Evangelist Ray Comfort has said that while Christians can be oppressed by demons, they can never be demonically possessed.
In a recent interview with CBN News, the 73-year-old New Zealand-born ministry leader explained that the way a Christian experiences the demonic realm will always be vastly different from how unbelievers do.
“Whom the Son sets free is free indeed,” Comfort said. “I don’t believe a Christian can be demonically possessed. He can be oppressed."
"We all have battles with demonic forces, with thoughts in our head. But, when someone becomes a Christian, they are set free.”
Comfort confirmed that, in his ministry work, he doesn't incorporate deliverance sessions into his services, believing that the way a person can combat evil forces is through Scripture.
One key Bible verse that can help with the battle is James 4:7, which states, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
“And if Satan isn’t fleeing from someone, I believe it’s probably because they’re not totally submitted to God,” said Comfort.
According to Comfort, there are people who praise the idea of engaging in exorcising prayers. On many occasions, they are holding onto bitterness in their hearts, which can be related to resentment toward their parents, for example.
“That’s one way to get spiritual problems is to hate your father, hate your mother,” he said. “Ephesians 6:1 says, ‘Honor your father and mother, that all may be well with you and your days may be long upon the earth.'”
Comfort said that bitterness can “give a stronghold to the enemy." He encouraged others to fix their hearts on love and forgiveness rather than on hatred or enmity.
“Remember, Satan goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour,” Comfort said, referring to 1 Peter 5:8. “If you're in Satan’s territory — if you’re lying, or stealing, or looking at porn, or blaspheming and doing things you know are morally wrong — you’re opening the door; you’re giving foothold to the devil.”
The evangelist said he engaged in prayer, oftentimes for hours on end, for people at various churches. He described the process as "exhausting," and said that over time, he came to understand that each “person has to close the door themselves,” because deliverance starts with the person who is being oppressed having a “willingness to cling to the Lord.”
“If someone has demonic problems, I say, ‘Well, let’s go through the Gospel. Let’s see what sin is,'” Comfort said. “And then you renounce everything you’ve been into, turn from it, say, ‘God, I’m totally yours. I give myself. I submit myself to your Lordship. I present myself as a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable to you, which is my reasonable service.'"
“That’s when you’re a new creature in Christ. Old things pass away. Old things become new.”
Last month, Comfort shared a story about a woman, identified as "Jane," who was experiencing blackouts and other spiritual dilemmas. When she sought help, she was showing evidence of being in the midst of a demonic attack.
“[She was] sitting down in my office, manifesting all these different weird demons,” Comfort said. “And, at one point, the dexterity was quite amazing. With one hand, she reached into a blouse and pulled out a safety pin … and tried to swallow it."
“I think three times she grabbed cords from lights in the office and tried to strangle herself, and the demon screamed out, ‘We’re going to kill.’ And I said, ‘You can’t touch us, because we’re Christians.’”
Comfort said the voice clarified that Jane wasn’t a Christian and could suffer harm as a result of that. She eventually was delivered and set free.
The topic of spiritual warfare and demonic possession has been a hot topic in Christian circles in recent years.
In a video posted on YouTube by the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2018, theologian Stephen Wellum stressed that Christians cannot be possessed.
"To be demon-possessed would mean one is outside of Christ," said Wellum at the time. "When you think of Christian salvation, it is depicted in Scripture as a transfer. It is a transfer from being in Adam, and the entire age controlled by sin and death and the devil, and being transferred into Christ."
"In Christ, we are no longer dead in transgressions and sins, we are born of the Spirit, we have new life, we are forgiven of our sins, we are joined to the Savior, we have the power of the Savior."
Nicole Alcindor is a reporter for The Christian Post.