Archive for March, 2012

When we consider the question of what “creation out of nothing” means, we have to consider that the “nothing” mentioned is much less than the drop in this cup, much less than what is in a brand new & empty cup. No air. …and in this line of reasoning even vacuums are not clearly permissible.

…for a sneak peek as to why…

If you say there is a vacuum in the flask, then you are affirming the existence of something in the flask – the vacuum. But since ‘vacuum’ means an absence of something, you are also denying that there is something in the flask. Therefore, ‘There is a vacuum in the flask’ is a contradiction.” – Nothingness ~ Stanford University

If that bends your head a bit – welcome to philosophy. It gets more fun as you get used to it. I can’t think of anyone better to explain the value of philosophy than William Lane Craig – check out the Reasonable Faith site.

“There is no such thing as nothingness, and zero does not exist. Everything is something. Nothing is nothing.” – Nothingness ~ Stanford University

So what did Lawrence Krauss do? Yes, he sneaked in something & pretended it is nothing, and wrote a book about it. A fellow blogger also posted a nice post about it here. People that don’t understand philosophy get tricked into believing clever sounding physicists in this way. Listen to the audio at the top to demystify this riddle. Enjoy. 🙂

Check out Reasonable Faith Podcast. Listen to full audio here.

This is in response to QuanumPhysica’s dream(s) described here. QuanumPhysica is a blog friend, although this response does not imply to endorse the views found on her blog.

Also, this does not imply that I or anyone else can be an interpreter of dreams – as I stated in the comments at the post above:

Daniel 2:26-28 NLT

The king said to Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar), “Is this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?”

Daniel replied, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell you your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed.

…for kings & queens & plain people like you and me, the same applies that Daniel told the king.

Also, I offered QuanumPhysica an interpretation, that may or not be inspired of the living God – but as far as I can contribute based on biblical themes that seem to correspond to the imagery in her dreams. You can pitch in your thoughts if you happen upon this post (which will be back-dated to the date of her post) and if you have bible-based comments to add.

Next follows the dream, as she describes…

I dream of walking over a chessboard, black and white. It is night, the sky is strangely blue. The huge moon shines yellow on me, like a lamp. I hear whispering, like talking in the distance. I walk towards it. In front of me floats an oval mirror. It isn’t a mirror because I can’t see myself but I still feel it is actually a mirror. A Talking Mirror. One side is bright red, the other side is bright blue. The whisperings are coming from that mirror. I try to understand it, but I can’t. They whisper contradictions, one side means this, the other side means the opposite. They are right nor wrong, and both at the same time. Suddenly, the ground trembles. A purple tree sprouts from the ground, and at first I think it has leaves, but actually those are eyes. The eyes stare at me, they speak to me. “Listen to us! Listen to us! You have to listen to us! Follow our directions! Obey us!” There is blood, dripping from the sky. I start running from the Tree of Eyes, and I end up in this forest, with pink trees, like apple trees. Only the apples aren’t fruit, they are big bloodshot eyeballs.

The chessboard floor becomes a piano, a stairs. I climb it, and while climbing I hear the tunes of Erik Satie’s Gnossienne no. 1, like a sign of approaching doom. The piano stairs curls around a chain, a giant pocket watch from which blood is coming.   I hear it tick, it’s ticking to the rhythm of the song I play by walking the piano stairs.

Then, I don’t know what happens. Suddenly I’m tied by both my hands on a branch of the Tree of Eyes. Around me, all these clocks hang, golden pocket watches. Blood drips from them, forms a pool on the ground, a sea even. The chessboard is covered. The Tree of Eyes sounds complaining, the Gnossienne resounds deformed on the background. The blood is rising, I can almost feel it touch my feet. I cry, I can’t help but cry, my hands hurt, my head hurts, I can’t escape. I’m doomed.

Dreams: A series of images or thoughts experienced in one’s mind while asleep. A means by which a divine message may be conveyed while the recipient sleeps. God may communicate directly in the dream, or interpretation may be necessary.

