Exorcising Demons

There are times when an evil spirit(s) may have invaded an individual and the need to cast them out is needed. In Holy Scripture we read of Jesus and His disciples carrying out this much needed ministry. It is a ministry that God has called every believer to (see Mark 16:17 and Luke 9:1). Let’s look at a few examples, in the Scriptures, of Jesus and His disciples dealing with demons.

In Mark 1 we read of Jesus dealing with demons.

They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”

“Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

Then in Acts 16 we read of one of the Lord’s disciples, the apostle Paul casting out a demon.

Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days.

But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.

Throughout Scripture we read of the ministry of deliverance, believers expelling evil spirits in the mighty name of Jesus the Lord. There is a tremendous need to cast out demons as many in our communities are bound by these dark evil forces. By and large the modern day church is ill equipped in assisting those enslaved to these satanic forces. I have even found many church leaders to be ignorant on how to cast out demons. This is unfortunate and sad. This must change for many are terribly afflicted by demonic spirits. Believers in Christ need to be equipped on how to expel evil spirits.

For the past twenty-five years I have dealt with millions of demons and have cast them out of more then 10,000 individuals in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have learned much from my study of Scripture and experience with those demonized. Now, I’d like to share what I learned. It is my hope that this brief study into the subject of demonism will give you the necessary tools by which you might be able to assist a friend, a co-worker, a loved one, a neighbor that might be tormented by demons.

I now offer some Biblically sound suggestions on how to cast out demons. These principles are rooted in Scripture and will empower you in this much neglected ministry.

Prayer and Discernment

Pray that God give you the discernment and wisdom in dealing with someone who might be possibly afflicted by a demon. Remember you are dealing with spiritual forces that cannot be possibly be defeated by human weapons.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds (see 2 Corinthians 10:4).

This requires that we petition the Lord for wisdom and discernment. We need the ability to discern any evil spirit and the wisdom on how to proceed with someone tormented by a demon.

…to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues (see 1 Corinthians 12:10, emphasis mine).

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (see James 1:5).

Sharing the Gospel and Spiritual Truth

If you suspect, as God gives you wisdom and discernment, someone is afflicted by a demon proceed by sharing the spiritual truth that could lead the person into freedom. For example, if you are counseling someone who is not a believer in Christ, begin by sharing the gospel (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4) with that individual. In most cases, presenting spiritual truth to someone demonized, will anger the demon (as the demon does not want to see his victim find freedom) and could possibly cause the demon to react in a number of ways (i.e. aversion to the presentation of the truth, loss of consciousness, hearing of voices, sudden physical pain, etc).

If the person you are speaking with is a believer, then proceed in sharing Scriptural principles that could assist in their deliverance, from the demon that is afflicting them. For example, someone with an issue of unforgiveness could be led in a prayer of forgiveness-forgiving the one that may have harmed them. This may result in a demonic reaction as demons understood what Jesus said in John 8.

Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Satan and his demons do not want those in his grip, to fully realize the freedom found in Jesus. For the truth will set the demonized free. Satan does not want this to occur. Any attempt to present the truth of Jesus to one bound by Satan will face stiff demonic resistance. If a demonic resistance occurs take the next step in taking authority over it.

Taking Authority over the Demon

He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

In Matthew 10:1 and Luke 10:18-19 we read of the authority Jesus has given to His followers over demons. When you trust Christ for the salvation of your soul you are immediately empowered with the spiritual authority to drive out evil spirits. When dealing with a demon take authority over it and do not let it speak unless you are interrogating it to access vital information to assist the victim in finding freedom.

Confronting the Demon

When you suspect demonic resistance or witness some form of resistance, command the demon to subject itself to Jesus Christ and to His blood and resurrection. Proceed by speaking directly to the spirit and command it to speak verbally to you.

In Mark 5 we read of Jesus confronting a demonized individual. In dealing with the demon he commanded it speak to him directly (see the bold).

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

Jesus commanded the evil spirit to speak and the spirit spoke. The evil spirit gave its name as “Legion.” When dealing with someone who is demonized it is imperative you confront the spirit and find out the demon you are dealing with and how many you are dealing with. Sometimes there are multiple demons that need to be expelled, so it is imperative you find out how many are present to ensure all the demons are dealt with. Note: often demons will refer to themselves in the third person.

