The core of any deliverance ministry is based in two Spiritual gifts: Discernment of Spirits and Word of Knowledge. These are almost prerequisites to the ministry of deliverance, but apart from these, in the Supernatural realm, there are many other ‘signs’ or indications that will alert us and make us aware that a demon is at work, either in ourselves or in others.
As we said in Part One in this series, demons are disembodied persons or ‘spirit persons without physical bodies’ who want nothing more than to inhabit a body – ANY body. Demons prefer human bodies because they can cause more trouble, wreak more havoc in the human realm - but will settle on animals, as is illustrated by the story of Legion (see Mark 5:1-20 or Luke 8:26-39) where Jesus accepted the request of the demons to enter into pigs.
The Nature of Demons (Evil Spirits)
In addition, demons have two main objectives assigned to them by Satan: 1) to keep man from knowing Jesus as his Savior and (2) to keep man from serving Jesus effectively. The first objective is to keep man and God apart. If that fails then their second objective is to cause disruption enough to keep man from being effective disciples and Apostles for God – to interfere with our ministries using any human weakness that lies in us as individuals! The key here is that demons never quit! If they fail in their primary objective, they continue on with their secondary objective. If only Christians were as devoted to their cause as much as demons are to theirs – the demons would be running scared! As it is today, with the vast majority of the church totally ignoring the threat of demonic spirits to the body of Christ, demonic forces are diligently at work…and, like rust, they never sleep!
In Matthew 24:28, Jesus said, “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather”. The vultures referred to here are demons and demonic forces or spirits. In other words, just as when the nearer an animal gets to death the lower (closer) the vultures come to devouring it, where there is a weak or dying faith in Christ, you can be sure that there you will find demonic activity..
So we have established that where the unregenerate flesh of man is exposed in its carnality and sinfulness, the vultures (demons) will come. The only remedy for the flesh is the cross – the power of the blood of Jesus. Galatians 5:24 tells us that “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” The remedy for demons is to expel them! As has been demonstrated in scripture, a third of Jesus’ ministry was spent casting out demons and healing the sick – with a great percentage being a fusion of the two. How did Jesus deal with demons? He cast them out…he expelled them from afflicted people. These two remedies can never be reversed – you cannot expel the flesh and you cannot crucify demons. In order to know which remedy to apply, you must know what you’re dealing with in each, specific situation.
In general, if you’re a committed, sincere Christian who reads the Bible and prays and desires to do God’s work – but there is an aggravating, humiliating, binding and even enslaving problem that nags and torments you, and you’ve tried everything you can think of to remedy the situation, you prayed, you’ve fasted, etc and still can’t reconcile the issue – you can almost be positive that you’re dealing with a demon that is ‘demonizing’ you. Demons can cause issues that lead you to be afraid of something; addicted to something; jealous or envious of something or someone; have anger or judgmental issues, etc. These are all very common forms of demons that plague the best (and sometimes even the strongest) of Christians.
Characteristic Activities and Traits of Demons
The following is a list of some of the more common characteristic activities of demons. If they are present, either singular or in multiple form, the person (or yourself) needs to examine things more closely through deliverance. Keep in mind that all of these activities are descriptions of things that people would do, because we are dealing with disembodied persons or spirits.
1) Entice – Demons entice or tempt people to do evil. Enticement usually comes in verbal form. For example, a ten dollar bill has been dropped on the floor and something in your head says, “Go ahead, take it, no one will know. Other people would do the same.” This is where the proof comes from that demons are persons – anything that has a voice is a person! You are hearing the demon inside of you speak to you, rationalizing that it’s ok to do something wrong, enticing you to commit sin. Absolutely everyone has experienced this at some time or another.
2) Harass – Demons harass by studying you, following you. They know you’re weaknesses and your weak moments. They know just how and when they can get in. For example: A man has had a horrible day at work, he lost a big deal, his secretary was out, there was traffic on the way home and the dog used the living room rug as a toilet. To top it off, the kids are running around screaming and as he enters this scene he finally can’t take any more and ‘blows up’. In that moment of losing it, the demon of anger that has been patiently following him all day, waiting for the perfect opportunity, jumps in and takes over as he screams at his wife and kids, totally losing control – and although he loves his wife and children dearly, he makes life miserable for them. Afterwards he feels terrible and remorsefully says “I don’t know what got into me” The answer is, quite literally, a demon of anger.
3) Torment – Demons torment. In Matthew 18:34, the parable of the unforgiving servant, it says “And his lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors…” In Matthew 6:15 it says very clearly “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” In this case, the unforgiving servant was delivered by God to demons for tormenting. Today there are thousands (maybe millions) of Christians who have unforgiveness in their heart. If you have any unforgiveness in your heart toward anybody, you are a totally legitimate target for demonization…and Satan knows the word as well as anybody, maybe better. Satan knows that, according to God’s own word, He will not do anything to stop it, so Satan has free reign to move in and take up residence. There is but one choice for this Christian - he must go through deliverance to expel the demon of unforgiveness.
