DEALING WITH DEMONS #3
POWER OVER THE ENEMY
Jesus said: "Behold, I give unto you power ... over all the
power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you"
In dealing with demons, while prayer is never inappropriate,
it is usually not a case of asking God to cast them out. The
Christian believer should speak directly to the demon involved,
in the name of Jesus, and order it to leave. Demons cannot be
coaxed out, or politely entreated to leave - they must be boldly
cast out! Jesus set the example: he "commanded the devils to come
In casting out demons, we should be as specific as possible.
A child might pray a general prayer - "Lord, save everyone in the
world. Amen" - but most realize that effective prayer involves
bringing specific needs to the throne of grace. So also is it in
casting out demons. If the type of spirit is known, be specific.
Say, "Spirit of fear, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, be
Demons might be likened to a bunch of mischievous boys,
trespassing onto property where they have no right. Then a man
with the authority to do so, orders them off the property. Some
of the boys will quickly flee, and others may argue for a while,
but all ultimately vacate the premises. So, because demons
believe in God and tremble in the face of his authority (James
2:19), having trespassed onto God's property, they know it and
leave when ordered to go in the name (authority) of Jesus. The
"greater" Spirit resides within the believer (1 John 4:4).
Demon spirits do not like being cast out and sometimes cause
violent or emotional reactions when coming out. It might be
screams, as when "unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came
out of many that were possessed with them" (Acts 8:7). Or
convulsions: "And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came
out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He
is dead" (Mk.9:26). "And when the unclean spirit had torn him" -
had "thrown him in the midst" - it came out and "hurt him not"
When demons are being cast out, they may become nervous and
start talking, using the person's mouth and tongue. This fact is
well established Biblically. When unclean spirits were confronted
by Jesus, they "fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art
the Son of God" (Mk.3:11). Spirits within a man cried out, "Let
us alone; what have we to do with Thee?" (Mk.1:23,24). "Devils
also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art the
Christ" (Lk.4:41). "The devils besought him, saying, If thou cast
us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine" (Matt.
8:31). "And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and
Paul I know; but who are ye?" (Acts 19:15).
In a voice different from the person's natural voice, a
spirit of hate may come up growling, a spirit of self pity in a
begging voice, a spirit of pride may speak in arrogant tones.
Some will talk in a silly manner and others in anger with cursing
and vile language.
Demons can speak through people, to people, or to other
demons. In the Old Testament we have a strange case of a spirit
talking to the Lord: "And there came forth a spirit, and stood
before the Lord, and said, I will persuade [king Ahab]... I will
be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets." Four hundred
prophets, influenced by the lying spirit, prophesied to the king
that he would be successful in battle against Ramoth-gilead. But
one man, Micaiah, understood what had happened behind the scenes
- about the lying spirit - and prophesied the true message: that
defeat was inevitable (1 Kings 22:21,22).
One minister had the experience of casting several demons
out of a very tormented woman, each coming out and naming what
kind of demon it was. Then the woman said, "There are not any
more demons in me. They have all come out. They are all gone."
But the minister discerned this was not the woman talking, but a
lying spirit! Again the demons were commanded to leave. Out came
another demon, saying, "I am a lying demon. I am the one who
said, 'There are no more, they are all gone'." I know this sounds
strange. But such things have happened many times.
Paradoxically, though demons, working through the mind and
mouth of an individual will lie, sometimes they will cross
themselves up and expose their own lie. When asked: "Will that
statement stand before Jesus in the judgment?", they will admit
the lie. Why? Because "the devils also believe, and tremble"
(James 2:19). They openly acknowledged that Jesus was the son of
Some demons are clever and intelligent, while others are of
very low intelligence as in the following case: A minister, not
being totally certain if he was dealing with a demonic spirit in
a young man, asked: "Are you there?" and the answer was: "No"!
I know of cases when prayer was to be offered, an individual
would be asked to bow his head, only for the reply to be: "We
don't bow OUR heads!"
A DEMON OF FEAR
One night at a church where I was speaking in California, I
asked all who had a spiritual need to form a line and come across
the platform for prayer. One man, about 30 years of age who was
married and had a family, told me he was possessed by fear. He
lived in a constant state of fear, but it was especially
tormenting at night. In the darkness he would see faces looking
at him - heads without bodies! He could not sleep without a light
Knowing that such an abnormal condition could not be of God
- for God has not given the spirit of fear (2 Tim. 1:7) - the
pastor and I began to order this demonic spirit to come out. Soon
it began to manifest. Words came from the man's mouth, but it was
like someone else was speaking. The voice said: "I'm not coming
out of him! No! I will not come out. You don't have the power to
cast me out!'"
The way this prayer line had formed - with people coming
across the platform - we were now standing with this man right
behind the pulpit. He began to twist and convulse, as with a
seizure, and then fell over on the floor. The spirit of fear
continued to resist. In a few minutes the demonic voice said:
"You should not try to cast me out. People do not understand.
People are leaving!" From this position (on the floor, with the
pulpit and other obstructions between him and the audience),
there was no way the man could have seen what was happening! Yet,
it was so - there were people leaving! "I will not come out!" the
voice screamed. A short time later, in a weaker, subdued voice,
it said: "I might come out," but added - and this is admittedly
weird: "If I come out of him, I know where he lives. I will be
waiting for him in his closet tonight when he gets home!" Then
the man became calm, changed, and now, in his own voice,
testified that this strange power had gone! We then prayed for
God's protection over him. All rejoiced when the man came back
during the remainder of those special meetings and told how he
had been set free and was no longer tormented.
