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Given that barely 1% of all JWs today claim to be anointed with the Holy Spirit and thus have the heavenly calling (Romans 8:15-17), would that indwelling protect them? I speak of demon possession as in the way it was described in the New Testament. I note from recent Qs on similar topics that JW quotes show belief in unseen demonic activity today but they seem to imply that it is non-baptised JWs who are open to that, while counsel on being alert to avoid demonic influences seems to be aimed at everyone, including those few anointed JWs, which confuses me. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that demon possession is possible within their ranks? & Do Jehovah's Witnesses believe in exorcisms?

Many Protestants believe that all Christians are anointed with the Holy Spirit and that his presence prevents unclean spirits from entering in:

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

The one “in” the Christian child of God is the Holy Spirit. Further, consider what Jesus said here after driving a demon out of a blind and dumb man:

“But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? And then he will spoil his house.” Jesus then warned of committing the unforgivable sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:22-33).

This seems to show the role of the Holy Spirit in casting out demons and leads to a second, related question: Would only Holy Spirit anointed JWs be qualified to do what Jesus did – cast devils out of people by the Spirit of God? Anybody able to quote directly from JW literature relevant to the two Qs could answer.

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    I feel like I already answered this in the first linked question. The thing that protects someone from demons is not their baptism or being anointed. It's putting on the spiritual armor of Ephesians 6. The second linked question also seems to answer your second, related question. Modern JWs don't perform exorcisms, anointed or not.
    – user32540
    Jun 13 at 23:34
  • @4castle - what about this question? Jun 13 at 23:48
  • @4castle I read the links in your answer to Q Spirit Realm Investigator’s Q [link above] and they show non-JWs getting relief from demonic attacks by “calling on the name of Jehovah”. But surely non-Christians (as were those people at the outset) couldn’t put on spiritual armour? Can baptised but non-anointed JWs suffer demonic possession? And if baptised but anointed JWs have not been reported as demon-possessed, surely the indwelling of the Holy Spirit would be a critical factor? It was baptised, Spirit-anointed Christians who were guided on using spiritual armour in Eph. ch.6.
    – Anne
    Jun 14 at 7:44
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Agarza has answered your main question by saying “Jehovah's Witnesses (anointed or otherwise) are not immune to demonic possession.” They acknowledge that nobody is immune from attacks by demons, whether they are Jehovah’s Witnesses or not. Clearly, prevention is better than cure, as this extract from an article on demon possession from ‘Insight on the Scriptures’ shows:

Often the wild and uncontrolled conduct of mentally unbalanced persons is due to possession by these invisible minions of Satan. Sometimes it is reported that spirit mediums have cast these demons out; this calls to mind what Jesus said: “Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not . . . expel demons in your name . . . ?’ And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew you!” (Mt 7:22, 23) Compelling reasons, then, for heeding the counsel, “Be watchful,” and, “Put on the complete suit of armor from God that you may be able to stand firm against the machinations of the Devil” and his demons. Source: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200001154

Your secondary question asks: Would only Holy Spirit anointed JWs be qualified to do what Jesus did – cast devils out of people by the Spirit of God? Here are a couple of quotes from the official Jehovah’s Witness website. Please note that all emphases are mine:

Should Christians Practice Exorcism? True, during the infancy of the Christian congregation, Jehovah God often enabled Jesus’ disciples to perform miracles under the power of His holy spirit. But such miraculous gifts of the spirit were no longer needed once it had been proved that the “hand of Jehovah” was with the followers of Jesus Christ. (Acts 11:21) Consequently, the miraculous gifts of the spirit and unusual demonstrations of its power passed away.—1 Cor. 13:8-13.

While there is no Scriptural authority for exorcism ritual today and true Christians do not practice it, that does not mean that godly persons have no protection from wicked spirit forces. They do, indeed, have all the help that is needed.

Of vital importance is faith in Jehovah and earnest prayer to him. If under demon assault, it is essential to pray to Jehovah God through Jesus Christ, using the Divine Name. “The name of Jehovah is a strong tower. Into it the righteous runs and is given protection.” (Prov. 18:10; Phil. 4:6, 7) Appointed overseers in the Christian congregation gladly have assisted those desiring to serve God but who were being troubled by the demons. Yet, the mental attitude of the individual himself is of importance. It is vital to resist wicked spirit forces, and this is effective. “Oppose the Devil,” wrote the disciple James, “and he will flee from you.”—Jas. 4:7.

Modern-day exorcism with its ritual is not the answer to demon possession. Rather, Jehovah God has lovingly provided protection from wicked spirit forces, and prudent persons will avail themselves of it. No, Christians should not practice exorcism rites. But they should keep their minds and hearts fixed on the worship and service of their heavenly Father. Source: 22 May 1977 Awake! https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/101977370#h=1:0-30:357

I know from first-hand experience that when demonic forces are at work, praying to God in the name of Jesus Christ is effective. 45 years ago, while on a residential training course, some of my colleagues set up an Ouija board and started to ask questions. To their surprise, they got answers. Most were sceptical, but one young man became possessed. He started speaking in a voice not his own. He started using vile language. He collapsed and was taken to his room where someone with basic medical training monitored his vital life symptoms. While that was going on, I went to the pay-phone, looked up the telephone directory and found a list of Catholic residences. I started to phone for a priest, determined to drag someone over to give spiritual help. Before I got an answer, the young man in question came round, and his pulse/heart rate returned to normal. He had no idea of what had happened to him. Eventually, we were able to retire to our rooms.

