Aroma Of Christ Rotating Header Image

Can A Person With MCS Be Demon Possessed?

By Richard and Linda Nathan*

A woman with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) reported that her pastor dismissed her condition by telling her it was all demonic. His stereotyped response avoided the problem and left her feeling harshly judged and bereft of help.

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to the enigmatic connection between healing and demonic influence. MCS can involve many complex factors, each of which must be carefully discerned: physical condition, emotions, thinking (including beliefs), stress, nutrition, chemicals, the environment, and the spiritual realm, such as unconfessed sin and—yes—even the demonic.

There are two important aspects of demonic influence: There’s the fact that a person can become possessed by an evil spirit, and there’s the fact that doctrines of demons and their influence can push a person into great stress but not possess that person. Although the second is indirect demonic influence, both are very effective. We will look at them in more detail later.

But before we examine the difference between possession and oppression, first let’s understand our definitions. Then we’ll examine the difference between believers and unbelievers who are dealing with MCS.

Definitions

What is MCS? Excellent resources exist on this Web site and elsewhere for understanding this problem, so we won’t go into it here. An excellent discussion exists in Janine Ridings’ book Comfort in the Storm by Dr. David Buscher, one of the foremost medical authorities in the field.

What is meant by “demon possessed”? Possession isn’t just being under the devil’s dominion; it’s a special state of being utterly personally controlled by a demon that resides in the person and takes him over physically and mentally. It’s a terrible thing, which does happen often as a result of being involved in occult activities and religious practices where people specifically seek to be taken over by spirits (animism). On the other hand, demonic forces may try to afflict a weakened individual the same way nematodes would attack a weakened plant, but such oppression isn’t the same as possession.

Since 1992, Richard has worked with severely psychotic mental patients in a private crisis psychiatric unit and taught Bible studies to the chemically addicted. In his experience, actual demon possession in Biblical terminology is rare even among non-Christians.

What is the difference between Christians and non-Christians with MCS?

The person’s position in Christ is essential (Colossians 1:13, 21-23, 2:12-15), not whether she has MCS. The born-again Christian is a new being, in a new realm, living under new principles, while the unbeliever remains in the dominion of darkness, under the authority of “the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 2:2). Through Christ’s completed work, the believer has power to turn away from sin and evil and to walk in the light of holiness.

This distinction is vital to the question because the Christian has Christ’s authority over demonic powers (Luke 10:19; Colossians 1:16; Psalm 91:13). That is not to say that Christians don’t struggle with demonic forces; Paul made that very clear in Ephesians 6. The struggle with principalities and powers can be so intimate, he says, so full of intense exertion, strain, and warfare, that it can be likened to wrestling, and he urges us to wear the full armor of God and to pray continually (Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 12:7). But that is not the same as being possessed or controlled by demonic powers. And through Christ our victory is fully assured (Romans 8:37-39, 16:20). He also urges us to accept our hardships as his discipline (Hebrews 12:7), to be good soldiers in Christ. Unfortunately, many Christians do not take up the armor or use the authority God gives us in Christ.

Thus, while a Christian with MCS may have unique weaknesses and vulnerabilities that other people don’t have, he is also equipped with heavenly grace and authority.

A non-Christian, on the other hand, with or without MCS, not only must cope with physical weaknesses but also doesn’t have the Christian’s protection and authority over demonic forces or forgiveness from sin.

Understanding a person’s relationship to demonic powers must begin with knowing that person’s relationship to Jesus Christ. 

Christians and the Occult

Another way Christians can be affected by demonic harassment is through dabbling in the occult or false doctrines. And while whether a Christian can need deliverance from a demon (without being possessed by it) is a controversial topic among some Christians, there is nothing in Scripture that says it can’t happen. We have seen and experienced such deliverance ourselves in fact many times since becoming Christians.

