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June 20, 2005

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  • Was I demon-possessed? Was I a Christian?

Was I demon-possessed? Was I a Christian?

READER QUESTION:
I used to be in the pentecostal movement. I have stepped out of it. I was saved at the age of 18, but really did not attend a church for many years then I got caught up in the pentecostal churches.

Do you think I was demon possessed? Their were times when I would get excited and could do nothing but speak in tounges, usually after a church service. I do not speak in tounges any more. Now I have nothing to do with any pentecostal churches. The Lord has openened my eyes to their deception. I have also stopped listening to CCM music....etc.etc.

VW ANSWER:
First of all, and I get asked this from time to time: I cannot tell anyone if at some time in the past they were saved or not. I cannot tell about their past experiences if they were demon-possessed or not. I wasn't there. And for all the 'words' a person may write to describe something, written words are often imperfect in conveying emotional or spiritual experiences. Each person has a different way of putting thoughts into words, and the person reading may not fully glean the 'atmosphere', both spiritual and emotional, of the events as they happened.

Let us understand clearly (and this is why this question comes up) that a person CANNOT be both a Christian and demon-possessed at the same time. There are some who teach that it is possible.

But remember clearly that a Christian is one who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. By definition, if the Holy Spirit is not residing, they are not a Christian. "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His." (Rom8:9) It cannot be any clearer than that

One of the hallmarks of pentecostalism is that they get 'saved', and THEN they start praying to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It's what some call a "second blessing". They are 'saved', and NOW they need the Holy Spirit; so they -pray- for the "baptism of the Holy Ghost".

They take their doctrines from the -historical- book of Acts. They don't seem to understand that as Acts begins, the Church doesn't yet exist. Jesus is still on the earth and He has not yet sent the "Spirit of Truth" (Jn16:13) the "helper". (Jn16:7) If you read that passage: Apparently the Holy Spirit could not come as long as Jesus was here. So Jesus ascends to Heaven, telling them to wait, and 10 days later the Holy Spirit comes. (Acts ch1-2) And so in Acts are the accounts of the Holy Spirit being given to various categories of people, Jews (ch2), Samaritans (ch8) Gentiles (ch10), Jews of the dispersion (ch19) And the authenticating sign to the -Jews- who are doing this dispensing are the tongues (in understood languages & dialects Ac2:6,8) and prophesying (preaching: that people understood). Up until this time Jews think -they- are the main Godly enchilada. God always used "signs and wonders" to authenticate new things to Israel. (Is8:18) And so, as these various kinds of people are also becoming part of what grows into the universal Church, it is authenticated to the Jews by the new people displaying the same sign gifts they had experienced. (Ac15:8) But you will notice those passages are the only places where it records people preaching in tongues. Just as in the O.T. when some of the Spirit from Moses was given to the 70, they also prophesied, to prove to the people what had just happened; but once the "sign" had been given, "...they did not do so again" (Nu11:25) It was a one-time sign....just as "tongues" were in Acts. Except for Paul's discourse to Corinth -against- tongues (ch14), they are never again mentioned elsewhere in the N.T. in the doctrinal epistles. Tongues is NOT a "Church" doctrine. It was given for/against Israel...for Israel to see (authenticated) that the Gospel had been taken from them due to their rejection of Christ and the Holy Spirit, and given "to the Gentiles" (Ac7:51,22:21,28:28)

So... when pentecostals are 'praying' to receive the Holy Spirit... by that very act, by that very doctrine, by the testimony of their own mouths, they are proclaiming that they are not saved. If they are praying -for-, by logical deduction they DON'T -have-; thus.. they are not Christians. By definition of Rom8:9.

Salvation is by: "Repent and believe in the Gospel" (Mk1:15) "..repentance and remission of sins.." (Lk24:47) Not in praying to be "spirit-filled"; such a doctrine is not found in Scripture.

If you check the website "search" and scroll the 'left' box to words like charismatic, tongues, revival you will find past detailed writings describing true tongues experiences today as being demonic. How today's experiences of being "slain" are virtually identical to cases where Jesus cast out demons...that, of those demon-possessed, people would speculate that they appeared to be "dead". (Mk9:26) Thus today, true "spirit-filled" tongues and slayings -are- examples of demon-possession. The 'spirits' by which they are 'filled' are "unclean spirits" (Mt10:1,12:43, Mk1:23,3:11,etc) or... 'demons'

We have also boldly proclaimed that a True Believer CANNOT also be demon-possessed. God's Holy Spirit (Rom8:9) and demons cannot coexist within the same person. The demons were always afraid of Jesus, asking Him not to torment them prematurely. Even logically speaking, why would demons 'want' to indwell a person who has God's Holy Spirit? As long as God's Holy Spirit indwells, the promise regarding the "power of the enemy" is that "nothing shall by any means hurt you" (Lk10:19) In the account Jesus teaches, it is the house that is "empty, swept and put in order" into which the "unclean spirit" takes fellow demon buddies and indwells (Mt12:43-45) Thus, also, it does no good to conduct an alleged 'exorcism' if the person is not also going to be saved and receive Christ; otherwise, other demons will just take their place.


So... with that as background summary and introduction (it's been awhile since we've addressed this, so it's sometimes good to be reminded)...

What about the various 'experiences' different people have had? What if they were "saved" when they had an experience? If they had an 'experience' does that mean they were demon-possessed? If they were "saved" when they had the experience, and to have the experience is "demon-possession", then how does that match up to the claim that a Christian CANNOT be demon-possessed?

