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Devil Possession, Mental Illness, and Bad Behavior (Part 1)

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An indented copy of the outline in both Word and PDF formats is attached below.

To Listen on YouTube, click here: Devil Possession, Mental Illness, and Bad Behavior (Part 1)

Devil Possession, Mental Illness, and Bad Behavior

I. This study will attempt to answer the following questions from the scripture:
1. Is devil possession real?
2. Can a child of God be possessed by a devil?
3. How can a person be delivered from devil possession?
4. Is mental illness real?
5. Can one's circumstances cause mental illness?
6. Can bad or strange behavior be mistaken for devil possession or mental illness?
7. Can bad behavior cause mental illness?
8. Can devil possession be mistaken for mental illness?
9. How can we tell if a person is possessed by a devil, is mentally ill, or is just behaving sinfully?

II. Devil possession is real (Mat 8:16).
1. Devils and unclean spirits are two names for the same thing (Mar 5:12-13; Mar 7:25-26).
2. There are two types of devil possession.
3. Sometimes devils possess a person to make them act insanely and self-destructively.
A. This is the most obvious of the two.
B. There are many examples of this in the Bible, such as:
i. The wild men of the Gergesenes/Gadarenes (Mat 8:28; Mar 5:1-5; Luk 8:26-27).
ii. The boy who was possessed of a devil that threw him into the fire and into the water, tore and bruised him, and made him foam at the mouth (Mat 17:15,18; Luk 9:38-42).
C. Devil possession can also manifest itself by physical ailments such as blindness and dumbness (Mat 9:32; Mat 12:22).
D. Devils can inflict severe pain on the person whom they are possessing (Mar 9:17-18,20,22,26).
E. Unclean spirits vex people (Act 5:16).
F. Vex v. - 1. trans. To trouble, afflict, or harass (a person, etc.) by aggression, encroachment, or other interference with peace and quiet.
G. A person who is possessed of a devil is not in their right mind (Mar 5:15).
4. Sometimes devils possess a person to inspire them to do Satan's will.
A. This is the "cleaner" version of devil possession.
B. This type of possession can include:
i. Possession of kings and rulers who execute Satan's bidding.
a. The kings of Persia and Greece had devils animating them (Dan 10:13,20).
(i) This can be reasonably concluded because they were formidable foes of the angel which spoke to Daniel (Dan 10:13).
(ii) No man is a match for an angel (2Ki 19:35).
b. The rulers of the Jews and Romans were inspired by the devil to conspire against Christ (Act 4:25-27).
c. They were under Satan's power of darkness (Luk 22:53 c/w Eph 6:12).
ii. Possession of preachers who preach Satan's doctrine.
a. Satan's ministers are ministers of righteousness (2Co 11:13-15).
b. They preach doctrines of devils (1Ti 4:1).
iii. Possession of others in order for them to do Satan's will.
a. The devil put it in Judas' heart to betray Christ (Joh 13:2).
b. Satan entered into Judas to get the job done (Joh 13:27).
5. The generation of Christ's day were filled with devils (Mat 12:45).
A. This is because they had made a covenant with the devil (Isa 28:14-18).
B. God destroyed them for it (Isa 28:18 c/w Mat 23:33-38).

III. Can a child of God be possessed by a devil?
1. Possessed ppl. adj. - 1. a. Occupied; held as property; taken possession of, seized, assumed 2. a. Inhabited and controlled by a demon or spirit; demoniac, lunatic, mad, crazy.
2. A child of God has the Spirit of God dwelling in him (Rom 8:9).
A. From this, one might conclude that a child of God cannot be possessed by a devil or unclean spirit because he is under the control of the Holy Spirit and could not therefore be controlled by an unclean spirit.
B. The Spirit of God that dwells in a child of God doesn't control him like a hand in a glove though.
i. A good example of this is that our human nature (our flesh) wars against the Spirit of God which is within us (Gal 5:16-17), and it (the flesh) often wins (Rom 7:14-23).
ii. The flesh sometimes brings our spirit into captivity (Rom 7:23).
iii. Captivity - 1. The condition of a captive; the state of being held prisoner by an enemy or conqueror
iv. The flesh (the sinful human nature) of a child of God can conquer and take possession of him.
v. Therefore, the Spirit of God dwelling in him can relinquish control of the person if He chooses to.
C. If the Spirit of God can relinquish control of a child of God and allow his flesh to take over, then the Spirit of God could likewise relinquish control of a child of God and let an unclean spirit control (possess) him.
D. An illustration of this is when the Spirit of God departed from Saul and an evil spirit troubled him (1Sa 16:14).
3. The devil can take a child of God captive (2Ti 2:26).
A. Captive adj. - 1. a. Taken prisoner in war, or by force; kept in confinement or bondage.
B. Being taken captive and being possessed are synonymous.
4. There were numerous people out of whom Jesus cast devils who immediately or later showed evidence of being a child of God, such as:
A. The man of the Gadarenes (Mar 5:1-20; Luk 8:38-39).
B. Mary Magdalene (Mar 16:9; Luk 8:2-3).
C. It appears that a child of God can be possessed of a devil which will prevent them from coming to Jesus in faith to be healed (see Section X, 1), but once the devil is cast out of them, they can desire to follow Jesus.
5. A child of God can also be influenced and affected by a/the devil.
A. Peter is a good example of this.
i. Peter was a child of God, which was evidenced by his faith (Mat 16:15-17 c/w 1Jo 5:1).
ii. Yet, Satan influenced Peter to contradict Jesus Christ (Mat 16:22).
iii. Jesus called Peter Satan, identifying the satanic inspiration of Peter's words (Mat 16:23).
B. Children of God can be tempted by the Devil who is the tempter (1Th 3:5).
i. Eve was, and she succumbed to the temptation (Gen 3:1-6; 1Ti 2:14).
ii. Jesus was, but He didn't give in (Mat 4:1-11).

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Devil Possession, Mental Illness, and Bad Behavior.doc69 KB
Devil Possession, Mental Illness, and Bad Behavior.PDF175.36 KB