TEXT: Matthew 8:14-17
14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.
15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
As we have seen over the past few messages, demon possession and demonic influence is very real. While we cannot always be certain of cases of demon possession, we can often clearly see when and where the devil’s influence is present. For example, when Peter tried to discourage Jesus from going to the cross, and Jesus had to rebuke him, saying, “Get thee behind me, Satan,” Peter wasn’t demon possessed, but the devil had slipped some thoughts into his mind that he had temporarily bought into. That can happen to any of us.
Talking about demon possession in Bible times is one thing, but talking about it in our lives today is something else. Simply because someone is not overtly demon-possessed, does not mean that they cannot be influenced by demonic spirits. The Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology states: “Believers are not immune from demonic attack. Demons seek to influence Christians through false doctrines and teachings as well as false miracles and wonders. Paul was buffeted. Though there can be no certainty as to how this buffeting was manifested, we do know that an ‘angel of Satan’ caused it and that Paul could not remove it through just prayer at that time.
“In the West, evangelicals have been preoccupied with the question of whether a true Christian can be demon-possessed. Such a conclusion, however, can only be an inappropriate translation of dai-mon-iz-o-mai because of the English connotations of possession with ownership, which is not in the original. Demons do not own or possess any Christians, who are God’s sole possession (as are the demons themselves). Though Christians cannot be owned or have their eternal destiny controlled by a demon, this does not necessarily mean that they cannot be demonized or temporarily controlled by demons or have demons temporarily indwell them.
“The evidence pointing against demonization of the believer includes Jesus’ defeat of Satan on the cross, God’s presence in and protection of the believer, and our status as being seated with Christ. Evidence in favor of the demonization of believers includes the statements of our need to know Satan’s schemes so that he will not gain a foothold on us, the reality of demonic attack against believers, and the commands to resist him. No one should doubt that Satan and his demons are able to influence Christians; the question is whether that influence can result in demonization.
“Further evidence in favor of the possibility of believers being demonized are the instances of Saul’s torment from an evil spirit, the Jewish woman being bound by Satan for eighteen years, and Ananias and Sapphira having their hearts ‘filled by Satan.’ None of these has been without dispute, but Scripture indicates that all were of the house of faith and all faced demonic attack. This parallels the experience of many people today. While experience is not the final arbiter of doctrinal formulation, our experience should be in accord with our doctrine. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that Christians may be demonized and that the warnings to stand against Satan are not just to stop his attacks against the church or his control over those who do not believe.”
Whether Christians can be fully possessed by demons or only affected by demonic influence, it is important to remember that Christians can resist the devil’s work in all of its forms. If we have trusted Christ as Savior, we are identified with Him; and since we are seated with Him in heavenly places, we have His authority in our lives — the same authority that made demons flee with just a word. We resist the devil not based on our own knowledge and ability, but based on the name of Jesus, putting on the armor of God, regular prayer, forgiveness, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, and being vigilant so that the devil does not get a foothold in our lives.
Margaret E. Barber wrote:
I dare not be defeated
With Calvary in view,
Where Jesus conquered Satan,
Where all His foes He slew;
Come, Lord, and give the vision
To nerve me for the fight,
Make me an overcomer
Clothed with Thy Spirit’s might.
I dare not be defeated
Since Christ, my conquering King
Has called me to the battle
Which He did surely win.
Come, Lord, and give me courage,
Thy conquering Spirit give,
Make me an overcomer,
In power within me live.
I dare not be defeated,
When Jesus leads me on
To press through hellish regions
To share with Him His Throne;
Come, Lord, and give Thy soldier
The power to wield the sword,
Make me an overcomer
Through Thine inerrant Word.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.