A person who has been born again has the Holy Spirit within him (I Corinthians 2:12). To a Christian, the Bible says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (I Corinthians 3:16-17).
This person has been joined to Christ’s body (I Corinthians 6:17-20) and has been translated from the kingdom of darkness to which he was born into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, to which he was born again (Colossians 1:13)!
Those who are now in Christ were at one time under the kingdom of darkness, under the rule of the god of this world (Satan): “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). But through Jesus Christ, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (I Corinthians 2:12). The children of God are partakers in Christ’s inheritance (see Colossians 3:24 and I Peter 1:4).
A Christian cannot be possessed with an evil spirit (also known as a demon or a devil), for “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4). Both the Lord and devils cannot dwell in the same temple (I Corinthians 10:21). However, a Christian can be harassed or oppressed by an evil spirit. This is why we are expressly warned in Scripture, “Neither give place [ground] to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).
How Do We Avoid Being Led Astray By Evil Spirits?
The fourth chapter of Genesis records history’s first murder. Cain allowed the footholds of jealousy, hatred, and rage to come in and then he killed his brother. God even warned him ahead of time: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him”
(Genesis 4:7). Evil was crouching at his door, and it was Cain’s choice to open that door. He gave place to the Devil.
Many in these days will be tricked and led astray by evil spirits. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (I Timothy 4:1-2). When given opportunity, evil spirits can torment those they cling to with illness, depression, suicidal tendencies, anxiety, nightmares, addictions, perversions, fear, violence, and the like.
The only way to avoid being led astray by seducing spirits is to maintain a good conscience toward God (I Timothy 1:5) and to not open any door or give any legal right to Satan (Ephesians 4:27)! But first, a person must be born again, otherwise he or she is still under Satan’s dominion. Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
Every person born into this world is under the rule of darkness (I John 5:19). Adam gave his right to rule (territory) to Satan when he sinned. But God has purchased mankind back from Satan’s rule with the precious blood of Christ (I Peter 1:18-19). Jesus said, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me”
(John 12:31; also see John 14:30).
The light of the gospel is this: “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:18).
How Do You Test the Spirits?
The Bible says we are to test the spirits to see if they are of God. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (I John 4:1-3).
The spiritual powers of wickedness are very real and very strong. But they were defeated through the blood of Jesus at the cross. Jesus “spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it”
(Colossians 2:15). There is, however, a battle that rages on in the spiritual realm.