Illness and Demon Possession / Oppression

To assume that someone with MCS (or any illness, for that matter) is demon possessed in the sense the Bible uses possession, is absolutely wrong, because illness does not necessarily equate with demon possession. Furthermore, as shown above, the person’s relationship with Jesus Christ is of paramount importance. It can be a complex issue.

Does the devil influence illness? Absolutely—but not necessarily in all situations. It’s very important to recognize that not all illness is due to either demon affliction (oppression) or to demon possession, and MCS is no exception.

Clear cases exist in the Bible where affliction by demons produced illness (Luke 13:10-13). In one case, when Jesus healed a boy of epilepsy, a demon came out of him, and there are other cases where demon possession produced illness (Matthew 9:32-33). But Jesus also dealt with a variety of illnesses that were different from demon possession or spirit affliction. Matthew 4:24 points out that Jesus healed “all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed . . .” It clarifies that the demon-possessed are only one of many categories of affliction. And, by the way, that Jesus is able to heal all of them.

Possession isn’t just being under the devil’s dominion; it’s a special state of being utterly personally controlled by a demon that resides in the person and takes her over physically and mentally. This terrible condition often occurs as a result of being involved in occult activities and religious practices where people specifically seek to be taken over by spirits (i.e., “channeling”). Such possession can manifest in illness (i.e., Jesus said that a demon caused the problem for the woman bent over for years; he healed her and she straightened up), but such isn’t always the case.

It’s very important to make the distinction between demonic harassment or oppression and demon possession. Demons oppress by putting pressure on people through temptations, false condemnation, in some cases misleading and condemning voices, and other forms of mental and physical harassment. We believe that a lot of illness exists in connection with oppression, particularly in cases of mental illness. Unfortunately, it’s a difficult area to differentiate because it seems that sometimes these voices arise from within rather than without, and certain medications or salvation and cleansing by the Holy Spirit can make them cease. However, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the discernment of spirits (I Corinthians 12:10), and a Christian wondering about such an area should pray for that gift or seek someone who has it.

Due to the increasing paganization of our culture and the modern church, demonic influence is increasing rapidly. Therefore, it’s vital to ask the Holy Spirit to point out any such influences in our own lives and to seek and live in the freedom Christ gives us as believers.

Summary

In summary, if the meaning of the question is, can a demon be one influence among many influences in the life of someone with MCS, we would say yes, but not necessarily in every case or as the main cause. It is essential to be discerning. Pray and study to understand the many complex factors involved in MCS and in Christ’s ways of healing. Learn about the biological and environmental issues as well as the spiritual.

Satan will use anything he can to limit, weaken, or destroy people, to separate them from God and His Word, but thanks be to God, who has given us the victory in Christ Jesus!

Prayer:

Teach us, Father, to look to you and your Word for victory in all of our circumstances. Teach us to rightly use our authority in you, to believe the truth of our position in You, to have faith in your desire that we walk in victory. Show us what in our lives is of the world, the fallen sinful nature, and the powers of darkness. Help us not to assume that you don’t want to heal us just because the road is rocky or to deliver us because the battle is fierce. Help us to trust you, oh Lord, giver of life, and to believe you are accomplishing your purpose for us through Christ Jesus our Lord.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

 * The Nathans are Aroma of Christ advisory board members. Before being rescued by Jesus Christ in 1976, they spent 14 years in New Age occultism. Richard has a B.S. in Biology and an M.A. in Religion in Church History. He has studied the interconnections of body, soul, and spirit for many years. Linda is the president of Logos Word Designs, Inc., a Christian writing and editing firm. In addition to being miraculously healed of cancer by Jesus Christ, she survived a life-threatening episode of MCS. Through Christ’s healing power and grace she now lives a fairly healthy life. They have taught many seminars on recognizing and dealing with occult influences. You can read their testimony online at http://www.logosword.com/ministry.htm.

 

© 2006 by Richard and Linda Nathan

close window

Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Weekend Masses In Español

Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

map
6654 Main Street
Wonderland, AK 45202
(513) 555-7856