Direct communication through dreams: Ge 31:24 See also Ge 20:3,6; 1Sa 28:6,15; 1Ki 3:5,15; Job 33:14-15; Mt 1:20; 2:12-13,19-20,22

Dreams involving unusual images: Ge 28:12-15; 31:10-13; 37:5-7,9; 40:9-11,16-17; 41:1-7; Jdg 7:13; Da 2:31-35; 4:10-17

God is the source of interpretation of such dreams: Da 2:26-28 See also Ge 40:8; 41:15-16,25,28; Da 4:24

Interpretation of unusual images: Ge 40:12-13,18-19; 41:26-31; Jdg 7:14-15; Jer 23:28; 31:23-26; Da 2:36-45; 4:19-26

The sky is strangely blue.

If red represents the netherworld & blue the heavens (also represented by white = light & black = darkness later), this could mean that this is a time of heavenly favour & granted opportunity. “Strangely” seems to indicate this is a temporary condition. The theme of light & darkness (good & evil) recurs throughout the dream.

Walking over a chessboard & black & white.

Black & white represents light & darkness (as mentioned) – essentially, in this context, choices & is strongly emphasized by the chess game – the choices in the moves made. It seems that the opponent in the chess game is far superior in skill – to such an extent that the choices seem like a chess game, but that in reality the is no possibility of winning by human means … more on that later.

Huge moon shines yellow on me.

The sun is (represents) the ruler of the day (good), the moon is the ruler of night (evil). As it it written:

And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. – Gen 1:16

The dream indicates a current condition of “huge nightly rule” – thus more dominion of the forces of darkness – which is obvious by the general mood of the dream also.

Two Hebrew words are translated “yellow.” Charuts (Ps. 68:13) refers to gold strongly alloyed with silver or the sallow colour of sick skin (Lev. 13:49).

Yellow may mean the sickly light on you is due to this reason. Likely, when the bondage of darkness is broken, your illness (yellow light) would also dissolve before the midday sun.

It isn’t a mirror because I can’t see myself but I still feel it is actually a mirror. One side is bright red, the other side is bright blue.

This is likely not a mirror, but yourself you are seeing. The purpose of every human is to operate as a mirror – but the mirror you saw was ‘broken’. A mirror obviously essentially functions as a reflector of light. This is all it can do. The light cannot come from within the mirror, there is no light within – the light has to come from elsewhere. We have to be “a light to the world”, but we need light from somewhere to be able to do that. If you have no light to reflect you only have darkness to offer – hence nothing, as far as things the mirror can ‘worth with’ or the observer can see. If blue represents the heavenlies & red the netherworld you see within yourself (i.e. the mirror) the only thing you can do. Choose.

The whisperings are coming from that mirror. I try to understand it, but I can’t. They whisper contradictions, one side means this, the other side means the opposite.

As stated below, spiritual confusion is humanity’s natural state. Mankind cannot thrive in a world where equal opportunity for & knowledge of evil exists. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was out of limits (and whether or not this is figurative is another topic – the symbolism is clear & intended anyway). Mankind thought to know better, but did & is still reaping the reward due to that choice. Unless God intervenes (and we choose life), we are bound to choose evil. This is aptly illustrated by “PF Project – Choose Life“.

Choose your future; Choose life; I chose not to choose life; I chose something else;

What is the alternative to life? Why choose it? The song certainly makes it sounds like a fashionable choice these days.

Banishing of this kind of confusion is the domain of God.

The Spirit on the Waters
The earth, as it first rose out of the void at God’s command, was a mere huddled mass, a chaos of atoms heaped confusedly together. It was wholly unlike the world which smiles about us to-day, fixed in form, clothed with verdure, and teeming with busy life. The confused mass must at first have rolled onward amid unspeakable tumult. Profoundly impressive is the thought that God’s creative power was still active throughout this monstrous pandemonium. Of this we have divine assurance in the second beautiful verse of the Bible narrative. The earth was formless, it was empty of life; darkness covered its black deeps. Yet the Spirit of God was there – “…and God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

Confusion: A state of perplexity, bewilderment or disorder. Confusion may be brought about by God to cause the schemes of the wicked to fail and opposition to his people to prove ineffective. Confusion over spiritual truth is the natural state of humanity; believers, too, may be perplexed by God’s purposes or thrown into confusion by false teaching.

God sends confusion as judgement:

They are right nor wrong, and both at the same time.

This is certainly like the lie of the serpent in Genesis 3 – the fact is that much of the lie was truth so that it was very hard to see the < 1% of poison in what the serpent said – by means of illustration (brodifacoum, as rat poison: 0.27—0.30 mg/kg = 0.03%).

