Obvious and non-obvious signs of demonic influence, demonization, oppression, or possession
Not everything is demonic. Don’t credit Satan for the problematic consequences of sin. Christians cannot rebuke the devil—only God can (Jude 1:9). Instead, we must resist his temptations, such as fear, which will flee from us. (James 4:7)
Apparent signs of demonic influence
- Neurosis manifested in chronic anxiety, depression, or anhedonia.
- Vocal hatred for God and being prayed over.
- Constant suicidal thoughts or self-harm.
- Demonic Possession is different. It manifests in changing voice, changing eyes, and other satanic manifestations such as levitation and supernatural strength.
Possible signs of demonic influence
- Irrational fears or inferiority
- Feelings of rejections
- Mental accusations
- Eating disorder
- Difficulty in praying
- Unrestrained anger
- Strong rebellion
- Prolonged bitterness
- Vengeance and unforgiveness
- Porn or masturbation addiction
- Alcohol and drug addiction
Who and what kind of Christians can be possessed or influenced by Satan?
1. Lukewarm Christians
- They speak of Christ as Lord and savior yet spend little time knowing Him or reading the Bible.
- Satan can easily influence an idle mind or those who do nothing about their faith. Faith without work is dead. (James 2:17)
- A lukewarm Christian cannot be God’s child but of the world, whose ruler is Satan.
2. Christians who choose to live a sinful lifestyle
These Christians succumbed to a lifestyle of sin. The most common are those in an inappropriate and highly sexual relationships. For example, Ravi Zacharias and Bill Hybels justified sin by abusing God’s grace.
- Satan had nothing on Jesus when he tempted Him. The enemy tries to disable Christians through constant temptation.
- Sin gives our adversary a reason to condemn us—a lie that blinds us to forgetting who we are in Christ.
- A lifestyle of sin allows Satan to get a toehold, a foothold, and eventually a stronghold where exorcism may be necessary.
Case and point: Jill, a professing Christian possessed by demons
Author Karl Payne wrote about a young lady who loved Jesus and knew Bible verses; anxiety and depression always haunted her. She is also weak-willed and deliberately chooses to compromise her faith.
During her talk therapy, Payne read 1 John 4 but never made it to verse six. Jill’s eyes crossed and rolled back, yelling profanities about Jesus. The devil had possessed her.
3. Christians who follow a ‘different Jesus’
We can claim to follow Christ but hold on to ‘little gods’ at the same time. Anything that takes us away from worshiping God is a form of idolatry.
The worship of carved images of Mary, Santo Nino, or the saints is idolatry in the Bible. Without the real Jesus, a person belongs to the world whose ruler is Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Case and point: “The Christian healer”
Dr. Karl Payne, the author of Spiritual Deliverance, told a story about a healer who claims to be a Christian. He boasted of his God-given gifts.
While he was talking to Dr. Payne, he went into a trance. His eyes turned white, and when asked which Jesus he served, it was not from Nazareth.
The “Christian healer” read the Bible and the cultic Book of Mormons. He practiced astral projection and I Ching, which are rooted in sorcery. He claimed to have three men appear in his bedroom, which gave him healing powers. Ex-satanist John Ramirez also had men appear in his bedroom.