In Luke 8:2 (emphasis mine) we read of Jesus curing a Mary Magdalene whom had 7 evil spirits. Jesus dealt with seven spirits and all seven were cast out. We need to make sure when dealing with demons that we find out how many demons are present.

…and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out…

Find Out the Cause of the Demonic Invasion

After finding out the name(s) of the demons and how many are present begin to find out from the demon(s) the spiritual rights by which they are holding unto. Find the sin or cause for the demonic invasion so that the victim may close the door to the demon.

In Acts 16:16 we read of Luke knowing the reason for the demonization of a “slave girl” that he was ministering to. She was “possessed” by a “spirit of divination.” It is important finding out the reason of the demonic invasion.

Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling.

There are a few ways this can be accomplished. Under the authority of Christ, you can command the demon to tell you the right by which he holds unto the victim or petition the Lord for a “word of knowledge” (see 1 Corinthians 14:6) that will enable you to know the cause for the demonic affliction.

Cooperation of the Will

When attempting to expel an evil spirit from someone it is imperative you get the cooperation of the person you are ministering to. The victim’s will need to be employed against the enemy. Without the cooperation of the will of the person any ministry will be rendered fruitless (see Matthew 7:6).

We resist the enemy with the will and the will is an essential aspect you need to deal with when ministering with someone who is bound by the devil. It is critical the will of the victim is activated against the enemy of their soul

History of the Demon

When counseling the demonized it is crucial to find out, from the demon(s) or someone familiar with the demonization, how long the demon had been with the victim so that you might know how long of an ordeal to expect. Generally, the longer the demon has been inside a person the longer it will take to dislodge it from the body. Plan accordingly. Reserve your spiritual energy.

Jesus was interested in knowing how long a demon had been tormenting someone in Mark 9 (note the bold).

A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

“O unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

Weapons of our Warfare

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

As followers of the one and true God we have spiritual weapons that can be used in any encounter you might find yourself in with an evil spirit. These weapons have “divine power” to destroy demonic powers and strongholds. When dealing with a demon quote often from God’s Word as Jesus did when facing the devil (see Matthew 4), speak of the blood of Jesus (Revelation 12:11), the resurrection of Jesus (Ephesians 1:20-22), praise (Psalm 8:2), pray to God (James 5:16), and ask for angelic assistance (Psalm 91:11). All of these weapons weaken the demons power over the victim.

Expelling the Spirit(s)

After finding out the name of the demon, their spiritual rights to the victim, and how long they have been in victim, command the demon(s) to leave in the name of Jesus, just as the apostle Paul did in Acts 16.

Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

Command any demon to leave the person in the name of Jesus Christ. Because of the authority you have in Christ their expulsion is certain.

Post Expulsion

After expelling an evil spirit(s) share the gospel and ask for the individual to surrender to Jesus for salvation and then close the doors by which the demon gained access. If the person you were ministering was a believer ask them to take away the spiritual rights of the demons, by repenting of the sins and claiming the forgiveness of God (see 1 John 1:9).  After closing the doorways pray for the victim’s inner healing and physical healing as there are times when a demons leaves the victim hurting in the body and soul. Commit the victim, in prayer, to God’s protective hands. Encourage the person to bathe themselves in worship of Jesus, prayer, and reading of God’s Word.

In my many encounters with the demonized I have realized how little we do know of the devil tactics. I have also understood how dependant I am on God’s wisdom when dealing with those whom are bound by Satan. It is my hope that the following information, rooted in Scripture, would be some controlling Biblical principles that you may use in any encounter with demons you might find yourself in. Study the Scriptural references and allow them to guide you in counseling the demonized.

Allow yourself to be used by God in this area of ministry. As a young man I opened myself to Jesus in being used to cast out demons. He gently guided me and offered me many opportunities to expel evil spirits. It is an exciting ministry that offers much spiritual satisfaction and one that is intense. May God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit empower you to cast out demons and to offer help to those whom are bound by Satan.