There is a difference between being oppressed and possessed. Anyone can be oppressed when satans demons try to cause harm and discouragement, hoping to turn people away from God. Being possessed is a whole different story. Demons cannot live in the same house (body) as the Spirit of God. If they could, that would mean that they are as powerful, or more powerful, than God. When we become His, He seals us with His Spirit. Once sealed, nothing can get in. So the question from me to everyone is, who is more powerful, God or demons?
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Hi OneLight, I am actually in sympathy to your position, in spite of my OP question. However, I will now ask you the same question I have asked OakWood: "So you are therefore of the position that no truly born again Christian could EVER be influenced from the inside by a devil in the way that I described? Therefore, if such a person was claiming to be born again, you would definitely say no way? Just curious :)"
Influenced on the inside would include thoughts of the mind and feelings, neither which are possession. Oppression causes both feelings and thoughts of the negative nature, which is not of God, but of the flesh or satan. To say that oppression does not influence how one thinks or feels would be untrue. WHat someone does with those feelings and thoughts is where He comes in. God never gives us more then we can stand with His help. The true question is do we accept His help during these times?
Just as a reminder, of what I mean by "influenced," I also ask you the following for clarity: would you believe that the Lord would ever give a demon permission to enter into a born again Christian, even if only temporarily, in order to make blasphemous hand signals like the "666 Sign," "Hooked em horns (El Diablo)," etc. in order to deceive people or to flaunt their influence to those in the know? I have personally seen this happen, but I will not be naming names at this time. I have seen it being done by popular "Christian" leaders in online videos, like from YouTube. I just wanted to get the opinion of others on this. That's why I am asking you this question.
We are sealed by the Holy Spirit and Jesus said He would never leave nor forsake us. Why would Jesus ever give one of His children over to Satan in order to advertise the enemies work? The answer is a blatant NO.
The Bible makes an interesting statement in 2 Timothy 2:26:
"And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
You only post one verse out of all the context. Why? Let's see how it look in context.
2 Timothy 2:14-26
Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ[c] depart from iniquity.”
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
So, what is being discussed is false teaching, not uncontrolled or unwilling hand singles. You would do good to keep a verse in the context it was designed to be in and not try to make it =mean what it does not.
It seems only unbelievers could be "taken captive by Satan at his will," at least without God's permission. For a demon to be able to enter into somebody, even temporarily, in order to influence their hand movements seems to be an example of this passage in literal action. I do not believe most of these people doing these evil hand signs even know what is happening to them, that they are being influenced by a devil from the inside. I do not believe these demons inhabit most of these people all the time, but only temporarily as they are "needed" to deliver false teachings or to do other kinds of evil. I believe most of them do not have "familiar spirits" sticking around, but these demons instead go right into their bodies and right back out again. I do not believe God has given them permission to stay inside that person, even if unsaved, but only for a brief time.
For some of them, I could see this as simply being a work of the flesh in ignorance, but I know God did NOT inspire them to do these hand signs for a fact, regardless. To me, they CANNOT be Spirit filled! Also, I have discovered devils really are behind many of these hand signs, though, in part by doing some research online about Satanic symbolism. It isn't a stretch to say that actual demons are behind at least some of the people making these signs in online videos. Assuming it is indeed demons behind the people making these hand signs, would you question that person's salvation? Again, could a born again Christian ever be influenced by a demon is this way? For those who say NO true Christian can ever have a demon, I would be interested to hear your response to this question, like a survey. Thanks!
Who are "these people" you talk about? As I mentioned, God will not turn one of His children over to Satan. On the other hand, they may turn away from God and venture down the wrong path, opening them up to demonic activity, but as long as the Holy Spirit is in them, demons cannot enter.
As for people who throw satanic hand signs, they know what they are doing, and they worship their own god, whomever that god may be. They do not worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They may not know the full consequences of their actions, but they understand they have a choice to do so or not. Demon possessed people in scripture do not live a normal life, nor do they profess Christ. The demons know who Jesus is, and they tremble at His name.
Keep in mind that the title some people use, Christian, has an empty meaning to them. To those who falsely clam to be Christians, we will know them by their fruit.
For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
If a man speaks either good or bad from their heart, they would also use the rest of their body for good or evil. Don't be fooled by what you read on the internet. Search scripture for yourself.