Can a Christian Have an Unclean Spirit?
Volume II
The Theology and History

Volume II: The Theology and History

This volume of the book deals with all the theological arguments against the idea that a Christian could have an unclean spirit, both those Biblically based and those based on reason. This volume also deals with the history of this question: what did the church of past centuries believe and how did they deal with this problem? The following is a list chapters in this volume. Book length: 249 pages.

Table of Contents

Chapter 5: Replying to the Reasoned Objections

A. God and Satan cannot coexist in the same vicinity at the same time.
B. Light and darkness cannot coexist in the same vicinity at the same time.
C. The devil or his spirits cannot be in the temple of God.
D. How can a Christian have an unclean spirit within him when he is filled with the Holy Spirit?
E. A Christian cannot have an unclean spirit because it cannot penetrate the covering of the blood of Jesus.
F. To say that a redeemed person has an unholy thing within him is to undermine the redemption of Christ.
G. The New Testament does not contain a single case of a Christian having an unclean spirit, or of being exorcised.
H. If a Christian is afflicted by an unclean spirit, it is not within him, but without, being attached to him externally.
I. I know people who have had visions of unclean spirits trying to get into churches or believers; but they had no visions of these spirits being within either.
J. Demons exist only in foreign lands where idolatry is practiced, not in western Christian nations where the gospel has spread.
K. Demons are a phenomenon of the past, of antiquity, as during the days of Jesus. They are no longer present on earth today.
L. When the Bible speaks of the devil and of demons, it is using figurative language which is not meant to be taken literally.
M. Jesus did not really cast out demons; he just spoke and worked within the terminology and the framework of the Jewish people. What he actually did was to heal people of their psychological disorders.
N. Demons are not actually being cast out of people during so-called "exorcisms." Instead, what is happening is that their minds are playing tricks on them.
O. To resort again to demonology and exorcism to cure mental and emotional disorders would be to throw religion and science back two or three centuries, back to the time of the Middle Ages.
P. To read, write, and study about demonology is to be obsessed with demons and the devil, an entirely unwholesome preoccupation. Instead, one should preoccupy himself with positive things.
Q. There are already too many books on demons and demonology, so why produce any more and contribute to this preoccupation in the Christian society?
R. If we admit that a Christian can have a demon, we make it possible for him to blame the devil for all his sins, and deny responsibility for his own behavior.
S. People cannot stand the idea of a "demon" being within them, so why scare them with such ideas?
T. A demon was supposedly cast out of me during an exorcism, but I felt nothing, and remained unchanged.
U. I have tried exorcism to solve certain problems, and got plenty of manifestations, but could never get free; the process seemed endless. Therefore, whatever was bothering me must not have been a spirit, otherwise one would have left.
V. I was told that I had spirits within me, and even told their names by someone who has the gift of discerning of spirits. But I was never able to get rid of any such spirit. Therefore, there probably never was a spirit within me in the first place.
W. Why does not the Holy Spirit make known to a person that he has an unclean spirit within him?
X. The devil cannot curse what God has blessed.

Chapter 6: Replying to the (Supposed) Scriptural Objections

1. Zechariah 13:2
2. Matthew 6:22-23
3. Matthew 28:18-20
4. Luke 1:71, 74
5. Luke 4:18-19
6. Luke 10:18
7. Luke 10:19
8. Luke 11:21-22
9. Luke 11:34, 36
10. John 8:12
11. John 8:32
12. John 12:31
13. John 12:46
14. John 16:11
15. John 17:15
16. Acts 15:9
17. Acts 26:18
18. Romans 7:15-25
19. Romans 8:38-39
20. Romans 16:19b
21. 1 Corinthians 3:17
22. 1 Corinthians 10:21
23. 1 Corinthians 13:5
24. 1 Corinthians 14:20
25. 2 Corinthians 6:14b
26. Galatians 1:4
27. Galatians 5:17
28. Galatians 5:19-21
29. Ephesians 1:22-23
30. Ephesians 3:19
31. Ephesians 4:8
32. Ephesians 5:8
33. Philippians 4:7
34. Philippians 4:8
35. Philippians 4:19
36. Colossians 1:13
37. Colossians 2:15
38. Colossians 3:2
39. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5
40. 2 Thessalonians 3:3
41. 1 Timothy 4:1
42. 2 Timothy 1:7
43. Hebrews 2:14-15
44. James 1:13-14
45. James 4
46. James 4:7
47. 1 Peter 2:9
48. 2 Peter 1:3
49. 2 Peter 2:4
50. 1 John 1:7-9
51. 1 John 2:8
52. 1 John 2:13-14
53. 1 John 4:4
54. 1 John 4:18
55. 1 John 5:18
56. Jude 6

Chapter 7: Scriptural Implications that a Christian Can Have an Unclean Spirit

Implication 1: Matthew 17:14-18; Mark 9:14-27; Luke 9:37-43
Implication 2: 1 Corinthians 12:3
Implication 3: 2 Corinthians 11:4
Implication 4: 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
Implication 5: Galatians 3:1; 4:8-11; 5:1, 8
Implication 6: Ephesians 4:26-27
Conclusions

Chapter 8: Can a Person Have an Unclean Spirit Without Being Possessed?

I. New Testament words used to denote a connection between a human and an unclean spirit
II. Biblical cases in which a person "had" a spirit without being possessed by it
Concluding remarks

Chapter 9: Saved, Healed, Delivered, Exorcised: What is the Difference?

