Dealing With Demons: Facts And Principles

Dealing With Demons: Facts And Principles
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Dealing With Demons: Facts And Principles

 

Bow

 

  1. Demonic Control Of Human Thoughts And Behavior

And Personality Suppression

  1. Are Exorcism Ministries For Today?
  2. Some Basic Principles Of Demonology
  3. Erroneous Beliefs About Demons
  4. Harmful Effects Of The First Of Those Errors
  5. Clues Indicating A Demonic Presence In A Person
  6. Possible Entry Points
  7. Strongholds
  8. Deliverance
  9. Where We Stand Today

 

 

 

In the previous lecture we saw that demons are satan’s most powerful direct means of influencing individual people.  Here we study demonic suppression of our thoughts, behaviors and personality in more depth.  In the past thirty years I have seen us Christians go from one extreme on this subject (i.e., looking for demons everywhere) to the opposite extreme (i.e., being oblivious to the demons which are out there).  It is past time for us to become realistic about them.

 

  1. Demonic Control Of Human Thoughts And Behavior

And Personality Suppression

 

Satan extends his influence over people through demonic control, and that is far more widespread than is commonly recognized.  He influences us to the extent we allow him to, inadvertently if not cognizantly.  We do not mean here total possession of the entire person by one or more indwelling demons of satan (although that is satan’s objective in influencing us through demons), but rather control of certain aspects of our physical bodies and our thoughts and attitudes by indwelling demonic powers.

 

Demonic personality suppression is very common and widespread, even with many Christians (true believers) as well as most unbe­lievers.  It keeps us from serving Christ.  It helps satan signif­icantly in his overall goal by subduing people to a point of being persuaded that they “need” his powers.

 

Demonic influences are so numerous in type and quantity, that this subject can never be exhaustively described.  However, three common manifestations and causes of localized demon­ic control, even in Christians, are:

 

 

(1) Through Idols And Icons;

(2) Through Occult Practices; and

(3) Through Substance Abuse.

 

 

Demonic control over our thoughts and understandings of God and Christ through idols and icons is, of course, most common in pagan lands: countries totally unchristian in heritage.  But it is also very common within most Christian contexts.  In fact, of all of the world’s religions, the one with the most icons and idols is Christianity.  Icons of all sorts are quite common in virtually all Christian denominations and branches, although often we are oblivious to them.  Statutes of Christ and/or the Virgin Mary, amulets, crosses, grottoes, etc., are but a few common examples.  Crosses with a dead Jesus still on it are symbols of satan’s temporary victory over Jesus – hardly a Christian symbol!

 

In modern “Western” cultures, a most common context of icon use is in conjunction with our holiday celebrations, most particularly of the Christmas and Easter seasons.  This is why the Christmas holiday season is spiritually the most evil and demon-ridden time of the year.

 

Occult practices are a most dangerous, and most difficult trap for any of us to be in, for it is on the very borderline of total demonic possession.  It comes about by deliberate and willful acts of our seeking to be influenced (usually to hear wisdom such as foretelling prophecies) by mysterious powers which we do not understand but observe to be phenomenologically real.  Subtle beginnings are via ouija boards, astrology, future-telling cards, crystal balls, divining rods and pendulums, “pyramid power”, etc.  Such will virtually always result in increasing control over our minds by demonic powers.  Only an act of will, including often difficult demonic exorcism, can save a person from such snares.

 

Men and women who become ensnared in alcoholism, drug addiction, or nicotine or caffeine habits, usually do so because of a deep void in their lives which they are seeking to fill in ways outside of Christ.  That void is usually a lack of a sense of purpose, direction, goal, or worthwhileness for their lives.  That void is God-implanted in us:  He has created us to fellowship with Him and to seek after Him;  He alone makes us wholly complete, at “peace”;  and without Him we have a void.  Other causes for such ensnarement include a desire to escape from unpleasant forces, pressures or demands in their lives, or from responsibilities they feel they cannot cope with.

 

We must note at this point that merely accepting Christ as our personal saviour is seldom, by itself, enough to fill our void and to avoid or escape from such bondage.  That requires in addition both a companionship knowledge of Christ Jesus, and a role or directed activity or ministry, given to us by Christ, which is tangible and fruitful for us to walk in.

 

  1. Are Exorcism Ministries For Today?[1]

 

In most Protestant Christian churches, demonic exorcism ministries are seriously questioned.  Is it a valid and necessary ministry today?   If so, why aren’t more Christians involved in it?  And for those who are, how can we be sure they are doing it “correctly”?

