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Do Demons Possess People Today Like They Did in the Gospel Accounts?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
October 10, 2022 3:59 pm

Do Demons Possess People Today Like They Did in the Gospel Accounts?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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October 10, 2022 3:59 pm

Episode 1072 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

 

Questions in this Episode

 

1. Is the idea of regeneration by baptism biblical?

2. Is abortion a form of spiritual warfare?

3. Does our salvation depend upon our level of holiness?

4. Do demons still possess people today?

5. What actually happens in baptism?

6. Is full immersion required for a true baptism?

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Do demons possess people today like they did in the Gospel accounts? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

We pray you had a wonderful weekend. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. And, you know, we would love to hear from you.

We'd love to hear your question regardless of what it is. The phone number you can call for the next 25 minutes or so. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Now, of course, you can also post your question on one of our social media sites, and you're always welcome to email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Well, first up today, let's go to a voicemail from one of our listeners.

This is from Danny. Hey, thank you for that question. Great question. You know, sometimes we do talk about cults on the broadcast, and I'll mention groups like the Mormons or the Jehovah's Witnesses. But are those who believe in baptismal regeneration cultic? And I think that's what, you know, I think, you know, are they cults? I would say that the answer to that is no. So whether we're talking about Lutherans or Catholics, I think that's a great question. Are they cults?

I would say that the answer to that is no. So whether we're talking about Lutherans or even the Roman Catholic Church, for example, the belief in baptismal regeneration dates back pretty early in the history of the church. And the idea is this, for those of you who are not familiar with baptismal regeneration, is that through baptism, the Spirit of God is at work and that those who are baptized are indeed undoubtedly regenerated, made the children of God born again. Now, for those who embrace this view, I mean, they believe that these individuals can still fall away.

So you can be made a child of God and then fall away from grace and end up in hell. And so, I mean, from my opinion and my view as a minister of the gospel, I differ from that. I don't believe that every person who's baptized is undoubtedly regenerated. But this is where I think Christians, genuine believers, differ and have differed for some time. And so whether we're talking about should infants be baptized or just those who make a profession of faith or what exactly is happening when an individual is baptized, there are solid believers who read the scriptures differently on this point. So I don't think that that means that you need to view those who embrace baptismal regeneration as not Christians or part of some cult or something like that.

I would say no, not at all. And let's all dig in together to the scriptures and have a high view of baptism. This is something that Christ gave to us, gave to his church for us to follow him and to obey him as we worship the Lord in this is part of how we make disciples.

And so we need to think about these things and not set them aside as empty rituals, but really understand what the scripture says about them. Thank you for your question, Danny. Hey, thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

If you have a question about doctrine or theology, maybe there's a passage in the Bible that's confusing to you. Give us a call right now at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Brian who's calling in from New Hampshire. Brian, how are the fall colors right now in your state? Oh, they're good.

They're coming out really beautiful. Brian, that's something that we just don't get here where I live in San Diego, so that you're blessed to be able to enjoy God's creation. Thanks for giving us a call. What's your question, Brian? Yes, when they're stillborn children or infants that die, I believe and I think you would the same that those souls are saved souls that they that God takes them to heaven with them. And so my question is, since the devil is trying to gain all the souls that he can, why would he promote abortion which sends them all to heaven, whereas if they were born, he'd have a very good chance of capturing most of them for himself?

Yeah, Brian, great question. Why would the devil promote or be in favor of abortion if those children, those dear children who are aborted are in the presence of the Lord? We think of stillborn children as well. We believe and I do believe that they are in the presence of the Lord. And so why would the enemy, why would the evil one do this?

I think I would say a couple of things. One, in the Old Testament, one of the things that God spoke to his people about is some of the idolatrous practices included the offering up of your children to demonic gods, to false gods like Molech. So for example, in the book of Jeremiah chapter 32 verse 35, we read, they built the high places of Baal in the valley of the son of Hinnom to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind that they should do this abomination to cause Judah to sin. There's something very demonic about this. And I think at the heart of it is this, Brian, that Satan hates God and so he hates the image of God. And all of us human beings are made in the image of God. And this is also true of our children and even those children who are in the womb. And so the evil one is waging a war on God through waging a war on the image of God. And I think that's what abortion does. Frankly, it's a war against the image of God, children in the womb. And so that's why he's fighting that woman. It's an attack on the Lord in so far as it's an attack on the image of God, people made in his image. And so that's how I would answer your question.

