The Exorcist made America very familiar with demonic possession. But what about demonic oppression? What is the difference? Demonic possession is basically a person being possessed by a demon. We see many stories of this when we read about Jesus casting out demons in the New Testament. In demonic possession, we see individuals tearing at themselves, their clothing, being described as mad/not in their right mind, frothing, foaming, wandering, etc. In biblical times, they called it possession. In today’s age, it is often called schizophrenia, delusions, paranoia, mania, etc.
This is not meant to belittle someone who does suffer from mental illness- not by far. In fact, mental illness can be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. I use the terminology to illustrate how many of the symptoms associated with possession would be labelled in today’s society. For instance, someone who talks to themselves or hears voices would be diagnosed with schizophrenia. Someone who feels tortured would be told that they suffered from paranoia/anxiety disorders. We would not label it “possession”, but as a mental disorder and treat it as such.
However, it does beg the question as to whether the actual ailment could be possession. Realistically, it may be, and it may not be.
Possession occurs when a non-Christian has a demon that has entered into their spirit. Christians who have accepted Christ and received the Holy Spirit cannot be possessed. Why? Because the Holy Spirit and a demon cannot live side-by-side. Possession occurs when the individual has allowed something into their spirit. It can be through satanic worship, what they have said, or something they have done that allows a spirit to reside in them.
Oppression, on the other hand, is less noticeable. It does affect believers, and can come in the form of anxiety, depression, persistent negative thoughts, compulsions, suicidal thoughts/ideologies, or anything that keeps the person at a lower level. You can also be oppressed by an individual as well as we see in cases of abuse.
Wendy Halloun describes what demonic oppression looks like and how to recognize it. She will walk you through how to obtain freedom from negative thoughts and patterns.
If there is anything that is disrupting peace in your home, life, or your thoughts, you may be experiencing oppression, and in Jesus’ name it must cease right now!
Learn more about this topic in our October issue coming out on October 26, 2018.