There are various forms of torment. There is physical torment, a perfect example is arthritis. Arthritis is the result of demons in action – twisting, torturing, crippling and binding their target with excruciating pain. There is mental torment; a very common example is the fear of anything. Fear is one of the strongest demons there is; suffocating and strangling it’s victim with panic. There is Spiritual torment. For example, someone accuses you of committing the unforgivable sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. This torment can also include fear as the result of the possibility of committing this sin and facing eternal damnation. By the way, if you have concern over whether or not you’ve committed this sin, you haven’t because the people that have don’t have any concern at all. At the heart of this torment is the unclean spirit of lying and false accusation, taking away your peace and assurance of salvation.
4) Compel – Demons compel and cause ‘compulsive’ behavior. Almost anything compulsive is liable to be demonic. Compulsive smoking, drinking (alcoholism), eating (gluttony), compulsive sexual behavior are all caused by demonic spirits with the intent to kill and destroy their host.
5) Enslave – Demons enslave their host. For example, you’ve committed adultery. You go to Jesus and repent. As a result, you’re cleaned as if you’ve never sinned. You know that you’ve been forgiven and it’s over – but you still have an intense drive to commit adultery again, you’re enslaved to the demon of sinful sex.
*If you put 4 and 5 together, you have addiction – the compulsion to do something coupled with being enslaved to it.
6) Defile – Demons defile by making you feel dirty and unclean – especially when you’re about to worship God or read His word. Example: You’re about to get into the presence of God and some dirty image or filthy word is projected into your mind, maybe even a bad memory from your past. Anything that rises up when you’re about to worship God and opposes you is certainly demonic. A common example is the spirit of sleep, the Bible talks about a spirit of slumber in Romans 11:8. An example would be the person that wants to read the Bible at 10:30 and is asleep by 10:45. If the same person wanted to watch a football game on TV they could easily stay up past midnight. This is also a good example of supernatural forces at work, one that loves it when we are distracted from God and hates it when we are drawn to Him.
7) Deceive – Demons deceive or lie. All forms of spiritual deception are demonic and the one thing that opens the door to deception is PRIDE!
8) Make sick, weak or tired – There is a demon of tiredness that physically robs us of energy to do almost anything – especially if it is centered on anything Godly. This is one of the demons that others hide behind.
9) Kill – John 10:10 tells us that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” Most don’t realize that death is not a condition but a spirit, there is a spirit of death. When people raise people from the grave (yes, it happens a lot more frequently than you think) they have to overcome the spirit of death in the person being delivered.
10) Restless – This word sums up all of the above. Demonized people are usually restless, that is not at peace and relaxed.
Demonic Areas of Operation
Proverbs 25:28 says “Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.” Here God compares the inner nature of human personality to the walls of a city. When the person has no spiritual defenses he is open to almost any spiritual attack. For example, a drug addict; almost anything can invade him because his walls of defense are broken down. Within the inner city there are areas of residences, both rich and poor areas, business and banking areas, ethnic areas, manufacturing areas, etc. Inside every man there is a city with various areas, with characteristic residence in each area. These are the areas where demonic spirits (demons) can live in us:
1) Emotions and Attitudes (Gangs) - Behind every negative emotion and attitude there is an evil spirit. Remember, if it is not for God, it is against God (Matthew 12:30) and God does not allow negativity as part of his plan for us. So then, anger, fear, misery, loneliness, self pity, doubt, jealousy, depressions, despair, resentment, etc. *Please keep in mind that the fact that you experience anger does NOT mean that you have a demon of anger, but if it is habitual or persistent it may be.
Within these areas of emotions there are ‘root issues’ or ‘gang leaders’ that are the cause of the emotions or attitudes. One of the biggest root issues is that of rejection, which can open the door to a whole series or gang of demons – fear, resentment, doubt, jealousy, self pity, etc. These gangs can actually cause the death of the host – by suicide or ‘accidental’ overdose for example. All suicides are the result of the work of an evil spirit – they have to be because suicide is not of God! Another gang leader is rebellion, which leads to hatred, resentment, anger, violence and even murder. Rebellion is the spirit that drives almost all crime bosses, from the street gang leader to the mafia head.
2) The Mind – The mind is the battlefield between demons and the God conscience of man. Characteristic spirits that affect the mind are doubt, unbelief, confusion, indecision and insanity. Derek Prince always said that people involved in the occult almost always had a problem with confusion – which God to serve.
3) The Tongue – The most common characteristic of the tongue is lying or deceit. 2 Chronicles 18:21-22 says “He said, ‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ Then He said, ‘You are to entice him and prevail also. Go and do so.’ 22 Now therefore, behold, the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of these your prophets, for the Lord has proclaimed disaster against you.” There are a lot of people who are compulsive liars , to the point that they don’t even know when they’re lying. Salespeople and other professions that talk a lot, can easily fall prey in this area. Lying is usually based on some kind of expectation not met. It can be as simple as a task not completed but you will lie and say that it was completed. If you get away with it, the next time the same situation comes up it will be much easier to lie…to the point where it becomes habitual. Compulsive liars are so deceived that they can even pass a lie detector test because they don’t even know when they’re lying!