And that's why we should stand against it as well and call it out for what it is. And I know that you do that, Brian. And so may the Lord bless you and be with you and thank you for your question.

Hey, Brian, thanks so much for calling. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Today we are excited to share a new book with you. It's actually written by a friend of Core Christianity, Pastor David Cassidy. Yeah, David Cassidy is lead pastor of Spanish River Church in Boca Raton, Florida, and he's written an excellent book that discusses many of the topics we talk about every day on Core Christianity. Oftentimes we think of the gospel and core doctrines of the faith as entry points into Christianity, where we then, as we continue to grow and develop, we can set those things aside.

They're no longer essential or they don't shape our daily lives. Well, David Cassidy's book, Indispensable, looks at the essentials of the Christian faith and helps us to understand their disruptive power in a dark and tragic world. If you want to change and feel confident in a lost world, if you want to hope in the time between Jesus's death on the cross and his final return, we need to look at the indispensable gifts that God has given to us in Christ. And this book helps us to do that very thing. So get yourself a copy of David Cassidy's book, Indispensable, over at CoreChristianity.com. We are really thankful for Pastor Cassidy's work and his ministry. You can get a copy of this book, Indispensable, by going to CoreChristianity.com for a donation of any amount.

Just look for the offers link there, just CoreChristianity.com forward slash offers for David Cassidy's book, Indispensable. Let's go back to the phones. We have Daniel on the line from Kansas City. Daniel, what's your question for Adriel?

Hey there. So it's kind of an issue amongst the men's group that we have a fairly new member of the men's group who really gets upset when we talk about eternal security and things like that. And Saturday, he basically said, you don't understand holiness. And I think it comes down to this second blessing, sinless perfectionism. I know he has a Pentecostal background, but I kind of, I guess I'm asking to better understand what we're kind of dealing with here.

Obviously, I can't explain to you exactly all his beliefs, but in this one area of whether or not you can lose your salvation or whether or not somebody is even saved comes down to holiness for him. And so you could kind of shine some light on what we're dealing with with a situation like this. I'd appreciate it. Absolutely, Daniel. And God bless you guys. I mean, what a cool opportunity to be able to encourage this brother, this younger brother in the Lord, someone who sounds like they're newer to the Christian faith and zealous. And of course, when we first start walking with the Lord, that's often the occasion of zeal for evangelism, zeal for holiness. And those are good things, but we can also be confused.

And there are ideas out there. You mentioned this concept of the second blessing related to holiness, related to sanctification that are actually quite dangerous. And that theology in particular is this idea that we received the second blessing from the Lord that allows us to reach this sort of perfect state of sanctification so that we're sitting less and less to the point where we're almost perfected this side of eternity, if you will, so that we don't really sin anymore as believers. Now that, I think, is contrary to everything that the Bible teaches. We do continue to sin. That doesn't justify our sins. But the fact of the matter is we sin against God every day in thought, word, and in deed. And my concern is that people who embrace this view, what they're really doing is misunderstanding the perfection of God's law. If we really understand how holy God is and how serious his law is, I mean, you think of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. It's not just when you actually commit the act of adultery that you've sinned.

But even if you looked at someone with a lustful intent, you've already committed adultery in your heart. He makes it very clear that God's law calls us to something that all of us fall short of. So Paul said to the Romans, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And we continue even as believers to sin. Now we do believe, as those who are justified in Christ, that we do and can perform good works, truly good works before God. And these works are works that are done in faith through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. But none of us can do perfectly good works.

And so that's the issue. It's this idea that we can be perfected this side of heaven and do these perfectly good works. And part of the other problem here is people begin to think that their salvation, their justification even, is dependent upon their sanctification. In other words, I'm more justified, I'm more saved in that sense today than I was yesterday because I'm holier today. But justification isn't something that increases or decreases.

You either are or you aren't. We're justified as sinners through faith in Jesus Christ and then we're growing in sanctification. It's the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. But we're still going to struggle with sin. And that's something that I think is so important for this individual to understand. Otherwise, when he finds himself struggling, he's going to be overwhelmed with shame and guilt and despair because he thinks, well, I should be perfected by now.