It depends on the 'heart' before God and the adjective that was used, "true". TRUE Believer vs TRUE tongues/slaying experiences.


First of all, regarding the person doing the questioning... are/were they a TRUE BELIEVER? Never forget that Jesus speaks of the "few" who make it, and it is the rest of the 'church' going down the "broad way" to "destruction" that will be crying out: Didn't we do all sorts of wonderful ministry and miracles "in Your name"? to whom he says, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who work out lawlessness!" (Mt7:13-23) Those doing things "in Jesus name" are not Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Voodooists, etc. This is talking about that which is called the "church"; that which claims to be "christian". A lot of people have gone forward at Graham and Palau crusades and now think they are saved. A lot of people have been victims of soul-winners who told them to "repeat after me", and were thereupon declared "saved", especially if they then regularly attended church, sang the songs happily, carrying along their KJV Bible. Some people have walked the aisle at invitation time how many umpteen countless times "just-to-be-sure" and "think that they will be heard for their many words" (Mt6:7) But they are NOT -really- saved! Not in their hearts. They have never been met by Jesus Christ, faced the sin of their heart, repented, confessed and forsaken their sin (Pr28:13) and "received" Jesus' cleansing blood on their behalf. (Jn1:12, 1Pet1:18-19, Rev1:5, Tit3:5)

So... if you are asking the question, were/are you a TRUE Believer? I cannot answer that. That is something only you and the Lord know for sure. (Heb4:12-13, Ac15:8, Ps139:1-2)


And so, of that 'experience' you had...

Was it a TRUE (demonic) experience? Or was it no more a -real- 'tongues' experience than those 'salvation' experiences of those who go forward repeatedly at altar calls? If many people are continually going forward but not really being saved, is it not equally likely that many having tongues experiences are not actually experiencing the real thing?

Both Salvation and demonic experiences are matters of the heart. A True Believer is thus, "of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter (of the deeds of the Law)" (Rom2:29) It is not something that is visible to man, but to God. And True demon possession is also of the heart.

Many people continually go to church, and participate in the church's activities, and it is assumed they are saved. In similar manner, many participate in the -activities- of babbling with their mouths, making noises, and falling to the floor, and so it is assumed they are speaking in tongues and being slain. But just as the one is often NOT 'real', so too for the other. Just because you see somebody singing the worship songs, dreamily fluttering their eyelids Heavenward, hanging their hands limp at the ends of their upraised arms where their elbows are lazily propped against their sides, doesn't mean they are TRULY "spirit-filled" (demon-possessed). They may be experiencing nothing more than a nice time of emotional 'relaxation'. The same way those others may be doing nothing more than getting pumped up emotionally to get their -emotional- 'batteries' charged up...as the cheer leaders on the platform do their Oprah routine to get everybody feeling happy and 'smiling'. For either of these, they could just as easily sit on the porch swing to relax, or go for a vigorous walk, and receive the same benefits!

As we addressed in last week's Q/A mailing (not posted to the website) how many are 'taught', and 'learn' the -technique- how to utter gibberish with their mouths. But then, so do jazz singers with their 'scat' singing. That is not TRUE demon-possessed 'tongues'.

Having been saved since age 5, I don't know (experientially) what it is like to be demon-possessed. But based on the account in Mk9:26, and Paul's teaching in the other direction; Paul says, "And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." (1Co14:32) the context suggests that he is countering the demonic experiences where the one possessed is -NOT- in control of the demon/s.

Thus, a TRUE (demonic) 'tongues' experience would have to be a scenario where the person cannot help themselves, but are overpowered by the residing spirits, and they cannot help BUT jabber with their mouths. And when they are actually uttering a language that somebody else in the room happens to know, it usually consists of cursing and blasphemies against God. When they are slain, it would be like those who testify about the experience, where they were 'aware' of themselves being strewn on the floor, but could not of their own free-will make themselves move or get up.

Was -that- your experience? If so, you -were- demon-possessed, and you were NOT 'saved'.

If that was not your experience, then perhaps you were merely caught up in the 'emotions' of the meeting, much like spectators at a sports event get caught up in the frenzy of the competition and the crowd surrounding them...the "mob psychology" that often causes people to do things that, were they by themselves, would never otherwise dream of doing? Just like a dog might be friendly to a neighbor...but get it in a pack of other dogs...its behavior changes due to the "pack mentality" and it will snarl at that same neighbor? The person (above) spoke of being "excited" and then doing the "tongues". Perhaps it was merely an 'emotional' reaction, doing what they saw others doing?

Understand clearly: emotions and spirit are not the same thing. Just because you may feel emotionally pious does not equate with being filled with God's Holy Spirit. In the opposite direction, just because you have an emotional experience of jibber-jabber doesn't necessarily mean it was demon-possession.

Or, like with last week's Q/A, and a close relative to these preceding paragraphs, was it 'learned' and 'contrived'....to fit in with the group? If so, it was not the REAL thing. It was not demon-possession. And I suppose, if a TRUE Believer was in a state of being backslidden... perhaps they could contrive such behavior? Who knows.

But if it is God's -true- Holy Spirit in a person, a True Believer; such a person will not have a -true- demon-possessed experience. It is spiritually impossible. "No one is able to serve two masters... (Mt6:24)

Amen.

Q/A -Tired of VW saying, "Christians are not Christians"


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