GJiGT Unabridged Version of War on the Saints

APPENDIX Ground and Symptoms of Possession.

Communication is possible with the believer when no ground has been given. But evil spirits can never interfere with the will and brain or body, unless sufficient ground for possession has been given. Satan had power to communicate with Christ in the wilderness, for the Devil spoke to Him, and Christ replied. Yet the Lord Himself said later on (John 14: 30) that although the prince of this world came to Him; he could find nothing in Him for his working.

The devil also communicated with Eve in a state of innocence. It is therefore no proof of ground, or sin in mind or life, that Satan is able to communicate with believers. But there is a certain class of "communication" which cannot be carried on without ground having been given. There is a difference, also, between "communication" and "communion." Communication is with the mind, as evil spirits suggest thoughts to it. "Communion" with the man is through the senses, as these respond to "feelings" given by them to the senses. Delicious, lulling, exquisite sensations in the body, arising from spiritual causes, may always be attributed to deceiving spirits, for they feed the sensuous. Nothing that comes from God in purity does this. God does not, in any degree by His manifestations, minister to a self-indulgent, self-satisfied, sensuous condition of the mind, or body of His redeemed ones. On the contrary, the operations of God in man, are directed to the elimination of all that feeds the senses, and the invigoration of spirit, soul and body, for the most important activities of life.

The surge of the senses, however, caused by evil spirits, sooner or later changes in manifestation, and the true character of the source stands revealed. They are revealed when irritable and disagreeable feelings take the place of the soothing influences given. It is horrible when the one who had reveled in the exquisite "waves" of peace, thought to have come from God, and who is now convinced that he has lost God's presence and power. Where the disagreeable takes place now, may have been the place where an agreeable manifestation occurred in the past.


The first place ground is given to evil spirits, is by means of suggestions or thoughts admitted to the mind. Thoughts manifestly from Satan every believer rejects at once, when he becomes conscious of them. But thousands of "thoughts" come without any will of the person. Few understand control of the mind, and how to "bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10: 5). One of the symptoms of demon possession is absolute inability, even after exercising your will, to change the course of thinking, or subject of thought, for the mind appears stiff and laborious in action. The man cannot let a specific thought go from his mind, even after he wills to.

The mind is the first and main area open to the access of deceiving spirits. This is especially so before the believer apprehends the need of a "renewed mind" (Eph. 4: 23). Understand that the mind can be open to, and used by evil spirits, notwithstanding the Divine operation of God in the innermost part of his being. Often before we realize what we have admitted as ground for evil spirits in our past life. All the "thoughts" inserted by the god of this world blind the mind (2 Cor. 4: 4; Ephes. 2: 2). Those thoughts of the god of this world form material for his later working. Such "thoughts" lodged there unconsciously, perhaps years before. Mental conceptions admitted without examination can give ground. Our life before being born again leaves unknown effects upon us. Such thoughts can even twist or distort Scripture. Some minds have given such ground before Christ that it places the mind almost at the mercy of any suggestion of evil spirits, under certain conditions, later on.


To detect the working of evil spirits upon the mind, let the believer should know the way in which his "thoughts" come. If the mind is working easily, quietly, in normal action in the duty of the moment, and sudden "flashes," "suggestions," or apparent "thoughts" arise, not in sequence, or in orderly connection with the work he has in hand, then the enemy may be counterfeiting the operation of the person's own mind. This may be an attempt to insert his suggestions into it as if they were the outcome of the man's own thinking. When he is in the process of thinking, the lying spirits seek to inject some thought, suggestion or feeling the first into the mind, and the last into the spirit.

The danger at this point is for the believer to be ensnared by the simultaneous working of his own mind, and the presentation to the mind of the evil spirit's "pictures" or visions. He can easily think they come from his own "imagination." Some demonic suggestions are very subtly refined. They may have no appearance of being supernatural, or even distinct from the person at all. Many think all that is "supernatural" is always marvelous, and awesome. In truth the enemy's working is very ordinary, so ordinary that he is unrecognized. The operations of the supernatural appear so "natural," that they are not looked upon as supernatural. The Scripture statement of 1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness., is so true. The adversary's speakings and workings are accepted and followed and yielded to, as the "ordinary" things of life. They seem like the ordinary operations of the mind. The kingdom of darkness is near and "natural" to all the world under the rule of the prince of darkness.


