Dealing With Demonic Powers
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the Devil; for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38)
For too long the work of demons has been dismissed by many as a curious practice in heathen cultures. It has not been considered as a problem which invades lives and causes destruction.
Demons are an organized force of powers against which believers wrestle (Ephesians 6:12). They are the agents through which Satan works to accomplish his purposes in the world.
If you are to wage effective warfare, you must learn how to deal with demonic powers that obsess, oppress, or possess the body, soul, and spirit. There are people all about you who are tormented, troubled, and even possessed by the powers of darkness known as demons.
JESUS AND DEMONS
The teaching and ministry of Jesus demonstrated that demonic spirits are a real force of evil.
What Jesus taught about demons and how He dealt with them yields valuable information about the strategies of Satan.
Jesus accepted the fact that Satan is the ruler of a host of demons. He taught of the reality and power of demons. He said that the casting out of demonic powers was one of the signs that the Kingdom of God had come. Read Matthew 12:22-30, Mark 3:22-27, and Luke 11:14-23 for a summary of what Jesus taught concerning demons.
A large portion of the ministry of Jesus involved dealing with demons. It is the example of Jesus and the authority of His name that provides the Scriptural basis for dealing with demonic powers.
Jesus ministered to "all" who came with demonic problems. Peter said of Jesus:
... God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil. (Acts 10:38)
HOW DEMONS OPERATE
Demons are used by Satan to oppose God, His plan and purposes, and His people:
They war against unbelievers to keep them from the truth of the Gospel.
Demons control specific territories (principalities) such as the prince of Persia mentioned in Daniel 10:12-13.
They work through personalities, through men and women, to accomplish Satanic objectives in the world.
Opposition to God's will is Satan's main objective.
The word "Satan" means "adversary." Satan is primarily God's adversary (Job 1:6; Matthew 13:39). He is secondarily, man's adversary (Zechariah 3:1; I Peter 5:8).
Demons have different natures. One demon identified himself in I Kings 22:23 as a "lying spirit." A "deaf and dumb" spirit is identified in Mark 9:25. Demons of various natures operate as spirits of infirmity, seducing spirits, and unclean spirits. Satan uses them to war against man in body, soul, and spirit:
SPIRITS OF INFIRMITY:
These are spirits that can afflict the bodies of believers as well as unbelievers. Read Luke 13:10-17. This woman was afflicted with a spirit of infirmity. She was present in the Sabbath services and Jesus called her "a daughter of Abraham." Both of these facts indicate she probably was a follower of God, yet her body had been afflicted by Satan for eighteen years.
For other examples of demonic powers afflicting the body see Matthew 12:22; 17:15-18; Acts 10:38; II Corinthians 12:7.
These spirits afflict the spirit of man, seducing him to believe doctrinal lies and be condemned to eternal punishment. They are the spirits of false doctrine, cults, false Christs, and false teachers:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (I Timothy 4:1)
These seducing spirits are deceptive. They actually work miracles which lead some to believe they are of God:
For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (Revelation 16:14)
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all powers and signs and lying wonders. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (II Thessalonians 2:9-10)
Seducing spirits include the "spirit of divination" mentioned in Acts:
And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying. (Acts 16:16)
Such spirits of divination or "familiar spirits" operate in fortune tellers, witches, and palm, crystal ball, and tea leaf readers, etc. Through unscriptural methods the spirits of divination foretell the future or discover knowledge which is naturally unknown. Warnings against familiar spirits are given in Leviticus 19:31; 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:9; 18:10; Leviticus 20:27; and I Samuel 28:3.
Seducing spirits sear the conscience, seduce, entice, tempt, allure, interest, fascinate, excite, arouse, attract, and deceive. Seducing spirits are active in causing "spiritual wickedness in high places." They are present and operative in every cult and wherever doctrinal error that does not line up with the King James Bible exists.
Remember - Satan craves worship and he will take it any way he can get it.
Seducing spirits entice men and women to worship idols and even Satan himself.
These demonic powers afflict the soulish nature of man. They are responsible for immoral acts, unclean thoughts, temptations and other strategies of Satan used to bind men and women. When Satan controls individuals with unclean spirits, he can also operate in homes, churches, and entire nations as these groups are composed of individuals. This is how Satan works in the various levels of structure in society. For examples of unclean spirits see Matthew 10:1; 12:43; and Mark 1:23-26.
