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Teaching All Nations

Do Demons Still Possess People?

 

As we think about the stories in the Bible where Jesus cast out demons, often the question is asked what about demon possession today?

While we do have a tract on this topic: https://truthfortheworld.org/do-demons-possess-people-today

I wanted to go further and look at this from a purely logical/scriptural thought process. Therefore, all the arguments made will be based in syllogism form.

Beginning with:

 

  • Demon possession was allowed to show God’s power over Satan  (1 John 3:8, Jn 12:31-32),
  • God’s power over Satan was shown by miraculous healing. (Mt.9:32-33; 12:22-23; Mk 3:14-15; Lk.4:36; 10:17-20; Acts 10:38)
  • Therefore, it was miraculous healing that cured demon possession.

 

From this we continue:

 

  • The cure for demon possession was miraculous healing
  • Miraculous healing is no longer available today (Acts 8:17-19; 1 Cor 13:8-13; Eph 4:7-16)
  • Therefore the cure for demon possession is no longer available today.

 

Further we state that:

 

  • Today, God has promised that he would not allow man be tested, beyond our capability. (1 Cor 10:13)
  • Miraculous Healing is beyond our capability
  • Therefore today, God will not allow man to be tested, if it involves Miraculous Healing

 

We then conclude:

 

  • The Cure for Demon possession involves Miraculous Healing
  • But God will not allow man to be tested if it involves Miraculous Healing
  • Therefore, God will not allow man to be tested with Demon possession.

 

 

Now let us prove our Propositions:

 

SYLLOGISM #1

 

 

  • Demon possession was allowed to show God’s power over Satan  (1 John 3:8, Jn 12:31-32),
  • God’s power over Satan was shown by miraculous healing. (Mt.9:32-33; 12:22-23; Mk 3:14-15; Lk.4:36; 10:17-20; Acts 10:38)
  • Therefore, it was miraculous healing that cured demon possession.

 

 

MAJOR PREMISE:

Demon possession was allowed to show God’s power over Satan 

Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

 The death of Jesus would cast out the prince of this world (John12:31-32).

 31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

33  This he said, signifying what death he should die.

Jesus watched the beginning of Satan's fall as His disciples cast out demons (Luke 10:17-20).

17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

 

Jesus bound the "strong man" (the Devil) with the coming of His kingdom and the casting out of demons (Luke 11:14-22).

 14 And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.

15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.

16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.

17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.

18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.

19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.

20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

Matthew’s account makes it clearer: One sign of the Kingdom (church) coming, was Jesus casting out Devils.

Matthew 12:26-28

26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.

28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

 Jesus triumphed over "principalities (Greek arche, used of `evil angels') and powers" and made a show of them (Col. 2:15; cf. Rom. 8:38).

 

15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Col. 2:15)

 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (Rom. 8:38)

 

PROVEN: Major Premise- Demon possession was allowed to show God’s power over Satan

 

Minor Premise:

God’s power over Satan was shown by miraculous healing.

Matthew 9: 32-33

32 As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.

33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.

 Matt 12:22 ff (CF LK. 11:14FF)

22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.

23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

 

Mark 3:14-15

14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:

Luke 4:35-36

35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.

36 And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.

Luke 10:17-20

17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

 

Acts 10:37-38

37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

PROVEN:

Demon possession was allowed to show God’s power over Satan (major premise)

God’s power over Satan was shown by miraculous healing. (minor premise)

Therefore, it was miraculous healing that cured demon possession.

 

 Syllogism #2

 

Syllogism 2 – from the conclusion of the first syllogism.

The cure for demon possession was miraculous healing

Miraculous healing is no longer available today (Acts 8:17-19; 1 Cor 13:8-13; Eph 4:7-16)

Therefore the cure for demon possession is no longer available today.

 

PROVEN: Major Premise – The cure for demon possession was miraculous healing

Proven -from the Conclusion of the first syllogism

Demon possession was allowed to show God’s power over Satan

God’s power over Satan was shown by miraculous healing.

Therefore, it was miraculous healing that cured demon possession.

 

Minor Premise:

Miraculous healing is no longer available today (Acts 8:17-19; 1 Cor 13:8-13; Eph 4:7-16)

 The purpose of miracles was to confirm the Word (Heb. 2:1-4)

 (Heb 2:1)  Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let [them] slip.

(Heb 2:2)  For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;

(Heb 2:3)  How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him];

(Heb 2:4)  God also bearing [them] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

 John 20:30-31

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

 The apostles were given the ability by God, to lay their hands on people in order to impart a miraculous gift to someone else.

 Act 8:5  Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

Act 8:6  And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

Act 8:7  For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed [with them]: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.

Act 8:8  And there was great joy in that city.

Act 8:9  But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:

Act 8:10  To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.

Act 8:11  And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.