“You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (extract from quote below)

Note that:

  1. They did not die immediately – except in terms of spiritual death, which is not plainly humanly discernible.
  2. Their eyes were opened & they did know good & evil afterwards.
  3. They were ?more? like God in some sense as can be seen in Gen 3:22.

Yet, this ‘development’ was not good, as the serpent suggested & takes some reflection outside of the scope of this post to know why that is the case.

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

Genesis 3:22: Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

Genesis 11:5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.

The eyes stare at me, they speak to me. “Listen to us! Listen to us! You have to listen to us! Follow our directions! Obey us!”

Most plainly eyes represent knowledge. In Scripture eyes are often associated with light, watchfulness or spiritual understanding, whereas blindness may be a metaphor for darkness, ignorance of God or rebellion against him. The eyes of God watch over all his creation.

God’s eyes symbolise his assessment of human behaviour: Ge 6:8 See also Ex 15:26; Jdg 2:11; 1Ki 15:5; 2Co 8:21

God sees the hearts and thoughts of people: Ge 6:5 See also 1Sa 2:3; Ps 139:1-4,23-24; Pr 15:11; Jer 20:12; Mt 6:8,18; Lk 16:15; Heb 4:13; 1Jn 3:20

Apocalyptic pictures involving numerous eyes: (Ezek. 1:18; 10:12; Rev. 4:6), likewise, reassure of God’s awareness of His people’s plight wherever they might be.

God’s Eye(s): God’s eye or eyes is a frequent picture of God’s providential care. God guides with His eye (Ps. 32:8), that is, gives counsel while offering His watch care. Deliverance from death and famine result from God’s watchful eye (Ps. 33:18–19). The image of God’s eye(s) roving throughout the earth (2 Chron. 16:9; Prov. 15:3; Jer. 16:17) symbolizes God’s knowledge of all human activity and His control over it. Apocalyptic pictures involving numerous eyes (Ezek. 1:18; 10:12; Rev. 4:6), likewise, reassure of God’s awareness of His people’s plight wherever they might be.

There is blood, dripping from the sky. I start running from the Tree of Eyes, and I end up in this forest, with pink trees, like apple trees. Only the apples aren’t fruit, they are big bloodshot eyeballs.

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? – Psalm 139:7

Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. – Jeremiah 23:24

It seems that you are trying to run from the knowledge of God. His knowledge is inescapable. You cannot deny His knowledge of you but you can choose not to have knowledge of Him – at your own peril.

Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” – Jeremiah 9:23

The chessboard floor becomes a piano, a stairs. I climb it, and while climbing I hear the tunes of Erik Satie’s Gnossienne no. 1, like a sign of approaching doom. The piano stairs curls around a chain, a giant pocket watch from which blood is coming.   I hear it tick, it’s ticking to the rhythm of the song I play by walking the piano stairs.

As mentioned above – “…it seems that the opponent in the chess game is far superior in skill – to such an extent that the choices seem like a chess game, but that in reality the is no possibility of winning by human means … more on that later.”

Since the chessboard transforms to a piano you are not actually a contender in a chess game, but merely dancing by the tune of the pied piper, as if in a trance – the chess game likely merely an illusion.

The ticking clocks seems to clearly indicate there is limited remaining time … or at least that time is passing – and for what purpose does anyone highlight passing time except for the notion that “time of of the essence” & should not be wasted. On to the next seeming theme – the music you are playing while walking on the piano steps…

I hear it tick, it’s ticking to the rhythm of the song I play by walking the piano stairs.

Eric Satie’s work was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd. The Theatre of the Absurd is a designation for particular plays of absurdist fiction written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1960s, as well as one for the style of theatre which has evolved from their work. Their work expressed the belief that human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down. Logical construction and argument gives way to irrational and illogical speech and to its ultimate conclusion, silence.

As we discussed before, the atheist worldview is void of objective purpose (page password ‘open’). Thus, the music seems to be highlighting “the belief that [atheist] human[ist] existence has no [objective] meaning or purpose“.

Suddenly I’m tied by both my hands on a branch of the Tree of Eyes. Around me, all these clocks hang, golden pocket watches. Blood drips from them, forms a pool on the ground, a sea even. The chessboard is covered. The Tree of Eyes sounds complaining, the Gnossienne resounds deformed on the background. The blood is rising, I can almost feel it touch my feet. I cry, I can’t help but cry, my hands hurt, my head hurts, I can’t escape. I’m doomed.

