“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined ...” (Matthew 12:25-27)

“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” (Matthew 12:25-27)

What does Jesus' statement about being 'divided' mean?

Jesus' statement follows criticism by the Pharisees after Jesus healed a blind and mute person.

Following the people witnessing this proclaiming that Jesus must be the “son of David” (see below), the Pharisees made offensive statements about Jesus, accusing him of being satan or a demon.

Jesus questioned these statements logically: Why would a demon remove other demons? That would create a house divided.

It would be like a kingdom divided against itself because when there is no common ground, things fall apart.

This logic by Jesus essentially proves to the Pharisees that Jesus was not satan or a demon.

How did Jesus cast out demons?

Jesus was able to extract demons utilizing the Spirit of God, who is the Supreme Controller, having the ultimate ability to control everything, including where demons live.

This contradicts any notion that God somehow has a competitor in satan. God has no competitor. The Supreme Being controls everything.

At the same time, however, the Supreme Being gives each of His children the choice of loving Him or not. For those of us who choose not to love Him - our natural need to love turned inward, producing self-centeredness.

This self-centeredness caused our downfall to the physical world, requiring us to take on these temporary physical bodies. This was described in Genesis:
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)
Now, what would "garments of skin" be then? Are they animal skins as some have interpreted? Did God go out and kill some animals so he could skin their hides and give the skins to Adam and Eve?

That would be a preposterous notion. 

What is being described is the physical body. Adam and Eve were covered up with physical bodies. After all, our physical bodies are each covered by skin.

Who are the fallen angels?

The concept of fallen angels has been hinted at throughout the Scriptures. But who are they?

We see in the texts of Genesis 3 above how God banned Adam and Eve. They essentially fell as they were "banished" from the "Garden:"
So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:23-24)
This confirms that not only were Adam and Eve pushed out of the Garden: They were also barricaded from returning. God put a barrier between them and the Garden.

This illustrates that the Garden wasn't just a plot of land in the East or Middle East. This is a story full of symbolism, and the Garden symbolizes the spiritual realm. Adam and Eve symbolize all of humanity. And where Adam and Eve went in their new skins (physical bodies) was the physical world - where we are all now.

Then we find in Genesis 6 that God saw humanity as becoming increasingly wicked:
When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years." The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. (Genesis 6:1-5)
What we find in the Scriptures is the story of how we ended up here in the physical world, and how we have become increasingly self-centered since our arrival.

Each of us at some point rejected our relationship with God. We became self-centered, and this initiated the process of us being booted out of the spiritual realm and sent to the physical world.

In other words, each of us in the physical world is - to some degree or another - a fallen angel.

Why are we here?

The reality that we are fallen angels may come as a surprise to some of us. We may think that we are really good people. We may even think we are one of the better people. Maybe we think we are pretty great.

This, however, is our disease. Feeling that we are great - or at least the most important person around - is why we have fallen. You see, the nature of the spiritual realm is that its residents don't think very highly of themselves. They love God and love everyone else. They are always caring about others. They do not see themselves as great.

This is why Jesus taught:
Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant ... (Matthew 20:25)
However, each resident of the spiritual realm also has the freedom to change, and become self-centered. This is because freedom is required for love to exist.

So we exercised this freedom to become self-centered. This led to our fall into the physical world, and our taking on a physical body. Why?

To allow us to express our freedom in the form of self-centeredness. Here, our self-centeredness can expand into lust, greed, envy and even violence as we chase the illusory dreams of the physical world.

In other words, while there is no competitor to the Supreme Being, there are many who have become, as a result of self-centeredness, envious of Him.

This is why so many of us strive to win. We want to be the champion. We want to be in first place and have everyone adore us. So each of us tries to find our little niche - our sport or skill - that we can win within.

What is this need to win? It is the desire to be king - to be adored and worshiped.

In other words, we want to occupy the post of God. We want to be God.

This is the strict definition of a demon - someone who is envious of the Supreme Being.

The purpose of this world and these bodies is to not only provide a place for us to expand our self-centeredness. It is also a place that can teach us - in hopes that we might one day choose that we would like to return to our relationship with the Supreme Being.

How does demon possession happen?

This concept of driving out demons has been quite controversial in modern times. Modern scientists have questioned the concept of demon possession, while the media has perverted the concept in movies and other dramatizations.

But now that we realize that practically every person within the physical world - to one degree or another - is a demon, we can now focus upon what is possession and what is demon exorcism.

We are not these physical bodies. We are each spirit-persons.

This means that our bodies are all possessed. For most of us, the possession of our physical body is sanctioned. It is an approved possession.

But if the spirit-person who is occupying this body has a defect - say a penchant for harming others - well that body is being possessed by a demon. This can be symptomized also by a mental defect, illustrating the demoniac trait through activities.

It is also to be understood that during Jesus' time, a physical disorder was often considered to be a demon. If someone had leprosy, for example, that was considered to be caused by a demon. In this case, the "demon" is a bacterial infection (leprosy is caused by an infection of Mycobacterium lepromatosis).

These points should broaden our understanding of what was considered to be a cleansing of a demon during Jesus' time. If someone was healed of a disease, their demon had been expelled.

Given these potential disorders during Jesus' time, we find that one could be healed of a physical or mental disorder, the development of an addiction, or darkness within the soul related to a person's consciousness, all of which could be described as cleansing a demon.

Jesus was able to help any of these instances because he could heal a person's physical body or mental defect by the power of God. He could also change a person's heart, therefore curing a mental defect or issue of consciousness.

The more remote type of possession is the outside influence of a spirit-person who isn't the rightful possessor of a particular physical body. This can occur in the case of a spirit-person who seeks to influence someone in another body.

Sometimes, when a person dies and remains attached to the things surrounding their former physical body - or they commit suicide - they may stay in the subtle regions of the physical dimension without a gross physical body.

Such a spirit-person may become an intruder by becoming influential to someone else's physical body.

This has occasionally occurred in cases of schizophrenia and something called the “Jekyll and Hyde complex.” Sometimes it is a defect of consciousness. Sometimes, but rarely, it is caused by the presence of an outside influence.

This type of outside influence could also be removed by Jesus according to the Scriptures. 

Jesus’ method was described repeatedly: He touched the person while he prayed to or praised the Supreme Being. The prayer and praise brought upon that person the Supreme Being's presence, which had the effect of healing the disorder or otherwise circumventing the outside influence. 

Jesus confirms this as he says above:
"But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”