Act 8:12  But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Act 8:13  Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

Act 8:14  Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

Act 8:15  Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

Act 8:16  (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Act 8:17  Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Act 8:18  And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

Act 8:19  Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

Act 8:20  But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

Act 8:21  Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

  Only Apostles could lay hands and pass on the miraculous abilities.

-         When the last Apostle died, so did the way (laying on of hands) of miracles cease.

-         When the last person on whom an apostle had given a miraculous gift to died, that was the end of the miraculous age.

 The Prophets prophesied about the end of the miraculous age.

 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.  And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, [that] I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. (Zec 13:1) 

 

So we see that even God told them ahead of time – that there was coming a day when Miracles would end.

 Miracles to the church are like scaffolding to a building. Once the building has been completed you don’t need the scaffolding any more.

 The 2 passages we will deal with today are parallel passages.

  1. 1 Cor 13
  2. Eph 4

 1 CORINTHIANS 13

 (1Co 12:31)  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

 Paul talks about wanting the best gifts.

 (1Co 13:8)  Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.

There is coming a time when:

Prophecy – will fail

Tongues – will cease

Knowledge (supernatural) – will vanish away

 But Love will never stop.

 (1Co 13:9)  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

“in part” – shows imperfect knowledge.

Currently – Paul says- we (at that time) have imperfect knowledge.

 He may be saying something like: "I have been given a piece of the knowledge, and John has, and Peter has… so its like all these parts, must come together."

 (1Co 13:10)  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When the perfect is come- the “in part” will be done away.

             In Part                           Perfect

          Prophecies

          Tongues

  Knowledge (miraculous)

 That which is “in part” will be done away.  The miraculous gifts will be done away with.

 If you think of putting together a car… and we all have been given different parts. I have a carburetor, You have the starter, someone else has the tires, someone else has the … etc.

 Then we put all the pieces together – and it works perfectly. --- then once the car is COMPLETE – then there are no more needs for the  individual parts.

 I know the analogy is not exactly correct because someone would say, "but you could keep an extra starter in case your other one went bad…" but, when God builds it, it doesn’t need “extra” parts.

 (1Co 13:11)  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

 Now Paul uses an analogy –

     A child                         A man

     Childish things

 Paul says, the way he put away childish things when he became a man- so too would the church put away the miraculous.

 (1Co 13:12)  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

 Paul states:

Now during the “in part” times we look through a dark glass- not everything is fully revealed.

But – THEN (when the perfect is come) – we will see exactly what it is—it will be fully revealed.

 In Paul’s Day -the Word was being revealed – “in parts.”

One day it would be all fulfilled; Completed.

 The “perfect” in this chapter is not the Christ. For Christ had already been 'revealed in his life." 

The 'perfect' here refers to the Revealed Word of God.  

 The “in part” (miraculous) was to be done away when the perfect (full revelation) was come.

 (1Co 13:13)  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

 But even when the miraculous is done away – something will still be around.

Faith, Hope and Love.

Curtis Cates once stated that:  

Love is the greatest because it will last throughout all eternity.

Faith- we will not have to believe in the “unseen” any longer, so that kind of faith will
           not exist.

Hope- we will no longer need hope- for that which we have already attained.

Love – we will continue to have love throughout all eternity.

 

EPHESIANS 4

(Eph 4:7)  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

 (Eph 4:8)  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

 Christ ascended (Acts 1:9-11) and when He did – He led captivity captive. He defeated Satan and made possible the freedom of mankind from him.

it says he also "Gave gifts" unto men. Once he ascended back to the Father, He gave miraculous gifts unto man. (Acts 2:33)

 (Eph 4:9)  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

 He first descended – born of a virgin. Later he was Killed, and buried into the lower parts of the earth.  (the Tomb) He then ascended.

 (Eph 4:10)  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

 Paul says: The same one that descended is the one who ascended. And in so doing, he fulfilled all the Old Testament scriptures.

 (Eph 4:11)  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;


These reference the miraculous gifts that Christ gave through the laying on of the Apostle's hands. But why? Why did he give miraculous abilities to these men?

 (Eph 4:12)  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

For the perfecting of the saints – to perfect the church. This young church needed these miraculous gifts, (to confirm the Word) until the perfect (completed revelation) came. He gave them gifts for the perfecting of the church the edifying (building up) of the body of Christ.

 (Eph 4:13)  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 The word "till" shows that there is a specific time when these would pass. When?  When “we all attain (ASV) – come to the unity of the Faith.”

To review a couple of points:  What was "in part" mentioned by Paul? The miraculous gifts. When did they cease? Once he (the church) became a full grown (perfect) man.

 (Eph 4:14)  That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

So one day the church would “outgrow” the miracles. They would have complete revelation, and not every wind of doctrine could persuade the Christians.

 (Eph 4:15)  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:

We today are expected to be the “grown up” church.

 (Eph 4:16)  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 All these miracles were good for what they were. But they would lead to the complete revelation and not be needed any more.