 

The Bible tells us that Jesus Himself established the ministry of deliverance.  He spent a fourth of His time casting out demons, and then told us to do the same.  Not only did He rebuke demons, but He called His twelve disciples and gave them power over unclean spirits (demons), to cast them out (Matthew 10:1).

 

But that ministry was not just for His time.  Jesus knew that people down through the ages would need to be delivered of demonic oppression.  Certain signs, including exorcism, would be part of the “Great Commission”.

 

Contemporary leaders in the field of deliverance are seeing firsthand the ongoing need for this ministry.  There are people in every church in America who are bound.  And the culture around us is so accepting of activities that are possible entry points for demonic activity, that the need for this ministry is actually increasing.

 

Even more unfortunate than our obvious need for deliverance ministry is the fact that only a handful of churches in America are addressing it.  Most deliverance ministries, therefore, are done in parachurch settings.  Why aren’t we casting out demons when they show up in church?  Because it‘s a very controversial, very time-consuming, very unpleasant ministry.  And many pastors fail to get involved primarily because they are afraid of it.  They receive no training on deliverance in seminary or Bible school, feel inadequate and are concerned about being sued.  Also, many believe in the cessation theory – the belief that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not for today. O following Jesus’ mandate to cast out demons isn’t even a consideration for them.

 

Is deliverance for Christians.  Can a Christian be demon possessed?  If by “possession” is meant ownership, then no!  A born-again Christian has been purchased by the Shed Blood of Jesus Christ.  But if “possession” means certain aspects of their thoughts, behaviors, and/or personality traits are controlled by demons, then yes!  Demons do not inhabit the spirit of a Christian, because the human spirit is where the Holy Spirit indwells.  But demons can inhabit our mind, our will, and our emotions, and they can inhabit our body.  Demonic control of aspects of a Christians life is a theological impossibility and very common phenomenon; therefore, the theology is wrong!

 

But deliverance requires the person being delivered to want to be set free.  The only people, Christians or not, who can really benefit from deliverance are people who are willing to repent and change their lifestyle.  Of course, there are cases in which an unbeliever is so demonized he is unable to make a decision to receive Jesus as Lord, so in those cases we deliver first and then, immediately, lead them to Jesus.

 

How do demons gain a foothold in a Christian’s life?  By any of a number of possible “entry points” that give opportunity for demonic activity, because at those points the person inadvertently gives them permission to enter.  The most obvious is a wilful sin.  Other ways are bondages from past generations.  Traumatic experiences are other common entry points.  Still other common entry points are sexual sins and occult practices.

 

Most demonized people are demonized at an early age, but carry those demons into their adult years. The more demons that come into them in their childhood, the more doors are open for demons to come in during later years.  The most common example of early childhood entry point is rejection.

 

Anyone who has willfully or inadvertently opened the door to the enemy through any of these means is a candidate for deliverance.  But for those who are still wondering if they fall into this category, there are some indicators that five us a clue. Examples are: if you have a chronic problem with certain sins that you can’t overcome; if you’re out of control in any area of your life; if you cannot seem to progress spiritually; if something is hindering you from praying or fasting or understanding God’s word.

 

What should you do if you think you need deliverance?  Get into prayer and ask God for help.  Forsake, that is forsake, all sins in your life that you know about!  Fasting may be needed.  Try self-deliverance first; then seek help if that doesn’t work.

Following now are detailed statements supporting the above.

 

  1. Some Basic Principles Of Demonology

 

We start with a brief listing of things we know about demons:

 

 

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(1)  There are such things as demons.

(2)  These are beings with distinct personalities.

(3)  They are active throughout the human population.

(5)  They are organized under leaders with Satan as their head.

(6)  They have considerable supernatural powers to execute their wicked desires.

(7)  They have been defeated by Jesus’ Blood, and they are vulnerable to confrontations empowered by the Holy Spirit.

(8)  Demons are rulers of darkness.  Their authority comes from darkness.  So, expose them and identify them, and remove their darkness.

(9)  Demons are legalists; they cling to their legal rights.  Curses are legal grounds for demons in people.  So is a person’s choosing to sin.

(10) Demons today have no authority whatso­ever except as given to them expressly by Christ Jesus and/or by human will!  All demonic influence exists because the person involved allows it!  Often we allow it because we think it to be normal for us, or it to be an inevitable part of our humanness, or that we seem to have no other choice.  But also often we allow it by choice:  we desire the pleasures (however distorted and/or masochistic they may be) of the particular sin or sins which are at the heart of the demonically-reinforced dark patterns of our thinking.