It is best to be suspicious of the abnormal in every shape and form. God does not interfere with the natural operations of the our will, our minds and bodies. A sudden stoppage of thought, or sequence in the action of the mind, in thought or memory, as well as acute loss of the use of either, may indicate the interference of evil spirits. The spirits of evil, in possession of some part of the mind, can either hold it, or suddenly release it for action. This holding or releasing power explains much that is unaccountable in suddenness of action, or "change of mind." This is often left in obscurity as "unexplainable."

"I can" one moment, then "I cannot" the next, is generally thought to be an "erratic temperament," or other causes. The believer, however, may be unable to act, because of the interruption, or interference of the enemy. However, he really has the ability for action, if the faculties were free.

Others whose lives are spent in the bondage of a "spirit of infirmity," are only conscious of a sense of inability. They are always "too tired," and have "no spirit," "no energy" for the ordinary demands of life, yet with no disease, or reasonable physical ground for their chronic weakness. A sudden inability to listen, described as "absent-mindedness" or "preoccupation," when the person is compelled to follow some "thought" suggested, or picture presented to the mind, could be interference of evil spirits. Inability to follow the words of another, is another indication of the interference of evil spirits.

If there are compulsions, then recognize a mark of their workings.

For instance, in spiritual meetings, when people seem hardly able to listen to a vital truth, how many recognize the work of the prince of the power of the air taking away the Word (Matt. 13: 19). He can do it by the suggestion of other things, not appropriate to the moment. Why is it that the mind is unable to follow the speaker's words, and to grasp and understand? Streams of "texts," also, pouring through the mind, apart from concentration, and the willing action of the mind, may overpower all that the speaker is saying.

Such things can "Carry away" the hearer into far away thoughts, and "day-dreams," which appear so beautiful and "divine," yet after the "meeting" is over they have nothing from the message. Any admittance of these sudden suggestions, or passing thoughts, means ground given to the enemy.


The Deceiver has two ways of putting thoughts into the mind: (1) By direct communication to the mind, and (2) indirect, by attacks on the spirit, causing undesirable feelings there, such as impatience through the attacks. The indirect attack produces impatient thoughts in the mind, followed by impatient words. The believer has a sense of being hindered persistently by some unseen obstacle. The evil spirit beings suggest a certain action to him, and then when he attempts it, he is hindered, causing in him a sense of irritation for which he cannot account. Nothing he does seems to "go right."

His life seems made up of "pin-prick" troubles, too much for him to bear, causing a sense of despair and discontent which grows upon him in spite of himself.

Feverish activity which accomplishes nothing is a tip off. Perpetual occupation which gives no moment of rest, is another key. Difficulty with work in the day time, with "dreams" at night, with no sense of rest or leisure at any time should be tested. It is amazing how continual confusion, difficulty of action, embarrassment, perplexity, all emanating directly, maliciously, and deliberately from evil spirits, are unrecognized by the man.

Believers whose circumstances, and environment, should give them every cause for a glad and quiet mind, are harassed with terrible anxiety, and they are rarely free from troubled thoughts. The mind over-estimates everything, because the imagination and mind are in bondage. Ant-hills appear as mountains to them. Everything is exaggerated, so that they shrink from seeing others, because conversation is terribly difficult. They imagine they are only "thinking" in an ordinary sense. However it may not be you doing the "thinking" when a thing so grips the mind. Their "thinking" goes beyond the line of pure mental action.


The activity of evil spirits is the real cause of depression of many believers, apart from purely physical conditions. The victim of depression has admitted thoughts suggested by the deceiving spirits, until the mind is unable to shake them off. It could be that the enemy has obtained such a footing, that he holds the mind in a grip of passivity, so that they cannot act. He feels as though they weighted with some heavy pressure which obscures all light, and prevents him grasping the facts around him, or using his reason at all.

The malignant powers of darkness often succeed in keeping those who have given them opportunity to get them into their grip under the most harassing clouds and darkness. They rejoice over their own wicked deeds, and love to bind their victims, and keep them in bondage.

