A teenager started seeing a boy her parents didn't approve of. One evening when he came over, everything went crazy. There was a demon with this boy, and it wasn't hiding the fact. The spirit visibly manifested itself, tormenting the family. The spirit started passing back and forth through their daughter. They were terrified and started screaming for it to get out. It started throwing things around the room. Stuff on the coffee table, and the fireplace mantel, went flying. This was Sunday evening. They called a priest to come and exorcise the house. He came immediately and the demon appeared to leave. The father got up for work the next morning and joined his friend in a ride to work. On the way, they were hit by a semi. The friend died immediately and the father was wounded. He died from the injuries.

The Prerequisites

Some think only specially trained or ordained personnel can, or should, perform an exorcism. Being wrong here can have serious consequences as seen in the previous story.

There are three aspects to consider before going into an exorcism:

The First: How do we stand in relation to Christ. Are we one of His or not?

The Second: How much are we consecrated to Christ? We may be one of His, but are we fully sacrificed to Him?
If we chase off a spirit of lust, but look at pornography, what right do we have to tell the spirit to leave? If we, or the person being exorcised, refuses to forsake the grounds upon which the demon gained a foothold; then we, or the person, give the demon LEGAL right to stick around. If the thing's evil, it's rightfully in their territory. What can we say? To say, "get out of here, but we'll hold on to evil," is hypocrisy, and the demons know it. Christ won't back hypocrisy with His authority in exorcism.

Jesus told of the man with an evil spirit. It was told to depart, and the spirit wandered for awhile. When the demon returned, he brought seven spirits more evil than himself to inhabit the man (Matthew 12:43- 45). I've seen this pattern. A person says they want to be free and have a spirit exorcised, but they won't put off an evil lifestyle. They don't renounce the evil and forsake it. They're an empty house that never invited the Holy Spirit to take the lead instead of the evil spirit. These people, without exception in my experience, always end up worse than they were before the exorcism.

This pattern goes further. If a persons rebuked and refuses to repent, they tend to get worse. If anyones considering evicting an evil spirit, consider if you're willing to turn ALL over to God. If you want to evict them from your home, are you willing to remove all they could claim rights to? If you want to evict them from your children, are you willing to be the parent you should be and raise them according to God's word, not some psychologist's word? Are you willing to follow God in your own life, thereby having the authority to stand in the breach over your charge - your child?

The Third: By what authority does the person doing the exorcising stand? If he doesn't know Christ through rebirth, he's not in Christ and has no authority to cast out spirits (Acts 19:13-17).

Pulling Our Heads Out Of The Sand

There are a books on the market that cover exorcism. Some are very good and some are occult. They cover all sorts of issues, the subject has a lot to consider. The problem I've come across, is that many Christians are unwilling to look at the subject. They're convinced Satan can't touch them. They figure they'll leave flashy exorcisms to a specialist.

I hope to break this wall that keeps Christians from examining what the Scriptures say on the subject.

There are factors that give demons ground in their attack against us. We need to examine these.

The First: Demons can inhabit a born-again Christian. The argument goes, "Since a Christians the temple of the Holy Ghost, an evil spirit can't dwell there". This faulty assumption has its ground in the fact our bodys the temple of the Holy Ghost. The assumption ignores that the Holy Ghost is not in the body per se. He's in our spirit. Our spirit is reborn and is joined to be one with the Lord, becoming the temple of God. Our spirit is in our bodies, but it's not our body. Evil spirits can inhabit Christians' bodies, but not their spirits. Since we're so controlled by the passions of our bodies or minds, we can be directed into ungodly living through those controls. Do we walk by the Spirit or after the flesh and mind? Consider yourselves dead to sin, must be followed by let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies (Romans 6:11-12)

A Christian's body can be defiled. Paul talked about that in the issue of a Christian going to a harlot and defiling the temple of God (I Corinthians 6:15- 20). Our mind can decide and be fooled (II Timothy 2:15-18).

While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. II Peter 2:19-20

In Ephesians 4:27 we're told, "Neither give place to the devil." If we can't lose to the devil, this verse would be unnecessary.

The Second: There is a misconception that only specially trained or ordained ministers can deal with demons. The scriptures show all Christians have this authority and need to exercise it (Mark 16:17; James 4:7; 5:13; II Peter 5:8,9).