Another pair of ‘church-going demons’ inhabit the tongue – criticism and gossip. There is the evangelistic demon of exaggeration. Blasphemy is another characteristic of the tongue – taking the Lord’s name in vain, cursing, etc. Derek Prince was a big user of foul language before the Lord came into his life, as was I.
4) Sex – The characteristic most associated with sex is – guilt. Either about masturbation or sex acts or whatever. This is one area that Derek and I differ on. Where he was of the opinion that even masturbation was demonic, I'm of the opinion that if it’s not Biblical then it doesn’t exist – and nowhere in the Bible does it say anything about masturbation be a bad thing. In fact, the Bible has zero guidelines about what constitutes healthy or Godly sex whatsoever – except where adultery is concerned. This leaves me with the opinion that any sexual act is good if it takes place between husband and wife and is consented mutually - as long as it is not a form of perverted sex. When I was growing up we were taught that any sex that wasn’t for the purpose of making babies was bad. This is simply not Biblical – and therefore not true. The biggest problem where sex is concerned is that the church doesn’t talk about it enough, to let Christians know that whatever is consented to between husband and wife is fine – that there is nothing ‘dirty’ about matrimonial sex, including sexual positions, acts etc. God said it is all good! 1 Corinthians 7:5 says on sex “Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again” Of course, any sexual act that is not Biblical is evil. This includes homosexuality, lesbianism, rape and all perversions (S&M, etc).
5) Lusts - Sex could be included in this area but we’ll discuss other distinctive forms of lusts here. Lusts are perverted desires and appetites. When God created man all appetites were of a healthy nature, but by sin and demonic interruption they have been perverted to become unhealthy and destructive. 1 John 2:16 says “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” As an example, there are men that look at women only with physical lust – the man’s eyes automatically go to certain physical areas of any women he sees. This is the result of demonic forces using the “lust of the eyes” that this scripture refers to. Gluttony is another clear example of lust in the form of a perverted appetite. Remember that one of the physical traits of demons is being compulsive – and compulsive eating is no exception.
Addictions grow out of frustrations, like branches off a trunk, and until you deal with the demon of addiction that in turn causes the compulsion you will never solve the problem.
6) Occult – Every single activity that has anything to do with the occult or a cult is demonic – period! This includes the bad and the ‘good’ occult. When I say ‘good’ cults I mean what society calls good, of course, not what God would call good. These occults include somewhat seemingly innocent activities such as yoga. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 says “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” In other words, what may seem harmless, or even good for you, isn’t necessarily. Scientology is an excellent example of a cult, for it certainly is not a religion of God. The Hare Krishnas, the Family of Love led by Moses David Berg, and Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church are examples of cults.
7) All False Religions – Some of these claim to be Christian, and even consider the Bible to be authoritative, but they manipulate the Scriptures to fit their own beliefs. Although they may claim to serve Jesus Christ, and may even use the same terminology orthodox Christians use, their definitions are vastly different. These include Mormonism; Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, The Way International, and the Unity School of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and in some respects Judaism. Galatians 1:8-9 says “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” There isn’t a single false religion that Satan is not at work in – this is his main field of operation.
8) All Heresies – These are departures from the Christian faith. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 says “ But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.” This is already happening on a widespread scale with diets of every kind that limit all kinds of food – don’t eat carbohydrates, don’t eat protein – anything that makes food the center of one’s life is not of God. 1 Timothy 4:4-5 goes on to say “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.”
9) Our Physical Bodies – There are certain ‘diseases’ and aspects of such that are the result of demonic forces – and there is scriptural evidence to back this up. The top of the list is epilepsy. I have seen many people ministered to by Derek Prince, Mahesh Chavda and my parents that were cured of epilepsy by way of deliverance and Mark 9:17-22 gives us a perfect picture of epilepsy being healed by deliverance:
“And one of the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; 18 and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.” 19 And He answered them and said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!” 20 They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth. 21 And He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”
If that isn’t a description of epilepsy I don’t know what is, “whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out.” It goes on to say that “when he saw Him”, meaning that when the evil spirit saw Jesus, he threw the boy to the ground in a convulsing seizure, complete with foaming at the mouth. This passage clearly defines this ‘dis-ease’ as a spirit of epilepsy – not a physical condition at all but the direct result of a demon or evil spirit. The key to healing in this case is to treat the ‘disease’ as an unclean spirit!
So, in this second part of this series on deliverance, we have defined demonic activity and its goal, we have identified ten Characteristics or traits of demons and nine primary areas of operation of demons. As you can see, a person may be completely clear in the area of sex but be involved in a false religion. He may be free in the mind but bogged down emotionally. A person may be in an occult but be perfectly healthy physically. There is an abundance of possibilities for demonic activities to creep into our everyday existence.
In the next part of this series, I’ll discuss how demons come in, how they gain access to human lives.
©2013 Mark Williams, First Love Missions
©2013 Mark Williams, First Love Missions
~May the blood of Jesus cover, bless and protect you!