Facts About Demons

 

(1)  There are such things as demons.

 

(2)  These are beings with distinct personalities.

 

(3)  They are active throughout the human population.

 

(5)  They are organized under leaders with Satan as their head.

 

(6)  They have considerable supernatural powers to execute their wicked desires.

 

(7)  They have been defeated by Jesus’ Blood, and they are vulnerable to confrontations by Holy Spirit.

 

(8)  Demons are rulers of darkness.

 

(9)  Demons are legalists; they cling to their legal rights. 

 

(10) Demons today have no authority except as given to them by Christ Jesus and/or by human will! 

 

(11)  For every sin, there is a demon of it.

 

(12) Demons have both proper and functional names.

 

(13)  Demons know what you know and what you don’t.

(11)  For every sin, there is a demon of it. Every time I commit a sin, I both give its demon legal rights to bound me to that sin and welcome it to.  Each time I confess that sin as in 1 John 1:9, I expose that demon and make it unwelcome.  But since I had given that demon the legal right to bound me, it will not leave me until I renounce that sin as well.  This is why 1 John 1:9 is so vital a step for us, but also why it must be followed by a renouncing of the sin involved.

 

(12) Demons have both proper names and functional names.  Here are some functional names:

 

Rejection

Fear

Lust

Rebellion

Nightmares

Panic attacks

Anger

Hatred

Bitterness

Murder

Death

Unforgiveness

Suicide

Destruction

Mental insanity

Confusion

Mind-control spirits

Spirits of infirmity

Jealousy

Back-biding

Sickness

Disease

Worldliness

Carnality

Various body afflictions

Animal, serpent, bird, insect., etc., spirits.

Demons who came in at points of entry

 

(13)  Demons know what you know and what you don’t know.  They can read your mind.  They know much of your life.

 

 

  1. Erroneous Beliefs About Demons

 

There are today within the Body of Christ certain notions or thinking patterns which are wrong and which become barriers to deliverance work of the Holy Spirit:

 

(1)  Christians are immune to the type of demonic activity requiring deliverance ministry. (Oh no they are not immune!)

(2)  Demons are equally distributed among the human race. (Oh no they are not!)

(3).   Deliverance ministry is a separate and distinct ministry.  (You can’t separate out the preaching, teaching, healing and deliverance ministries of Jesus; they were all one ministry of His, and us.)

(4)  Demons can’t read your mind.  (Oh yes they can!  Demons know what you know and what you don’t know.  They know most important details of your life.)

 

 

The wrong notion that Christians can’t be under demonic influence is a barrier to the deliverance work of the Holy Spirit.  Here are some of the reasons why:

 

 

  1. Harmful Effects Of The First Of Those Errors

 

 

(1)  It leaves us impotent to free many Christians (especially leaders) from demonic bondage (for example, to pornography).

(2)  It relegates deliverance to a low priority in training and preparing ministers and other Christian leaders.

(3)  It prevents local churches from developing effective deliverance ministries.

(4)  It forces some believers to seek help elsewhere.

 

 

  1. Clues Indicating A Demonic Presence In A Person

 

How can we tell if/when there is/are demon(s) in a client?  Here are some clues, although in many cases other factors may be behind these clues instead:

 

 

(1)  Who is in control?  Does the person feel emotionally helpless to resist?

(2)   “Something came over me”.

(3)  “My father/mother was like this.” (Generational curse or spirit.)

(4)  Hearing voices.  “A voice told me ….”  Common with spirits of suicide/death.

 

  1. Possible Entry Points

 

By “entry point” we mean: when did it start?  What happened then?  Why does the person have demonic influence?

 

It is usually by factors beyond the person’s control at the time.  It may seem “unfair” that we be so helpless to demonic influence; perhaps in some ways it is.  We usually do not playu a deliberate, calculated role in coming under their influence.  In many cases we have no rational explanation at all.  Yet we know that something is lacking in our lives.

 

But here are the most common ways:

 

 

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(1)  Having been victimized/abused.  That’s why (with demons in them) victims often become victimizers themselves.

(2)  Deliberate sin.  That’s the most common way persons get hooked into satanism, etc.  Evil music is another common way.

(3)  Bitterness or unforgiveness.  That’s a big one. It welcomes demonic curses!

(4)   Inherited problems.  Generational curses and spirits, such as of sexual addiction, alcohol, food/drugs/TV/gambling, etc., addictions.