And that's just not the case. I mean, think about what the apostle Paul himself said throughout his writings. He could refer to himself as the chief of sinners, not was the chief of sinners, but he knows that sin still clings closely to us, even as those who have been justified. And so it's really important stuff. I think where you could focus maybe, Daniel, with your group is thinking about the doctrine of justification and the doctrine of sanctification and distinguishing those two. And so maybe spending some time there studying, OK, what is justification? OK, let's get that.

What is sanctification and what's that supposed to look like in the Christian life? And maybe if you stay on the line, we can we can send you some resources that will be helpful for you as you think through these things together with that group. God bless. Great counsel.

Thanks for that, Adriel. Just out of curiosity, how do people that have that belief hold the belief that he's referring to? How do they grapple with what Paul says in Romans seven about his struggle with the old nature?

I think that I mean, there are different approaches to that. They might just say that's not Paul talking as a believer. That's him talking. And this is this is one view on Romans seven, but that's him talking prior to his conversion.

He's speaking as a Jew under the law. And so that's that's one way that they might approach that. But there are really so many other passage. I mean, that's one passage we could go to. But there are so many other passages that make it clear that even as the justified as believers every day, we need to pray as Jesus taught us to pray. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Amen. This is core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, we would love to hear from you. Here's our phone number. It's eight three three.

The core. That's one eight three three eight four three twenty six seventy three. And we do get voicemails here. Here's one we received a couple of days ago from one of our listeners named Patricia. Hi, Pastor Adriel. Thank you. I enjoy your show so much.

It's very, very informative. I'm going to ask a question, because when you read the Gospels, Jesus was always casting devils out of people, even when he sent the seventy out two by two, since they cast out many devils. Now, I'm sure the demons didn't die. They must still be around. Is that perhaps what's wrong with the world today, that a lot of these crazy people are demon possessed? Just a question. I was wondering, where did all the demons go?

They must still be somewhere. OK. Thank you very much.

Bye bye. Thank you so much for that question. Well, the evil one is active in the world today, going around like a roaring lion, seeking to devour people, and in particular the children of God. He tries to, but Christ, the Lord, keeps us, and this is something that we see throughout the Bible. But again, the evil one is very active, and I do believe that there is demon possession that takes place today. People who are oppressed even by demons, their spiritual attack, and so we can't minimize that. I mean, this is just the reality, and we're called to put on the armor of God every day, as the apostle Paul told the Ephesians.

But we need to understand a couple of things. One, Satan has been definitively conquered through the work and ministry of Jesus Christ, and this is something that Jesus himself referred to in the Gospel of Matthew in chapter 12, in verse 29 specifically, but this whole section is talking about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, but then Jesus says something really interesting. He says there in Matthew chapter 12, how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods unless he first binds the strong man? Now, the one who is doing the binding here in this parable, we might say, is Jesus, and the strong man is Satan.

Then, we read, indeed he may plunder his house. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. But Jesus is saying, look, I have come to bind Satan, the strong man, so that I might plunder his house, and that's what's happening in this age. Through the preaching of the Gospel, Satan's kingdom is being wrecked, destroyed, as people are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's light, and so the evil one is at work, but through the preaching of the Gospel, he is bound.

He's been conquered through the cross of Christ, and now that Gospel is advancing in and throughout the world. Another thing I just want to say, because I know a lot of Christians struggle with this with fear, wondering, well, can I be demon-possessed? I would say, no, if you are united to Jesus Christ by faith, God lives in you, and the evil one, though he can attack you, oppress you, try to deceive you, he cannot possess you.

I don't think so. Remember what John said in 1 John chapter 4, verse 1. Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.

This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. And so take comfort in that, sister.

So well said. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. You can call us 24 hours a day and leave a voicemail question if you'd like.

The number is 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account. By the way, we were talking about the devil and demons there for a moment. And David Cassidy, who wrote the book we were talking about earlier, has another book called Can the Devil Read My Mind? You can find that by going to corechristianity.com.

A couple of great books by Pastor David Cassidy. Let's go back to the phones. Kelly is on the line from St. Louis, Missouri. Kelly, what's your question for Adriel? Hi, I was just following up with a previous question. I am Lutheran and you said something about baptism, regeneration, and I believe when an infant is baptized, they become a child of God. And I'm just wondering what the other belief is, if that's not what some people feel is correct. What does happen when a child is baptized? What's the other option that people believe? Thank you.