This is truly the "oppression" of the enemy (Ps. 42: 9), and is the outcome of the earlier stages of the attacks of deceiving spirits upon the mind. These could have been quenched had they been dealt with at the beginning.

That the enemy takes advantage of any mental feebleness, or overstrain, or disease, is, of course, to be recognized. But in persons of normal health, with no disease of the mind, inherited or induced, much of the "depression" may be attributed to the inroads of the enemy, through ground given unconsciously at some previous time.


Wrong conceptions of spiritual things give ground to evil spirits. These conceptions the adversary nurtures to be ready for use on later occasions. Imaginations as to how God works in Revival power, and in "Pentecostal" ways, is good ground for evil spirits. For example a conception that God moves a meeting, and sways it as the wind sways the corn is ground evil spirits will jump on. Notions that God moves on the physical man, rather than from the center of man's spirit only, spell trouble. These imaginations prepare the believer for Satan's deceptions in these very forms.

This entry of "thoughts" comes from the cause of a passivity of the mind. Passivity is the main object of the adversary to produce, before he can succeed in his effort to obtain control of the believer's will. The Lord's words in Matthew 13: 23, that the good ground hearer is "he that heareth the word and understandeth it," show that the mind is the vehicle through which the truth of God reaches men to win their affections, to bring their will back into intelligent and loyal co-operation with God. The mind is the hindrance to Satan's carrying out his schemes to win back control of the believer. For the success of his plans, the enemy knows that the mind must be lulled into inaction and inactivity by some means or other. The arch-deceiver is well aware that any "teaching" of deceiving spirits accompanied by supernatural signs, may be received by the believer if his mind is lulled into passivity. If the believer is passive he does not question, or intelligently reason, what the teachings are. He will miss what they involve in their ultimate issue.


Passivity of body is the next stage in the development of passivity of the whole being. The ultimate consequence of passivity of the mind, takes away alert action from the body. The "dreamy," passive mind is seen in a dreamy walk and a lethargy of action in every department of the human body. All this is deepening ground for deceiving spirits. The faculties are unused, there is lack of mental control, a lack of reasoning power, a ceasing to use the judgment, followed eventually by a disinclination to use the will. The believer slowly loses power of decision. He becomes more and more tossed about by letting everything in his environment decide for him. He will sometimes think and believe it is God choosing and deciding for him by "Providence." He stops choosing or deciding for himself. He passively drifts, and accepts the choice or decision made for him by "circumstances." Otherwise he is full of impulses, with no central poise of any kind.

But God does not choose instead of the man. Otherwise he would become a machine. God does not choose instead of the man. God chooses an eternal inheritance for him, but even this choice of God for the man cannot be fulfilled apart from the believer's intelligent co-operation.


The passive yielding to environment and what the man sometimes calls "Providence," really means letting evil spirits decide for him. For they are the world rulers of this darkness, and readily seize the opportunity of playing upon his passive will. He thus is deceived by them and thinks that he is yielding to the will of God.

In this way good men have become victims of others' sin, fearing to "resist evil" lest they disobey the commands of God, not intelligently understanding that they therefore fail to co-operate with God in fighting against sin (Heb. 12: 4; 1 Tim. 5: 20). We are rather to conquer the spirit of these last days in our present environment. God has given man a will, and a deciding voice. All the purpose of God's working in man, is to restore that once enslaved will to its throne of intelligent will conformed to the will of God. The work of the Holy Spirit empowers us in choosing of right instead of wrong, and God instead of Satan. But Satan's entire purpose is to drag back the will into captivity, and thus the man himself. Satan is out to make man becomes a passive, though unconscious slave to the world-rulers of the darkness around him. That makes him subject to Satan, the god of this world, ruling through his hierarchy of evil powers.

The actions of the believer when re-captured by Satan, through his emissaries of evil spirits, are the outcome of the subtle and unknown control of the adversary. Passivity in thoughts and actions again give more ground to the enemy. Words are spoken, and deeds are done, almost blindly, either by impulse, or in the confusion of sudden revulsion of feeling. It is often done without the man intelligently understanding the consequences of his words or deeds. Old habits which had been overcome, show themselves again, and sins which were once conquered, re-assert their power.


