Posted by Job on October 5, 2007
Actually, Christ places casting out demons before the speaking with new tongues. There is significance in this order. The intention is that the people shall first be fully delivered from demons before they seek the baptism in the Spirit and the speaking with new tongues. However, through lack of discernment and understanding, this is not practiced in the church today. The result is that people nowadays are quite often baptized in the Holy Spirit and speak with new tongues but still need deliverance from demons after that. It is time for the church to devote prayerful, open-minded study to the subject of demonology.
The New Testament Greek word for “demon” is daimonion. This is the diminutive form of another Greek word, daimon. In Greek mythology and folklore, these words were used to describe a special class of beings to whom were attributed varying degrees of supernatural influence or power. Various cults and superstitious observances centered in these beings, and they played an important part in the daily life of the common people.
In the King James Version the Greek word daimonion is often translated “devil.” However, this is incorrect. The word “devil” is formed from the Greek word diabolos, which means literally “slanderer.” In Scripture, this normally is reserved as a term for Satan himself.
Associated in the New Testament with the noun daimonion is the passive verb daimonizomai. The literal meaning of this verb is “to be demonized” – that is, to be in some way under the influence or power of demons. Thus the meaning of the verb is very general. In the King James Version this verb is usually translated by some phrase such as to be “possessed” or to be “vexed” by demons or evil spirits. However, there are no distinctions in the original Greek text to which these various different English words correspond. Some preachers have worked out elaborate distinctions between possession, oppression, or obsession by demons. However, there is nothing in the original Greek to support these distinctions.
Two other phrases normally used in this connection in the New Testament are “evil spirit” and “unclean spirit.” A comparison of Revelation 16, verses 13 and 14, would seem to indicate that the two phrases “unclean spirits” and “spirits of demons” are used more or less interchangeably. There are three main elements that are associated with the concept of personality. These three elements are: knowledge, will, and emotion. It is important to see that all these three elements of personality are found in the New Testament picture of demons.
Demons possess knowledge. In Mark 1:24, the demon in the main synagogue at Capernaum said to Yeshua HaMashiach, “I know who you are – the Holy One of God!” In Acts 19:15, the evil spirit in the man at Ephesus said to the seven sons of Sceva, “Yeshua I know [acknowledge], and Paul I know [know about]; but who are you?” Demons possess will. In Matthew 12:14, the unclean spirit who has gone out of the man but can find no place of rest, says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” In Luke 8:31-33, the demons in the man of Gadarenes displayed very strongly their will not to be cast into the abyss, but rather to be allowed to enter into the swine. Demons possess emotion. In James 2:19 we read, “Even the demons believe – and tremble!”
Another fact that attests to the personality of demons is their ability to speak. This is recorded in many passages of the New Testament. We sometimes can attribute the concept of personality to anything that is able to express its meaning in intelligible speech. By every standard, therefore, we see that demons display all of the attributes of personality. This is of tremendous importance. Christian believers are in no position to deal with demons successfully until they recognize that demons, beings that God originally created as angels that chose evil and rebelled against Him, are beings, not things. A demon is not a habit or a mental state or a psychological condition. A demon is a spirit being!
One means by which the presence or activity of demons may be detected is with the supernatural manifestation gift of the Holy Spirit called in 1 Corinthians 12:10 “discerning of spirits.” Many Christians that have been baptized in the Holy Spirit manifest some measure of this discernment, but quite often they do not fully realize the nature of this operation of the Holy Spirit, and therefore they do not make effective use of it. Discernment of this kind needs to be cultivated with regular exercise. For this reason, we read in Hebrews 5:14 of believers “who are of full age [maturity], that is who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” In the church today there are all too few believers who exhibit this mark of spiritual maturity.
If Christians are willing to exercise their spiritual senses, they will soon begin to discover that there are many different symptoms that commonly indicate the presence or activity of demons. Some of the most common of these symptoms are set forth under two headings: first mental/emotional related primarily to the inner nature and personality; second physical related primarily to the outward bodily appearance and condition.
- Persistent or recurrent evil or destructive emotions or attitudes that can dominate a person, even contrary to his own will or nature e.g. resentment, hatred, fear, envy, jealousy, pride, self – pity, tension, impatience.
