Confident Faith in God Stories

STORY #13--Demonization

    Posted by Klaus Issler on May 25, 2010

JESUS:     “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.’” 
(Matthew 21: 21-22)

      6.  Satan’s kingdom and demonic spirits.  Whether or not we like it, demons are very real and constitute part of the unseen supernatural world.  One of Jesus’ purposes for his incarnation was to destroy the works of the devil (Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 John 3:8).  And one way he diminished Satan’s kingdom and brought in the kingdom of God was by casting out demons (Matthew 12:26, 28).  We Westerners readily accept psychological explanations for a wide range of phenomena—for example, multiple personality disorders and schizophrenia—and we are correct in doing so.  But we would be foolish and quite naive to fail to avail ourselves of spiritual warfare principles and appeals to demonization when circumstances warrant it.  Our purpose here is not to provide detailed teaching about demonization and its recognition.1  Thus, we will have to be content with two brief points.  First, Christians and non-Christians alike can be oppressed and harmed by demons to one degree or another (e.g., Ephesians 4:26-27; James 3:15).  Second, when at least one of three criteria is satisfied, then one is justified in believing a demon is present: (1) the alleged demonized person cannot do things that scripture says cannot be done by a demon (e.g., confess Jesus as Lord); (2) during a deliverance session, the person expresses private (usually embarrassing) details of the life of someone in the prayer team, details that the demonized person simply could not have known; and (3) the presence of overt physical phenomena such as moving objects.
      As we said above, demons are real indeed.  A few years ago, a Biola University undergraduate began to experience sudden and unexpected episodes of a racing heart.  The episodes were so severe that she would pass out on the spot, sometimes in the middle of class.  She saw several doctors, underwent various tests, and no cause was found, so she wore a heart monitor to enable the doctors to gather more data on her condition.  Desperate for help, the student and a friend visited the office of Biola professor Clint Arnold.  Dr. Arnold is a world-renowned New Testament scholar and he is an authority on demons.  Dr. Arnold told me that when the girls entered his office, he clearly sensed an evil presence.  He offered a deliverance prayer, all three sensed the malevolent spirit’s departure, and the girl was instantly and irrevocable healed of the condition on the spot.  The incident was so incredible that it was reported in the Biola University student newspaper.

© J. P. Moreland and Klaus Issler, 2008.
In Search of a Confident Faith: Overcoming Barriers to Trusting in God, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity), pp. 157-58.

 “True faith is never found alone; it is always accompanied by expectations.
The man who believes the promise of God expects to see them fulfilled. Where there is no expectation there is no faith.” 

A. W. Tozer

God Tells the Man Who Cares
(Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1970), 37.
Dr. Klaus Issler