(5)  Involvement with witchcraft, satanism, fortune telling, horoscopes, etc.  In such cases, needed are (1) repentance by the person, and (2) curses broken.

(6)  Unholy alliances.  Sexual sins involve spiritual/soulish ties and commitments with the other person.  Demons can and do “transfer” between the partners during fornication.

(7)  Past involvement in witchcraft, free-masonry, satanism, etc.  These things leave demonic residues due to the covenant that had been made (which give the demons legal rights to indwell).  That former covenant must be renounced in Jesus’ Name, under His Blood.  Only the Blood Covenant in Christ can overcome former covenants made.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Entry Points For Demons

 

 

Having been victimized/abused.

 

Deliberate sin.

 

Evil music.

 

Bitterness or unforgiveness.

 

Inherited problems:.  Generational curses and spirits.

 

Involvement with witchcraft, satanism, fortune telling, horoscopes, etc.

 

Unholy alliances.  Sexual sins.  Demons “transfer” between partners during  fornication.

 

Past involvement in witchcraft, free-masonry, satanism, etc.

 

 

  1. Strongholds

 

Another Biblical word which parallels curses is “strongholds”.  2 Corinthians 10:4-5 reads “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”  “Strongholds” here mean strong, well established thought patterns, imaginations  and belief systems which are not Godly.  They may be tenaciously held sins; they may be determined rebellion against things of God; they may just be worldly thinking.

 

Are demons involved in curses and strongholds?  Usually, even among Christians.

 

How do we choose for Christ Jesus to set specific individuals free from such curses and strongholds?  Through intercession for them!

 

  1. Deliverance

 

Who needs deliverance?  Most of us do!   Multitudes of people inside the church need deliverance.

 

Does deliverance occur upon conversion? Yes!  Much, very much.  But not necessarily completely.

 

And in all cases, the most effective form of exorcism is the person himself/herself repenting of, and refraining from, the sin involved.  But if one later returns to that sin, the demon(s) move back with a vengeance.

 

And there may be generational curses which must be broken before deliverance can be completed.

 

Inner healing and healing of memories is often very important to effect along with deliverance, especially if the entry point involved traumatic event(s).

 

Forgiveness is our greatest weapon in deliverance.  It breaks the bonds (spiritual and emotional).  Demons need to be fed.  Once forgiveness occurs, that demon loses both its legal rights and source of feeding.  Hence, the person must forgive (become emotionally distant from) the other person(s) involved in the trauma of demonic entrance.

 

 

  1. Where We Stand Today

 

Over the last several generations, virtually every evangelical movement has believed that they were then in the “end times” immediately prior to the Parousia return of Christ Jesus.  Al­though we do not expect the actual Parousia return soon, we do anticipate in a few years a widening gap permitted by God.

 

During these “end times” from here on, we will see the gap between “being in Christ” and “being of the world”, continuously widen.  The “light” will get brighter, and the “dark” will get darker.  Ultimately, every person will be forced to choose between total commitment to Christ (and to His Body) or total commitment to worldliness, with no middle ground.  My guess is that the children of Christ will number only about one one-thousandth of those alive: note for example Gideon’s ratio – out of an unspecified millions of adult male Israelites, twenty thousand responded to the call, and only three hundred were chosen.

 

We specifically relate, to the present years and the immediate future, the following four Biblical prophecies concerning satan’s activities.  During these days of the widening gap, satan will:

 

(1)  Deceive God’s very elect if he can (Matthew 24:24 and Mark 13:22):

 

(2)  Go about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8):

 

(3)  Propagate deceitful spirits, doctrines of devils, among men (1 Timothy 4:1-3):

 

(4)  Propagate apostasy (“falling away”) among the church – God’s “called-out ones” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5 & 13 & 4:3-4:

 

We do not directly link the “as in the days of Noah” prophecies, of Matthew 24:37-38 and Luke 17:26-27, to the immediately future years, since they are directly linked with Christ’s Parousia return.  However, there is no doubt that such conditions will increase from now on.

 

We repeat that God will allow satan to do these things, primarily to force believers to become closely committed to Him and apart from the world.  Light is most attractive when all is darkest about.

 

 

[1] This section is from the article by Maureen D. Eha entitled They Shall Cast Out Demons, pages 52 ff. In the May 2000 issue of CHARISMA Magazine.

1 Comment

  • Troy Day
    Reply November 9, 2019

    Troy Day

    its an important thing today Joe Absher

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