OPPRESSION, OBSESSION, POSSESSION
Evil spirits can oppress people. To oppress means to bear down, come against, or bind from the outside. This oppression is accomplished by evil spirits in various ways. They cause depression, create negative circumstances, and insert wrong thoughts into the mind such as thoughts of suicide, immorality, unbelief, fear, etc.
Demons create Satanic circumstances and situations which tempt men to sin:
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power:
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Demons can also possess human beings. Demon possession is a condition in which one or more evil spirits (demons) inhabit the body of a human being and take complete control of their victim at will. Some people prefer using the word "demonized" rather than possession, but regardless of the term, the possessed person is host to resident demons. "Possession" does not mean a person is not responsible for his own sin. His responsibility rests with the factors that led to his condition.
Possession can happen willingly. A person may desire to be taken over by spirit powers in order to conduct seances, pronounce curses, become a witch, or secure some other supernatural power.
Possession can also occur unwilling. An individual does not ask to be possessed, but through sinful thoughts, actions, or contact with the occult possession results.
Demonic powers operating in parents and the sins of the parents can affect the next generation. (See Exodus 20:5; 34:7; and Deuteronomy 5:9.) This accounts for demon possession or oppression of children such as recorded in Mark 7:24-30 and 9:17-21.
There is also such a thing as demon obsession. This is a condition where one becomes obsessed by an interest in or preoccupation with demons. It is an unusual interest in the occult, demons, and Satan which controls interests and pursuits in a dictating manner. Such obsession with demon powers can lead to possession by them.
CAN DEMONS AFFECT BELIEVERS?
A true believer cannot be possessed by a demon because the Holy Spirit cannot inhabit the same temple as an evil spirit:
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (I Corinthians 6:19-20)
When you belong to God and are filled with the Holy Spirit, you cannot belong to Satan and be filled with his spirits at the same time. The Holy Ghost will not abide in the same "temple" with Satan.
But this does not mean believers cannot be affected by demonic powers. It is these powers against which we wrestle. Satan uses demonic powers to attack believers from the outside through oppression, the symptoms of which were previously discussed. But he cannot possess the true believer. To "possess" indicates inside occupation. To "oppress" or bind indicates control from the outside. The activities of believers can be Satanically directed if they allow demonic powers to oppress them. Such oppression or binding by evil powers permits Satan to use them for evil purposes or it can stagnate the Work of God in their lives and ministry.
This is what happened when Peter, a disciple of Jesus, was used of Satan to try to divert Jesus from suffering for the sins of all mankind. When Jesus described the suffering He was to go through, Peter said:
...Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. (Matthew 16:22)
Jesus said to Peter:
...Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:23)
Jesus did not mean Peter was actually Satan. He recognized that at that moment Peter had allowed Satan to operate through him. He was not demon possessed, but he was allowing Satanic spirits to influence him.
Believers, by their own actions, give place or make room for Satan to use them. (Ephesians 4:27)
When a person is born again, his name is written in a special book in Heaven called the book of life. Only those whose names are in this book will be residents of Heaven for eternity:
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15)
It is possible to have your name written in the book of life, but later blotted out because of turning back to sinful living:
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels. (Revelation 3:5)
If a believer continues in known, unconfessed sin, there is a point at which he can cease to be a Christian. The Apostle Paul expressed his own concern that he not be "cast away" after preaching to others:
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (I Corinthians 9:27)
Paul realized that sin, especially continued unconfessed sins of the flesh, could result in the loss of his own soul even though he had preached to others.
By continuing to live in sin you will eventually end up in a backslidden condition.
This means you will no longer be a true follower of Jesus Christ. If you continue in known and unconfessed sin, no one can tell you at what point you cease to become a follower of Jesus and again become part of Satan's Kingdom. It is God that determines that point. But when it does occur, you are opening yourself up to greater attacks of the enemy, including the possibility of demon possession. This is why it is important when you sin to immediately confess your sin and turn from unrighteousness:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. (I John 1:9-10)
Jesus is called the Word of God in many places in Scripture. If the Word of God does not dwell in you, then Jesus does not dwell in you.
HOW DEMONS GAIN CONTROL
Demons gain control in several ways:
Through generations: Demons may oppress or possess a person because of previous possession or oppression of the parents. This accounts for demonic influence over children (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Deuteronomy 5:9).
Through the mind: The mind is one of the major battlefields of Satan. If Satan can control your thoughts, he will eventually control your actions. Lack of mental control eventually results in lack of use of the will. This leads to sinful actions. Continuing in sinful thoughts and actions can lead from oppression to possession and finally to a reprobate mind such as is described in Romans l. This is a mind totally controlled by evil thoughts.