Where evil spirits enter are spirit, soul and body. For they bury themselves in the very structure of the human frame. Some act directly upon the organs or appetites of the body, others upon the mind or intellect, sensibilities, emotions, and affections. Others are more immediately upon the spirit. In the body they specially locate themselves in the spinal column, nervous system, and deepest nerve centers, through which they control the whole being.

They may obtain access gradually and insidiously, as already shown, but there are instances where they make a sudden assault, so as to rush the victim into involuntary surrender.


When evil spirits have gained entry to the believer through the ground given to them, the symptoms of their presence are recognizable. They are recognizable according to the degree of the possession and the place wherein they are located. They may be deep in the innermost structure of the person, or in the mind, or in the body. They are recognized by their effects and symptoms.

Many of the symptoms have already been touched upon such as "Passivity as the chief basis of Possession," and "Counterfeits of the Divine" in spiritual experiences.

Here we will list some of the characteristics of acute and fully developed possession in mind and body. It must, however, be clearly understood, that (1) all the symptoms may be present in a very slight degree, so as to be almost indistinguishable from entirely natural causes; (2) they may be only manifested in the part of the human frame where the intruders are located; or (3) they may come into existence, and pass away through various causes, WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE of the victim.


When the possession is very pronounced, these intruders entirely dominate the outer man, using, or interfering with the vocal organs, the tongue, jaws, eyes, ears, smell, taste, muscles, the hands and feet, sometimes with uncontrollable and unconscious movements. They interfere with the head, and move it at their will, and with the five senses of the body, because they are the avenues of knowledge to the mind. They seek to dull and check the acute use of the senses, so that they may have more opportunity to control their victim. When they do this, there is more or less difficulty in all the operations of the senses, mind, nerves and muscles of the body.


When evil spirits affect the vocal organs, they may interfere with all the vocal operations in audible reading, speaking, singing, or praying. In speaking, the enunciation may be heavy or blurred, slow or quick. The words may appear to run one into another, the pronunciation variable, and the accents, or emphasis, wrong, for emphasis in speech which is not the result of the mind controlling any emphasis, may be the effect of possession.

The supernatural power affecting the passive mind mixes up, so to speak, the words in the mind, and then in the speech. This prevents the mind grasping thoughts, and causes the memory to fail in action. Words come to the mind, and do not remain long enough for speech. On the other hand, torrents of "thoughts" come, which "rush" the vocal organs into action beyond control. It is then easier to speak than to listen to another speaking. The tongue acts independently of the mind or will. Words are spoken not thought of by the mind, or intended by the will. Sometimes the exact opposite to what was in the mind and intention. This will often astonish the speaker when he is afterwards reminded of what he has said.


Much that has been called "motor-mouth," "talkativeness," and irresponsible use of the tongue among Christians, may be attributed to the demonic possession. Many whose tongues are uncontrollable in gossip, slander and backbiting, are sincerely unconscious of what they do. If they are conscious, they are quite unable to control or check their grievous, irresponsible talking. Evil spirits may "possess" them only in the organs of speech. They may also practically have control of the tongue through the CHANNEL OF A PASSIVE MIND.

This may be the case in platform speakers, who have a voluminous flow of words which pour through the lips, or else a rapid rushing speech, or in staccato form, without any concentration or true action of the mind. Many of Hitler's speeches were like this. Pulpit preaching is even possible in this way. Evil spirits are unaffected by "preaching" which does not proclaim the atoning sacrifice of Christ, and is not in the power of the Holy Ghost.


The voice of a man is more easily affected by supernatural power than many have thought. When evil spirits touch the man's spirit, it may be sometimes recognized by a harsh, metallic sound in the voice, or a hoarse and rough thickness. These same effects may be noticed in an atmosphere which is very thickly charged by the powers of darkness. This show their effect upon the delicate vocal chords.

