Experienced authorities in the church usually indicate that demonic possession of an individual rarely occurs. It is strongly recommended that any person suspected of possession should be evaluated for an underlying psychological or physiological condition by medical professionals. Possession should be suspected when one or more of these conditions are present:
- discolouration of skin colour and appearance (often ashen grey);
- displays unnatural knowledge of secrets, even thoughts of surrounding people;
- highly unusual behaviours – for example, excessive masturbation, perverse language, eating animals alive and faeces.
- aversion to holy sites, relics and prayers – also finding offence with theological words and phrases, particularly in Hebrew, Latin and Greek.
- knowledge of ancient and foreign languages without any instruction;
- unnatural strength that does not match the age or gender of the afflicted;
- the air within the room or building seems to feel ‘denser’ and colder than would be expected for the seasonal weather.
Most possessed people are unaware of the demon that resides in their consciousness. The best protection is to live in a state of grace – with prayer, worship, bible study and Christian fellowship. If seeking assistance, contact your local church authorities. I have included a reference guide for those who wish to find out more about the rite of exorcism.