Demons also gain access through mind-altering drugs which reduce the ability to resist demons and grant increasing access. "Brain washing" or "mind control" teaching also provides an entrance point. Sources of brainwashing or mind control include but are not limited to Main Stream Media, TV, Movies, Video games, etc.
Through sinful actions: Sinful thoughts are soon fulfilled by sinful actions. For example, the thought of adultery is fulfilled in the actual act of adultery. Sin is rebellion, and rebellious thoughts and actions provides an entry point for demonic activity.
When a believer continues in sinful thoughts or actions they "give place" to the Devil (Ephesians 4:27). More spiritual room is given for the operation of the enemy. Sins of involvement with the occult, including objects, literature, seances, etc., are actions which are especially dangerous and attract demonic powers.
An unbeliever who lives in sin is open not only to oppression of demonic powers, but also possession. There is no neutral ground in spiritual warfare. You are either on the side of good or evil. You belong either to God or Satan. If you belong to Satan and have not experienced the new birth in Jesus Christ, then you are his to use, oppress, or possess as he wills.
Through desire: Some people desire and request of Satan to be under the control of demons powers. They do this for purposes of having supernatural power or performing supernatural acts.
Through an empty "house": Demons consider the body of the person they inhabit as their house (Matthew 12:44). When a person who has been delivered from demonic powers does not fill his spiritual house with the new birth experience and the infilling of the Holy Spirit, reentry may occur.
Through permission: Sometimes God grants permission for activities of demonic powers to accomplish special purposes. This can be allowed as a trial of believers as in the case of Job. It can also be judgment for sin as in the case of King Saul.
WHO IS TO DEAL WITH DEMONIC POWERS?
Dealing with demonic powers is not something to be left to professional ministers. Jesus said all believers would have the ability to overcome demonic powers:
And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils... (Mark 16:17)
Jesus has given His followers the ability to deal with demonic powers. He first delegated such power to the disciples:
And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (Matthew 10:1)
And He called unto Him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits. (Mark 6:7)
He delegated this same power to all believers:
And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils... (Mark 16:17)
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:8)
There is no Biblical basis for believing God intended this important ministry to be restricted to a particular group of people. A layman named Philip was used by God to cast out evil spirits in Samaria (Acts 8). But this does not mean believers should rush into encounters with demonic powers without proper preparation, as the sons of Sceva discovered (Acts 19).
It is also important that believers do not become overly demon conscious. We are not called to major in demons. There is no spiritual gift of "casting out demons." But you are not to fear demonic powers. When confronted with those affected by demons, you should have the power to bring deliverance from God.
DETECTING DEMONIC PRESENCE
To overcome demonic powers it is important to be able to recognize their presence and tactics.
The Holy Spirit has provided a special spiritual gift for this purpose. This gift is called "discerning of spirits" (I Corinthians 12:10).
To discern means "to discover, evaluate, and make a distinction between." The gift of discerning of spirits enables a believer to discern the spirits operating in others. It permits him to discover, evaluate, and identify evil spirits.
The gift of discerning of spirits is very important when dealing with demonic powers. It enables you to immediately discern whether or not a person has an evil spirit operating through or against him. It prevents deception by seducing or lying spirits. One with this gift can recognize the evil tactics and motives of demonic powers.
For example, some deafness and dumbness (according to the Biblical record) is caused by a spirit. Other deafness and dumbness might be the result of an accident or illness. Discernment would enable you to determine the cause behind the condition which would enable specific ministry.
Not all believers have this special spiritual gift of discerning of spirits. If a believer does not have this gift there are signs of demonic presence which can be observed.
When the Syrophenician woman came to Jesus with an appeal that He cast out an unclean spirit from her daughter, she said "My daughter is grievously vexed with a devil" (Matthew 15:22).
How did she know this? She knew it by the symptoms. Detection is simply observing what demonic spirits do to a person.
Here are some symptoms of demonic activity:
Demonic obsession is recognized by an uncontrollable and unusual preoccupation with demons, Satan, or the occult. Such a person may dabble in occult practices, constantly credit everything to Satan or demons, or be preoccupied with the study of demons and Satan.
Demonic oppression can be recognized by the following signs:
A physical binding: The "daughter of Abraham" who Jesus relieved of a spirit of infirmity was bound physically. See Luke 13:10-17. Chronic sickness may be demonic oppression. All illness is not caused by demonic powers. Some illness is caused by a violation of natural laws, such as not eating properly or drinking bad water. Some illness is also chastisement. One King in the Bible who did not give glory to God was stricken with intestinal worms and died!
