Signs of Demonic Influence and Oppression

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, and it will flee from us. (James 4:7)

Apparent signs of demonic influence

  • Diagnosed with neurosis manifested in chronic anxiety, depression, or anhedonia.
  • Vocal hatred for God and being prayed over.
  • Constant suicidal thoughts or self-harm.
  • Refuses to admit to being a sinner who needs God.
  • Demonic Possession is different. It manifests in changing voice, changing eyes, and other satanic manifestations such as levitation and supernatural strength.

Nonobvious signs of demonic influence

  • Irrational fears
  • Inferiority
  • Feelings of rejections
  • Mental accusations
  • Self-condemnation
  • Eating disorder
  • Difficulty in praying
  • Unrestrained anger
  • Prolonged bitterness
  • Unforgiveness
  • Porn addiction
  • Alcohol and drug addiction

Who and what kind of Christians can be possessed or influenced by Satan?

1. Lukewarm Christians

Jesus will spit out lukewarm Believers (Revelations 3:16-18). These Christians have not experienced genuine repentance but embraced cheap grace. The reason they are neither hot nor cold.

  • 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 choose to live a lifestyle of sin. Most common of which is embracing the lust of the flesh. Hence, the devil can control them. For example, Ravi Zacharias and Bill Hybels justified sin by abusing God’s grace.

  • Satan had nothing on Jesus when he tempted Him. In contrast, the enemy can use blatant disobedience to disable Christians.
  • Sin gives Satan a reason to condemn us—a lie that blinds us to forget who we are in Christ.
  • A lifestyle of sin can enable Satan to get a toehold, foothold, and eventually a stronghold where it’s difficult to break free.

Case and point: Jill, a professing Christian possessed by demons

As Karl Payne writes in his book 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, and she yelled profanities about Jesus. The devil had possessed her.

3. Mere Believers who follow a ‘different Jesus’

We cannot claim to be true Christians but hold on to ‘little gods’ at the same time. For example, we cannot worship Jesus but call on idols, even if they were made in the image of heavenly beings. That would be like worshipping the anti-Christ.

  • If Jesus has not transformed you into a new creation, your faith is dead (2 Corinthians 5:17; James 2:17)
  • Without Jesus, you belong 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.

He read the Bible, believed in Jesus, read the Book of Mormons, practiced astral projection, I Ching, and had three men appear in his bedroom to enable his healing power. In short, his faith belonged to the god of the world, who is Satan.


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