Thank you so much for your presentation in Berlin. You pointed out that the Old Testament "tells it like it is," and that many pagan religions believed in demons and demon possession at the time the O.T. was written, while the O.T. never mentions such things. Your point seemed to be: The O.T. is realistic and based on facts and the belief in demons/possession is a pagan superstition. Yet the N.T. mentions demons many times and Jesus apparently even spoke with a few of them. Do you think possession was only their way of describing psychological illness? If so how could Jesus speak with the demons?
Demon possession was a fact in New Testament times. It was not superstition. Psychological illnesses do not predict the future, as in Acts 16, or invade swine, as in Mark 5. (I reserve judgment about the possibility of possession occurring today.)
It is indeed remarkable that in Old Testament times God apparently protected his people from demon possession. Yet right before the Messiah came into the world, Satan apparently was granted greater liberty: demon possession afflicted many, and it was part of the early apostolic ministry to combat it (Luke 9). Since possession was a terrible reality for hundreds of people, Jesus was able to speak directly to them. (As was Paul in Acts 16 and the sons of Sceva in Acts 19 -- and presumably others.)
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