A mental oppression: Disturbances in the mind or thought life such as mental torment, confusion, doubt, loss of memory, etc. Restlessness, inability to reason or listen to others, abnormal talkativeness or reserve may be exhibited. All mental problems are not caused by Satan. Discouragement, depression, and disorientation can be caused by allergies to certain foods or a wrong chemical imbalance in the brain. God is able to heal mental problems and illnesses not caused by demonic powers as well as bring deliverance in cases caused by demons. But caution should be taken not to class all illness or mental problems as being caused by demonic spirits. Sometimes a simple change in diet or lifestyle will eliminate a problem if it is caused by physical causes.
Emotional problems: Disturbances in the emotions which persist or recur, including resentment, hatred, anger, fear, rejection, self-pity, jealousy, depression, worry, insecurity, inferiority, etc.
Spiritual problems: Extreme difficulties in overcoming sin, including sinful habits. Rejection of spiritual solutions to problems. Any type of doctrinal error or deception, including bondage to objects and literature of the cults.
Circumstances: Demons can create difficult circumstances which are oppressive.
Such circumstances usually involve confusion and can immediately be identified as demonic because God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33; James 3:16).
Demonic possession can be recognized by the following signs:
Indwelling of an unclean spirit: This is demonstrated by a basic moral uncleanness and filthiness. It might include the desire to go without clothing. For examples see Mark 5:2 and Luke 8:27.
Unusual physical strength: A person shows strength beyond normal capabilities. For examples see Mark 5:3 and Luke 8:29.
Fits of rage: These fits may be accompanied by foaming at the mouth. See Mark 9:14-29 and Luke 8:26-39.
Resistance to spiritual things: In the accounts in Mark 6:7 and 1:21-28, the demons knew Jesus immediately and asked Him to leave them alone. Fear of the name of Jesus, prayer, and the Word and blasphemy of that which is spiritual are all symptoms of demon possession. Excessive blasphemy may be noted or contorted physical features and abrupt behavior changes when spiritual things are mentioned.
Changes in personality and/or voice: A person who is normally shy may become aggressive or violent. Actions as well as appearance may be affected. Moral character and intelligence may change. Voice may be altered. See Mark 5:9.
Accompanying physical afflictions: In cases of demon possession, these appear most commonly to be afflictions of the mental and nervous system. (See Matthew 9:33; 12:22; Mark 5:4-5). They can also include a general "pining" or wasting away physically. (See Mark 9:14-29).
Self-inflicted physical injury: In Matthew 17:14-21 there is the story of a man's son who would cast himself in the fire. In Luke 8:26-39 this demon possessed man cut himself with stones to inflict physical injury.
Terrible anguish: Luke 8:28 relates that this man went about crying because of the terrible inner torments caused by his possession.
Incapacity for normal living: This man could not live in society but lived in the tombs of the cemetery. See Luke 8:27.
Through unscriptural methods, the ability to foretell the future or discover that which is unknown: The woman in Acts 16:16 is said to be "possessed" by a spirit of divination.
The following also may indicate demonic oppression, possession, or obsession:
Obsessive immorality such as involvement with pornography, adultery, fornication, masturbation, homosexuality, and other sex sins. Strong compulsions toward eating disorders, suicide, self-mutilation, maiming, and murder.
Addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Trances, visions, and meditation which are not focused on or from the one true God.
Bondage to emotions such as fear, anxiety, depression, hatred, rage, jealousy, backbiting, envy, pride, bitterness, negativism, and criticism.
COUNTER STRATEGIES: FOR DEALING WITH DEMONS
Here are some Scriptural strategies for dealing with demonic powers:
PRELIMINARY PREPARATION IN YOURSELF:
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God, the specific or "Rhema" Word. Begin to build faith in your own heart by reading the New Testament through with a new attitude:
• Whatever Jesus told His followers to do, you begin to do.
• Whatever He said He would do, expect Him to do it.
• If He said you can deliver those afflicted by Satan, then expect to see them delivered.
• If He said to cast out Devils, then do it in His name and expect them to obey you.
Disregard all the teaching of man and personal experiences you have had. Accept that the New Testament means exactly what it says. Accept it as true and act accordingly. You are an ambassador for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20).