- “Moods” – unreasonable, sudden, extreme fluctuations e.g. from talkative exhilaration to taciturn depression.
- Various forms of religious error or bondage e.g. submission to unscriptural doctrines or prohibitions, unnatural asceticism, refusal to eat normal foods, superstitious observances of all kinds, all forms of idolatry.
- Resorting to charms, fortune telling, astrology, mediums, etc.
- Enslaving habits e.g. gluttony, alcohol, nicotine, drugs, sexual immorality or perversion of all kinds, uncontrollable or unclean thoughts or looks.
- Blasphemy mocker, unclean language.
- Persistent or violent opposition to the truth of Scripture or the work of the Holy Spirit.
- Unnatural restlessness and talkativeness, muttering.
- The eyes glazed or unnaturally bright and protruding or unable to focus naturally.
- Frothing at the mouth, fetid breath.
- Palpitation or unnaturally accelerated action of the heart.
- Shunning, recoiling from, or fighting against the power of the Holy Spirit.
In many cases one of these symptoms alone would not be conclusive indication of demonic presence or activity. But where several of these symptoms are found together, the probability of demon activity is extremely high.
In addition to these symptoms, the New Testament indicates plainly that demons are often the cause of purely physical sicknesses or infirmities. For instance, in Luke 13:11 we read of a “woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.” As soon as this woman was delivered from this spirit of infirmity, her physical condition became completely normal Yeshua himself described her as “a daughter of Abraham” (v. 16). That is to say, she was a true believer. There is no suggestion that she was guilty of any special sin. The power of the demon was manifested solely in her physical body.
Again, in Acts 19:12, we read concerning the ministry of Paul in Ephesus, “so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.” Here “evil spirits” and “diseases” are associated together in a way that implies at times some kind of causal relationship between them. The following are some common mental or physical conditions that are sometimes caused by demons: insanity, insomnia, epilepsy, fits, cramps, migraines, sinus infections, tumors, ulcers, heart disease, arthritis, paralysis, dumbness, deafness, and blindness.
What are the conditions for deliverance from the destructive influence and power of demons? The first condition is a correct diagnosis. In 1 Corinthians 9:26 Paul describes his ministry as follows: “Thus I fight: not as one beats the air.” Where Christians are confronted by demons but do not realize the nature of their enemies, they are like a boxer who lashes out wildly with his fists but never lands his blows upon his opponent’s body. They may expend much time and energy, but they never make real “contact” with the unseen enemies who oppose them. For this reason, relatively little is accomplished. Once the presence and activity of demons have been correctly diagnosed, there are a number of further conditions for deliverance. Some of these concern the believer who is seeking to minister deliverance; others concern the person who needs deliverance.
The following are five important conditions that a believer administering deliverance, or “deliverance minister”, should fulfill:
1. The minister must recognize the authority delegated to him in the Name of Yeshua. Yeshua Himself said, “In My Name they will cast out demons” (Mark 16:17). Then, in Luke 10:17 we read, “The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your Name.” In Acts 16:18, when Paul spoke to the spirit of divination in the slave girl at Philippi, he said, “I command you in the name of Yeshua HaMashiach to come out of her.”
2. The minister needs the power of the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 12:28, Yeshua said “If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, sure the kingdom of God has come unto you.” He thus attributed His ability to cast out demons to the power of the Holy Spirit, the Ruach Hakadosh. Likewise in Luke 4:18 He attributed to the anointing of the Holy Spirit His ability “to proclaim liberty [or deliverance] to the captives … to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”
- The minister must understand and apply to each case the relevant principles of Scripture that define the conditions for forgiveness of sins and the legal basis of redemption through the Blood of Yeshua.
- The minister must often be prepared to provide both the time and place for intimate personal counseling. Generally speaking, the most unsuitable time or place is at the altar of a church during a public service!
- The minister must beware of spiritual pride in any form. He must be motivated by sincere, God – given passion for the one who needs deliverance. In all the outreaches of the church today, there is no more needy or pitiful class of persons than those who require deliverance from demons.
We may now turn to the case of the one who needs deliverance: the patient.
- Humility. The patient must, in humility, submit himself to God before he can resist the devil (see James 4:6-7).
