From time to time, I have received questions about demonic possession and even though I do not fully understand this subject, I thought I would share with you what I have learned. Hopefully, it will be helpful. I believe this topic warrants attention because I am convinced that demons are increasingly taking possession of people!
How Can a Person Become Demonically Possessed in the 21st Century?
Human beings need a Savior because we are no match for our supernatural adversary, the devil. His tremendous powers and energies are devoted to the ruin and destruction of every human being and he is determined to lead the whole world into open rebellion against the laws of God. Because the Prince of Darkness is steadily strengthening his grip on this planet, we need to understand how he works. Peter wrote, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
I find it very interesting that the term “demonic possession” is not directly mentioned in the Old Testament, but it is mentioned numerous times in the New Testament. Consider this one Old Testament text because some people think it indicates demonic torment: “Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better.” So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me. . .” Whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.” (1 Samuel 16:15-17,23)
Years ago, this text puzzled me. How could the Lord send an “evil spirit” (that is, a demonic spirit)? Later, I discovered my perplexity was due to a problem with language. The Hebrew word “rah” translated “evil” in this passage has numerous meanings such as vexing, bad, miserable, heavy or troublesome thus “rah” is translated evil in these verses.