A. A born-again believer cannot be possessed by demons because he is possessed by Christ. He can, however, still have demonic strongholds which enable demons to have access to him to harrass, mislead and distress him.
There is a difference between salvation (having the blood-covering of Christ which makes us right with Yahweh) and sanctification (which is the process by which we become owned by Christ within by having the carnal nature fully crucified and which allows the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) take up full residence. The New Testament speaks of at least seven overcomings (Rev.2:7, etc.) we must work through to qualify for a place in the Eternal City:
Demons gain access to us because we believe and practice lies. There are many New Testament passages which warn believers about this and of the possibility of falling. We are told that the Gospel is a Path or a Way (e.g. Ac.9:2; Jn.14:6), and a race which we must complete (Ac.20:24; 2 Tim.4:7), enduring trials and tribulations if necessary (Jn.16:33). We are not told that we can sit back and relax once we have received the blood-covering because there is always the possibility of losing it if we are not responsive in obedience to the Ruach (Spirit), though Yahweh is generous in extending long periods of grace to us. We are not 'cut down' the moment we sin or rebel - but there is a time-limit (known only to Him) and consequences for law-breaking (forgiveness not withstanding). We are, as the Apostle Paul wrote, to "work out (y)our own salvation in fear and trembling" (Phil.2:12). The Gospel Way is not easy. But it is absolutely worth it.
"Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie" (Rev.22:14-16, NKJV).
I am a deliverance minister, born-again nearly 30 years ago, and been an active Christian ever since that time. Yet I have had my struggles. I have discovered lies in my life and have had to deal with them. I discovered one yesterday evening - and found a demon too. I want to tell you about that now.
Many years ago when I was a single young man I fell in love with a girl called Katarina (not her real name). I was determined to marry her. At this time I believed in many wrong doctrines and believed I was being led by the Ruach (Spirit) when sometimes it was my own unredeemed passions leading. I was so determined that Katarina was the 'right one' that I sought by every means to justify that belief. Every feeling of my heart I presumed was God talking to me and convinced myself that my own desires were the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit).
Katarina was a very nice girl though with a number of spiritual issues but I didn't care. I had set my heart on her and was determined to recruit Yahweh to my cause. I believed a lie and in my own heart 'made' Yahweh the author of it. The relationship didn't work out. She was not interested in me and with a broken heart had to accept her decision. But in my spirit I continued to believe that she was ordained by Yahweh to be mine. For some reason that lie was never dealt with and was quietly forgotten ... together with the demonic attachment.
Last night my wife Emma (not her real name) and I were having a long and deeply spiritually satisfying discussion about many things. We were reviewing some of our contacts in deliverance ministry that day and the things we had learned. We prayed for each other and then went to sleep. As I lay awake thinking about Yahweh I saw an intense vision of Katarina. It greatly suprised me. "Katarina!" I exclaimed. "Is it really you?"
Now anyone in their "right mind" would know that it could not have been Katarina. Besides, if it had been, something would have been wrong because the only way she could have been present would have been by astral projection or viā a psychic link, both of which are forbidden and the latter only allowed in marriage. And I was not married to Katarina. So already I was in a delusional spirit believing a lie even if it was only for about 15 seconds. The shere intensity of the vision was what captivated and spiritually destabilised me.
Then I realised that something had to be wrong, for the reasons given above. As I looked intently at the appartion in front of me I noticed that features in 'her' face began to change. The more I stared so disbelief began to arise in my soul and I realised something was wrong. I sensed a lying spirit at work. 'Katarina' proceeded to change, within 5-10 seconds, into something very different. I was looking face-to-face at a demon. It was stationary save for its mouth - it was moving its tongue rapidly from side to side like some primitive peoples do, a common demonic gesture indicating that this was a devouring and perverse spirit. I sensed that it had been there a long time and could see that it was brimming with self-confidence. It sincerely believed - having been there for so long - that it was there to stay. It certainly had no intention of leaving voluntarily.
I had to gather my wits quickly since I was myself coming out of a deluslional atmosphere and into plain reality, and that can be momentarily disorientating. The demon knew that it briefly had the advantage of me and wanted me to panic by running away. But I stood my ground and continued looking into the face of this vile creature. I reflexly went into deliverance mode. I began by declaring that what I had believed about Katarina was a lie and asked Yahweh to reveal all other lies connected with her. I renounced her as my God-given wife-to-be (something that I had never done), repented of believing in the lie, and took authority over the demon in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name and by the power of His blood. There was a sudden stirring and much confusion for a while as the demon resisted and threw up a cloud of some sort so I could no longer see it. I bound it and cast it out.