I. New Testament salvation words
II. New Testament healing words
III. New Testament deliverance words
IV. New Testament exorcism words
Comments
Conclusions

Chapter 10: The History of Christian Exorcism

I. Babylonian exorcism
II. Greek exorcism
III. Jewish exorcism
IV. Jesus' exorcism
V. Apostolic exorcism
VI. The exorcism of New Testament disciples
VII. The exorcism of the church fathers
Summary of the first five centuries
VIII. The exorcism of the Middle Ages
IX. The exorcism of the Renaissance period
X. The exorcism of the Reformation period
XI. The exorcism of the Enlightenment Period
XII. The change of the tide (16th-19th centuries)
XIII. The exorcism of the 19th century
XIV. The exorcism of the twentieth century
Summary of the history of Christian exorcism

Bibliography

Appendix


Summary of Volume II

Chapter 5: Replying to the Reasoned Objections

When it comes to opposing the idea that a Christian can have an unclean spirit, two basic methods are used, reasons (rationales) and scriptural citations. This chapter covers the reasoned objections used against this idea. Twenty such rationales are listed, carefully scrutinized, and shown to be faulty in logic and in scriptural application. This includes such rationales as "God and Satan cannot coexist in the same place at the same time," "Light and darkness cannot be in the same place at the same time," "An unclean spirit cannot be in the temple of God," and "An unclean spirit cannot penetrate the blood of Jesus which covers the believer." (40 pages)

Chapter 6: Replying to the (Supposed) Scriptural Objections

The second method used to oppose the idea that a Christian can have an unclean spirit is through the use of scriptural citations. In this chapter fifty-four such passages are cited, thoroughly examined, and shown not to be in opposition to the idea at hand. Heavy reliance is made here, as is done throughout this book, on the technical definitions of key Greek and Hebrew words. No definitions are twisted; all are quoted directly from the lexicons and dictionaries as they are listed for each context. (29 pages)

Chapter 7: Scriptural Implications that a Christian Can Have an Unclean Spirit

Even though the Bible does not clearly state that a Christian can have an unclean spirit, it does give implications that such a thing is possible. These implications can be found in several New Testament cases, such as the epileptic boy (Matt. 17), Paul's "thorn in the flesh" (2 Cor. 12), and the "different spirit" which the Corinthians received (2 Cor. 11:4). Six such implications are explored; nothing is read into scripture that is not already contained within the Greek texts. (23 pages)

Chapter 8: Can a Person Have an Unclean Spirit Without Being Possessed?

When studying this issue of whether or not a Christian can have an unclean spirit, confusion often results from the fact that most people understand this question to be speaking in terms of possession. Though this concept may be included in the thesis of this book, it must be understood that a person can certainly have an unclean spirit without being possessed by it. The fact is, the New Testament uses seven different words to denote how a human and a spirit may be connected, with only two of these words necessarily implying possession; the rest do not specify to what degree the subject may be "influenced" or "controlled" by the spirit. After these words are listed and defined, twelve Biblical cases of people who "had" a spirit without being "possessed" are given and discussed, including the cases of King Saul, the idolatrous Jews (Hos. 4:12; 5:4), and the lady with the bent back (Luke 13).

Concerning the kind of "connection" that may exist between a believer and an unclean spirit, modern Christianity has developed the concept of "obsession," which refers to affliction through external means. But this too is a myth; there is no such concept in the Bible - at least, not in terms of chronic affliction. (26 pages)

Chapter 9: Saved, Healed, Delivered, Exorcised: What is the Difference?

Modern Christianity also has a tendency to confuse certain spiritual functions of the faith, such as salvation, healing, deliverance, and exorcism. Believers may be taught that when they get "saved," they also get "delivered;" then "deliverance" is equated with "exorcism." So Christians think that they could not possibly have any spirits within them because they got "delivered" during conversion. But the fact is, an "exorcism" is never called a "deliverance" in the New Testament; the two functions are never equated. And even though a person may get "delivered" during conversion, from what is he delivered? He is delivered from the kingdom of darkness; this means that he is taken out of something and not that something is taken out of him. This difference can be clearly seen in the exact definitions of the words used for deliverance and exorcism. To coin an old adage, there is a difference between "taking the boy out of the country" and "taking the country out of the boy." This is not to undermine the work of internal regeneration which occurs during conversion, but just to say that regeneration is not to be confused with exorcism. The fact is, a new convert no more gets automatically "exorcised" during the salvation experience than he gets automatically "healed" of physical ailments at that time. (16 pages)

Chapter 10: The History of Christian Exorcism

Since it is difficult to determine exactly what Jesus and the apostles believed concerning the connection between Christians and unclean spirits, the next best thing is to discover what their immediate successors, the apostolic and church fathers, believed. A few of them knew the apostles and might reflect their attitudes and beliefs. After this is examined, the history of this question is followed to see how the church of ages past addressed it. This survey includes the beliefs of prominent church figures, such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Wesley. The reader might be surprised to find out what these men believed concerning our question.

While this survey is being conducted, it is also appropriate to trace the history of exorcistic methods used by the church since these have directly affected the present attitude of the Protestant Church concerning not only the question-at-hand but also demonology in general. However, this study does not begin with the practices of the church fathers, but with those of pre-Christian civilizations, with those of Babylonia, Greece, and Judea. This is done in order to answer the charges of the liberal theologians that Jesus and the apostles learned their methods of exorcism from these ancient societies. (88 pages)


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