When someone asks me if a “Christian can be possessed”, it reveals a lack of understanding on this particular subject.
In order to understand the answer to this question, we must first understand the definition of the word “possessed” and the biblical application of it. The word “possessed” used in the Bible was actually the word demonized. And when used in its original language simply means “to be under the influence of an evil spirit”.
Today, we have a much different variation of this word (we can probably thank Hollywood for that) which implies “to be totally and completely controlled and overtaken by an evil spirit”. These definitions reveal an intense contrast between them.
Both are varying degrees of demonization (under the influence of an evil spirit at any degree).
Demonization manifests in varying degrees.
The word “demonized” means the devil has a stronghold over an individual in any particular area. The devil’s hold on a person can have varying degrees. For instance, we can see the woman who simply was hunched over (in Luke 13:10-13), as a result of having an unclean spirit. This woman wasn’t mad. She wasn’t living in the graveyards like the demoniac of the Gadarenes. But she too was “under the influence” (or power) of an unclean spirit.
Light and Darkness
I believe the biggest struggle that most people have in the area of a Christian having a demon is believing that the Bible says light cannot dwell with darkness. This is actually a misinterpretation of scripture. What the scripture actually says is…
“What communion does light have with darkness?”. 2 Cor. 6:14
See, light and darkness will never get along, and that’s clear. In this context, Paul is discussing why believers should not associate with unbelievers, because they do not get along. But he is not stating, nor does scripture imply that God and the devil (or angels and demons) cannot both be in the same place at the same time. It just states that they are at war with one another.
The Evil Within
The Apostle Paul says that evil is within him as a born again believer. Romans 7:21
See… Christians have known for quite some time that the flesh is the fallen state of man. The “old man” as many would describe.
Paul described his body as a “body of death” and that a personality lived inside of him that desired evil. Even though he was born again. So we know biblically that sin and the Holy Spirit can live in the same vessel. He also stated “in my flesh dwells NO GOOD THING”.
When Paul describes this personality within him that “desires” and “inspires” (paraphrase taken from his descriptive context), he says on TWO separate occasions that you CANNOT say that it is the Apostle Paul who is doing this, but another entity (sin) that lives within him.
Those 2 occasions can be found in Romans 7:17 and Romans 7:20
This helps us understand that Biblically, light and darkness are indeed cohabitating within the same vessel. I would add that they are within different chambers of that vessel though.
The Three Chambers of Our Vessel
The Bible says God gave instructions on how to build the Old Testament Temple that was to contain His Holy Spirit. This was for a reason. It was a “shadow” (prophetic symbolism) of the end goal. I believe the Temple that God instructed men to make was a foreshadowing replica of the temple that God would live in, in the New Testament. As the scripture says He will eventually not dwell in a temple made with hands, but He will dwell in us. Yet, the Old Testament temple was made up of three segments, as we are also. The description of this is explained in Hebrews 9:8
The Old Testament Temple was made up of the “outer court”, the “inner court”, and then the “holy of holies”. The Spirit of God did not dwell in all three parts of this Temple, but only in the innermost part (holy of holies). The same goes for us. Jesus said out of our “innermost being” is where the Spirit of God lives. The scripture also says that when we are born again, our spirit (represents the holy of holies/or innermost part of our being) “becomes one with the Holy Spirit”. 1Cor. 6:17
The other two parts of our temple would consist of our body (physical health) and soul (mental and emotional health). The soul and body are the two chambers I believe the enemy has illegal access to. Yes illegal, because the Blood of Christ is the eviction notice. The evicted just needs to be served notice now by the church. Ephesians 3:10
The Duality of Scriptures
Now this is where many get into trouble. Because they quote single scriptures as entire truths, rather than using the sum of all the other scriptures together to form truths.
For example, where scripture describes this “old man” is dead (Galatians 5:24) and rightfully so. In order to understand this, we must understand the “duality” of certain scriptures. For example Paul says he crucifies the flesh daily. 1 Corinthians 15:31.
“By His stripes, we were healed” is a more common scripture reference I use to describe a duality of understanding.
Even though we have been healed by the stripes of Jesus, this does not mean that Christians cannot get sick, because we can clearly see they do. Yet, we contend for the healing based on the Promise in the Word of God. We walk by faith and not by sight… why? Because what actually manifests in this world does not always line up with God’s word and His Promises and they must be warred for by faith.
You’re either sick or well, in bondage or free.
In the Bible, they simply recognized an individual was in bondage (in an area of their life) by the devil or they were free in that area (ie: mental, emotional, or physical health). In the Bible, being delivered of an unclean spirit was similar to a sick person being healed, in the sense that… they didn’t really emphasize as to whether they were saved or unsaved, or baptised in the Holy Ghost or not.
They simply focused on whether they were sick or well, in bondage or in torment.
The Spirit Realm Encompasses All Other Realms
I believe everything is rooted in the spiritual realm. Yes, everything. God even showed us that even yielding crops (natural realm) can be contingent on curse versus blessing. God shows us over and over again what blessing looks like in the natural and what curse looks like all throughout the Bible and they ALL manifest into the natural realm. I believe it is our carnally trained mind that argues this based on what we’ve grown up on.
The Bible says that the carnal mind is enmity with God and we must first allow the Word of God to be our foundation rather than trying to interpret the Word of God through another foundation. So when I say the Atonement of Christ includes emotional, physical, and mental, I believe it is because they are all rooted in the spirit realm. After all, one example is the scripture reveals God has given us a “spirit” of a sound mind (mental realm rooted in the spirit).
The atonement of Christ encompasses the healing of ALL mankind in EVERY area of life (mental, physical, and emotional), so long as they receive Him by faith. These three areas of healing are accessed by faith alone just as anything else in Christ. Galatians 3:5
Foundational Truth verses Positional Truth
Are people automatically healed since Jesus paid for it? Yes, and no (duality). See, the promise is the “foundational truth” and the manifestation of the promise is the “positional truth”.
What’s another positional truth? A Christian can be sick.
Even though we have been healed by His stripes, sickness still attacks Christians. This is why we are to walk by faith and not by sight. So then we contend for the finished work of Jesus to manifest in our life through prayer and exercising our authority in Christ.
Jesus suffered so we could be healed. This is the Good News! It doesn’t mean we have to question someone’s salvation if they fall sick, right?
We know Timothy had frequent infirmities according to Paul’s letter to him. We also know he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
It is clear that Timothy, possessed the Holy Spirit and sickness in the same vessel.
Was Timothy healed by Jesus’ stripes? Of course.
And have Christians been translated out of darkness and into God’s marvelous light? Absolutely.
This is where we can have a balanced understanding of God’s Word.
There is a foundational truth that becomes positional by faith.
Get delivered and healed in any area you are in need because it is Christ’s portion for you!