DEALING WITH DEMONS #2
CASTING OUT DEMONS
The story is told of a man who had not attended church in
years. After a night of carousing and drinking, he walked into a
church. He had it in his mind he would help the minister preach!
He kept mumbling disjointed phrases, disturbing everyone present.
Finally after repeated warnings to be quiet, a couple ushers
threw him out a side window. Now it so happened that the church
was built on the side of a steep hill. He went tumbling down the
hill, his clothes were torn, and he was quite a sight to behold!
When he got home his wife asked:
"WHERE have you been?"
"To church!", he replied.
"You? at church? What are they doing at the church?"
"Well," he answered, "I don't know what they're doing now, but
when I left, THEY WERE CASTING OUT DEVILS!"
Apparently this man recognized he was a devil! But in the
ministry of Jesus, demon possessed people were not cast out of
the church. Jesus cast the demons out of the people! (see Mk.
This point is well illustrated by the fact that some of the
most devoted followers of Jesus were those from whom he had cast
out demons. Luke writes of "certain women, which had been healed
of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of
whom went seven devils, and Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's
steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him
of their substance" (Lk.8:2,3).
In the case of Mary Magdalene, we are not told how the seven
demons affected her life, but it is generally believed she was a
grossly immoral woman. In any event, when she was delivered from
demons, her life was victoriously transformed! Amazingly, it was
to this woman that Jesus first appeared after his resurrection
The Bible describes in detail the case of a violently insane
man whose dynamic deliverance is one of the great stories of the
Jesus had crossed the stormy sea of Galilee, only to be
confronted with another storm that raged within a man possessed
with many demons. He did not live in a house, but in the tombs.
In fits of violence he had superhuman strength. At times men had
bound him with chains, only for him to break the chains to
pieces. He would scream and cut himself with stones. People were
terrified to even go near him. He did not wear any clothes. Luke
describes the man this way:
"There met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils
long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but
in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down
before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with
thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment
me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of
the man)" (Luke 8:27-29).
Once the demons were cast out, the man became normal. The
next scene shows him "sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and
in his right mind" (Luke 8:35). He was in that moment changed
from a maniac to a minister! "Jesus sent him away, saying, Return
to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done unto
thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole
city how great things Jesus had done unto him" (verses 38,39).
The words of a lovely hymn, penned by Oswald J. Smith,
describe this man's case:
From home and friends the evil spirits drove him,
Among the tombs he dwelt in misery;
He cut himself as demon powers possessed him,
Then Jesus came and set the captive free.
When Jesus comes, the tempter's power is broken;
When Jesus comes the tears are wiped away.
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory,
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay!
When Jesus cast the demons out of the insane man at Gadara;
they entered into a herd of two thousand swine which ran down a
hill and were drowned in the sea. I don't know that the idea
stems from this incident, but the statement has been made that
pigs cannot swim. In trying to swim, it is said, they cut their
own throats with their forehooves. This is not true. Pigs can
swim. The reason these pigs were destroyed, was not just the
water. It was the impact of the demonic attack that drove them
into the sea.
We see from this incident that a human has more power to
resist demonic attack than an animal. The man had cut himself
with stones - the demons were trying to kill him by suicide - but
he had survived. Yet when the spirits went into the swine, they
were quickly destroyed.
Also, we notice that some demons prefer one area over
another. Here they besought Jesus that "he would not send them
away out of the country," choosing rather to enter the herd of
swine (Mark 5:10-12).
The Bible reveals that some demons are "more wicked" than
others; yet some who are less wicked can influence the others
(Matt.12:43-45). Some demons are stronger than others and,
consequently, more difficult to cast out. The disciples, having
cast out many demons, were unable to bring deliverance to a
certain demon possessed boy. They asked Jesus: "Why could not we
cast him out?" And Jesus said: "Because of your unbelief...
howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" (Matt.
After the disciples failed in their attempt to cast out the
demon, the father said to Jesus: "Lord, have mercy on my son: for
he is a lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the
fire, and oft into the water ... a dumb spirit taketh him, he
teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and
pineth away" (Matt.17:15; Mk.9:18). What a sad case! Demonic
powers would throw this boy into the fire or water to destroy
him. He would foam at the mouth or fall over and appear to be
dead. Certainly all of this would be considered insanity. But it
was not incurable. "Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out
of him: and the child was cured from that very hour" (Matt.
This boy, because of the drastic demon possession, probably
looked abnormal. Other cases may appear normal until confronted.
I recall an incident that happened at a church where I spoke
in New York - a church that takes a strong stand on deliverance.
