demon possesion and free will

edited December 1969 in Random Issues
How is it that people get demon possest and are not able to control their actions. didnt God give us free will... if He gave us free will why does he let the devil take it away from these people who strayed away from god... i thought that every morning we wake up God gives us a chance to repent right ?? unless he already know that the person will not repent ...


  • Today is the day of salvation.

    There is no guarantee that you will be able to repent tomorrow. Those who are oppressed by demons are those who have already given themselves up to the power of the demons.

    No-one should ever consider that they will have time in the future to repent. It may always be too late. Repent now, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.
  • thanks abouna
  • [quote=luke 8:26-38]A Demon-Possessed Man Healed

    26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes,[c] which is opposite Galilee. 27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes,[d] nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.
    30 Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?”
    And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.
    32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. 33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.
    34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 36 They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenese asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.
    38 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him

    St Cyril in his commentary on the Gospel of St Luke says on the subject of demon possessed man who called himself legion says (and I paraphrase because I'm going from memory) that God allows possession because in same way that we didn't know God until he was incarnated and He had material relationships with His disciples and taught them about God. It is because of the incarnation that we know God's kindness and His love for us because He demonstrated it physically.

    In the same way the reverse can be said of demon possession, if we didn't know that God loved us like a father until He demonstrated it then we also wouldn't know anything about the wickedness of demons unless we would see them incarnated so to speak in the form of the people who they take possession of.  When we hear the stories about how foul smelling people are when possessed and how people harm themselves under their influence then we learn how sick and  warped these horrible creatures are and how destructive their influence over us can be if we allow them.

    Fr Thomas Hopko on the same subject said that the same story is actually a way of scripture telling us about 2 kinds of demon possession, there was the man who was horribly tormented by demons and it was clear to the whole world that he was under the influence of demons because of the horrible things he was forced to do to himself like walking around with no clothes, living in the wilderness and cutting himself with sharp rocks.  When he was liberated it was clear to this man that he had been released from a great evil when he met Christ and so he was quick to listen to him when he had been released from that possession.

    He goes on to say quite philosophically that there is a second kind of demon posession - the people who came and seeing the miracle of Christ asked him to depart.  They were so used to the normal ebb and flow of their lives that when someone came who healed a horribly tormented man like that for the cost of little more than a herd of pigs it terrified them - they would have rather that the man was still possessed and they still had their pigs.

    In this story the man who was possessed was actually the winner - he was liberated from that horrible Satanic prison and he ended up meeting and becoming a keen hearer of His.  The other people who weren't demon possessed were still controlled by the demons in other ways because they didn't recognise Christ at the time of His coming.  They had not yet been released from the prison of darkness and death because they didn't recognise the light and power of Christ's saving deeds and teaching.  So we might not be physically possessed but we may be morally possessed by the demons if we live an immoral life which doesn't befit the good deeds of God.  We therefore shouldn't be afraid of physical possession per se because it is only a physical manifestation of a condition which many millions of people in the world are already under - the influence of the evil one - both of these together are a great evil.

    Coming again back to St Cyril he says that this story is told in scripture to show us that God is the one who has all authority and that the demons lacked even the power to take possession of dumb animals if God had not granted them permission to do so.  We can conclude from this that even if someone is possessed it is something which God permits for our salvation and we should also know like Fr. Peter said that so long as we're faithful to God these horrible creatures cannot touch us.

    Please pray for me,

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