My wife and I agreed to keep two young children for a Christian who went into the hospital. The older was a terror. After we took them in, my wife and I stood in the living room and prayed together. No big theatrical display. We prayed as we always do essentially asking, "Father, since we have these children here we pray that you would bind any evil spirits from working upon them while they're with us. Please don't let the demons drive them to be bad and protect all of us, the mother and our property from harm by the demons. In Jesus' name, Amen." As we stood together, in the same quiet tone, we simply changed who we addressed and continued, "Any evil spirits or Satan who are here, upon us or anyone on the property or any thing on the property, in Jesus' name we command you to get out and stay out." That was it. The children continued playing as they had through our prayer and command, and for them nothing spectacular occurred. The only special occurrence was that the children behaved themselves for the three and a half days they were with us. They never did this for anyone else. As soon as they saw their mother again, they went back to their same old selves. She was amazed that they behaved for us, and my wife told her what we did. She went crazy. She told us she would never have left the children with us if she had known our beliefs. She called some friends, which included a pastor's wife. From her talks with them, she told us exorcism should only be done by an elder in the church. She said goodbye and other than in passing on the streets, we haven't seen her since.

This experience brings two thoughts to mind:

And John answered him, saying, 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 there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us in on our part. Mark 9:38-40

Simply put, "DO NOT FORBID THEM!"

The second is, if a church teaches the only way is by bringing them before the elders, we're all paralyzed. The demonic problem has to become major enough to bring to them. We're also paralyzed at the very moment of need. The scriptures NEVER give such a command. Exorcism being brought before the elders would be an option, but to make it a command is an outrageous scriptural twisting.

Actively Overcoming, Not Idling In Neutral

A Call To Action: Some Christians believe Satan has no control over a believer, but a verse such as this indicates otherwise:

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; I Corinthians 10:5

This verse, and its preceding ones, tell us how we overcome, but they also tell us the process of overcoming is ongoing. Once you have become a Christian, all thoughts that are not godly don't just vanish - never to be seen or heard from again. Overcoming ungodly thoughts is ongoing, we must continually choose to overcome them. If we don't bring every thought into captivity to obey Christ, those thoughts lead us captive. The mind is the battleground of Satan. Here we stand and fight and overcome, or here we sit idle and are overcome. He who controls the mind controls the man. We believe and so we do, we desire and so we follow. If our passions aren't overcome, they will overcome us. If our passions are stirred by Satan and we follow them, he controls us.

Peter's Example of Failure: The principal of control remains the same. You do as you're directed, even if it's attacking God's faithful. We find a good example with Peter:

Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Matthew 16:22-23

Jesus addressed Peter, "said unto Peter," yet addressed Satan. Why? Because Satan controlled the mind and passion of Peter. Peter thought his fervent desire was godly, but he had been so deceived he actually pursued Satan's way. Jesus actually addressed Satan when He addressed Peter.

The Battle Plan is Clearly Laid Out:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:10

It says to resist the devil and he will flee, but what if you don't resist and humble yourself? These are the conditions to receive victory. It doesn't say, "Once a Christian dear, never fear the devil near."

Controlling People

The Channel Of The Mind: In the following, we see the aspect of Satanic control through their minds:

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. II Timothy 2:24-26

The issue of "instructing", which is reaching the mind and "acknowledging of the truth", which are personal beliefs. A channel through which Satan can gain control of his victims, "recover ... out of the snare," and "taken captive".

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. II Corinthians 11:3-4

These verses say a mouthful. Paul was addressing Christians and he feared their minds should be corrupted from Christ. He refers to Eve. Eve's thoughts at the time of the temptation were sinless, but Satan still gained the upper hand through victory in the reasoning mind. These verses show a Christian's mind, the organ of his guidance, can be corrupted. A Christian is a temple of the Holy Ghost, but the Christian must constantly walk in the Spirit to follow God's guidance (Romans ch 8). If the mind of the believer walks after the intellect or the passions of mind or body, Satan can control him through that doorway. We may be the temple of God, but we can be steered into obedience of the Devil.