During the hours of darkness, I woke up suddenly, aware of something in my room. There was nothing to see and there was no sound, but I could smell the fear on me. I sensed the presence of evil, and no, I was not under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances. I cried out to God to protect me and called upon the name of Jesus Christ. It was probably the most heart-felt prayer I ever made. That evil presence left.

Next morning, the caretaker said both his dogs had been prowling around the basement where he lived. They were clearly unsettled, growling and with raised hackles. The caretaker wondered if a burglar had been trying to break into the building. The intruder was not human, and although nobody saw anything, the dogs sensed it.

Moral of the story – never mess around with an Ouija board because it opens up the portal to demons. When under demonic attack, turn to God and pray in the powerful name of Christ Jesus.

Summary: Jehovah’s Witnesses (anointed or otherwise) are not immune to demonic possession. However, since the miraculous gifts of the spirit and unusual demonstrations of its power passed away, they believe that “true Christians” do not practice exorcisms. They also denounce any activity by spirit mediums.

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    Do you know what happened to the young man who became possessed? Did he do just fine afterwards? Jun 16 at 14:32
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    The young man appeared at breakfast the following morning, pale and tired and quiet. I have no idea what happened to him after the training course ended because we all went back to our respective sales offices in various parts of the U.K. I hope he (and the others who participated) learned a lesson from this alarming incident.
    – Lesley
    Jun 16 at 14:45
  • "They acknowledge that nobody is immune from attacks by demons." This isn't true, or perhaps I misunderstood that sentence. Any JW or Bible student can be immune to attacks from the demons if they put on "the complete suit of armor from God." It's possible for someone wearing all to armor to take some of it off, but the demons can't do it.
    – user32540
    Jul 6 at 14:08
  • The Watchtower article I partially quoted from said ". If under demon assault, it is essential to pray to Jehovah God through Jesus Christ, using the Divine Name." My understanding from reading that article is that Jehovah's Witnesses are not immune. Nobody is suggesting that demons can remove the armour of God from a born-again and spirit-filled Christian who belongs to Christ Jesus.
    – Lesley
    Jul 6 at 15:09
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Would Jehovah’s Witnesses anointed with the Holy Spirit be unable to suffer demonic possession, whilst un-anointed Jehovah's Witnesses could?

Jehovah's Witnesses (anointed or otherwise) are not immune to demonic possession.

Chapter 16 "Oppose the Devil and His Crafty Acts" of the book Keep Yourselves in God's Love covers information on what Jehovah's Witnesses need to do in order to stand firm against Satan and his tactics. The box entitled "Beware of Satan's Cunning" brings out our lack of immunity:

As Christians, we are by no means immune to Satan’s methods. (1 Corinthians 10:12) Knowing that his time is short, Satan has “great anger” and is especially intent on misleading God’s people. (Revelation 12:12) If we are not careful, the subtle propaganda of Satan and the many “deceivers” whom he uses can corrupt our thinking and seduce us into sin.​—Titus 1:10. (italics mine)

The paragraph mentions "Satan and the many 'deceivers' whom he uses". Therein lies the key to Satan's work: deception. To illustrate: Imagine walking in a jungle. You see in front of you an open pit, so you walk around it. But if the pit were camouflaged, you would not see the pit and would fall in.

The point is that which is obvious is more readily avoid than that which is obscured. If a Jehovah's Witness was plainly manifesting behavior indicating demonic possession, others would avoid coming into contact with that individual. But if Satan could corrupt the mind of a Jehovah's Witness, then that corrupted one would be a great asset to Satan. Recall that Satan only wanted one act of worship from Jesus, not constant worship. (Matthew 4:9) Satan has been deceiving the world since the beginning with Eve. (1 Timothy 2:14)

The only way for anyone (non Jehovah's Witness, non-anointed or anointed Jehovah's Witness) to be subject to demonic possession is by allowing oneself to be influenced or seeking out Satan and his demons.

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  • So, your answer to my question is, "No, there is no difference between anointed and un-anointed JWs when it comes to a risk of becoming demon-possessed. That could happen to any JW, or any non-JW, who allows demon possession"?
    – Anne
    Jun 16 at 9:15
  • @Anne As I mentioned at the end, it is only when a person "opens the door" can Satan or his demons have the opportunity to affect or possess an individual.
    – agarza
    Jun 16 at 13:07
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    ”It is only when a person "opens the door" can Satan or his demons have the opportunity to affect or possess an individual.” What about a Jehovah’s Witnesses being possessed because some evil person cursed them?
    – Ken Graham
    Jun 16 at 15:37
  • @KenGraham No matter what the situation may be, Jehovah has promised he will protect those that are loyal and faithful to him. (Ps 34:7; 91:11; Dan. 6:22; Acts 5:18,19; 12:11)
    – agarza
    Jun 17 at 15:37

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