 Summary of what these passages teach:

  1. Apostles laid hands on people to pass on the miraculous gifts.
    1. Once the last Apostle died, so to did transference of these gifts.
    2. Once the last person on whom they laid their hands died, the miraculous gifts died.
  2. God would guide THE APOSTLES into all truth.
    1. John 14:26
    2. John 16:13
    3. When John (the last living apostle) died – revelation was complete.
  3. James 1:5 tells us that we have the perfect law of liberty
  4. The Perfect Word of God is supposed to mature us – to keep us from being swayed by false teaching.

 Today, we have been blessed with The Completed Revelation, written in the New Testament,  something even the Prophets did not have. Since that is the case, then miracles have ceased.

  

PROVEN: Minor Premise:

Miraculous healing is no longer available today

PROVEN: Major and Minor Premise:

The cure for demon possession was miraculous healing (Major Premise)

Miraculous healing is no longer available today (Acts 8:17-19; 1 Cor 13:8-13; Eph 4:7-16) (Minor Premise)

Conclusion:

Therefore the cure for demon possession is no longer available today.

 

PROVEN: Syllogism #2

The cure for demon possession was miraculous healing

Miraculous healing is no longer available today

Therefore the cure for demon possession is no longer available today.

 

Syllogism #3

 

Today, God has promised that he would not allow man be tested, beyond our capability. (1 Cor 10:13)

Miraculous Healing is beyond our capability (proven from Syllogism #2)

Therefore today, God will not allow man to be tested, if it involves Miraculous Healing

Major Premise:

Today, God has promised that he would not allow man be tested, beyond our capability. (1 Cor 10:13)

 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor. 10:13)

To Be Tempted

peirazō

  to try whether a thing can be done

  1. to attempt, endeavour

  to try, make trial of, test: for the purpose of ascertaining his quality, or what he thinks, or how he will behave himself

  1. in a good sense
  2. in a bad sense, to test one maliciously, craftily to put to the proof his feelings or judgments
  3. to try or test one's faith, virtue, character, by enticement to sin

To be tempted: - “to be tested, to make a trial....”

So we see then that, whatever the test is, God has provided a way for every person to escape.

 

PROVEN: Major Premise

Today, God has promised that he would not allow man be tested, beyond our capability. (1 Cor 10:13)

Minor Premise:

Miraculous Healing is beyond our capability

PROVEN: Minor Premise: (proven from Syllogism #2)

The cure for demon possession was miraculous healing

Miraculous healing is no longer available today

Therefore the cure for demon possession is no longer available today.

PROVEN: Syllogism #3

Today, God has promised that he would not allow man be tested, beyond our capability. (1 Cor 10:13)

Miraculous Healing is beyond our capability (proven from Syllogism #2)

Therefore today, God will not allow man to be tested, if it involves Miraculous Healing

 

Syllogism #4

 

The Cure for Demon possession involves Miraculous Healing

But God will not allow man to be tested if it involves Miraculous Healing

Therefore, God will not allow man to be tested with Demon possession.

 

Major Premise:

The Cure for Demon possession involves Miraculous Healing

Proven from Syllogism #2

The cure for demon possession was miraculous healing

Miraculous healing is no longer available today

Therefore the cure for demon possession is no longer available today.

PROVEN: MAJOR PREMISE

The Cure for Demon possession involves Miraculous Healing

Minor Premise:

But God will not allow man to be tested if it involves Miraculous Healing

Proven from Syllogism #3

Today, God has promised that he would not allow man be tested, beyond our capability. (1 Cor 10:13)

Miraculous Healing is beyond our capability (proven from Syllogism #2)

Therefore today, God will not allow man to be tested, if it involves Miraculous Healing

 

Conclusion:

Therefore, God will not allow man to be tested with Demon possession.

 

PROVEN: Syllogism #4

The Cure for Demon possession involves Miraculous Healing

But God will not allow man to be tested if it involves Miraculous Healing

Therefore, God will not allow man to be tested with Demon possession.

 

Therefore it is proven:

Demon possession was allowed to show God’s power over Satan  (1 John 3:8, Jn 12:31-32),

God’s power over Satan was shown by miraculous healing. (Mt.9:32-33; 12:22-23; Mk 3:14-15; Lk.4:36; 10:17-20; Acts 10:38)

Therefore, it was miraculous healing that cured demon possession.

 Again:

The cure for demon possession was miraculous healing

Miraculous healing is no longer available today (Acts 8:17-19; 1 Cor 13:8-13; Eph 4:7-16)

Therefore, the cure for demon possession is no longer available today.

 Further: 

Today, God has promised that he would not allow man be tested, beyond our capability. (1 Cor. 10:13)

Miraculous Healing is beyond our capability

Therefore, today, God will not allow man to be tested, if it involves Miraculous Healing

 We conclude then: 

The Cure for Demon possession involves Miraculous Healing

But God will not allow man to be tested if it involves Miraculous Healing

Therefore, God will not allow man to be tested with Demon possession.

 So it is proven, that Demon Possession does not plague mankind today. 

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