Here’s a tweet thread you can click on and read more of if you like
— John Hooper (@MrJohnHooper) December 17, 2017
Here’s my thoughts.
1. It is hard to say what demon possession “looks like.” Judas was demon possessed and he was not frothing at the mouth or breaking strong chains. It manifested in his betrayal of the Christ. So to say we don’t see demon possession today because we don’t see the same level of crazy as some demon possessions in the Bible is not logical. Nor is it logical to say we see demon possession because someone acts a bit cray-cray. It seems in the Bible whoever confronted demons and KNEW that’s what they were dealing with was either God in the flesh or gifted by the Holy Spirit for that time.
It’s supernatural for sure. Man doesn’t have authority on his own to cast them out.
I just don’t see what purpose they’d serve today. How many people were possessed in OT?
— Tim Bates (@TimmmmBates) December 17, 2017
2. Tim argues that we don’t see demon possession in the OT. But a lack of description of it doesn’t mean it didn’t occur, it just means it may not have been diagnosed. When Christ came, demons came out in flocks because they knew him. To imply demons do not possess people today because there is no one to exorcise them doesn’t follow logically. To imply people haven’t been possessed because we don’t read about it doesn’t follow logically either. Now, the point may be that we just don’t know for sure, and I’m OK with that conclusion.
3. Ultimately, whether demons possess people or influence people is a distinction with very little difference to the New Testament church as far as application goes. As we have not been tasked with identifying possession, it doesn’t make a big difference if we know someone is possessed or not, our behavior toward them is still to be one of giving the gospel to them and praying for them. Whether someone is possessed or demon-influenced or just plain crazy, I can still preach God’s Word to them and pray for them. And I agree that demons do not possess believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit, although I am not convinced that the children or spouse of a believer are automatically protected. Mark 9 has an account of a boy with a demon who’s father either was a weak believer or had to become a believer to help his son. That account either supports my previous assertion or blows it away depending on how you interpret it.