Symptoms of Demon Possession



from War On the Saints
by Jesse Penn-Lewis

Scriptures Referenced in This Section:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Mt. 8:31 π Mt. 12:43

See [2.11], [5.1].

Gleanings from "Demon Possession," by Dr. J.L. Nevius.
  1. The one under demon-power is an involuntary victim. (The willing soul is known as a medium).

  2. The chief characteristic of demonomania is a distinct "other personality" within. (This is different to demon-influence, for in this men follow their own wills, and retain their own personality.)

  3. The demons have a longing for a body to possess ( Mt. 12:43 , 8:31; top ), as it seems to give them some relief, and they enter the bodies of animals as well as men. There are distinctly individual peculiarities of the spirits.

  4. They converse through the organs of speech, and give evidence of personality, desire, fear.

  5. They give evidence of knowledge and power not possessed by the subject. In Germany, Pastor Blumhardt gives instances of demons speaking in all the European languages, and in some languages unrecognizable. In France there were some cases having the "gift of tongues," speaking in German, Latin, Arabic.

  6. The demon in possession of the body, entirely changes the moral character of those they enter, compelling them to act entirely contrary to their normal behaviour. Reserved, reticent men will weep, sing, laugh, talk, meek souls will rage, ordinarily pure-tongued men and women will speak of things not to be named among children of God, and act in manner and conduct contrary to their normal dignity and behaviour - all of which they are not responsible for whilst under "control" of this other personality within them. In brief, they will exhibit traits of character utterly different from those which belong to them normally.

  7. There are also nervous and muscular symptoms peculiar to demon possession in the body.

  8. There is also an afflatus of the breast, which is a special mark of demon possession, and

  9. Oracular utterances are given in jerks and sentences, quite unlike the calm coherent sequence of language seen in the utterances of the apostles at Pentecost.

  10. There is "levitation" of the body - well known by spiritists - when the subject will say he is quite unconscious of possessing a body - and there is invariably a passive mind. There is often a distinct voice which speaks through the lips of the subject expressing thoughts, and words unintentionally.

[14.1] The Attitude of the Early Fathers to Evil Spirits
[14.3] Demoniacal Activity in Later Times
Appendix - Table of Contents
Table of Contents π Topical Index

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