Fast and pray before you go to minister deliverance. Since power and authority for deliverance comes from God, it is well to be in touch! Some demons will come out only by prayer and fasting. Isaiah 58 teaches that God honors the fast which focuses on ministering to the needs of others.
PRELIMINARY PREPARATION IN OTHERS:
Whenever possible, a team of believers should be used when binding or casting out demons.
Jesus sent out His disciples in pairs for this ministry:
And He called unto Him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two: and gave them power over unclean spirits. (Mark 6:7)
This does not mean you cannot minister alone to a demonically affected person when you encounter them, but there is strength in unity of prayer with another believer. Since strength comes from unity, those who are joining you in the ministry of deliverance should be similarly prepared with prayer and fasting.
In cases of oppression and obsession (such as depression, demonically caused illnesses, etc.), prepare the person who is to receive the ministry. They need to have their faith built through the "Ramah" word of God about deliverance. (This may not be possible in the case of possession).
If you encourage the demonically affected to be prayed for without proper instruction, it is like encouraging the unsaved to accept Jesus as Savior without knowing who He is, recognizing their sin and need for salvation. When sharing the Gospel a wise soul winner does not press for a decision too quickly. There is preliminary ministry to be done. Proper instruction must be given.
The same is true of deliverance. Sometimes, God delivers without such instruction. But in ministering deliverance you want to properly use every channel prescribed by God's Word to see the work done. Faith is one channel for God's delivering power and it comes by hearing God's Word, so instruction is important. Jesus combined preaching and teaching with healing and deliverance and He instructed His followers to do so also.
THE PLACE FOR MINISTRY:
Jesus ministered to the demon possessed as part of a gathering (Mark 1:21-25).
Jesus brought deliverance when and wherever was necessary.
Sometimes Jesus put unbelievers out when he ministered (Mark 5:35-40). Other times He led people out of their village (an environment of unbelief) in order to minister to them (Mark 8:23). On occasion as God leads, you may need to ask those struggling with unbelief, fear, etc., to leave.
Ask for wisdom and discernment before you begin to minister deliverance. During prayer, God may reveal to you...
• A word of knowledge: Specific facts and information about a person or condition so you will know how to pray. A "word of knowledge" can include a deep sense of knowing or an impression in your spirit, thoughts, words, or feelings. The Word of knowledge may reveal what the sickness is or why the person has the condition.
• A Scripture verse: The Rhema word for that situation, condition, person, or group.
• A vision: Pictures in the mind's eye pertaining to the one to whom you are ministering.
• Words of faith: Special words of encouragement and faith specifically for that individual.
• A special anointing: A sudden infusion of power, perhaps felt as a tingling, heat, or supernatural confidence.
• A special act of faith, that if the person will perform, will be delivered.
Jesus used both natural and supernatural methods. On occasions He discerned people's conditions by the Holy Spirit. At other times He asked them what they wanted and how long they had been afflicted.
Jesus often asked people questions concerning their faith and then dealt with negative forces of unbelief before ministering. Study the following examples:
• Mark 5:1-20: Jesus questions the demonized man.
• Mark 8:22-26: Questioning the blind man.
• Mark 9:14-27: A boy with an evil spirit.
• Mark 10:46-52: Questioning blind Bartimaeus.
God wants to deliver, just as He wants to save.
Although the power of God is sometimes present in a special way for deliverance (Luke 5:17), you can still pray without a special anointing to do so because Jesus commanded you to do so just as He told you to spread the Gospel.
Use others to help you minister if you are in a group setting. There is multiplication of spiritual power when more people are praying (Matthew 18:19).
Jesus taught that first you should bind the enemy, then you can exercise power over him:
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. (Matthew 12:29)
If demonic powers are binding in oppression from the outside, pray for their hold to be loosed and their powers to be bound. For example, Jesus loosed the woman in the synagogue from the spirit of infirmity. She was not possessed, but oppressed. A casting out was not necessary.
In cases of demon possession, you have the authority to cast demons out in the name of Jesus. It is not authority in your own power or ability, but in His name. It is important to use the name of Jesus in the actual prayer of casting out the demon.
Faith, fasting, and prayer are necessary to cast out demons. (Read the account in Matthew 17:14-21). This is why preliminary preparation is encouraged in these areas. The Word of God (Ephesians 5:17; Hebrews 4:12); the blood of Jesus (Revelation 12:11), and the infilling power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8; 2:38) are also "tools" for deliverance God has given you.
Yelling and screaming at the demons is not necessary. It is your authority in the name of Jesus that will cause them to come out, not the volume of your voice during the prayer of deliverance.