Really great question, Kelly, and thank you for reaching out. I guess it depends on who you ask. There are some people, obviously, Baptists who believe that the child shouldn't even be baptized, that you shouldn't be baptized until you make a profession of faith, and that baptism is primarily, it seems, something that you do to declare your faith before others. It's not so much an act of God, it's an outward sign of an inward faith, which is a phrase that you'll oftentimes hear.

Now, that's not my view. I don't think that that's primarily what baptism is. I think baptism is first and foremost something that God is doing. It's a promise, the promise of the Gospel. It's this visible word or covenant sign that God gives to his people to communicate his goodwill, his love to them.

God is sovereign, and the Spirit is sovereign. It is possible that a person who's baptized is regenerated at that moment, but I just wouldn't necessarily tie the grace of baptism to the moment of its administration. Baptism is a holy sacrament wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit does signify and seal our engrafting into Jesus Christ.

What does the sign do? It signifies something, a greater reality, which in this case is the washing away of our sins. So it's this objective Gospel promise that God gives to his people and to their children. We're called to live in light of our baptisms, to walk in accordance with our baptism, but I wouldn't say that every single person who is baptized is undoubtedly regenerated because I think that an individual who is regenerated, that is born again, ultimately perseveres so that none of those are lost.

They don't end up in perdition, if you will. So an individual can have the sign, the true sign of baptism, without the reality. So that's maybe where there would be some difference, where I would have some difference. But as I said, this is something that believers in Jesus Christ can and do differ on. We can have good conversations about this and really ought to encourage each other in the Lord. And I'm grateful for you and for your tradition and appreciate you calling for clarification.

Let me just go back to you, Kelly, really quickly. Does that answer your question, at least in terms of my view? You did in terms of your view. I don't agree with that. I don't see it as something involved with us at all. I see it as something that God does, but I appreciate the other side of it.

I'd never heard that before. Thank you. Yeah, and actually I would just say I appreciate what you just said there because I'm not saying that it's something that we do. It is God's word to us, the objective promise of the gospel coming to us for the baptized. God is the one who is the baptizer and we are first and foremost recipients.

And so I think that's an important point and I would say that's something that I would agree with you on. So thank you for calling and God bless you and God bless your family. This is Core Christianity getting a lot of questions about baptism today. Adriel, here's one from Brian in St. Louis. Brian, what did you want to ask?

Yes, I appreciate your program. I got a question and a comment. There are a lot of different religions out there that have a unique, different opinion about what water baptism is. And I looked up what the word baptismal means and it comes from the Greek word baptismo, meaning fully immersed underwater. My question is why are there religions that believe that just sprinkling a baby with water is considered water baptism?

Brian, thank you for that question. Yeah, so you bring up the word baptizo, which can mean to immerse. There are instances where it's used just to refer to a washing. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint, you see that sometimes, that word sometimes used with regard to ceremonial washings. You see also in the book of Acts when Jesus promises the disciples that they're going to be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now. And he uses, again, that word baptizo. Well, what does that look like, being baptized in the Holy Spirit?

It looks like God from heaven pouring the Holy Spirit down upon the infant church. And so it's the imagery of pouring or washing. So it doesn't necessarily need to be this full immersion. I think sometimes we can get caught up in the definition of words. Words have what we call a semantic range, a range of meaning.

And so different contexts, they might be used in different ways. And that's one of the reasons why the Christian church, actually from very early on, has practiced baptisms not just through full immersion but also through sprinkling. As early as there's a document known as the Didache, written probably around the time the Gospels were written, that talked about baptisms that were taking place. And they say, look, if there's water, if there's running water, think of a river or something like that. Great, go inside and get baptized.

If you don't have that, well, then pouring or sprinkling works just fine. And this is something the church has been doing from the very beginning. So I think that there is some room there in terms of the mode of baptism for seeing both immersion and then also sprinkling and or pouring as a legitimate mode for the administration of baptism. Love, brothers and sisters, that we've been able to talk about baptism so much because it's a great segue to the Gospel. It's the picture of the washing away of our sins, the promise of God for His people.

And so we should cherish it and embrace it. Thanks for listening to Core Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-22 23:21:40 / 2022-12-22 23:31:46 / 10

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