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Romans 6:16

Receiving Another Spirit: Look again at II Corinthians 11:3,4 and notice the "ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received." Paul is talking to Christians, remember? He shows his concern of their possibly having received another spirit. If a Christian could not receive an evil spirit, the statement of receiving another spirit would have been nonsense. Spirits can possess things without a spirit, showing that they do not necessarily have to attach themselves to a spirit. (Consider the pigs that Jesus sent the legion of spirits into: Mark 5:12,13.) In like manner, a spirit could occupy the body of a believer who gives ground to follow ungodly lusts. How could God stand in the way to keep the evil spirit out when the believer himself says, "I don't care if that is evil, I'll do it anyway". We also find Christians saying, "The temptation's just too strong," but Christ has given us a way of overcoming by His Spirit. If we follow His Spirit, we, as the temple of God, follow the method of victory by the Holy Spirit. If we follow the evil temptations, how can He deny the evil spirits to step in as the lead when we walk in their territory, after things rightfully theirs? The devil has a right to his and those who follow him. It's a fundamental law of righteousness that God will not deny. Yes, God has provided an atonement, but we must choose to receive it and reject that other spirit that Paul talks about.

Ground Gained By Seduction:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; I Timothy 4:1

This scripture shows the pattern whereby devils gain control of some of their subjects. The spirits are seducing. They lure their victims, thereby enticing either mind or body through any number of things: passions, false teachings, false reasonings, false senses of peace and assurance to nullify the voice of conscience, etc.

Underestimating The Enemy:

A dangerous pattern I see among believers is they acknowledge demons influence their lives, but think it's only rarely or in major ways.

I heard a talk-show host talking with a call-in listener. The host has performed exorcisms and is familiar in dealing with demons, yet even he only recognized their influence in something "big". A listener started by asking if he had a problem with his throat this morning. He admitted he did. It was not obvious from listening on the radio. The listener said he sent a demon to harass the host during his broadcast that day by troubling his throat. There was another thing he sent the demon to do and the host acknowledged that was happening. The listener's point was that demons are able to reach in and harass the host's ministry by command of someone committed to Satan. The host refused to accept that demons would harass him with something so small as an irritated throat. Maybe cause the satellite links to break down, but not something as small as that. Because of his refusal to accept that, demons could reach in and attack on something so seemingly trivial as an irritant in his throat. He refused to accept the man's word and didn't address the demons attacking him.

I believe it was a general in World War II who said that if God didn't take watch in the little things, then he didn't believe He did in the big because the little things all work together to make the big. Remember that God is Lord of all, which includes the little events. If the little events are important to God, wouldn't they also be of value for the demons to gain control of?

In Luke 11:33-36 we're told the importance of little things:

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. Luke 11:33-36

This passage warns us about taking care. A little received darkness can block all the light. The light being held up to shine, will naturally expose anything which isn't of the light. In summary, it examines all things. The attitude of, "Demons only do major things like killing, you don't want to be imagining demons behind every door" causes us to only examine major things and not seek to cast light on everything.

The Peace & Safety Of A Wise Soldier

Realizing the need to shed light on all, don't swing into the opposite. We are not to live in terror:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7

We should have bold confidence of our victory with a sound state of mind and peace, examining all that comes and dealing with it. Dealing with the little things, leaves us with peace since we know all are examined and taken care of. Consider this: isn't it better to assume darkness may be there and investigate and not find it, than to assume no darkness, not investigate and end up leaving the darkness?

Lack of guard is a block to light and a stepping stone for the devil to conquer territory in your life. As we saw from the incident with Peter challenging Jesus, even those continually in Jesus' presence need to beware. In a moment we could be spouting the message of Satan.

Jesus gave the example of a goodman of a house watching for a thief, to make sure he wouldn't break through (Luke 12:39,40). We likewise need to keep watch of our houses seeing the thief doesn't set foot in our home. There's no danger in watchfulness. The danger lies in the things we refuse to examine.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6

This beatitude gives the promise of a clear path. One filled with righteousness, not iniquity or evil spirits. Do we seek the Lord as we seek food after not eating for a couple days? If you've ever fasted for a few days, you know how the thought of food consumes you. You even dream about food, you're miserable without it. How about righteousness? Do we want it that bad, are we miserable without it? That's the hunger and thirst that shall find its way through to being filled with righteousness. A house thus filled will not be reoccupied with evicted evil spirits.

Please Rate this Page
1 - Poor
5 - Excellent


3 + 4 =
(to prove you're a real human, not a spammer)

Free to Copy under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND3.0 License by Darrell Farkas
All quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible

Return To Library