Notable here is that the “Tree of Eyes” is on your side – it (He, if we know that this is God) is clearly sad at your eventual fate … and this matches biblically also. God does not rejoice even when the wicked is punished righteously for what they have done. Even if we don’t know why this judgement scenario has been illustrated to you, we know that it is not God’s will that it would happen … and it is not guaranteed to happen – see the judgement of king Hezekiah & how his ‘death sentence’ was lifted to have several more years to live.

Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? – Ezekiel 18:23

Tolerance currently occupies a very high place in Western societies: it is considered unsophisticated and socially awkward, even contemptible, to question it. In The Intolerance of Tolerance, however, questioning tolerance — or, at least, contemporary understandings of tolerance — is exactly what D. A . Carson does.

Carson traces the subtle but enormous shift in the way we have come to understand tolerance over recent years — from defending the rights of those who hold different beliefs to affirming all beliefs as equally valid and correct. He looks back at the history of this shift and discusses its implications for culture today, especially its bearing on democracy, discussions about good and evil, and Christian truth claims.

Using real-life examples that will sometimes arouse laughter and sometimes make the blood boil, Carson argues not only that the “new tolerance” is socially dangerous and intellectually debilitating but also that it actually leads to genuine intolerance of all who struggle to hold fast to their beliefs.

AlbertMohler.com – Thinking in Public. Listen to full audio here.

 

The video above is highly recommended before you read further. Context & understanding matters.

The gospel is the singularly most important communication of God to man.  In Jesus, who is God the Son, we have the revelation of God’s love and sacrifice that saves us from God’s righteous judgement upon sinners.

If you are not a Christian and want to know how to be forgiven of your sins and follow Jesus as your saviour, or are just curious to know what the Christian gospel is, then this is for you.

The Bible tells us what the gospel is in 1 Cor. 15:1-4,

Now I make known to you brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”

The Bible says that we are all sinners (Rom. 3:23).  This means that we have all offended God.  We have all broken His law & fall short of His standard of righteousness (more on this below).  Therefore, we are guilty of having sinned.  Because of this, we are separated from God (Isaiah 59:2), are dead in our sins (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:3), cannot please God (Rom. 3:10-11), and will suffer damnation (2 Thess. 1:9).  The only way to escape this judgement is by receiving Christ, by trusting in what Jesus did on the cross (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Pet. 2:24).

Jesus, who is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; 8:58; Col. 2:9), bore our sins in His body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24).  He died in our place.  He paid the penalty of breaking the Law of God that should have fallen upon us.  He satisfied the law of God the Father by dying on the cross.

It is only through Jesus that we can escape the penalty that God will execute upon all who have broken his holy and perfect law. Consider that God’s Law is really perfect.  His judgements are really righteous.  Do you want to be saved from the righteous judgement of God?  If so, you must realize that you have sinned against God, and are under his judgement.  You must look to Jesus who died on the cross and trust what he did in order for you to be forgiven of your sentence and be saved from the judgement of God.  Consider also that the cross is where God’s perfect love and perfect judgement meets.  God cannot just forgive since there is a price to be paid – God has declared that is so & that cannot be changed.  God, Himself, however paid the price, though Jesus, His eternal Son, for you.  You cannot add any human works to what Jesus has done, but you cannot continue to live in wilful sin from this point on. You need to consider the truth claims made here & evaluate that for yourself – not if the message sounds ‘nice’ or not.  Truth is all that matters in the end. For help in that regard, ministries like Reasonable Faith might help. Don’t think that Christianity is only for people that don’t deeply consider the choices they make in life – especially where it comes to such a drastic decision as trusting & giving your life to Jesus – if anyone takes a decision like that lightly he/she surely doesn’t understand the personal impact or cannot be too serious about the personal cost involved.

