As a continuance of my previous blog “What are Demons” I wanted to write about a very special subject, that of demonic activity among Christians and the breaking of it’s grip on our lives.
First of all as Christians we are not to live in fear of demons or Satan because God has given us a spirit of peace and not of fear. On top of that, Jesus our Savior has already defeated the powers of darkness on the cross, He paved the way to freedom for all who call upon His name. Christians should live in a mindset of victory over darkness because of Christ’s blood that was shed for us.
Colossians 1:13 – He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
1Corinthians 15:57 – But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Possession is a unique event where a demonic spirit (which does not have a body) joins itself with a persons spirit or soul and controls that persons body to some extent for a period of time. When someone is possessed the demon may speak through them, answer questions, cause the person to make abnormal noises, or cause strange body movements. Many have debated about the presence of demonic activity in a Christians life because of their redeemed state. I do not believe a true born again believer can be possessed, my reasoning behind this is that since a believer is indwelt by the Spirit of God meaning He is in them (Romans 8:9-11, 1Corinthians 3:16), the Holy Spirit will not let an evil spirit indwell that same person while He is in them.
Jhn 12:46 – “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.
1Cr 10:21 – You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.
It is my strong believe that Christians can acquire what are called “demonic attachments” through careless, ignorant, or sinful living. These demonic attachments are outside of the persons spirit but effect their mind with temptation, oppression, and can even be in the form of illness (Luke 13:11, Matthew 17:15-18). This subject is very touchy and you will get different opinions on this topic as you discuss it with other educated Christians.
My understanding on this subject comes from first hand experience with Christians of various walks, my wife and I included who have experienced long lasting ties and connections to things that needed to be broken off of us in the name of Jesus in order for us to have freedom from that thing.
I have observed that a believer can acquire demonic attachments through various avenues such as:
- as a result of previous repeated sins before salvation
- through conscious, repeated, sins after salvation
- addictions (sex, drugs, eating)
- through tampering with occult practices (seances, Ouija boards, transcendental meditation)
- through certain spiritual practices of other religions
- through lineage ties or generational curses
- sexual intimacy with someone outside of marriage (especially one with attachments)
- and by association or contact with people who have demonic attachments/possession
Now this list seems pretty extensive, you may not have ever heard this kind of teaching and think “Wow, this is scary” or you have heard it and say “Oh, great this guy is a radical and blames everything on demons!” Well my answers to both are “No it should not be scary if you are a Christian, and no I don’t”. My main reason for my belief in demonic activity is through experience backed up by scripture.
If you read the scripture concerning demons you must accept these basic principles:
- Demons are real, evil and cause trouble
- Demons are present and active in Jesus’ time
- With Jesus, demons are not a lasting threat to us
Do I Have Attachments?
Examine your walk with Christ, do you have any addictions that you can’t seem to break? Do you have hatred of yourself or towards someone else due to unforgiveness? These things in themselves are not demonic, they are effects of the flesh. The Word tells us that because of our sinful nature from birth to death, our flesh is weak and will fall in to sin on it’s own. However, these things such as unforgiveness, hatred, addictions can be open doors to demons to attach themselves to you and feed that unforgiveness, hatred, addiction so that it pries you from God’s arms. Satan’s will is to keep you away from God and he does this through the work of demons in the lives of the unbelievers as well as the believers. Have your parents sinned in ways that have somehow passed down to you? Coincidence? I think not. Attachments are usually subtle and sneaky like a spy in a foreign land trying to enter unnoticed! What better trick could that spy use but to make the people he is spying on believe he is not there? This is exactly what satan has done, he has deceived people through the mindset of naturalism that he does not even exist. However through the truth of the Word we must replace those mindsets with the truth and realize he is a threat and he is active, only through this confession can we go about routing him out of our lives with the help of God Almighty.
One trait of Christians who have attachments is that they seem to remain “baby Christians”, or they never progress too far in their approach of God. Remaining babes in Christ, always drinking the milk of the word and never being able to chew the meat of the Word is a sorry condition to remain in for your whole life. That kind of living rarely experiences God’s fullness, victory, or does much to effect their climate and culture for Christ.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.
Sins ensnare us and keep us from moving forward in to the deeper things of God. Sinning also gives place to the devil, it’s a willful rebellion against God. When you sin you are signing a legal contract to subject yourself to the other side – to the devil, you are giving him place in your life. Some people, because of their lifestyle, have given the devil so much place in their life through repeated sin they are so weighed down they can’t move when God asks, they are more intimate with the enemy than with their savior. If you believe you have demonic attachments you first must repent of that sin, forgive that person if that is the case, remove from your life those things that cause you to sin etc.