That done, I made a declaration to myself and to Yahweh that I wished all remaining lies in my life to be dismantled and dissolved. It is at moments like these that a lot of valuable spiritual 'in-house cleaning' can be usefully done and I was determined to make the best of it.
As I made my declaration in the Name of Christ I saw a vision of a landscape consisting of many trees. The vision was as intense and clear as the original one which the 'Katarina-demon' vision had been. All around were trees and stumps of trees. I had asked Yahweh to fell all lie-trees and uproot them. All around the landscape were stumps and evidence of uprooted trees which were the lies of my past that had been taken care of. The other trees that I could see were apparently true trees. I remember seeing in microscopic detail the bark on one of them.
Then a great stirring began to take place within me. I felt my soul 'expand' and could see 'new terrain' as though the redeemed me had been given access to previously unredeemed territory. I felt my borders expand, as it were. It was a most exhilarating feeling, like swelling in size. I was still in vision and could see this new landscape now cleared of the demonic presence. I at once claimed it as the possession first of myself and then of the Lord Yah'shua (Jesus) and asked the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) to take up residency.
The sense of peace and inner satisfaction afterwards was indescribable. Though it was not remotely like my original born-again experience it was definitely a 'continuation' of it. I knew that I had 'overcome' a lie and expelled an enemy. I lay in my bed as though in the most luxurious and soft bed that ever existed. It was suddenly unbelievably comfortable. I didn't want to move because I was so content and at length drifted off to sleep.
Do Christians have demons? Oh yes - if they believe in any lie - whether they 'practice' it or not, that gives demons legal grounds to be present in what ever degree the lie allows them to be present. It means that there is a portion of soul-territory that still belongs to the devil and not to Christ. The process of overcoming is dealing with all lie-based issues - be they behavioural and/or physical actions - and getting rid of them through deliverance. Christ is the deliverer. The blood of Christ is the bondage-breaker.
To believe that we have no demons while we continue to believe or practice lies is itself a legal ground for demonic activity. I have met many such people. Their lives bespeak demonic problems but they will not admit it because it contradicts their false theology. False doctrine is without a doubt a major problem even if Christians don't think it is, because false doctrine equals lies, and lies equals demonic rights. It is the truth that sets us free
Please notice that it is not love that makes us free but truth. Love cannot find a nesting ground or multiply in purity unless truth is present. This is a trap that so many Christians fall into. Love is not the first principle of deliverance - truth is. Love flows naturally from truth, not the other way round. And a reason this is so is because there are many different kinds of 'love'. Peter thought he was loving Yah'shua (Jesus) when he tried to stop Him going to Jerusalem to die but in actual fact was making himself an adversary to Yahweh's will and plan for salvation. Any kind of 'love' - however well-intended - that overturns the Truth is not 'true love' but a counterfeit. And counterfeit love is something demons exploit. That is why Yah'shua (Jesus) said to Peter: "Get behind me, Satan!" (Mk.8:33) In engaging warm feelings with a lie he gave Satan place in his heart. Even Judas thought he was doing good in betraying Yah'shua (Jesus) for he believed the lie that in doing things his way (by 'forcing' the Master's hand as he supposed) he could demonstrate to the nation that Yah'shua (Jesus) truly was the Messiah (Christ). As we know, however, the result of this midguided and false love was that Satan possessed him and he became a son of perdition.
"As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. Then Yah'shua (Jesus) said to those Judeans (Jews) who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:30-32, NKJV).
This is perhaps the main principle of deliverance ministry: the pre-eminence of Truth. By setting it in first place does not, of course, mean putting true love aside. You can't deliver without love either. Love is the first commandment - love of God and love of neighbour, but that commandment cannot be known until the truth of it is revealed! Many separate the 'love God' part from it and 'love man' only. That is not love. That leads to certain deception and demonic issues.
Having demonic issues such as the one I have described to you does not mean that you are not born-again, does not mean you are not saved, does not mean that you are not a Christian. It means that you are a blood-purchased Christian-in-the-making, called to overcome the last holds of Satan in your life (the 'mopping-up' operations), called to continue working out your salvation in fear and trembling (Phil.2:12), conforming yourself more and more day by day into the image of Christ by making every thought captive for Him (2 Cor.10:5), becoming more obedient as evidence that you are possessed of true and not counterfeit love (Jn.14:15; 2 Jn.6), and fulfilling the commandment to be a perfect human being (Jn.17:23; Mt.5:48).