Count the Cost

Jesus said, “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?”  (Luke 14:28). Jesus tells us to count the cost.  The cost of becoming a Christian can be quite high sometimes.  In some parts of the world it can cost you your life.  In the western world, it is not really dangerous, but that very likely produced a ‘flaky Christianity-lookalike’ in recent years – which is dangerous & does damage to the gospel if those that carry the name (i.e. they seemingly associate themselves with Jesus) don’t live according to His way.  Nevertheless, if you commit your life to Jesus, God will start to work in your heart and in your life to change you and make you more like Him.  Often this can be difficult, but this is what it means to become a Christian – a follower of Christ (‘Christ’ meaning ‘Messiah’) – to have God work in your life, through His Holy Spirit and to continue to work in your life after you have been saved to, every day more fully reflect the glory of God that we, as His representatives on earth are supposed to do.

Receive Jesus (aka Yeshua, the Messiah, the Deliverer of Israel & the World)

If you desire to give your life to Jesus as your Lord & source of life & deliverance we offer the following prayer as an example.  It is not a formula, but it is a representation of what it means to trust in Him. Read it, change it slightly to make it your own words and only pray it if you mean it.

“Lord Jesus. I come to you and confess that I am a sinner, that I have lied, thought evil in my heart, and broken your word.  Please forgive me of my sins.  I trust in what you have done on the cross and I receive you.  Please cleanse me of my sin and be the Lord of my life – take over the control of my live according to your will, not mine, from this point on.  Give me the strength to persist & hold me close to You from this day onwards.  I trust You completely for the forgiveness of my sins.  Lord Jesus, please save me.”

If you’ve prayed a prayer like this with sincerity, you have just started your walk of the rest of your life as part of the family of God!  Now tell others about your commitment to Jesus.  If you find it too hard to do, be somewhat suspicious of your commitment & keep at it until you shared it with several people – even if it takes you weeks or longer to do.  The Bible says, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Rom. 10:9-10).

Examine Yourself!

If you think you are saved, and this post is not for you, that you have been a Christian for a long time, …what does it mean to be a Christian? …and if you think you know, it would be best that you examine yourself, and be sure.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?2 Corinthians 13:5

________________________

List of some scriptures referenced above:

  • Isaiah 59:2, “Your sins have caused a separation between you and your God….”
  • John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  • John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
  • John 8:58, “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
  • John 14:6, “Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”
  • Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”
  • Romans 3:10-11, “as it is written,’ There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God…’”
  • Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
  • Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  • Romans 10:9-10, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
  • Ephesians 2:3, “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”
  • Colossians 2:9, “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,”
  • 2 Thess. 1:9, “And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,”
  • 1 Pet. 2:24, “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

This myth really is poorly supported. The supposed parallels are invalid for several reasons. See video for details…

Turn the other cheek? What does the following mean? Also note how Micah 7 says that upheaval is coming with the coming of the Messiah.

And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”

Line of Fire Radio. Listen to full audio here.

Also see the bottom of page on the description of Demon Possession from The Moody Handbook of Theology.

The question & three potential answers, each with reasons why the answer might be correct.

Some callers give their opinions, plus some more thoughts…

Closing thoughts…

Line of Fire Radio, listen to full audio here.

DEMON POSSESSION

Definition. Charles Ryrie defines demon possession as

A demon residing in a person, exerting direct control and influence over that person, with certain derangement of mind and/or body. Demon possession is to be distinguished from demon influence or demon activity in relation to a person. The work of the demon in the latter is from the outside; in demon possession it is from within. By this definition a Christian cannot be possessed by a demon since he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. However, a believer can be the target of demonic activity to such an extent that he may give the appearance of demon possession.

Fact of demon possession. There was a great outbreak of demon activity and demon possession during Christ’s sojourn on earth, no doubt in opposition to His Messiahship. The gospels abound with accounts of demon possessed people (Matt. 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 12:22; 15:22; Mark 1:32; 5:15, 16, 18; Luke 8:36; John 10:21). Leaders in the early church such as Justin Martyr and Tertullian make reference to demon possession as does the Shepherd of Hermas.

Nature of demon possession. Demon possession evidences itself by a change in moral character and spiritual disposition. Frequently a different voice, a different educational level, or even a foreign language will reflect a difference in the affected person’s personality. The demons speaking through the man immediately recognized who Christ was (Mark 1:23–24), which meant he had supernatural knowledge and intellectual power. Another symptom of demon possession was exhibited by the man in the country of the Gerasenes with his supernatural physical strength and ability to break shackles and chains (Mark 5:3–4).

Enns, P. P. (1997). The Moody handbook of theology (298). Chicago, Ill.: Moody Press.

MP3 audio links: Section 1, Section 2, Section 3.