Mark 9:43 – “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched
To discern if a demon is influencing ones thoughts, tempting, or burdening someone (yourself included) you primarily need the gift of discernment of spirits. This is one of the nine gifts listed in 1Corinthians 12:10: to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. We should pray for this gift as Paul encourages the Corinthians to (1Cor 14:1, 12) so that we would be able to tell with the Spirits help what is a demon and what is the flesh.
When you discern a demonic presence lingering in someones life the Spirit will give you a nudge in your mind that will indicate something is wrong, asking God for answers is the only way to receive details but be careful that it is not your imagination or sensationalism driving spiritual assumptions about an attachment you believe exists.
The other way to tell if there is a demon effecting a believers life is to look at their fruit, this is not judging a Christian, but observing the outward evidence that should be present if they are walking in the light of Christ. Also present in someones fruit is when something is wrong spiritually. I have read of accounts where when young believers with much spiritual baggage attempt to read the Word of God that they receive headaches, dizziness, migraines, or see blinding lights in their vision that disables them from reading the Word. However when they read other literature or books nothing like this happens to them. One can deduce that these side effects are obviously demonic in origin because Satan’s biggest fear seems to be believers reading the Word for themselves and learning the Truth. Other times I have been reasoning with a close, Christian friend about some of her problems that were reoccurring because of the sins of her parents. We went round and around concerning the truth of God and the what the Word said about her situation, I made it clear as day yet it could not get in to her mind, she could not accept it as truth or that God loved her enough to rescue her. I believe the wall that was in the way was a demonic one of hatred towards herself, I have seen this spirit be delivered from another one of my female friends and it’s one that roots deeply in people with insecurities and condemnation.
So ask yourself – are there aspects of God’s truth and love that never seem to sink in to someones life no matter how clear and lovingly it is presented. Do things just not add up when examining the facts about your walk with Christ or someone else’s? It may be a demonic attachment that was let in through an “open door” (any of the things I listed above) and has not been taken care of.
Imagine you filled your car’s gas tank up full yesterday, you’ve only driven 5 miles to the local store and you run out of gas! Assuming you know for sure that it is your gas that has somehow ran out, you can infer that there is a serious problem somewhere that you don’t know about yet but that you must find the cause to and fix it as soon as possible. If you ignore this problem and continue to drive throughout your week like normal you will be operating on a level of efficiency much lower than you should. Wouldn’t it would be foolish to become comfortable with this problem and not get it repaired. This is how many Christians live, with leaks and breaks in their spiritual life due to demonic baggage that they have acquired over the years (either before or during salvation) and have not dealt with. One must search their life and find that door that was opened, do they enjoy the thrill of horror or violence when watching horror movies, do they think they are worth nothing because of unjust parenting, do they tamper with drugs, meditation, or witchcraft? These may be doors in which crept an agent of Satan, by right of that persons decisions, to dampen that persons pursuit of Godliness.
Experiences in Deliverance
I have been part of three deliverance sessions in which a believing, practicing Christian was loosed from a demonic attachment(s) that they had acquired through sin or believing lies. It was Sunday night at prayer meeting where the Holy Spirit had been operating greatly through a group of 10 or so young people who had faith and hunger for the things of God. Our goal was to pray for our city and church and to hear an occasional teaching from the Word, it was mainly an intercession group. However, God had His own plans for us and often God would give someone a Word of Knowledge for someone through someone else, occasionally a prophecy, and it was not rare to have someone healed as a result of the group praying for that person. It was a real faith builder to see God manifest in different ways before our eyes and more importantly in our lives that summer as we grew closer to God than ever before.
But, alas, Satan was upset because we were growing closer to God and His kingdom was coming down to us. One of the members who had a past with drugs, alcohol, and leaving God previously was being prophesied heavily over by one of the other members when after hearing “God loves you” he began to bend over I his seat, grunting in pain. It was as if the very mention of God’s love brought pain to him. Eventually the situation grew louder and caught my attention as well as everyone else’s. The senior leaders gathered around the young man and laid our hands on him rebuking Satan and his grip on the young man’s former life. We also demanded that the spirit come out in the name of Jesus, all together the session of screaming, pain, and authority lasted about 15 to 20 minutes. Much longer than we anticipated.