Among those who came forward for deliverance was a woman,
probably about 60 years of age, who looked like she had been a
church member for many year - holy and sanctified! In my own
mind, at the time, I questioned if perhaps this church had put so
much emphasis on deliverance that "everyone" was trying to get
into the act - even a holy looking woman like this. She didn't
look demon possessed to me. But as two or three of us gathered
around her and began to pray, something within her began to
resist. Her facial expression became distorted, twisted. Eyes
that were soft became wild. Her whole personality changed and
when I reached out to touch her, she grabbed my hand and tried to
bite me! Unbelievably foul language flowed from her mouth. I
learned that appearances can be deceiving; that some demons are
sly and hide very well until exposed.
Even the insane man at Gadara was calm enough at times that
others would bind him with chains, but only until the next
demonic attack when he would tear the chains apart (Lk. 8:29).
Under the influence of these fits, a person may temporarily
have the power of many men!
One time seven men, after seeing Paul cast out demons in the
name of Jesus, thought they would try it too. They did not know
Jesus, but apparently thought the name of Jesus could be used as
a magic charm. They commanded a demon to come out of a man in the
name of "Jesus whom Paul preacheth." Though these men were
powerless pretenders, the demon was stirred up and "the man in
whom the evil spirit was, leaped on them, and overcame them, and
prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked
and wounded" (Acts 19:16). They went running home minus shirt and
trousers! One man against seven!
FREEDOM FROM INSANITY
Many years ago I read the testimony of a Christian lady who
was burdened for the people in a local asylum. She would visit
patients there, talking of the Lord, and passing out gospel
tracts written in simple language to those who could understand
A woman in one cell was a very violent case. The guards
warned the Christian lady to keep away from this one. But when
she saw this poor, demon possessed woman standing with her hands
through the bars, her heart was filled with compassion. She
walked closer to the cage, and putting her hand through to pat
the woman on the hand, said, "God bless you dear." Immediately
the woman became like a vicious animal. She grabbed the lady's
hand and sunk her teeth to the bone. The guards came running to
her rescue, and she was rushed to the hospital, her hand badly
Somehow she could not forget that woman caged like a wild
beast. She fasted and prayed, beseeching God for power to cast
the demons out of this insane woman. Eventually she obtained
permission to visit this woman again. The Christian lady told
her, "I have come to tell you about Jesus." The insane woman
plunged off her cot, screaming and hissing like a serpent. "I
hate Jesus and I hate you," she said. "I'll tear the flesh from
your body! I am going to kill you now!"
The Christian lady lifted her New Testament in one hand and
laid her other hand on the woman's head and said: "In the name of
Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I command every demon to come out of
this body." Instantly the insane woman hit the floor. When the
Christian lady lifted her to her feet, the wild stare was gone.
The hideous look was gone. The cursing was gone. Tears began to
stream down her cheeks. She tenderly put her arms around the
Christian lady and cried, "My God, my God, I've been waiting for
twelve long years for someone to come in the power of that name
and set me free!"
A highly publicized case in the Philippines some years ago
involved an imprisoned girl, a street prostitute, who claimed she
was bitten by hairy creatures. Though prison guards could not see
the creatures, it appeared to them that the girl was actually
being attacked and raped, while she would try to fight back.
Was she insane? Was it only her imagination? How can it be
explained that after these attacks, teeth marks were found
on her body and hairs were taken from beneath her fingernails by
authorities? The story was carried in the newspapers.
Reading about this strange case, a Christian missionary
believed it was a demonic attack and made arrangements to visit
her. When the day came for his visit, as his car approached the
building where she was, she began to curse in English. But the
source of this voice was actually demonic, for the girl did not
know English! Ultimately the demons were cast out.
CHARACTERISTICS OF DEMON POSSESSION
Some characteristics of demon possession can be summed up as
(1) a demon possessed person may lose his power of reason.
(2) the personality becomes confused.
(3) the person's will becomes the demon's will.
(4) the sensual habits and deeds are disposed to the inhabiting
(5) the whole body at times may be addicted to cramp.
(6) the eyes do not look normal - the fire of hatred, revenge,
and lust gleam from the depth of the pupil.
(7) actions and words become ungodly, tempers uncommonly
irritative and at times violent.
(8) there is a pain that accompanies demon possession-a drawing,
an inward torment, and unexplainable pressure or severe pain in
(9) various kinds of fits, foaming at the mouth, and fainting.
When demons are cast out, there are changes that occur, changes
(1) brightening of the facial expression - relaxed facial
muscles; the eyes will become normal, soft, sympathetic.
(2) general weakness of the body or great tiredness may tempo-
(3) peace and joy in the mind, a feeling of great relief from a
(4) the personality will become normal.
(5) there will be a willing mind to hear the Word.
At this point, upon hearing the Word, it is essential that a
person turns his life over to God. He must heed the scripture to
"be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might .... For we
wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness [margin: wicked spirits] in high
places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye
may be able to withstand in the evil day" (Eph.6:10-13).
In the conflict, victory is ours in Christ.
"A Mighty Fortress is Our God," a great hymn written by
Martin Luther, expresses it this way:
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The man of God's own choosing.
Doest ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world with devils filled
Should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
To be continued