Always forbid the demons to reenter. This is an important part of the prayer of deliverance:
When Jesus saw the people came running together, He rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee come out of him, and enter no more into him. (Mark 9:25)
Do not spend time talking with the demon, should it manifest itself through spoken words.
Jesus rebuked demons and told them to be quiet (Luke 4:34-35). Remember that any conversation with demons is dangerous because there are lying spirits.
The Holy Spirit will direct you in the prayer of deliverance, but if you are new to this ministry here is a sample prayer pattern to study:
"In the name of Jesus Christ and on the basis of the authority of His power, His Word, His blood, and the Holy Spirit..."
...This establishes the power base for deliverance...
"...I bind you...."
...Jesus taught to bind the strong man first before attempting to cast him out...
"...and I command you..."
...Ministering deliverance is a prayer of authority, not of entreaty. You can speak quietly, but you must take authority over the forces of evil in the name of Jesus.
Look directly into the eyes of the person as you speak.
"...the spirit of_________" or "...you foul spirit of Satan..."
...if the spirit has been identified either through spiritual or natural discernment,
then name it specifically; otherwise, generally.
...this is the casting out process...
"...without harming________(name of person being delivered), or anyone in this house, and without creating noise or disturbance"
...Sometimes the demon will try to harm the person or create disturbance.
"I forbid you to reenter this person..."
...Remember that Jesus used this command...
"...and I loose the Holy Spirit to fill of this person with the cleansing, delivering power of the blood of Jesus."
...We are told to loose as well as bind. If you have identified a specific spirit at work, loose the opposite spirit. For example, bind the spirit of pride and lose the spirit of humility.
Do not make a show of such ministry and try to attract crowds with it.When Jesus saw the actions of a demon attracting a crowd, He immediately stopped the performance being staged by the evil spirit and cast it out:
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. (Mark 9:25)
Do not attempt to cast demons into Hell. Jesus and His disciples did not do this. We have authority only to bind, loose, and cast out. There is a set time for the final judgment of demons in the future. The demons said to Jesus:
...What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us BEFORE THE TIME? (Matthew 8:29)
Prayer for those affected by demons can be done with or without the laying on of hands. Jesus used the laying on of hands to minister to the woman oppressed with the spirit of infirmity in Luke 13:11-13. In other cases, He did not lay on hands but simply spoke to the demons (Luke 9:42).
Praise God for the answer:
Follow prayer with praise to God for deliverance. Remember that in the Biblical example of the ten lepers, all were healed but only the one who returned to praise was made whole. Praise by faith and not by sight. You have done what God's Word said to do. Believe He has done what He said He would do. Thank Him for it.
RECOGNIZING SIGNS OF DELIVERANCE:
In cases of demonic possession, sometimes the demons come out with a struggle, such as crying out or throwing the person on the floor. When demons have departed (whether in possession or oppression), there will be a sense of release, joy, like the lifting of a weight.
PROVIDING FOLLOW UP CARE:
After deliverance, those who have been possessed by demons should be led in a prayer of confession, repentance, and renouncing any sins or involvements connected with the demonic activities. If the person has any occult items (for example idols, voodoo items, witchcraft equipment, etc.), these should be destroyed.
Additional follow up care is very important for those delivered from demonic possession. When a demon is cast out, he will seek another body through which to operate. Jesus taught that the departure of evil spirits leaves an empty place. There is danger of a demon returning to his former victim accompanied by worse spirits:
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (Luke 11:24-26)
When a demon is cast out it is restless and discontent outside of a human body. It is only by indwelling and controlling a human life that a demon is able to fulfill Satan's evil purposes. This is why casting the demon out is not enough. The spiritual "house" must be filled by the new birth experience and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Follow up counseling and ministry is necessary.
The person should be immersed in the Word of God (King James Bible) and prayer and become part of a community of believers.
Those experiencing deliverance from demonic powers also should be encouraged to give their testimony. Jesus told the demoniac of Gadarene:
...Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed and began to publish in Decapolis (ten cities) how great things Jesus had done for him; and all men did marvel. (Mark 5:19-20)
PROTECTION FROM DEMONIC POWERS
There are specific ways to protect yourself from the activities of demonic powers.The most important protection is to receive Jesus Christ as Savior because demons cannot possess a true born-again believer. Keep yourself from sin, for through sin you "give place to the Devil." You provide opportunity for him to use demonic activities of oppression against you.
Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Demonic spirits and the spirit of God cannot inhabit the same spiritual vessel.
Avoid an obsessive interest in demons. It is not wrong to study what the King James Bible says about them. But do not read secular books, attend seances, etc., to learn more about demons. Avoid any contact with the occult. Do not consult witches, shaman, astrologers, horoscopes, card, palm, or tea leaf readers.
Do not serve false gods or allow idols to come into your home:
The graven images of their gods you shall burn with fire; you shall not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourself, lest you be ensnared by it; for IT IS AN ABOMINATION TO THE LORD YOUR GOD.
The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therin: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing. (Deuteronomy 7:25-26)
It is important to control your mind, your tongue, and select your associates carefully. It is also important to gain victory over the world and the flesh.
You must also wage both defensive and offensive warfare against demonic powers.
Study the following examples of how Jesus dealt with demonic powers.
Incident: Woman in the synagogue with the spirit of infirmity (Luke 13:10-17).
Summary: This woman was attending Sabbath day services and Jesus called her a "daughter of Abraham". We can assume she was a righteous, God fearing person. Yet a spirit of infirmity had bound her for 18 years.
In His ministry, Jesus distinguished between normal physical illnesses, which were cured by laying on of hands or anointing with oil, and cases of demonic affliction. In cases of a believer being bound from the outside as a result of demonic affliction, the binding spirit was loosed. If it was an unbeliever with physical infirmities resulting from demonic possession, the demons were cast out.
The deliverance of this woman occurred during a gathering. It raised opposition from the spiritual leaders, including the ruler of the synagogue. Dealing with demonic powers still raises objections from many spiritual leaders. Some deny their existence. Others deny their power to oppress or possess.
In this deliverance, Jesus laid hands on the bound woman. Immediately, she was made straight and glorified God. In all true ministry to demonic oppressed or possessed, God should receive the glory, not the person used of God in the deliverance process.
Incident: The Syrophonenican woman's daughter (Mark 7:24-30; Matthew 15:21-28).
Summary: This young girl and had an unclean spirit which her mother recognized by outward manifestations of the spirit. She described her daughter as being "grievously vexed".
Jesus healed the girl because of the great faith shown by her mother. The daughter was never in the presence of Jesus, which demonstrates actual physical presence is not necessary for effective ministry to those oppressed or possessed by Satan. This and the following incident prove children can be possessed and oppressed by Satan.
Incident: The deaf mute boy (Mark 9:14-29; Matthew 17:14-21; Luke 9:37-43).
Summary: The father of an only son sought Jesus for the healing of his boy. The demonic possession of this boy included physical deafness and dumbness. The combined descriptions of Matthew, Mark, and Luke reveal that the demon sorely vexed the boy, causing him to fall into the fire and water.
At times the demon would tear him and cause fits with foaming at the mouth and grinding of teeth. He was often bruised (injured) by the spirit, and the demonic presence caused a general pining away physically. His father called him a "lunatic", which indicated there were also mental problems associated with his condition. The disciples of Jesus tried to cast out the demon in the boy, but failed.
Luke records that as the boy was coming to Jesus, the demon caused him to have a fit. Jesus rebuked the spirit and healed the child. Matthew records that Jesus rebuked the devil and he departed and the lad was cured that very hour.
Mark's record of this demonic encounter is more extensive than those of Matthew and Luke. He records that Jesus questioned the father as to how long the boy had been possessed. The father said the condition had existed from early childhood.
Jesus stressed to the father the importance of belief, then spoke to the deaf and dumb spirit and told it to come out and enter no more. The spirit cried and came out leaving him in such a condition that many thought him dead. But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up.
When the disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to cast out the demon, Jesus answered:
If ye shall have faith as a grain of mustard seed ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place: and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit, this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:20- 21)
His answer reveals the importance of faith, prayer, and fasting in dealing with demonic powers.
It also proves some demons are more difficult to cast out than others because Jesus said "THIS KIND goeth not out" without prayer and fasting.
Incident: Demon in the synagogue (Mark 1:23-28; Luke 4:31-37).
Summary: Although this man was present in the synagogue, Jesus does not refer to him as a son of Abraham or indicate He was a follower of God. There can be those present in a church fellowship who are unbelievers and demon possessed. Church attendance does not guarantee a born again experience or freedom from demonic powers.
This possession was indicated by "us," revealing the presence of more than one demon. One demon was the spokesman, however, for he said "I."