In the interference with the vocal organs and voice, may be placed the counterfeit "gift of tongues." It might also be the exquisite singing which has been termed the "heavenly music," because of its manifest supernatural source, and its being beyond the singer's own natural power. In pronounced demon possession, evil spirits may affect the voice in an apparently natural way, which is put down to natural causes. For instance, in singing, the man may be doing so with power, and with clear, and bell-like enunciation, but soon there comes weakness in the muscles of the throat, a dry cough, and tears in the eyes, and the singing ceases. The concentration of the eyes upon the music book grows weaker and a sense of heaviness comes on neck and spine. The playing goes on, but spiritless, dejected and heavy. The singer will generally turn away, putting it all down to "difficulty of breathing," and physical impediment, when it has been entirely a manifestation of the evil spirits in possession.


In interference with the head, the jaws can be moved by the spirits of evil, and the nerves of the face manipulated in the production of smiles, which appear at unsuitable moments. These smiles are obviously apart from the awareness of the person. Of such a nature is the mechanical smile. We see this when the facial muscles seem made of elastic, or a stiffening of countenance which makes the face appear hard or cruel, dried up and withered, or painfully miserable.

Demon possession does affect the face, and cause expressions upon it which may be opposed to the true character of the person. Other effects upon the face produced by the controlling spirits may be repellent or beautiful, and appear natural and physical. It may appear as a blushing red, impure look, or an angelic look of heavenly beauty, with exquisite smiles, and light as of glory, which may suddenly change into a stern unbending look, with lips set and brow furrowed, or into a dark cloud as of sudden storm and tempest.

In the drainage of vitality, caused by the grip of the spirits of evil, the temples may be sunken, and the hair become prematurely gray. In a sudden manifestation of the intruders, the nostrils may become tightened, the scent deadened, and the breathing gasping and short, with choking, suffocating feelings, and noises in the head.


No part of the nerves in the head are more affected than those of the eyes. There can come about a passivity of the eyes, which permits them to be moved by evil spirits. Eyes are forced to see visible objects apart from the use of the will. In reading, the eyes can be moved to see the printed words, and rapidly skim the pages of matter, without any of it entering the mind, and making any impression upon the memory. It is important, in connection with the use of the eyes, to notice whether mental action always governs their movements, or whether they look at objects independently of the intelligent thinking and use of the will. Evil spirit interference is most marked when the eyes roam about whilst the man is speaking to another person, or gaze upward or downward, or in any direction without any cause. This will be very unseemly or discourteous.

Particularly is the use of the eyes by evil spirits manifested in a set or fixed gaze upon various things. In the fixed gaze upon the faces of others may be dangerous. When the person is compelled by this steady gaze to take, unknowingly, a trance like attitude to another. Any persistent drawing of the eyes to another's face should be instantly resisted.

Especially in meetings where supernatural powers are manifestly present, a "fixed gaze" in listening to a speaker should be avoided, if it has the effect of causing non-action of the mind and a dazed condition. The fixed gaze if it brings passivity opens the listener to the workings of evil spirits. In the same way, speakers in such gatherings should take care lest the spirits of evil find opportunity to use their eyes in fixing of concentration upon the people, to sway them by power. This will hinder the intelligent opening of their minds to the words that are being spoken.


In acute demon possession, the eyes are affected very markedly. They are forced to see evil things, and bad things, so much so that they affect the person, and make him fidgety and complaining. The eyes cannot look straight in another's face, nor, indeed, look at anything without an "attack" of some kind. You may know this is produced by the spirits of evil. These attacks may cause the person to look guilty in the eyes of others, when there is no ground for guilt.

There are two kinds of concentration: (1) Physical, through the eyes, and (2) mental, by the mental vision. The man himself is only acting in any action of the body, when concentration of mind and will is at the back of his every action. Visions may be physical, mental or spiritual. In the physical vision the eyes are needed. In the mental, the eyes of the mind, and in the spiritual the inward vision of the spiritual man.

When evil spirits control the physical eyes, visions of supernatural, and natural beings, and things, appear before them, and in ordinary matters of life things appear different from what they really are. The man receives impressions of things contrary to reality. The man declares he "sees" these things, but he does not know that evil spirits can present them to his vision.

