh...For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.”   Therefore, Paul is quite clear above that evil dwelt within him. The Holy Spirit, then, can and does reside with evil, sin, and disease in the same person, just in different parts of that tripartite person. So it would be logical and Scriptural to conclude that nothing prohibits a demonic presence to also be there, and in that case, any believer can be sorely afflicted in his flesh by the Enemy. Moreover, a number of diseases and emotional problems were cured by Christ by ejecting the evil spirit responsible. Jesus’ life was summed up by Peter as healing “all who were oppressed by the devil.” (Acts 10:38) When those same diseases or emotional problems appear today in believers, again it is logical and Scriptural to assume that there may also be an unclean spirit present in those believers causing the problem.   In sum, a person can have the Holy Spirit in his spirit, but that does not mean that evil, sin, and disease, and the purveyor of same, i.e., an evil spirit, cannot also be present in his flesh. And this truth is demonstrated empirically in every instance of deliverance ministry. The tragedy of believing the contrary – that is, that a believer cannot be oppressed, is that believers struggling physically or emotionally with unclean spirits are sentenced to a life of bondage, because they are never led to seek the Scriptural help through deliverance ministry that will free them from the Enemy necessary to restore their physical or emotional health. (C) Copyright. All Rights Reserved. All or parts hereof may be disseminated or copied without cost provided that this website is identified as the source.
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