Matthew 12:43-45: “Jesus said, when the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”
Demons want to and can possess people. It is apparent from Scripture that evil spirits want to possess bodies through which they can carry out their wicked activities.
Bible scholars have categorized two levels of demonic impact upon people:
- Demonic oppression: mild to severe harassment by one or more evil spirits as a result of the opening of some of the gateways to satanic influence.
- Demonic possession: The condition in which one or more evil spirits actually inhabit the body of a person, taking control of it at will and expressing his (or their) evil personality through the faculties of that human body.
- Matthew 12:43-45, as quoted previously a classic description of demonic possession: note especially the phrase “they enter in and dwell there.”
Now consider some of the other Scriptures that describe such possession:
Matthew 10:1: “And when (Jesus) had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out.”
- Mark 5:2-13: “And when (Jesus) was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no not with chains; because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces; neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, and cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And Jesus asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered; into he swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.”
- Acts 8:7, “For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them,” (during the revival in Samaria, under Philip’s preaching).
Now consider the following sermons on the topic of Deliverance