The eyesight of necessity is affected by this manipulation of the eyes, and there are general feelings of weakness. Things look misty and blurred, and undefined. There may be short-sightedness, and inability to concentrate on any small object. Concentration of the eyes may be painful and difficult, the man complains of the light, tiredness of the eyes, and dark spots appear before them, either stable or moving, near or far. The symptoms might be looked upon as purely physical if it were not for the supernatural element accompanying them.


In interference with the ears, entire deafness may be caused by an evil spirit locating in the nerves of the ear. There may be degrees of interference with the hearing, such as the loss of words, so that in listening there are moments when sentences, or words, are not heard at all. There may be a failure to grasp clearly what others say because the person hears partly what the speaker says, and partly what the evil spirit inserts, or suggests to the mind.

This will produce "misunderstandings" of given instructions, or the clearly expressed language of others. This also causes trouble in listening to others speaking, and a restless impatience which cannot wait for them to complete their sentences, or communications. This is because the intruders are thrusting in their own suggestions to the mind, and claiming attention to their speaking. The believer has a sense of double listening, so to speak, which is an interior and exterior listening at one and the same time. He may be trying to "listen" to feelings and movements within while listening to the voices of others outside. This causes difficulty in listening to music, speaking, and reading aloud. There is also a deadness to exterior sounds, because of a buzzing or ringing in the ears. The sound in the ears is stronger than the sound outside, with the effect of an apparent absent-mindedness.

The man needs to be released from listening to the supernatural speaking within himself, before he is free to listen to that which is external.

Evil spirits interfering with the sensory nerves of the ears, render exterior sounds acute in forced sensitivity of them, producing confusion and irritation. The exaggerated sense of sound makes concentration difficult.

They also make strange sounds by interference with the sensory nerves, the man declaring that he heard voices, thunder, or any kind of noise which no one around him hears.


This persistent "buzz" in the ears, makes the victim pre-occupied, and almost unconsciously shake his head, as if shaking off something which is annoying him. It is so distracting that he is obliged to speak aloud to himself to make an impression on his own mind. He must read aloud in order to take in the sense of what he may be reading. This is because of the confusion caused in his mind by the inward "buzz" of the persecuting spirits. Because of this confusion more ground is given to the powers of darkness, for deeper possession through the distraction caused by their interference.

The cause of this is, that, unknowingly, the believer has lent his ears to evil spirits. He was listening to their words and suggestions, often because he believed he was listening to God, or listening to himself. This comes particularly when there has grown a habit of listening for an inner voice. An inside "listening" will in time enable the evil spirit to dull the outer ear.

Great confusion is the result of a "listening" inwardly to "feelings," sensations, movements, "drawings," while at the same time listening for voices, texts, and messages from without.


The speaking of evil spirits described as:

(1) It is not like the vocal speaking of a human being, which must always be stronger than the speaking of spirits, because spirits have no force of breath. Therefore if a man speaks aloud, he can always drown the speaking of evil spirits. On the same principle a man can also drown the voice of the Holy Spirit, because He is Spirit and His speaking is always in the spirit, or through conscience.

(2) It resembles more the "thinking" of a person, or the speaking in oneself, when the words are not uttered through the lips. When evil spirits are speaking to the inner ear, it seems like a ceaseless buzz of inner words, apparently belonging to the person himself yet not from his mind. It is not the result of mental action. It is not from his will, nor even expressing his own personal ideas or desires.

When this "buzz" of objectionable, or annoying, or irresponsible words are thus, in an indefinite way, claiming the inner attention of the man, and he has outer claims to deal with, he is liable to speak aloud with a strong voice, so as to overpower or dull the inner clamour, without being conscious that he is raising his voice, or why he is doing so.


Unknowingly the man is making an impression on his own mind, through his own ear, by using a loud voice. Otherwise because of the possession, his mind would not be able to retain what he is saying, or get the impression into his mind.

The believer may not be conscious of the inner "buzz" of the evil spirits' words. He may not be conscious that his voice is raised to express his own thoughts in audible speech. He may not know why he finds himself obliged to speak to get clear in his own thinking. Unconsciousness is a symptom of the depth of the evil spirit's possession. Unconsciousness of facts concerning himself, is detrimental to the person.

Consciousness of all things connected with the inner life and environment is vital to the believer. Alertness and awareness should be cultivated by him.