- Honesty. This demands a full and frank acknowledgment both of the patient’s condition and of any sins that may have contributed to that condition (see Psalm 32:1-5).
- Confession. The patient must specifically confess to God all known sin (see 1 John 1:9). In addition, he may also have to make confession to the one who is praying with him for deliverance. This is implied by the words of James 5:16 “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another.” This speaks of confession not merely to God, but also to man. The order is first “confess” then “pray.”
- Renunciation. It is not enough to confess sin without renouncing it. “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy (Proverbs 28:13).” “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). This sinner must forsake not only “his way” (any inward sinful leanings or desires, even though these are not expressed in outward acts). “Forsaking” must come before “mercy” and “pardon.”
- Forgiveness. The one who desires forgiveness from God must first forgive his fellow men. Resentment and an unforgiving spirit are two of the most common hindrances to deliverance. In Hebrews 12:15, we are warned against “any root of bitterness.” Wherever bitterness has poisoned the heart, it must be totally removed, so that not even a root of it is left. There is special significance in the order of words in the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. First, “forgive us our debts [or trespasses] as we forgive our debtors [or those who trespass against us].” That is to say, our forgiveness from God is in proportion to our forgiveness from our fellow men. Then, “Deliver us from the evil one.” That is to say, forgiveness must come before deliverance. Without forgiveness, we have no right to deliverance.
- When the patient has met the above five conditions, he is then in a position to claim the promise of Joel 2:32: “Whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved [or delivered].” Calling aloud upon the Name of the Lord Yeshua HaMashiach normally sets in motion the process of deliverance.
It is important to realize that deliverance is normally a process. This process may be brief or long and drawn out, it may be intense and dramatic, or it may be quiet and scarcely perceptible. But whenever a person is delivered from a demon, there is some definite experience or reaction. When there is no definite experience or reaction, it is questionable whether deliverance has really taken place.
In this connection, certain very simple common sense principles apply. If there is a demon anywhere within a person, then that demon must come out. Unless the demon actually comes out, there has been no deliverance. Normally a demon will seek to remain in hiding rather than be compelled to manifest its presence and come out.
A demon is a “spirit.” The Greek word for “spirit”, pneuma, also means “breath.” A person’s breath normally enters or leaves his body through his mouth or nose. The same is true of demons/evil spirits. When a demon comes out of a person, it normally comes out through his mouth. At this point, there is usually some definite manifestation. The following are some manifestations connected with the mouth that commonly mark the culmination of the process of deliverance: a hiss, a cough, sobbing, screaming, roaring, belching, spitting, or vomiting.
The phenomena of screaming or roaring are referred to in Acts 8:7: “Unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed.” However, these are only two out of various possible phenomena connected in some way with the mouth. Experience has convinced me that different classes of demons exhibit different types of behavior. For example, demons of sexual uncleanness normally come out with some forms of spitting or vomiting (and quite often large amounts of slimy, mucous material are brought up in the process). The demon of fear normally comes out with a kind of hysterical sobbing or whimpering. The demons of lying and of hatred utter a loud roar. The demon of smoking addiction comes out with a cough or gasp.
It sometimes happens that demons virtually set aside the personality of the patient and manifest and express their own personality through him. At times, they take control of the patient’s organs of speech and use these to utter their own words. Sometimes this causes an obvious change of voice. A gruff, masculine type of voice may be heard out of a woman’s throat. It sometimes happens also that the demon within a person may understand and speak a language not known to the person himself. In such cases, the minister may exercise the authority delegated to him through the Name of Yeshua and may command each demon to name itself, thus revealing its nature and activity. The following are some of the names that I have heard given: fear, hatred, lies, doubt, envy, jealousy, confusion, perversity, schizophrenia, death, suicide, adultery, mockery, blasphemy, witchcraft. I have also heard a number of other names too obscene to print.
Today, by divine providence, the veils of convention and carnality are once again being drawn aside, and the church of Yeshua HaMashiach is being confronted by the same manifest opposition of demon power that confronted the church of the New Testament. In these circumstances, the church must again explore the resources of authority and power made available to it through the Truth of Scripture, the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and the Name and the Blood of the Lord Yeshua HaMashiach.