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Zechariah 13:2 states (NKJV, emphasis added):

“It shall be in that day,” says the LORD of hosts, “that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered. I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land.

I have seen this verse used to show that demon possession ended in the First Century, after Christ came and became a fountain for sin and uncleanness (v. 1). Two problems I see, however, is that the verse speaks of "the unclean spirit" (singular), not "unclean spirits" (plural), and it merely speaks of this spirit of uncleanness departing "from the land."

Does Zechariah 13:2 foretell the end of demon possession, or does it address something else?

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I note that the prophecy in Zech 13:1-6 consists of the following predictions about "that day" when a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the people of Jerusalem -

  • All sin and impurity will be removed (V1)
  • all the names of idols will be removed from the land (V2) and they will no longer be remembered
  • the unclean spirit will be removed from the land (V2)
  • all prophets will be removed from the land (V2)
  • all the sins of impurity will be removed from the land (V2)
  • prophets will be no longer needed
  • any prophets will be ashamed of their visions

Now, it is plainly obvious that this prophecy does NOT apply to the time of Jesus Christ in the 1st century because:

  • even to this day, the land of Jerusalem still contains the spirit of impurity
  • even to this day, the land contains sin
  • we still remember the idols in the land
  • after the time of Christ, there were prophets such as Paul, Barnabas, Agabus, the fours daughters of Philip, etc.
  • prophets were still needed after the time of Christ, at least in the 1st century
  • etc.

Thus, whatever one says about any one of these must be said about them all. Therefore, this prophecy does NOT apply to the first century in Jerusalem.

Now, let us be very clear - The complete and total atonement of Jesus provided for the total eradication of sin. However, while that complete provision for the removal of sin was made by Jesus sacrifice, it will only be complete at Jesus second appearing as Heb 9:28 makes clear:

Heb 9:28 - so also Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him.

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