TO DISCERN THE WORKS OF EVIL SPIRITS
II. Demon-possession—occasional emergence of the spirit
Sometimes, a spirit can remain dormant in a person for a substantial period of time, but these cases are not exactly easy to identify. This is because the demon-possessed person may act like any mentally sound person and live a normal life. Occasionally, the spirit emerges, when the demon-possessed is made use of to achieve the will of his master. Once the work is done the spirit hides itself or goes away and the person returns back to his normal self. Perhaps, the only difficulty with identifying such a case is that it is uncertain when the evil spirit will strike again through the human vessel it possesses.
The case of King Saul, after the Spirit of God had left him, is one notable case. The Bible says a distressing spirit from the Lord came upon him and troubled him, and his servants could see that the spirit disturbed him (1 Sam. 16:14–15). However, there is a hint of normality in the behaviour of Saul. He still managed to speak to his servants and was not completely taken over by the spirit. That is why he consented to the suggestion of his servants to bring in a skilful player of the harp to help him be set free from the spirit’s disturbance (1 Sam. 16:16ff).
Saul’s oscillation between normality to abnormality further discloses the work of the evil spirit. Sometimes, Saul would be completely normal when David was playing the harp for him. But at other times, when the distressing spirit came, he would be moved to kill David (1 Sam. 18:10f). When Saul came back to his senses, he would be utterly sorry for his acts of insanity and resolve not to harm David ever again (1 Sam. 19:6). But later, the evil spirit again instigated him to try to kill David with a spear (1 Sam. 19:9–10). Obviously, there are reasons that prompted the spirit to work in Saul. In this case, it was due to his suspicion and jealousy (1 Sam. 18:9).
[To Be Continued]