When the demon began to speak, Jesus told it to "hold its peace," which means to be quiet. He rebuked the demons, they tore the man, cried out, threw him down, and came out. The witnesses of this event marveled at the authority and power with which Jesus dealt with unclean spirits.
Incident: The blind and dumb demoniac (Matthew 12:22-29; Mark 3:22-27; Luke 11:14-22).
Summary: Possession here included the physical afflictions of blindness and dumbness. Jesus healed this man by casting the demon out of him. He was able to speak and see after the deliverance. It was in connection with this deliverance that Jesus gave His most extensive teaching regarding the casting out of demons.
A summary of this teaching reveals:
• A house with division cannot stand. Demons call the bodies in which they reside their "house." It is not possible for demons and the spirit of God to exist in the same house.
• Kingdoms or cities divided also cannot stand.
• Satan cannot cast out Satan.
• Casting out of demons is part of the ministry of God's Kingdom.
• Demons are cast out by the Spirit of God.
• It is necessary to bind the strong man (Satan) before attempting to cast him out (spoil his works).
• There is no neutral ground in this spiritual battle. If you are not with Jesus, you are against Him.
• When an unclean spirit is cast out of a person, it seeks reentry into a human body.
• If the person from whom the demon has departed does not fill his spiritual house, the demon will return with other demons. The final condition of that person will be worse than in the beginning.
Incident: Demoniac of Gadarene (Mark 5:1-20; Matthew 8:28-34; Luke 8:26-34).
Summary: According to Matthew, two men possessed by demons, so fierce that no man could control them, lived in the tombs. Mark and Luke stress the terrible condition and the deliverance of one of the two, whose condition was perhaps the worst ever encountered during the ministry of Jesus.
Possession here was by many demons. Both men were so affected that they could not live in normal society. They lived in the graveyard. The demons in one man called themselves "Legion" for they were many. They made it impossible to bind him even with chains. The demons tormented him so badly that he went around crying out, cut himself with stones, and did not wear clothing.
The demons recognized Jesus and asked if He had come to torment them before their time.
"Their time" refers to their final judgment to the lake of fire (Hell). That they requested not to be sent out of the country indicates demons may be assigned by Satan to specific territories. Jesus permitted them to enter a herd of pigs when He cast them out which resulted in the death of the pigs. The residents of the city asked Jesus to leave. Pigs, which was their livelihood, were more important to them than the deliverance of men from demonic powers.
Other incidents: In addition to these specific encounters of Jesus, the Bible makes general references of His ministry to those affected by demonic powers.
• In the following references the term "healed" is used to describe how Jesus dealt with the demons: Matthew 4:24; Luke 6:18.
• In the following references the term "cast out" is used to describe His strategy: Mark 1:32- 34,39; 6:13.
• Luke 4:41 simply records that the devils "came out." Luke 7:21 states that He "cured" them. Matthew 8:16 records that He "cast them out with His word".
• Mark 16:9 and Luke 8:2-3 state that Jesus cast seven devils out of Mary Magdalene.
Sometimes God uses demons to accomplish His purposes. See I Samuel 16:14 and IICorinthians 12:7. Wicked Ahab was punished for his sin by a lying spirit which God put in the mouth of his prophets to lead him to disaster. See I Kings 22:23. Demons will lure the armies of Armageddon to a similar fate. (See Revelation 16:13-16).
Demonic powers exercise control over nations as well as men and women. See the example in Daniel 10 of the "prince of the kingdom of Persia." This demonic power was in charge of the affairs of this region. The book of Revelation also mentions evil spirits and their activities in regards to nations. See Revelation 16:13-16.
Joking about demons or Satan is not wise. See II Peter 2:10-11. Neither do we have thepower in ourselves to rebuke Satan. See Jude 9.
Jesus gave His disciples power to cast out demons.
Study the following accounts of their use of this power: Mark 9:38; Luke 10:17; Acts 5:16; 8:7; 16:16-18; 19:11-12.
Study the following references where the word "possessed" is used: Matthew 4:24; 8:16,28,33; 9:32; 12:22; Mark 1:32; 5:15-18; Luke 8:36; Acts 8:7; 16:16.
Jesus was oppressed, but without sin: Isaiah 53:7. When Hezekiah was oppressed, he asked God to undertake for him: Isaiah 38:14. Jesus Christ healed all who were oppressed of the Devil: Acts 10:38.
Study further about oppression:
• By the wicked: Psalms 17:9
• By our enemies: Psalms 106:42
• By the proud: Psalms 119:122
• By the rich: James 2:6
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