A friend and I are having a debate about demon possession, and I would like you to clarify some of the points of the discussion, because I am not able to answer some of his questions with scripture to back up my claims. Is it possible for a saved person to be demon possessed? I say that it is if the person is in a back-slidden condition. How can a demon be removed from a person that is possessed? If someone identifies themselves as being possessed then can they get rid of the spirit by themselves?
The broader question is whether it is possible for anyone today to be demon possessed. There appears to have been a limited time in which God allowed demons/devils to possess some individuals. That period of time appears to have been while Jesus and his apostles were on earth, and possibly only a limited period of time within that span. Outside of the gospels and once or twice in Acts we donít read of demon possession in the Bible. It is almost as if God allowed it to happen for a short time so that the miraculous exorcism of these spirits would lead to the spread of the gospel of Christ.
Are there any scriptures that would lead to this conclusion? Yes, there are some, although none directly say that. Perhaps the most powerful it Revelation 20:2, which speaks of Satan being bound. For those of us who believe that the book of the Revelation has already come to pass, as it said that it would soon be fulfilled (soon doesnít mean 2000 years later), this binding of Satan was accomplished when Jesus died on the cross. He limited Satanís power. That is not to say Satan is powerless, but he can no longer control men like he was allowed to previously.
Even if there is such a thing as demon possession today, the power of the demons is necessarily limited. God is much more powerful than Satan and his angels. If the Spirit of God can not possess a person so completely that they have no control, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:32, then surely the spirits of the devils have even less power to control. That is, even if demon possession occurs today, the ones possessed would have ultimate control over the demon rather than the other way around.
That may answer your last questions. How could a demon be removed, if it could happen today? Simply by telling it to go. ďResist the devil and he will flee from you; draw near to God and he will draw near unto you.Ē (James 4:7-8) The devil only has what power we give him. If we choose to follow him, then we will act as he directs. If we choose to follow God then we will be led by the Spirit, and the devil will run away. He may make guerilla attacks when our faith is weak, but he can never control us unless we choose to leave the way God would have us walk. We donít need an exorcist; we have the ultimate exorcist, Jesus Christ.