Another session was similar, a group of girls were praying for each other and singing some songs of worship in between, it was powerful and sweet. One of the girls whom I know personally that dealt with self image, worth, and future issues laid back on the ground sobbing. She felt unworthy of God’s great love and eventually experienced extreme anguish and fear wash over her as she rolled back and forth, we had her repeat that she was loved of God, that she was a princess of the King, and that Jesus was the son of God and her savior. It was difficult for her to say these things at first but eventually she was able to claim the truth and she calmed down. We of course rebuked Satan in the name of Jesus and reminded the demon that it had no place in her life. She later reported feeling an oddly dark presence in her room that, upon further investigation, the leaders confirmed to discerning it. We did the same their and the atmosphere changed drastically in her house, it was amazing.
What not to do during Deliverance
Through these two deliverance’s we learned a lot, mostly we learned what NOT to do and it spurred us all to know more about the spiritual realm and to protect our lives from Satan’s forces. Some of the things we learned were:
- You should not lay hands on whomever is being delivered, it is not necessary
- You should especially not let younger Christians lay hands on them, they may be susceptible to a transference of the attachment
- The group praying for the one being delivered should be at a minimum
- Younger believers do not need to be present but can intercede for the situation from a distance
- The louder you shout does not scare the demon, it’s all about your faith in Jesus’s power over the demon, not your own
- It’s not about emotion or manipulation, you should remain calm and sober minded
- The more your entertain the flesh of yourselves, viewers, or the victim being delivered the more it becomes a show and the demon is enabled and grips on to the victim, it also makes it take longer which can wear our the victim or the ministers
- If the demon still manifests or does not “come out” have the person recite scripture after you and claim Jesus as their savior and deliverer, if nothing else have them say “Jesus” and call on His name
- After the person is delivered, that person needs consistent discipleship so that they may repent, find what the open door was, close it, and keep their life cleaned up so that Satan does not attack them stronger at a later time
It is important that the persons life does not stay the same after the deliverance. What I mean is that they should examine their life so as to close those doors which the demon gained access to their life. Also they must repent and verbally break ties with the said issue(s) accepting freedom in Jesus’ name. All of this accompanied with regular intake of the Word. After a true deliverance the subject should feel an instant change in how they feel and pursue God. Some people find it nearly impossible to pray or worship God but after their deliverance from those demons they are free to dive int o God’s throne room like never before. It is as if chains or weights have been disconnected from their feet enabling them to run full speed. However they need to make sure and guard their life from the same attack because Satan will try the same tricks over again.
Here are two of the most powerful passages that reveal key principles to the spiritual world.
21 – “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace.
22 – “But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.
The “strong man” who is fully armed and guarding his palace is Satan, protecting the souls of which he has enslaved, oppressed or possessed. The “stronger man” that overcomes the guarding strong man is Jesus Christ resisting, overcoming, and claiming back the souls to spiritual freedom from demonic bondage and oppression. Jesus bound Satan in the desert by using the Word of God in it’s proper context against Satan and thus overcame his attempts to cause Jesus to stumble. He made Satan’s temptation null and thus bound him in that moment in that situation. We must use the Word of God as an aggressive weapon like this and bind Satan in each situation that he tries to tempt or overcome us!
43 – “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.
44 – “Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
45 – “Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
I do not know why demons (or unclean spirits, same thing) crave rest, but they do and they don’t find it in unpopulated areas, but while dwelling in or attached to someone. It’s as if demons only delight and find rest when controlling (possession), influencing (attachment), or oppressing people.
An important principle to never forget is that they will return to test if your guard is down again so that they may return. This is why someone should fill them self with the Word after their own deliverance; to make sure their guard is up and strong for when they are tested again, and again. Notice the house was found empty yet clean and it was taken over again by multiple demons, our “house”, or heart should not be empty, it should be full of Christ and the Word (truth). When the demons come back to torment and oppress you a second time they will leave you worse off than when they initially were present. I have personally have seen this principle first hand. Sadly the young man which I wrote about earlier did not guard himself and slipped in to the sin of adultery, he broke fellowship with other Christians, got back in to drinking and drugs and spiraled downward opening all of the old doors that had been temporarily shut after his 1st deliverance. Now he was worse off than before!
In closing, demons are real and active and the cause for many mysterious problems even in Christians lives that they may ignore, similar to hidden parasites. But if you truly are a Christian, God is on your side, and He is mighty to save and willing to break the chains as soon as you believe He can and call on His name.