This is just as important as consciousness of all exterior matters connected with the duties of life. Unconsciousness by men of how they themselves act and speak, think or appear, is oblivious to the possessed one. Yet it is very clear to all others. On the other hand, an "unconscious" self-consciousness, or ultra- consciousness of the actions of self, may all be results of the work of deceiving spirits.

Some symptoms of having listened to supernatural voices, may be described as:

(1) Difficulty in listening to others;

(2) Face "screwed up" in difficulty, of grasping what is said;

(3) A sense of dullness or heaviness in the ear or ears.

The distinction between deafness through the interference of evil spirits with the ears, and that which is the result of physical causes, depends upon whether the person has other symptoms of evil spirit possession, or whether he is in a normally "natural" condition.


There are many accidents through possession, which are called "the visitation of God," "slips of the hand," unaccountable "failures of the mind," which are left unexplained. These "happenings" are not really "accidents."

They are the carrying out of the real designs of unseen spirit beings malignantly concerned in the world of men. The insidious spirits have prepared for this manipulation, or interference with the person by their slow dulling of the mind. They weaken the weakening of the reasoning powers, which prevents him seeing the outcome of a certain step or action. The failure to use good judgment, the loss of decision, and independent action of the will, so that it "snaps" at a critical moment may all be the work or evil spirits. Without passivity of mind and will, the emissaries of Satan cannot have the full control of the body which they so strongly desire.


How evil spirits can manipulate the body through the nervous system, is clearly defined in the Scriptures. But we never find a single instance of the Holy Spirit working in the same way. Not once in the Acts of the Apostles do we find "twitching," "writhing," convulsions, or other effects of supernatural power, recorded as results of being filled with the Holy Spirit. But we do read that evil spirits can convulse the body, tear it, bruise it (Luke 9: 39), cause it to pine away (Mark 9: 18), or give it strength (Mark 5: 4); they can make the man cry out suddenly with a loud cry (Luke 9: 39), or make him dumb, gnash his teeth, roll on the ground, cast him into the fire to burn him, or water to drown him (Matt. 17: 15).

In these acute form the symptoms of demon possession and insanity are almost indistinguishable. The difference lies in the fact that in pure demon possession the mind is not impaired, although it may be passive, or suspended in action. In insanity the evil spirit takes advantage of a physical condition. "Insane" people are more "sane" than sane people think they are.

There is more truth in what they say than is believed. What they "see" is not always delusion, but the actual doings of evil spirits.

It is necessary to distinguish between

1.Pure insanity,

2.Pure "possession,"

3.Insanity and possession.

Before declaring a person insane, from physical and natural causes, one should find out if there be any supernatural cause. Insanity may be caused by natural derangement, and by supernatural interferences of evil powers. True insanity can also be the result of possession, and be (humanly) irrecoverable.

Under the power of a lying spirit, the man loses control of his body, and is, for the time being, when the intruder manifests himself, irresponsible for his actions.

The spirits in possession of the body vary in character, and in manifestation. Some are destructive, and some are milder in their actions, such as the "spirit of infirmity" or powerlessness described in Luke 13: 11, or the blind and dumb spirit in Matt. 12: 22. These Scriptures show there were cases of possession which looked like cases for healing. The Lord's words and action proved that the woman who was bent for eighteen years, did not require healing, but deliverance. The bending of the back is one of the symptoms of demon possession, when the body is deeply affected.


Another manifestation of evil spirits may be described as prophetic ecstasy, or "inspiration." Such was manifested in the girl with a "spirit of divination," which Paul cast out (Acts 16: 16-18). The danger of this kind of spirit is that the manifestations are more like those of the Holy Spirit. To distinguish between the two in the Corinthian Church was the object of the Apostle writing the 12th and 14th chapters of the first Corinthians: "Concerning the 'inspired'. . . I would not have you ignorant," he wrote, as he proceeded to show them how to detect the difference between deceiving spirits in demonic 'inspiration' or ecstasy, and the true inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God in one believer being in harmony with the manifestation of His power in others. The demonic spirit producing "schism" or "mutiny" of the members of Christ's Body one against the other. The Holy Spirit causing interdependence, and honour of His workings in the one and in the other. The demonic spirit causing lawlessness, and confusion. "Harmony" and "confusion" being the hall-mark of the supernatural power being from God or Satan in the assembly of God's people.


