Worse Off At the End

April 30, 2017

We are living at a time when wickedness abounds. These come like a flood to devastate those who are caught off guard. It is for this reason that we are repeatedly warned in Scriptures that the devil is actively seeking people to oppress and victimize. But while demons can come to both oppress and possess a man, they do not have the power to remain in him. They can be driven out anytime by one stronger than them. This truth was revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ when he said, “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first” (Matt. 12:43-45).

The above words of Jesus teach us that a man can be repossessed by demons after he has been set free. In fact, the condition of that man will be worse off at the end because there are now more demons to oppress him. But possession and repossession can only happen if a man is not on guard. One of the reasons why the man was repossessed by the same demon was that the demon could not find a suitable place to move to, since the other people were on guard. Therefore, the apostle Peter admonished believers saying “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). 

Certainly, a man can wash himself clean through sincere repentance. This is what the apostle Paul calls, in Acts Chapter 19, John’s baptism – the baptism of repentance. But is John’s baptism enough? No! He has to do more because repentance is only part of it. He also needs to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be born again. It is only then that a man is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. A man indwelt by the Holy Spirit will never be possessed by demons because, though the man was swept clean, there is no room for demons to live in the heart of that man. This was the same message that the Lord, through Ezekiel, was conveying to the Israelites when he said, “Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Eze.18:31).
Can wicked spirits come to oppress a man filled with the Spirit of God? No! This was the case of King Saul of Israel. When the Spirit of God was with him, he was fine as a king. But when the Spirit of God departed from him, wicked spirits came to torment him. The only way that this tormenting spirit would flee from King Saul was when David played the harp for him. However, when the tormenting spirit left King Saul as David played the harp, it would only be temporary since the same spirit would later come back. Since King Saul was no longer indwelt by the Spirit of the Lord, the tormenting spirit would come and go. Each time the tormenting spirit came back, he brought more wicked spirits so that there were times when murderous spirits came along. King Saul would say to himself, “I'll pin David to the wall” (1 Samuel 18:11) but David eluded him twice.

When we are born again, the Spirit of God dwells in us. This was emphasized by the apostle Paul saying, “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16). And because we are God’s temple, no wicked spirit can come to possess us. However, we can be the subject of demon oppression when we give demons the right to do so. This happens when we sin. It is sin that will pave the way for demons to come to oppress us. And depending on how much room we give him, he can come to fully oppress and eventually take control of us.

To emphasize the danger of giving the devil the right to oppress us, the apostle Peter said, “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them” (2 Peter 2:20-21). Therefore, let us guard our hearts. Let us not give the devil an inch by yielding to sin. Let us rid ourselves of sin through repentance and sincerely desire to get a new heart and a new spirit. Let us be born again in words and deeds that we may live holy and blameless lives, away from demon possession and oppression. Amen.