John A. MacMillan

B. Childress
Feb 20 2012

The record of demon possession did not appear first in the Word of God; communications with the unseen world have
characterized the religious beliefs and practices of all nations from the very earliest times.  These beliefs are in accord
as to the existence and the working of superhuman intelligences in the midst of mankind.  There has been at all times,
and still is, much superstition mingled with human beliefs.  But clearer light is steadily growing, and it is becoming
possible to discern between the various forms of demon working that are seen among us, and to quietly and sanely
dispossess the spirits which enter into the bodies of men and women, and to comfort the minds and allay the fears of
those whose condition is less serious.

An important fact, but one much disputed among Christian students of this subject, is that believers may become
 It is urged that the Spirit of God cannot dwell in the same body with demons and that those who
so suffer must of necessity be the unsaved
.  The belief is a natural one and has much to support it from the side
of reason.  Dealing, however, with actual cases of demon possession, where the evil spirits were in full control, the writer
can testify that, however it may be explained, sincere Christians have been sufferers and have opposed and resisted
the indwelling spirit, pleading the blood of the Lamb and calling on God for deliverance.

Possession may occur in many ways, and its onset is often most difficult to trace.  Children are not infrequently victims
of indwelling spirits (Mark 9:21); a number of cases have been brought to our attention where those who are quite
young have shown every sign of being under demon control.  In an older person, the history indicated that the condition
had existed from the time she was about six or seven.  How a child can come into this unfortunate situation can only be

Contact with spiritism, often in entire ignorance of the danger, is a frequent cause of possession.  In one instance a
Christian girl, whose mother to whom she was greatly attached had passed away, was told that it was possible to contact
the spirit of the mother by means of a medium.  Not aware of the evil of such approach, she was soon entangled in the
mysteries of the seance.  Before long the medium, realizing that the young woman had an unusual degree of psychic
attainment, invited her to join her in the work of benefiting humanity in which she was herself engaged.  The invitation
was accepted, and soon the young woman became, unwittingly to herself, quite under the power of the spirits.

Still unconscious of the fact that they controlled her, she entered a well-known Bible school.  There, under spiritual
influences, she began to realize that something was wrong with her.  She confided in the wife of one of the faculty, and it
was not long until her condition became known.  At once steps were taken for deliverance.  Over a period of three
months some thirty-three demons were expelled, and she was delivered.

Another instance was encountered in the early part of 1950; the subject being a woman of about thirty-five.  In her early
childhood she had been cared for by her grandmother, who was a devotee of Christian Science and who also was
interested in a number of the heterodox cults which flood America.  As the child learned to read - she had a very
precocious mind - she was used by the grandmother to read to her their literature.  In this way her mind was prepared to
receive demon working.  For it is a most serious and solemn fact that, just as the Word of God is charged with heavenly
power, so the writings of these cults convey to their readers a power that is diabolic.

The woman was converted when nineteen years of age but did not go deeply into spiritual things for a number of years;
in fact not until she had begun to attend a Bible school.  Then she began to seriously follow the Lord and was baptized.  
After this event, the spirits began to seriously trouble her.  She had begun to help in the kitchen of the school where
she was attending; suddenly, while working, she fell unconscious to the floor.  This occurred a second time, whereupon
she was taken to the hospital room.  There the school doctor visited her and, as her actions were somewhat violent,
decided that it would be best to commit her to the state hospital.  A student who was interested in her asked the doctor if
he would allow the writer to first see her, which was granted.  She was partly unconscious, and a challenge being given
to the demon, the response came from her lips in a decided "No."  The demon was then commanded to name himself, to
which he responded with the word "Cults."  When this was followed by casting out of the spirits, the first group that left
her called themselves by the name of well-known cults, surprising some of those present.  At intervals, groups of
demons were expelled, the number totaling 171.

A third instance was that of a young man of twenty-two years of age.  He had been very desirous of the gift of tongues.  
Though warned of the serious danger of concentrating on any gift, rather than on the Giver, he persisted in seeking
with intensity.  Finally he obtained what he sought.  So confident was he that the experience was of the Lord that he
considered he now had sufficient light to carry him forward without the Word of God; the personal revelation was all
satisfying.  Then came suddenly the understanding that his tongues were not genuine.  The effect was a most bitter
disillusionment.  He came to the writer's house, and while attempting to pray became unconscious.  The test revealed
the presence of demons, one of whom gave the name of "False Tongues."  Deliverance came after a somewhat
protracted struggle, and he is now free in spirit and mind and body.  He has learned to abide in the Lord and is
recognized as a helper of others.

These three recent cases were marked by symptoms very similar in character.  The spirits would take entire control of
the personality of their victim, causing the sufferer to become entirely unconscious.  So complete was the coma that the
individual was quite unaware of anything that had happened during the period of the attack, which sometimes lasted for
as long as eighteen hours.  During this time, the demons would respond to a test, would give their names, would try to
talk with those about, at times would use obscene language or would threaten the helpers.  When victory was finally
given, and the man or woman was freed, there would be a period of a few days, or even two or three weeks, when the
effort would be made by the spirits to regain the ground lost.  This could only be thwarted by the personal resistance of
the one who had been delivered, holding against the enemy the name and the blood of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes the afflicted person seemed to be able to see the spirits that surrounded him or her.  This is usually a proof
of possession; however, it is not always the case, as some, while conscious of the presence about them of the spirits,
are unable to see them visibly.  We have known some who claimed that they could see spirits accompanying them along
the way they went.  Incidents of the appearance of dead friends, of spirit rapping, moving of tables and other objects
are common phenomena.  One woman, a preacher of the Assemblies of God, told of strange appearances in her home,
where a number of spirits seemed to live, where serpents crawled on the floor and articles fell without apparent cause.  
When questioned as to who saw spirits, the reply was, "All our evangelists see them."

Three instances have been mentioned which are characteristic of one class of demon possession.  But there are
frequent cases where individuals do not become unconscious and where the spirit cannot be contacted by the means
spoken of.  It has been found impossible at times to deal with these, the spirit apparently paying no attention to prayers
or commands, and this over extended periods.  The individuals in such cases often claim to be conscious of the
presence within them of other personalities, who they can at times call by name.  It is impossible to judge such persons,
as to their willingness to be delivered; they usually express real concern over their condition and desire to be relieved.  

Another class of sufferers is similar to the above in that the spirits do not render them unconscious.  Their experience of
the presence of the enemy is usually that of deep mental or physical depression.  A young man would complain of
manifestations to his mind; at another time, he felt terrible pressure on his head and ears; again uncontrollable jerking
would take control of his body.  A young woman suffered from fear, from manifestations, from a strong desire for
psychiatry.  These symptoms, apparently proceeding from demon power, were addressed as demons, called by name,
and commanded to leave.  There was no further trouble from these sources.


THE AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER, by John A. MacMillan, Copyright 2007, WingSpread Publishers.