Once the ground is taken, and the mind is dulled from its power of critical discrimination, the lying spirit is good at suggesting "excuses" to the believer to cover his location, and the ground he holds. If the mind labours in action, "it is natural" or "it is heredity," he suggests. Where the whole nervous system is involved, "it is disease" or "it is purely physical." "It is fatigue," or it is "spiritual." There may be, and there generally is, some basis for the "excuse." The attack may be in the natural and physical realm, but that is not the source. They like to have, and watch for, some physical or mental ailment to serve as the cover, or "excuse" for their manifestation.

They attack a person because they are in possession. However, they make him think and believe it to be an indirect attack, through another person. The blame is placed on the man himself or someone else, or on anything but the true cause. That is why the intruder may not be discovered and expelled. It is important that all "excuses" should be examined. We should know the "reasons" for any unexplainable manifestation. The causes should always be sought. Believing a wrong interpretation of the manifestation, more ground is given to the lying spirits. The believer may be refusing ground on the one hand, and giving new ground on the other. The way to take back the ground is by the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Blood of Yeshua. All the suggestions which come to his mind concerning his condition should be tested.

The shows the stages of the advance in possession, and how wrong interpretation gives new ground:

(1) Ground followed by

(2) Possession, manifested by--

(3) for example, "Twitching of nerves"--then the evil spirits give

(4) Wrong interpretation of the cause of this twitching, which, if accepted by

the believer, admits new lies from them, and gives more ground.

Four sequences should be noted in this connection:

(1) Ground because of (a) ignorance, resulting in (b) deception;

(2) Followed by possession, because of ground;

(3) Manifestation because of possession;

(4) Danger of wrong interpretation of manifestation.

Deceiving spirits also work to keep the believer occupied with something else to fill up the mind, so that he may not discover his own need of deliverance. Workers are almost obsessed with the thought of the "need of others," while blind to their own condition. Devotion, singing, preaching, worship may so possess the mind as to close it to all personal knowledge of the need of deliverance from deception.


The life becomes increasingly full of contradictions. The man seems strong and yet is weak, he is stoical and yet seeks love. He is spasmodic in his actions, erratic and dogmatic in his beliefs. He becomes utterly illogical in his reasoning's. All these symptoms may be visible or invisible, and manifested at different intervals, and in different degrees, concurrently or consecutively.

After a time the believer may become conscious of his condition. Most don't want these symptoms to be read by others. Most seek to hide rather than seek deliverance. When they become so obvious to be hidden or ignored, then he is often said to be suffering from a "nerve breakdown." Checking into past spiritual experiences will often discover the working of supernatural powers.

If the supposed nervous breakdown be really the possession of evil spirits, no prolonged rest or natural means will set the person free. At best it may give the body a renewing which will enable the victim to face the spiritual truth in due time.


The invariable effect of abnormal supernatural experiences believers is the weakening of the mental force, the reasoning and judging power. There is generally a weakening in moral force and will. Often there is a haunting sense of fear. In these last days fear of the future is a big one. In time there comes an involuntary effect upon the nervous system and often an involuntary twitching.

In the moral realm comes an attitude of infallibility, positive assertion, and unteachableness. There is also the loss of the real power of choice, and personal control of mind, speech, and actions. Those "possessed" cannot choose or act. They "don't know what to do," on account of the evil spirit's hold of them.


The subtlety of the deception has been that in multitudes, all these "symptoms" are thought to be physically or morally the outcome of the individual personality. "Self," they declare, is their trouble. No acceptance of the Fullness of the Spirit, or identification with Christ, can seem to help them. Wandering of mind in prayer, restlessness, talkativeness, or extreme reserve are tolerated, or grieved over, without hope of change. The truth and only the truth will set us free and keep us free.

How different the outlook, when we get to the true cause. "An enemy hath done this!" In most it is not "self" after all. It is ground unwittingly given to deceiving spirits. They can be dislodged by the knowledge of the truth, and by refusal of ground.

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