I have felt I should share this information regarding
casting out demons. It is neglected Biblical truth. This is not
to say I have all the answers or understand the subject totally.
Along with some successes, there have also been failures.
I recall the case of a woman some people brought to a
meeting where I was going to speak. There had been some
discussion about a sign in front of the building, and I had gone
with two other men out by the front door. When this woman
approached and saw the three of us standing there, she pointed to
one and said: "You're God the Father!" To the other man, she
said: "You're God the Son!" When she looked at me, she said:
"You're the Holy Ghost!" We recognized right away there was
During the song service, she would jabber, disturbing those
around her. As I spoke, her outbursts got louder. She was brought
forward for prayer and as we tried to cast the demons out, there
was twisting and resisting. Horrid cursing and profanity came
from her mouth. In her rage, while calling me such things as "a
brown-eyed bastard," she was trying to spit in my face. But like
a case that confronted the disciples of old, I was unable to cast
the spirit out or help this pitiful woman.
A DELICATE SUBJECT
In a way, it is understandable why some ministers tend to
avoid the subject of demons. It is a delicate situation to
confront people with the idea that their problem may be demonic.
Some take it as an insult. They don't want to think they are
"demon possessed." Occasionally there have been wild excesses,
and respectable pastors do not want to tarnish their image in the
community. Even with the support of an abundance of scriptures,
talking about demons gives some people the heebiejeebies. To
admit the existence of demons calls for deliverance from demons.
This means a warfare. Some choose, simply, to avoid the
Sometimes one minister will criticize another minister who
is casting out demons - especially if the other minister belongs
to a different organization. As strange as it sounds, in somewhat
the same way, even one of Jesus' own disciples was critical of a
man who was casting out demons! John said: "Master, we saw one
casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we
forbad him, because he followeth not us." But Jesus said: "Forbid
him not: for ... he that is not against us is on our part" (Mark
9:38-40). Certainly these words of Jesus provide a warning
against a sectarian attitude.
Another form of criticism is that this "other" person is not
really casting out demons - that he only pretends to. But in some
cases the deliverance cannot be denied. Then the criticism takes
another form: the method is criticized! Did not Jesus face the
"And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to
pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people
wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through
Beelzebub the chief of the devils .... But he, knowing their
thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is
brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house
falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his
kingdom stand? .... And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by
whom do your sons cast them out?" (Luke 11:14-19).
Did he ever have them on the spot! They were criticizing him
for the way in which he cast out devils, so he asked by whom did
their sons cast them out? Since their sons were not casting out
devils, the whole thing was thrown back in their faces!
When Jesus cast out demons in the synagogue at Capernaum,
"they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among
themselves, saying, What thing is this? what NEW doctrine is
this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits,
and they do obey him" (Mark 1:27). The authority with which Jesus
brought deliverance from demons was considered new, unusual,
unique. Clearly, success in casting out demons was not the norm
among the Jewish religious leaders.
Two ministers were talking - one belonged to a church that
believes in casting out demons; the other minister sought to
avoid the whole issue. At one point in the conversation, it was
mentioned that on the judgment day some will say: "Lord, Lord,
have we not cast out devils in your name?" And to these Jesus
will say, "Depart from me ye workers of iniquity"!
The minister who believed in casting out demons asked the
other minister: "Who are these to whom Jesus will say depart?"
The other minister replied: "Well, it must be your group, it
could not be us [naming his denomination], we are not casting out
any demons!" What an excuse!
But this does present a valid question. Who are these that
will say: "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in
thy name have cast out devils?" (Matt.7:22). If we consider the
context, these are "false prophets, which come to you in sheep's
clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" - not men of
God! And, though THEY claim to have cast out demons, Jesus never
says they did. Instead, he will say to them: "I never knew you:
depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (verse 23).
This is not to say that casting out demons is iniquity! If
casting out demons is iniquity, then the twelve apostles, the
seventy disciples, the seven deacons, and Jesus himself, were all
workers of iniquity!
Casting out demons is a part of God's program. But that
there would be false prophets - phonies, imitators, wolves in
sheep's clothing - Jesus made abundantly clear. "Ye shall know
them [false prophets] by their fruits," not by their claims. His
warning should not be taken lightly. We must be fruit inspectors.
But if there is a false, there must be a true; if there is a
counterfeit, there must be a genuine. It is our desire to take a
stand for that which is genuine and true.
As with any ministry or gift, there is a proper use. After
the seventy disciples reported to Jesus that "even the devils are
subject unto us through thy name" (Luke 10:17), Jesus said:
"Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are
subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are
written in heaven" (verse 20). By these words, Jesus taught
balance. Casting out demons may be good and great; but having
one's name written in heaven is greater! Demons might be cast out
in a few moments; but salvation involves eternity. The emphasis
must be on the positive, not the negative.
If one were to preach on demons and deliverance, without the
emphasis being on JESUS as the great Deliverer, the imbalance
could easily bring frustration. Though we pass through the
lowlands, those demonic dry places, exposing demons for what they
are, we will not remain there. Our journey is onward and upward
to those highlands of victory, "looking unto Jesus the author and
finisher of our faith" (Heb.12:2).
To be continued